"You get the large display of e-reading, the super battery life of e-reading, and the high-end connectivity ... and the form factor and weight of a mobile phone," said Karl McGoldrick, chief executive of the venture capital-funded firm, in which Philips still has a 25 percent stake.
In what hopefully will be an unpleasant development for Amazon's locked up Kindle, a company spun off of Phillips is planning to bring a phone to market in 2008 that uses fold out e-paper. This is pretty awesome. If they release it in the States around the time that Verizon opens up their network, this could change the whole marketplace for mobile devices.
Or it could be another expensive toy that the wife tells me not to buy.
The device, which will retail for a shockingly low €90 ($132), will pack in an Intel Celeron M215 (1.33GHz), 1GB RAM, SiS 662 North Bridge and SiS 964L South Bridge, all in a dinky 20x300x220mm, Mac mini-esque case.
Why can't we have these over here? I'd gladly pay $132 for this thing. In fact, I'd put one in every room of the house. I'd add a little 7" touchscreen and mount one under the cabinets in the kitchen and use it for recipes. I'd put one in the bathroom just to annoy the wife. I'd even buy one for the cat.
I can't wait until computers like this hit that magical price point where it's not longer a big purchase that you think about for a while, but a "Hey, can you pick up another computer on your way home from work today?" kind of purchase.
I really hope the Kindle is the iPod of books. It could revolutionize the industry and open up all sorts of new business models. But I'm not going to buy one. My biggest problem is the restrictions put on free content. I have a few books in PDF on my Ubuntu laptop. I obtained these books legally, all downloaded with permission from the author. Because the Kindle doesn't work with Ubuntu and doesn't read PDF, I don't even know how I would get these books onto the Kindle. And since reading free books I get online on something other than a computer screen is one of the primary reasons that I want an ebook reader, this is kind of a big deal.
I know the wife will be happy with this decision, because she thought I was crazy for wanting one in the first place.
I really hope that Amazon's push in the industry brings about more competition. Sony, as much as I loathe them, got things started with the first electronic ink ebook, and things have started to move more quickly since then. Now that there's another big player in the market, it seems reasonable that we'll see big changes in the very near future.
USB support only works for Windows 2000 or higher or OSX 10.2+. What a load of crap.
So I've spent most of my morning reading everything I can find about the Kindle. I mean, I've spent most of my morning working dilligently. Yeah.
So, Amazon is going to charge for the books, charge for newspaper subscriptions, and charge for full-text blog feeds. But they aren't charging any extra for the network connection.
This is pretty cool. There are some drawbacks. It's not as sexy as an iPhone, but that's really not that big a deal for me. It doesn't seem to support PDF, which people had been saying it would, but it supports some ebook formats, plus Microsoft Word and HTML. Some of the details are fuzzy. I'm hearing that you can't transfer your own content through the USB port, but not from anyone reliable. I suppose you could always do it via SD card.
I think I'm going to have to buy one.
Amazon is releasing the Kindle, their new ebook reader, today, according to just about everyone. It sounds really cool. The idea from Jeff Bezos, the guy in charge at Amazon, is that people should have access to every book ever written, all the time. So this thing has some internet connection provided by Sprint, and you're supposed to be able to buy a book from Amazon without using a computer in a few minutes.
Of course, the $9.99 lease payment for a new book is both a little high for something you don't own and can't resell, and a little low for Amazon to make any money, so I expect the pricing model to change at some point. Artificially inflating the price of a non-scarce good doesn't lend itself to an efficient market, but the people at Amazon have done pretty well selling things so far, so I expect they'll figure something out.
First on my list would be real ownership of content. If I buy an ebook, I should own it. It should be mine. I should be able to resell it or trade it or give it away. I would also like to see libraries.
There are some major details missing from the news about this thing so far, such as integration with the computer. I know you don't need to use a computer to buy new books, but what about free ebooks released by their authors? Can I just transfer those or download them directly to the Kindle? A nice little library program on the computer would be cool, so I could organize my books onto SD cards or whatever this thing is using for removable storage.
Anyway, I'm very excited. I'd love to see this thing revolutionize the book industry like the the iPod did for the music industry. If I were a book publisher, I would be very nervous right now. They may find themselves increasingly less relevant, just like the big music labels, if they can't figure out how to adapt to new business models.
I still want one. I'd love to be able to play with it first, but I may not be able to resist. I mean, why did I go to college if it wasn't to get a job so I could afford to spend $350 on totally awesome gadgets now and then?
In fact, I actually started this list as justification to my wife for a few items I wanted to buy for myself.
This list is great.Â I want half the things on here.Â His RSS feed seems to be broken, though.Â That's not cool.
Everything I had heard so far about Microsoft's supposed iPod killer was pretty good.Â They were going to work out some way to reproduce your iTunes collection so you didn't have to repurchase all those songs (Because Apple sure as hell wasn't going to let you transfer those songs to a competitor's product).Â It really sounded like they were going to try and create a music player that didn't assume everyone was a criminal.
Unfortunately, things are not what they seemed.Â If you share a song via the Zune's wireless sharing, it will apply DRM to the file so that you can only play the song for three days or three times.Â I assume the intention here is to allow you to share a song with your friend so the friend will go buy his or her own copy.Â I don't necessarily have a problem with that - I understand that Microsoft and the record labels are just trying to make a buck, and I really do fully support capitalism.Â But the article explains how this is a problem.Â Let's say I'm an amateur musician.Â I create a new song on my computer by sampling my cat scratching in her litter box and set it to a beat of me kicking the wall as the Redskins got manhandled by the f'ing Cowboys.Â I decide to apply a Creative Commons license to my work, because I think it would be cool if someone else sampled my work and used it in their own song, so long as they give me credit.Â So, I have this song on my new Zune, and I'm playing it at a party.Â Someone comes up to me and says, "Dude, I love that song!".Â He has a Zune, too, so I share the song with him.Â Oops, Microsoft's DRM just violated the Creative Commons license.Â Creative Commons forbids any kind of DRM (Which is a large part of the reason I chose the license).
I haven't bought a cd in close to a year.Â The last cd I bought, in April of 2005, was Garbage's Bleed Like Me.Â I bought it without hearing it, because I really like Garbage.Â I put it in my computer so I could rip the MP3's FOR MY OWN PERSONAL USE (I wanted to make an MP3 cd to use in the car so I don't scratch up the original, and so I can fit ten albums on one disc), and the cd told me to go jump in a lake.Â My computer didn't recognize the cd as an audio cd.Â It would play it, but it didn't see any rippable files.
What I really should have done was return the cd as defective.Â I bought the cd assuming that I could listen to the music however I wanted.Â Unfortunately, that was not the case.Â I haven't decided yet whether I'll buy Garbage's next cd.Â Part of me wants to boycott it, but the other part of me knows that will hurt me (as I like the music) more than it hurts the company selling the cd.
The real problem here is that the music industry has made it so hard to buy a song once and use it in whatever legal way I want that I've just stopped buying music completely.Â It sounded like Microsoft was going to help that problem, but apparently that's not the case.Â I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.
Well, except, you know, my wedding, and related things.Â Be sure to watch the video of the gun in action.Â This gun combines everything that makes childhood great:Â Legos, destruction, the possiblity of injury and/or grounding . . .