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  1.    #1  
    Hi all,

    FYI,

    take care,


    Jay

    New Kindle Leaves Rivals Farther Back
    By DAVID POGUE, August 25, 2010
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/26/te...gewanted=print


    Too bad there’s not a reality TV show called “America’s Most Freaked-Out Tech-Company Meetings,” where you watch classic panicked board meetings. For example, when the Apple employee left an iPhone 4 prototype in a bar. Or when Intel learned that its Pentium chip contained a math error. Or when Microsoft was caught bribing bloggers with $2,500 laptops to promote Windows Vista.

    One of the most exciting episodes, though, could have been shot at Amazon the day Apple announced the iPad.

    Amazon makes the popular Kindle e-book reader. For a while, it was pretty much the only game in e-book town. But the iPad has a touch screen, color, prettier software, audio and video playback, 100,000 apps — and at the time, it didn’t cost much more than the Kindle. For the Kindle, with its six-inch monochrome nontouch screen, the iPad was your basic (full-color) nightmare.

    This week, Amazon unveiled what everyone (except Amazon) is calling the Kindle 3. You might call it Amazon’s iPad response. The Kindle 3 is ingeniously designed to be everything the iPad will never be: small, light and inexpensive.

    The smallness comes in the form of a 21 percent reduction in the dimensions from the previous Kindle. The new one measures 7.5 by 4.8 by 0.3 inches, yet the screen has the same six-inch diagonal measurements as always. Amazon’s designers did what they should have done a long time ago: they shaved away a lot of that empty beige (or now dark gray) plastic margin.

    Now, the Kindle is almost ridiculously lightweight; at 8.5 ounces, it’s a third the weight of the iPad. That’s a big deal for a machine that you want to hold in your hands for hours.

    Then there is the $140 price. That’s for the model with Wi-Fi — a feature new to the Kindle that plays catch-up to the Barnes & Noble Nook. A Kindle model that can also get online using the cellular network, as earlier models do, costs $50 more. But the main thing you do with the wireless feature is download new books, so Wi-Fi is probably plenty for most people.

    That $140 is quite a tumble from the Kindle’s original $400 price, and a tiny sliver of what you would pay for an iPad ($500 and way, way up).

    Yes, of course, it’s a little silly to compare the Kindle with the iPad, a full-blown computer with infinitely greater powers. Although it’s worth pointing out, just in case you were indeed considering the iPad primarily for its e-book features, that the Kindle’s catalog of 630,000 current books is 10 times the size of Apple’s.

    No, the Kindle’s real competition is the gaggle of extremely similar, rival e-book readers, all of which use the same E Ink screen technology.

    E Ink is satisfying to read but deeply flawed technology for e-book screens. It works by applying an electrical charge to millions of tiny black particles, causing them to freeze in a pattern of letters or grayscale images. The result really looks like ink on paper, because the black stuff is so close to the surface.

    E Ink is great for battery life, too, since only turning pages uses power; otherwise, the image could sit on the screen forever without requiring any additional juice. (Amazon says that on the new Kindle, if you turn off the wireless features, you can read for a month on a single charge.)

    But E Ink has plenty of drawbacks, too. It’s slow to change the page image, for example. The new Kindle reduces the page-turn wait to well under a second. It’s the fastest page-turner among e-readers, leaving its rivals in the dust (especially the Nook, which, despite five software upgrades since its debut, still lags). But the page turn moment still features a bizarre, black-white-black flashing sequence — a nonnegotiable characteristic of E Ink.

    E Ink’s speed problems mean that it can never display video, either. And, of course, it can’t display color. Last month, Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive, responded to this point this way: “You are not going to improve Hemingway by adding video snippets.” Yes, but color and video may well improve a new era of livelier e-books.

    Still, Amazon has clearly put a lot of time into refining the new Kindle’s E Ink screen. The background gray is a few shades lighter than on any other reader, producing much better contrast behind the black text.

    In the world of copy-protected e-books, choosing a reader is a particularly momentous decision. You’re not just buying a portable reader. You’re also committing to a particular online e-book store, since in general, each company’s e-books don’t work on other companies’ readers. (The one exception: Sony and the Nook use the same copy-protection scheme.) Even on the new Kindle, you can’t read nonprotected books in the popular ePub format, as you can on its rivals.

