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Amazon Kindle Endorsed By Oprah

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the you-could-pay-to-read-slashdot dept.

Books 197

Oprah Winfrey enthused about the Amazon Kindle on her show today — it's her "new favorite thing" — and had Jeff Bezos on to announce a $50-off offer good till Nov. 1. A plug on Oprah is ordinarily a sign that a product has crossed over into the mainstream. But her show's audience has been slipping lately, and it's unclear how many cash-strapped citizens will be willing to part with $309 (after the special offer) for a new techno-gadget, for which they then have to shell out more money for DRM-encrusted content.

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cross marketing.. (1)

retech (1228598) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504027)

She's also on an infomercial selling it as a weight loss device.

Wow (0, Offtopic)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504029)

I want one, but not bad enough to watch Oprah to find out these things...

Re:Wow (4, Funny)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504787)

I did want one... but now, if Oprah likes it, well... I'll pass.

Re:Wow (4, Funny)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504835)

How the FUCK did I get rated +4 insightful? This is *not* an insightful comment! Come on, mods! Do your fucking... volunteering!

Re:Wow (3, Interesting)

guyminuslife (1349809) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504875)

If you have the first post, and you don't say "FIRST!!!", then you automatically get modded up.

Re:Wow (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505275)

Yet, it wasn't the first post... I'm pretty sure this is [slashdot.org] .

Re:Wow (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25505371)

I haven't had mod points in 2 years so I can't help you. /. moderation is good at one thing: reinforcing groupthink. This works when the groupthink is "we want a calm, reasonable discussion with many points of view". This is how it is supposed to work and what the meta-moderators should be enforcing.

Unfortunately, meta-moderation is just as vulnerable to groupthink. As a result, the moderation system fails miserably when the groupthink takes a specific point of view within any given discussion.

We can actually be rather impressed with /. It's fought long and hard to avoid becoming Digg. Some sites (newsvine, looking at you) last until they become moderately popular and then become steaming turds.

Even now, /. hasn't quite sunk to that level. But yeah, old gray mare ain't what she used to be.

Re:Wow (1)

More_Cowbell (957742) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504859)

You don't need to... just read Wired. [wired.com]
Spoiler: just enter code "OPRAHWINFREY" on Amazon.

"DRM-encrusted content" is optional (5, Interesting)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504037)

You can use free tools to convert PDF ( and other formats ) into the e-book format that it eats. ( at least for the Gen1 Kindle.. )

Re:"DRM-encrusted content" is optional (4, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504115)

Does it support non-English texts? If I want to read a PDF with heavy use of diacritics, or even completely different alphabets, will those display correctly on Kindle?

Re:"DRM-encrusted content" is optional (3, Informative)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504155)

No, the Kindle is fairly single purpose device so its doubtful that it will. When it converts a PDF it reflows it and stores it as text, rather than simply displaying it as a bitmap; this isn't so much a failure in the software as some would make it out to be, but simply that the screen isn't big enough to make it useful. If that's what you're interested in, I think the iRex iLiad (or however its capitalized) is the best bet, even though it is more expensive.

Re:"DRM-encrusted content" is optional (2, Insightful)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505141)

I nearly got a Kindle - then I noticed it wasn't out in the UK, and you had to fuck about with emails or something to put books on it. Then I checked out the Sony one, but it's a complete pile or slow, flickery toss. Finally, I discovered that for £250 - just £50 more than the black and white Sony shite I could get a 1gig netbook with a 120 gig drive and stick Ubuntu on it (it came with some bollocks retro crippled fedora distro or other) and I've not looked back. The Acer Aspire One is not much larger than the ebook readers but not only does ebook reading better (zoom in/out easily, colour screen, multiple formats, displays any language fonts etc) but anything else a modern PC does. These book readers are not going to take off at their current price, what with the competition and the credit crunch etc.

Re:"DRM-encrusted content" is optional (2, Insightful)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505323)

Don't the netbook and the kindle try to reach to 2 different markets? A kindle is great for traveling and reading on the bus or plane or train or whatever and small to use to keep a reference book open when working on something in the field or whatever. The netbook is still a laptop, still much more bulky than the kindle, and can't be used or traveled with the same ease.

Re:"DRM-encrusted content" is optional (2, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504177)

Isn't the point of a PDF that the font is embedded (at least if it's done properly)?

Re:"DRM-encrusted content" is optional (2, Informative)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504673)

Yes, you can embed the font in the PDF. However, you need to license the font for distribution from the font designer. This may not be particularly cheap and/or easy to do.

Re:"DRM-encrusted content" is optional (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504251)

I read english, so never had a reason to try it.

