Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Before the New Kindle, an Old e-Book

jeff-bezosAmazon hasn’t even introduced its newest iteration of the Kindle–that happens today at 10:30 Eastern time–and already the gadgeteers are griping.

The new device is “just a Kindle with a larger screen,” says Engadget, which has what it says are blurry photos of the Kindle 3.0. Other complaints: There’s no color screen! No video! It won’t cut through a tin can!

Fear not, my impatient friends. The nice thing about gadgets is that they do get better, on an accelerating curve. Just nine years ago, Amazon (AMZN) wouldn’t any e-book reader because it wasn’t “ready for prime time.” Here’s a state-of-the-art e-book from that era–the late, not-lamented Rocketbook:

Now Amazon is moving several hundred thousand gadgets a quarter–based on the newest numbers from Sprint (S)–and the company is about it introduce its third iteration in less than two years. That’s progress, right?

I’ll be covering the New York press conference introducing the newest version of the Kindle in a liveblog in a couple hours. If you don’t like what Jeff Bezos shows off today, just wait a few more months. He’s bound to have something better.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work