Of course everyone has been blogging about the atrociously-named ebook/blog reader, the Kindle – billed self-importantly by Amazon as a “revolutionary wireless reading device.” I’ve been putting it off out of sheer ennui, but like many others I believe it’s a step on the long and dreary march towards a usable portable electronic reader, which despite being way overdue is simply a matter of time.
Kindle has so many flaws that I’m more interested to see how people hack it up than anything else – its choking DRM restrictions leave little room for anything but straight purchase downloads from the Amazon store, which is both limiting and short-sighted. That said, the ball is rolling to apparently make it a better product – a Seattle Times blog interview with the Kindle program director reveals that they anticipate future third-party development and are aware that device hacking is inevitable.
if:book reports that, in an unsurprising move, Amazon stopped discounting paperbacks the same day they released the Kindle. Kindle. Kindle? Why Kindle? I can’t get over the name, seriously. It’s awful.
Why not simply make it do what people want in the first place? Among my complaints – it’s $400. It doesn’t read PDFs or other formats without a hack, only offers 256 MB of memory, and sadly gives no opportunity for open URL collaboration with library ejournal and ebook collections. And on and on. Someone is going to get this right someday.