Tag Archives: Kindle

Dear amazon.com: your service is great, your website not so much

As a longtime devoted user of amazon.com I have just grumbled occasionally about its Rube Goldberg-ian website but online holiday shopping has me irritated enough to blog.

Over the years, merchandising warrior Amazon has steadily added extremely useful and compelling features to its shopping experience.  The powerful search, review and recommendation aspects have saved me a tremendous amount of time over raw Googling and have introduced me to people and items I might have otherwise never known existed.  That keeps me coming back and building a wishlist that scares even Santa.

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ASUS brings its own eBook to the table

Last week I stumbled across an article describing how ASUS was poised to enter the electronic book market and take on Amazon’s successful Kindle.  One critical (and useful) difference with ASUS’ upcoming model is that it follows the traditional fold-open book form factor rather than Kindle’s slate shape, but a possibly more alluring feature is its color display.  There is also mention of it possibly sporting speakers and a webcam for internet video chatting or Voice over IP (VoIP)– at a retail cost half of Kindle’s $300 USD.  !

As a longtime user of ASUS motherboards I’m impressed with their workmanship and hope it translates to this product line.  ASUS also has the brand recognition I believe to attract early interest to these products, especially if the proposed price and feature set make it to market.

On a related but more speculative note, this thread at talk.maemo.org introduced me to the Microsoft Courier.  Check that engadget photo out.  Deja vu, anyone?  It’s also going to have to compete with Sony, whatever Apple eventually amazes us with and others.

Some pundits confuse the prospects of these devices with those of smaller handhelds like the upcoming Nokia N900, but while the latter may function as a usable eBook that’s not its primary purpose and the smaller screens can degrade the book experience for many.  Likewise, the difference in portability will compound the insurance that the two families will occupy mostly distinct usage environs with only slight functionality overlap.

This particular product type has been promised as far back as I can remember, as a big-dreaming teenager inhaling as many science fiction paperbacks as I could afford.  I’m encouraged by the final arrival of this cool technology but concerned over what it might mean for future human eyesight.  At least paper doesn’t glare at you…


Thanks to maemo.org member Rebski for the Microsoft Courier find.

An alternate history for Nokia’s internet tablets

Many readers of this blog already know of my involvement with the launch of the Nokia N800 internet tablet.  I took a high personal interest in the product line that went beyond my normal duties, because I saw a great deal of potential for the devices and their technology.  That interest led me to constantly suggest ideas for software applications and use cases.  Unfortunately for me, there was a development agenda in place that allowed little room for additional exploration.  This agenda was deliberately conservative and is just now enabling maturity in the device family, four years after the first true Nokia Internet Tablet (the 770) was introduced.

But what if Nokia had taken a radically different approach?  That thought (along with musing over related possibilities) has been eating at me a lot lately as speculation around the next device grows.  So for sheer sake of a wishful, whimsical writing exercise, I decided to construct an alternate product timeline with the benefit of my own hindsight and opinions combined with a vast accumulation of user input.  Note that this is not intended to be reflective of reality!

So without further ado, let’s rewind a few years and play with the idea a bit (all hyperlinks are actual and not part of this fantasy)…

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