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(Cape - Gazette)   Amazon finally restocks the clunky Kindle, screws everyone trying to make a second living by selling them on eBay   (alleyinsider.com ) divider line
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4817 clicks; posted to Geek » on 21 Apr 2008 at 11:13 AM (8 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-04-21 11:20:40 AM  
Has anybody ever actually used one of these? I love the idea and I heard the quality is good, but there's no way I can justify spending that kind of money unless I hear it's the greatest innovation in literature since movable type.
 
2008-04-21 11:20:43 AM  
I like the idea, I don't like the price tag. How much is not waiting for shipping, or not having to drive down to the local book store worth?
 
2008-04-21 11:31:04 AM  
I love the idea too, but I'm going to wait until the 3rd to 5th generation of this. Just compared the first gen iPod to the 5th gen iPod. The 5th generation iPod really realized its potential. But that being said, I have a Creative Zen b/c Apple needs to get over themselves and not work solely with a proprietary format.
 
2008-04-21 11:31:39 AM  
I like my Sony e-reader but then again that's because I read a lot of books by dead white males that are in the public domain.
 
2008-04-21 11:32:36 AM  
I don't know about this. On the one hand, it's a great way to get books fast in a format you can carry around with you. On the other hand, it's really quite expensive, not to mention sterile.

For me, the texture of the pages, the smell of the paper and all that jazz is part of the appeal of books.

/Is that weird?
 
2008-04-21 11:32:45 AM  
Brentnsndr: I love the idea too, but I'm going to wait until the 3rd to 5th generation of this. Just compared the first gen iPod to the 5th gen iPod. The 5th generation iPod really realized its potential. But that being said, I have a Creative Zen b/c Apple needs to get over themselves and not work solely with a proprietary format.

There isn't a way to get around the iTunes crap yet? That's kind of sad.
 
2008-04-21 11:40:19 AM  
SharkUW: Brentnsndr: I love the idea too, but I'm going to wait until the 3rd to 5th generation of this. Just compared the first gen iPod to the 5th gen iPod. The 5th generation iPod really realized its potential. But that being said, I have a Creative Zen b/c Apple needs to get over themselves and not work solely with a proprietary format.

There isn't a way to get around the iTunes crap yet? That's kind of sad.


Doesn't apple sell some drm free itunes tracks, not to mention Amazon selling lots of songs cheaper in mp3 format?
 
2008-04-21 11:42:40 AM  
SharkUW: Brentnsndr: I love the idea too, but I'm going to wait until the 3rd to 5th generation of this. Just compared the first gen iPod to the 5th gen iPod. The 5th generation iPod really realized its potential. But that being said, I have a Creative Zen b/c Apple needs to get over themselves and not work solely with a proprietary format.

There isn't a way to get around the iTunes crap yet? That's kind of sad.


I've never owned an iPod, but I cracked my Toshiba player with this awesome opensource firmware and it says it works for iPods too. It takes some getting used to but it's a lot more functional, at least compared to my old firmware. Even have a GameBoy Color emulator on it now.

Not a Rickroll, check the URL (new window)
 
2008-04-21 11:43:42 AM  
picturescrazy: I like the idea, I don't like the price tag. How much is not waiting for shipping, or not having to drive down to the local book store worth?

Yeah, its just as silly as paying $250 to not have to schlep around a 400-CD binder and a CD player everywhere you go. It's the same principle with the Kindle, allowing people that are heavy readers to carry around a single small, light device rather than a huge stack of books.

The killer app will be when textbook publishers finally get wise to technology and start publishing on the Kindle platform. They will be huge on college campuses if this ever happens. It would majorly suck if you had a hardware failure before a big test, though, so they'd need to work out some way you could keep a backup copy of the text on your laptop.

The Kindle is still kinda clunky, but then so was the first iPod with the hardware buttons and mechanical scroll wheel. After a few revisions of the tech, I can see books being made into a niche item within a few decades, with a few hipsters prefering paper books because they feel that paper provides more "warmth" to the reading experience.
 
