Posts Tagged ‘kindle’

Kindle books’ latest antifeature: Lendle

February 16, 2011

A group of developers want us to believe they’ve made a wonderful new technology that “allows” digital books to be “lent”. With digitized works, the key advantage is the ability to easily make and distribute many copies at essentially no extra cost. A new antifeature (dubbed “Lendle“), aims to make books behave like physical artifacts (it is essentially an antifeature built on top of the Kindle books’ DRM antifeature). That is, while your book is being “lent” you no longer have access to your copy. Users should reject regressive technology that restricts the ability to share by copying.

For those thinking of chiming in with a, “but this will help people lend books and stop piracy” argument, here’s another perspective.


Amazon plays Ministry of Truth

July 18, 2009

I wonder if Doug bought either of these books. Something tells me it’ll take a memory hole in his Kindle (at least) before he considers turning his back on DRM-infested e-books. At least the irony in 1984 “magically” disappearing provides a good laugh given the disturbing news.

say no to culture widgets

March 22, 2009

Doug Johnson asks Kindle questions. While I think it’s responsible (not paranoid) to voice concern over censorship, a more pointed reason why I’m so fanatically anti-DRM is that its objective is to keep individuals from sharing and creating society’s culture and knowledge. As Chomsky notes (6:52):

The ideal is to have individuals who are totally disassociated from one another – whose conception of themselves – the sense of value is just “how many created wants can I satisfy?”

In its current form, the Kindle is nothing but an attempt to package culture, turn it into “content”, and satisfy the wants of those who may otherwise be tempted to behave in a socially cooperative way. Say no to culture widgets!

e-textbooks, DRM, and vendor lock-in for schools

October 24, 2008

Discussion over e-textbooks and hardware/software to read them has started at our school. Links to information regarding Amazon’s Kindle and CafeScribe were suggested to begin some research. Below is my response. I would appreciate hearing thoughts from other educators:

I want book readers too. Though, we need to be wary of jumping into hardware and software that risks vendor lock-in and implements DRM. Depending on its implementation, DRM is often going to be inappropriate for schools. For instance, if the file and application prevent students from sharing and working with the data in a flexible way (i.e. copy/pasting to and from other devices/apps if they so choose), it hinders learning opportunities. Avoiding vendor lock-in and using open formats is desirable for schools.

For more info:


Vendor Lock-in

Open Formats

Right now, Amazon’s Kindle supports most of its files using a DRM-encumbered, proprietary file format (AZW) and forbids users from sharing or putting books on other devices according to its terms of service. CafeScribe looks interesting but locks users into either Windows or Mac at this time and is proprietary. They might offer a platform independent implementation in the future, but in order to use now means vendor lock-in at both the application and operating system level.

“awesome aspects”?

June 20, 2008

Lee Lefever:

One of the awesome aspects of getting started is that the Kindle already knows who you are.  Since you purchase it from, it arrives connected to your Amazon account and immediately connects to (Sprint’s EVDO) cell-phone network called Whispernet, which quickly delivers books to the Kindle after purchase. This connection is free – paid-for by Amazon.

By default, I don’t want my e-book reader to know who I am through connection to Amazon (or any similar account) unless I say so. I want an e-book reader that connects to the ISP of my choice and allows me to read and share e-books no matter where I download/buy them from. As well, I don’t want an e-book that actively works against users by supporting DRM schemes.