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Amazon Kindle Endorsed By Oprah 197

Posted by kdawson
from the you-could-pay-to-read-slashdot dept.
Oprah Winfrey enthused about the Amazon Kindle on her show today — it's her "new favorite thing" — and had Jeff Bezos on to announce a $50-off offer good till Nov. 1. A plug on Oprah is ordinarily a sign that a product has crossed over into the mainstream. But her show's audience has been slipping lately, and it's unclear how many cash-strapped citizens will be willing to part with $309 (after the special offer) for a new techno-gadget, for which they then have to shell out more money for DRM-encrusted content.
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Amazon Kindle Endorsed By Oprah

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  • by nurb432 (527695) on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:12PM (#25504037) Homepage Journal

    You can use free tools to convert PDF ( and other formats ) into the e-book format that it eats. ( at least for the Gen1 Kindle.. )

    • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:16PM (#25504115) Homepage
      Does it support non-English texts? If I want to read a PDF with heavy use of diacritics, or even completely different alphabets, will those display correctly on Kindle?
      • by Nyeerrmm (940927) on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:20PM (#25504155)
        No, the Kindle is fairly single purpose device so its doubtful that it will. When it converts a PDF it reflows it and stores it as text, rather than simply displaying it as a bitmap; this isn't so much a failure in the software as some would make it out to be, but simply that the screen isn't big enough to make it useful. If that's what you're interested in, I think the iRex iLiad (or however its capitalized) is the best bet, even though it is more expensive.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Threni (635302)

          I nearly got a Kindle - then I noticed it wasn't out in the UK, and you had to fuck about with emails or something to put books on it. Then I checked out the Sony one, but it's a complete pile or slow, flickery toss. Finally, I discovered that for £250 - just £50 more than the black and white Sony shite I could get a 1gig netbook with a 120 gig drive and stick Ubuntu on it (it came with some bollocks retro crippled fedora distro or other) and I've not looked back. The Acer Aspire One is not m

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by mikesd81 (518581)
            Don't the netbook and the kindle try to reach to 2 different markets? A kindle is great for traveling and reading on the bus or plane or train or whatever and small to use to keep a reference book open when working on something in the field or whatever. The netbook is still a laptop, still much more bulky than the kindle, and can't be used or traveled with the same ease.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by hclewk (1248568)

              And with a netbook you can't sit in the park with the sun at your back and still see the screen.

          • by genik76 (1193359) on Saturday October 25, 2008 @06:37AM (#25508415)
            I was looking for a new acoustic guitar the other day. I saw some fine instruments, producing rich, warm sounds with perfect intonation all across the fretboard. However, playing the acoustic was kind of a strain to my fingers, especially playing barre chords. Then I checked out some electric guitars, which were much more finger-friendly, but something was lacking. Finally, I discovered that for less money than an electronic guitar and amplifier, I could get an "mp3-player", listening to perfectly captured music, played by complete bands. I can't imagine anybody buying these guitar thingies, with the _serious_ lack of features and entertainment value compared to those mp3 players.
        • by MushMouth (5650) on Friday October 24, 2008 @09:26PM (#25505867) Homepage

          The question was about english text. I have read Spanish, Swedish, French, and Italian on my Kindle, all of them have characters that are not available in English. I have never used eastern, or cyrillic scripts.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Isn't the point of a PDF that the font is embedded (at least if it's done properly)?
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by davester666 (731373)

          Yes, you can embed the font in the PDF. However, you need to license the font for distribution from the font designer. This may not be particularly cheap and/or easy to do.

      • by nurb432 (527695)

        I read english, so never had a reason to try it.

      • by vux984 (928602) on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:35PM (#25504317)

        Does it support non-English texts? If I want to read a PDF with heavy use of diacritics, or even completely different alphabets, will those display correctly on Kindle?

        I know there are french and spanish books available for Kindle, so it will support at least basic stuff like c-cedilla, n-tilde, circumflexes, accents, umlauts, thorn, etc. I read somewhere the first version only supports latin-1, but that later versions allow some sort of font embedding...