Re:"DRM-encrusted content" is optional (4, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504317)

Does it support non-English texts? If I want to read a PDF with heavy use of diacritics, or even completely different alphabets, will those display correctly on Kindle?

I know there are french and spanish books available for Kindle, so it will support at least basic stuff like c-cedilla, n-tilde, circumflexes, accents, umlauts, thorn, etc. I read somewhere the first version only supports latin-1, but that later versions allow some sort of font embedding...

I also couldn't say whether any current existing pdf-kindle software will be able to take advantage of that though... and I wouldn't put high hopes on doing an asian or arabic language on it.

Re:"DRM-encrusted content" is optional (2, Informative)

macshit (157376) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505609)

Does it support non-English texts?

It apparently has little or no support for non-latin scripts, which seems to be one reason it's not released more widely.

I'd be surprised if simple things like diacritics weren't supported though.

I suppose future versions will probably do better, but unfortunately the leaked designs for the kindle v2 suggests they've discarded the "funky-but-comfy" design philosophy for something completely generic.

Endorse Deez Nuts!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25504091)

That's right baby, you know you want them.

8===V=I=C=T=O=R=Y==D

Play with them a little, then put my dick in your mouth and tongue my head.

Yeah, that feels good.

Her "new favorite thing" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25504095)

Formerly known as Stedman.

Well now I can buy one (5, Funny)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504161)

Now that Oprah has given the go ahead for this I'll run right out and buy one!

Dunno about you... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25504173)

...but the fact that she of all people is recommending this makes me not want to buy one...

Over 9000 penises anyone?

"I have no stake in the Kindle," she said. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25504185)

Bit of a disingenuous statement to make when you have a book club.

Re:"I have no stake in the Kindle," she said. (1)

Ron_Fitzgerald (1101005) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504745)

My thoughts exactly. Of course to get to the nitty gritty, she really doesn't have a stake in the Kindle, rather the ebooks that are sold to read on it.

There was a time when Oprah really did bring to the forefront 'hot button' issues that may not have made it to the demographic that watch her, but she has become nothing more than Billy Mays [wikipedia.org] who makes more than $300 million a year.

Fuck Oprah.

Re:"I have no stake in the Kindle," she said. (1)

mattack2 (1165421) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505565)

Isn't that Steadman's job?

(only know about his name via pop culture)

Re:"I have no stake in the Kindle," she said. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25504955)

Bit of a disingenuous statement to make when you have a book club.

AFAIK, her book club sells nothing and merely exists to in furtherance of the Cult of Oprah.

Oprah does not sell books directly. (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505431)

Oprah's "Book Club" is go to the library and get the book. Only that. Either she does not recommend books for profit, or the publishing houses pay her.

The Oprah show has jumped the shark (4, Interesting)

speakerbomb (1319693) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504191)

Let's face it, the Kindle is a one trick pony that needs a lot of help to ever make it mainstream (like the iPhone). It's like the Hulk, who can only punch and smash, except the Hulk is cool and the Kindle is pretty much the polar opposite of cool.

The Oprah show does a lot of good for people (so my mother defends), but this may be the defining moment when Oprah jumped the shark.

Re:The Oprah show has jumped the shark (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25504319)

I thought now we were using "nuked the fridge"?

How do they do it? (5, Insightful)

Yiliar (603536) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504197)

How does Amazon get their music distribution so right (DRM free, good tools), and their ebook distribution so wrong (DRM laden, attempts to lock ebook sales to kindle)?

One can only scratch their heads!

I will continue to use my N810 for ebook reading, and BAEN BOOKS and others for ebooks with no DRM at reasonable prices.

Re:How do they do it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25504351)

I imagine Amazon DRM'd it because they are selling an e-book reader and e-books, and only want them to work with each other.

I don't think they had a digital audio player tied in with their music service, but I could be mistaken.

Re:How do they do it? (1)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505681)

that would be a really stupid business model--trying to dominate two markets at once. interoperability is good for consumers and good for business. they should support as many devices as possible: use an open format (unfortunately, PDF seems like the best choice right now).

if i were them, i'd partner up with Sony. have their e-book server interoperable with the Sony Reader + the PSP. even though the PSP isn't designed as an e-book reader, it does work quite well for casual users. using homebrew apps i can already read most PDF ebooks and magazines on it with ease (and it's actually more useful as an e-book reader than a web browser).

right now e-book readers are still an overpriced niche product. but opening it up to devices like the PSP, the iPhone, Archos, and other smart devices/phones, you'd create a much larger pre-installed customer base for the e-book service. it'd be a win-win situation for both Amazon and Sony, not to mention for consumers.

most of these portable devices already have WiFi capabilities, so they can download the e-books directly from Amazon's site. and as iTunes has proven that integrating a content distribution service into portable media devices is a great idea. it delivers convenience to users and increased revenue to the content distributor. i mean, doesn't Apple make more money off of iTunes than they do with iPod sales anyway? so why not dominate the ebook distribution market right now while they have a chance by signing a deal with Apple, Sony, and Archos, and smartphone/smart device vendors?

i would love to have an official built-in e-book reader for the PSP. and i'd probably use the Amazon service if it were reasonably priced and DRM-free.

