E-readers kindle enthusiasm among children in Kenya (The Guardian)

Supreme Court to hear arguments in case of student who resold books (CNN)

Why Amazon is within its rights to remove access to your Kindle books (ZDNet)

Why Google and Amazon hate Apple’s $329 price tag on iPad mini (Mac Daily News)

Kindle Daily Deal: Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio {and} Coraline by Neil Gaiman

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  1. The piece on iPad mini pricing misses the more interesting and important differences between these three companies. Google makes its money selling the information it gathers about its users. It offers a wide range (net) of services and, now, products. whose primary goal is to facilitate that harvesting. Amazon makes its money selling content and therefore it offers software on every imaginable hardware platform and now its own hardware, to facilitate the recruitment and retention of content consumption customers. Both Google and Amazon need to involve as many users and content customers as possible. If they had to, they would give the hardware away. Who knows, maybe they will some day.
    Apple, on the other hand, is a hardware company. They make most of their money selling hardware. The revenue for iTunes services is only slightly better than break even. The differentiator, then, is that buying Apple hardware is primarily focused upon the user experience. You don’t get trapped in a single content silo (Amazon) and you have options to control or prevent information about you from becoming currency for someone else (Google).
    There are many people who are perfectly willing to commit to Google and/or Amazon in exchange for cheap hardware and free services. All we can hope for is that this is an informed decision. Some of those people may not actually have much choice in that they cannot afford more expensive hardware and non-free services. Their only other option is to do without.

  2. The piece on reselling physical textbooks will be very interesting to follow. I’m rooting for the doctrine of first sale to trump what appear to me to be rather flimsy counter-arguments. Although I doubt that it will have much effect on digital commerce, it could awaken a larger, wider conversation about that. As discussed here recently, these digital sellers need to be more honest with their customers. That degree of honesty may require statutory support as did teh health warnings on cigarettes.

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