During my time in the States, the average shopper I encountered in Walmart was not your tech savvy geek. For those who have never had the honour of stepping foot in a Walmart, it is like the love child of The Warehouse, Mitre 10, Countdown and The $2 shop. Anything your heart desires is available in Walmart, for ridiculously low prices.
I'm a massive fan of the Amazon Kindle, having bought one for my partner at Christmas. I see the success of this Walmart-Amazon deal being with how stupidly simple the Kindle is.
The Kindle is small, light and does one thing and does it very well - its e-paper allows you to read books. No flashy graphics, no backlit screen, no having to charge it every night (supposedly the Kindle has a month's battery life) - it really is the perfect device for a book worm.
So Amazon has started with a great product the closely emulates a physical book (eg no eye strain), without having the bulkiness of a thick novel. Good start.
Their next trick is delivery of books to the device. I opted for the WiFi+3G model. I login to Amazon, search for the book I want, purchase it (for far less than a physical book, plus no high postage to NZ) and within minutes it's on the Kindle. Regardless of where you are in the world, Whispernet (Amazon's automagical delivery network, powered by AT&T) gets it from Amazon to the Kindle (or you can do it via WiFi just as easily). Since this is all setup before you receive the Kindle, there's no having to find a NZ sim card, making sure it has credit etc. Amazon do it all for you. Not having to plug the Kindle into a computer to get books is also great.
Two nights ago I was reading a blog post about a book called The Facebook Effect by David Kirkpatrick. It's a complete history of Facebook and some of the financial, technical and social hurdless they have had to overcome. From the time I read about the book, to actually reading the book on the Kindle was about 5 minutes. I'm just about finished this book as I can't put it down (I read one book every two years, I'm not a big reader), and would probably not have bought it had I needed to drive to a physical book store, or waited two weeks for it to arrive by courier.
The Kindle really is an amazing device, I highly recommend it. I should buy one for mum for Mother's Day, but I'm cheap, so she'll have to settle for some flowers instead.
You can support Geekzone by buying a Kindle through this link.
Hat tip to @paulhayton for the link to the article.
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