        I also couldn't say whether any current existing pdf-kindle software will be able to take advantage of that though... and I wouldn't put high hopes on doing an asian or arabic language on it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by macshit (157376)

        Does it support non-English texts?

        It apparently has little or no support for non-latin scripts, which seems to be one reason it's not released more widely.

        I'd be surprised if simple things like diacritics weren't supported though.

        I suppose future versions will probably do better, but unfortunately the leaked designs for the kindle v2 suggests they've discarded the "funky-but-comfy" design philosophy for something completely generic.

      • Yes it does (Score:2, Redundant)

        by MushMouth (5650)

        It displays diacritics without any problems, however I have never used eastern, or cyrillic scripts.

  • by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:21PM (#25504161) Homepage
    Now that Oprah has given the go ahead for this I'll run right out and buy one!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:23PM (#25504185)

    Bit of a disingenuous statement to make when you have a book club.

    • My thoughts exactly. Of course to get to the nitty gritty, she really doesn't have a stake in the Kindle, rather the ebooks that are sold to read on it.

      There was a time when Oprah really did bring to the forefront 'hot button' issues that may not have made it to the demographic that watch her, but she has become nothing more than Billy Mays [wikipedia.org] who makes more than $300 million a year.

      Fuck Oprah.
    • Oprah's "Book Club" is go to the library and get the book. Only that. Either she does not recommend books for profit, or the publishing houses pay her.
  • by speakerbomb (1319693) on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:23PM (#25504191) Homepage
    Let's face it, the Kindle is a one trick pony that needs a lot of help to ever make it mainstream (like the iPhone). It's like the Hulk, who can only punch and smash, except the Hulk is cool and the Kindle is pretty much the polar opposite of cool.

    The Oprah show does a lot of good for people (so my mother defends), but this may be the defining moment when Oprah jumped the shark.
    • Kindle = Cool? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DesScorp (410532) <DesScorp@NOsPam.Gmail.com> on Saturday October 25, 2008 @12:21AM (#25506843) Homepage Journal

      I'm as much of a gadget freak as anyone, but I'm old school about books. I like the tactile pleasure of actually having pages in my hand. I spend enough damned time on electronic screens during the day. I want to relax when I read a book. I couldn't stand to read anything but short texts on an electronic device. Give me a musty old library or a book store any day.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by BLKMGK (34057)

        The screen isn't like a standard LCD. If there's enough light to read a book then there's plenty of light to use the Kindle. It's nothing like reading off of a laptop screen in my extensive experience with the device. Battery life, with the modem OFF, rocks too and swapping the battery isn't a big deal.

    • by BLKMGK (34057) <morejunk4me@@@hotmail...com> on Saturday October 25, 2008 @01:19AM (#25507141) Homepage Journal

      Umm except it happens to do that job VERY well indeed. I have read quite a few books on my kindle and find that it is VERY nice to be able to carry around several books at once on it so that as I finish one I can start another. I just finished a business trip in fact and while sitting in the airport to LEAVE for my trip I finished a book, browsed\purchased\downloaded another, and then on the return trip having finished the first book I bought two more while sitting in the airport waiting for my flight.

      With the Kindle I'm now pretty much always reading at least one if not more books constantly! I read many books before but frankly ran out of shelf space, found it a hassle to carry more than one, and paid MORE than I do now if buying new plus I had to get off my ass to go get them! the Kindle may be a one trick pony but it's pretty good at what it does.

      P.S. You know it can be used to browse the WEB right? Play MP3?

    • by Garridan (597129) on Saturday October 25, 2008 @02:11AM (#25507417)
      More like, Slashdot has jumped the shark. Who the fuck cares what Oprah thinks? Is a blog post about Opera's ratings "news for nerds" now? If so, I'm turning in my N-card.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ceoyoyo (59147)

      Oprah jumped the shark when she started pushing the Kindle?

      I don't know if Oprah ever helped anyone, but she's a master of scaring the hell out of innocent people with things like useless scare shows about the horrible bacteria that's EVERYWHERE!

  • How do they do it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Yiliar (603536) on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:23PM (#25504197)
    How does Amazon get their music distribution so right (DRM free, good tools), and their ebook distribution so wrong (DRM laden, attempts to lock ebook sales to kindle)?

