Amazon Kindle -- A Year Later?

How good are the Kindle 2's html document reading capabilities?

Is this the best or close enough to the best e-ink html reader on the market?

If you haven't been following this farce, do yourself a favor and read up:

http://i.gizmodo.com/5162143/amazon-...

Glad to see Amazon cave in with absolutely no fight. Long live the consumer!

The Kindle's not like the present-day iTunes Store, where they're owning the market enough to do things on their own terms. There are other readers out there, and multiple other providers of books to compete against.

Kurrelgyre wrote:

The Kindle's not like the present-day iTunes Store, where they're owning the market enough to do things on their own terms. There are other readers out there, and multiple other providers of books to compete against.

I'd say Amazon, as a book seller, definitely has some serious clout with publishers to get what they want (I imagine they wield similar power to Wal-Mart in that regard, but I might be overestimating). As for having competition-- what are the percentage breakdowns of ebook sales/ereader market share? I bet they're pretty high on the list.

The arguments presented against this whole reading aloud thing were extremely ridiculous, and I'm just disappointed to once again see a company bow to the demands of the media providers while actively cutting out a feature that was used to sell the device in the first place.

SommerMatt wrote:

If you haven't been following this farce, do yourself a favor and read up:

http://i.gizmodo.com/5162143/amazon-...

Glad to see Amazon cave in with absolutely no fight. Long live the consumer!

On today's TWiT episode, they've been discussing how it all must have been Amazon's plot. They must have anticipated that the publishers or Writers' Guild would bitch, and had this functionality to disable the TOS in place, and were ready to do so JUST TWO DAYS after the Guild bitched. The outcome -- that the publisher must request Amazon to disable TOS on per-book basis -- generates positive publicity for Amazon, and negative publicity for the publishers.

If anything, it just draws attention to the fact just how ridiculously overpriced the audiobooks are. If you're buying an audiobook version of a title that's already in $10 paperback or cheaper, you're looking at a $25 deal for the CD version. For titles in hardcover-only, it's frequently $35 or theresuch. Even if you're buying the whole thing electronically over iTunes, so it's not really the question of a premium for the physical media that is the CDs.

So, if the publishers complain that Kindle 2's TOS feature is good enough to cut into their $35 audiobook profits -- well, the question should be why are THEY charging SO MUCH for something that is only marginally better than computerized TOS.

I'd say Amazon, as a book seller, definitely has some serious clout with publishers to get what they want (I imagine they wield similar power to Wal-Mart in that regard, but I might be overestimating).

Books may not be Wal-Mart's area of strength. Tube socks, ammunition, laundry detergents -- maybe. But books?

The only reason I'd like a Kindle, is to change text size. I like books with fairly large text, but the books I read often have piddly text.

Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:
I'd say Amazon, as a book seller, definitely has some serious clout with publishers to get what they want (I imagine they wield similar power to Wal-Mart in that regard, but I might be overestimating).

Books may not be Wal-Mart's area of strength. Tube socks, ammunition, laundry detergents -- maybe. But books? :)

Wal-Mart does sell books. Not sure how many.

My point, though, was to compare how Wal-Mart DOES have a huge say in many aspects of the music, movie, and game industry.

I understand the concerns of publishers, especially looking forward to a day when computer readers might be quite good.

But turning this functionality off raises a whole host of questions for those with disabilities...is a screen reader to become illegal? Is having websites read to you by your computer going to be illegal, or at least if you are reading content like the "one chapter" previews provided by Amazon?

So has anyone else added the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on principle?

The only real criticism I have is that I wish the power/data cable was on the top or right side rather than the bottom.

This thing has made me absolutely lazy.

I have three regular books I need to read, but I'm just... not. I have Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman that I never finished, I have When You are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris that I haven't even started yet, and I have Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy all sitting around in regular print versions. I knew I was going to start a new book today, looked at all of those, and then just shrugged and dropped the Kindle into my pack and left for work.

I really want to start the Sedaris book, but it's hardcover and it doesn't really fit in any of the pockets on my bag without emptying out a bunch of other stuff, so it sits, slowly collecting a layer of dust.

I tried the text to speech thing, and I had to follow along anyways because I had no idea what the robot voice was trying to say to me.

I understand the principle is "what if it gets BETTER!?" but it seems like a pretty flimsy argument.

Of course, I've never been a big audiobook fan, so f*ck 'em. Both of 'em.

My lovely bride asked me what I wanted when I graduated from the Command and Staff College in June - perhaps a Kindle

Thin_J wrote:

This thing has made me absolutely lazy.

I have three regular books I need to read, but I'm just... not. I have Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman that I never finished, I have When You are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris that I haven't even started yet, and I have Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy all sitting around in regular print versions. I knew I was going to start a new book today, looked at all of those, and then just shrugged and dropped the Kindle into my pack and left for work.

I really want to start the Sedaris book, but it's hardcover and it doesn't really fit in any of the pockets on my bag without emptying out a bunch of other stuff, so it sits, slowly collecting a layer of dust.

Stop talking about how awesome the Kindle is. Just stop!

Danjo Olivaw wrote:

Stop talking about how awesome the Kindle is. Just stop!

So last night I was looking at this book online and I couldn't decide if I wanted it or not, so I downloaded a sample, which was basically the first chapter or so. And then I read that sample in my pyjamas. And I liked it. So I bought it RIGHT THERE ON THE SPOT. In my PYJAMAS. Drinking scotch. That's how awesome the Kindle is.

