People throw around a lot of big phrases when they talk about the Kindle Fire -- "iPad killer" being an oldie but goodie. But after spending some time with the 7-inch Fire, one thing is abundantly clear: this ain't no iPad killer. This right here is something else entirely.
Amazon announced yet another perk for those who've taken the plunge into Amazon Prime today: The Kindle Owner's Lending Library. Regular library ebooks have only recently become available on Kindle, and they've long been kind of a pain to import, so this seems to be Amazon's own version of a library. Prime members who are also Kindle owners can download one book a month, for free, from a limited selection of books.
Take the 3rd-generation Kindle, probably the best ebook reader ever made. Chop off the keyboard, trim the sides a bit, rearrange the buttons. Sell for eighty bucks. Correction: sell about a billion of these things for eighty bucks each.
Today at an event in New York City (which we live-tweeted--check out @PopSci for more), Amazon announced its new family of Kindles, and it's probably the biggest, or at least most visible, update in the line's history. The three new "traditional" Kindles continue Amazon's trend of "cheaper and smaller," including two touch-based Kindles (one Wi-Fi-only and one 3G-enabled) and one ridiculously cheap non-touch version.
Hey everyone! We're here live in some part of the semi-abandoned west coast of Manhattan, where Amazon is set to announce a new tablet of some sort. Early hands-ons have pegged it as a 7-inch tablet, likely similar in form to the BlackBerry PlayBook, which will be focused on reading in the same way as the Barnes & Noble Nook Color. We'll be live-tweeting the announcement (follow us at @PopSci), and we'll have all the details as they come in.
Thousands of spam pseudobooks are reportedly clogging Amazon’s Kindle store, as spammers have begun buying digital content on the cheap and repackaging it into e-book form. Book buyers have to click through volumes of spam to find the real books they want, according to a report by Reuters.
The fake books are easy to produce and publish using Amazon’s intentionally author-friendly self-publishing framework. Some are selling for 99 cents in the Kindle store.
E Ink, the company that pioneered the electrophoretic displays used in gadgets like the Amazon Kindle, won't have a new fancy screen this year. But that doesn't mean they're taking it easy: They've got a host of projects, from color- and video-enabled displays to screens that can be printed on cloth and then crumpled.
A few months ago, when I still lived in San Francisco, I used to go to a monthly event called Literary Death Match, in which well-lubricated writers read their work in front of a heckling panel of judges. It's somewhere between stand-up comedy and a drunk recital, with a tone a bit like that of the nearby-headquartered McSweeney's--slightly precious, highly literate, vaguely experimental, and often funny--only more profane. Once, at the end of the second reading, the author, who had her notes proudly type-written (like, with a typewriter) tossed her retro-affected sheets of paper into the crowd and shouted "FUCK THE KINDLE!"
It got a huge applause. Which was kind of uncomfortable for me, since I had my new Kindle 3 in my jacket pocket at the time.
The problem with most e-paper, as we've come to know it, is that it's not actually anything like paper. Most e-readers like the Amazon Kindle use a glass substrate embedded with complex circuitry to achieve the visual appearance of paper rather than the glow of a computer screen. But a new kind of e-paper under development at the University of Cincinnati could change all that by putting e-ink where it belongs: on e-paper that's actually made out of paper.
In a surprising move, the New York Times today announced that they'll be introducing a new "Best Seller" category for ebooks. Sorry, I should specify: It's not surprising that they'll be tracking ebook best sellers, it's surprising that they hadn't been until now.