Posts Tagged ‘ amazon ’

Kindle comes to the PC

As more and more ebook services and devices are coming out. Amazon has
released the PC version of their famous Kindle. This now allows users
to read their ebooks on their desktop of laptop computer. It makes sens
doesn’t it? There the device and the iPhone version and now you can
read books on your computer.

Mac users are out of luck at the moment but the FAQs give mac users hope.

The desktop software also allows you to manage your books and download them accordingly.

Much similar to the iPod setup, you can have 6 devices registered with Amazon.

And the great thing is, the service is available where they ship the Kindle. But we still have to see if the $2 levy will be subtracted for users outside the US. The $2 is the charge for the delivery of the book via AT&T’s 3G network. Understandably that the user carries the cost of transmission outside the US. But I don’t think that this should be added to purchases or deliveries made to the PC.

Could Amazon be banking on the millions of netbooks out there to be transformed by their software into ebook readers? Maybe. But this really provides them an opportunity to gain a very strong foothold as Barnes and Noble’s “nook” reader is a much better reader than the Kindle technically. Since Amazon cannot change their device overnight, this PC application might be a way to get users into their gates before B&N does.

But I still stand on opinion that all ebooks should be playable on any device regardless on where you bought it. Much like a real book. I don’t need some special tree or binding or glasses to read books that I bought from Amazon, Borders or even B&H. I can just open it and read it. I think that is the reason why many people aren’t entirely sold on the book thing since the only advantage is that you get the book instantly and you don’t have to bring a lot when traveling.

I see this application caters more on those who want to try out the Kindle service without having to shell out for the hardware but just want the buying and using experience and I don’t have an iPhone or and iPod Touch to be able to do it. Yes the screen would be bigger but all but the usual strain on the eyes due to prolonged reading on a monitor still remains. My best bet would be to install this on a netbook and then you’ll almost have the Kindle experience.

If you don’t have an iPod or iPhone but would want to try the ebooks from Amazon, then this is the software for you. It’s free and just create an account to get started. I do hope that they release a mac version soon.

The “Nook” is impressive


Barnes and Noble today launched their ebook competitor to Sony and Amazon called the “Nook”. And I’m impressed. The photo from Gizmodo in my rumor blog about it last week was the real thing.

Priced at $259, the same as the international edition of the Kindle 2 and the big things about it is the WiFi, color touchscreen and mini SD card support is great. They even provided a good comparison chart on how it stands against the Kindle.





It’s important to note that the Nook first creates an environment to enhance the book buying, bookstore and reading experience rather than trying to replace the dead tree books that we usually buy. You read through entire books while inside the actual Barnes and Noble bookstore which is something that you might do in real life. You can share your books with friends digitally which is something that you would do in real life.

The touch screen is a good addition but colored? I know we like to look at our book covers in color but is it really necessary? I would have preferred that the screen is colored. Particularly with books that have colored pictures to be digitally viewable in colored as well in the Nook.

For overseas users who want an ebook reader when we travel or when we live in other places outside the United States are out of luck. The Nook is just for the U.S. (for now I hope). You cannot purchase books via WiFi outside the US. The Nook uses AT&T’s 3G network so there may be hope for the rest of us living outside the US much like the Kindle.

The Nook only has 10 days of battery life compared to the Kindle’s 14. If Apple is indeed at work on a similar device it should either provide a strong argument why the battery doesn’t last for days or the technology behind it allows it to last for days.

The Nook supports various formats that you can put in a 16GB mini SD card including mp3s. It does not support text to audio like the Kindle which got Amazon into some trouble when it was released.

The Nook supports pdf, jpg, gif, png bmp, mpdf, ePub and PDB file formats. You do not have to email these documents for the provider to send it back to you for a nominal fee to be able to read it on the Nook. These can all be done by the user. Yay!

This might not be the perfect eReader out there. But it is a good first step in the right direction. Now I wish all the ebooks are published in a common format that will allow me to buy books from any digital storefront and get the book I want at the lowest price available. That would be something. Especially when we are given the opportunity to write our own books and publish it ourselves. Now that would be totally amazing.


The logo just looks a bit off for me. It looks more like a horseshoe at first glance. Very tempting to buy, but I’ll hold off until I see that device from Cupertino.

Let the eBook wars begin

Some details and pictures have leaked in Gizmodo.

Amazon has a reader. Sony has a reader and soon Barnes and Noble will have their own. The B&N device seems to overcome the shortcomings of the other two such as the inability to read under bright light and the difficulties of extended reading on a screen even though it’s been designed to look like paper.

This device seems like it will put up a good fight with the other two. Add to the fact that B&N has retail stores out there far more than Sony Style stores to sell these readers to the masses.

Now if only everyone could agree on a common format so we can buy books from anywhere we want or even support any files we put into it, then that would be an eBook dream. It’s still quite far away for me to think of giving up my dead tree books. But with all the competition heating up someone is bound to listen to the masses and finally bring out the reader that we all could live with.

The Kindle has books will now ship international

In case you haven’t heard, the Kindle will dropping prices to $259 and will now be available to international customers for purchase on October 19. Or is it really international?

