[FoRK] Kindle price slashed...

Reese howell.r at inkworkswell.com
Wed Oct 7 12:12:27 PDT 2009

Benjamin Black wrote:
> Reese wrote:
>> Oh look, the Kindle price has been slashed by about 13 percent!
>> Now it's only about 85% more than it ought to cost, given the
>> very similar cost of some or most e-books to paper books!?!?!
> sorry, not following the logic.  can you explain?

What logic? That e-books are priced in lock-step with hard copies is
a verifiable statement of fact:


Hard copy edition $10.07,
Kindle edition $9.99

This is not an isolated case, I invite you to find an exception.

The spread is never large - that I have seen. Rather, that e-book prices
are > 80% or 90% of hard copy prices seems to be the norm. Despite the
fact that distribution and shelf-space costs are not factors. Does it
really only cost 8 cents to ship a 1 lb. package (a book in this case)
from X to Y? What scams are the shipping agencies really running if
that is truly the case?

> the more important part of the announcement, imo, is the GSM support in
> the new model (aka, 'international' support).  being tied to that PoS
> sprint data network stopped me from buying any previous kindle.

I'm looking for a viable e-reader device, not another way to surf
and do email, make telephone calls, etc. Remember the "jack of all
trades, master of none" maxim. I'm looking for the master of e-reader
devices, nothing more. Props to native support for PDF, .djvu, .chm
and other files devoted to disseminating information that wants to
be free. .txt? And without routing it through or reporting back to
some mechanism that will track what I read. If those places who track
that really want that data from me, they should pay me.

> there are numerous ways to get PDF files onto a kindle, and numerous
> ways to convert content to kindle format. 

Sure. None of the alternatives are approved or particularly easy, and
any of them may void the warranty if discovered, the last I checked.
Possible partial exception granted for the DX, I don't remember if it
allows direct transfer of PDF files via USB cable or not.

Has something (else) changed?

> what clue does amazon need to get?

That all my data r not belong to them? That I am not alone in that
sentiment. There's been a fine brouhaha about fedgov quizzing libraries
to see what patrons are reading, I do not see how routing that data
through a private company that is subject to subpoena, National Security
Letters, and hacking, is different in any significant way. I do not
know whether Kindle phones home with data about what is introduced to it
via other than the approved Amazon upload-encode-download mechanism but
if it does, it's probably the last nails in the coffin from a privacy-
advocate point of view.

So, who is making a non-big-brotheresque e-reader?


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