Cory Doctorow says Amazon's Kindle 2 text-to-speech feature is not so much violating authors' copyright but rather basic consumer rights.
Dropping $359 (£251) on a device whose features are subject to the outcomes of ongoing negotiations to which you are not a party is, frankly, nuts. Would you buy a car if it was known that your air-conditioner and stereo system could be remotely disabled?
If you are off the grid and do not have a credit card but you want to buy something at Amazon here is an option.
The Western Union Company today announced that consumers can now purchase Amazon.com Gift Card claim codes with cash at its U.S. Agent locations. The service offers a convenient and appealing solution for those wishing to make purchases on Amazon.com without using a credit card. Consumers can purchase Amazon.com Gift Card claim codes at any of the more than 44,000 Western Union Agent locations in the United States. The Amazon.com Gift Card claim codes allow the customer to purchase millions of items in over 40 product categories on Amazon.com.
Full press release here.
Apparently, today’s a good day for bad news, with Google laying off 200 employees, our own cutbacks here at The NY Times, and now, Amazon.com weighing in with some cost-cutting of its own. Over the next two months, the online retailer will close three distribution centers: in Red Rock, Nev.; Munster, Ind.; and Chambersburg, Pa.
The 210 employees in those three facilities were informed Wednesday. They will get severance packages and an opportunity to transfer to other Amazon shipping locations.
Well, I wrote a new blog post over at the Erie Looking Productions blog talking about current operations. Such was also put on the Kindle platform at the price point of 99 cents. Hopefully such renders okay.
A separate item is not quite available yet.
Apparently there is a program where bloggers can earn revenue through offering subscriptions to their blog posts via Kindle?
Interactive fiction (or text adventures) seem like a natural fit on Amazon's ebook device, but IF author Howard Sherman finds it a tough nut to crack.
Says Sherman, "The issue boils down to the Kindle being locked up tighter than the technical design plans to the NEXT iPhone Apple is working on. There’s no easy way in there. Even though Kindle runs in a Linux environment it’s far from an open plane to deliver outside titles on. "
Full story here: Interactive Fiction on the Kindle
The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Delaware, marks another blow for a closely watched gadget that has drawn fire from publishers that say Amazon is trying to avoid paying royalties.
The lawsuit claims that Amazon, in two versions of its Kindle, has infringed one or more of the claims on a patent that Discovery founder John Hendricks received in November 2007.
The patent deals with encryption technology for the distribution of digital books.
Amazon announced late Friday that the company is modifying systems to allow authors and publishers to decide whether to enable Kindle's text-to-speech function on a per-title basis.
[from CNET] Amazon retreats on Kindle's text-to-speech issue
"Kindle 2's experimental text-to-speech feature is legal," Amazon says, but "We strongly believe many rights holders will be more comfortable with the text-to-speech feature if they are in the driver's seat."
So Kindle's text-to-speech will depend on each publisher and title; some will have it, some won't.
Once again, xkcd whittles things down to their core-