    (However, Amazon and Barnes & Noble each offer excellent reader programs for Mac, Windows, iPhone, iPad and Android; in other words, you don’t actually have to buy a Kindle or a Nook to read those companies’ e-books. Buy a book once, read it on all your gadgets. Kindle books even wirelessly sync up, so each gadget remembers where you stopped — a feature that’s still on the Nook’s to-do list.)

    Fortunately, the online stores are all pretty good (except Apple’s, whose book selection is still puny). The pricing seems to have evened out, too; in general, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Sony have exactly the same prices for New York Times best sellers. Sadly, lots of them are now $13, up from the flat $10 that Amazon used to charge for all best sellers.

    Those prices seem high. The fact that e-books involve no printing, binding, shipping, distributing or taking back and shredding unsold copies ought to save you something. And it’s outrageous that that you can’t sell or even give away an e-book when you’re finished with it. You paid for it; why shouldn’t you be allowed to pass it on? (End of rant.)

    The new Kindle’s nonremovable storage now holds twice as many books: 3,500 of them, which should just about cover your next flight delay. The tiny joystick has been replaced by cellphone-like four-way control buttons, and the page-turn Forward and Back buttons, which flank both edges, are silent now, for the benefit of sleeping spouses. And the new Kindle handles PDF documents much better now; you can even add notes to them and magnify them.

    Of course, the Kindle’s rivals have their own attractive features. The Nook, for example, has a balky color touch screen beneath the E Ink screen, which you use for navigation. You can read any Nook book at no charge, one hour a day, when you’re in a Barnes & Noble store. You can even “lend” a book to a friend — although held to a two-week maximum, one time a title and only on books whose publishers have permitted this feature.

    Sony Readers have touch screens; some models even have built-in illumination screens. (If you believe the rumors, new Reader models are on the way.)

    Really, though, what makes the Kindle so successful isn’t what Amazon added to it; it’s what Amazon subtracted: size, weight and price. Nook’s two-screen setup makes it fussy and complicated. Sony’s additional screen layers make the E Ink less sharp.

    In the meantime, certain facts are unassailable: that the new Kindle offers the best E Ink screen, the fastest page turns, the smallest, lightest, thinnest body and the lowest price tag of any e-reader. It’s also the most refined and comfortable.

    No doubt about it — the next episodes of “America’s Most Freaked-Out Tech-Company Board Meetings” won’t be filmed at Amazon. They’ll be set at Amazon’s rivals.


    E-mail: pogue@nytimes.com
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group
  2.    #2  
    Amazon Cites Pre - Order Volume For New Kindles
    By REUTERS, August 25, 2010, Filed at 6:17 p.m. ET

    http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2010/...gewanted=print

    SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc said on Wednesday that more of its new third generation Kindles were ordered in the first month of availability than any previous models.

    The online retailer and maker of the popular e-reader introduced last month a $139 Wi-Fi version of its Kindle, as well as a lighter and smaller version of its $189 3G wireless device, which holds more memory.

    Amazon said it had begun to ship the new devices to customers on Wednesday, two days ahead of its original target.

    The Kindle continues to be Amazon's best-selling product, the company said in a release. Amazon does not disclose sales or profit data related to the Kindle, a much-hyped device that has been a growth engine for the company.

    But the Kindle still faces competition from a host of competitors, including Sony <6758.T>, Barnes & Noble and the recent launch of Apple's iPad, which includes e-reader functions.

    Shares of Amazon rose 1.86 percent to close at $126.85 Wednesday on the Nasdaq.

    (Reporting by Alexandria Sage; editing by Bernard Orr)
    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group
  3. #3  
    I have to admit, if I was in the market for an eReader, the Kindle would probably be my choice right now for price alone.

    I still think I'll wait to see what HP does with a WebOS tablet before I really start thinking about bying anything like that though. haha
    Follow me on teh Twitterz
  4. #4  
    My Kindle just sits on my nightstand after getting an iPad. I find the iPad screen easier on the eyes than the Kindle screen - and it doesn't require outside illumination in a dim room. I find the 'flash-through-black' of eInk is kind of annoying. The size and battery life are nice though.

    That said, the Kindle's reading software on the iPad is much better than iBooks'. Ironically, it's the main reason the iPad reading experience is better than the native Kindle due to its superior screen/font adjusting capability. I also prefer Kindle's near-universal Whispersync which keeps all my devices (Droid, iPad, MacBook, iPad Touch, BB, et al) synchronized right down to the page number in books I'm reading.
  5.    #5  
    Hi all,

    Here is a little more info.

