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Amazon to Close Three Distribution Centers

Apparently, today’s a good day for bad news, with Google laying off 200 employees, our own cutbacks here at The NY Times, and now, Amazon.com weighing in with some cost-cutting of its own. Over the next two months, the online retailer will close three distribution centers: in Red Rock, Nev.; Munster, Ind.; and Chambersburg, Pa.

The 210 employees in those three facilities were informed Wednesday. They will get severance packages and an opportunity to transfer to other Amazon shipping locations.

Full story here.

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Made my first Kindle-based offering

Well, I wrote a new blog post over at the Erie Looking Productions blog talking about current operations. Such was also put on the Kindle platform at the price point of 99 cents. Hopefully such renders okay.

A separate item is not quite available yet.

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Interactive Fiction on the Kindle? Not Yet.

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Interactive fiction (or text adventures) seem like a natural fit on Amazon's ebook device, but IF author Howard Sherman finds it a tough nut to crack. Says Sherman, "The issue boils down to the Kindle being locked up tighter than the technical design plans to the NEXT iPhone Apple is working on. There’s no easy way in there. Even though Kindle runs in a Linux environment it’s far from an open plane to deliver outside titles on.

Questions On Encryption Technology Patent Rights for Kindle

Reuters reports: Media company Discovery Communications Inc has sued Amazon.com, accusing the online retailer's Kindle of infringing its patent on electronic book technology.

The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Delaware, marks another blow for a closely watched gadget that has drawn fire from publishers that say Amazon is trying to avoid paying royalties.

The lawsuit claims that Amazon, in two versions of its Kindle, has infringed one or more of the claims on a patent that Discovery founder John Hendricks received in November 2007.

The patent deals with encryption technology for the distribution of digital books.

Another Take On Technology

It's wireless and never needs charging. It has a touch interface and works with that which you have at home.

The good folks over at Penny Arcade offer their take on the latest in bibliotechnological merriment!

Seinfeld - The Complete Series

If your library was thinking of buying Seinfeld - The Complete Series now is the time. The complete series is going for $99.

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Kindle Kaves

Amazon announced late Friday that the company is modifying systems to allow authors and publishers to decide whether to enable Kindle's text-to-speech function on a per-title basis.

Best Reason To Get A Kindle 2

Once again, xkcd whittles things down to their core-

Roy Blount Jr. Has a Beef With Kindle 2

Where's the beef?

In today's New York Times op-ed. Blount, author of the popular title Alphabet Juice, confirms that "Kindle 2 is being sold specifically as a new, improved, multimedia version of books — every title is an e-book and an audio book rolled into one."

He continues, "And whereas e-books have yet to win mainstream enthusiasm, audio books are a billion-dollar market, and growing." His beef is that the authors and members of the Author's Guild, where he currently holds the position of president, are not receiving audio rights to Kindle 2's robotic audio versions.

Audio rights are not generally packaged with e-book rights. They are more valuable than e-book rights. Income from audio books helps not inconsiderably to keep authors, and publishers, afloat.

Why Kindle Should Be An Open Book

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<a href="http://www.forbes.com/2009/02/22/kindle-oreilly-ebooks-technology-breakthroughs_oreilly.html">Why Kindle Should Offer an Open Book Policy</a>...some thoughts from Tim O'Reilly.

Kindle 2: First Hands On

Gizmodo has a Kindle 2 and they are providing a hands on review.

Some of the comments:

Controls are almost exactly the same as Kindle 1, just slightly re-arranged, for the better. You can still page forward from both sides. Although now, with more non-button room on the sides, you can definitely pick it up without turning the page. They nailed the buttons.

Hey, it's downright iPod Touchy.

I'll bet it kicks butt as a cake cutter.

Author Takes Action after a bad Amazon review

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Michel Cuhaci of Ottawa had received a misprinted copy of <em>A Student's Guide to Maxwell's Equation</em> and he left a bad review on amazon.com. The author saw the review and decided to make things right. More on this fantastic story at the <a href="http://www.daytondailynews.com/search/content/oh/story/news/local/2009/02/08/sns020809bookinside.html?cxntlid=inform_sr">Dayton<em> Daily News</em></a>

Google and Amazon to Put More Books on Cellphones

More electronic books are coming to mobile phones.

In a move that could bolster the growing popularity of e-books, Google said Thursday that the 1.5 million public domain books it had scanned and made available free on PCs were now accessible on mobile devices like the iPhone and the T-Mobile G1.

Also Thursday, Amazon said that it was working on making the titles for its popular e-book reader, the Kindle, available on a variety of mobile phones. The company, which is expected to unveil a new version of the Kindle next week, did not say when Kindle titles would be available on mobile phones.

Full story in the NYT

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