Kobo to the rescue?

With no news of when (or even if) the Kindle Touch will hit the UK, well done to WH Smiths who have today announced a deal with Kobo to sell the Kobo Touch in the UK almost immediately (today is October 13th – US availability of Kindle Touch is November) and behind it is a massive book store with 2.2m titles (though it doesn’t hold a candle to Amazon.co.uk). I have a serious dilemma now – this could fed my gadget addiction, has a decent screen and uses a non-proprietary format!


Too many new Kindles – except in the UK

So September 28th did see the launch of the new Kindle Fire (as I have been raving about recently, e.g. here)  and in fact more than that we were treated to three new models (with variations). The reasonably obvious predictions I made a few weeks ago (here) were not massively wrong so I am pleased, however a couple of days later I find I am not pleased as much as I might have been. This blog entry discusses why…

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Amazon Announcement September 28 2011

Just to note that it appears Amazon will announce the coyote Kindle tablet this Wednesday (and it will be called the Kindle Fire I gather). I wonder how close my thoughts will be on this? It certainly looks like the price will be right – $250 so let’s hope a sensible UK price!

Update (27 September) it appears this may be a low specification Blackberry Playbook. Has Amazon cut the specification too far? If I buy this will I get burned?

Sun Tzu’s Art of Tablet Marketing

Further to my earlier thoughts on tablets, iPads and Kindles (e.g. here and here) and triggered by an article or two on The Register (here and here) I thought that maybe what is needed here is some insight from Sun Tzu (he who wrote the Art of War, see wiki if this is new to you). I don’t think it gives me much more ability to predict the future than the next Cambridge lamp-post themed blog, but it does give me a better framework to organise my thoughts around than I hand before.

Without further ado, here are my thoughts…

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The Next Kindle – a (loss) Leader in waiting

As I discussed here I think the much rumoured Android / tablet / next Kindle [possibly due Autumn 2011] has a decent chance of being a success. I thought I have covered all the ground as to why, but a new rumour has speculated overnight – the price will be 20-25% below cost in order to build market share and make money later from ebook downloads. Now this shows the power of the ecosystem that Amazon can bring, but I also wonder:

  • Is the technology for eInk + normal colour display so expensive Amazon have no choice; or
  • It his another shot in the forthcoming battle for hearts and minds?
Whatever the answer roll-on October!
Update 18th August – there are two machines apparently coming the 7″ coyote and 10″ hollywood. The latter is quad core, $400 and e-ink plus tablet. Or so the rumours say!

Kindle, Kindle, little star

We all know what the Kindle is and (at least in the UK) it is the ebook reader of choice. I know that in the US the Barnes & Noble Nook has made an impact but that device hasn’t crossed the pond. While I like a good book to hold I see the attraction in e-books particularly access to old titles and convenience of form-factor (plus simpler storage). I have held off getting one mainly as I really want a tablet, so I am keen to understand what the next Kindle (due October 2011?) will be. Ahead of that I thought I would make a some predictions and also speculate on how successful it will be (and is it a threat to the iPad’s global domination?)

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Bad ShepherdsOne day there will be a thesis written exploring the theme of ‘what happened to traditional folk music – why is it not contemporary’. This thesis will discuss the power of popular music to displace other creativity but will deconstruct traditional music into pointed, passionate tales of everyday life, politics and anger; at this point the focus will move to the late 70s punk and early alternative/indie music and point out that UK Punk (and its contemporaries) are, indeed modern folk!

This will then cite the Bad Shepherds as one of the bands that first made this point by example, and mention that they include Ade Edmondson (also known as a comedian and ex-member of Bad News).

Musically this is a mix of traditional music, a lot of celtic influence and echoes of the kind of multi-ethnic folk showcased on the Imagined Village.

The choice of tunes is eclectic, lots of them work very well (God Save the Queen and London Calling leading the way). Some are growers (Tube Station for example). Yes the vocals could be stronger but Ade gives a lot of passion this is clearly no spoof outing but a genuine heart-felt performance.

At the end of the day it is tempting to wish for a follow-up album with any number of other tunes of the time (e.g. Germ Free Adolescence, Anarchy in the UK, Psycho Killer, Hong Kong Garden…) but I suspect that the Shepherds will do things their own way, and I look forward to the outcome.

If you’ve got fond memories for the music and an open mind, give this a go!

[This is a slightly tidied up version of my Amazon review]