Amazon’s Tablet

The Kindle Fire Tablet was announced today. It runs Android/Linux and costs $199. With Amazon’s marketing resources it should sell well. This will take a big bite out of iPad’s lead. There is one downside to it. This tablet is 7 inches… Let’s hope they put out a larger model soon.

UPDATE
The Kindle Fire is not just a product but the tip of an iceberg in the Kindle series. There are 7 machines from a fairly simple e-book reader all the way up to the Kindle Fire which does most of the same things as the less expensive models but adds a custom web-browser. It’s all about making Amazon’s products easy to obtain and to use.

  • Kindle – $79
  • Kindle Touch – $99
  • Kindle Touch 3G – $149
  • Kindle Keyboard – $99
  • Kindle Keyboard 3G – $139
  • Kindle Fire – $199

It’s not about selling Kindles, although that is profitable. Amazon wants to sell 18 million movies and video on demand. It’s like the customer’s mailbox but a lot faster and the customer can reload sooner.

US only…

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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43 Responses to Amazon’s Tablet

  1. oldman says:

    “Better if there is a whole directory of files to convert: for f in somedir/*;do sox $f $f.mp3;done.”

    Select all files in a directory, drag and drop into conversion app. push button. done.

  2. That argument could apply to spreadsheets. Business should hire expensive geniuses because mere employees would waste their time developing spread sheets that worked. Nope. Your argument does not work for spreadsheets or any aspect of IT because we use PCs to get the job done the fastest and cheapest way possible. Automating processes is the right way to do IT. If a person or organization needs to change file formats routinely, SOX is the right way to go instead of Start, file open, file save-as, exit. Instead we can make an icon activate sox infile outfile and one click does it. Better if there is a whole directory of files to convert: for f in somedir/*;do sox $f $f.mp3;done.

  3. oldman says:

    “I am glad I am not a musician. I can choose what works for me.”

    What works for you is irrelevant here as is your abililty to choose. What is relevant is that once you get outside the small population of those who like fiddling with computers as much as using them, you reach the vast majority of people for whom the computer is a tool that people just want to use to accomplish a task.

    Thus it is that I have witnessed professionals of all types who never wanted to bother with a computer at all because it was too much work to use, not only take like a duck to water to the computers and applications as they became easy to use but become expert in their using applications while at the same time not giving a tinkers f-rt about the details of maintaining the computer. None of these people would go within a country mile of a computer where the majority of applications were like SOX.

    As far as I am concerned, a tools like SOX is crap that I would not waste my time using because using SOX regardless of its script-ability, the time wasted preparing to use the tool is not IMHO worth the output.

    The fact that you choose to use such an ancient tool says more about your determination to avoid commercial software on commercial OS’s than than the ultimate utility of the tool.

  4. I am glad I am not a musician. I can choose what works for me.

  5. oldman says:

    “It has the added advantage of scriptability so I can process a bunch of files at once just as easily as one.”

    Sox is IMHO typical half a$$ed open source. No useable interface, geek oriented, and requiring way too much work as a computer geek when all I need to do is be a musician. I gladly left software like this behind over a decade ago as soon as less obtuse GUI based software became available.

  6. I am not a professional musician. Why should I be? I do make presentations and the like that require reformatting of audio and there’s no need to use anything fancier than the Swiss Army Knife of audio. Musicians tend to produce their own sounds. SOX may or may not be useful to them. That is irrelevant to me being able to move sounds around to where I need them to be after I obtain them from multiple sources ranging from CDs, streaming audio, video tracks, microphones etc. I don’t have much need to mix stuff but a lot of need to end up with a file in a single file-format that came to me in many formats. SOX is perfect for that. It has the added advantage of scriptability so I can process a bunch of files at once just as easily as one.

  7. Phenom says:

    And something that is actually usable. I can think of a professional musician, who would use SoX to process and mix his tracks instead of Cubase.

  8. oldman says:

    “What more do you want?”

    Something that isnt obsolete.

  9. SOX has been around for 20 years and keeps getting better. What more do you want?

  10. JairJy says:

    This is sad Pog. You lose to yourselft. Goodbye then.

  11. Dr Loser says:

    Just to lighten things up:

    SoX?

    Really? That’s a poster child success?

    I think we’ve moved on since 1991, Robert. Mind you, as a geek, I do enjoy the haemorrhage in “Examples.”

    I could walk down the street and sell this to a typical user with a Samsung phone plugged into her ears every day, honestly.

    FOSS is dying, Pog. Face it and find a more worthy cause to espouse.

  12. Ray says:

    How does an article get from a Kindle, to random insults?