    One can only scratch their heads!

    I will continue to use my N810 for ebook reading, and BAEN BOOKS and others for ebooks with no DRM at reasonable prices.

    • by tlhIngan (30335) <(ten.frow) (ta) (todhsals)> on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:54PM (#25504503)

      How does Amazon get their music distribution so right (DRM free, good tools), and their ebook distribution so wrong (DRM laden, attempts to lock ebook sales to kindle)?
      One can only scratch their heads!

      I will continue to use my N810 for ebook reading, and BAEN BOOKS and others for ebooks with no DRM at reasonable prices.

      Easy, actually.

      Amazon has to sell books. Publishers won't give them books to sell on Kindle unless it's got DRM.

      Let's translate this to the Amazon MP3 store... Amazon goes to labels asking for music, but mentioning it's DRM free. Labels thing it over, realizing the following:
      1) #1 portable music player is an iPod
      2) iTunes Store provides DRM'd music for an iPod
      3) Windows Media DRM does not work on an iPod
      4) Other music stores are limited to the population who doesn't have an iPod
      5) Apple holds all the keys to the iTunes Store.
      6) Apple holds the key to selling DRM'd music for the #1 portable player.
      7) Apple is near the top in music sellers
      8) Apple demands far too much - music at 99 cents, rather than "flexible pricing", other contract terms. (Apple insists on one contract for all labels)
      9) Lack of competition for music sales on iPods means labels either go without selling music on the #1 player, or agree to Apple's draconian contract terms.

      Thus, their only options is to sell Windows Media DRM on the remaining market, or see that Amazon potentially has the size and power to break the grasp that Apple has on music sales for iPods. No other company is large enough nor powerful enough to do this, except Amazon.

      So labels acquiesce to Amazon's DRM free scheme, hoping people will flock from iTunes to Amazon to buy their music. Once this happens, the labels can dictate their terms to Amazon and Apple, not Apple dictating their terms to the labels. If one doesn't want to play ball, sell on the other store (e.g., if Jobs insists on not having flexible pricing, well, walk away, and sell to Amazon since it also works on iPods). Let the stores battle it out in attracting labels.

      The iTunes store has too much power over the labels, and the labels hate when they don't have control. Amazon is the only company large enough to take on Apple, and the only way to do that is get music onto iPods via DRM-free MP3s. It's one of the reasons why the iTunes Store experiment started with "limited Mac market" as a feature!

      There's no equivalent in the book market where the publishers are being squeezed by a book seller, so publishers get to dictate terms.

      The only way the music market can continue to be as good as it is now is if both Apple and Amazon end up powerful enough to force the labels. Else we'll start to see DRM'd music in the Amazon store, and whatever else the labels want (demand-based pricing, etc) on both stores.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bogjobber (880402)

        Wow, that was pretty convoluted. Let me give me posit a simpler theory.

        The fact that Amazon sells ebook readers. That is their main product, at least from a moneymaking perspective (following the model from Apple and others). They're selling DRM locked books to lock early adopters into always using a Kindle.

        You are right about why they sell DRM-free music. They're competing against Apple, so they need some sort of extra value, and the record labels would like to break away from Apple domination of the

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by BLKMGK (34057)

          I disagree. I do not think they are making much money on the Kindle itself - however I am betting they are making a pretty good penny on the distribution of eBooks. The eBook distribution costs them VERY little even when you factor in the cell data costs - the data transfer for a purchase is minimal! Even if they only make a few bucks per book purchase and lose a little on the reader - possible - they are making a good bit of cash.

          Most folks aren't going to goto the trouble of finding alternate sources of b

      • by rolfwind (528248)

        8) Apple demands far too much - music at 99 cents, rather than "flexible pricing", other contract terms. (Apple insists on one contract for all labels)

        I don't agree, but it's been years so forgive me if my details are wrong.