    Take care,


    Jay

    New Amazon Kindle announced: $139 WiFi-only version and $189 3G model available August 27th in the US and UK
    By Joshua Topolsky posted Jul 28th 2010 7:31PM Breaking News

    New Amazon Kindle announced: $139 WiFi-only version and $189 3G model available August 27th in the US and UK -- Engadget

    Let's be honest -- you saw this one coming, didn't you? Today Amazon is introducing a new reading device for e-book aficionados dubbed simply... the Kindle. The new handheld -- slated to be released on August 27th -- is 21 percent smaller and 15 percent lighter than the previous model, has a 20 percent faster refresh rate on its E Ink (yep, still E Ink) screen, and will now come in two colors (graphite, like its big brother the DX, and the original white). In addition to the color changes, there will be two radio configurations available: a $139 WiFi only version, and a $189 3G version (utilizing AT&T's network, just like the last model). The screen will remain the same 6-inch size as the last two Kindles, though the company claims page turns are faster and contrast is improved. The internal storage on the device has been cranked to 4GB, and the battery life is now rated at a month with no wireless, and 10 days with wireless switched on. The company also announced plans for a UK-localized version at £109 and £149, respectively, as well as a UK e-book store.

    Along with the big changes, there have been minor tweaks as well -- the keyboard and five-way controls have been streamlined and altered slightly. The rocker is now more compact and flush with the device, and the side buttons have been modified in length to emphasize the forward paddles, while the back buttons have been downsized. Software wise, there are some interesting new features, the most notable being the inclusion of an "experimental" Webkit-based browser. If you're expecting future iterations to go even bolder with their multimedia capabilities, we kindly direct you to some choice quotes by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, care of WSJ: "For the vast majority of books, adding video and animation is not going to be helpful. It is distracting rather than enhancing. You are not going to improve Hemingway by adding video snippets," adding later, "there are going to be 100 companies making LCD [screen] tablets... why would we want to be 101? I like building a purpose-built reading device. I think that is where we can make a real contribution."

    We had a chance to play with the device for a short while during a meeting with the company, and we can report that the Kindle is still very much the reading device you know and love (or hate, depending on your preferences). The build quality and materials used did seem slightly more polished than the previous version, and we really liked the new, more subtle rocker. We can also attest to screen refreshes and overall navigation feeling noticeably more responsive and snappy compared with the previous generation. Amazon was showing off a jacket accessory which will be made available at launch that includes a small, pull-out light for late-night reading sessions. We're sure it will please a lot of folks eager to keep their partners undisturbed while they tear through The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. We'll have a full review as soon as we can get our hands on the device, but for now, check out all the details in the video and PRPRPR $after$ $the$ $break$, $and$ $feast$ $your$ $eyes$ $on$ $the$ $handful$ $of$ $press$ $shots$ $in$ $the$ $gallery$ $below$.
    New Kindle





    Show full PRPRPR $text$
    ANNOUNCING A NEW GENERATION OF KINDLE: THE ALL-NEW KINDLE IS SMALLER, LIGHTER, AND FASTER, WITH 50 PERCENT BETTER CONTRAST

    Kindle's revolutionary wireless delivery and massive selection of content-now in a 21 percent smaller and 15 percent lighter design, with 50 percent better contrast, 20 percent faster page turns, up to one month of battery life, double the storage, and more-only $189, and still with free 3G wireless

    Amazon also introduces new Kindle family member: Kindle Wi-Fi-only $139

    SEATTLE-July 29, 2010-(NASDAQ: AMZN)-Millions of people are already reading on Kindles and Kindle is the #1 bestselling item on Amazon.com for two years running. It's also the most-wished-for, most-gifted, and has the most 5-star reviews of any product on Amazon.com. Today, Amazon.com is excited to introduce a new generation of Kindle. The all-new Kindle has a new electronic-ink screen with 50 percent better contrast than any other e-reader, a new sleek design with a 21 percent smaller body while still keeping the same 6-inch-size reading area, and a 15 percent lighter weight at just 8.7 ounces. The new Kindle also offers 20 percent faster page turns, up to one month of battery life, double the storage to 3,500 books, built-in Wi-Fi, a graphite color option and more-all for only $189, and still with free 3G wireless-no monthly bills or annual contracts.