  13. Ivan wrote, “If you are writing software under any license without being paid for it, you are being exploited.”.

    Lots of people are being paid to write FLOSS. Lots of people write FLOSS for fun. Lots of people write FLOSS to learn programming. Lots of people write FLOSS to start some business. Who is being exploited? I have written a lot of software without being paid. I was not exploited. I am a problem solver. I don’t feel good unless I solve one or more problems each day. Today I solved the problem of harvesting potatoes from my weedy patch. Since I could not even see the potatoes, I first mowed the patch and then roto-tilled it. I was pleased that only two or three potatoes were damaged in the process and the weeds and mice took a beating. I did more or less get my seed back but in the process the hard ground was neatly broken up by the aggressive roots of the weeds and potatoes, the real reason I planted in that patch of clay.

  14. Ivan says:

    Would you please do me a favor and ask your wife to smack you upside your head. d-; Maybe then you’ll be able to understand that while ideals are great, they don’t put food on your table.

    If you are writing software under any license without being paid for it, you are being exploited.

  15. People are paid to write FLOSS… People are paid in dollars, skills learned, credits on the resume,… If people thought they were hard done by writing FLOSS they would do something else for a living.

    Ivan, do you have a mother? Was she stupid to give you life and feed one end and clean the other? Sharing is what people do.

  16. Ivan says:

    “Equating sharing with stupidity?”

    Anyone coding 10-12 hours a day for an open source project without receiving fair compensation really is stupid, Bob.

    At one time people fought and died in the streets over those types of things.

  17. Here is a commit by Motorola to Android.

    In case you hadn’t noticed, D-G, this blog is my blog. You don’t get to set the rules and you don’t get to tell me what to do. Good-bye.

  18. Where to begin. Equating sharing with stupidity? Personal bias? Illegal copying?

    As oldman sometimes writes, “Bushwah”.

  19. Contrarian says:

    “Good FOSS programmers are a scarcity”

    It is easy for the open source users to sit back and build castles in the air, complete with noble characters who work so innovatively and diligently to produce things that the free loaders can use without feeling guilty about pirating a copy of some program that they find useful.

    Torvalds has made the effort into a well-paying position, I think, wherein he gets a big six figure salary for putzing around with the Linux kernel. I am sure that he is very competent at that task, but it is clear to see that he does not have any real skin in the game. People like Jobs, Gates, and Allen put their personal well-being on the line in commercial competition. That takes more nerve, I think, than just hiding in one’s cave making the bits and bytes go around.

    Stallman is rather repulsive in my view and what he has programmed was old hat 30 years ago and any mildly competent child could run rings today around what he did back then.

    One thing that I have found after too many years is that coding is a fairly well-paying occupation, if you are clever and get in with the right bunch. You could give your services away, of course, but from a personal satisfaction point of view, why not have the satisfaction and the money that goes with it? No point in being stupid.

  20. NT JERKFACE says:

    Good FOSS programmers are a scarcity.

    CENTOS is the #1 server distro and they can’t find enough volunteers backport basic security updates from RHEL. It’s basically a two-man distro even though it runs on millions of machines.

    You still have some open source religious beliefs that should have died with the late 90s. Just because a software project is open source does not ensure technical progress over a proprietary counterpart.

    Just because anyone can contribute to Tux Racer does not mean it will become better than MarioKart.

    Anyways Pogson where is the source for Honeycomb?

  21. D-G says:

    You’re the ignorant schmuck, Pog.

    I challenge you to prove that Android has lots of outside contributors like you claimed. You come up empty. Instead you cite a bunch of other open source projects, for no discernible reason at all.

    I claim that good programmers are a scarcity in the open source world. You counter by supplying a few more or less well-known names. Claim shot down? Absolutely not. What has Linus Torvalds to do with my claim that good programmers are a scarcity in open source? Nothing at all.

    Here’s the thing: there are only two kinds of programmers in open source. The ones that are paid and who write open source code in a professional capacity. And there are the ones who are not, who write open source code in their spare time, as a hobby, for fun, or whatever. For the latter a problem will almost inevitably arise: juggling time between their real work, which puts food on the table and a roof over the family’s heads, and contributing to open source. And guess what? Open source often has to take the backseat. If you don’t believe me, why don’t you take a look at a candid blog post by one of the GIMP lead developers, where he precisely identifies this problem.

    http://www.chromecode.com/2011/02/why-gimp-28-is-not-released-yet.html

    Therefore my conclusion is absolutely justified. Aside from the professional, paid developers who work on the few high-profile projects like the kernel, all other projects have to COMPETE for the good programmers. And their competition are COMPANIES which can PAY the good programmers money. Also don’t forget the third point Nordholts brings up: programmers in open source are often only motivated by the fun things, while nobody cares for the other things that really SHOULD get done, but WON’T — no fun! Cue the fragmentation in the open source world. 20 projects to choose from, all doing the same, but none of them quite able to surpass “good enough”.