Re:How do they do it? (1)

shellster_dude (1261444) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504355)

*Raises Nokia n810 in salute*

it IS a conspiracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25504405)

Amazon is meant to balance out iTunes. The Music industry is afraid Apple will become too powerful as a distribution scheme, and so they offer much better agreements to a rival to counteract the popularity of iTunes. If Amazon was well marketed or well branded enough to stand on its own against iTunes, it would never be allowed to sell DRM free music. Book publishers don't have to worry about that.

Re:How do they do it? (3, Insightful)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504503)

How does Amazon get their music distribution so right (DRM free, good tools), and their ebook distribution so wrong (DRM laden, attempts to lock ebook sales to kindle)?
One can only scratch their heads!

I will continue to use my N810 for ebook reading, and BAEN BOOKS and others for ebooks with no DRM at reasonable prices.

Easy, actually.

Amazon has to sell books. Publishers won't give them books to sell on Kindle unless it's got DRM.

Let's translate this to the Amazon MP3 store... Amazon goes to labels asking for music, but mentioning it's DRM free. Labels thing it over, realizing the following:
1) #1 portable music player is an iPod
2) iTunes Store provides DRM'd music for an iPod
3) Windows Media DRM does not work on an iPod
4) Other music stores are limited to the population who doesn't have an iPod
5) Apple holds all the keys to the iTunes Store.
6) Apple holds the key to selling DRM'd music for the #1 portable player.
7) Apple is near the top in music sellers
8) Apple demands far too much - music at 99 cents, rather than "flexible pricing", other contract terms. (Apple insists on one contract for all labels)
9) Lack of competition for music sales on iPods means labels either go without selling music on the #1 player, or agree to Apple's draconian contract terms.

Thus, their only options is to sell Windows Media DRM on the remaining market, or see that Amazon potentially has the size and power to break the grasp that Apple has on music sales for iPods. No other company is large enough nor powerful enough to do this, except Amazon.

So labels acquiesce to Amazon's DRM free scheme, hoping people will flock from iTunes to Amazon to buy their music. Once this happens, the labels can dictate their terms to Amazon and Apple, not Apple dictating their terms to the labels. If one doesn't want to play ball, sell on the other store (e.g., if Jobs insists on not having flexible pricing, well, walk away, and sell to Amazon since it also works on iPods). Let the stores battle it out in attracting labels.

The iTunes store has too much power over the labels, and the labels hate when they don't have control. Amazon is the only company large enough to take on Apple, and the only way to do that is get music onto iPods via DRM-free MP3s. It's one of the reasons why the iTunes Store experiment started with "limited Mac market" as a feature!

There's no equivalent in the book market where the publishers are being squeezed by a book seller, so publishers get to dictate terms.

The only way the music market can continue to be as good as it is now is if both Apple and Amazon end up powerful enough to force the labels. Else we'll start to see DRM'd music in the Amazon store, and whatever else the labels want (demand-based pricing, etc) on both stores.

Costs (5, Funny)

Bicx (1042846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504207)

Paperback book - $10
Amazon Kindle from Oprah - $300
Overusing a Mastercard commericial as your template for every joke - Priceless....

Re:Costs (1)

danfromsb (965115) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504315)

You forgot: Kindle Book - $10

$300!!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25504397)

The OLPC XO is what, half that? (Okay, so you have to buy two.)

Let me know when they're $25, and the "books" are $1.99.

Re:Costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25505339)

5 books @fictionwise.com - free

Amazons cost to convert and e-mail to my Kindle $0.50.

Amazing...

Yeah, but... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25504247)

Does it have 9000 penises?

Apple iPhone Endorsed By Oprah (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25504269)

How this would have been written if it were about the iPhone:

Oprah Winfrey enthused about the iPhone on her show today â" it's her "new favorite thing" â" and had Steve Jobs on to announce a $50-off offer good till Nov. 1. A plug on Oprah is a sure sign that a product has crossed over into becoming the greatest thing ever made. Her show's audience has been brilliant lately, and it's clear that even cash-strapped citizens will be willing to part with $399 (after the special offer) for a new techno-gadget, for which they then have to shell out more money for DRM-encrusted content.

