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Old 04-02-2009, 12:00 PM   #1
ktinkel
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Default Kindle 2 review

A review of Amazon Kindle 2 by Robert Mohns has been posted on Macintouch. It seems very complete and useful, including a few points of comparison with the Sony reader. He also comments on the optional ($30) cover — we both like it. (I had seen other reviewers describe it as chintzy or cheap. It seems classy to me, and useful, if not absolutely essential.)

I disagree with at least one of his points: the lousy pseudo-justification of text. The attempt is clumsy and extremely distracting. Mohns considers it a virtue that when stumped the Kindle just leaves a big space at the end of the occasional line. That little trick gives me a moment of pain. The obvious and only way to present text when the system has no capacity to hyphenate is to set it flush left. (He mentions a hack for Kindle 1 that lets that happen; wonder if it works on this model, what it is, and how to get it.) In the meantime, I have set font size to the minimum (like 9 point) and get fewer dud lines.

All in all a good review, and a helpful resource before buying any of the available ebooks.

   
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:09 AM   #2
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I've had a chance to use both the original and Kindle2 now and I agree, this is quite a fair and useful review.

   
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Old 04-17-2009, 06:03 AM   #3
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This Ars Technica article was drawn attention to today on identi.ca (not new, but it was updated yesterday):

Kindle owners find out about DRM's ever-present threat

Just a warning to the wise...

   
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Old 04-17-2009, 06:53 AM   #4
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Thanks for posting that.

But the article seems to suggest that once locked out of your kindle account, you lose everything. Depending on how you use the kindle, you may. Or may not. They neglect to mention that:

1) You can download content to your PC and feed the Kindle from it rather than depending on the "whispernet" connection. In fact, if you're in an area not covered by whispernet, you *have* to do it this way.

On the other hand, you still can't move the content to a different Kindle w/o access to your account, and you probably can't email files to Amazon for conversion if your account's shut down.

There's no question that being locked out would be a major nuisance.

2) Not all Kindle-readable content is DRM protected. There's an awful lot of good stuff out there that isn't, and there's software that lets you convert other formats to Kindle's Mobi-docs format.

That does limit you to older books or the fairly rare newer ones by authors who take a broadminded view of electronic books of all sorts.

   
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:22 AM   #5
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Most of what you bring up was covered in the comments!

Still - don't assume, always backup - and if you do have DRM content, you can't transfer even to another machine unless you can log into your account. And - unlike with a real book - you can't sell or give away what you bought.

   
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Old 04-17-2009, 11:42 AM   #6
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>> Still - don't assume, always backup -

Indeed.

>> and if you do have DRM content, you can't transfer even to another machine unless you can log into your account.

As I mentioned, yes.

>> And - unlike with a real book - you can't sell or give away what you bought.

Correct, of course. That's one reason I've bought very little from Amazon for mine.

That and I'm a cheapskate.

What'd make a great deal of sense, I think, would be if Amazon would offer a package deal. Buy the book at the regular price, get the Kindle edition for a dollar or two more.

I do wish reading newspapers were more pleasant on the thing.

I don't want to keep a newspaper more than a day or two, so DRM isn't an issue (though being locked out of my Amazon account would still be one!). I'd rather recycle pixels than paper, and the cost is quite a bit lower for the electronic version.

But while reading books on it is quite pleasant (more so for me than reading a physical book, actually) reading newspapers isn't. The navigation system just isn't up to par yet.

   
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:35 AM   #7
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Now here's an interesting development:

http://digg.com/u11Ej2

O'Reilly has released around 100 titles for Kindle on Amazon, with more to come.

All w/o DRM.

And they already do what I suggested Amazon *should* be doing ... offer a bundle price that gives you both the electronic and paper version of a book at a reduced price.

Not as reduced a price as I'd like but it's a start. Here's one example:

http://oreilly.com/catalog/9780596522698/

Buy the regular book for US$34.99, the the eBook too for about $10 more.

   
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Old 04-19-2009, 10:33 AM   #8
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Please don't use Digg links - Digg has turned into an evil framer and I refuse to follow those links any more (and I'm working on other counter measures against framers - it's like it's 1997 all over again! ). Just say no to frames!

If you have a direct link to whatever it is Digg wants to keep to itself, please post that.

   
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Old 04-19-2009, 04:51 PM   #9
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http://toc.oreilly.com/2009/04/over-...n-the-way.html

   
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:07 AM   #10
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Thanks, Steve!

   
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