Category: Kindle


You’re a media producer, music say, and you don’t want people to pirate your stuff, you want them to pay for it. You’re an author, you want people to buy your book so you can make money from the ‘fruits of your labour’. Fair enough, I get it, I understand and I agree with you. I also want to be paid for my work.

However, if you are the RIAA, MPAA or Macmillan books, for example, it’s time that you wake up and face reality. The internet is here, it’s not going away and there is nothing you can do about it.

This post by Naveet Alang : http://www.techi.com/2010/04/the-riaa-and-mpaa-have-failed-to-understand-a-cultural-shift/ lays it out nicely.

What I have to add to that, is this: If you want me to buy your stuff, you have got to make sure that:

  1. It’s easier and more convenient to get it from you than to pirate or download it.
  2. Paying your price must feel like a better deal than the effort I need to go through to pirate it. Most people (including me) don’t have the inclination to spend time searching for a pirate version of your stuff in the first place.

Books are a good example; Apple and authors, pay attention. I have a Kindle and I buy 3 or 4 books a month. I buy them because Amazon has made it REALLY simple for me to get the books and they have made them a REALLY good price. At $5 to $9 for a book it’s not worth the effort of pirating those books and I prefer not to pirate things in the first place.

Apple and some publishers on the other hand, feel that this is too cheap for a digital book with absolutely no distribution overhead. Let me put it to you simply, I will not pay $15 or $20 for that book, I will pirate it. Accept that fact now and move on, it is not going to change anytime soon. You cannot control the internet so why spend the time and money to try to get control over something you can not and fight what is obviously right?

Another thing, authors: if your book is not available digitally, easily, I will not buy it. There may be few like me right now, but soon we will be many. If I cannot find your book on my Kindle, I am not going to buy it. If I find your book on my Kindle and it is a ridiculous price, I will not buy it but I will read it anyway, it’s really your choice how I go about it.

As far as I can tell, Amazon has done their part of the deal, they have made it very, very easy for me to buy your stuff so now all you need to do is make it the right price.

If you want people to pay for your stuff, make it the most convenient way for them to get your stuff, people pay for convenience, all, the, time.

If a llama is agitated, it will lay its ears back.

You know I am an Amazon fan boy, right? You should, I wrote a million posts on it and you have to agree, I do have reason to be an Amazon fanboy. Amazon is made of win and so is the Kindle.

But now, now they have taken my ‘fanboy’ affection to a whole new level, a semi religious experience even. They are releasing a software development kit for the Kindle and are planning to roll out an ‘App’ store by the end of the year. It’s almost like an omniscient deity was listening to my wishes… almost.

Just the other day, whilst waiting and reading my Kindle (that I love and adore like a child) I thought, damn, it would be really cool if I could download some apps for it. Just a nice little note application. Or, and here is the thing, if I could get to my GMail from my Kindle, my life would, pretty much, be complete.

Sadly, I live in a country where the telecoms industry is run by a capitalist Gestapo that firmly believe in raping their subscribers in every possible way for every cent they have. So in this particular hell hole, Kindle does not have open internet access, making the GMail thing somewhat complicated.

Anyway, the reason I had my semi religious experience and am now giggling like a school girl is because I will be getting apps for my Kindle this year, and, even better, I will be able to write my own applications. I cannot, fucking, wait. So I’ve submitted my email address to the limited beta about a million times and if anybody from Amazon happen to read this, I may actually be willing to give you money to be part of said beta for the KDK.

Quick Kindle specs: 532Mhz CPU, 2Gb storage (mine anyway), 600 x 800 6″ grey scale screen (16 shades of grey), USB port, 3G/EDGE/GPRS connectivity, runs Linux-2.6.10.

The Kindle screen refresh rate doesn’t lend it’s self very well to action games or video so I expect the applications will probably be text oriented and the games will probably be puzzle type games. This is all good in my boo… Kindle.

If you want more, check out these links:

http://bit.ly/5f5zNU and http://bit.ly/7EXOF0 and http://bit.ly/8iZvHI

Overall, the fiber produced by a llama is very soft and is naturally lanolin free. Llamas are intelligent and can learn simple tasks after a few repetitions.

So I bought a bunch of T-Shirts from ThinkGeek, smothered in awesome goodness. They weren’t cheap but it didn’t break the bank either. A T-Shirt is a T-Shirt (unless you’re one of those Ed Hardy wearing people, not awesome). After you add delivery to the order, them shirts start getting expensive but, you think to yourself, it’s ok, what’s a couple extra bucks for the geekly goodness? Right? Right.

Then, DHL phone you.

