Archive for November, 2007

Will Kindle Ignite The Passion of Readers?

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

Amazon Kindle Book ReaderAmazons launched its electronic-book reader, Kindle, this week. Analysts are mixed as to its likely success, with some reminding up of the launch of the iPod in 2001 attracting adverse comments as to its likelihood to fly, especially with such a “silly name”.

The book reader is not the first product of this type, but are its additional, unexpected features enough to drive its adoption.

Books for use with the reader cost just $10 and can be bought from Amazons online store via a built-in free cellular connection. This means there is no need for a PC.

Users can also pay to subscribe to newspaper and magazine articles and blog feeds.

Of the device itself, critics are calling it “clunky” and say its capability to carry hundreds of books at one fails to solve a universal problem. The 4.9 inch x 7.7 inch x 0.7 inch book reader device comes equipped with a 6-inch 800 x 600 display, 256MB internal storage [not a lot], small two-thumb keyboard cursor bar [could be difficult for large thumbs], scroll wheel, standard mini USB port, 3.5mm headphone jack, SD slot, and an EV-DO data connection.

However, for commuters, travellers, and those who like to live in minimalism, the device could hold some value.

A sample of the content Kindle will have access to includes:

  • More than 88,000 books available, including most best sellers.
  • Free book samples – download and read first chapters for free before you decide to buy.
  • Top U.S. and International newspapers – delivered automatically
  • Top magazines – TIME, Atlantic Monthly, and Forbes
  • International newspapers – France, Germany, and Ireland; Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine, and The Irish Times
  • Over 250 top blogs from the worlds of business, technology, sports, entertainment, and politics

Like any other new gadget, only time will tell…although early indications are that it is going to surprise a few skeptics. The device is already sold out, but you can get find out more about Kindle and get your order in line for the next delivery here

 Masher

Microsoft Zune Has iPod On The Ropes

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

 In round 2 of Zune versus iPod, Zune has the iPod firmly on the ropes. 

Microsoft Zune MP3 PlayerHot on the tail of our recent updates on MP3 player reviews Microsoft have announced that Zune is outselling iPod on Amazon.com.

The heavily discounted 30G Zune was only introduced a week ago and is already ranked No.1 best seller in Amazons Electronics category, followed by Apples 4G ipod Nano and Apples 80G ipod Classic.

The 80G Zune is currently out of stock, but you can order Zune here for delivery as soon as they are available [December], so keep watching this blog for updates. Microsoft launched Zune about a year ago to mixed reveiews. However, the recently launched three new Zunes, with revamped software and a new Zune online community are proving very popular.

Microsoft is attempting to replicate the iTunes model, using the Zune players and online Zune Marketplace store. Note – Zunes don’t work with Napster (NAPS), Rhapsody or other services.

The main feature changes in the latest release set include:

  • Relaxed restrictions on swapping music wirelessly with another Zune owner.
  • Podcasts and music videos are now available in the Marketplace. [Unfortunately you have to use the Microsoft Points currency — typical track costs 79 Points ; equating to the 99 cents you pay elsewhere].
  • Wireless synching with your PC – [some issues with older internet routers]

Overall, the new Zunes are hotter competitors to the iPod. They boast features long awaited for in an iPod, such as an integrated FM radio and monthly subscription plan that allow you listen to downloaded tracks as often as you like, provided you keep your account current.  Unfortunately no wireless sample uploads as yet.

For more details on the latest Microsoft Zune Lineup

Masher

Apple iPhone “Invention of the Year” ….yeah right!!

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

Apple iPhone ” has been dubbed by Time Magazine as the Invention of the Year” sparking all sorts of hot debate between lovers and haters of the device. The main debate is more around whether Apple ‘invented’ the cellphone component or just built it into their form factor. The only outcome to date on this debate is confusion…..sure, Apple has improved on the concept of the cell phone and as such may the title would more aptly be innvative technology of the year.

One poll at consumer technology review site CNET cites the following user debates:

  • Not an invention
  • iPhone, an invetion. You can’t be serious!
  • Who cares and what difference does it make.
  • Iphone? Invention? AHAHAHHAHA
  • did blackberry’s treo’s get this title?
  • (NT) Nope, doesnt count
  • Not for the working person
  • It is an invention, in all definitions of the word
  • Not an invention New!
  • Give me a break . . .
  • The term is Re-Invent
  • are you crazy
  • Excuse Me, However Its Only Time Magazine New!
  • It’s a joke, that iThing
  • did blackberry’s treo’s get this title?
  • I love my iPhone, but “Invetion of the Year”?

For the most part it seems that Time is under scrutiny for its short-sightedness in viewing the iPhone as an invention, rather than a crtique on the phone itself….. maybe it indicates that we are reaching a plateau in inventiveness and instead, innovative extension and repackaging of existing invention is where most of todays hot products are evolving. As they say….as true entrepreneur is not a developer, rather someone who takes something existing and makes it better and/or more attractive to the market.

Masher