BY NICO VREELAND
David Pogue today gives Kindle 2 a light and fluffy review at the Times, awarding it credit for E-Ink, glossing over the troubles of DRM, and omitting entirely other devices’ abilities to get RSS feeds for free and to borrow library ebooks.
Pogue’s lack of deeper assessment is not entirely surprising as he’s been skeptical of epublishing and distracted by piracy worries (despite admittedly having no statistical data). He only reluctantly released his books digitally at all.
From the other side, Tim O’Reilly, founder of O’Reilly Media (and Pogue’s publisher), writes in Forbes that the Kindle is in danger of being made irrelevant because of its stringent proprietary restrictions. And he actually uses one of Pogue’s books as an example of how well open platforms work for epublishing.
He argues that Amazon is trying to copy the business model Apple established with the iPod, but is in danger of botching it, largely because
People didn’t populate their iPods solely with music purchased from Apple. It was easy for them to “rip” their own CDs into the standard mp3 file format and load their entire music collection onto the device.
While users can load some of their own documents onto the Kindle, there is no easy way to “rip” a book.
O’Reilly makes a number of other good points in arguing for the usefulness and good business sense of open formatting over proprietary.
Pogue, for his part, ignores the formatting issue entirely. Luckily, O’Reilly’s the one selling his books.
Bonus: Jeff Bezos showed off the Kindle 2 on last night’s Daily Show. Funny interview; Jon Stewart wasn’t convinced. Not much said we didn’t know already.