Amazon Kindle Reader for the iPhone

I wish I was posting this as a follow up to an announcement, but actually it’s a suggestion to Amazon on how they can make more money, sell more Kindle books, and make more people happy.

Amazon KindleFor those of you who don’t already know, the Amazon Kindle is an ebook reader that uses E-Ink technology to display content on a screen. What’s cook about e-ink is that once it has rendered the screen’s contents, it takes no power to keep the content on the screen. The result is that battery life of the kindle is measured in “page turns” instead of hours. The Kindle is also cool because it has WhisperNet, provided by Sprint, which lets you have books you purchase from Amazon’s kindle store be sent straight to the Kindle, without the need to plug the kindle into your computer. The Kindle also gets a special email address where you can email documents to this address and have them appear on your Kindle for a nominal fee for reading. All in all, it’s a fantastic product, it only has one little problem, the price. The Kindle is $349 (previously $399), available only from Amazon, which is still a bit steep for an up-front cost before you start buying books from the Kindle store to put on it.

Amazon, I know you want to sell Kindles, but your bread and butter will always be the books themselves. My suggestion is that you write an iPhone app that can read the Kindle book format and will validate like a Kindle to your own DRM. You could sell this app in Apple’s app store to make even more money, I’m thinking something along the lines of $20 to $40. This way people with an iPod Touch or iPhone (which is quite a lot of people, including yours truely) can start buying Kindle books without a Kindle, and get the enjoyment of having instant access to literature the way only the elite Kindle owners do. The iPhone already has access to the internet, so it could support all of the functionality of Whispernet without any difficulty from you the developer. The iPod Touch has WiFi, so even it can download books directly when it’s on a hotspot.

Amazon can even take this one step further. Amazon already partners with Apple’s iTunes Music Store as a place to purchase content from it’s own Audible.com, once someone has purchased your iPhone app, partner with iTunes again and have people able to shop for books right through the iTunes music store, making it even easier for iPhone owners to purchase your Kindle books.

What I think Amazon may find surprising if they did this, is that it probably would bolster sails of the Kindle devices itself, not only the Kindle books.

See I’m a bit leery of buying a Kindle, and buying Kindle books, knowing that those books are locked to the Kindle. If I could start buying those books now, and reading them on another device, I’d probably later buy a Kindle knowing it’s a better platform for reading them on.

It’s also not exactly outside of Amazon’s business model to offer their digital products to other platforms either. In March, 2007, I blogged about Amazon and TiVo teaming up to make Amazon Unbox Videos (now known as Amazon Video on Demand) available on TiVo boxes. I immediately started buying Unbox videos when I never had before. Incidentally, I’d love it if Amazon Video-on-demand Videos were playable on the iPhone as well, and I’d probably buy a lot more videos from Amazon if they did, but I think that might be a bit of wishful thinking.

So come on Amazon, release an iPhone app that can read Kindle documents and you’ll have even more of my money then you do now, and I’d bet a whole lot of other people’s money as well.

All Primed Up – Amazon is Brilliant

I’ve been a member of Amazon Prime for over about 2 years now, and I was just thinking today what brilliant marketing it is. By paying a nominal yearly fee, I get free two day shipping, or really cheap next day shipping on everything I buy from them, but does it save me any money? See before I was an Amazon Prime member, I used to make sure that my Amazon orders reached the $25 minimum to get free “Super Saver Shipping” so I didn’t pay for shipping in the first place.

However now that I’m an Amazon Prime member, I find myself buying things on Amazon I would normally have gone to a store and spending not only my time, which is getting less and less, but in many cases more money. Now when I need to buy something, I find myself saying “Let me check to see if Amazon has it”, and if it does for the same or less price, I buy it there. What’s amazing is, a lot of the time, Amazon has it cheaper.

I’ve got to hand it to Amazon, by coming up with a system that gives people faster shipping, they’ve got me looking to them first, instead of last for the things I need.

If you haven’t tried out Amazon Prime, Check out their free trial and see how much happier it makes you about getting the things you want

Amazon Still down, money down too

Updated Amazon Error Message

I previously reported that Amazon.com was down with a non-descriptive error message. After almost 2 of downtime it seems they’ve decided to have a friendlier error message, so it seems at least they are acknowledging that something is wrong now, but it is still down. According to CNet, this outage could be costing Amazon as much as $31,000 every minute! This accounts to about $3,348,000 so far, and there’s no sign of the outage ending…

This is already hitting Amazon where it really hurts, AMZN is down over 4% today

Happy New Year 2008!

Has it been a year already? It seems like such a short time ago that I sat up at 2 a.m. in a hotel room in San Simeon, CA writing about 2006. I claimed 2006 incredible and, an “oddity” in my life as for the first time in recent years I was not alone and sad on New Years Eve.

Tonight I’m starting a little early, it’s 11:31 p.m. right now as I type these words (I imagine it will take me a bit to finish writing this post) on New Years Eve, and I’m capping yet another amazing year in the life of Nick Moline.
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The infamous Carl Sandberg, not the famous.

Coworkers have recently encouraged me to get onto facebook. As people who know me well know, I’ve never been a big fan of Social Networking sites, so I resisted facebook for a long time, just as I resisted MySpace and Linkedin. Actually I resisted facebook longer, as I just got my profile up last week. I have always thought that social networking sites were a waste of time, that anyone who wanted to get ahold of me would easily find me on my blog.
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Google Developer Day 2007

The Main Stage

This thursday I went over to my second Tech Conference since moving to the San Francisco Bay area, the first being MacWorld back in January, this time, I went to the San Jose convention Center for the 2nd annual Google Developer Day. I must say I hope that Google’s CEO tells the Apple Board of Directors a thing or two about how to hold a Tech Conference.

Google Developer Day 2007 was fantastic fun, and Google made a lot of fantastic announcements just for developers, several of which I’m going to start implementing in my work at Justia.
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521,600 minutes, how do you measure a year

My how time flies. I went to my blog today and noticed, low and behold, that I hadn’t updated it in over a year (15 months to be more exact) and a lot certainly has happened in that year. With this new post I have also replaced my old blogging software (I was never quite happy with Blog:CMS) with WordPress, which I was reluctant to try, but now I find it to be such a good blogging software that I have no idea what I had against it for so long.

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And two of those mudflaps…

As most of you who know me well know, I’ve had a great deal of difficulty lately with the fact that some checks from a long time closed checking account have gotten into the hands of some vagrants who have decided to go on a several month shopping spree in my name. Last thursday I received a letter from the Tarrant County DA(District Attorney) office stating that if I didn’t pay off the balance of 6 of those checks within 10 days a warrant would be put out for my arrest.

What follows is the events of Thursday through today in regards to what has happened thusfar in this case.

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On Ben’s view on how to fix the Legislature

2011 Editorial note: over the years Ben eventually Abandoned his blog and the original post is gone, you can see a copy of Ben’s original article on the Wayback Machine on the Internet Archive here.

Ben posted on his blog today about a plan on how to “fix” the United States Legislative Branch by getting rid of the Senate. In his view, the Senate makes representation unfair because since each state gets two senators, in some states, like Alaska, the senator represents a lot fewer people than a senator from other states, like California. I must say I disagree with his assessment on the health of our checks and balances system, and here’s why.

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