GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

May 15, 2009 -

Here's some great news for GamePolitics readers who are also Kindle owners:

GP is now available from Amazon's Kindle Store. Like other Kindle-capable blogs, there is a small subscription fee, $1.99 per month in GP's case (none of which comes to me, BTW).

As a Kindle fan I've been eager to see GamePolitics made available to the Kindle universe and Brett Schenker of the ECA made it happen. Well done, Brett!

FULL DISCLOSURE DEPT: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics.

UPDATE: Our ECA sister-site GameCulture now has a Kindle version as well.

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Comments

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

The good:

Lightweight.  Not bulky like a laptop.  Netbooks might be a challenge to it, but still, it's small in comparison.

Not just the books or newpapers or blogs you download, but the new DX has a complete "Native PDF reader" so you can load up your own documents (and I think not just PDF but other formats too, might be wrong) to read over.  I don't think you can alter the document, but you can at least take personal research on the go.

Text to Speech ( but see "the ugly" ).  Nice for those who want, or more importantly NEED text to speech capabilities.

Looooong battery life.  In a mode that doesn't use lots of battery, such as backlighting, it supposedly can run for days on a single charge.  (But see "the bad".)

While some material is charged for, there are some items that are free.  Also, there are some materials that are Kindle only.  I think, for example, even Stephen King wrote a story that is available only on the Kindle.

Newbie authors have a chance now to try and sell their stuff because Amazon lets you publish your own material to Kindle.

According to the description, and techies will most likely correct me, but from what I read, you can download material from ANYWHERE, even with no wi-fi hotspot?  I don't understand the tech, but it sounds like you can be riding on a bus anywhere and just download. 

The Bad

Newbie authors are a dime a dozen now, most likely.  Be picky about what you choose.

Expensive as all get out.  No, really.  $300-$500 is a LOT of money right now.  Especially for something that has gone through what technically is 3 versions now (kindle 1, Kindle 2, and Kindle DX).

Though the battery is rechargeable, it's EXPENSIVE to replace.  You have to send the entire Kindle in to Amazon to have the battery replaced and reports are that when the warranty is out, it's over $80 to replace. 

The ugly

Text to Speech, thanks to the guttertrash in the Author's Guild, is now a choice of the author.  The Author's Guild claimed copyright violations because the Kindle could automatically read written material, supposedly in violation of a seperate copyright agreement regarding "audiobooks".  The Author's Guild suggested that those who had visual problems or other problems that prevented them from being able to read written material should be forced to sign up to a National Registry so they could receive special permission to have text-to-speech active for all material on Kindle.  I would rather see all the authors on a registry who don't want their material read by text-to-speech so we, the consumer, know who not to purchase from.

There argument claimed that they should be allowed to sel the audio version of their books and that people can buy the audio version, as opposed to having a mechanical device read it to them for free.

The big problems with their arguments is that the audiobooks tend to be massively more expensive than the written material (especailly if the audiobook is unabridged/uncondensed), meaning that those having difficulty reading a particular piece of work are forced to pay a higher rate, rather than the same rate, that someone who CAN read the written material.  And, in a great many cases, existing professional audiobooks and even newer ones tend to be abridged/condensed, so you tend to pay more for less in audiobook form than the written form.

So, basically, their arugment is about greed and bigotry (yes, bigotry) towards those who have difficulty reading written material.  Yes, there are people who would use the text to speech even though they didn't need to.  And it's also true that the text to speech isn't superior.  Anyone hear how President Obama's name was fouled up when the Kindle tried to read his name?

Really, many people don't/wouldn't use the text to speech, but obviously it's a big deal to many, me for one, obviously.  :)    And worse, even Amazon appears to try to sweep the discussion about the issue under the rug, even in the discussion forums.

 

Again, for most people, "The good" and the "The bad" and similar other issues for both are what matter.

But, tell me GP, is text to speech available for blogs and do YOU have it enabled or disabled?  Don't worry, I won't be mad (not that it would or should matter if I was).  Just disappointed if you have it disabled.

