This news is all over the web, but I picked it up from TechCrunch.
Every electronic device or gadget we use these days is essentially a computer. It will have a processor, memory and software to tell it what to do.
The nice thing about this is, a lot of gadgets that we buy can be updated by the manufacturer to introduce new features without you having to buy a whole new device.
The Kindle is a good case in point. Amazon's e-book reader is really creating waves at the moment. Last year they announced their ebooks were outselling hardback versions of the same titles and this year they announced a 30 day period where they sold more ebooks of top titles than paperbook and hardback versions combined!
Certainly the reviews of the Kindle 3, the latest version of the device have been relatively glowing and initial complaints about the high price of ebooks are beginning to settle, at least for the most popular mainstream titles.
One outstanding criticism which remains a dealbreaker for many, is that they like to be able to lend their books to their friends. With the ability to update the software on customers Kindles, Amazon is releasing just such a feature! Could this be the final nail in the coffin for 'dead tree' books?
Well no. You see the technology was never really the limiting factor - nor was it Amazon to be fair. The publishers are not adjusting to this idea too well and although lending will be possible, the limitations are as follows:
- You can only lend each of your books once. Then never again.
- The length of the loan is 14 days, no longer, no shorter.
- You cannot read the loaned e-book during that time (I actually think this is fair enough)
This is not lending. This is advertising a book, once. Most people won't get through a book in 14 days, but that isn't the dealbreaker. If you're not allowed to read the book when it's on loan, why on earth only allow it to be loaned once?
Whilst it's a step in the right direction and due praise to Amazon for introducing it, we can only hope that public demand will put pressure on the publishers to relax the rules a bit so we can all lend the books we have paid for to our friends we wish. For now, it's a nice headline for a badly limiting feature.
Picture Credit - Thanks to noluck