One Armed Reading Robbery

The Amazon Kimble...

Oops, that's Kindle.

MercerMachine was dreaming aloud of an eBook reader over drinks the other week, I wonder if this is the beast he was talking about?

But there are questions.

Q: Will the Kimble's Kindle's WiFi work in Singapore as there there are many free hotspots already for those with a Singtel mobile account, or is it limited to USA?

A: It doesn't actually use WiFi to connect, it uses "the same network as your advanced mobile phone" - which is to say 3G. Sub-question: This cost of connecting is covered by Amazon *in America*, but is it covered anywhere else?


Q: What the fuck does this mean: "skeleton with acute edema and a xylophone breast"? WTF??

A: Skeletons are bones, they don't become [o]edmatous (chock-a-block with fluid) like ankles or lungs. And I'm going out on a non-[o]edematous limb here when I say people generally don't try to make cute tinkling sounds by drumming small, wooden, knob-ended sticks onto their breasts. As a rule. But what the fuck would I know?


Q: If subscribe to (i.e. pay to read) a blog and, as many of those listed are ISA Blogs ("interesting site aggregators"), when there's the inevitable link to somewhere else, which is really what I want to read, what am I supposed to do?

A: It is not a Web-device. Waste of time. In fact of those listed, only Boing-Boing is vaguely interesting to me. I read the NYT already and that is free on-line, even the premium content these days.


Q: Why doesn't it connect to the Project Gutenburg or something FREE?

A: Because the entire world exists only in order to take your money.


Q: What formats does it read?

A: Mobipocket reader. You can "email files to your Kimble Kindle and 'Amazon' will convert them to the Kindle format", according to the video ad, or you can purchase the Mobireader for your PC and convert the files yourselves (plus read them on your PC!)


Conclusion: probably a one-handed clap for the Kimple Kindle. Nice concept, however does it really have the books *I*want to read? e.g. Only two books on the NYT best-seller list are remotely interesting to me, and even then only on an impulse buy basis.

And what about the fact that everything that I can get on the web for free will cost money on the Kimble Kindle?

Sure the Kindle Books are cheaper from Amazon, but what I if I am bookstore browsing in Paris...

So, will I buy one? Probably not this week, but... eventually... maybe the Version 2, as my gadget acquisitions are not that high recently. Only the iRiver (oops, and some Bose ear-plug phones, both for about the same price as the Kimble Kindle), and while the iRiver does display txt files, it cuts words in half for no reason and is a shit to read things on.

However, even if I do get one, I will still keeping buying a few trees worth of books each year. I much prefer the solid actuality of a paper book. Apart from the permanence - you can't accidentally erase a first edition or smash the screen - there is that nutty smell of unopened pages, the weight and texture of the book in your hands, the cover art-work to admire, the tell-tale foody fingerprint smudges across key sections (where was I reading this, what was I eating?)

But I am the person who is keeping CDs companies alive by still buying their product rather than downloading all my songs. MP3s sound like compressed narrow-band CRAP when played through a real sound system.

Change used to be considered an evil thing and stability a blessing. Now, in the era of CheeseMovers, where change is glorified and ephemerality is a product design feature, I'm happy to acceed to *IMPROVEMENT*, but not merely to new products that aren't much more than a large screen B&W Palm Pilot and which keep pumping someone else's profit, even after you've already outlaid 400 clammers.

Speaking of books you can't get on Kimble Kindle, why aren't there more English translations of the books of Philippe Dijian? I read Betty Blue and loved it, and I want to read more of his stuff - the shelves are bursting with his French works in the bookstores of Paris.



Posted by: expat@large on Nov 21, 07 | 9:42 am | Profile


Let me guess...'Star Wars Pop-up Guide To The Galaxy' and 'The Wisdom of Menopause'?

Posted by: Dick on Nov 21, 07 | 11:58 pm

Close but no cigar. One indeed was 'Wisden's Pop-Up Guide to Menopause'... for older Australian cricketers...

Posted by: expat@large on Nov 22, 07 | 1:02 am

boing-boing tore it to shreds. this is not the messiah.

Posted by: MercerMachine on Nov 22, 07 | 8:25 am


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