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Old 02-20-2011, 01:49 PM   #16
gweminence
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kacir View Post
To be technically correct:
1. It does have speaker. Speaker is that thing that makes sound when you listen to mp3, or switch on Text To Speech ;-)
2. There is also a MICROPHONE built in the Kindle 3. Not used at the moment [tinfoil hat] or so they claim [/tinfoil hat]

IF somebody wanted to listen really, *really* desperately, they have all the tools, hardware. They have software in place that enables them to connect remotely to your Kindle and push any update they wish.
Wrong. There is no physical connection between the speaker, or the microphone, and the radio, which would be required in order for what you're saying to happen. This is why I SPECIFICALLY stated, 'connected to the radio' in my original post. So unless amazon sends someone to solder that connection physically, AND the circuitry required to control it remotely...it's not happening. Sorry.

There's plenty of issues with both the kindle and amazon for people to get legitimately riled over. Let's not throw fake ones into the pool, eh.

Last edited by gweminence; 02-20-2011 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 02-20-2011, 04:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kacir View Post
To be technically correct:
1. It does have speaker. Speaker is that thing that makes sound when you listen to mp3, or switch on Text To Speech
A speaker also makes a tolerable microphone, albeit a low-output one. So you wouldn't necessarily need a separate microphone to pick up sounds.
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Old 02-20-2011, 06:02 PM   #18
Worldwalker
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Originally Posted by gweminence View Post
Agreed, with one caveat: to the extent that it keeps you buying from them, YOUR best interest is THEIR best interest. Piss enough of YOU off, and they start losing sales, no?
Not necessarily. Looking like their best interest is also the best interest of their most profitable customers keeps them making money. However, let's take a hypothetical customer and a hypothetical store, where that customer only shops with half-price coupons or buys loss leaders, and doesn't (as the store hopes) also buy higher-priced items. The store is actually losing money to this customer and those like him because he always gets discounts larger than their profit margin. So, actually, driving away said customers would be good for business. It's not unheard of for people in my field (website design) to "fire" clients because said clients are taking up more time than they're paying for, and show no signs of ever becoming profitable. There are sales it's more profitable to lose.

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Amazon as a corporate entity is as susceptible to making mistakes as any other. However, if you're willing to attribute that susceptibility to them, then you must therefore by default also be willing to attribute the inverse, as well: that they can LEARN from their mistakes. So then the question becomes, do YOU trust enough that they can, or have?
Have they learned that taking books off people's virtual shelves will cause customers to scream in anger? Yes, they undoubtedly have. Does that mean they can't still do so if they choose to? Not in the least. This is why my post discussed what Amazon would do and what Amazon could do. After that debacle, they probably won't routinely take books away from customers; that doesn't mean that they can't, just that they've found it unprofitable to do so. But the capability is still there. They've learned that it's a bad idea, yes, but they demonstrated that they have the capability, and as they still have it, they are still capable of using it if they decide the profit outweighs the costs.

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A better approach, perhaps, is to lay out the facts, sans alarmist 'omg don't buy from or deal with amazon because they made THIS mistake', and let people decide for themselves.
Go back and look at my post. Did I *ever* say "don't buy from Amazon"? I did, in fact, laid out the facts. Remarkably like you just suggested, actually.

Quote:
The things I listed that you didn't say specifically, I did so to illustrate the mob hysteria that people propagate, instigated by the incident to which we're referring.
You said them in direct reply to my post and to me, so I had to assume you were talking to me and about my post, not about some other person somewhere and what they said somewhere else. You might want to make that clear, because it now looks like I said all kinds of things I didn't even imply, let alone said.

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Censuring anyone, even a corporate entity, for what they MIGHT do, maybe, possibly, in the future leads to all sorts of hypotheticals that, ultimately, are mostly useless.
I laid out very clearly what capabilities Amazon has demonstrated, what they probably have, and what they might have. (by the way, your position becomes clear when you say "corporate entity", which is what corporations call themselves, instead of "company" or "corporation", which is what customers call them) I didn't censure anyone. I described what they had done and what the Kindle is potentially capable of in light of the things Amazon has done. That's not censure, let alone for hypothetical actions in the future.

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Lol. You won't find me defending DHS at ALL. I think nearly any sentient being in the universe would agree that amazon, as an entity, is vastly more competent than DHS. They're not going to brick anyone's kindle.
My cat is more competent than DHS. I still wouldn't trust him with a Kindle. (besides, I do not need 14 copies of International Kittens of Mystery, as good as it is) But we have a situation where the people calling the shots are demonstrably incompetent, as this past weekend revealed. Amazon has made mistakes, and they have made bad decisions, and DHS does both routinely, not to mention lies through its politically-motivated teeth, and the combination of DHS's "never use a scalpel when a battleaxe will do" approach and Amazon's capabilities may lead to a bad outcome. It may not. I never said it had, or even that it would, only that the capability is there.

