TKC 146 Jay Marine

News – 1) A report in DigiTimes, picked up by Engadget and CrunchGear, quotes sources at upstream suppliers as saying Amazon has placed orders for a much-rumored new tablet PC, to ship in the second half of this year. 2) CNET reports that a Barnes & Noble SEC filing states the company will announce a new e-reader on May 24. 3) Reuters reports that the Kindle is coming to Wal-Mart. 4) Peter Meyers envisions an elegant system for updating e-books.

Tech Tip – Are there limits to what you can highlight in a Kindle book? Well, that depends on what you mean by highlight.  Andrys Basten has some answers, and I try my own experiment.

Interview – In a conversation on May 2, 2011, I asked Kindle Director Jay Marine about how Amazon’s Kindle Library Lending capability will work, when it goes live by the end of the year. Also, he offered updates on the launch of the Kindle with Special Offers and the German Kindle Store. Jay last appeared on the podcast a year ago, on TKC 95.

Content – Amazon creates its fourth publishing imprint, Montlake Romance, which will publish love stories in Kindle, paper, and audio formats.

Other links mentionedEpisode 3 of my Edge of the Road podcast offers two tips for novice users of the MyFord Touch system.

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Comments 3

  1. Michael B. wrote:


    As always, great insight on KC as usual, thanks for keeping me informed on all things Kindle and beyond.

    I have to weigh in on the new Kindle with ads in lieu of artwork. Personally, I think this stinks. I am a big fan of Amazon and especially how they have handled the Kindle until now. I think the idea of charging us money for a device that rotates ads constantly on it is really sleazy. As far as the “screensaver” goes, I have always loved seeing the rotating literary photos of Ralph Ellison, Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain and all the rest. I have owned Kindle 1, 2 and 3 and have never really tired of them.

    I would love to see a way to upload my own graphic images and even better, provide a place where Kindle users can design and upload graphic “skins” for the Kindle and offer them for free download by the Kindle community like browser providers like Firefox and Apple Safari do.

    I really think the idea of posting ads on the Kindle is in shameless poor taste on Amazon’s part. As much as I love my Kindle If Amazon ever decides to add them to my Kindle 2, I will toss it in the trash and go back to paper books.

    Michael B.

    Posted 08 May 2011 at 2:14 am
  2. Wayne wrote:


    This is response to your query about why such a device which seems to use so little power for its main function, reading, would be designed with a sleep mode. I discovered one very good reason for this after having found the battery severely drained on a number of occasions due to random buttons on the keyboard being engaged while being carried commuting on the train in the side pocket of a pretty overpacked bag I use both for work stuff and for a change of clothes at the gym. I would open up the fairly thick and sturdy Cole Haan cover of my unsleeping Kindle only to find the keys had probably been constantly engaged by a the inside of the cover leaving the telltale evidence of some random and otherwise meaningless digital scrawl in the entry field at the bottom of the screen.

    This didn’t happen often but one or two times which resulted in little or no reading time during a commute or a trip is enough to cause you to make it a habit to put your Kindle to sleep in these situations. I would think this would be the case even more so for those without covers or using a tight slip case type of cover.

    So while I–as many others have probably done so–had wondered why the slider at the top of Kindle does not more conveniently facilitate one handed operation, it does ensure that the power will not be accidentally turned on as I have described mercifully preventing many a Kindle user from unscheduled e-reading downtime.

    Posted 08 May 2011 at 7:11 am
  3. Maurice Lawless wrote:

    Len, I found the interview with Jay Marine quite interesting, especially because he was so evasive with your questions. I realize he doesn’t want to burst the marketing bubble by letting too many details slip early, but to me he just came off as shady.

    He also sounded kind of cocky when you asked him if customer feedback had forced their hand on the library feature. I’ve seen quite a bit of feedback in the Amazon forums regarding this, so for him to just brush it off like it was something they did to be nice was quite offensive to the Kindle community.

    I’d like to hear more assurances from Amazon that their selection of books on Overdrive will be comparable (or better) to the ePUB selections already available on other readers.

    Could it be the reason he’s so sketchy on how it will work is that Amazon hasn’t yet secured all the licenses it needs from the publishers?

    At any rate, thanks for asking the questions I wanted to ask, even if he didn’t really give you many answers. Keep up the good work.

    Posted 10 May 2011 at 3:15 pm