    Also today, Amazon introduced a new addition to its family of portable reading devices-Kindle Wi-Fi. Readers who don't need the convenience of free 3G wireless can now enjoy the new generation Kindle for the lower price of only $139. The all-new Kindle and Kindle Wi-Fi are now available for pre-order at Amazon.com: Kindle 3G Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 6" Display, 3G Works Globally - Latest Generation: Kindle Store and Amazon.com: Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, 6" Display, Graphite - Latest Generation: Kindle Store, and will ship to customers in over 140 countries and 30 territories beginning August 27.

    Kindle offers the largest selection of the most popular books people want to read. The U.S. Kindle Store now has more than 630,000 books, including New Releases and 109 of 111 New York Times Best Sellers. Over 510,000 of these books are $9.99 or less, including 80 New York Times Best Sellers. Over 1.8 million free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available to read on Kindle. Kindle lets you buy your books once and read them everywhere-on Kindle, Kindle DX, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Mac, PC, BlackBerry, and Android-based devices. Amazon's Whispersync technology syncs your place across devices, so you can pick up where you left off. With Kindle Worry-Free Archive, books you purchase from the Kindle Store are automatically backed up online in your Kindle library on Amazon where they can be re-downloaded wirelessly for free, anytime.

    More than 235,000 books have been added to the Kindle Store in just the last six months, including New York Times Best Sellers "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest," "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" and "The Passage." The Kindle Store also recently added 20 contemporary classics from the Wylie Agency's new "Odyssey Editions" imprint that are available for the first time as e-books and exclusively in the Kindle Store, including John Updike's Pulitzer Prize-winning Rabbit series, Vladimir Nabokov's "Lolita," Norman Mailer's "The Naked and the Dead," Philip Roth's "Portnoy's Complaint" and Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man."

    "Kindle is the best-selling product on Amazon for two years running. We lowered the price to $189 and sales growth tripled. Now, we are excited to introduce a new generation Kindle that is smaller, lighter, and faster, with 50 percent better contrast. Readers are going to do a double take when they see Kindle's bright new screen and feel how remarkably light the smaller 8.7 ounce design feels in one hand," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder & CEO. "If you don't need the convenience of 3G wireless, we have an incredible new price point-$139 for Kindle Wi-Fi. Kindle Wi-Fi has all the same features, same bookstore, same high-contrast electronic paper display, and it's even a tiny bit lighter at 8.5 ounces. At this price point, many people are going to buy multiple units for the home and family."

    All New, High-Contrast E-Ink Screen, Read in Bright Sunlight: The new Kindle uses Amazon's all-new electronic ink display with 50 percent better contrast for the clearest text and sharpest images. No other e-reader has this screen or this level of contrast. Unlike LCD screens, Kindle's paper-like display looks and reads like real paper, with no glare, even in bright sunlight.

    New Proprietary Screen Technology-Faster Page Turns, New and Improved Fonts: Kindle's all-new, high-contrast electronic ink display is further optimized with Amazon's proprietary waveform and font technology to make pages turn faster and fonts sharper. Waveform is a series of electronic pulses that move black and white electronic ink particles to achieve a final gray level for an image or text. Amazon tuned the new Kindle's waveform and controller mechanism to make page turning 20 percent faster. In addition, this waveform tuning combined with new hand-built, custom fonts and font-hinting make words and letters more crisp, clear, and natural-looking. Font hints are instructions, written as code, that control points on a font character's line and improve legibility at small font sizes where few pixels are available. Hinting is a mix of aesthetic judgments and complicated technical strategies. Amazon designed its proprietary font-hinting to optimize specifically for the special characteristics of electronic ink.

    New Sleek Design, Lighter Than a Paperback: The new Kindle has a 21 percent smaller body while still keeping the same 6-inch-size reading area. At only 8.7 ounces, the new Kindle is 15 percent lighter and still 1/3 of an inch thin, making it lighter than a paperback and thinner than a magazine. With Kindle you can read comfortably and naturally with just one hand for hours. The new Kindle Wi-Fi is even lighter at just 8.5 ounces.

