New Amazon Kindle Announcement Slated for May 6…05.04.09

4 05 2009

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According to the All Things Digital post New Amazon Device Debuts Wednesday today:

The last time Amazon (AMZN) held a press conference in New York City was in February, when it introduced the Kindle 2.0. Now it is scheduling one for Wednesday morning at Pace University in lower Manhattan.

Expect a new, large format device that’s optimized for reading newspapers and magazines.

Here’s the full text of the invitation that just showed up in my inbox: ‘We’d like to invite you to an Amazon.com press conference scheduled for Wednesday, May 6 at 10:30 am ET. The press conference is scheduled to take place at the Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts at Pace University, located at 3 Spruce Street, New York City. Doors will open for registration at 9:30 am ET.’…”





Amazanian – New Amazon.com Search…03.15.09

15 03 2009

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Here is something new for Amazon.com users of which there are many:

Amazanian provides a cleaner Amazon.com searching experience.

You can search, add products to your shopping list, compare, and then add those products directly to your Amazon.com shopping cart!

And the best part is … you can search for Amazon Prime items only without having to sort through pages and pages of products sold by third parties!…

 Amazanian is an alternative front-end website for the ever popular Amazon.com website which allows customers to search for Amazon.com products in a cleaner and more efficient manner.  Once you have selected your products, you can add them to your Amazon.com cart and checkout as usual.”

 

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Copyright © 2008-2009 Amazanian, LLC





Amazon Says It Is OK to Lend Kindle 2 in Libraries…03.13.09

13 03 2009

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Shaping Libraries says today in its post Amazon: “OK to Lend Kindles in Libraries”: 

I have written before about my interest in using Amazon’s Kindle for circulation and interlibrary loan. Yesterday I received a response from Amazon about doing so. On the phone, the Amazon rep. and I reviewed the public policy found here under section3. Digital Content, subsection Restrictions:

Unless specifically indicated otherwise, you may not sell, rent, lease, distribute, broadcast, sublicense or otherwise assign any rights to the Digital Content or any portion of it to any third party, and you may not remove any proprietary notices or labels on the Digital Content.

Amazon said this only applies to for-profit ventures. ‘If you’re gonna let someone borrow the Kindle just to read a book, you should be fine.‘…”

Read About Kindle 2: The Amazon Kindle 2 E-Reader





New Amazon Kindle 2 hands-on review and Amazon Changes Text to Speech Feature…02.28.09

28 02 2009

There is a good new review of Amazon’s Kindle 2 by the Boy Genius Report today titled Amazon Kindle 2 hands-on review whose conclusion is related below.  LISNews today reports that “Amazon announced today that it will let publishers decide whether they want the new Kindle e-book device to read their books aloud.”

“…Last but not least is the Text to Speech function. This experimental feature actually works better than expected. It reads the text back in a computerized voice but does so with surprising clarity and proper enunciation. It is not as ‘sterile’ and ‘robotic’ as expected. It won’t replace audible and all those folks upset about this feature should not be concerned about book lovers opting for the Kindle audio version of a book over the audible version. The Text to Speech lacks the intonations, inflections and drama that a real person reading would bring to a book. Nonetheless, the Text to Speech is quite listenable and is a great accessibility feature to boot.

Overall Conclusion

Kindle 2 PROS:

  • Whispernet service makes book searching and purchasing a breeze
  • Kindle 2 is thin, well-balanced with a nice layout of buttons
  • QWERTY keyboard makes entering text easy and allows for features like note taking and web browsing
  • Text is crisp and easy to read with minimal glare and the screen refresh is quick
  • Navigation is easy and intuitive

Kindle 2 CONS:

  • Device is a bit long due to the presence of the QWERTY keyboard
  • Side buttons are a bit awkward to press as you have to push the inner edge and not the outer edge of the button
  • 5-way controller can be difficult to use
  • Cost is a bit prohibitive and you need to purchase a case asthe retail pack does not include one

Overall, the Kindle 2 is a gorgeous looking device that makes digital book reading a joy. For those looking to make the jump into the digital book reading experience, the Kindle 2 is an excellent choice and the experience it provides will be tough to match with a competitive reader. The price tag of $359 is a bit high, especially when you consider the extra $30 you’ll need to shell out for a cover. Never the less, the ability to have all your books on one device and new content accessible via a wireless connection is indispensible and lessens the sting of the high price tag. If you are an avid book reader and have the cash on hand, the Kindle 2 is definitely the way to go. Amazon did a fantastic job and while it might not live up to the hype surrounding its launch, it most definitely came a whole lot closer than we expected.”

© Copyright Boy Genius Report Inc 2006-2007





NEW Kindle 2 Release Day–Wired Product Review…02.24.09

24 02 2009

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Here is an excerpted version of Wired‘s review of Amazon.com Kindle 2:

The most notable feature of the Kindle 2 (Amazon.com’s long-awaited update to its groundbreaking but somewhat flawed electronic reading device) is that it’s possible to pick it up and not turn the page. This sounds like faint praise, but anyone using the original Kindle quickly found the oversized buttons covering both sides of the device made grasping it a delicate, stressful task — kind of like picking up a sea urchin. Anything less than perfect finger placement would lose your place.

Not so with the Kindle 2, which fixes that problem and a host of others through thoughtful, businesslike improvements and innovations.

Are the improvements big enough for the Kindle 2 to spark an iPod effect, causing bookstores to shutter, forests to grow unchecked and the tomes on our shelves to disappear, replaced by plants and bobble-head dolls? Not any time soon.