    You’ve clearly swallowed Stallman whole (no pun intended), and you certainly believe that all good programmers have the urge to work FOR FREE. Unfortunately the pool of good open source programmers is limited, and projects splintering, splintering, and splintering will not help.

    But you won’t get it, Pog. Because you’re simply a joke.

  22. D-G lied again when he wrote, “good programmers are actually a scarcity in open source”.

    There are millions of programmers in FLOSS and many of them are exceptionally good programmers.

    RMS
    Linus Torvalds
    and many more

    Here’s some random choices from that last item:
    Ryan North, authour of RSSPECT and he’s the CEO of Project Wonderful.
    Léon Bottou, creator of the DjVu file format for compressed scanned images and the Lush programming language.

    So, there are a lot of talented people developing FLOSS and D-G seems to be an ignorant, rude clod.

  23. Here’s another contribution of FLOSS that is exceptional:

    SOX

    and another, ffmpeg, and, in education there’s Moodle, and GCompris.

    So, I don’t think you know what you are typing. PHP was released in 1995, before M$ even had a server. ASP came out in 1998. M$’s first server came out in 1996 and was derived from FLOSS.

  24. D-G says:

    “Fortunately, you are not my boss and have no authority to demand anything of the kind. Why don’t you provide official statistics on the percentage of contributions made by Google and I will subtract?”

    YOU CLAIM, YOU PROVE. That’s how it works. Write a shell script or something. You’re good at Linux, aren’t you? Should be easy for you. Until then your baseless claims are nothing but FUD.

    Maybe in the future you will learn that being open source doesn’t automatically translate to lots of contributions. One reason being that good programmers are actually a scarcity in open source.

  25. Fortunately, you are not my boss and have no authority to demand anything of the kind. Why don’t you provide official statistics on the percentage of contributions made by Google and I will subtract?

  26. Baloney.

    Linus conceived the kernel of the idea and he still mansges the product but the world has contributed a Hell of a lot of code in the last 20 years.

    IE was also the fallout from Mosaic.

    Mosaic was FLOSS.

    “NCSA’s Mosaicâ„¢ wasn’t the first Web browser. But it was the first to make a major splash. In November 1993, Mosaic v 1.0 broke away from the small pack of existing browsers by including features—like icons, bookmarks, a more attractive interface, and pictures—that made the software easy to use and appealing to “non-geeks.”

    NCSA offered Mosaic free from its website, and soon more than 5,000 copies were being downloaded each month; the center was receiving hundreds of thousands of email inquiries a week, and Internet traffic was dramatically rising. NCSA Mosaic won multiple technology awards, including being named 1993 Product of the Year by InfoWorld magazine and 1994 Technology of the Year by IndustryWeek magazine.”

    see http://www.ncsa.illinois.edu/Projects/mosaic.html

    Here’s the source code.

    Here’s part of the licence:
    “NCSA Mosaic software, both binary and source (hereafter, Software) is *
    * copyrighted by The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois *
    * (UI), and ownership remains with the UI. *
    * *
    * The UI grants you (hereafter, Licensee) a license to use the Software *
    * for academic, research and internal business purposes only, without a *
    * fee. Licensee may distribute the binary and source code (if released) *
    * to third parties provided that the copyright notice and this statement *
    * appears on all copies and that no charge is associated with such *
    * copies. *
    * *
    * Licensee may make derivative works. However, if Licensee distributes *
    * any derivative work based on or derived from the Software, then *
    * Licensee will (1) notify NCSA regarding its distribution of the *
    * derivative work, and (2) clearly notify users that such derivative *
    * work is a modified version and not the original NCSA Mosaic *
    * distributed by the UI. “

  27. D-G says:

    Where’s the proof, Pog? Unless you produce official statistics that show considerable (accepted) code contributions from non-Google personnel, there’s not an inch of truth behind your claims. Every open source project is open for code contributions. It’s a whole other matter if code is contributed and if it is accepted.

  28. Contrarian says:

    “In the future there may be another good way to go but it will likely be FLOSS ”

    Baloney, #pogson. FOSS has contributed next to nothing for close to 20 years now. Linuws Torvalds cavbe up with Linux, Apache was the fallout from the mosaic paid-for project, MySQL was released in last place for databases, and PHP was invented as a clone of ASP. Nothing new since then.

    Apple came out with the iPhone and iPan and the Android folk jump on with a copycat OS. Nothing new from FOSS until a commercial company shows the way.

  29. Contribute to the Code
    Code is King. We’d love to review any changes you submit, so please check out the source, pick a bug or feature, and get coding. Note that the smaller and more targetted your patch submissions, the easier it will be for us to review them.

    see http://source.android.com/source/index.html

    Android/Linux is FLOSS so anyone can contribute to it. It is not developed behind closed doors. You can check out the source code any time. see http://source.android.com/source/downloading.html

    Kernel.org is still off the air so you may have to get the source code at GitHub.