Re:Apple iPhone Endorsed By Oprah (1)

Narnie (1349029) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505047)

God dammit... another thing I have to go buy now.
The books I have in my budget, same as the fad diets, but if she keeps recommending these new fangled gagetmic'callits, I'll stop watchin' her and start watchin' the Today Show.

Tagged: So what? (5, Insightful)

Starteck81 (917280) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504277)

To those who tagged this "so what?" I would like to pose a question in response. Have you seen what happens to products that get endorsed by Oprah?!?!

They become over night best sellers, most of the time. She has a cult like following that will buy up most anything she recommends. This is why it's interesting. We will now see if something that has failed to take off for quite a number of years will now do so, just because a pop icon gave it the thumbs up.

Re:Tagged: So what? (5, Insightful)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504359)

To those who tagged this "so what?" I would like to pose a question in response. Have you seen what happens to products that get endorsed by Oprah?!?!

It's things like this that make me wonder how the tagging system works. I see some tags that would get an Overrated mod if they'd been submitted as a post.

Re:Tagged: So what? (1)

leoxx (992) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504705)

She has a cult like following that will buy up most anything she recommends.

She's the Steve Jobs of pulp novels!

Re:Tagged: So what? (1)

Starteck81 (917280) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504825)

She has a cult like following that will buy up most anything she recommends.

She's the Steve Jobs of pulp novels!

That or Steve Jobs is the Opra of consumer technology. ;-)

Re:Tagged: So what? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504903)

yeah but So what?

Oprah endorsed something that makes someone rich. Why do we care?

Re:Tagged: So what? (1)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505007)

Because if the endorsement encourages more people to buy one, it enlarges the market for e-books in general. If you don't like the amazon one in particular, it still shows that the market is large if done in a simple way; this means that more people may get in the market and if it gets popular enough we'll end up with a well-ordered digital download book market (hopefully without DRM) in the same way that the ever increasing popularity of the iPod has encouraged growth of the market as a whole so that other companies can do decently. Now we have the Amazon music store, eMusic, iTMS+, etc. that sell good-quality DRM-free music largely because the iPod showed there was a market. I hope that increasing kindle popularity will have the same effect on the nascent e-book market.

Re:Tagged: So what? (1)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505179)

You had me right up until you equated popularity of the kindle with DRM-free ebooks. Much more likely is that Amazon and publishers will draw the conclusion that Apple has: most consumers don't really care about DRM.

Re:Tagged: So what? (1)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505343)

perhaps, but as someone pointed out above, one of the biggest reasons the amazon music store exists DRM-free is because of the popularity, and thus the power of Apple and the iPod. I hope, although I can't say I expect, that if the kindle becomes more popular, and publishers want to get around Amazon, they'll have to go DRM free.

However since books are so small, piracy is easier, and the popularity will never be as high as something like the iPod, there's a good chance the circumstances won't repeat so well.

Re:Tagged: So what? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505359)

> They become over night best sellers, most of the time.

Yes, but do they earn enough to remain profitable after the vendor has paid her off?

No drm requirement (4, Informative)

vanyel (28049) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504295)

for which they then have to shell out more money for DRM-encrusted content.

Nonsense. There are a ton of drm free books out there. I subscribe to Analog magazine for example, and get more drm-free books than I have time to read from fictionwise.com. If something is released only in crippled formats, then that's their loss, as it means I read one of the many other things on my list instead, or, if I *really* want to read it, as happened recently, I buy used paper. That's only happened once though, and I've been ebooking now for about 3 years (albeit my Treo and Sony Reader, but I know the Kindle supports drm free formats too).

Re:No drm requirement (5, Informative)

dwreid (966865) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504925)

Ok. Just to clear a bit of fog and confusion. Unlike most of the people responding, I own one so I'm not totally full of crap. 1. $309 seems a bit pricey but then the books don't cost as much as paper book. In fact they cost quite a bit less. Most of the books I've purchased have cost less than $3. Some less. That price also pays for lifetime access to the EVDO network which is used to deliver the content within 2 minutes of purchase to the book. Yes you can do some web browsing as well though that's a bit painful given the interface. The device also plays MP3 files for music while you read or audio books. The screen is electronic paper. No backlight. It can be read indoors or in the brightest sun. No problem. So far the price doesn't seem that bad. 2. If you buy books from Amazon they are DRM encoded. If you don't want to buy DRM books, download any of the thousands of free books available online and email them to the Kindle. That's really all there is to it. If you have PDF files then email them to the Kindle. That works too. 3. You can buy additional batteries. 4. A copy of all of your purchases is archived at Amazon and can be downloaded to a replacement device at any time. They can also be shared with anyone in your family with a Kindle on the same account. Finally, you can keep copies on an SD card that slips into the Kindle or on your PC via the USB cable. (which can also be used to load content.) 5. The battery charge lasts about 2 weeks with the radio off and about 3 days with the radio on. 6. It can do full text search across all of your content. 7. It can look up and define words and phrases. 8. You can annote the books. 9. you can clip content for use elsewhere. 10 etc. etc. etc. It's not a bad deal just because Oprah likes it anymore than it is a good deal becasue she likes it. It's just a decent device at a decent price.

