Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Another E-Reader? Really? Meet Borders’ “Kobo.”

I don’t know why every bookseller seems compelled to come out with its own e-reader. An e-bookstore, sure, but not the device.

Nevertheless, you can now place orders for Borders’ “Kobo.” It costs $149, and Borders (BGP) promises that you can have in one your hands by June 17. Kobo is a standalone company, but Borders is an investor. Details here.

Borders wants you to know that it’s going to sell other e-readers as well. But if that’s the case, why bother placing a specific bet on Kobo, as Borders did last year?

One Borders strategy that does make sense: Letting you know what titles you buy from its e-bookstore should work on multiple devices, like Research in Motion (RIMM) BlackBerrys and Apple (AAPL) iPhone and iPads. That’s the same strategy Amazon (AMZN) is pursuing with its Kindle. But I have a hunch the Kobo is no Kindle.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik