Mobileread
PC World reviews Kindle
#11  Hadrien 01-25-2008, 01:21 PM
Yeah, Feedbooks will be able to send you RSS feeds the same way than we do for public domain books soon...
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#12  Gideon 01-25-2008, 01:28 PM
What he ^^ said. I have those options, plus the paying options. And I don't mind paying for what I'm reading - especially since I'm not seeing the ads and such I would if I was visiting the site.

The biggest problem with media on these devices, aside from the ones you can purchase ala carte, is that most of these services are based on the rss feeds - and many of the primary media outlets only use partial feeds. And as exciting as it is to read a sentence per page per article.....

Luckily, some worked great. The NYT or BBC on the Sony Reader were astounding, but then you go to to any given feed like Slate or Salon and you're out of luck there, too.

The feeds in the sony software, of course, are an absolute joke. Some of which don't work at all, some haven't been updated in months, and others are partial feeds.

But ultimately, I'm not saying the Kindle is the superior device. It has a couple of features that are big for me, but that doesn't make it superior.

What is superior is that this device actually got people really talking and looking at ebooks as an option because they made it easy and managed the PR well. And that helps everyone.
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#13  kovidgoyal 01-25-2008, 01:43 PM
Quote DaleDe
Not really, you can use their web browser or Feedbooks or MobiPocket PC version 6.0 to generate content.
I'm pretty sure that feedbooks and mobipocket creator work only for content embedded feeds, i.e. feeds that have the article content in them. On the sony reader you can get arbitrary web content. To me that additional power blows wireless content delivery out of the water. But then, I'm a power user

And I don't think amazon is going to subsidize you surfing your favorite sites on the web forever. Now if they had included wifi support, that would have been something to talk about.
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#14  Hadrien 01-25-2008, 02:10 PM
Quote kovidgoyal
I'm pretty sure that feedbooks and mobipocket creator work only for content embedded feeds, i.e. feeds that have the article content in them. On the sony reader you can get arbitrary web content. To me that additional power blows wireless content delivery out of the water. But then, I'm a power user

And I don't think amazon is going to subsidize you surfing your favorite sites on the web forever. Now if they had included wifi support, that would have been something to talk about.
Not sure about this for Mobipocket Creator, the one time I tried this software for RSS feeds, it even displayed comments on the Techcrunch feeds. It was full-content, but with too much content in this case (unlike the PRS-500/505, the TOC is not as convenient on the Cybook, with a nested TOC on the Sony it's very easy to browse through items in a newspaper).
As for full-content feeds: some people already republish partial content feeds into full content feeds (those are available for the BBC). I really think that what you're doing with the content extraction Kovid could be useful to a lot of people, some of them would like to have full-content feeds on their Netvibes, iPhone etc... I really wonder why you don't switch to this approach instead of just the Sony Reader. There's also some easy content extractors available like Dapper, and I hope that in the near future, any user without programming skills will be able to create their own extraction system (or that most websites will understand that they should provide full content feeds with ads).

Concerning the Amazon feature: it's a push system, instead of a pull one. People with limited technical skills might find it worth paying for those blogs, if they get them automatically every morning. That's not my case, but we're not really "average users" around here.
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#15  rationalbiker 01-25-2008, 02:27 PM
In order to determine which device is "superior", one has to have a standard by which to measure each of the devices. I kind of doubt at this point that there is any singular standard by which all users are gauging each device aside from which device best suits their purposes. Note that this is a valid gauge on an individual level. In other words, the Kindle is a superior device for me because it offers the features that best suit my needs. That does not translate to the Kindle being the universally superior device.

For anyone who claims that one device is superior to the other on a universal scale, please tell me what standard you are using to determine that? For instance, one such standard (though potentially flaky) could be which is selling more units, thus implying more consumers are finding one device more useful to them than other devices.

Some of the things being complained about are not universally accepted as "bad" things. DRM, not everybody minds DRM. Strongly tied to Amazon, not everybody is concerned with that. The Kindle is ugly, not everybody agrees on that, etc. etc.

I don't know for sure, but I think I'm in the minority of people thinking that Amazon has been a very successful company so far and they didn't get that way because they were lucky. They are smart and they make good business decisions, generally speaking. While the Kindle may be a risk, it is probably a reasonably well calculated risk. It is in the nature of good businesses and good businessmen to take such risks from time to time in order for their business to grow. Assuming a degree of success, what they learn from their initial implementation of the Kindle can serve to improve their next iteration (should they decide to continue the line).

I can remember a few years back when Apple was having a difficult time competing with Microsoft. They were the "underdog" that many people were cheering on and MS was the big bad evil empire (LOL). Apple took risks with new innovations and has developed into quite a vibrant company. New I have seen people who have called Apple a big evil empire that wants to take over the world. Geez, cheer for them when they are down and kick 'em in the guts when they get back up.

