It may be months or years before the Amazon Kindle reaches Canada. I’m pretty sure we can wait.

  • Why is it white? I manage to get fingerprints on a black MacBook.
  • Why doesn’t it display PDF? Amazon’s claims that PDFs have “fixed layout format” is false. Amazon has more than enough software knowledge and computing horsepower to turn untagged PDFs, even scanned text pages, into real tagged text in reflowable columns. Add Amazon to the list of people who have not left the 20th century and believe, pace Eric Gill, that PDFs are not things but pictures of things.
  • A no-CSS Web browser? In 2007? When WebKit is open-source and Mozilla and Opera can and will license their rendering engines? (Opera is particularly voracious in this regard.)
    • I suppose this gives American Web developers a $400 toy with which to check document semantics. (They could just turn off CSS or use Lynx, but then you wouldn’t be using a gadget!)
    • And I’m sure Wikipedia looks fabulous in no-CSS view. (Check the list of long pages.)
  • It shows text files, sure, but what happens when it can’t figure out the character encoding or guesses it wrong? What’s the range of Unicode support?
  • Exactly one font, and it’s Cæcilia? (What, they asked for a licence for Thesis and Luc[as] didn’t answer the E-mails?) What if I’m low-vision and I want huge white characters on a black background?
  • “Kindle” is a great name for a gay dog and a half-arsed name for a consumer product.
    • With the suggestion of burning books, perhaps the first title one should read on a Kindle is Fahrenheit 451.
    • And anyway, Amazon was so named because it sorts high in the alphabet; “Kindle” situates itself squarely below average. It could be worse: The name could be “Zune.”

Just for the record, nobody has a licence to charge for access to any of my sites. You might be able to manage to download them onto your Kindle, but nobody has a right to ding you for them.

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2007.11.23 16:02. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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None. I quit.

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