2008-04-21 11:49:21 AM  
Brentnsndr: Apple needs to get over themselves and not work solely with a proprietary format.

MP3 is a proprietary format? Well, okay, I guess the encoder is patented. LAME!

//Codec puns? In my Fark?
 
2008-04-21 11:51:07 AM  
Mad_Radhu: picturescrazy: I like the idea, I don't like the price tag. How much is not waiting for shipping, or not having to drive down to the local book store worth?

Yeah, its just as silly as paying $250 to not have to schlep around a 400-CD binder and a CD player everywhere you go. It's the same principle with the Kindle, allowing people that are heavy readers to carry around a single small, light device rather than a huge stack of books.

The killer app will be when textbook publishers finally get wise to technology and start publishing on the Kindle platform. They will be huge on college campuses if this ever happens. It would majorly suck if you had a hardware failure before a big test, though, so they'd need to work out some way you could keep a backup copy of the text on your laptop.

The Kindle is still kinda clunky, but then so was the first iPod with the hardware buttons and mechanical scroll wheel. After a few revisions of the tech, I can see books being made into a niche item within a few decades, with a few hipsters prefering paper books because they feel that paper provides more "warmth" to the reading experience.


That would make me buy one immediately. I'd never need a backpack again.
 
2008-04-21 11:52:51 AM  
No.
 
2008-04-21 12:03:10 PM  
I was reading about the Kindle and it mentioned it holds about 200 books.

Big whoop.

I have over 200 e-books on my Palm T|X which is smaller than a Kindle AND stores my contacts AND my calendar AND a couple of games AND still has over 80% free space on the memory card.

Besides, what about all of the money I've spent on Palm-formatted e-books? Do the Palm e-books become the equivalent of cassette tapes when I upgrade to a Kindle?

And for those holding onto actual books, until I can get Clavell's Shogun or the entire Dune series on e-books (to name just two items), I'll still be buying actual books as well.
 
2008-04-21 12:03:20 PM  
SharkUW: There isn't a way to get around the iTunes crap yet? That's kind of sad.

Sure. You have to go third party, of course. I use yamipod.
 
2008-04-21 12:14:02 PM  
t3knomanser: Brentnsndr: Apple needs to get over themselves and not work solely with a proprietary format.

MP3 is a proprietary format? Well, okay, I guess the encoder is patented. LAME!

//Codec puns? In my Fark?


I should have been a bit clearer. About 99% of my digital media have DRM. With the excemption of the Audible.com format, I can't name any other DRM that is compatiable with the iPod other than their proprietary DRM.

I get all of my music via Yahoo Music, whether through subscription or outright buying the tracks. There are various other online services that do that for fantastic prices, but one of the few players that they aren't compatiable with is the iPod series b/c Apple only wants their DRM and no one else's.

The same is true for the video on Amazon Unbox. Instead of paying comcast about 60 - 70 bucks a month for cable, I just buy about that many shows a month. The best part is that they are compatible with all of the players that I own.

In closing, the iPod's proprietary DRM really limits your choices of legal digital purchases to basicly just iTunes and Audible.com.
 
2008-04-21 12:20:22 PM  
Raiden333: Has anybody ever actually used one of these? I love the idea and I heard the quality is good, but there's no way I can justify spending that kind of money unless I hear it's the greatest innovation in literature since movable type.

My mother bought one. I was rather impressed at the size and the screen- it seems like it would not be as fatiguing to use as a regular LCD screen. It is the closest thing to print on a page that I have ever seen. I have to admit I don't hardly know squat about them, such as how much the thing will hold, but hers looked decent.

However, for $400 (they cost THAT much?), I wouldn't get one. You can buy a helluva lot of books for that, and those work without batteries (not to mention direct sunlight makes use more pleasurable, not harder). Also, my mother's device broke yesterday, after no more than 2 days of use. Amazon is sending a new one out with a return label, so good service there, but I just can't see paying $400 for one. Eventually it may help replace some printed books (especially for self published works), but for now I still kinda like my $8 mass market paperbacks when it comes to killing time.
 