Nightwng2000

NW2K Software

Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Nightwng2000 NW2K Software http://www.facebook.com/nightwing2000 Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as http://groups.myspace.com/pfenl

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

Sorry I took so long to reply, Nightwng; I haven't been checking back in this thread, but I tested it on mine, and yeah, text-to-speech works for GP.  It's my understanding that it's an "opt-out" thing, so most things let it work.

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

Hey AM,

We filled out the description, no idea why it's not showing up.  I'm still playing around and trying to make it happen.

Brett Schenker

Online Advocacy Manager

the ECA

www.theeca.com

Brett Schenker
Online Advocacy Director
the ECA
www.theeca.com

 

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

Brett's the man! 

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

Yeah pretty much with the exception of Kindle's being somewhat enviromentally friendly compared to real books the supposedly positives of ebooks are really debatable. 

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

"Like other Kindle-capable blogs, there is a small subscription fee, $1.99 per month in GP's case (none of which comes to me, BTW)."

Not to be offensive or anythign but i foudn that to be BS. Your one who had made the website for us gamers and should deserve some kind of reward.

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

I don't get it.  What the hell is Kindle?  I've looked it up and as far as I can tell, it's a way to pay for content you can already get for free.  What's the point?  What can you do with Kindle that you can't do with a regular internet connection?

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

Heres what is said on amazon's site:

Say Hello to The New Kindle

Slim: Just over 1/3 of an inch, as thin as most magazines

Lightweight: At 10.2 ounces, lighter than a typical paperback

Wireless: 3G wireless lets you download books right from your Kindle, anytime, anywhere; no monthly fees, service plans, or hunting for Wi-Fi hotspots

Books in Under 60 Seconds: Get books delivered in less than 60 seconds; no PC required

Improved Display: Reads like real paper; now boasts 16 shades of gray for clear text and even crisper images

Longer Battery Life: 25% longer battery life; read for days without recharging

More Storage: Take your library with you; holds over 1,500 books

Faster Page Turns: 20% faster page turns

Read-to-Me: With the new text-to-speech feature, Kindle can read every newspaper, magazine, blog, and book out loud to you, unless the book is disabled by the rights holder

Large Selection: Over 275,000 books plus U.S. and international newspapers, magazines, and blogs available

Low Book Prices: New York Times Best Sellers and New Releases $9.99, unless marked otherwise

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

Question: 

My library is over 6,000 books at last count, which was around 8 years ago when I last took the time to re-alphabetize.  How is this any better than grabbing the books I need and taking them with me?

I'm not going to lie, the kindle sounds like crap to me.

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

Apart from the obvious, "You don't have to carry 6000 books around with you?"  Like I explained in my post earlier, my bag wouldn't hold what I carry on my Kindle.  They're also searchable, which isn't a big deal for most people, I totally agree, but it's nice when I'm talking to someone and can say, "Hey, wait a sec, I read something about this the other day..."

If you're able to just grab the books you need, great.  I'm not.  I don't have the room.  And for newspapers, gah, the format has always been a nightmare.

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

I wish I had 6,000 books. =\ It probably is crap for you, but at least it automatically alphabetizes them, how long did it take you the last time?

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

So it's a separate piece of hardware designed to do stuff I can already do on any internet-ready device I already have?  I just don't see the point of it.

Maybe this "paper-like" display technology is just really a treat for the eyes or something.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

Let me know when you can get free copies of thousands of books with your Internet connection, Andrew--without breaking the law, of course.  The Kindle is a reader.  It can display whatever content is available for it.  That includes stuff you could look at free, certainly.  It also includes best seller novels, non-fiction books, and other normally printed material, and the display really is massively easier on the eyes than reading it on an iPhone or the like. 

It's pretty convenient for avid readers to be able to carry around several books, magazines, and newspapers anywhere, and buy them anywhere as well.  Finish a book on the bus, you can grab another right on the device.  Looking at my Kindle right now, it's got:

a LOT of issues of the Washington Post
a LOT of issues of Newsweek
Slashdot, updated throughout the day (I could read it at my computer, but I don't like to be at my desk during lunch)
both Mass Effect novels by Drew Karpyshyn
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
Spook Country by William Gibson
Andersen's Fairy Tales
Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
It's not News, it's Fark, by Drew Curtis
Neuromancer by William Gibson
Idoru by William Gibson
Dante's Inferno by Dante
The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama

Carrying all of those around would weigh a ton, and my bag is already full with the laptop, power brick, and anywhere from 2 to 4 volumes of manga.
 

