Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kindle Shortages, China, Larsson goes platinum, iPad Lawsuit, 'Bookless' Library,

Tech news has countless articles on the sudden unavailability of the Kindle 2 International.  The last time Amazon had a shortage, a new model was coming but it was a months-long wait.  Amazon can't afford that in the current competitive climate.  The fact that Amazon has no estimated date for these 6" Kindles to be back in stock has brought a re-focusing on the rumors that a somewhat different 6" Kindle may be coming in August, wihch is only a few days away.

E-Ink Holdings has said they're stepping up production on e-ink screens.  FoxConn, which assembles the Kindles is also having a hard time just keeping up with supply demands for iPads and iPhones.  Apple is a far larger customer for them than Amazon.  And if that's the problem, a real shortage without a newer Kindle filling the sudden lust for small, sunlight-friendly e-readers could leave the market open to B&N and Sony readers.

 Those eager to get the current Kindle Int'l can try a factory-refurbished one, for $170, with a one-year warranty by Amazon and a 30-day full-refund return policy.  These have been given a once-over and are sometimes considered a better buy, but the $20 savings seems paltry.

Global Times, China reports that
' Despite claims by Amazon that its E-book reader, Kindle, has no timetable for entering the Chinese market, its Chinese branch, Joyo is in what is believed to be preparations to launch the device, media reports said Wednesday.

An industry insider disclosed that Joyo has initiated recruitment of distribution managers and personnel via recruitment organizations, which leads industry analysts to believe this is a prelude to launching.  Information on talent-recruitment is available on Joyo's official website. '

Busy, busy.

Too bad he couldn't see the success of his books in the last two years.  His Millennium Trilogy -- "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," "The Girl Who Played with Fire" and "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" -- are now in the top 10 bestselling Kindle books of all time.  Here's an interesting profile of Larsson by The Times (UK).

Computer World's Gregg Keizer reports that Apple was sued last week in an Oakland, California federal court over claims that its iPad easily overheats, then suddenly switches itself off.
' "The iPad does not live up to the reasonable consumer's expectations created by Apple insofar as the iPad overheats so quickly under common weather conditions that it does not function for prolonged use outdoors, or in many other warm conditions," the complaint read.

The three plaintiffs said that they were duped into buying a defective device by Apple's claim that "reading on iPad is just like reading a book." That's not accurate, they alleged in their lawsuit, which also asked a federal judge to grant the case class-action status. "Using the iPad is not 'just like reading a book' at all since books do not close when the reader is enjoying them in the sunlight or in other normal environmental conditions," the complaint stated.... According to the class complaint, the iPad unexpectedly shuts down in warm weather or when it's in direct sunlight...
Reports of iPads overheating are not new. Within hours of its April 3 launch, users complained that the iPad shut down after being in the sun.

"After about 10 minutes in the sun, my iPad overheated!," said Elliot Kroo in an April 3 message on Twitter. Kroo also posted a screenshot of the ensuing warning that read, "iPad needs to cool down before you can use it."

iPad owners have also groused about overheating on Apple's support forum. '

Here's an earlier Kindleworld blog article on the reported problems at the time.  I haven't read much about that happening since, so I was surprised to see this.

The plaintiffs have asked for compensatory and punitive damages, the amounts to be decided at trial.

Stanford's once 80,000 book Engineering Library is moving, keeping only one-eighth of its books, and with the goal of a "state-of-the-art library."

  The Stanford University News reports:
' The revamped library will have a completely electronic reference desk with four Kindle 2 wireless reading devices.

  It will be the first on campus to have a self-checkout and book security system; by this fall, it also will have 15 ebook readers that library patrons may take home like regular books. Librarians will not be staffing a desk to help students and faculty, said Josephine, "but we'll be more available when they need us."  Available, that is, through email, online chatting and Facebook.

[That latter is just too weird for even me.]

An online journal search tool called xSearch will scan 28 online databases, a grant directory and more than 12,000 scientific journals.
What it means is that most Stanford students nowadays don't need to get off their chairs to find the information they need – they can find it on their laptops, or their smartphones, or their iPads.

That means, in turn, a very different role for librarians. So far, Josephine is looking forward to offering more services, more workshops, more one-on-one time with students in a visually stunning set of new spaces.'

Not everyone's enthusiastic, of course, and you can read the article for more details on how this is expected to work.

I had to miss a day, so there is a bit more news than usual included in one entry.

Check often:  Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
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  1. Amazon has lowered the price of refurbished US DXs to $249.99 (do people still fall for that "below $250" pitch?).

  2. They've been $250 for quite awhile. See my July 2nd entry, which is linked to in the right-hand reference column under Refurbished.

    I call it $250 in the Subject title. But I also do think that, yes, people do pay attention to the '9' part in $249.99 and feel it's under a certain max idea, which is why I like to round it in the subject title.

    That $250 model is the one I have and I think that IS a very good deal for those who don't intend to travel outside the U.S. or who don't need to use wireless while traveling.

  3. Hi Andrys!
    I'm from Brazil and recently I bought a Kindle DX Graphite.
    I use my Kindle for study purpose due to kindle mobility and to save some paper and trees :)
    Your blog became one of my favourites and a must read every day!
    Keep up the good work.


  4. Néts,
    Thanks very much for taking the time to let me know this! Very appreciated. And congratulations on the new portable study aid :-)


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