2008-04-21 12:25:21 PM  
akula: Actually I believe e-ink looks very good in sunlight, try it out with your mothers sometime when she gets her replacement.
 
2008-04-21 12:28:14 PM  
I'm currently reading a book I purchased for fifty cents at the local thrift store.
 
2008-04-21 12:29:25 PM  
Brentnsndr:

In closing, the iPod's proprietary DRM really limits your choices of legal digital purchases to basicly just iTunes and Audible.com.

You forgot the Amazon DRM-free MP3 store and eMusic. Plus you can always rip a CD in iTunes or LAME in the rare case that something is unavailable at those stores (like the Beatles catalog).
 
2008-04-21 12:31:57 PM  
people who make a living like this off of ebay should be strangled by their CAT5-cables.

Tried to get a replacement fan for my motherboard. ASUS website has then for $7.50, but are never in stock. One asshole on ebay has like 10 of them. selling them for $40 each.

It should also be on companies like ASUS to prevent single customers from buying out entire stocks of items.
 
2008-04-21 12:39:07 PM  
Got one for my sister, she and her husband travel alot, they had to order a second one to avoid Kindle-ownership deathmatches in the foyer every week.

Two other friends who travel have them, and they won't stop talking about how great they are.

Yes, pricey. But I haven't heard from someone who actually owned one (unlike the dorks above) who had anything but glowing praise for them.
 
2008-04-21 12:41:50 PM  
I picked one up a few months ago... Great device, and if you read a lot of books it is worth it. I use it academically more than anything else - send journal articles, keep text books, etc.

It's not NEARLY as clunky as it seems in the pictures, and you learn to appreciate it's kind of strange design (not for aesthetics, it is ugly... but it's less ugly in pictures) as when you're reading it's just great and very comfortable to change pages, etc.

I've had buyers remorse for almost every major purchase I've ever had, except this one (and my iPhone.) It's easy to read, the selection is amazing, and I can keep FAR more than 200 books all the time.
 
2008-04-21 12:45:47 PM  
LemSkroob: people who make a living like this off of ebay should be strangled by their CAT5-cables.

Yeah, and people snatching up Kindles to resell on eBay are really hurting Amazon and the other customers. I'm not sure what the profit on those devices are, but I can guarantee you that it's either very little or negative. Amazon makes their real money selling digital media, and those who are hoarding these devices to sell at ridiculous prices slows Amazon from creating more. If Amazon doesn't recoup the costs of making and selling the Kindles quickly, they won't be able to produce more faster.


/eBay scalpers deserve a nice UFIA.
 
2008-04-21 12:45:58 PM  
My wife has a Kindle. It is really cool. I've always thought eReaders were a dumb idea, but the Kindle works really well. The instant downloads work very quickly, and we saved $20 on the first four books she bought. Since she is a heavy reader, we'll probably save the price of the Kindle in less than a year.

The Kindle also has the advantage of variable text size (which is great for the older crowd) and strong contrast, so it is actually easier for me to read than a regular book. I've also found that is works great on a treadmill because, I can change the page by pressing a button. Also, I haven't tried it yet, but the Kindle supports many different formats, so most eBooks can be downloaded to the Kindle without having to reformat them.
 
2008-04-21 12:47:16 PM  
@vossiewulf - Yes, that's been my experience as well. Everyone I know who actually has them loves them. I read a lot - and thus a device like this is a worthwhile investment for me. I had a Sony reader before - which is a very slick device but NO CONTENT! The Sony store sucked and had the software interface looked like it came out of "Baby's First Java" book.

That's really, ultimately, what Amazon has over everyone else - it already has an enormous selection and it grows all the time. Classics are cheap, new releases and most other books are also quite cheap.

And eInk is really just amazing.
 
2008-04-21 12:50:27 PM  
I'm thinking of getting this once my "stimulus" comes in.

The free Wikipedia would be kind of nice, it's just I'm sure it'll nickel and dime me to death once I have 40 subscriptions to magazines I never read.
 
