Amazon are set to release an electronic book reader called the Kindle today according to NewsWeek.
The device sounds cool, in theory (built-in wireless over EVDO, email, long-life batteries, search, lots of storage, etc.) but do we really want another device to be carrying around?
Especially at the price point being talked about ($399).
I’m already carrying my phone, laptop, iPod and sometimes my dSLR camera. I say sometimes because at this point I often make a choice – which one can I manage without.
I can’t imagine forking out for a Kindle. Especially not when I can get much of the promise of the Kindle on my iPod (and more besides).
Having said all that, I think Tim O’Reilly makes a great point when he says:
I’m rooting for Jeff and the Kindle. I’m not sure that he’s going to win his bet that people will use a single-purpose device rather than reading on a multi-function device like the iPhone and its successors. But I’m also not sure he needs to. Even if some other device becomes the reader of choice, Amazon will still become one of the leading sources of the books that feed it. All Amazon needs to do here is move the industry forward, and I think that’s already been accomplished.
This is a quick test post.
I am writing this post using the Safari browser on my iPod.
Seems like it is going to work! Mad.
I see Rafe Needleman is reporting that YouTube are going to start streaming video in hi-def imminently.
According to Needleman:
YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, speaking at the NewTeeVee Live conference today, confirmed that high-quality YouTube video streams are coming soon…. the service is testing a player that detects the speed of the viewer’s Net connection and serves up higher-quality video if they want it.
Chen also confirmed that YouTube stores the native quality of the originally uploaded video – this is no surprise to iPhone or iPod Touch owners who have a hi-def YouTube service already.
Pilar gave me an iPod Touch for my birthday the other day and, wow I love it!
As you can see, it looks fantastic. The interface is unbelievably slick and surprisingly responsive. Using Nokia smart phones means I have become used to devices this size being slow but there is absolutely no lag on the iPod Touch.
The browser is fantastic, esp. for my feed reading. YouTube videos are way better quality than on the site. In fact the video resolution, in general is spectacular.
The only negative thing is that synching with the computer can sometimes take a while so don’t try to synch as you are about to run out the door!
Other than that I have now realised how much better the iPhone experience must be – uh oh!
Endgadget are reporting that Microsoft has announced Windows Mobile Edition 6 – Microsoft’s operating system for mobile phones.
According to the article, the major new features of WME6 are
- HTML support in email
- Windows Live for Windows Mobile
- File transfer capability in Windows Live Messenger
- New versions of mobile Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint with rich editing
- Remote wipe capability for stolen and lost devices
- Call history in contact cards
- Tight Vista integration
- “Calendar ribbon” for more easily viewing schedule by day or week
- New versions of .NET Compact Framework and SQL Server built-in
Some nice features in there alright but how about support for RSS? It would be great to be able to have an RSS reader built-in to the phone. This would make it trivial allow people to subscribe to podcasts, for example from their phones and do away with the need to be carrying a phone and an iPod.
There’s a demo of WME6 on YouTube.
The Toronto Sun is reporting that the entire Beatles back catalogue may be released through iTunes in the coming months with the first songs being made available as soon as next month- wohoo!
This follows on from a deal having been struck between the Beatle’s Apple company and Apple Computers over naming and sales of music by Apple Computers.
Apple Computers plans a “special” announcement scheduled for a Super Bowl commercial on Feb. 4, which may give more indication as to where the new remastered CDs will debut first.
Advertising any product to me is becoming more and more difficult. It is not just me, there is a growing number of people who are discovering ways to skip ads almost completely in their daily lives.
In my own case, I honestly can’t remember the last time I bought a newspaper but it would be years ago. I prefer to get all my news online.
I use the Firefox plugin Adblock to ensure I don’t see most ads online (see below)
This is the ENN site viewed without the Adblock plugin
This is the same ENN site viewed using the Adblock plugin
I used to listen to quite a bit of radio when I was on the road. Now however, I fill my iPod with podcasts before setting off on any journey and listen to those instead. This means that I am listening to content of my selection, relevant to my work, and I am not at the whim of whatever presenter happens to be on the radio.
I watch a decreasing amount of television. The TV I do watch tends to be DVDs or movie channels with no ads. I’d potentially watch a little more TV if I had Sky+ (similar to Tivo) but it is waaaaaaay too expensive.
And yes, before anyone says it, I do see the irony of posting this on a site who’s hosting is being paid for by Google ads!
So if you were an advertiser, trying to get your brand/message through to me (and people like me), how would you go about it?
According to an article on CNN Money, Jon Johansen, the hacker who cracked the DVD encryption, (aka DVD Jon) has now broken the ironically named FairPlay. FairPlay is the Digital Rights Management (DRM) software which Apple puts on songs sold through its iTunes store – this DRM stops songs bought through iTunes playing on devices other than an iPod.
DRM is an evil, market restricting, anti-consumer device (why shouldn’t I be able to play DVDs bought in the US on my DVD player in Ireland?).
Any and all cracking of DRM should be applauded.
Way to go Jon.
Microsoft is to launch the Zune on November 14th according to its PR site.
This date is just in time for the American holiday of Thanksgiving. What is not clear from the site is if this is an American launch date of a global launch date.
I wrote, in not too glowing terms previously about the Zune. One criticism I missed at that time is that if someone shares one of my podcasts over wifi on the Zune, the Zune adds on its own DRM to my podcast, in direct contravention to my podcast’s Creative Commons Licence causing the podcast to self-destruct in three days or after three plays.
Can someone in Microsoft explain the legality of that to me please? ‘Cos to me, that’s just plain illegal.
Apple has yet again sent in the lawyers – this seems to be a favourite tactic of theirs which is increasingly giving them a bad name (and I am a Mac fan!).
This time, Apple have gone after a company called Podcast Ready for their use of the word Podcast and myPodder (their product name).
Robert Scoble has suggested using the terms Audiocast and Videocast from now on and dumping the term podcast – however this doesn’t solve the problem for Podcast Ready (nor any potential problems Robert’s company PodTech nor my podcast/audiocast site PodLeaders might yet have). Apple have already gone after several companies for their use of Pod in product names.
Russel Shaw has a very in-depth analysis of this spat where he speculates that:
we have Apple, maker of the iPod, trying to get right with the Trademark office about achieving formal Trademark and related mark protections for iPod AND its sought-after IPODCAST applications.
Russel is probably close to the mark here – however, Apple’s over-vigilence is doing nothing but tarnishing their image.