This is a crass request but could two of you hit the facebook like button on the right side of my home page so I can get a better URL (it takes 25). Thanks.

Blogging from the road with my ipad2, which is perhaps the greatest piece of gear ever, especially now with my portable Bluetooth keyboard. And I don't really even like apple OS that much, but this is one awesome device. As a better kindle replacement alone it Is worth the price.


  1. DrTorch:

    Thinking about getting my niece a Kindle or Nook for her HS graduation. But, is it something she'll want to replace quickly w/ a tablet?

  2. IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society:

    I've looked at the Nook, it's impressive to play with, I grant. I will NEVER own a Kindle -- sorry, the Animal Farm fiasco revealed its Orwellian flaws.

    Not only do they have the capacity to remotely remove stuff, as I understand it (though I can't find reference to it any more) they have the capacity to remotely alter the contents of a Kindled book itself.

    That's right, they can take that quotation in your Kindle, toss it down the memory hole, and make it an unquotation.

    Without informing you of the change in any way, shape, or form.

    We have located MiniTrue, and its real name is Amazon.

    I have no idea if the Nook has this capability as well. Until I do, I might consider a Nook, but I repeat, I will NEVER EVER trust Amazon with my library -- and I do mean ever. That a company could not see the moral and ethical flaw in this -- before the hue and cry -- is beyond reprehensible.

    This is the part I found most amusing, though:
    After the move prompted outcry and comparisons to Nineteen Eighty-Four itself, Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener stated that the company is "[c]hanging our systems so that in the future we will not remove books from customers' devices in these circumstances."

    Note the VERY specific nature of the language used there. There's nothing there that says that they are removing their capacity for altering things on your Kindle. The only thing that they need do for the statement to be true is change their policy in regards to such an action.

    One can presume they can still perform such an action, and that the Federal government can order them to do such an action for whatever reason it deems acceptable. Chances are, Amazon wouldn't even put up a public fight if ordered to do such a thing is my bet. They'd just do it quietly and it would be up the other customer to prove it. And what happens 20, 30 years from now when more people have the umpty-ump generation of these things, and use them to the exclusion of real, hard copies? Right. Amazon WILL BE in truth fully capable of performing the exact same role as MiniTrue.

    No thank you.

  3. Scott:

    DrTorch: The iPad can do everything that a Kindle or Nook can, and a whole lot more. Don't waste your money on a Kindle or Nook. The extra value and functionality of the iPad is worth the small additional cost ten times over.

  4. Andrew:

    I love my kindle, but I would never download a book from Amazon to it, and I keep my wireless turned off nearly all the time.

    Amazon only has access to the books you buy from them and download through the kindle, and only while your Kindle is connected to the internet. As an example, when I bought BMOC I downloaded the *.mobi file from Amazon to my computer and stripped the DRM before loading it on my Kindle.

    There is no possible way that a tablet will ever be able to effectively replace a dedicated e-reader in the foreseeable future, the e-ink display is what makes it readable.

  5. Todd:

    The kindle will stay charged for weeks, and last a Pacific flight. The Ipad won't. Plus the Kindle is easier on my eyes, for real reading. I'll keep both devices, thank you. :-)

  6. dullgeek:

    I have neither iPad nor kindle. But from my friends who have both, they describe that the kindle is much more useful when trying to read outside or in very bright light. While the iPad is better for reading in the dark. In other words they each have unique use cases. For some this means having both.

  7. Sol:

    I'm with Andrew. I don't have a Kindle, but I've been using the Kindle app on my Droid pretty heavily for the last eight months. In that time I've only purchased one ebook from Amazon, and that was BMOC. I don't think I'm ever going to be too enthusiastic about ebooks with DRM, but having access to the entire Project Gutenberg library on an easy-to-read device is wonderful, and is slowly making me long for a real Kindle.

  8. Joshv:

    I have an ipad2. It is not a kindle replacement in any sense. Heavier, harder to read, and piss poor battery, relatively speaking.

  9. ErisGuy:

    Books, movies, poems have all been altered in the their second and later editions. I first ran across it in a non-scholarly context when Peter Straub's _Ghost Story_ was altered to remove all references to, IIRC, the Golden Dawn. The fate of Star Wars and E.T. is well-known. Some poets have re-written poems continually until they died (e.g., Ariosto).

    One of the requirements I'd proclaim were I emperor would be the non-disapperance of earlier versions. I'd make each version immutable and accessible. Not going to happen, alas.

    A Kindle is a shelf of borrowed books, for which the Kindle's owner has paid a lifetime use fee. It's like a private library (that is, non-public, not "personal") whose contents can be changed by the managing librarians at any time. The iPad is a computer, a universal device which can be made into a sort-of Kindle.

    And I, too, find a portable bluetooth keyboard + iPad to be an awesome combo. I don't own a Kindle (but if Amazon were to offer a larger one...).

