Y2K(indle)

The iPad has suddenly made the Kindle appear long in the tooth, but I had no idea just how antiquated the Kindle actually was. Yesterday, I was searching for books by George Lakoff, a UC Berkeley linguist with some intriguing yet controversial ideas on the differences between how liberals and conservatives think. This is one of the results I found:

On your Kindle you could have read about the San Francisco earthquake before it happened.

I knew the Kindle was old, but holy crap! I think it’s about time for an upgrade, Amazon!

I guess the only books you could read on it back then were steampunk novels.

And if George Lakoff published this back in 1905, why are the Democrats still losing elections? It’s the Republicans who have all the 100-year-old ideas.

Seriously, folks. We’re ten years past Y2K. How the hell can anyone be so incompetent that they’re still making this blunder? Especially on a product that didn’t even exist ten years ago?

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For those of you wondering where the articles about fundies have been lately, they haven’t gone away completely. I was hoping to write a Fundie Research Council article last night, but time worked against me. I’ll try to get that done tonight. From tonight onward, whenever you think of gonorrhea, you’ll think of Tony Perkins.

32 Responses to “Y2K(indle)”

  1. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Well, in Amazon’s defense, it seems entirely reasonable that new books for the Kindle might have been published in 1905 originally, so it’s more a human-error mistake than a Y2K style mistake.

    That said, I don’t think the iPad makes the Kindle look out of date at all. They are completely different devices. You can use your Kindle for weeks and weeks without charging because whatever was on the screen stays on the screen without power. The iPad is like a conventional laptop screen. If the iPad makes the Kindle look out of date, then pretty much any laptop made before the Kindle should do the same.

  2. Bart v.d. M. Says:

    From tonight onward, whenever you think of gonorrhea, you’ll think of Tony Perkins.

    Oh great, now you’ve ruined STDs for me.

  3. Ron Britton Says:

    Parrotlover:

    Overall, I completely agree with you. However, Apple has been positioning that thing as a color ebook reader. They’ve been bragging about how beautiful magazines look on it, and that’s apparently true.

    I read the San Francisco Chronicle on my Kindle (because I’m old school and actually want the experience of reading a newspaper). The photographs are B&W, of course, and really bad, because they’re only 16 shades of gray.

    I subscribed to the electronic version of Shutterbug to read on my computer (I obviously couldn’t read a photography magazine on the Kindle.). I was hoping the magazine was in PDF format. I would have found that quite usable. It turns out, they use Zinio Reader, which blows chunks (which is an even viler image, when you realize that Chunks is a clown).

    I wonder if his dental work hurts

    Chunks the Clown, getting ready to return the favor.
    (I hope you don’t get Tony Perkins from him.)

    I ended up not reading any of the issues and let my subscription die the miserable death it deserved. Reading it on the iPad would have been a much better experience.

    I read the Kindle at work during lunch (partly to avoid having to talk to people). At first, people were crowding around me to look at it. They all wanted to check out the screen. Everyone wanted to pick it up to feel its weight. They all wanted to know how much I liked it. This went on (sporadically) for months, depending on the happenstance of them coming into the breakroom at the same time I take my lunch (which is late, to avoid having to talk to people).

    Once the iPad was announced, suddenly that’s all people wanted to talk about:

    • “What do you think of the iPad?”
    • “I guess the iPad has that thing beat!”
    • “It’s not color like the iPad!”
    • “How much did Steve Jobs pay for his liver?”

    I explain to them that the iPad appears to be a superb tablet computer, but it is a poor ebook reader. The Kindle is easy on the eyes, because the screen is reflective. The iPad has a glowing computer screen, which is hard on the eyes (and it has that massively-stupid, idiotic, retarded glossy screen! WTF, Apple? Don’t you know anything about usability?).

    So you’re right. They are two different types of devices. With the exception of color magazines, the Kindle is the superior e-reader.

    If the iPad makes the Kindle look out of date, then pretty much any laptop made before the Kindle should do the same.

    Uhh… Not quite.

    My desktop computer is smaller than that thing!

  4. Jeff Eyges Says:

    God, those old systems were ugly and bulky, weren’t they? They were the technological equivalents of seventies hairstyles.

  5. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Regarding Kindle vs iPad: I read about color eink technology sometime last year. When that comes out in the Kindle, hopefully it will have more than 16 colors and 16 shades of gray. If so, then the Kindle can position itself as a superior ereader product again.

    My concern is that the iPad may kill the ereader. Eink may be easier on the eyes and battery life, and in that way superior to a traditional LCD screen for certain uses, such as ebook reading, but the concept of a more general purpose device that can also eread may play better in the market place. It remains to be seen.