2008-04-21 12:52:07 PM  
The other side is that the ebayers won't even take a loss because of this. They'll just ship back all the kindles that don't sell for $600 and amazon will give them their money back. It's the perfect way to screw people over!
 
2008-04-21 12:52:10 PM  
Scrophulous Barking Duck

Do you sell Kindles?

/just kidding
//I know how it is when you find that "woah, awesome" gadget
 
2008-04-21 12:53:39 PM  
vossiewulf: Two other friends who travel have them, and they won't stop talking about how great they are.

My brother usually takes business trips of 3 to 7 days about a dozen times a year. Now that I've used my wife's Kindle I'm planning to recommend that my brother get one.

/May have to get a Kindle for myself too, so I don't have to steal my wife's.
 
2008-04-21 12:56:54 PM  
Etchy333: Do you sell Kindles?

/just kidding
//I know how it is when you find that "woah, awesome" gadget


I do sound a bit like a salesman, but I'm not. I'm just impressed because I really didn't like eBooks before the Kindle came out.
 
2008-04-21 01:00:15 PM  
Kindle seems like a great 1.0 product but it is just missing too many features for me to justify a 400$ purchase.

I'd love to read magazines on it but without color it made it feel flat.

Reading books would be great if i could write notes on the screen like the Iliad which would also be nice for highlighting. The little scroll wheel was some of the worst UI I've ever used for someone who writes in their books a lot.

I enjoyed the week i used the kindle but i dont think it is ready for mass consumption just yet.
 
2008-04-21 01:03:44 PM  
For the same price you can get a used lap top, a notebook, a photocopier-scanner-fax-printer, or a fairly decent stab at the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in the form of one of the larger Wi-Fi web-friendly phone devices. That's the competition, not print.

You can put Wikipedia and your other favourite websites on your cellphone (The striped down Wikipedia is about 5-6 Gigabytes). One software application which does this is Webaroo. That or PDF format files of scans of books, magazines, etc., would be adequate for most readers. BitTorrent or something like is involved.

I love the idea of a dedicated reader but I don't love the idea of a reader which would require me to buy 20 x $40 books at half price just to re-coop the initial cost of the appliance.

Look at it from a eco-warrior's point of view:

Book, made of biodegradable paper, maybe bound in leather, a great way to sequester carbon for 200 years. Front-lit by ambiant lighting. No batteries to replace, no obsolescence.

Machine, a disposable agglomeration of plastics and heavy metals. The only way it can be recycled is shipping it to China or India where poor people and their children live on toxic waste heaps and pick through the heavy metals and plastics by hand. Back lit by some kind of battery that lasts only a few hours. Built to last until they design the replacement, if that long.

I have so many books my apartment has reached temperature and humidity stasis (part of the problem is the building itself--concrete and steel). I would love to clear them out if I could be sure Civilization would last another century and if it did not entail getting on a disposable tech treadmill like the one which music and film libraries are on.

The problem holding back electronic books is not technology. It is the industry. It's about time we took certain areas of human endeavour out of the hands of capitalists and put them back into the non-profit or leisure sector.

Music, poetry, the arts, literature, religion, politics ... I can think of a few.
 
2008-04-21 01:34:17 PM  
brantgoose: It's about time we took certain areas of human endeavour out of the hands of capitalists and put them back into the non-profit or leisure sector.

Music, poetry, the arts, literature, religion, politics ... I can think of a few.


Go for it. Nobody is stopping you. Do what you want, give it away for free. That will "take it out of the hands of the capitalists." What are you waiting for? If you wait for a structured solution, you'll get more of the same.

The problem is that people kinda need to be paid for their efforts. If it is good enough and what people want, they'll pay for it. Hence capitalism.

MindStalker: akula: Actually I believe e-ink looks very good in sunlight, try it out with your mothers sometime when she gets her replacement.

I'll have to try that out. But I'm still not sure if I'd want to take a Kindle into the bathroom with me.
 