        Music labels would like flexible pricing, but only so they can jack up the songs that are hits at the moment (think of the "flexible" prices of ringtones) and cash out on the popularity. OTOH, I believe albums can be any prices, so if a labels wanted the music to be cheaper, they could

  • Costs (Score:5, Funny)

    by Bicx (1042846) on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:25PM (#25504207)
    Paperback book - $10
    Amazon Kindle from Oprah - $300
    Overusing a Mastercard commericial as your template for every joke - Priceless....
  • Tagged: So what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Starteck81 (917280) on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:31PM (#25504277)
    To those who tagged this "so what?" I would like to pose a question in response. Have you seen what happens to products that get endorsed by Oprah?!?!

    They become over night best sellers, most of the time. She has a cult like following that will buy up most anything she recommends. This is why it's interesting. We will now see if something that has failed to take off for quite a number of years will now do so, just because a pop icon gave it the thumbs up.
    • by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:40PM (#25504359) Journal

      To those who tagged this "so what?" I would like to pose a question in response. Have you seen what happens to products that get endorsed by Oprah?!?!

      It's things like this that make me wonder how the tagging system works. I see some tags that would get an Overrated mod if they'd been submitted as a post.

    • by leoxx (992)

      She has a cult like following that will buy up most anything she recommends.

      She's the Steve Jobs of pulp novels!

      • She has a cult like following that will buy up most anything she recommends.

        She's the Steve Jobs of pulp novels!

        That or Steve Jobs is the Opra of consumer technology. ;-)

    • by geekoid (135745)

      yeah but So what?

      Oprah endorsed something that makes someone rich. Why do we care?

      • by Nyeerrmm (940927)
        Because if the endorsement encourages more people to buy one, it enlarges the market for e-books in general. If you don't like the amazon one in particular, it still shows that the market is large if done in a simple way; this means that more people may get in the market and if it gets popular enough we'll end up with a well-ordered digital download book market (hopefully without DRM) in the same way that the ever increasing popularity of the iPod has encouraged growth of the market as a whole so that othe
        • by blueZ3 (744446)

          You had me right up until you equated popularity of the kindle with DRM-free ebooks. Much more likely is that Amazon and publishers will draw the conclusion that Apple has: most consumers don't really care about DRM.

          • by Nyeerrmm (940927)

            perhaps, but as someone pointed out above, one of the biggest reasons the amazon music store exists DRM-free is because of the popularity, and thus the power of Apple and the iPod. I hope, although I can't say I expect, that if the kindle becomes more popular, and publishers want to get around Amazon, they'll have to go DRM free.

            However since books are so small, piracy is easier, and the popularity will never be as high as something like the iPod, there's a good chance the circumstances won't repeat so wel

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by blueZ3 (744446)

              Ah... I missed the point that the book publishers might want to get around Amazon. That will be something to watch for.

              I know that I do buy books from Baen online--they're DRM-free and generally an OK value (though I think they could still do better, since the online price isn't that much lower than the IRL book price).

              I guess we'll all have to stay tuned.

    • > They become over night best sellers, most of the time.

      Yes, but do they earn enough to remain profitable after the vendor has paid her off?

  • No drm requirement (Score:5, Informative)

    by vanyel (28049) * on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:33PM (#25504295) Journal

    for which they then have to shell out more money for DRM-encrusted content.

    Nonsense. There are a ton of drm free books out there. I subscribe to Analog magazine for example, and get more drm-free books than I have time to read from fictionwise.com. If something is released only in crippled formats, then that's their loss, as it means I read one of the many other things on my list instead, or, if I *really* want to read it, as happened recently, I buy used paper. That's only happened once though, and I've been ebooking now for about 3 years (albeit my Treo and Sony Reader, but I know the Kindle supports drm free formats too).