    But, as you know, the media is basically the abused spouse in a relationship with Apple. They can never criticize them, even when Apple is beating them (cf. Gizmodo/iPhone4 goofiness).

    I’m cheering on the Kindle. I bought one for my wife and she liked it, up until we tried to read PDFs on it, which was the bulk of what she was going to read. Really, Amazon? No zoom? No, seriously? *knock knock knock* Hello? McFly??? Seriously?

    Anyway, we returned it due to that, but I’m still cheering it on. I really like the concept. And I also really despise Apple with the heat of 1000 white-hot suns.

    As for the ‘any laptop’ comment: Touche.

  6. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Oh and regarding glossy screens: that’s the current fad, just like capacitive touch screen technology. It’s, sadly, here to stay because it makes colors look more (artificially) vivid. Matte screens are easier on the eyes AND truer for color, but well, there you go.

    As for capacitive touch screen technology: it’s great. Until you need to actually have precision or use a stylus to write, or touch a device with gloves on, etc…

    BUT APPLE DOES IT SO IT IS THE RIGHT WAY MOTHERFUCKER.

  7. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Everyone complains about Gates, but he’s semi-retired, giving billions (his and Warren Buffet’s) to charity and going around the country talking to school kids, encouraging them to make a difference. Meanwhile, what is Jobs doing, now that his health is failing? How is he preparing to meet the Great Programmer in the Sky? Why, by continuing to pick fights with other companies that won’t do things precisely the way he wants them to, and going after little pissant bloggers who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Gates might have been something of a smoke-and-mirror guy (I’ve heard he was never a great programmer) who purchased most of the important products that made MS what it is, but Jobs is more scary than he ever was. Gates is a nerd who made good (if you approve of capitalism, which I don’t, really, but that’s another issue). Jobs is a bully and a control freak who threatens people and corporations to get what he wants.

    And I don’t even like their products. They’re pretty, and they do what they do very elegantly – as long as you’re willing to do things the way HE wants you to. If you aren’t, there’s something wrong with you. And don’t even try to talk to the twelve year-olds at the Apple store about any of this. They’re all so brainwashed and/or scared witless of retaliation they don’t know which ports to stick their flash drives in. On multiple levels.

  8. Jeff Eyges Says:

    I should have said, “but Jobs is more of a phony than he ever was.” He’s spent three decades portraying himself as some sort of counter-cultural iconoclast, but that’s just the black turtleneck talking. All he really is is a spoiled little boy who throws a hissy fit because the other children won’t let him decide which game they’re going to play, which ball they’ll use, what it will look like, which rules they’ll play by, who gets to play… did I leave anything out?

  9. Ron Britton Says:

    Parrotlover:

    I bought one for my wife and she liked it, up until we tried to read PDFs on it, which was the bulk of what she was going to read. Really, Amazon? No zoom? No, seriously? *knock knock knock* Hello? McFly??? Seriously?

    That’s the reason I bought the Kindle DX. I have a lot of PDFs. At the time, only the DX version could handle those. Plus, I like large screens. The text is bigger, and a lot of stuff shows on the screen at once. Those little Kindles are too tiny.

    A lot of people say the DX is too expensive. It is, until you realize that you’re buying a handheld computer. People have an artificial view of what that type of technology costs, because the nearest equivalent, cell phones, are subsidized through overpriced monthly service contracts. AT&T pays Apple $10 per month for every customer for the first two years.

    As much as I despise cell phones, I might have to start using one more. Since I seem to have lost that little Motorola P.O.S. I bought, I was looking at smartphones. I despise being locked into a contract. My preference is the Nokia N900. You can buy one without a contract, if you’re willing to pay $515! I guess the Kindle DX is looking more normally priced now, isn’t it?

    Nokia N900

    Oh, look! A glossy screen! Thanks for ruining my eyes, Apple!
  10. Ron Britton Says:

    Jeff:

    I made this picture three years ago. It was appropriate then. It’s even more appropriate now.

    The second coming?

  11. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Yep. That’s about it.

    AT&T pays Apple $10 per month for every customer for the first two years.

    Are you f*cking KIDDING me? That’s it. When is the expiration date on that liver?

    I would LOVE it if Wozniak said to him, publicly, “Steve, I’ve kept my mouth shut all these years because you made us rich, but I want you to know I think you’re a spoiled little dick and this wasn’t my vision for the company.”

  12. OtherRob Says:

    But, as you know, the media is basically the abused spouse in a relationship with Apple. They can never criticize them, even when Apple is beating them (cf. Gizmodo/iPhone4 goofiness).

