Everyone's talking about the new Kindle, but here's a product that may present an even more radical innovation in the e-book sector: The Talking Book, created and distributed by the non-profit Literacy Bridge, is a low cost audio player/recorder with special features for Knowledge Sharing and Literacy Learning. It was developed entirely by volunteers and costs less than $10. The device involves an ecosystem to produce and share locally relevant audio content, allowing users to record their own messages and distribute them within local networks through a device-to-device copying capability. Other features include slow play for reading … Read more
This was originally posted at ZDNet's Between the Lines.
If there were any lingering doubts about whether Amazon Web Services were enterprise-ready, they dissolved this week once IBM became a partner.
And now that Amazon and IBM have teamed up, a picture of multiple computing clouds is emerging.
Amazon Web Services teamed up with IBM to provide pay-as-you-go access to Big Blue's database servers, Lotus, and Websphere middleware running on Novell Suse Linux. Those applications will run on Amazon's EC2.
While much of the details have been covered, what's notable is the vision. IBM's cloud … Read more
Today we get down and dirty with David Carnoy, Executive Editor and resident tech carnoysseur at CNET.com. As a self-published author (check out his book at KnifeMusicBook.com), he gives his unique take on the recent Amazon Kindle 2 announcement, iPhone eBook alternatives, and whether or not the Kindle can cordially coexist with tangible novels and newspapers.
We also ask him to stay for a few stories, including a study out of Europe that finally takes a logical stance on video game censorship. We also try to congratulate David on the recent birth of his twins, but get sidetracked … Read more
IBM and Amazon.com announced that they are now providing pay-as-you-go access to development and production versions of IBM Information Management database servers, IBM Lotus content management, and IBM WebSphere portal and middleware products.
This is interesting as it shows that IBM understands that people want to consume software in the cloud, but it's not clear that anyone is currently interested. But the fact is, if they don't build it, then no one will come.
The full list of currently available IBM software available on EC2.IBM DB2 IBM Informix Dynamic Server IBM Lotus Web Content Management Standard … Read more
IBM announced Wednesday plans to deliver its software via Amazon Web Services, in a move to push its software into the clouds.
IBM will use Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) to offer its customers and third-party developers its software based on a pay-as-you-go system.
Under the arrangement, users will have access to IBM's DB2, Informix Dynamic Server, WebSphere Portal, Lotus Web Content Management, WebSphere sMash and Novell's SUSE Linux operating system software.
IBM is also providing free Amazon Machine Images for development and testing purposes, which is designed to allow developers to quickly build pre-production applications.
Big … Read more
While I got a little steamed at the Author's Guild, and Natali essentially admitted she's a runaway bride, the big event in this show is the possessed computer. It appears some 404 friends of guest Jeff Bakalar monkeyed with Nat's computer during the show. Unprofessional, I say! We will get to the bottom of this.Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 909
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Report: Sirius XM preparing to file for bankruptcy http://www.engadget.com/2009/02/10/report-sirius-xm-preparing-to-file-for-bankruptcy/ http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10161185-93.html
Authors Guild upset with … Read more
Sometimes even a well-designed and innovative product can still be a total dud. See the Apple Newton.
The industry analysts at Forrester Research now say they know why this happens.
In a new report released Friday, Forrester analyst James McQuivey zeroes in on what makes seemingly good products fall flat once they reach store shelves: lack of convenience. And he doesn't just mean "convenient" in that you can, for example, transfer a music device easily from your pocket to your car dashboard, but rather the entire experience using that music device--from buying the songs to putting them … Read more
Update at 5:30 p.m. PST: Quotes added from copyright advocate Ben Sheffner.
Was your mother a lawbreaker when she read you The Little Prince or Green Eggs and Ham?
That's the question raised Tuesday by the Authors Guild, an advocacy group for writers. Paul Aitken, the group's executive director objects to the text-to-speech feature on Amazon's Kindle 2 digital-book reader. Aitken told The Wall Street Journal: "They don't have the right to read a book out loud. That's an audio right, which is derivative under copyright law."
Wow. If a computer … Read more
Let me start by saying that I agree with you on one thing: $359 is a lot of money. I just don't agree that it's too much to pay for an Amazon Kindle 2.
In the wake of the announcement of the Kindle 2, the general response is that it's nice and all, but the price is just too high. A price breakdown of the original device found that you'd need to buy about 60 books to make up the price difference (all while paying to get delivery of newspapers and periodicals you could read online for free). And analysts complain that Kindle is a niche product with a small, upwardly mobile target audience. And here's my question: what is the problem with that?
Isn't the Kindle, fundamentally, an early adopter's device? And aren't we usually pretty tolerant of that in the tech space? You all know this story. In the evolution of technology, devices start expensive, they target a niche audience that can afford the price and care passionately about the product, and then they either adopt more mainstream features or become mainstream through a combination of obvious value proposition and gradually lower prices.
Even though the Kindle is on its second iteration, it's still very much in early-adopter territory. Does anyone really expect that an e-book reader is going to take the entire world by storm and become the iPod-like gadget commodity of its day? Of course not; so why should it be priced like bread and milk?
Then there are the features.… Read more
Additional coverage: Amazon Kindle 2
While Amazon isn't doling out review samples of its new Kindle 2 digital reader for a few weeks, I did get a chance to play with it at the launch event and come away with some first impressions.
Let me start by saying that the Kindle 2 is a nice upgrade over the original Kindle, but we're not talking a jump from, say, black-and-white television to color, so early adopters who own the original Kindle shouldn't feel too dejected.
Yes, the Kindle 2 is thinner--it measures a svelte 0.36 inches at its thickest point--and weighs in at 10.2 ounces. It also has 25 percent improved battery life and is about 20 percent faster, thanks to an upgraded processor. And it's got 16 shades of gray instead of 4, so the text pops a little more. But this is an evolution, not a revolution.
One thing that hasn't changed much is the height and width of the new Kindle. Some people have complained that the original Kindle should have been shorter and forgone the keyboard, like the Sony Reader. Whether you're a fan of the keyboard or not, it's worth noting that the Kindle 2 is about the same size as the original, measuring 8 inches top to bottom. According to the specs, the screen itself is a 6-inch, diagonal, E-Ink, electronic-paper display, with 600x800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi.
One gripe that Amazon has clearly addressed is the issue with the page-advance button. On the original Kindle, that button was extra long and easy to depress, which meant it was very easy to accidentally turn pages. On the Kindle 2, the page-turn buttons are smaller, and in playing with the device I noticed that it took a bit more effort to actually click the button and advance a page.