    • by dwreid (966865) on Friday October 24, 2008 @07:36PM (#25504925)
      Ok. Just to clear a bit of fog and confusion. Unlike most of the people responding, I own one so I'm not totally full of crap. 1. $309 seems a bit pricey but then the books don't cost as much as paper book. In fact they cost quite a bit less. Most of the books I've purchased have cost less than $3. Some less. That price also pays for lifetime access to the EVDO network which is used to deliver the content within 2 minutes of purchase to the book. Yes you can do some web browsing as well though that's a bit painful given the interface. The device also plays MP3 files for music while you read or audio books. The screen is electronic paper. No backlight. It can be read indoors or in the brightest sun. No problem. So far the price doesn't seem that bad. 2. If you buy books from Amazon they are DRM encoded. If you don't want to buy DRM books, download any of the thousands of free books available online and email them to the Kindle. That's really all there is to it. If you have PDF files then email them to the Kindle. That works too. 3. You can buy additional batteries. 4. A copy of all of your purchases is archived at Amazon and can be downloaded to a replacement device at any time. They can also be shared with anyone in your family with a Kindle on the same account. Finally, you can keep copies on an SD card that slips into the Kindle or on your PC via the USB cable. (which can also be used to load content.) 5. The battery charge lasts about 2 weeks with the radio off and about 3 days with the radio on. 6. It can do full text search across all of your content. 7. It can look up and define words and phrases. 8. You can annote the books. 9. you can clip content for use elsewhere. 10 etc. etc. etc. It's not a bad deal just because Oprah likes it anymore than it is a good deal becasue she likes it. It's just a decent device at a decent price.
      • by shaitand (626655)

        'It's just a decent device at a decent price.'

        Sounds like a decent enough device (though the email thing sounds a bit annoying as a file transfer mech) but the price certainly doesn't sound decent.

        You are saving about $4 a book. A generally good price for something like this would be more like $50 so to make up the difference you need to buy and read 63 books.

    • I subscribe to Analog magazine for example

      You're just an analog person living in a digital world.

      Your post, however, did rekindle my interest in reading science fiction...

    • by BLKMGK (34057)

      Umm, is Analog DRM free on the Kindle? I own a Kindle and a loooong time subscriber to Analog but didn't subscribe on Kindle due to the pittance of a discount. If it's DRM free that might be a supporting reason to subscribe but still I dunno' about it. I think I can get it even cheaper with multi-year subscriptions and coupons, the Kindle price just doesn't seem all that great for Analog - which is a real bummer. Plus I don't like to leave the cell modem on very much which I'd have to do more often to catch

  • by HangingChad (677530) on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:38PM (#25504345) Homepage

    Got to put hands on one a couple months ago and had to admit it's pretty cool. The display is quite good, very readable. My only fear was if the battery went dead or it got old. What happens to all the books you bought?

    I could just see it in the bottom of some box five years from now, dead as a barn nail, battery shot. Then what? Can you replace the battery and recover the books? What happens when Amazon stops supporting them?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:58PM (#25504547)

      The books you buy from Amazon are associated with your account and can be re-downloaded at any time. Anything you generate or convert yourself can be stored on a removable Micro-SD device (not included). The battery is replaceable, but I have no idea how much it costs, or what the availability will be in the future. Basically you're covered unless / until Amazon goes away.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by DoctorPepper (92269)

        The replacement batteries for the Kindle cost $20 U.S. from the Amazon Kindle store.

        As for the usefulness of the Kindle, my wife and I bought one each for an early Christmas present this year. We have had them for a bit over a month now (yep, very early Christmas), and we both love them. Yes, the content you get from Amazon.com is DRM'd, which sucks, but like one of the parent posters stated, what you buy stays on your account, and can be re-downloaded. In fact, my wife and I share an account, and thus c

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I saw part of the Oprah show. According to the guy they had talking about them, once you have purchased a book from the Amazon Kindle store, you can delete it from your device (to free up space) and then re-download it again whenever you want. They did not talk about what will happen if/when Amazon goes out of business.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      If it goes dead you loose everything, this is the same reason you need to reload your OS every time you turn off your computer~

  • Of the many, many years I've been reading Slashdot, the articles almost always say who submitted the article. It appears from this article that maybe Oprah submitted it. Maybe it was kdawson. What gives?

    • by Jon Abbott (723)

      I just checked the front page of Slashdot, and the only two articles that didn't say who submitted them were from kdawson. Coincidentally, both were pushing products or services for Amazon.com. Perhaps we need to add a slashvertisement tag to these articles...

    • by blueZ3 (744446)

      kdawson=Oprah?