Quote:
Firstly, the problem with this argument is that, on the VERY remote chance that this did happen, it would ONLY happen because the government forced them to, just like happened in the case to which you're referring, and in which case, amazon could hardly be held at fault.
Where did I talk about who was at fault? I don't care about fault; I care about technical capabilities. If my reading device becomes inoperative, I personally don't care if it's the vendor's fault, or DHS's fault, or anyone else's fault. I just want it to do what I bought it for.

Quote:
In the DHS case, the domain that they wanted killed had those 84k others umbrella'd underneath it, so when it when down, they all did.
Not quite. The domain they wanted killed was one of those 84k domains. Instead of just killing the offender, they redirected all domains using that DNS server, at least 83,990 of which were totally innocent. Redirected them to quite a scary notice saying that the site owner was (no "maybe" here, let alone "used the same DNS server as an actual suspect") trafficking in child porn. The last I heard, there still had been no apology, and there are quite a few business owners who have lost massive amounts of business, not only from the loss of access to their websites for several days, but because their customers were told that they were child pornographers. Would you mind if the door to your business was nailed shut, and a giant sign saying "gweminence deals in kiddie porn" was hung up in front of your store? That's what happened. And, yes, I can believe that the same people who are capable of doing that -- take your pick of sheer incompetence or not caring about 'collateral damage' when it comes to a reason -- are equally capable of telling Amazon "disable all Kindles with serial numbers between 12,345 and 96,345, because we know the one we want is in there somewhere."

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Of course not -- I'm being silly and facetious...just like anti-kindle alarmists are being about this issue.
"Anti-Kindle alarmists"? Identify with a corporation (sorry, "corporate entity") much? I'm neither pro-Kindle nor anti-Kindle. It's an electronic device, sold by a company I buy things from, and in fact it was my second choice when I bought my ebook reader. That doesn't mean I'm going to pretend that Amazon's promises not to take any given action constrain their hardware -- or even, for that matter, Amazon itself should they decide to do otherwise, or are ordered to do so.

The point of my post was what Amazon had demonstrated to date that they were capable of doing, and those things which, either as a consequence of those demonstrations or a consequence of the capabilities of their hardware, they were probably able to do. That's not "anti-Kindle"; that's talking about what hardware can do. And that's why I was careful to distinguish between "can" and "will" in my post.

It's something everyone has to take into consideration: is the ability of this device to do this worth the risk that someone (the vendor, DHS, a random hacker) might do that? Depending on the weights given to "this" and "that" by any given buyer, the answer will come out different. But that's a decision for the buyer to make, when in possession of all the facts, and hiding from that information doesn't make it go away. Nor, I'm afraid, does "they promised they won't do it again" mean "they can't do that."
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Old 02-26-2011, 10:12 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Worldwalker View Post
Nor, I'm afraid, does "they promised they won't do it again" mean "they can't do that."
I thought you were quite clear in drawing the line between what Amazon can do and what they are likely to do. I suspect you were too generous in assuming that Amazon won't do it again.

Think about the original 1984 book situation. If Amazon had sold a paper copy of 1984 that they had no right to sell, they would have paid damages for the copyright infringement. They wouldn't have sent goons to get it back. They didn't have that right. The copyright owner had the right to have the infringing books destroyed, although he'd have to go to court, ask for the court to send a marshal to seize the books and destroy them. We have a system for this, and that's it. Of course, no copyright owner ever goes that far, and no court ever orders the marshal, but that's where the powers lie to do something comparable in the paper book domain.

Think about what would have happened to Amazon if it had shown up in court on the 1984 electronic book issue. There they did have capability to remove the book, but arguably, they also had the legal right to do so by way of the contract you must agree to when you buy the Kindle. They can't just say to the court that they don't think they should remove the book when they have both the power and the legal right to do so.

Legally, the paper book situation was totally different from the "e-book on a Kindle" situation. In the first, they have neither the power nor the legal right to seize the book back. In the second, they easily have the power and arguably the legal right, depending on the contract wording. Even where the contract prohibits it, a court can give Amazon that legal right, just like it can give the marshal the right to seize your infringing paper book copy.

I'm not trying to be alarmist, but that's just the way it is. Amazon could have designed the Kindle as an electronic device that they sell and which the customer buys, and which Amazon has no right to control. They could have drawn the dividing line giving the buyer the right to control whether his device reports back to Amazon about his reading habits, the right to control whether the buyer allows the device to upgrade or not or even the right to agree or not agree to changes in the contract between Amazon and the buyer. They did not.

When I buy a computer, it's my computer. When I buy OS software, at least I get to decide if I want to upgrade or just keep it. It's not legal for Microsoft to change that software without my permission, and they don't make me give that permission, in advance, to buy the OS software. Amazon requires you to enter into an agreement that gives them the exclusive right to upgrade or modify the OS software in the device they sell you. They can do that at any time, and they can change the agreement between the parties at any time.
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Amazon reserves the right to amend any of the terms of this Agreement at its sole discretion by posting the revised terms on the Kindle Store or the Amazon.com website. Your continued use of the Device and Software after the effective date of any such amendment shall be deemed your agreement to be bound by such amendment.
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The Device Software will provide Amazon with data about your Device and its interaction with the Service
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