So the moral of my little tirade? The Kindle is the superior device. For me.
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#16  Gideon 01-25-2008, 02:29 PM
How very rational.

Amen.
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#17  kovidgoyal 01-25-2008, 02:41 PM
Quote Hadrien
Not sure about this for Mobipocket Creator, the one time I tried this software for RSS feeds, it even displayed comments on the Techcrunch feeds. It was full-content, but with too much content in this case (unlike the PRS-500/505, the TOC is not as convenient on the Cybook, with a nested TOC on the Sony it's very easy to browse through items in a newspaper).
As for full-content feeds: some people already republish partial content feeds into full content feeds (those are available for the BBC). I really think that what you're doing with the content extraction Kovid could be useful to a lot of people, some of them would like to have full-content feeds on their Netvibes, iPhone etc... I really wonder why you don't switch to this approach instead of just the Sony Reader. There's also some easy content extractors available like Dapper, and I hope that in the near future, any user without programming skills will be able to create their own extraction system (or that most websites will understand that they should provide full content feeds with ads).

Concerning the Amazon feature: it's a push system, instead of a pull one. People with limited technical skills might find it worth paying for those blogs, if they get them automatically every morning. That's not my case, but we're not really "average users" around here.
Well, my development work is motivated primarily by what I need, hence the support for SONY. Of course libprs500 is completely modular in design, so adding other output formats to the content extractor in the future only requires writing an html->whatever format plugin. At the moment, I don't need any other output format, so...

But if SONY ever supports epub I'll probably write html2epub.

I get the advantages of a push system, but the thing I dislike about Amazon's current implementation is that there is no flexibility. They don't seem to want to cater to the needs of power users at all. For instance, if they started a web service where users with a little skill could easily create feeds (like I do with libprs500 or you do with feedbooks), and then publish them to the wider community, that would mean access to a lot of new content. Note that I'm not saying SONY is any better, just that thanks to their first mover advantage, the tools exists to let people make full use of the potential of an ebook reading device.
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#18  kovidgoyal 01-25-2008, 02:46 PM
Quote rationalbiker
I don't know for sure, but I think I'm in the minority of people thinking that Amazon has been a very successful company so far and they didn't get that way because they were lucky. They are smart and they make good business decisions, generally speaking. While the Kindle may be a risk, it is probably a reasonably well calculated risk. It is in the nature of good businesses and good businessmen to take such risks from time to time in order for their business to grow. Assuming a degree of success, what they learn from their initial implementation of the Kindle can serve to improve their next iteration (should they decide to continue the line).
So you're saying that you like the Kindle because you like Amazon. On that note, you should be aware that Amazon is a bit of a pipsqueak compared to SONY.
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#19  rationalbiker 01-25-2008, 03:55 PM
Quote kovidgoyal
So you're saying that you like the Kindle because you like Amazon. On that note, you should be aware that Amazon is a bit of a pipsqueak compared to SONY.
Actually that is not at all what I said at all. Perhaps you missed it, but here is what I said in the post you quoted;

Quote
In other words, the Kindle is a superior device for me because it offers the features that best suit my needs.
I do like Amazon. I also like Sony. Most of my AV gear is Sony. That Sony is a larger company than Amazon is tertiary in the evaluation of what each product offers me (with the caveat the each company needs to be large enough to support it's products and services).

But there is something you need to be aware of when noting the relative size of each of these companies; Sony had around 40+ years to grow before Amazon even existed. If you want to make some kind of point about the size of these companies, perhaps it would be more relevant (though probably not) if you knew their proportionate growth rate given the respective amounts of time they have had to be in business. For instance, did Sony enjoy the same relative rate of growth in it's first 10 or 12 years that Amazon has experienced?

If there is a relevance to the company sizes that you intended that I have overlooked, please elucidate.

After all, one would think that if size had anything to do with it, Sony would have had a better offering. LOL (just kidding)
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#20  Gideon 01-25-2008, 04:00 PM
Yeah, but Sony also doesn't have the most sterling reputation in taking care of their products over time. I love my PS3, I love my PSP, I love my stereo.... but even the PSP is a 1000x better hacked than as the product itself. And the PS3, with other people providing extending software, is better than what it came out of the box like (media, etc.)

Which isn't to say the 505 isn't awesome, it is... but it's awesome because of the community. If it wasn't for this community, it would be a nice, but limited e-reader with an ok selection of books and a beautiful display.

And it's not like the Amazon is all that constraining.... I've converted everything I put into lrf into .prc format without any significant amount of work (and I scanned in my own books here, so I was working from the very bare bones of it).

I have faith that lots of cool tools that make some of the more painful bits less painful will arise, I have faith we'll see a solid community appear around the Kindle doing amazing things with it as well.

But, again... I don't think it's about being superior. It's about innovative and I think the Kindle did that. My mom actually knows what one is - that, in itself, is quite the achievement on Amazon's part.
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