  • I was home sick one day and decided to destroy my soul with daytime tv. Along came Oprah, I caught about 20 minutes of it and it came across as a giant plug to get this fitness centre to sign up these "overweight" ladies waving a contract in the air that they were going to sign in order to lose some weight. How real the contracts were or how much it was going to cost them I don't know but Oprah must get some giant kickbacks.

  • by TheModelEskimo (968202) on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:50PM (#25504459)
    My sister was a die-hard Oprah fan and I thought she would be so for her entire life. Lately though, she's become entirely disappointed with Oprah's use of her "new" image to sell stuff. She won't watch the show anymore. No real news here for many of us, but it's really, *really* sad to me to see yet another person use their reinvented-celebrity status just to keep raking in cash.

    To me, it's always been the same story: "Here, come watch my show so you can feel good about nice things *I'm* doing with my life, when what you really care about is 1) what gift people find under their chairs and 2) that you don't have to expend any energy to get that warm, fuzzy feeling." Sigh.
  • I have a Kindle (Score:2, Informative)

    by SupremoMan (912191)

    It's great. No need to rage about DRM, most of the files I have on it are not from Amazon. Though I'm sure they would like to fix that. You can basically email yourself any text file and it's there.

    Another great feature is the wireless internet, which is now free (through the sprint network I believe), though I doubt it will stay that way forever. But while it lasts I enjoy looking at web pages while traveling on the train for free. It does fairly decent job of converting most pages.

  • by B4light (1144317) on Friday October 24, 2008 @06:55PM (#25504513)
    Oprah also gave away a Kindle to everyone in her audience on Friday, which oddly enough, caused one woman in the crowd to tear up.
  • You can buy a laptop for about the same price.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      It's lighter, easier to use, can easily be viewed while laying back.

      I don't own one, but I ahve looked at them and talked to people that own them and it seems like a nice device.

      Apparently I'll be seeing more of these thing in the next 3-10 days.

  • by TheMCP (121589) on Friday October 24, 2008 @07:18PM (#25504735) Homepage

    I liked what Amazon had to say about the Kindle when it came out; that they recognized that DRM limited what you could do with your content, so the tradeoff they were trying to make was that if you were willing to live with DRM, you could get your ebooks at a discount price. I can live with that idea. You want to make it worth my while to put up with the inconveniences of DRM? Okay.

    However, when I started looking at prices to see if the deal had held true, I found that the ebooks I was interested in (at least to start with) all seemed to have either an insignificant discount or no discount. If you want to offer me the DRM encrusted ebook version of a $5.99 paperback as a $2 ebook, great... but don't offer it to me for $5.50, or even for $6.00 . In that case I have no incentive to use the ebook instead of the paper version except convenience, and frankly, convenience isn't worth *that* much to me.

    It's rather a pity, too; the hardware is nice. (I've had one on loan for a couple days.)

  • by MattW (97290) <matt@ender.com> on Friday October 24, 2008 @07:21PM (#25504775) Homepage

    Did Oprah warn her faithful viewers that if Amazon ever abandons the kindle or the content, that there's a good chance all their "book collection" will be gone forever?

    I still have books I bought 20 years ago. Who could possibly be confident your kindle and all those books would be working 20 years from now when DRM schemes are dropping like flies. Can you imagine what's going to happen when studios stop wanting to produce the "old" DVDs?

    • Since it can be used to read non DRM'es stuff, what's the point?

      At least you can back it up offsite. What happens to your books if your house burns down?

      Gee, it's like everything has a disadvantage of some kind~

      • by MattW (97290)

        Do I really want to buy a kindle just so I can read DRM-free stuff? And does that help me get my books back when Amazon stops supporting them?

        Hardware breaks.

        And I can insure my books.

    • by pipingguy (566974) *
      I'm certain that Oprah doesn't have to care about this sort of thing. She has enough money to purchase small countries and likely has staff to read books to her (or at least provide the gist of them). Not to mention filtering content, intent and political orientation of said publications.

      Oprah is an industry now, not an individual.

      Oh wait, sorry, I got off topic there. Personally, I prefer text printed on paper - at least that way I know I have access to the material "forever".
  • I've had my Kindle since last December, and I like it overall, I have sometimes thought about putting it up on eBay -- the hype sometimes gets to be a bit much.

