The smoke has cleared after the Kindle’s launch (although our evaluation devices are still lost in the mail, it appears), and people have been poking through the detritus. One such person is sf author Gary Gibson, who’s been following the Kindle’s media trail quite closely … and has found a review that suggests Amazon’s new ebook reader may not be anywhere near as restricted in function as Amazon themselves may have claimed:
… the implication to some is that back-doors to the device’s software have been more or less left deliberately left wide-open. Not only that, but many of the purported limitations – you can only read books downloaded through Amazon’s website, you can’t copy books, it doesn’t work as a web browser – are, according to some, manifestly not true. For instance, the majority of blogs you purportedly have to pay to be able to read are accessible for free using RSS feeds through the Kindle’s basic web browser, as in fact are the free online contents of many of the newspapers now selling Kindle subscriptions.
Interesting stuff – though I think we’ll need some more corroboration on these points before getting too excited. And, wider functionality or not, it’s still very ugly … but I guess I could live with that.