2008-04-21 01:44:35 PM  
I dropped a paperback book the other day and it didn't break.

I'm in for a Kindle when they hit $99. Until then I'll stay in the dark ages with print. No batteries required.

I only read one or two books at a time anyway.

/loves that old-book smell
/and the library
 
2008-04-21 01:51:02 PM  
akula: Go for it. Nobody is stopping you. Do what you want, give it away for free. That will "take it out of the hands of the capitalists." What are you waiting for? If you wait for a structured solution, you'll get more of the same.

The problem is that people kinda need to be paid for their efforts. If it is good enough and what people want, they'll pay for it. Hence capitalism.


Don't be ridiculous. He's not going to spend his hard earned money giving away certain areas of human endeavor. He wants OTHER people to do it - he's just going to biatch and reap the benefits!
 
2008-04-21 01:51:19 PM  
My biggest problem is that none of the ebook readers, whatever the maker, have decent annotation software. I have a Dell Ax and I use Ubook and it still sucks. This is why putting textbooks on the Kindle will never work; the software stinks. Ebook readers are great if all you want is to read the latest potboiler. But if you are a consumer of books, not just a reader, ebooks stink.
 
2008-04-21 01:53:58 PM  
Do they "turn" pages faster than the Sony device? I tried the display unit for the Sony the other day in Borders. Read the bottom paragraph, hit the button to go to the next page... waited... flicker, flash and there it was. Total time was about 2 seconds, which is way too slow for smooth reading.
 
2008-04-21 02:21:47 PM  
I can drop a book from the top of a skyscraper... hell, I could drop one from an airplane, and stil be able to pick it up, dust it off and continue to read it. Mind you, that example is a bit extreme, but I think it's going to be VERY hard to replace a book with technology. The think with CD players vs. mp3 players is that with music, you listen to it more than once and you can have several dozen artists/albums on the go at one.... with a book you usually only give it one (or two) reads at most, then shelf it. Also, you rarely have more than 2 books on the go at once.....
 
2008-04-21 02:29:44 PM  
People also don't seem to bring up that this $400 device is essentially has the ability to be always connected to the web without regular wifi or a paid subscription. If you're in an area with a cell phone signal and you want another book, it's simple to order/download a new one. I can see many situations where this would be extremely nice.

I usually pack a couple paperback books to read while on vacation, 1 for each plane ride and a couple for while I'm there, relaxing. First, it'd be nice not to carry so many books while traveling and second, you'd never have to worry about running out of titles to read. On my last vacation to Hawaii, I polished off a book a day, and was somewhat disappointed that there weren't any book stores nearby when I finished reading all my books half way through the trip. If I had a kindle, I could have been lying next to the pool, and ordered up another title to read after I polished off my next cocktail, and be back to reading within minutes. I'd love to have the kindle for that feature alone.
 
2008-04-21 02:47:07 PM  
"the clunky Kindle", as opposed to carrying differently-sized paper bricks of paper around all day.
 
2008-04-21 03:09:32 PM  
LemSkroob: people who make a living like this off of ebay should be strangled by their CAT5-cables.

Tried to get a replacement fan for my motherboard. ASUS website has then for $7.50, but are never in stock. One asshole on ebay has like 10 of them. selling them for $40 each.

It should also be on companies like ASUS to prevent single customers from buying out entire stocks of items.


What motherboard is it? I can probably point you to a suitable alternative for probably more than 7.50 but I know a lot less than 40 bucks.
 
2008-04-21 03:17:40 PM  
Lower the price, Put a usb port on it I can upload my pdf files to it; And we'll talk.
And 200 books is laughable. It should be able to hold ten times that at least. I do like the e-ink stuff tho.
 
2008-04-21 03:18:24 PM  
Oh and I can't wait till the same thing happens to the jerks buying up all the wii's.
 