Edit:  And now GamePolitics, of course.

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

You want thousands of free book from the internet? Here you go:

http://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Main_Page

Also, Let me ask you, how much did you pay for these books:

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
Dante's Inferno by Dante

I can get them for free since they are public domain.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

I was replying to Andrew when you posted--those three books I got for free for my Kindle.  As you said, public domain.

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

"Let me know when you can get free copies of thousands of books with your Internet connection, Andrew"

You can get thousands of free books with Kindle?  From what I've read they cost money.  So do blogs, newspapers, and magazines.  Granted, there is free stuff but a lot of this content (blogs, newspapers, magazines, and book previews) I can legally get for free anyway.

I have to say though, I'm really interested in seeing this screen.  Maybe that makes all the difference.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

My use of the word free there was in specific response to this sentence of yours: "I've looked it up and as far as I can tell, it's a way to pay for content you can already get for free."  I merely meant that you can't get what the Kindle offers for free, or rather, not all of it.

That said, yes, you can actually get free books through the Kindle, but not what you might walk into a Barnes & Noble to buy off the shelf.  In the list I provided above, The Velveteen Rabbit, The Three Musketeers, and Dante's Inferno were all free.  They're not currently on my Kindle, but I've also got Machiavelli's The Prince free, and probably some others.Basically, if it's a book that's public domain these days, and Project Gutenberg or the like would have it, it's possible someone took the time to format it and make it available for the Kindle.

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

Are those books unabridged?  Are they based off any reputable/definitive edition of the text or is it whomever decides to put in the work?
 

If you happen to know, awesome.  If not, don't worry.  

First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

Unabridged, yes.  As for the editions, it would vary by the book, really.  In the case of PAID books, there's no question: they're complete.

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

Nifty.  Well, the device certainly isn't for me but I'm glad I now know what the heck it is.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

"So it's a separate piece of hardware designed to do stuff I can already do on any internet-ready device I already have?"

If people are stupid enough to not realize apps on the Iphone are simply specialized things that the internet can already do then no trust me sadly the ebooks will catch on.  :(

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

Okay, I watched the product video and I see how some people would find it appealing.  It's not for me but hey, if someone gets a kick out of it, that's good enough for me.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

yeah, it's not for everyone. I mainly use mine as an e-book reader. Books are a lot cheaper on Kindle, but then there's nothing to display on your bookshelf, either.

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

You can always say: "Mine doesn't need 3 boxes if I moved."

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

And you go to a book signing and get your Kindle autographed? 

First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

You'd definitely run out of room pretty quickly, though I don't see myself elbowing my way through a book signing.

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

There are a few authors I would definitely get books signed by.  Hell, I have a book signed by David Sedaris.  He wrote "You are going to die."  True story.

First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

It was made to replace books.  The big deal about it is the screen, it isn't a normal LCD.  It looks a lot more like paper.  It isn't really worth getting unless you read a lot of books.

http://www.eliteownage.com/nice

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

Hm.  Should probably get some kind of description thrown up on the page for it though.  There's no actual information about what GP is, for people who find it through Amazon itself...

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

Good point!!!

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

Sweet!  I remember asking you to do this back in February of LAST year.  Glad to see it's finally happened, and I'll subscribe immediately.

As for the complaint about the cost, there's no monthly fee for the Kindle itself (in terms of airtime), and Kindle uses Sprint's cellular networks to transmit books/blogs/whatever.  Since blogs can update numerous times DAILY, something has to cover the expense of all that.  Ever priced messaging with a wireless carrier?  It's not cheap.

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

$2 a month per blog?  What a fucking ripoff.  I am so sick of these micro-transaction greedy bastards.

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

LOL, luv ya too!! 

That's the Kindle biz model. We didn't invent it.

Re: GamePolitics Now Available on Kindle

Does it come with horse armor?

I'll keep reading GP the ol' fashion way.  At least you're getting the name out there.

First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb

First secure an independent income, then practice virtue. -Greek Proverb
 
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