Re:No drm requirement (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505321)

I subscribe to Analog magazine for example

You're just an analog person living in a digital world.

Your post, however, did rekindle my interest in reading science fiction...

Saw one for the first time (4, Interesting)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504345)

Got to put hands on one a couple months ago and had to admit it's pretty cool. The display is quite good, very readable. My only fear was if the battery went dead or it got old. What happens to all the books you bought?

I could just see it in the bottom of some box five years from now, dead as a barn nail, battery shot. Then what? Can you replace the battery and recover the books? What happens when Amazon stops supporting them?

Re:Saw one for the first time (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25504547)

The books you buy from Amazon are associated with your account and can be re-downloaded at any time. Anything you generate or convert yourself can be stored on a removable Micro-SD device (not included). The battery is replaceable, but I have no idea how much it costs, or what the availability will be in the future. Basically you're covered unless / until Amazon goes away.

Re:Saw one for the first time (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25504703)

I saw part of the Oprah show. According to the guy they had talking about them, once you have purchased a book from the Amazon Kindle store, you can delete it from your device (to free up space) and then re-download it again whenever you want. They did not talk about what will happen if/when Amazon goes out of business.

Re:Saw one for the first time (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504919)

If it goes dead you loose everything, this is the same reason you need to reload your OS every time you turn off your computer~

Re:Saw one for the first time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25505115)

You can buy more batteries and they are easily accessible on the back.

Did Oprah submit this? (1)

Jon Abbott (723) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504371)

Of the many, many years I've been reading Slashdot, the articles almost always say who submitted the article. It appears from this article that maybe Oprah submitted it. Maybe it was kdawson. What gives?

Re:Did Oprah submit this? (1)

Jon Abbott (723) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504389)

I just checked the front page of Slashdot, and the only two articles that didn't say who submitted them were from kdawson. Coincidentally, both were pushing products or services for Amazon.com. Perhaps we need to add a slashvertisement tag to these articles...

Re:Did Oprah submit this? (1)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505193)

kdawson=Oprah?

Temperamental Christians (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25504391)

I read the article on why Oprah's ratings have been dropping, and I find them extremely disturbing. Why do people have to be Christian in order for American's to think that their show is any good?

Re:Temperamental Christians (1)

Bicx (1042846) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504839)

Well, in contrast to Slashdot, most of middle America is Christian, at least to some degree (check out the demographic info on Wikipedia). It sounds like many thought Oprah was a Christian and were turned off when she began heavily promoting her New Age religion. Sure, non-Christians can make good television, but Oprah focuses heavily on her beliefs while many of her viewers are opposed to them.

Re:Temperamental Christians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25504855)

Because most Americans are Christians and most religious people are exclusionary.

Re:Temperamental Christians (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505453)

I thought it was falling because she was endorsing Obama over Hillary and that enraged most of her female audience?

Oprah a giant advert? (1)

SystematicPsycho (456042) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504417)

I was home sick one day and decided to destroy my soul with daytime tv. Along came Oprah, I caught about 20 minutes of it and it came across as a giant plug to get this fitness centre to sign up these "overweight" ladies waving a contract in the air that they were going to sign in order to lose some weight. How real the contracts were or how much it was going to cost them I don't know but Oprah must get some giant kickbacks.

Re:Oprah a giant advert? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504929)

Yes, the kickbacks are called ratings.

Re:Oprah a giant advert? (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505517)

It's rather weird, in my opinion, when Oprah, a woman who has problems with her weight, sells weight-loss products.

This E-Book is half the price. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25504455)

I own one of these myself and I like it quite well enough. http://www.ebookwise.com/ebookwise/ebookwise1150.htm

You get between 10 and 20 hours of battery power depending on the backlight settings. It is LCD and not E-paper, BUT it also has a touch screen and hyperlink capabilities to make up for it.

Re:This E-Book is half the price. (2, Informative)

jofny (540291) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505703)

The etext and battery life is the whole point of something like the kindle vs a laptop or pda. The etext is light years easier on the eyes and you can read a kindle for about 4 solid DAYS with the wireless off without recharging. And I dont mean "an hour a day for four days". Unless you are clicking a button, the kindle draws almost no power. (The screen only draws power when it changes content)

The new, reinvented Oprah (3, Interesting)

TheModelEskimo (968202) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504459)

My sister was a die-hard Oprah fan and I thought she would be so for her entire life. Lately though, she's become entirely disappointed with Oprah's use of her "new" image to sell stuff. She won't watch the show anymore. No real news here for many of us, but it's really, *really* sad to me to see yet another person use their reinvented-celebrity status just to keep raking in cash.

