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Gizmodo on Kindle


Kindle Milestone: Amazon Sold More Kindle Books Than Physical Books On Xmas:

Yes, this is obviously the result of everyone who got a Kindle for Christmas (lots of folks) firing it up and ordering a bunch of eBooks on a day in which most physical-book readers weren't shopping. But it's still important and impressive. The Kindle's economics are still lousy for Amazon: The company loses money on new releases and makes only a modest amount on older titles, thus losing an estimated $1 per Kindle book. That said, Amazon's strategy is clearly to drive "ubiquity," and based on stats like those above, it is succeeding. The more Kindle books Amazon sells, the more leverage it will have over publishers when it tries to force them to cut wholesale prices. If Amazon's Kindle momentum continues, the day publishers have to capitulate will come sooner rather than later.... Amazon's release below.

Amazon Kindle is the Most Gifted Item Ever on Amazon.comOn Christmas Day, for the First Time Ever, Customers Purchased More Kindle Books Than Physical BooksSEATTLE, Dec 26, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) —, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced that Kindle has become the most gifted item in Amazon's history. On Christmas Day, for the first time ever, customers purchased more Kindle books than physical books. The Kindle Store now includes over 390,000 books and the largest selection of the most popular books people want to read, including New York TimesBestsellersand New Releases. "We are grateful to our customers for making Kindle the most gifted item ever in our history," said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of "On behalf of employees around the world, we wish everyone happy holidays and happy reading!"

Matt Buchanan: Is Your Kindle Spying On You? (Yes.):

If you don't want other people to know what you read, you probably shouldn't own an ereader. And you really shouldn't get a constantly connected Kindle or Nook, at least according to the EFF's eye-opening guide to ebook privacy. The Kindle and Nook are tied to Amazon and Barnes & Noble's respective bookstores, meaning every purchase and every book search is recorded. Amazon's license agreement for the Kindle, for instance, notes that the Kindle's software "will provide Amazon with data about your Device and its interaction with the Service...and information related to the content on your Device and your use of it (such as automatic bookmarking of the last page read and content deletions from the Device)." The Nook is obviously capable of phoning home in a similar manner, but it's unknown whether or not it does, at least for now. With Google Books, it's clear that what you're actually reading is logged, down to the specific page...

Joel Johnson: The Secret Lives of Amazon's Elves:

If Amazon is Santa, 400 folks living in RVs outside the Coffeyville, Kansas fulfillment center this winter are the elves. A few years back Chris Dunphy and Cherie Ve Ard flipped the bird to their desk jobs, packed their belongings in a custom 17-foot solar-powered fiberglass camper, and hit the road to live "at the intersection of Epic and Awesome." A couple months ago, while staying with friends, they noticed that Amazon was luring RVers to Coffeyville, Kansas, the site of the retail giant's original and largest fulfillment center.... Fast forward a couple of weeks, and the self-styled "technomads" were putting down stakes at a state park about 20 miles from the four enormous but dull warehouses that comprise the Coffeyville hub.

Their first day inside, Chris was awed. "Walking inside reminded me of the scene from Indiana Jones when they abandon the Ark in that giant warehouse. It's three stories high. It feels like an industrial library. Shelves going up and up and up." Hundreds of employees scurried, some "orange-badges" or "green-badges" hired by two temporary employment services mixed with the sought-after blue-badges of full-time Amazon employees, guided to their next destination by computers that flashed lights when bins were full or guided workers through the maze with handheld computers. "Pickers are basically playing a human Pac-Man game. They've got a computer scanner that they carry around that tells them where to go. They find their little shelf. One slot might be a book. The next shelf over might be a toaster. Or an iPod. The next slot after that might be a pair of jeans." Amazon didn't always lure in "workcampers" from the RV community...