Did you know, for example, that one has to pay 45% import duty on a shirt. I, shit, you, not. I’m furious. Those filthy, back stabbing, thieving, cold hearted, communist bastards at customs are charging me 45% import duty on my order. To put it into perspective, including shipping, my total order for 7 T-Shirts came to R1505. I now need to cough up an EXTRA R827 for import duties and VAT because it’s a bunch of T-Shirts. For clothing, apparently, the government gang rapes one to, well, I’m not sure why. Possibly because they feel one needs to be gang raped as part of being a South African citizen to properly appreciate why one should buy local goods.

For the perspective part: I bought a Kindle and including shipping, VAT and estimated import duties, it came to R2700. Amazon then refunded me R500 from that which means the Kindle ended up costing only R2200 which is cheaper than the T-Shirts.

What kind of fuckery is this?

The gestation period of a llama is 11 1/2 months (350 days).

I am an Amazon fanboy

I think this is the final instalment in my story “The Amazon Saga”. Ok, perhaps 10 paragraphs don’t a saga make and I guess the story line, in the end, isn’t all that interesting, since it’s basically all good. What makes the story though, in my humble (but learned!) opinion, is how ridiculously good Amazon is.

To recap: My Kindle kicked the metaphorical bucket on the 25th. I phone Amazon on the 28th to tell them. They shipped a replacement on the, wait for it, 28th.

I received the replacement today, the 31st. Not only did Amazon not give me any shit when I told them my Kindle was busted, they shipped me a brand new one, to the other side of the planet (literally) in less than three days, in between christmas and new years, for free and are paying for me to send back the old one. I, shit, you, not.

To say that the Kindle is a great product is an understatement. To say that the whole Kindle eBook distribution system is great is an understatement and to say that Amazon customer service is excellent, is an understatement.

I would challenge anybody to show me service like that anywhere else, but especially in this country and especially this time of year.

In the emails from Amazon, their tagline is: “We’re Building Earth’s Most Customer-Centric Company”. They are not, in fact, kidding.

As I said before, buy lots of Amazon stuff, I do. I am officially an Amazon fanboy.

W0rd up?

Check it out, a post for the sake of posting (I hear the gasps, the exclamations of “No!”).

Amazon, as it turns out, have possibly the best customer service I have ever experienced. I phoned them up, told them that my Kindle had died. The “customer service associate”, while not the friendliest lady I’ve ever spoken with, was very professional. Long story short, Amazon are sending me a new Kindle, it has already shipped. I shit you not.

The whole story took about 10 minutes, I got the confirmation emails within the next five minutes and not a day later I got the shipping email. They also sent me detailed instructions on how to send back the dead kindle. And they will pay for it. I shit, you, not.

At the risk of celebrating too early and praising Amazon for something they haven’t completed yet, I award them a Purple Llama. It’s like a Michelin Star only for General Awesomeness. Completely biased and very lax inspection standards. I also award RedBull a couple of Purple Llama’s.

Buy stuff from Amazon and also drink RedBull.

Oh, the humanity!

I have, sadly, been forced to read an actual book. I know, I know, I can hear you thinking: “Sweet merciful crap, how could things have gone so very wrong”.

Well, it’s true.

My beautiful, much loved Kindle, has sadly passed on. I wish I could say more about the place that Kindle has gone but I can’t. It is dead and no amount of resetting, charging and wailing has revived it. And the place it has gone cannot possibly be better than under my nose where it used to live.

Ok, fair enough, I have not actually, physically spoken to Amazon about the sad sad situation but I seriously doubt there is anything even their best tech support people can do.

The poor bastard Kindle 2 didn’t even make it into it’s third month. It had a lovely leather cover, it was treated like the beautiful holy object that it was. Never ’twas it dropped, bumped, scratched or a dirty finger place upon it. And now it is dead. I should be furious. I am crushed. In mourning even.

No, I have no idea why. The wireless hadn’t connected in almost two weeks. It didn’t bug me much, I had plenty to read. Then, not a day after Isaac Newton’s 366th birthday, I try to switch it on and holy haleakala (HT Phil Plait – My second favourite guy I’ve never met, spoken with or communicated with at all(TM)), the screen is all messed up. Lines and shit all over and a bit of the screen saver picture stuck in the corner. Many, many hard resets later, you can see a vague flickering on the screen when turning it on but that’s it.

I have read 50 blogs and tried, basically, every single thing with no effect.

A long, descriptive email to Amazon support got me an email back saying that they were sorry that my Kindle died prematurely but that I should phone them so they could talk me through some more things to try. I will phone but I am, frankly, a little skeptical if they will replace it when that procedure turns out to be for naught. Perhaps Amazon surprise me and restore my faith in humanity. Ok, possibly Amazon will surprise me.

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