Developer Dispatch » Interactive Newspapers? Is the Kindle finally it?

Interactive Newspapers? Is the Kindle finally it?

In the early 90s, my life used to be about “Interactive Newspapers.” I was doing research as a grad student at the UNC-Chapel Hill school of journalism about it. I actually thought daily floppy disks might be the delivery mechanism. But by the end of 1994, it was obvious that the net would be the way to do it.
However, back in those days, there was a lot of talk about a portable device for reading books and news. Who knew it would take more than 12 years for that to actually happen. But it looks like a real mass-market device is here: The Kindle from Amazon.com. Not that others haven’t tried a book reader before, and that things like PDAs and cell phones haven’t shown a lot of promise for the same thing. But this device reminds me of the devices talked about in the early 90s. And it is getting a lot of attention.
It seems to work on wireless phone networks, so you don’t need WiFi hotspots. But I don’t see any mention of how much this service costs. However, there are books, as well as newspapers and even Wikipedia available on it. So it could be a useful information device. I wonder if you can actually surf to any site? That would be interesting. The only downside seems to be the price: $400. I don’t see them selling many for that price. Anyone who has $400 for an ebook reader already has a smartphone they carry with them everywhere that can do a lot of the same things. At $99 it becomes a lot more interesting.
Love to get my hands on one of these to review it though.

Posted on November 19, 2007 at 8:43 am by Gary Rosenzweig · Permalink
In: General