I've been seeing more and more Kindles on the trains lately, and maybe it's just because I'm about to move a ton of books yet again -- that is, rent a truck, buy some gas and haul them all of a mile south to the new place -- but it seems like a better and better idea.
Then, of course, I see HuffPost Media linking to the New York Times' piece about Amazon wanting to go big(ger):
But it is Amazon, maker of the Kindle, that appears to be first in line to try throwing an electronic life preserver to old-media companies. As early as this week, according to people briefed on the online retailer's plans, Amazon will introduce a larger version of its Kindle wireless device tailored for displaying newspapers, magazines and perhaps textbooks.
The reality: If Amazon is going to save the newspaper and magazine industry it will just be a side effect on the way to tackling a much bigger market: The college textbook industry, which carries some meaty margins.
THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
It's times like this that I like to go back to old posts by environmental blogs -- stuff from when they were originally excited about Kindle and other e-readers:
Digital books have their advantages and their disadvantages. The good news is that they completely eliminate the need for shipping, they don't take up warehouse space and they are almost entirely resource free. No trees die, no fossil fuels or chemicals are used in their creation. They're infinitely reproducible for free. Of course, the intellectual property rights of the authors must be maintained, and I'm sure Amazon has a plan for digital rights management that will be fairly annoying. Also, ebooks are not flippable, you can't just flip through pages. You can, however, search the entire text of a book instantly. Try that with a paperback.
Now, multiply that by HUGE textbooks, most of which are replaced yearly, and sprinkle in some newspapers and magazines. The paper and fossil fuel savings could be huge (not to mention the profits).
BIG-SCREEN KINDLE ANNOUNCEMENT
In total, six universities are involved in the project, according to people briefed on the matter. They are Case Western, Pace University, Princeton University, Reed College, Darden School at the University of Virginia, and Arizona State University.
Open up your PET and hemp bookbags, kiddies, and let's see if tomorrow's announcement brings any exciting green news for college students. But even if Amazon.com doesn't say what everyone seems to think they will, the big-screen Kindle would be only one of several large e-book readers that are expected to launch soon, according to PaidContent:
By officially acknowledging plans for its big screen Kindle this week, Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) will likely steal attention from its rivals' fledgling efforts. Hearst, Plastic Logic, and News Corp (NYSE: NWS) are also developing large screen e-readers--all going after the market for newspaper and magazine publishers looking for new ways to distribute their content. Only Plastic Logic, though, has demonstrated a prototype of its device, which is expected to be on the market in early 2010.
UPDATE: OFFICIAL KINDLE DX PHOTOS
Straight from Amazon, presenting the big-screen Kindle:
EARLIER: PC World claimed to have leaked Kindle DX photos.
Amazon's new e-book reader will have a 9.7-inch display and sports new features such as a built-in PDF reader.
Dubbed as the DX, the Kindle 2 successor will also have the ability to make notes and highlights on your documents while the 9.7-inch screen (3.7-inch larger than on the Kindle 2) will be optimal for viewing newspapers, magazines and textbooks in a format similar to their paper predecessor.