Gesticulations and Other Geekery » Page 'Why I didn’t get a Kindle'

Why I didn’t get a Kindle

People often mistake my Sony Reader 700 for a Amazon Kindle, and at that point I feel obliged to explain why I didn’t get the Kindle (which costs the same and has the EVDO link and such like). I usually site freedom. As much as I usually hate Sony (and their rootkits), the Reader is actually fairly flexible. When you plug it into a computer it shows up an external harddisk and you can put whatever files you like on it. It will read/play any files that are in a format in understands.

The Kindle however is really designed to only accept content from Amazon and the EVDO link to Amazon is actually a liability because it allows Amazon to control it remotely without your consent. So they could to things like removing or editing books you have put on the device. People I’ve said this to have been doubtful. One at least said, “Why would they ever do that?”. I didn’t have a specific answer. But now it’s a moot point because not only can they do it but they have done it.

Amazon removed copies of 2 book from Kindle remotely without OKing it with the owner who presumably assumed they had bought the content (Amazon was nice enough to refund the price of the book though). However these were not just any books. As if they needed to make the threat of this type of capability more obvious they removed Orwell’s dystopian novels “1984” and “Animal Farm”.

It should be pointed out that this was not fully Amazon’s fault. The ebooks in question where actually sold illegally by a company that did not have rights to do so. However I feel strongely that this is not an excuse for removing purchased content. People bought it. They have it now. You screwed up by selling it to them.

And independent of all, this it is now clear that they have the capability to do this sort of disappearing act. So I am happy I am not connected to their network. And I feel a bit vindicated.

Posted in Hardware, Life (other than code)

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