Thursday, September 29, 2011

Kindle Fire kindles fears

On Amazon’s Kindle Fire:

Amazon will capture and control every Web transaction performed by Fire users. Every page they see, every link they follow, every click they make, every ad they see is going to be intermediated by one of the largest server farms on the planet. People who cringe at the data-mining implications of the Facebook Timeline ought to be just floored by the magnitude of Amazon’s opportunity here. Amazon now has what every storefront lusts for: the knowledge of what other stores your customers are shopping in and what prices they’re being offered there. . . .

This is the first shot in the new war for replacing the Internet with a privatized merchant data-aggregation network.

Chris Espinosa on the Kindle Fire (cdespinosa’s posterous, via Daring Fireball)
I keep thinking about whether it’s wise to buy books from a corporation whose CEO has this to say about books:
“I kind of am grumpy when I am forced to read a physical book. Because it’s not as convenient. Turning the pages . . . I didn’t know this either, until I started using the Kindles a couple months ago, I mean a couple years ago, I didn’t understand all of the failings of a physical book, because I’m inured to them. But you can’t turn the page with one hand. The book is always flopping itself shut at the wrong moment. They’re heavy. You can only take one or two of them with you at a time. It’s had a great 500-year run. [Audience laughter.] It’s an unbelievably successful technology. But it’s time to change.”

For Jeff Bezos, the “great run” for books is over. Really? (Los Angeles Times)
Update, October 1, 2011: Amazon’s response to the question of whether it will track browsing and alter its offerings accordingly is “no.” An Amazon spokesperson says that “URLs are used to troubleshoot and diagnose Amazon Silk technical issues.” Read more:

(Amazon) Silk or a spider web? (GigaOM, via Daring Fireball).

comments: 3

Daughter Number Three said...

Today, my sister posted a link on Facebook that said FB compiles up to 800 pages of data in its users. She warned her friends to not be surprised if she deletes her account.

I have to post a link to this bit about the Kindle Fire and Jeff Bezos. She'll burst a blood vessel.

Elaine said...

You know, I'm reading a 900 page p'back (Neal Stephenson) and Bezos is right--it IS heavy, and it DOES flop closed....but at least it doesn't need batteries (and it didn't cost $200 dollars or more.)

Richard said...

"You can only take one or two of them with you at a time."

What is wrong with this?

Bezos conflates quantity of opportunities with quality of engagement. I'd much rather inhabit one, maybe two, books at a time than drive by thousands.