30 November 2007

Kindle's impact?

Newsweek have an extensive review of Amazon's development of the Kindle, just launched in the US. What distinguishes the Kindle from other ventures so far is its wireless networking capability, so it will be possible to pick up publications on the fly. I can see its appeal for downloading newspapers, magazines etc. although these are pay-per-download and, since many can be seen for free via computer connections to the web, downloading may lack the impact it might otherwise have had. I wonder if there have been negotiations for bulk download licenses with universities, where the Kindle might have a role as a collaborative learning tool. Personally, though, a book remains a book (compact, portable, readable, lend- or giveable, collectible), so, despite green considerations (and how many books are offset by the manufacturing footprint of a single Kindle?), if Kindle or its sequels makes an impact it will be alongside conventional books.
(Image from www.pocketnow.com)

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