    One other thing to consider is that many of the media have — or at least think they have — a huge financial stake in the success of the iPad. They think it’s going to get everyone to start paying for online content and save them. So they have pretty strong motivation to not criticize Apple.

    And for full disclosure…I actually own an iPad. I won it during a company-wide “town hall” meeting a couple of weeks ago. I’ve played with it a little bit and it is definitely cool and fun. But I have not encountered anything with it yet that would convince me to buy one for myself. Maybe I will and, if so, I’ll freely admit it. Though I am glad I have it. :)

  13. Ron Britton Says:

    Jeff:

    AT&T pays Apple $10 per month for every customer for the first two years.

    Are you f*cking KIDDING me?

    All the manufacturers have comparable deals. That’s why you get the phone so cheap and have to sign a two-year contract.

  14. Jeff Eyges Says:

    That’s why you get the phone so cheap and have to sign a two-year contract.

    I assumed it was because they’re then assured they’ll get the subsidy back.

  15. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Stewart nailed Apple:

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/wed-april-28-2010/appholes

  16. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I would LOVE it if Wozniak said to him, publicly, “Steve, I’ve kept my mouth shut all these years because you made us rich, but I want you to know I think you’re a spoiled little dick and this wasn’t my vision for the company.”

    Sigh. The problem is The Woz ain’t what he once was. I’ve read some of his more recent statements on computing and Apple and he’s drinking the same kool-aid that Jobs is now. I guess that comes with age. What happened to the nerdy kid that used to bluebox and just wanted to make cool powerful hobby computers?

    One other thing to consider is that many of the media have — or at least think they have — a huge financial stake in the success of the iPad. They think it’s going to get everyone to start paying for online content and save them. So they have pretty strong motivation to not criticize Apple.

    This predates the iPad by decades. The media considers itself in the same tribe as Apple, for some reason. I think ti’s largely because Apple products have historically been used in publishing and continue to be used. Find me a College of Journalism that isn’t infested with Macs.

    So, here we have an entire industry that realizes they are using a “rebel” computers (not unlike the annoying nerds that try to convert their grandmothers to Linux) and take it upon themselves to help the manufacturer promote their product. They can’t criticize Apple! Apple is their brethren in hipsterness! You can’t criticise your tribe!

    All the manufacturers have comparable deals. That’s why you get the phone so cheap and have to sign a two-year contract.

    Sprint’s is the least egregious. In fact, it’s pretty damn nice. You can, most of the time, get a smart phone on contract and get the basic internet package and still qualify.

    Here’s a breakdown.

    Voice/long distance/text — there are small nuances of price difference and terms difference, but it’s all a wash in the end, so let’s ignore it.

    Internet, however, is very different between provider. AT&T is $30/mo or $40/mo depending on the level. I’m pretty sure iPhone requires the upper “enterprise” level. Verizon is $40/mo. Sprint is $15/mo for the basic internet (unfiltered, unblocked, full internet, but no value-added stuff like Sprint Music or Sprint Navigation), and then $30/mo for the full Power Vision thingy whatever.

    However, the $15/mo package is described NOWHERE on their site. It’s truly bizarre. But if you go into a Sprint store or call them on the phone, you can buy a smart phone, activate it with on-contract discount, and then request the cheap $15/mo internet plan and they are happy to give it to you.

    The only thing I’ve found you can potentially lose is if the device you are interested in has a mail-in rebate. That sometimes requires the full internet PowerVision whatever service.

    Full disclosure: Sprint customer here. I love my Touch Pro 2. It rocks my world. Also, I’m on the full “everything” plan now due to awesome discount through work, but I used to be on a voice+data with the cheap internet plan.

    Everything Jeff Eyges said

    Word. I couldn’t agree with everythign you said more. Also, Stewart really nailed it in that video. I love that video!

  17. Jeff Eyges Says:

    That’s $15/mo unlimited? That is an incredible deal. Otherwise, I think T-Mobile may be slightly better, partly because they give you more minutes, partly because it’s GSM, and if you travel to Europe (which I don’t), you can take the phone with you b/c they use the same bands.

    The problem is The Woz ain’t what he once was. I’ve read some of his more recent statements on computing and Apple and he’s drinking the same kool-aid that Jobs is now.

    As Ron said – Reality Distortion Field. It’s like those subspace gaps cause by warp technology – it’s growing.

  18. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Yes, $15/mo for unlimited. You get internet, but no value-added features (eg, sprint navigation, sprint music, and sprint tv). You have to specifically ask for this plan as it is not on their website. Now, I will admit it’s been about three months since I was on that plan, and it seems Sprint has just redone ALL their plans (again), so I suppose its possible they don’t have it anymore. But it was true as of three months ago.