2008-04-21 03:41:08 PM  
SharkUW: Brentnsndr: I love the idea too, but I'm going to wait until the 3rd to 5th generation of this. Just compared the first gen iPod to the 5th gen iPod. The 5th generation iPod really realized its potential. But that being said, I have a Creative Zen b/c Apple needs to get over themselves and not work solely with a proprietary format.

There isn't a way to get around the iTunes crap yet? That's kind of sad.


Winamp 5 can do your ipod music stuff just fine, when I built my new computer I couldn't get itunes to play nice with vista64, so I went looking for alternate ways to put music on the ipod. Shortly thereafter winamp did the rev 5 thing and looky ipod/zune stuff.
 
gg
2008-04-21 03:43:22 PM  
The thing that I'm afraid of with these things is that they'll stop supporting/making them, just like they did with my Gemstar Ebook. Several years after I got mine, they sold off to another company, upgraded the software, and although my device is identical to what they are selling now, they tell me it can't be upgraded or migrated.
 
2008-04-21 03:52:26 PM  
Scrophulous Barking Duck: My wife has a Kindle. It is really cool. I've always thought eReaders were a dumb idea, but the Kindle works really well. The instant downloads work very quickly, and we saved $20 on the first four books she bought. Since she is a heavy reader, we'll probably save the price of the Kindle in less than a year.

The Kindle also has the advantage of variable text size (which is great for the older crowd) and strong contrast, so it is actually easier for me to read than a regular book. I've also found that is works great on a treadmill because, I can change the page by pressing a button. Also, I haven't tried it yet, but the Kindle supports many different formats, so most eBooks can be downloaded to the Kindle without having to reformat them.


*praying that Palm e-books can be supported on a Kindle.* I'll have to check into that detail. Thanks for the info!

\Still want LOTS of storage on it before purchasing one.
 
2008-04-21 04:39:13 PM  
My friend has one, so I've tried it hands on. Here's my opinion of it:

Pros:
It does what it is designed to do very, very well. The special e-ink it uses is damn awesome; it actually *looks* like paper and ink, and not a normal LCD screen. Also, if any of you are into mangas or comic books, it pulls this off spectacularly. It fits in the hands nicely, and as an added benefit you get free internet access for life (obviously this is not an efficient way to surf, but it sure is nice when you want to look up a word you don't know or something). I like many of the features it has too, like dog-earing pages that you can skip to at a later date, or annotations. It is also very cool to be able to instantly download pretty much whatever book you want in 5 minutes.

Cons:
Price. There are people out there who want the newest thing on the street, cost-be-damned. My friend is one of those people, I'm not. For $400 I'm willing to go to the library and read a book, but he would rather have this new gizmo. I also personally don't like the lack of a backlight, but as I understand it that would kinda defeat the purpose/abilities of the e-ink. Also, the books that you download cost more than you would expect. $10 for a electronic edition of a book that costs $15 in paperback? When the publisher has none of the regular costs like printing/shipping? Seems like a rip off to me.

Overall I'd say if you are a big reader, and you travel alot (or like the idea of having all your books in one device). It's a specialized product that does exactly what it is meant to, so you should ask yourself if you want e-books done 110% effectively, or a computer which can do this kind of stuff 80% effectively in addition to many other things.
 
2008-04-21 04:49:06 PM  
Brentnsndr: I love the idea too, but I'm going to wait until the 3rd to 5th generation of this. Just compared the first gen iPod to the 5th gen iPod. The 5th generation iPod really realized its potential. But that being said, I have a Creative Zen b/c Apple needs to get over themselves and not work solely with a proprietary format.

Well, good thing then you can play regular mp3s on iPods, too.
 
2008-04-21 05:06:23 PM  
MrSteve007. If you want you can come read on my deck and go through my book collection while I take your trip to Hawaii for you. :p
 
2008-04-21 05:15:36 PM  
Brentnsndr: I have a Creative Zen b/c Apple needs to get over themselves and not work solely with a proprietary format.

Have you tried playing AAC files on that Zen? You'll find that the only AAC files you can play are those created by iTunes. Creative are not only locked to one encoder, they're locked to an encoder that they don't have control over.
 
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