To me, it's always been the same story: "Here, come watch my show so you can feel good about nice things *I'm* doing with my life, when what you really care about is 1) what gift people find under their chairs and 2) that you don't have to expend any energy to get that warm, fuzzy feeling." Sigh.

I have a Kindle (2, Informative)

SupremoMan (912191) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504471)

It's great. No need to rage about DRM, most of the files I have on it are not from Amazon. Though I'm sure they would like to fix that. You can basically email yourself any text file and it's there.

Another great feature is the wireless internet, which is now free (through the sprint network I believe), though I doubt it will stay that way forever. But while it lasts I enjoy looking at web pages while traveling on the train for free. It does fairly decent job of converting most pages.

I'm gonna cry! ;_; (3, Funny)

B4light (1144317) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504513)

Oprah also gave away a Kindle to everyone in her audience on Friday, which oddly enough, caused one woman in the crowd to tear up.

I use my iPhone and a web server (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25504521)

I read for hours every night on my iPhone instead of anything else. Why buy yet another specialized technodoodad to worry about when you have a complete, powerful, handheld computer that you can dial the brightness up and down on at need?

The only problem is Safari's scrolling mechanism, which sucks on a 250-page PDF document, or a long text document.

I wrote a PHP script that chunks larger books down and serves them chapter-by-chapter, and find this utility really convenient for that use.

Kindle = looks crappy + expensive in every way.

www.dereketnyre.com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25504659)

I'm planning on getting one, but waiting because of rumors of newer models of the Kindle coming out soon that are smaller/lighter.

My only drawback is that when I purchase a regular book and read it - I can then give away or sell the book. One I read a DRM e-book, that's it - can't legally do much with it....

I'm planning on using it for technical computer programming books - so I can have a large library with me at work....

I also like the fact that it has limited web browsing/email with no monthly charge - at least no charge yet....

Why bother? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504691)

You can buy a laptop for about the same price.

Re:Why bother? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504953)

It's lighter, easier to use, can easily be viewed while laying back.

I don't own one, but I ahve looked at them and talked to people that own them and it seems like a nice device.

Apparently I'll be seeing more of these thing in the next 3-10 days.

where Kindle is failing to deliver on its promise (2, Informative)

TheMCP (121589) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504735)

I liked what Amazon had to say about the Kindle when it came out; that they recognized that DRM limited what you could do with your content, so the tradeoff they were trying to make was that if you were willing to live with DRM, you could get your ebooks at a discount price. I can live with that idea. You want to make it worth my while to put up with the inconveniences of DRM? Okay.

However, when I started looking at prices to see if the deal had held true, I found that the ebooks I was interested in (at least to start with) all seemed to have either an insignificant discount or no discount. If you want to offer me the DRM encrusted ebook version of a $5.99 paperback as a $2 ebook, great... but don't offer it to me for $5.50, or even for $6.00 . In that case I have no incentive to use the ebook instead of the paper version except convenience, and frankly, convenience isn't worth *that* much to me.

It's rather a pity, too; the hardware is nice. (I've had one on loan for a couple days.)

Where Kindle is delivering on its promise (1)

rgmoore (133276) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505433)

It really depends on which books you're intending to read. You probably aren't saving that much compared to mass market paperbacks, but you are compared to trade paper or hard back. Where Kindle really shines is for stuff that's out of copyright. You can get really impressive collections that would be very expensive- not to mention heavy and taking up a lot of shelf space- for $1 or less.

oprah/obama/whatever (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504755)

it's the best! do it now! don't wait!

I want to know if Oprah warned the audience... (4, Insightful)

MattW (97290) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504775)

Did Oprah warn her faithful viewers that if Amazon ever abandons the kindle or the content, that there's a good chance all their "book collection" will be gone forever?

I still have books I bought 20 years ago. Who could possibly be confident your kindle and all those books would be working 20 years from now when DRM schemes are dropping like flies. Can you imagine what's going to happen when studios stop wanting to produce the "old" DVDs?

Re:I want to know if Oprah warned the audience... (4, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504965)

Since it can be used to read non DRM'es stuff, what's the point?

At least you can back it up offsite. What happens to your books if your house burns down?

Gee, it's like everything has a disadvantage of some kind~

My Good and Bad Review (1)

ChicoLance (318143) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504793)

I've had my Kindle since last December, and I like it overall, I have sometimes thought about putting it up on eBay -- the hype sometimes gets to be a bit much.