I don't even know how you guys are capable of communication anymore, what with all the donkey balls in your mouths.

Practice?

Danjo Olivaw wrote:

I don't even know how you guys are capable of communication anymore, what with all the donkey balls in your mouths.

We all look like chipmunks basically. You've got to push them to the sides with your tongue or you don't stand a chance. errrr or something like that I would imagine.

SommerMatt wrote:

If you haven't been following this farce, do yourself a favor and read up:

http://i.gizmodo.com/5162143/amazon-...

Glad to see Amazon cave in with absolutely no fight. Long live the consumer!

I don't get it, they made it "optional" ? How does that stop everyone from saying they want a kindle with the voice?

mrwynd wrote:
SommerMatt wrote:

If you haven't been following this farce, do yourself a favor and read up:

http://i.gizmodo.com/5162143/amazon-...

Glad to see Amazon cave in with absolutely no fight. Long live the consumer!

I don't get it, they made it "optional" ? How does that stop everyone from saying they want a kindle with the voice?

Because it's "optional" on a per book basis, dependent on the whims of the PUBLISHER (not the consumer). In other words, if the publisher doesn't allow it, then the option is removed for that title.

I just got my used Kindle from rabbit. What a cool device. I love it!

Anyone know if I can get comics on it? Not comics like "The Watchman" but daily comics which are in papers? Do they come with the newspapers when you buy them? I would love to get daily comic strips of "Zits", "Dilbert", and a couple others.

They've started hiding a lot of comics inside a flash plugin these days because so many people were taking the easy-to-figure-out date-based naming convention and writing perl scripts or other apps to screenscrape the comics to some other page. I think Dilbert does this, but it may be another one I like.
I'm sure you can find them, I am just not sure where.

SommerMatt wrote:
mrwynd wrote:
SommerMatt wrote:

If you haven't been following this farce, do yourself a favor and read up:

http://i.gizmodo.com/5162143/amazon-...

Glad to see Amazon cave in with absolutely no fight. Long live the consumer!

I don't get it, they made it "optional" ? How does that stop everyone from saying they want a kindle with the voice?

Because it's "optional" on a per book basis, dependent on the whims of the PUBLISHER (not the consumer). In other words, if the publisher doesn't allow it, then the option is removed for that title.

ahhhh, that makes sense!

Danjo Olivaw wrote:

I don't even know how you guys are capable of communication anymore, what with all the donkey balls in your mouths.

The kindle made me breakfast this morning.

The kindle made me breakfast this morning.

IMAGE(http://goiloilo.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/breakfastkindle.jpg)

D*mn and brought you your pills too.

Listened to an interview with Bezos on Charlie Rose last night, and it only confirmed that one day I will own a Kindle (or competitor, but probably a Kindle). Not yet, because my reading time is consumed by audiobooks on the commute and the zillion books I have laying around the house, but someday. Probably prompted by a long overseas trip or something.

Rose really pushed him on revealing the sales numbers, in a way he normally doesn't, and Bezos wouldn't budge.

I think Amazon is being smart there. He made it clear they don't want to subsidize the device and they take a long-term view of these projects. This means they managed to avoid pricing too low and always being out of stock (though they've still had stock issues) and they've avoided being treated as a failure because their numbers didn't meet some idiot analyst's "street whisper number". (He didn't admit to the latter, but I'm sure it's the case.)

They've controlled the press, they've presumably made money or at least not lost money, and they've given themselves the time to ramp up and learn how to make one cheap enough that it'll sell in much higher volume when they are ready.

This is a much smarter strategy than so many devices that launch at volume before the company is ready, and where the message about success is controlled by the press and analysts, not the company.

That said, the minute they release a version of the Kindle that does true gangbuster sales, I am going to guess that they will drop all pretense and issue a press release that crows about it.

One statistic he did provide (proving my last point): For books available on the Kindle, 10% of the book's sales at Amazon go to the Kindle.

I'd quite like one now. The idea of a dictionary / wikipedia access combined is what appeals. I like to ferret around for information.

Deadron wrote:

One statistic he did provide (proving my last point): For books available on the Kindle, 10% of the book's sales at Amazon go to the Kindle.

?

trip1eX wrote:
Deadron wrote:

One statistic he did provide (proving my last point): For books available on the Kindle, 10% of the book's sales at Amazon go to the Kindle.

?

Not sure what you are asking, but if you mean how did it prove my last point: Like most companies, Amazon will announce numbers when the numbers serve their PR purposes. They use that 10% number because it furthers the cause of the Kindle; they do not release Kindle sales numbers because, at this point, that does not sufficiently further their cause.

Once Kindle sales numbers make for an impressive story, their claim that "we never talk about numbers" will go away and they will report on them. That's my prediction.

Danjo, for what it's worth, it's a nice device, but it's still just books. Further, it's books with rather nasty DRM on them. So you get less than real books, and with the prices creeping up, you don't pay less.

If I could resell or give away my Kindle books, I wouldn't mind the DRM overmuch. I don't mind treating an electronic book like a paper book, but I want all the capabilities of the paper book, and that includes transferring it to other people. The inability to transfer books is the reason I've bought only one Amazon title; the rest, so far, have been free or from Baen.