    GSM definitely has the international advantage, but CDMA has the 3G (and now 4G) advantage in the USA. My current phone (Touch Pro 2) is dual band, so that’s not an issue for me. That said, the head sales guy at work travels all over the world and found it’s way cheaper (on any network) to just rent a phone when you land in Europe as international roaming for voice/internet is ridiculously expensive.

    Anyway, as for my experience with Sprint internet when I travel, I can listen to internet radio all down I-95 and even on most of the side roads when I drive to visit family in Florida. When I had AT&T, I was lucky to get internet at all, let alone EDGE, let alone 3G! In non-3G/EDGE areas, GPRS (GSM fallback internet) has a throughput of about 30kbps, if you are lucky. Contrast that to CDMA, where when EVDO/EVDOa (3G) is not availble, 1xRTT is the fallback, which has a throughput as high as 150kbps, but usually hovers around 100kbps in my experience. In other words, fast enough for 96K online radio, but not quite fast enough for 128K radio. ;-)

    Anyway, it’s been a few years since I’ve used either T-Mobile or AT&T, but from what I’ve seen, the Verizon commercials don’t lie — CDMA still beats GSM with 3G. Of course, that will change (quickly) as the old GSM towers get upgraded replaced, even in the boondocks.

    It depends on your needs. But if you drive a lot and want fast internet coverage outside city limits, CDMA is the way to go.

  19. Jeff Eyges Says:

    It will be interesting to see which will have the performance advantage – 4G or the upgraded GSM. I don’t often leave the metropolitan area, so performance off the beaten track isn’t an issue for me.

    As it stands now, I don’t see much of a difference between the two standards. I’ve played around with phones from all of the manufacturers – and frankly, in terms of online performance, I think they all pretty much suck. I tried out the new HTC Incredible in a Verizon store the other day. It was okay, but I think that had more to do with the Snapdragon processor and 8GB of RAM than with anything else.

    I’m waiting to see who gets the other Snapdragon-equipped HTC phones, and I want to take a look at the Evo when it comes to Sprint in the summer.

  20. Jeff Eyges Says:

    When I had AT&T, I was lucky to get internet at all, let alone EDGE, let alone 3G!

    It’s as Stewart said in that video – “If you want to break down someone’s door, why don’t you start with AT&T? For God’s sakes, they make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!”

  21. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Yea, that was my favorite part of that video because I remembered how terrible service was with AT&T.

    4G is pretty awesome. I haven’t played with a smartphone with 4G yet, but I’ve messed around with the Sprint 4G (aka WIMAX) laptop modem and it freaking smokes. It’s faster than our wired connection here at work (4x T1s).

  22. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Oh, that’s good to know. I’ll defnitely wait for the Evo, then. Sprint seems to do the best job of balancing an investment in phones and technology with “reasonable” rates. The others can’t seem to pull it off, or aren’t interested. T-Mobile, whom I’ve been with for seven years, has always had crappy phones, for the most part. Verizon has obscene rates and hasn’t had good phones until recently, but they had the superior infrastructure. For about two years, it seemed that all the new interesting phones went first to AT&T, but they can’t seem to do anything else right. I think the iPhone has carried them these past two years. If they hadn’t had a lock on it, I don’t know that they’d even still be in business, at least in the form they’re in now.

    I’m just so tired of my seven year-old Nokia. I’ve been waiting for three years for these companies to come out with a smartphone I like. I kept thinking it was right around the corner, so why buy a new, regular phone? I would have just gotten the iPhone – but, you know, two years married to AT&T (Jobs is such a weasel).

    If the Evo doesn’t pan out, and the other HTC phones don’t make it here, I think I’ll just get a Droid Eris or some comparable CDMA device on eBay and have it flashed to work with Metro PCS.

  23. ericsan Says:

    Ron, time to put the Kindle DX up for sale on eBay (they sell well) and get an iPad. You can still read the Kindle books you purchased using the Kindle app, there are excellent free apps that let you read PDF and CBR files (CloudReader is my favorite) and there’s a bazillion awesome apps on it. The 10 hour battery life is more than adequate, and you can complement it with an external battery for long trips.

  24. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Ron, don’t listen to ericsan, it’s a trap!

    Jeff – T-Mobile has the HD2, which is pretty wicked cool, even for non-WM fans. Although the Evo is also going to be super cool, plus, yea, 4G baby. However, 4G rates will be at least $40/mo — keep that in mind.

  25. Ron Britton Says:

    Ron, time to put the Kindle DX up for sale on eBay (they sell well) and get an iPad.