    Widespread contributions make better software because many heads are better than one when it comes to ideas.

  30. NT JERKFACE says:

    Android isn’t the result of cooperation. It’s developed behind closed doors and Google has created all kinds of disincentives to discourage forking.

    I’m also not sure why you think widespread contributions necessarily lead to better software. Linux games have widespread contributions and yet they are stuck in the 90s.

  31. Linux is at the core of so many technologies because it is the best way to go. In the future there may be another good way to go but it will likely be FLOSS because cooperation works better when it comes to dealing with diverse hardware. How can any product be better than one to which everyone contributes?

  32. D-G says:

    @oiaohm

    Your drivel is getting harder and harder to understand. With your knack for turning everything and anything into a ludicrous conspiracy theory, you really should’ve made your way into Hollywood by now. Are there any films you’ve written? Perhaps:

    “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Proprietary Software”

  33. NT JERKFACE says:

    What difference would it make if it was NT based?

    MeeGo could have been called Linux. It was at least a mini-distro.

    Android runs Linux at the core but what does that give you? Linux could some day be swapped out for something else and the public wouldn’t notice.

  34. oiaohm says:

    Contrarian Linux world. Each company is assigned a target.

    HTC was apple. But Samsung decided to step up.

    Motorola/Google is Microsoft.

    Samsung is a company that will work with Microsoft. They live by the moto keep you enemies close.

    Remember I said that meego we had to watch.

    Yep something happened. Tizen. Html5 based Linux OS. Basically this is the combine of techs from web os some from bada and meego.

    What is MS pushing windows 8 as a Html5 supporting OS. Yes Samsung will basically be spy in the MS camp a long with a lot of other companies MS partners up with. Don’t worry Samsung still may bite MS hard particularly if they have a good win against Apple.

    Note MS is not getting paid rolities for bada. And every time Ms gets on Samsung back they just rename the OS and go again. So using the loop hole of not having to pay about what you don’t know about.

  35. Contrarian says:

    “This will take a big bite out of iPad’s lead.”

    The woods are full of these little tablets, #pogson. The surplus sales sites are always running fire sales on one model or another. Prices start at $89 when not on sale.

    http://www.geeks.com/products.asp?cat=TAB

    The new Kindle models are in response to Barnes & Noble whose Nook has been making the non-touch Kindles, renamed “Kindle Keyboard” look old-school. Amazon is back with a vengeance, offerint the same thing as the Nook at a $99 price if the owner is willing to have Amazon adds on his idle screen.

    Until something comes out to rival the iPad, though, Apple is in no danger.

  36. Contrarian says:

    “I doubt that will amount to much.”

    “Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will receive royalties for Samsung’s mobile phones and tablets running the Android mobile platform. In addition, the companies agreed to cooperate in the development and marketing of Windows Phone. ”

    Weren’t you FOSS fans all heated up with the idea that Samsung was going to dig in and fight the evil empire, certain to win where HTC had given in to cowardice and settled? Looks like you will have to wait for another day to see MS get their comeuppance!

  37. I agree it would be better to be more open but Amazon has its own strategy. With no camera and a walled garden, Amazon should give them away as inducements to shop Amazon or to reward good customers.

  38. Exactly. Amazon should spruce it up and give it away for free. They would zero in on a select clientele of mobile computer users. You know, those kinds of people who must always be connected and might be too busy to go to a bricks-and-mortar place of business. I would bet that this is a trial and if it gives some target of performance will be expanded. I think there could be a business case for including one in the next order by a regular customer. The friends of that customer would be envious and buy one. Then Amazon might double their number of customers rather quickly. If there were wifi on public transit, I could see commuters shopping using one.

  39. oldman says:

    This is a joke Pog. 8Gb storage, no camera/mic, 7 inch screen and no 3G – which means if you dont have wi-fi your SOL. More importantly, although its comes with USB 2.0 connectivity, there is no USB 2 cable nor is their any mention of USB connectivity to ones full function desktop/laptop.

    But it is a small cheap computer, or rather a small cheap point of sale terminal for amazon…

    Ah free enterprise 😉

  40. D-G says:

    By the way, the tablet uses Amazon’s very own app store. That brings it very much closer to the Apple model — and yet you haven’t mentioned this thing, what’s its name … vendor lock-in! Because the only important thing is that it runs Android, isn’t it, Pog?

    Proprietary things and pseudo F(L)OSS. I love it!

  41. I doubt that will amount to much. TFA also says it’s a “cross-licensing” agreement, so that M$ also owes Samsung. All this softwzare patent nonsense will soon fall away.

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