Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Irex, a Kindle-Killer That Wasn’t, Reaches the End of Its Story

Confused by the ever-increasing number of Kindle competitors? You may be able to scratch one off the list: E-reader maker Irex has reportedly filed for bankruptcy.

The Dutch company had been producing readers aimed at European business users before entering the U.S. market this spring via distribution deals at Barnes & Noble (BKS) and Best Buy (BBY). But you’d be very hard-pressed to find anyone who bought the $400 DR800SG (read Walt Mossberg’s review of the device).

There is still a flood of e-readers on the way, though: Borders (BGP), for instance, promises to sell at least 10 different brands by the end of the year. But none of them will be produced by Amazon (AMZN) or Apple (AAPL), and it’s going to be hard to persuade customers to buy anything that doesn’t come from one of those two companies.


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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