    Pro: Non DRM files from Gutenberg, ManyBooks, and others. I've been able to read "The Wizard of Oz" and lots of other books I've always wanted to read. You can email them to the device or hook it up via USB, and it's much better to read this way than on my computer/laptop.

    Con: Batteries must be charged. I've had the Kindle in my bag for a while,

    • by geekoid (135745)

      Until you toss a regular book in your bag and the binding comes loose.

      Been there, stupid cheap glue.

    • A couple more points to my review above:

      Pro: It plays nicely with Linux. It shows up as a hard drive, and I can make sure I've backed up all of the files onto my desktop. The DRM files are keyed to the device, so copying them for backup is not a problem.

      Con: Can look geeky. Sometimes I just want to read a book and not stand out.

      Pro: Anonymousness. However, I can read a book without anybody questioning my choices. Also, it's easy to read while having lunch -- put it on the table and tap the button to

      • by mikesd81 (518581)
        Do you work for Amazon? Okay all kidding aside now. You're review (both postings) actually have me considering how great this would be for when I'm working on things and I can upload text files for reference when I'm not home.
        • Nope, I don't work for Amazon or anybody else related. I just think they have something cool.

          I don't understand why Amazon doesn't push the fact that this works well with any text or html file is beyond me. Once I realized that fact, I was sold.

          That, and it's the built in data cell phone (Whispernet), which makes it that much better than its competitors. The built in web browser is almost unusable, but the store works and is fun for finding a beach read, and each kindle is assigned its own email address.

        • by BLKMGK (34057)

          Actually for tech books it rocks - you can put TONS of books on there and then search across all of them quickly! Just be sure to check prices on the tech books first as they tend to be higher than the $9.99 max that normal books seem to cap out at or so I'm told by guys who buy tech books for their Kindle. I cannot bring mine into the office so mine has nothing but pleasure reading on it. Being able to lay it flat and tap buttons while eating etc. is pretty nice, no flopping around of pages and no broken s

  • Enthusiastically endorsed by Oprah. Not to seem too cynical, but don't celebrity endorsements generally vary directly with the size of the kickback, er, honorarium?
  • by ThousandStars (556222) on Friday October 24, 2008 @08:15PM (#25505263) Homepage
    shell out more money for DRM-encrusted content.

    Although the price for the Kindle will presumably fall over time, the bigger problem is still the DRM'ed content -- and Oprah is unlikely to change that. I write a book/lit blog and discussed the implications of the Kindle here [wordpress.com] and here [wordpress.com]. It's an impressive technical achievement that lacks--and might lack for a long time--the unrestricted books needed to make it a success.

    • by BLKMGK (34057)

      Amazon may not have unrestricted books but the zillion or so other sources of books have them just fine. If you can get it in PDF you can convert it yourself or let Amazon do it for free. For 10cents they will even deliver it to you wirelessly. Sure, it would be nice if Amazon sold them DRM free but they have explained why they cannot yet do this - the publishers won't go for it. So for now the DRM is there and those of us who own a Kindle aren't finding it to be too bad. I mean really this isn't like music

  • But her show's audience has been slipping lately,

    So, she's suffering the same problem as /.?

  • by CSMatt (1175471) on Friday October 24, 2008 @08:20PM (#25505317)

    Controversy erupts as it is found that Amazon's memoir "A Million Little Kindles" contains false material.

  • 20,000 leagues under the sea just got all wet.
  • she's always pimpin' skype on her show (I know this cause my gf watches it on the mythbox, honest ;) )

    This bugs me more, skype is becoming huge and it's a proprietary network instead of people using SIP for voip.

  • As an editor and writer who saw his first published story set in hot metal, I marvel at Amazon's Kindle reader and its role in the future of the "printed" word.

    I'm thrilled to see Oprah endorse Kindle!

    No traditional book can offer the interactive platform I've created for the Kindle edition of my novel Brazil or open the door to actively sharing the magic that goes into the making of a monumental novel.

    I've linked the e-text to an online guide with 200 images and illustrations, providing an indispensa

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