Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Amazon Reader: Kindle

Kindle_three_quarter_view I never was interested in an electronic reader, but the new Amazon (AMZN) gadget looks quite intriguing: Amazon Kindle "Reader"

This thingie does have some attractive features: The ability to wirelessly grab books anywhere you are is way cool. But this is more than an eBook: It is a wireless device, grabing RSS feeds of blogs, newspaper and magazines. And, unlike Apple's iTunes, you own the books you buy, and if the device is lost or broken, you can re-download all of your Amazon purchases -- at no charge. (Apple's failure to do that is an inexcusable failing, and one of the reasons I hardly buy songs from ITMS).

Can Amazon generate the sort of frenzy reserved for Apple products? Perhaps -- earlier to today, Amazon as saying the Kindle was sold out. However, there are very few companies -- Apple, Harley Davidson (HDI), Tivo -- which have that sort of appeal or can generate that customer loyalty of that sort. I like Amazon, but its doubtful they will ever be in the rabid loyalty group.

Maybe they should tear a page from the Apple playbook -- after Christmas, slash the price 50% or more.

Why? At $150-200, this becomes a more compelling product. Amazon tells me that since the retail price also includes the wireless connectivity, this is already a $150 machine with $10 per month service for 2 years included. But would anyone really pay a $10/mo for the privilege of wirelessly purchasing books?

Some of the initial reviews of the doohickey were pretty good -- endorsements include Michael Lewis and Guy Kawasaki (below), and the NYT's David Pogue.

Criticisms: Version 1.0 has some obvious shortcomings: A few good observations (and one lousy one) via Scoble:

1. No ability to buy paper goods from Amazon through Kindle.
2. Usability sucks. Didn’t they think how people would hold this?
3. UI sucks. Menus? Did they hire someone from Microsoft?
4. No ability to send electronic goods to anyone else.
5. No social network. Why can't my friends see what I’m reading?
6. No touch screen.

The buying of regular Amazon products and send ebooks or other gifts are good suggestions. Social networking ("What I am reading") can easily be adapted to a widget.

In most software products (and this is an embedded piece of software), by version 2.0, the UI gets improved. Perhaps, the build quality/materials will get upgraded. Note that very few devices start out perfect, and even TiVo and the iPod got better over time.

Scoble's all wrong on the touchscreen: You don't really want to smudge the screen you are reading (Besides, I don't believe electronic ink works with touchscreen -- yet).

I would think that after working at Microsoft, Scoble would (heh-heh) know better than to buy 1.0 of anything.


Lets me make a suggestion to help Amazon out:

If Jeff Bezos wants to make the Amazon Kindle "Reader" a breakout iPod-like product, he has an easy solution: Get the price under $200, charge $5-10 per month for the service, and include 2 free books per month at that price. I would also think pre-loading the gadget with a few gratis books was an automatic. Home run!

I am not the road warrior I once was, but if I were, I would definitely have one of these . . .


Michael Lewis


Guy Kawasaki


Scoble Criticism:

General Overview:


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Saturday, December 08, 2007

This is Spinal Lamp

Friday, December 07, 2007

Comes in Colors

Another wicked cool Sony commercial:

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Welcome to Brainland

Cool map of cerebrum island:


flickr set

Unit Seven via boingboing

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Jean Nouvel new Building




Next to MoMA, a Tower Will Reach for the Stars
NYT, November 15, 2007

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Momspit (inspired by the original) is the universal no-rinse cleanser. It’s not a sanitizer and does not contain any alcohol. In fact, it’s gentle enough to use on your face. Momspit foams for easy application, eliminates dirt and grime, and leaves skin moisturized and yummy smelling. It’s the perfect thing to throw in your purse, place on your desk, or keep in your car. To use: Apply a small amount on hands or face and rub in completely. No rinse needed.


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Monday, November 05, 2007

I Fuck Like a Girl

Great T-Shirt:


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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Wacky Halloween Costumes . . .

Spiderman & Dr. Octavious



Birth Costume


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Monday, October 29, 2007

World Countries as their top level domains


ginormous version:   Worldurlmaps1200.jpg


via Strange Maps

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Saturday, October 20, 2007

Gadget of the Day: Roth Music Cocoon

How frickin' cool is this absurd, retro futuristic, tube powered, $750  iPod doc?
(speakers NOT included)


Roth Audio Music Cocoon





Roth Audio

Posted at 06:50 AM in Art & Design, Design, Music | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack