image CNet reports that a Millward Brown study shows that Amazon ranks as the most trusted and recommended brand in the United States. It’s not terribly surprising; When you have a company that operates smoothly enough that most people not directly affected by them are willing to overlook those times when it accidentally or intentionally delists books or removes them from user devices, it has to be doing something right.

TechFlash reports that Microsoft and Amazon have signed a cross-patent-licensing agreement, where each company gains the rights to use the other’s patent portfolio. The deal indemnifies Amazon against a lawsuit by Microsoft over its use of Linux and other open-source technology in its Kindle and the Kindle servers. Open source advocates may not be too happy that it appears Amazon is endorsing Microsoft’s claims that Linux violates its patents, however.

TechFlash also has a story about Princeton University’s review of the Kindle DX, which they and other universities had been evaluating as a possible replacement for paper textbooks. Princeton likes the form factor, but has some issues with the user interface and internal storage structure. (Paul Biba will have more detailed coverage on this story coming up in an hour or so.)

Whether any universities will adopt Kindles for this purpose is unclear; last month the Justice Department reached an agreement with three universities that they would not do so until and unless the Kindle better supported use by the visually-impaired.

Engadget has video of display company Liquavista’s new dev kit, which combines its color screen with a qwerty keyboard and a Texas Instruments processor to create an interesting, albeit somewhat unfinished-looking device. The video provides a decent look at how the screen changes and refreshes. There’s also video of the LiquavistaBright Freescale e-book reader.


  1. amazon didn’t remove data from anyone’s device. they removed copyright-violating material from their database and the accounts of customers who purchased them; and they refunded the customers’ payments. when the devices sync’ed, those titles vanished. definitely a clumsy move, and not something amazon should have done. but amazon doesn’t go sniffing all over our devices while we’re asleep to see how many books we’ve gotten for free from project gutenberg; and it does bother me a bit to see the tale spun as though that was what happened. a positive feature of the technology, is that if one loses one’s device, one need not lose one’s amazon purchases. once a de-registered device is sync’ed, all amazon purchases disappear.

    i still wonder how amazon *should* have handled the copyright violation situation (first, the work of ayn rand — which is now legally available at the site; then the orwell material). should they have refunded customers’ money and allowed them to keep the violating works ? should they have kept the money and allowed their customers to keep the violating works? i’d be interested in knowing how amazon’s liability/culpability would have changed under different scenarios. they were probably listening to counsel, and not asking enough of the right questions when they did what they did; but i’d guess that they were making an effort to un-do the harm that had been done to the copyright holder.

  2. because that’s what sync’ing is. it’s what it means. automated coordination of content between devices, or between a server and a device.

    except that amazon’s system is *less* draconian than normal sync functionality. if it were a *true* synchronization of content, any and all non-amazon content would disappear every time the device communicated with the server.

    maybe my understanding of this is too picky and literal. and i’m not making excuses what amazon did, either. it did harm customers’ trust, my own included — and instilled what i consider to be a healthy skepticism, as well. it’s just that really often i hear those events framed as if amazon put out its evil tendrils and messed with people’s kindles. they only do *that* in the form of firmware updates. which are generally changes for the better.

    that’s why it’s important that we actually read as much as we can. no company can reach its evil tendrils into our brains and erase the books we’ve already read.

    yet. 🙂

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail