Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kindle 2 by Amazon Raises the Bar on EBooks

The Amazon Kindle has the potential to start a new wave of innovations for ebooks and mobile internet devices. The second-generation Kindle ebook reader has much improved aesthetic thin design with aluminum back. It feels almost like an Apple product.

The Kindle 2 will costs $359, but it's much thinner than the angular original -- in fact, it's thinner than an iPhone at just .36 inches. Read to Me can read any content on the device back to you in a decent-sounding computerized voice, but there's also seven times more storage, a sharper 16-level e-ink display that turns pages 20 percent faster and 25 percent longer battery life.

Jeff Bezos the CEO of Amazon (AMZN) has announced the new Kindle 2 on amazon.com:

Dear Customers,

Today, we are excited to introduce Kindle 2 - the next generation of our wireless reading device.

Since launching the original Kindle a little over a year ago, customer response has far surpassed our highest hopes - and we're grateful and appreciative for that. More people are reading more books, newspapers, and blogs on Kindle sooner than we ever imagined.

We kept everything readers love about the original Kindle - the convenience of reading what you want, when you want it, the immediacy of getting books wirelessly delivered in less than 60 seconds, and Kindle's ability to "disappear" in your hands so you can get lost in the author's words.

We chose the same 3G wireless technology used in advanced cell phones, so you never need to hunt for w Wi-Fi hotspot. But unlike cell phones, there are no monthly wireless bills, no service or data plans, and no yearly contracts. There is no software to install and no syncing required.

Improved battery life means you can read for up to two weeks on a single charge. Its new, streamlined design makes Kindle 2 as thin as a typical magazine and lighter than a paperback. We added more storage, allowing you to carry over 1,500 titles. An advanced display provides even crisper images and clear text for an improved book-like reading experience. Our new Text-to-Speech feature means Kindle can read every book, blog, magazine, and newspaper out loud to you.

At Amazon, we're always been obsessed with selection, and we know that even the best reading device would be useless without the books you want to read. Today, the Kindle Store has more than 230,000 books, including 103 of the 110 New York Times Best Sellers, plus top newspapers, magazines, and blogs. We added over 40,000 new titles in just the last three months. Our vision for Kindle is to have every book ever printed, in any language, all available in under 60 seconds.

We hope you enjoy Kindle 2.

Jeff Bezos
Founder, Amazon.com

P.S. If you'd like to have Kindle 2 ship to you the day it becomes available, we recommend you preorder today to reserve your place in line.

Is Kindle the future of reading? It can be if Amazon executes its Platform Business Model well. The integrated broadband access and the number of available ebook content can fuel its acceptance. The Kindle roadmap promises color display and international access though the dates have not been announced.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The Emerging 3D Web and The Metaverse

What happens when video games meet Web 2.0? When virtual worlds meet geospatial maps of the planet? When simulations get real and life and business go virtual? When you use a virtual Earth to navigate the physical Earth, and your avatar becomes your online agent? What happens is the Metaverse.

The Blog of Marc Wallace and friends, 3pointD.com reports on this emerging 3D connectivity — a phenomenon sometimes called the metaverse — in all its manifestations. From virtual worlds like Second Life to applications like Google Earth, from cool mapping hacks that link up real-world locations to new ways of creating virtual ones, from concepts like folksonomy to the culture of online worlds, find news and feature articles about all that and much more at 3pointD.com, every day.

A nice example of the emerging 3D Web is AjaxLife - an AJAX based SL client by Katharine Berry. It enables us to experience the 3D Second Life Grid in a web browser! Imagine this in a 3D Web browser and 3D display and you have a virtual window into another universe.