Pro: Non DRM files from Gutenberg, ManyBooks, and others. I've been able to read "The Wizard of Oz" and lots of other books I've always wanted to read. You can email them to the device or hook it up via USB, and it's much better to read this way than on my computer/laptop.

Con: Batteries must be charged. I've had the Kindle in my bag for a while, take it out at lunch, and the battery is dead. If the Whispernet/Cell phone is turned off, it will last over a week, but if it's left on, the battery will only last for a couple of days.

Pro: Online access. With "free" built in data cell service (Whispernet), it's really cool to be somewhere, get an urge to read something, and download either the fiction or non-fiction. Free stuff comes from Feedbooks, and the Amazon store is pretty cool too.

Con: DRM, although it's not as bad as it's made out to be. Most books I read only once, so I don't mind paying a few bucks to get instant access, read it, and move on. If I plan to keep anything for reference or permanance, I'll buy a real copy. Many pop books are quick reads, I get it now, I don't have to wait at the library, and I'm OK that I may not have access to it in a couple of years.

Pro: Ease of reading. The display is nice to read, and I can read it for hours. I can with a regular book to, so I guess this is a wash.

Con: Fragility. I already broke on screen, and Amazon replaced it. This, along with the battery issue, makes be think before I throw it in the bag. A regular book doesn't have these problems.

There, my quick review. I like it, am keeping it, and it's not the earth-changer. Books aren't going anywhere anytime soon.

    --Lance

Re:My Good and Bad Review (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504977)

Until you toss a regular book in your bag and the binding comes loose.

Been there, stupid cheap glue.

Re:My Good and Bad Review (1)

ChicoLance (318143) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505105)

A couple more points to my review above:

Pro: It plays nicely with Linux. It shows up as a hard drive, and I can make sure I've backed up all of the files onto my desktop. The DRM files are keyed to the device, so copying them for backup is not a problem.

Con: Can look geeky. Sometimes I just want to read a book and not stand out.

Pro: Anonymousness. However, I can read a book without anybody questioning my choices. Also, it's easy to read while having lunch -- put it on the table and tap the button to turn the page. It doesn't have to be held open with the second hand.

Pro: Format. It can read lots of formats, either natively or with translations from Mobireader. Except...

Con: PDF. PDFs define a page layout, and don't take well to reflowing the text in a small screen. Other formats which don't require page layout work just fine. It's a shame that many documents are in PDF format, when the layout is not particularly important.

Pro: Upload documents. It's very nice to have a long text file or other document that I can email to the device. It's easier to put my feet up and read with this device instead of a laptop. Yes, that makes it a one-trick pony, but it's a pretty good trick.

OK, I think I'm done now. :)

    --Lance

Re:My Good and Bad Review (1)

mikesd81 (518581) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505539)

Do you work for Amazon? Okay all kidding aside now. You're review (both postings) actually have me considering how great this would be for when I'm working on things and I can upload text files for reference when I'm not home.

I have a Kindle... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25504841)

which while it is Linux based, doesn't seem to let you access the OS :-(. I have mounted it on my Ubuntu Desktop and a Windows machine at work. Which gives you access to the internal storage. Which means you can back up your files. The internal storage is expandable, comes with 200M, I added 8G.

You can e-mail "documents" to an assigned e-mail address and if it is of a type they understand, they will convert it to their internal format and automatically download it to your Kindle for the price of 10 cents. Or you can e-mail it to another address and they will convert it and mail it back for free. Then you can mount the Kindle and drag the files over.

And the Amazon selection is supposed to be huge (~180,000). When I want a new Sci-Fi book, I shop the Amazon Store on the Kindle buy it and it downloads it to my Kindle and bills my One-click account. It also has newspapers and magazines that you can subscribe to. Which are also automatically downloaded.

It has a web browser, but the screen is electronic paper so it updates slowly and has a limited set of pixels. I would think that websites make for a phone would work well with this. You can search Google, Wikipedia or any other site you wish. And since Amazon picks up the tab, web browsing is free.

It also plays music, except that it only plays them randomly, so you can't cue up a list.

Since it uses "e-paper" it is on always, so unlike a laptop, you don't have to boot it and wait. Which is very convenient. I can be reading something at home, put it down, take it to work and pick it up and continue. And it keeps track of where I am in each book or magazine that I am reading.

And while I don't particularly like the DRM, it doesn't seem to be an issue. And if you don't like them you can download from the Gutenberg, et. al. projects.

Oh look (1)

dgun (1056422) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504847)

Amazon comes up with another completely boring, not original enough to matter, useless idea and markets it as something 'revolutionary'. And works out an endorsement deal with Oprah, as if people who watch Oprah would give a crap.