    Double the Storage, Holds 3,500 Books: The new Kindle has double the storage so you can carry up to 3,500 books.
    Up To One Month of Battery Life: The new Kindle has up to one month of battery life with wireless off. Keep wireless on and your Kindle will have battery life of up to 10 days.

    Free 3G Wireless: Kindle offers free 3G wireless, which means no annual contracts and no monthly fees. Global Wireless Coverage: Kindle is the only e-reader that lets you travel the globe and still get books in under 60 seconds with wireless coverage in over 100 countries and territories.

    New Built-In Wi-Fi: In addition to free 3G wireless, Kindle now has built-in Wi-Fi support. Kindle owners will now be able to connect to Wi-Fi hotspots at home or on the road. Readers who don't need the convenience of free 3G wireless can purchase the new Kindle Wi-Fi for only $139 and download content over Wi-Fi. Amazon is offering free Wi-Fi access at AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots across the U.S. for shopping and downloading Kindle content-no AT&T registration, sign-in, or password required.

    Quieter Page Turn Buttons: Quieter page turns means you can read all night without disturbing your partner.

    Share Meaningful Passages: Share meaningful passages with friends and family with built-in Twitter and Facebook integration.

    Simple to Use: Kindle is ready to use right out of the box – no setup, no software to install, no computer required.

    Books in 60 Seconds: With fast, free wireless delivery, you can start reading books on Kindle in less than 60 seconds.

    Massive Selection: The Kindle Store has over 630,000 books, including 109 of 111 New York Times Best Sellers, plus audiobooks, periodicals and blogs.

    Free, Out-of-Copyright Books: Over 1.8 million free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books such as "Pride and Prejudice" are available to read on Kindle.

    Low Book Prices: Over 510,000 of the 630,000 books in the Kindle Store are $9.99 or less, including 80 New York Times Best Sellers.

    Free Book Samples: First chapters of Kindle books are available to download and read for free before you decide to buy.

    Read Everywhere with Whispersync: Kindle books can be read on your Kindle, iPhone, iPad, PC, Mac, BlackBerry, and Android-based devices. Amazon's Whispersync technology syncs your place across devices, so you can pick up where you left off.

    Worry-Free Archive: Books purchased from the Kindle Store are automatically backed up online in your Kindle library on Amazon where they can be re-downloaded wirelessly for free, anytime.

    Improved PDF Reader: The new Kindle uses an improved built-in PDF reader with new dictionary lookup, notes and highlights, and support for password protected PDFs.

    New WebKit-based Browser (experimental): The new Kindle uses a new web browser based on the industry-leading open source Web browser engine, WebKit. The updated browser is faster, easier to navigate, and provides a new "article mode" feature that simplifies web pages to just the main text- based content for easier reading. Web browsing with Kindle over 3G or Wi-Fi is free.

    New Voice Guide: With Text-to-Speech, Kindle can read out loud to you. New Text-to-Speech enabled menus allow customers to navigate Kindle without having to read menu options. In addition to listening to books aloud, users now have the option of listening to content listings on the home screen, item descriptions, and all menu options.

    New Lighted Leather Cover: The all-new Kindle cover features an integrated, retractable reading light that lets you read comfortably anytime, anywhere. The light is a permanent part of the cover, so it's always with you, and hides away into the cover when not in use. The high-quality LED light illuminates Kindle's entire paper-like display, adding brightness without adding glare. Amazon's patent-pending hinge system secures Kindle in place and conducts electricity from Kindle's battery to the reading light, eliminating the need for batteries. The conductive hinges are gold-plated to ensure a reliable electrical connection. Gold is used because of its ability to make good electrical contact even with low force and for its corrosion resistance. The Kindle cover is sold separately.

    Customers can discover full details and pre-order the new Kindle and Kindle Wi-Fi starting today at Amazon.com: Kindle 3G Wireless Reading Device, Free 3G + Wi-Fi, 6" Display, 3G Works Globally - Latest Generation: Kindle Store and Amazon.com: Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, 6" Display, Graphite - Latest Generation: Kindle Store. For new high-resolution images of the new generation Kindle, visit Amazon Media Room: Kindle Media Room.

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    Please Support Research into Fibromyalgia, Chronic Pain and Spinal Injuries. If You Suffer from These, Consider Joining or Better Yet Forming a Support Group. No One Should Suffer from the Burden of Chronic Pain, Jay M. S. Founder, Leesburg Fibromyalgia/Resources Group

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