Sunday, September 20, 2009

Amazon's Refurbished Kindle 2's at $219 - Apple/Microsoft news-Update

AMAZON OFFERS REFURBISHED KINDLE2's now, at $219, an $80 savings over a new Kindle 2.
  UPDATES 1 & 2) : 9/20/09, 10:33 PM to Original Posting of 12:18PM
    WARRANTY: 1 full year for defects. Doesn't include accidents.
      And no extended-warranty from Amazon is available on these.
      Drops w/damage resulting can qualify for discounted new refurbs.
        Year 1, defects covered include fading in sunlight and
        inadequate screen contrast.
      Above information from Customer Svc Rep Nitesh

    SquareTrade will do an extended warranty for refurbished units
    but won't cover drops/accidents on refurbs.
      Drop coverage is the reason many of us get an extra warranty.
      If using SquareTrade, Google for a coupon to use also.

These are offered for the first time, possibly because they have no more refurbished Kindle 1's and they may be feeling the squeeze from lesser models which are appearing from other e-reader makers who include no study tools at all (search, notes, highlighting, inline dictionary) for the lower priced models, and the other vendors can't offer wireless/Whispernet downloads with a simple web-browser included.

An added bonus is that these will carry the same 30-day return policy -- if you find it doesn't suit you, Amazon will refund your money as long as it's not damaged - "Factory refurbished.  Package factory sealed.  All purchases eligible for Amazon customer service and 30 day return policy."

Reviews written by customers who own a registered copy of a product will often have "Amazon Verified Purchase" shown beneath their names.  For a few months, an organization upset by Amazon's digital-rights-protection placed on copyrighted books has had an open policy of asking like-minded people to place 1-star reviews on the Kindle products because of the copyright-restrictions that are placed on the books.  This new verified-purchase label that seems to be slowly applied to user reviews (just begun, per forum discussions) will let people decide on the basis of whether they agree with protest-type reviews or whether they'd rather just know the views of actual owners and users of the product

Finally.  This started today also.  I put up a post a couple of months ago answering a question after trying to figure out how to do what was wanted at no cost.  So I tried to find that post by putting into the forum search box (now on the right column of forum pages):
    print folder contents
and the new search function brought it right up !   Very fast searches.
  Caution:  Be sure the box underneath is appropriately (un)checked to restrict searches to that forum or that topic, or not, etc.

A real/physical keyboard for the iPhone is being released soon by Toronto-based Mobile Mechatronics, which says it has built a BlackBerry-style keyboard that attaches to an iPhone.

  This "will sell for $30 with $5 shipping to the United States. There are prototypes in beta test now that have rubber keyboards. The final version will be made of hard plastic, said Mr. Nykoluk."
  They're available for pre-order now.

MICROSOFT WINDOWS MOBILE - remote-applications-wipe
Microsoft changes language on remote-application-wipes in connection with Windows Marketplace for Mobile to be launched next week.

At the TechEd New Zealand 2009 session last week, their Senior Product Manager for Windows Mobile explained:
' If an application is approved but later removed from the marketplace it will then be automatically removed from all mobile devices. '
But that didn't go over very well, in light of Amazon's recent experience with its own remote-wipe for which it apologized and said it was changing its systems so that scenario wouldn't happen again.  Ars Technica received clarification on that from Microsoft this week:
' "In the vast majority of instances where an application is removed from Windows Marketplace for Mobile, users of this application will continue to be able to use these applications on their phones," a Microsoft spokesperson told [Ars Technica].

  "In the rare event an application from Marketplace exhibits harmful behavior or has unforeseen effects, Marketplace has the capability to remotely uninstall these applications. While we hope to avoid this scenario, we will make refunds available in such cases." '
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  1. By the way, SquareTrade does offer 1 and 2 year warranties on refurbished Kindles.


  2. Oh, right.
    We were stuck on an Amazon forum topic on the fact the extended warranty (by either amazon or SquareTrade) doesn't cover any accidents or drops, which is the main reason some of us get the warranty. For me, it was the only reason.

    I'll change the wording. They are also on Amazon.

    I am sometimes reluctant to go through a 3rd party in that first year in that Amazon WILL do instant 1-day replacements for unusual items like screen contrast and fading in direct sunlight (re-iterated to me today on the phone) so I think I'd get SquareTrade for the 2nd year and deal with Amazon direct for the first.

    Sometimes there have been serial returns until no probs are seen but I hear the most recent refurbished ones are arriving in good shape. Some of the past probs and exchanges happened in a way I wouldn't want to depend on a 3rd party that first year.

    And after a year, Amazon will have a more advanced version out that most will want and will be selling off older ones again.

  3. Hi Andrys,

    Coincidentally, as I was doing some research on a tablet PC last night, I saw this info on the iTwinge at

    It has a link to the product FAQs, in case you haven’t seen them yet. Interesting concept, but in line with our conversation the other day about the potential benefits of a stylus for a future “classroom Kindle,” what I should have mentioned is that my stubby fingers cause my typing to be worse than my handwriting (which is horrendous!), so the stylus might give me a fighting chance at annotating in a reasonable amount of time ;-) . So, the appeal of miniature keyboards of this type for me may be dampened by my own limitations, and perhaps the texting-almost-from-birth current generation of students wouldn’t prefer stylus input as much as I’d imagine. Hmm - I may have to do an informal poll of my students just out of curiosity… Sorry if this wandered off topic a bit, but I was going to reply to the University of Washington thread, and decided to kill two birds with one stone! Take care.

  4. The stylus will be much preferred by many. )

    The Sony PRS-600 has it, and people like it even with the delay (the iRex has a delay too).

    To get a unit large enough for academic concerns, the Sony PRS-700 in December will be 7" (however they calculate that), and the Kindle DX at 9.7" is already on the small side for PDFs.

    The Sony PRS-700 will be $400 for the smaller unit and one would just need to forego Whispernet of the web-surfing type, as its wireless is tied to the Sony store.

    iRex and Plastic Logic as well as Apple iPad likely would use a stylus & touch screen but all 3 of these are already promising to make the Kindles look inexpensive, a problem for students.

    In other words, good luck! Kindle must have more file-format capability though - in all cases, at this point - that's my take.

  5. Andrys - I think you meant "Sony Daily Edition" rather than PRS-700 (which, of course has already been discontinued).


  6. Elmo, good thing you are reading! :-)

    Yes, I meant Sony PRS-2121, aka Daily Edition.

    Strangely eoough, they are not discontinuing it nor the PRS-505 in Canada, just in the U.S.

    Thanks again!

    - A


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