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Kindle 2
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Madhatte
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 14, 2009 6:35 pm    Post subject: Kindle 2 Reply with quote

Have you guys seen this? Yes, I found it referenced in XKCD, but no matter -- I've already thought of a dozen or so applications for it that I hope will work. I have some software guys I need to talk to -- this may be the next-generation field data collection platform I've been waiting for.
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Mishlai
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 2:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm seriously contemplating that purchase. I should be able to carry a really huge number of software & hardware manuals into the field, plus there's some version of cellular internet access for free. I'm not sure how limited it is though.

What do you mean by field data collection? I don't think it has any great input methods.
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Madhatte
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It has a USB port. The sky's the limit.
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chowda
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This looks pretty slick. What's it's competition?
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For some reason I thought it was thicker than that, maybe I was thinking of the original? Looks really cool, I would like to see how well it can be read it bright sunlight.
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Yobun
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the screen has no light, its as easy to read as a printed paper in bright light.
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CrushFearSynth
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like books.
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chowda
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CrushFearSynth wrote:
I like books.

Your mom is in a book for the world's biggest crush.
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CrushFearSynth
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2009 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have a crush on my mom? I can sort of relate, your mother sucks my crush every night.
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Mishlai
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not aware of any competition that's doing the free cellular internet access thing.

There's a fancier version of the Kindle 2 that supports PDFs natively, and I may splurge for that since I'd be using that feature a lot.
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Madhatte
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, 2009 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

^ what he said

PDF is unique in that it preserves raster and vector data properties, which means that if I zoom in on a vector layer, it doesn't lose resolution at higher zoom levels. That means I can store maps on this thing and have them be useful.
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We live in an amazing, amazing world, and it's wasted on the crappiest generation of spoiled idiots. -- Louis CK

We are going to have to stick a pin in a map, set fire to something and carry on until the earth looks flat! -- RandyMac

I could teach you to how file a washer to make it worth a nickel but if you really want to make big bucks just take a penny and drill a hole in it and it becomes a washer and is worth a dime. -- Art Martin, Old-Time Logger
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Mishlai
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm posting from my kindle dx. love it but the tiny keyboard is annoying which is fine since i'm otherwise unable to reach the net right now. no restrictions on url. https does not seem to work so no secure web mail. image rendering is surprisingly good but grayscale only. think barnes and nobles tote bags

the book thing is nice. i still prefer paper but the convenience of this thing is unparalelled for traveling, which i do plenty of.

more later from a real keyboard.
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You are the result of 4 billion years of evolutionary success.

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"The stars died so that you could be here today" - Lawrence Krauss

"The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time." - Lawrence Krauss
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Mishlai
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's see... random stuff.

1984 - the kindle records where you were in your book when it goes to sleep so that it can sync to the last page read the next time. This function requires the wireless to be on, which means that it's transmitted to Amazon's servers, which means that it's possible to construct a record not just of what you bought, but when you read it, at what pace, how many times, etc. Bookmarks, notes, highlights, etc are also stored remotely. Amazon also had an incident recently in which copies of some books (that had been purchased and downloaded) were actually removed from people's Kindles by Amazon. Imagine Microsoft remotely uninstalling software from your computer - software that you've legally bought. I'm uncomfortable with some of these elements.

Selection - sketchy. Lots of books obviously, but I would say overall that less than half of the books that I've searched for have actually been available. My tastes are very science heavy right now, that may be factor.

Prices - good. Complete works of Shakespeare with an active table of contents for $1.39. Lots of free books (not via Amazon) - I downloaded Call of Chthulu and the Kama Sutra - there are about 10,000 more free downloads out on teh interwebs - all copyright expired stuff of course. Most books are $9.99 which is cheaper than usual. Obviously you can't buy used this way, and books that carry really high price tags (like textbooks) still cost a lot, just not as much. It would take a long time to pay for the Kindle itself from book savings, however.

Reading - mostly good. Visibility is not an issue at all, except that it requires light (like a real book) to read by. Page turning is comfortable, timely, and convenient if you're reading straight through. If you're flipping back and forth a lot then it's clearly inferior to paper. It will glare in a way that is similar to a glossy magazine, so light angle matters. Text is resizeable from tiny to stupid-big.