Logging into the Amazon website will greet you with a special message from Jeff Bezos announcing the price reduction of the Kindle from $299 to $259 and the introduction of an international edition for $279.

I was so excited about the announcement and checked about the availability of the device in my part of the world and I came upon this. I wonder why they couldn’t price the device the same. Then I remembered that Sprint provides the US Whispernet coverage while AT & T will provide the international coverage. Technically the wireless capability of the two is vastly different from one another which results in the difference in price. I just wish they could source out both parts to be equally priced and offer it at the same price. I know it’s just twenty dollars but that’s a lot of money nowadays.

Moving on, Amazon seems a bit vague about the capability and network coverage in my area in their “helpful” guide to the international Kindle.


Assuming it’s still the same device as the current Kindle aside from the hardware of the whispernet, these devices are locked to specific carriers and not user servicable. Meaning if you do buy it for your region outside the US you cannot remove the AT & T sim card I’ll assume to place in your local provider. Which means the cost of sending the book over whispernet to you in an international location will cost the user an additional $1.99.

Is the $1.99 worth it for the Kindle? Well it depends on how many books do you intend on buying? There’s the issue of sales tax, duties and whatnot that greedy governments like the Philippines charge. Yes they tax books here and there was this whole fight about it. It turned out that the tax exemption for books only applied to the large bookstores and not the individual buyer of let’s say Amazon. To top it off, they will make you go through the arduous of filling out the forms and sending the forms to the appropriate government instutution just to get you tax refund.

So yes, in my opinion the $1.99 is worth paying just to avoid the troubles when claiming your books, you’ll have the instant gratification of having the book in minutes from almost anywhere, and to keep the government paws off your hard earned money when buying books that you want.

I love what the Kindle offers and I’m currently enjoying that through my iPod via the Kindle app from the iTunes App Store. I currently have five books on it and it has served me well. Sure the screen is a bit tiny for reading but it does the job for me at the moment.

Will I get the Kindle? Yes. But not until the price goes to $199 for the international edition. I think that is the sweet spot for many in buying the Kindle. Unless everyone is waiting for Apple to jump into the fray with their own tablet next year, then that’s something else entirely.

Amazon makes it all better now

Yesterday I was resigned to the fact that my Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition will not arrive next week. So I blogged about it yesterday here and twittered it as well. Saying how sad I was and that I may not see the 4th edition next week and that I may even have to shell out more money buy going to the mall to get it as well.

I woke up this morning to a bit of a surprise. I received and e-mail from Amazon saying that they’ve shipped my order and will arrive on Tuesday. Tuesday! Next week! That is just so sweet!

Thank you Amazon, thank you for making me happy once again. I don’t know if any Amazon employee was on twitter when I made that comment or even if they did anything or it was just all a coincidence. But still it’s made my weekend a little better.

Off to start a bad weekend

The Miscast Spell: D&D Insider’s Missed Opportunity | The Underwire from Wired.com

Amazon was down early today. So I wasn’t able to check on my pre-order of Dungeons and Dragons. I took a nap. When I woke up it all over twitter and the news that Amazon seriously went down.

But now everything is fine, or so I thought. According to the status of my order page, they’ll ship on the 10th. The 10th!?!?!

But enough about that. There’s nothing I can do anything about that.

In preparation for the 4th edition I checked out the Dungeons and Dragons website and found out about the D&D Insider. It’s a site where you can create your character, create dungeons and even play online.

How on Earth can you play a tabletop game online? Basically it’s a really graphic chat room. The way I see it, it looks more like Second Life but with all of the dice rolling and voice chat. It looks really nice except for the price.

You pay $15 a month in order to play online. As written in a recent Wired article it’s the monthly fees that would be the failure of the system.

In the current web 2.0 economy as I understand it, the economy of the web has changed and the D&D Insider is still basing it’s decisions on the Web 1.0 model (we all know what happened to that).

Not everyone is a hardcore gamer. D&D comes out in the digital age, where most paper and dice players have migrated to a faster paced videogames and even the MMO.

This should be the opportunity to get new and younger players interested in the franchise or even the idea of tabletop gaming. But at $15?? I already spent $100++ on the books alone, in order to play online I still need to pay more? I pay less for my MMO a month. Not to mention it only runs on XP. Sorry mac users, they didn’t think of you. This web based play did not think of you.

The technology is here though. Get together with a bunch of friends on Skype or even a video camera. Share the dungeon maps through an online slide show or through a video camera. Roll the dice on camera. It will work. You may not have the fancy GUI of D&D Insider but you still get to play with your friends online.

What if I only want to play once a week? What if I just want to try it out? $15 may not seem a lot to a working person but what if you’re 12 years old? Now that’s a lot of money.

Wizards of the Coast will have to rethink their approach to the web if they want to get this gamer on their service.

What a deal!


Just as I was about to give up on buying this. I had to make the mistake of going to Amazon.com. Damn you Jeff Bezos for making things easy for me to shop for almost anything. I got my camera and tens of books and videogames over the years and haven’t had a bad experience so far. Just when I was about to give up and get mad at customer service, the service was just right there when I needed it and I got it.

I expect my boxed set to arrive promptly on my doorstep two days after you ship it.

Thank God for the internet!