Sharing books & Amazon’s Kindle

Dale Dougherty argues that Amazon needs to allow Kindle users to share their books with friends and family.  I disagree.  I think the model of sharing a physical book is changing to a model of recommending books and rating them. 

  • Amazon’s rating model has drastically changed the way users buy books.  I won’t buy a book without first checking the Amazon rating!
  • We are already familiar with the idea of sharing recommendations instead of the object itself.  Most of us recommend movies to our friends but don’t actually have the DVD to pass out.
  • Most of the friends and family I would share books with are not local.  I’d rather buy a cheaper book, not pay shipping and then buy them an Amazon gift certificate.  They can then either buy the books I recommend or another book that they’d rather read.
  • Most of us want instantaneous access to the book or movie we want to see.  If I could download it immediately from Amazon’s library and read it this weekend (if the price was right) or wait a week for my friend to mail it to me, more often than not I would just buy it.  This is why I end up buying new books from Amazon instead of used ones.  I subscribe to Prime shipping and I know I’ll get the book in two days instead of a week or two!

So while it would be nice to be able to share or resell Kindle books, I think as long as the price is right (to reflect the fact that you can’t resell or share them), I think the model will work.

Amazon Kindle is a success!

People predicted that the Amazon Kindle, their electronic book reader, was too expensive to be successful.  Turns out they were wrong.  Amazon is sold out until after Christmas so new Kindles are going for $1000/each on eBay!!  (The Kindle retails for about $400.)

I really wanted to play with one.  I should have bought one, played with it and then sold it on eBay.  I’d then have $600 to buy Christmas presents with!  Or more electronic toys.

Sleeping with a softball

Caleb, our 15 month old, likes to sleep with a ball.  Softball, football, whatever.  He curls up hugging it.  He must have gotten that from Frank.  I mean – I don’t even like to play catch!

Corporate personhood

I’ve often said "companies aren’t people!" when trying to explain to people why companies make some of their decisions.  Companies are made up of people, run by people and for people (or at least for people’s profit) but a company is not a person.

Well, in the eyes of the law, thanks to a lot of lobbying, companies are often treated like people.  That’s a mistake because a company is not a person and a company doesn’t behave like a human individual – so we need to treat a company differently than a person.  Here’s a good article by Thom Hartmann that explains how that happened and what it means.

More Americans Believe in the Devil than in Darwin!

More Americans believe in the devil than in Darwin!  As someone who definitely believes in Darwin and evolution and thinks the devil doesn’t exist, at least as depicted by most religions, that fact is outstanding!  Here’s the survey data:

  • 82% believe in God
  • 62% believe in hell and the devil (It wasn’t clear if this was an "and" or an "or" question.)
  • 42% believe in Darwin’s theory

I find that last fact amazing.  Should I blame it on society, our schools, churches, the way the poll was done … what?

Digital pens

Frank bought me an io2 digital pen a while back and I love it.  I take notes at home and at work and then I upload them all to my computer – you can search them then.  So I have:

  • a backup of my notes (I was always really afraid I’d lose my notebook) and
  • I have copies of old notebooks without carrying them around and
  • I can search them!

My one complaint would be that you have to use their notebooks and they don’t have any graph paper – it’s all line ruled.  On the other hand, the memory and battery life have been outstanding.  I really miss my Miquelrius leather like journals but not enough to give up the benefits of an io2!

Leapfrog – the company that makes the computer like books – also makes a digital pen for kids.  It works like the io2 but does more – it actually reads back what you write and has programs to help you with writing, foreign languages and math!