06 May 2009

Amazon to release large screen Kindle

This damn thing is almost $500, which is way, way too much, but I think something that descends from it (possibly a collateral relative) will indeed mostly replace paper for periodicals in the not too distant future. (Not entirely for books, because paper books have advantages no electronic display can match, at least not yet).

For one thing, the experiment newspapers and magazines have tried of putting their content on the web for free and hoping to get enough advertising to support themselves has totally failed. Newspapers and magazines in America are floundering, looking for a new way to pay for the content they provide. Print advertising and subscriptions just aren't keeping up. This could be it, especially if it eventually becomes full color with at least some video capability. The wireless download is a big plus. But they gotta make this thing cheap enough that people will just buy it without giving it a lot of thought, and for most people $500 isn't even close to that. Eventually, there will be no paper versions of transient media at all, so all that cost of production will be gone (along with it the jobs, but that's the way it is). But you still have to pay people to go where stuff is happening and find out what's going on, and report it. And for books, obviously, authors gotta eat. So content will not be free forever.

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