The evolution toward e-reading devices as the dominant means of reading books will be a drawn-out and complicated affair. It will require screen technology with inexpensive, high-resolution color, multitouch and flexible displays. These are all features that the Kindle, as well as competitors like the Sony eReader, are still waiting for. A mass-market solution will also involve pricing that acknowledges how much cheaper it is to distribute books digitally; currently Amazon sells e-books for about half the price of their hardcover equivalents. But for now, the Kindle 2 is the closest thing to this magic formula…

The strengths of the device are the same. The dense, readable display and paperback size allow readers to sink into an author’s world just as they do with a physical tome. But this “book” is augmented by digital technology, allowing you to store hundreds of manuscripts, search through them, and look up words in an onboard dictionary, on the web or through Wikipedia. It also has a free wireless connection to the Amazon Kindle store — now hawking 230,000 books (as well as magazines and newspapers).

The most dramatic changes are in the physical design. Abandoning the quirky shape of the original, which was meant to evoke the form of a real book, the designers boiled down the shape to a pencil-thin (.36-inch) slab, which feels completely natural in hand. Though you can buy an “official” $30 leather cover (it has special hooks that keep the device in place, something that was missing in the original), I found it most comfortable to read bareback. But if you’re into playing it safe, I’d recommend one of the third-party neoprene cases available on Amazon.com…

The Kindle 2 is zippier, with pages turning 20 percent faster (yes, you can tell the difference). It has more memory (2 gigabytes, enough for storing up to 2500 books onboard). And it flaunts a more powerful built-in battery: Amazon claims that the Kindle lasts four to five days with the wireless on (I got 4.5 days in my first test) and up to two weeks with it off. After a week of limited wireless, my meter is around 50 percent. Amazon also says that after 500 charges, it will hold 80 percent of its original juice. That means that most users won’t have to replace the battery (a $60 procedure) for about a decade or so

But text-to-speech works just as well with your own content — you can upload Word files into your Kindle for a dime apiece.

Looking over the horizon, it’s clear that Amazon’s biggest competitor in selling digital books will be Google, whose recent agreement with publishers and authors will make it a virtually exclusive seller for millions of books in copyright but not in print. But right now at least, the Google and Amazon formats aren’t compatible: I was unsuccessful in getting a PDF of a public domain book downloaded from Google to appear in readable form on my Kindle…

WIRED The best e-reading system on the market. Welcome improvements to aesthetics, more functional industrial design, better graphics and longer battery life. Sleeker than the original: A third of an inch thick and 10 ounces.

TIRED Quite expensive. Book content shackled with DRM. Interface is improved, sure, but it could be even better.”

© 2009 CondéNet, Inc.





Kindle Will Survive and Flourish…02.17.09

17 02 2009

From PC World comes The Kindle: It’s Not an IPhone today from Scott McNulty of MacWorld which is excerpted here:

Ever since Amazon announced the Kindle 2, pundits and journalists have seemingly made a cottage industry out of doing two things: 1) explaining that, since it isn’t an iPhone, it will fail and 2) listing the features it needs in order for Amazon to convert those selfsame pundits to Kindle lovin’ fools.

Let’s ignore, for the moment, that those same people derided the iPhone as an expensive toy when it was first launched and focus instead on the one thing that most ‘people in the know’ are overlooking. The Kindle, as a device, is immaterial to Jeff Bezos’s stated goal of allowing people to access every book in every language in under 60 seconds. Sure, Amazon will gladly take your money for a Kindle 2 (I must admit that I pre-ordered mine while it was being announced, and I already own a first gen Kindle and a Sony Reader) but the secret to the Kindle isn’t the device itself–it’s the Kindle Store.

The Kindle Store makes it ridiculously easy to buy e-books. You push a button (thanks, one-click buying!) and around 60 seconds later there’s a book on your Kindle. Browsing Amazon.com on your laptop and see a book you want to read on your Kindle? Buy it, and the next time you turn on your Kindle the book is automatically downloaded…

Amazon knows how to sell things, whether it be physical books, tents, kitchen appliances, or e-books. I bet you (and this is where we enter the land of speculation, so strap on your seat belts) that in the not too distant future you’ll be able to buy Kindle books from Amazon on your iPhone. Better yet, you’ll be able to sync your place in a book across multiple devices, and since you’ll have your books on both a Kindle and an iPhone–no matter which device is with you at any given moment–you’ll never forget your place again. Sounds like a killer implementation to me… 

There you have it, folks. While Amazon might not sell a boatload of Kindles (and no, the Kindle will never replace your iPhone, nor was it even meant to compete with it) Amazon will make up the difference in volume…of e-book sales…

© 1998-2007, PC World Communications, Inc.





“Apple Vs Kindle + Netbooks + cellphones battle”…02.06.09

6 02 2009

It seems the tensions and potential competitor announcements are mounting daily as the new Kinle 2 announcement day approaches next week. The Amazon, Kindle, Books, Kindle 2.0 – Amazon Kindle Review blog points out the battle lines being drawn today:

“It seems I missed this rather important piece of news that the NY Times just published -

Also Thursday, Amazon said that it was working on making the titles for its popular e-book reader, the Kindle, available on a variety of mobile phones. The company… did not say when Kindle titles would be available on mobile phones.

‘We are excited to make Kindle books available on a range of mobile phones,’ said Drew Herdener, a spokesman for Amazon.

This is hugely important as it means we’re just

  1. A step away from having all manner of cellphone eReaders start offering Kindle Store Books.
  2. A few steps away from having an eReader for netbooks that couples with Amazon’s Kindle Book Store.

My suspicion is that Amazon might start off with their own eReader – however, at some point of time they would want to open it up to all the different eReading softwares that are available, and more importantly, already popular.

The biggest thing it does is it turns a potential Apple Vs Amazon Kindle battle into a Apple Vs Kindle+Netbooks+cellphones battle. Very cool strategic move by Amazon.”








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