Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

Okay, let me first explain the joke…when my brother and I were working latenights at an Atlanta TV station on design stuff, along about three am they’d rerun episodes of The Fugitive, and over several cycles, we became very familiar with Barry Morse’s oft-spoken line of dialog, bellowed in desperation as David Janssen excaped him yet again.


And now, on to the reading device that is all the talk since its introduction yesterday. My take on it is short and sweet: I’m glad they’re experimenting, trying things out, but the DRM protection and the restrictions on use/sale/trade fly in the face of everything that Jeff Bezos has historically said about the nature of books (stuff said when he was trying to rationalize Amazon’s selling used books.) The device itself seems a bit clunky for a reading-only tablet…you’d think that it wouldn’t need full alphanumeric keyboard if all you were doing was navigating a well-designed interface.

It kinda looks like the 1960s Star Trek reading tablets (‘PADD‘s), where I’d want something more like the 1990s-era Star Trek the Next Generation reading devices. Although the 1968 reading tablets from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 would do nicely as well.

And I think once folks do the math (including paying for ‘selected’ RSS feeds), you’ll find out that the cost of the tablet’s EVDO-like cellular connection is no great bargain. Just like Apple with AT&T, doesn’t seem like Amazon has made much headway in breaking the broadband wireless providers’ stranglelock.

All that said, I think I’ll hold out (not that I’m really gasping in anticipation or anything) for a small tablet-computer, about the size of a large paperback book, that reads web pages and PDFs and Word documents and connects to wifi and…well, you know, like my phone, but with a bit larger screen.