Sunday, June 21, 2009

News in the Kindle world - Wk of 6/20/09

These are the more unusual headlines.
    (To those reading this on the Kindle edition of the blog, links actually can be followed with the Kindle's web browser.  You can save battery juice by having the Kindle plugged in while using the Kindle browser at home, but the computer will of course be faster for that.
    The Kindle browser's narrow screen can lead to awkward web-browsing and it's slow, as cell phone network speeds are often throttled.   To make it more doable and sometimes even enjoyable, try my Tips for using the Kindle web-browser.)

  1.  Amazon didn't open source the Kindle although that was implied when Amazon posted source code for each version of the Kindle, including the DX.  This raised hopes because Bezos had said at the Wired magazine conference on Monday that, as reported by cmswire, 'he intended to to give the Kindle device team competition by making the Kindle books available on even more mobile and computing devices."  But the code is just the GPL'd Linux libraries and drivers.  A bit more detail is available in the Internet News story.

  2.  UK - The Guardian takes a tougher look at the Cool-er and BeBook e-reader offerings in the UK, where the Amazon Kindle isn't sold yet.  Many reviewers looking only at the surface but not understanding what the Kindle can do have not made apt comparisons to the Kindle or Sony readers, but this article does.

  The Cool-er reader: "Navigating an interface on e-paper can be sluggish at the best of times. When you have to scroll through menus click by click, it's worse. There are additional buttons on the sides for some options – call up main menu, flip page from portrait to landscape, volume controls. But to change text size you have to burrow down to the bottom of a menu labelled font family...You can sort your books by file name, file type or date, but seemingly not by book title or author, and options for skipping through a long list are limited."
  The BeBook: "Unless you are a die-hard MobiPocket fan, however, there's little to make it a compelling offer at the current £249 UK price tag. The Cool-er, by way of contrast, is £189.

  ...Until Amazon manages to bring the Kindle over here – if it ever does – the Sony remains the one to beat.

    Earlier postings on Cool-er Reader:
        Cnet Review, June 7, 2009
        Cool-er reader debuts, May 15, 2009.

  3.  The San Francisco Examiner's Scott Fogelson (Classical Music) sees the Kindle DX as a  "potential new musical tool."
"But even apart from musical considerations, the Kindle DX is a wonderful piece of gear; I haven't bonded with a device this thoroughly in a good long time. Easy to use, comfortable to handle, capacious (4 GB of memory), and with a sharp, attractive eInk screen, I'm finding in the Kindle a sense of rightness that I encountered with the iPhone, another device that became an integral part of my life almost instantaneously."
  4.  "Why E-Books Are Stuck in a Black-and-White World."   Priya Ganapati goes into the technical details that explain the absence of color in the current e-reader scene.  Good explanations, with an accompanying chart that compares the current state of E-Ink , Kent Displays (Flepia), Pixel Qi, and Qualcomm's MEMS system. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
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