Dictionary - this is a fantastic feature. The dictionary is surprisingly comprehensive and makes it trivial to look up words you don't know. When you highlight the word the first part of the definition shows up at the bottom of the page - if that's sufficient, then you don't even have to leave the original text. If it's not then one more click takes you to the full definition.

Buying - is obscenely easy. I frequently find myself reading an author who makes reference to how much they liked a book by such & such, and I'll just pop over to the kindle store real quick and download the sample of that book for later (fi they have the book that is) & then go back to what I was doing.

The read out-loud feature is done in the microsoft voice, making it really, really bad.

Search is nice in theory but in practice I haven't used it yet. The ability to search all books will be nice later when I can't remember where I read something but I know it was on my Kindle.

It locked up on me once.

The Kindle uses "location" numbers instead of page numbers, which are broken up in smaller chunks (you might be reading in large font). Page numbers aren't available as far as I can tell, making it harder to communicate with paper-readers about where in a book something is located. I predict that Wikipedia will have to come up with a way to accommodate book citations with location numbers instead of page numbers, for example. Potentially annoying.

Overall I like the thing, but I have some reservations. The mediocre selection means that I still buy paper books a fair bit. As a guy who travels a lot, and eats out alone a lot while out of town, having a shit-ton of reading material available on a device the size of a notepad is really convenient. If by some chance I finished everything I'd brought with me, I could just download something else. I don't like Big Brother.

Magazines are available too, but not periodicals like Nature and Science, which made me sad. You can also subscribe to blogs, but I only wanted to subscribe to one - Pretty Dumb Things - and it's not on there.

It also makes it difficult/impossible to share books, and there's also the point that once you've bought books in this format you're more or less locked into to always owning one so that you'll have access to them.

The interface, while decent, is not as slick as the sort of thing Apple puts out. An example off the top of my head - if I accidentally hit Back (not Prev page) while reading, I don't know how to return to where I was, and the latest page read is not yet saved. If I search the store for a book and it yields no results, my search terms are not kept in the search bar, meaning I have to re-type rather than just edit if I want to try again with slightly different terms. Little stuff like that should be ironed out of a 2nd version, no?

I could see a technology like this becoming very prevalent in the future, but I'm not completely happy with some of the details of the present implementation. DRM is necessarily restricting the platform. The benefits of electronic tablet books are obvious, but I'm not sure how to do it right while paying the author. Ease of censorship is also a problem.

I've noticed that I'm reading a lot more now, and that I seem to go through books more quickly in this format. Some of that is the ease of reading this way, and some of it is the ease of finding something you want to read.

I haven't used the PDF feature yet, nor bothered to connect it to my PC.
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You are the result of 4 billion years of evolutionary success.

Fucking act like it.

"The stars died so that you could be here today" - Lawrence Krauss

"The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time." - Lawrence Krauss
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Mongolio
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's bordering on irony that the Kindle removes 1984 without your consent.

Also, we have always been at war with Eastasia.
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CrushFearSynth
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The chair is against the wall. I repeat: the chair is against the wall. John has a long moustache. John has a long Moustache.
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Mishlai
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm reminded of the parent who wrote the school board on burn-a-book day to protest the content and teaching of Fahrenheit 451, which the parent had (of course) never read.

You can't even make this stuff up.
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You are the result of 4 billion years of evolutionary success.

Fucking act like it.

"The stars died so that you could be here today" - Lawrence Krauss

"The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time." - Lawrence Krauss
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CrushFearSynth
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They actually have a burn-a-book day? I'm just.....impressed. It's like the whole Dave Chappelle routine where he talks about something being so overtly racist you aren't even shocked by it, just amazed.

*edited for clarity.
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Mishlai
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

They don't burn books, it's just meant to draw attention to censorship. I may have gotten the name slightly wrong. "Book burning day" or something like that.
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You are the result of 4 billion years of evolutionary success.

Fucking act like it.

"The stars died so that you could be here today" - Lawrence Krauss

"The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time." - Lawrence Krauss
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Resheph
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Stupid question Mish, but can you 'rent' books? My mom gave up buying books years ago, because she reads so much. She only rents from the library now, and borrows from friends, because she was spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars on books every month. I really think this would be a GREAT gift for her, other then having to buy all the books.
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Mishlai
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, but there are a lot of free books available.

http://ireaderreview.com/2008/01/19/free-books-for-the-amazon-kindle/
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Fucking act like it.

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"The universe is huge and old, and rare things happen all the time." - Lawrence Krauss
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