Amazon took another step toward pulling its hardware and digital content into an increasingly tight package on Wednesday when it announced the launch of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, Digital Trends reports. As its name suggests, the new service, which allows users to borrow one digital book per month, is open to anyone with a Kindle device, such as its popular Kindle e-reader, or its soon-to-be-released Kindle Fire tablet. Users must also be a member of the Amazon Prime service, which costs $79 a year and offers access to almost 13,000 movies and TV shows, together with free two-day shipping for goods purchased from its online store……Read More
Since Amazon gave Kindle users the ability to loan their eBooks in December, we’ve seen a number of startups launch in the eBook lending space, creating networks to help readers find someone who is willing to let them borrow an eBook title, says ReadWriteWeb. There haven’t been any moves to crack down on these exchanges (other than the requirement that the Kindle Lending Club rebrand). But now it appears that Amazon has shut down one such site, Lendle. The company’s website went down briefly today, and Lendle tweeted that Amazon has revoked its access to the API……Read More
Up until now, people who have bought e-readers have had to make a compromise: either read in color on a highly reflective screen, or read in shades of gray on a display that’s easy to make out even outdoors. E Ink Corp., the company that makes the black-and-white display for Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle, said it will begin selling screens that also show colors, reports the Associated Press. The new technology, called E Ink Triton, displays 16 shades of gray, along with thousands of colors. As with other E Ink displays, people should be able to read it anywhere without having to squint. Amazon did not immediately respond to inquiries Tuesday on whether that means a color Kindle is coming. Amazon has said that although it hasn’t ruled out color E Ink displays, the technology isn’t yet ready for prime time……Read More
Readers of eBooks might not be able to turn paper pages, lend their copies to friends, or file them away on living room bookshelves. But until now, they did have the comfort of knowing that they paid less for their eBooks than for hardcovers, reports the New York Times. Last week, on Amazon.com, the price for the eBook version of “Fall of Giants” by Ken Follett—published by Dutton, an imprint of Penguin Group USA—was $19.99; the hardcover edition was $19.39. For “Don’t Blink,” by James Patterson and Howard Roughan, publisher Little, Brown & Co. charged $14.99 for the eBook, while Amazon priced the hardcover at $14. Customers, unaccustomed to seeing a digital edition more expensive than the hardcover, howled at the price discrepancy and promptly voiced their outrage with negative comments and one-star reviews on Amazon. Several major publishers said those two books were the first they knew of that cost more as eBooks than in hardcover on Amazon. The skirmish over prices is possible because of deals that publishers negotiated with Amazon this year that allowed the publishers to set their own prices on eBooks, while Amazon continues to choose the discount from the list price on hardcovers. That upended a previous understanding by Kindle customers, who were used to paying only $9.99 for an eBook……Read More
The Amazon.com Kindle eReader and bookstore have reached a “tipping point,” the company said July 19, with Kindle titles outselling hardcover books on the massive online marketplace for the first time, CNET reports. “We’ve reached a tipping point with the new price of Kindle–the growth rate of Kindle device unit sales has tripled since we lowered the price from $259 to $189,” Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said in an announcement release, referring to last month’s price drop for the device. “In addition, even while our hardcover sales continue to grow, the Kindle format has now overtaken the hardcover format. Amazon.com customers now purchase more Kindle books than hardcover books–astonishing, when you consider that we’ve been selling hardcover books for 15 years and Kindle books for 33 months.” And Kindle titles continue to outpace hardcovers, statistics from Amazon showed. In the past three months, 143 Kindle books were sold for every 100 hardcovers, but when that time frame is narrowed to a month, it’s 180 Kindle books for every 100 hardcovers. Total e-book sales tripled from the first half of 2009 to the first half of 2010……Read More
Educators say there’s a simple reason they believe the Apple iPad pilot programs coming to colleges and universities this fall will run smoother than previous trials with popular eReaders: the apps.
Sprawling research university campuses and rural community colleges alike will test the iPad in small groups when students return to school in August and September, evaluating how learning can be improved using a device that has proven popular among 20-somethings who were avid about Apple products even before the iPad was released in April.
University IT departments launched pilot programs for eReaders like the Amazon Kindle and Kindle DX in 2008 and 2009, but student and faculty surveys showed that traditional textbooks were preferred over the eReader devices.…Read More
Amazon.com is launching an updated version of its high-end Kindle electronic reader and cutting the price in a move to address the threat from Apple’s iPad tablet computer, Reuters reports. Amazon’s new Kindle DX, which sports a higher-quality 9.7-inch screen, will sell for $379, down from $489, and will have free 3G wireless connection with no monthly bills or annual contracts, the company said. It was the second price cut for Amazon in as many weeks. Responding to the threat from the iPad, Amazon cut the price of its Kindle with a 6-inch screen to $189, hours after book-selling rival Barnes & Noble lowered the price on its Nook to $199. Both had cost $259. At stake is market share for eBooks, the fastest-growing segment in a moribund book-selling industry. In addition to the iPad, the Nook and Kindle also compete with Sony’s Reader device. Industry experts and rivals say the field will get even busier, with more eReaders expected this year. Apple’s iPad, launched in April at a starting price of $499, can function as an eReader device, but unlike competing models, it has a color screen and can be used as a full computer. It sold more than 2 million units in its first 60 days, and its own e-bookstore has quickly won market share, putting pressure on rival readers……Read More
Technology is changing the face of education. Typing on a keyboard can make learning proper handwriting unimportant. Using a calculator can make simple math functions technology-assisted processes. And having a computer read aloud might someday allow non-readers to access the printed word.
I am not convinced that it is all bad. I do see eReaders as a possible instructional technology, not assistive technology. The term is no longer about a technology that takes the place of a particular academic skill, but instead makes independent learning easier.
For example, Amazon’s Kindle lets a person read a digital text, highlight difficult vocabulary, and look up the words on the same screen. It is like having a teacher right there to ask, “What does quixotic mean?”–but the student can use this feature on their own time.…Read More
Don’t let the iPhones and BlackBerries fool you: Research and a recent pilot program that put eReaders in college students’ hands suggest that most students aren’t ready to read their textbooks electronically, despite the proliferation of internet-ready mobile devices on campuses nationwide.
In fact, 74 percent of students surveyed by the National Association of College Stores (NACS), a nonprofit trade organization representing 3,000 campus retailers, preferred printed textbooks for their college classes.
The study, released May 25, also found that more than half of college students surveyed on 19 campuses said they “were unsure about purchasing digital textbooks or would not consider buying them even if they were available.”…Read More
A color version of Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle eReader may come eventually, but it won’t be soon. Speaking Tuesday at the online retailer’s annual shareholder meeting in Seattle, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said that adding color to the Kindle’s “electronic ink” display is a difficult technical challenge and that a color screen is “still a long way out,” the Associated Press reports. Bezos said he’s seen things “in the laboratory” that are “still not ready for prime-time production.” Tablet computers such as Apple Inc.’s iPad and some eReaders sport LCD displays, which can show color. But those are harder to see in sunlight and consume much more power than e-ink displays. As usual, Bezos did not detail how many Kindles Amazon has sold since the product launched in 2007, except to say customers have bought “millions” of them. Also Tuesday, Bezos said that Amazon web Services, which sells web hosting and data-storage services to other companies, has the potential to be as large as Amazon’s retail business eventually. He called the overall market for such services a “very, very large area” that is generally not being done efficiently.…Read More