    NEVER!! Obama is coming for our Kindles! I’m the NKA and I vote!

  26. ericsan Says:

    After the ObamaCare™ Scare, the ObamaGate™ KindlePurge? Noooooo!

    Okay, here’s enough to make everybody happy, mmm’kay?
    http://www.gearlive.com/news/article/q110-sprint-4g-ipad-case/

    Seriously, Ron, you should consider it. I bought one of the first Kindles, sold it on eBay to replace it with a second generation model, almost got a DX but balked at the price… and the iPad is just so much better. I can show you anytime :)

  27. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Or you can buy a Windows laptop and have fifty gazillion more apps than the iPad will ever have. Plus a color screen. And a keyboard. And also a bazillion e-readers. Oh, and pr0n. Lots and lots of pr0n.

    The point of the Kindle is that the screen is “like paper” and the battery lasts infinity + five years. Beyond that, I’ll take a laptop. Maybe I’ll get super fancy and get one with a touch sensitive and flip-around screen, so I can be like the cool kids who don’t do keyboards.

  28. ericsan Says:

    Okay, now I just want to know how we managed to turn a thread on Tony Perkins and the clap into a Mac vs. PC war!

  29. Jeff Eyges Says:

    T-Mobile has the HD2, which is pretty wicked cool, even for non-WM fans.

    Right, but my problem here is twofold – 1) It’s huge; 2) I can’t bring myself to commit to it as Windows Mobile 7 is coming, although it won’t be here until the fall (at least), and I don’t want to wait any longer. So it just isn’t in the running for me.

    Also I’m not happy with T-Mobile. They’ve structured their new plans so that the plans are actually $10/month more if you sign a contract. They’re more than making back the subsidy. Bastards.

    If Sprint is going to charge an extra $10/mo for 4G, it had better be lightning fast, and I can’t imagine that happening. Metro PCS, with a flat rate of $50 for everything, unlimited, is looking better and better.

  30. OtherRob Says:

    Okay, now I just want to know how we managed to turn a thread on Tony Perkins and the clap into a Mac vs. PC war!

    Because this is the internet. Everything eventually devolves into a Mac/PC war. :)

  31. Parrotlover77 Says:

    until the fall (at least)

    Actually, ETA is winter (xmas), but that’s looking more and more unlikely as time goes on. They keep updating the developer builds and let’s just say there is a TON of work to be done… Also, WM6.5 isn’t just going to go away immediately upon release of WP7. I see a lot of FUD about how Firefox stopped development for Windows Mobile due to no future unmanaged code on WP7, but really it’s missing a huge factor: there are already about a dozen non-IE browsers for WM and the alpha/betas of Firefox were absolutely terrible. lol. There’s a ton of software out there (and more every day) for the HD2, trust me! :-)

    Also I’m not happy with T-Mobile.

    That’s a very reasonable explanation! I wouldn’t get T-Mobile either because I think CDMA is way better in my area, and the internet is better in the boonies.

    If Sprint is going to charge an extra $10/mo for 4G, it had better be lightning fast, and I can’t imagine that happening. Metro PCS, with a flat rate of $50 for everything, unlimited, is looking better and better.

    Do some research beforehand. I only know of one person on MetroPCS and he hates it. First, they raised their rates after advertising that the rates don’t change ever (lol). he says he misses about half his calls and voicemail notifications don’t always work. he was also unhappy with the internet, says it’s very slow. he’s frustrated with their customer service too.

    but it’s just one opinion…

    Okay, now I just want to know how we managed to turn a thread on Tony Perkins and the clap into a Mac vs. PC war!

    Because this is the internet. Everything eventually devolves into a Mac/PC war.

    Also, HITLER!

  32. Jeff Eyges Says:

    I’ve heard they have lousy customer service, but everyone does, frankly, and I haven’t called T-Mobile’s in years. Also, a lot of complaints online about Metro’s custserv have to do with billing issues, and that’s because they gear the service toward lower-income people in urban areas who keep missing payments (it’s technically a prepaid service, so they shut you off immediately if you miss the deadline). I don’t care about that, either; I have my payments auto-deducted.

    Supposedly, their voice and data services aren’t too bad around here. Neither are T-Mo’s, but I’m not paying an extra $10/mo to sign a two-year contract. I’m just not doing it. I’ll use two paper cups and a long string first.

    There’s a ton of software out there (and more every day) for the HD2, trust me!

    Yes, but WM 7 is going to be way cooler (we’re told), and I don’t want to make a year-long commitment 6.5, if 7 is coming out in six months – but I don’t want to wait six months, as I’ve already been waiting for four years! So it just isn’t in the running.