- It is smaller and less odd looking than it appears in photos. This is attributable to the angles used to acheive the form factor.
- The display, as anticipated, is great, even in direct sunlight.
- The design and usability are quite good; there is some unpredictable latency.
- While “always on” it lacks simple sharing functionality, presumably because of DRM.
- Whispernet makes it a standalone device- I’ve not had a need to tether it to my laptop.
- The overall portability makes it great for business travel.
The business model has been beaten tirelessly (and often not well), so I won’t address it other than to suggest that anyone who still uses Gilette as a proxy for a consumables business model should pick up a head cleaner for his/her VCR next time he/she is at the local radio store.
Critics who pan the device for lacking a color display are missing the point. The baseline here is ink and paper and a bound publication or newspaper.
Outside of typography, print publishing has arguably seen no consumer-facing innovation or product management for the last five centuries (graphic designers will likely disagree). This, coupled with the fact that most coporeal publications are buried in artifacts of production and efficiency (or lack thereof), means that the reading experience has never been about the reader. The Kindle is meaningful attempt to change that.
Will authors, publisher, and rights holders follow suit quickly enough (or at all) to make the Kindle a success in the mass market? I won’t speculate. For the moment, the Kindle has a spot on my nightstand.
If you live in the US, have a happy holiday.
If you don’t live in the US, imagine everyone you know in the US with a beer bottle in one (or both) hand(s) in reasonable proximity to a smoking grill. It might be a good time to send them an email assuming that if you don’t receive a reply within a few hours, you’ll conclude something that enriches you at their expense.
It’s always fascinating to me when accomplished and seemingly collected folks lose it in the face of market realities. At least "The Dean Scream" could have been attributable to a microphone. Via Search engine land and The Register , MacMillan executive Richard Charkin details in his blog how he and a colleague took some laptops from Google’s booth at Book Expo America, waited nearby for an hour until Google folks figured out the laptops had been taken, and, when asked, returned them. Why? To make a point about Google Book Search and intellectual property.
The is from the CEO of MacMillan. Never mind the bizarre nature of the "prank" and that it doesn’t really parallel the IP issues. The guy and a colleague WAITED AN HOUR. Was he tittering uncontrollably while hiding behind a booth wall clutching the laptops against his blazer and shorts? Perhaps they made a fortress behind the modesty panel of a nearby table?
File under "misfire."