  10. Andrew:


    As I said in my first comment, there are no borrowed books on my Kindle. You are confusing the service with the Kindle itself. The Kindle itself is a computer with a highly specialized e-ink display, running Linux with a proprietary wrapper. If you really really hate Amazon you can even install duokan.

    The advantages of a Kindle over a tablet computer are mainly it's battery life (measured in weeks) and it's screen (not backlit and very nearly like reading paper.)
    These two advantages, combined with the facts that the Kindle is many times cheaper than a tablet, and a tablet is basically a keyboardless netbook, are why I love my Kindle, but will probably never own a tablet.

    I'm honestly confused over how carrying around a portable keyboard along with your tablet doesn't just make it clunkier than a light netbook or laptop.

  11. ap:

    I have an iPad, but I prefer my iPod touch as my Kindle replacement. It's lighter, it fits in my pocket, and I often will pull out the iPad to check a web page or a map while reading a book. For straight text large screen size is, if anything, a disadvantage, though for pictures, web pages, or pdfs it is a good thing to have. If somebody would come up with a smart phone sized kindle with e-ink I might reconsider, but for now the iPod is my favorate device.

  12. ErisGuy:

    "You are confusing the service with the Kindle itself. "

    No, I'm not. That the device can be used in ways other than its creators intend doesn't invalidate my observation. I have the Kindle application on my computer, phone, and iPad. Almost all the books for which I use the Kindle application (which is neither the device nor service), I haven't paid for: those books are also generally old. If Amazon had tied the service, device, and application tightly together, they'd be sued. And lose (that situation would resemble the 1930s studios+distributor+theatre integration). Same for Apple's iBooks app. They intend me to use it one way, and it is worthwhile to analyze that intent and (probably) overwhelming usage. I use it, however, to read free books and computer documentation. I've never bought a book from the iBook store.

    I had hoped that installing the Kindle application on my computer would allow me to read from the couch using the large-screen TV. Hasn't quite worked out--too difficult to turn the pages.

    "The Kindle itself is a computer with a highly specialized"

    So specialized, it's crippled when compared to a general-purpose computer, which is what a tablet (even when it's called a phone or a pod) is. Which is what I said.

    "I’m honestly confused over how carrying around a portable keyboard along with your tablet doesn’t just make it clunkier than a light netbook or laptop."

    The keyboard isn't necessary all the time, thus when carrying or holding the tablet it's much lighter. The tablet can be positioned for reading and writing better than a laptop, in which the two parts are fused. (These are not trivial matters when your wrists and eyes are 40+ years old.) Even with the keyboard it's much lighter than a useful notebook.

    Tablets may evolve into better devices. The Kindle is a dead-end unless it becomes a tablet: by running full-blown linux, having a real keyboard, a color screen (books come in color as any child can tell you) etc. That dead-end can still be useful. I want one. As soon as the screen is bigger (although denser might do). It's screen is like paper only in that it's black-and-white. It's dim, fuzzy, and difficult to read without eyestrain. Not enough like paper.

  13. Doug:

    I have both an Ipad and recently purchased a Kindle. I prefer the Kindle for reading because its lighter and smaller. The battery life is great. I have loaded up a number of free Kindle books, that have not come from Amazon. The kindle fits a particular segment and as such works great. I love the Ipad, its great for so many other things, such as blogging. Try blogsy.

  14. epobirs:

    A tablet simply isn't a straight replacement or upgrade for a dedicated reading device. The difference in reading comfort is that important to me and numerous others. Someday, technology improvements will make that a moot point but for now I cannot imagine using any shipping color display technology for prolonged reading.

    Even after reflective color screens are functional and affordable enough for the mass market, there will remain a market for dedicated reading devices. Price alone will guarantee that. Convenience of carrying will supplement it. I take my Nook or Kindle with me a lot of place I wouldn't lug anything larger. (I have both because I do e-book conversion work.)

    I've been reading books on laptops, convertible tablets, etc. since the mid-90s. It was always a time-killer of last resort when there was nothing better to do because I knew I'd regret the eyestrain later. The e-ink display has changed all of that.

    Nor do I get worked up about Amazon's misadventures with their backend service. Anything I buy gets stored on my media and isn't subject to anyone else's whims on whether I can keep it. This would be the case even if there hadn't been the overblown scandals. For much the same reason I don't buy much off of XBLA or PSN because I cannot back it up and move it around freely like I can products distributed on disc or silicon.

  15. epobirs:

    ErisGuy, you may find this upsetting but a very well known SF novel from the 1960s that will soon be available for Kindle has two lines removed from the original text. Both are fourth wall breakers and I checked with the author to be sure they were intended to be there, rather than notes between writer and editor. The lines were intentional but now regarded as embarrassing amateur behavior by a very young writer and he asked that they be removed.

    His book. His choice. The numerous anachronisms are staying intact, even though they're largely ignored in more recent work set in the same universe.