Give me two wishes and I will wish away Microsoft and Amazon. Give me three and I'll also do away with world hunger.

"Enthusiastically endorsed by Oprah" (1)

TechForensics (944258) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504913)

Enthusiastically endorsed by Oprah. Not to seem too cynical, but don't celebrity endorsements generally vary directly with the size of the kickback, er, honorarium?

For those of you with eternally half full glasses (1)

dwreid (966865) | more than 5 years ago | (#25504967)

For those of you are are just bitter about life in general and need to complain. Just to clear a bit of fog and confusion. Unlike most of the people responding, I own one so I'm not totally full of crap. 1. $309 seems a bit pricey but then the books don't cost as much as paper book. In fact they cost quite a bit less. Most of the books I've purchased have cost less than $3. Some less. That price also pays for lifetime access to the EVDO network which is used to deliver the content within 2 minutes of purchase to the book. Yes you can do some web browsing as well though that's a bit painful given the interface. The device also plays MP3 files for music while you read or audio books. The screen is electronic paper. No backlight. It can be read indoors or in the brightest sun. No problem. So far the price doesn't seem that bad. 2. If you buy books from Amazon they are DRM encoded. If you don't want to buy DRM books, download any of the thousands of free books available online and email them to the Kindle. That's really all there is to it. If you have PDF files then email them to the Kindle. That works too. 3. You can buy additional batteries. 4. A copy of all of your purchases is archived at Amazon and can be downloaded to a replacement device at any time. They can also be shared with anyone in your family with a Kindle on the same account. Finally, you can keep copies on an SD card that slips into the Kindle or on your PC via the USB cable. (which can also be used to load content.) 5. The battery charge lasts about 2 weeks with the radio off and about 3 days with the radio on. 6. It can do full text search across all of your content. 7. It can look up and define words and phrases. 8. You can annote the books. 9. you can clip content for use elsewhere. 10 etc. etc. etc. It's not a bad deal just because Oprah likes it anymore than it is a good deal becasue she likes it. It's just a decent device at a decent price

Re:For those of you with eternally half full glass (1)

Darundal (891860) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505153)

I wish I had mod points so I could mod this redundant.

Re:For those of you with eternally half full glass (1)

blueZ3 (744446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505241)

If you buy rent books from Amazon they are DRM encoded.

Fixed that for you.

And BTW, no thanks. If I want to BUY a book, I'll buy it. I'm not interested in RENTING applications, music, or books.

Re:For those of you with eternally half full glass (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25505287)

Electronic books ruin the whole idea. I'm not against technology, but I like my books the old fashioned way. Sure, you may be able to electronically annotate things, but what happens when you delete it to make space and reload it later? Does the annotation remain? Also, I like to have all my books at the ready. I own thousands of books, which I would not be able to store and sift through electronically. On a book shelf (many books shelfs), I can scan quickly, pull up three or four books I need and go on my way.

Plus, if I loan a book and don't have it returned, I'm out $20-$50 (typically). If I loan the kindle and don't get it back, that's a more expensive mistake.

Now I'll buy one (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25504979)

I always wait for Oprah's endorsement before buying technical products. Any idea what she thinks of the iPhone?

What about Amazon's EC2? I was thinking of building an online application around EC2, but obviously I wouldn't consider that if Oprah didn't like it.

Oprah? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25505149)

You mean that stupid fat negro who was trolled into saying OVER 9000 PENSIS ARE RAPING CHILDREN on her pathetic tv show?

The fat negro has no credibility left after that - thats if she had any to begin with.

It just goes to show, even if you are the town bike when you are 6 years old, you too can go on to host your own TV show and feed products to the unwashed masses.

DRM Content: its biggest long-term problem (2, Informative)

ThousandStars (556222) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505263)

shell out more money for DRM-encrusted content.

Although the price for the Kindle will presumably fall over time, the bigger problem is still the DRM'ed content -- and Oprah is unlikely to change that. I write a book/lit blog and discussed the implications of the Kindle here [wordpress.com] and here [wordpress.com] . It's an impressive technical achievement that lacks--and might lack for a long time--the unrestricted books needed to make it a success.

Don't throw stones from glass houses (1)

ThousandStars (556222) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505297)

But her show's audience has been slipping lately,

So, she's suffering the same problem as /.?

In other news (4, Funny)

CSMatt (1175471) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505317)

Controversy erupts as it is found that Amazon's memoir "A Million Little Kindles" contains false material.

Awww (1)

rea1l1 (903073) | more than 5 years ago | (#25505731)

"Oprah also gave away a Kindle to everyone in her audience on Friday, which oddly enough, caused one woman in the crowd to tear up."

I bet she was expecting something nicer from the rich woman. How sad.
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