blind_html [Fwd: (VIP Forum) FW: Amazon introduces Kindle 2 with text-to-speech feature]

  • From: Nimer <nimerjaber1@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: blind_html@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2009 15:52:55 -0700

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: (VIP Forum) FW: Amazon introduces Kindle 2 with text-to-speech feature
Date:   Mon, 09 Feb 2009 17:21:04 -0500
From:   Immigrant <immigrant328@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Reply-To:       VIP_Forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
To:     <chocoholicclub@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <VIP_Forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> <>

Amazon today revealed its Kindle 2 wireless reading device that will go on
sale later this month with a thinner design, longer battery life, faster
page turns, more storage, sharper images, and a new text-to-speech feature.

The new Kindle is virtually identical to the photos leaked last year and
with features very similar to last week's predictions.

In a press event at New York's Morgan Library, Amazon founder and chief
executive Jeff Bezos told attendees that Kindle e-books now make up 10
percent of the online retailer's unit sales, and he was quick to point out
the new Kindle is thinner than the iPhone by 0.12 inches, or 25 percent.

"Kindle 2 is everything customers tell us they love about the original
Kindle, only thinner, faster, crisper, with longer battery life, and capable
of holding hundreds more books," he said. "If you want, Kindle 2 will even
read to you
something new we added that a book could never do. While we're excited about
Kindle 2, we know that great hardware is useless without vast selection.
why the Kindle Store offers customers over 230,000 books."

During the press event a slide outlined Amazon's vision to make "every book
ever printed in any language all available in less than 60 seconds" with the


New buttons on the "pencil thin" Kindle 2 make it easier to turn pages with
either hand. Usability and clumsy navigation was a major complaint about the
original Kindle (review), and Amazon is addressing those concerns with its
latest design.

A new "5-way controller" is intended for more precise note-taking and
highlighting as well as faster jumps between articles and sections of
newspapers. Unfortunately, the "official cover", with an
integrated attachment hinge and leather cover, will be sold separately for
$29.99. This is probably a concession to third-party suppliers, as Amazon
also said that Kindle
2 covers will be sold by Patagonia, Cole Haan and Belkin.

Kindle 2

New Features

Amazon calls "Text-to-Speech" an "experimental" feature that will convert
text on the page to spoken words, and also save the spot on a page in case a
reader wants to switch back and forth between reading and listening. Users
can choose between male and female voices and specify the reading speed.
Anything that appears on the device's screen, from newspapers to blogs to
books, can be read aloud.

Meanwhile, Amazon's new "Whispersync" technology promises to sync Kindle 2
and the original Kindle automatically for easy transitions. Users can pick
up a Kindle at home, read a chapter or two, then drive to work where they
have a Kindle 2. Wherever you left off will be synced to the other device
with no flipping forward and backward to find your place. Amazon says
Whispersync will make it easier to transition to the new Kindle from the old
model or to use both together. Eventually, support for "a range of mobile
devices" will be provided, presumably smartphones, but no specifics are yet

The New Oxford American Dictionary is also built in with 250,000 word
definitions that appear instantly at the bottom of the page.

Kindle 2

Display, Battery Life, and Connectivity

Whereas the Kindle 1 offered only 4 shades of gray on the display, the
Kindle 2 is capable of showing 16 shades on a six-inch, 600 x 800 electronic
paper display. There is no backlight, helping provide 25 percent longer
battery life.
Amazon claims four to five days of reading on one charge with wireless
turned on, two weeks with wireless off. The company also claims pages will
turn 20 percent faster.

The national 3G delivery network called Whispernet remains unchanged in a
continuing partnership with Sprint that keeps the service available for no
extra charge to Kindle owners. Amazon says it has been expanded to cover all
50 states with no PC, Wi-Fi hot spot, or syncing necessary.


The Kindle 2, with its 2 GB of memory, can hold more than 1,500 books
compared to the original's 200. Books bought before are backed up to an account, so customers can wirelessly re-download previously
purchased titles as necessary.


The original Kindle launched with 90,000 available e-books, while Kindle 2
owners will have more than 230,000 from which to choose. New authors added
include John Steinbeck, C.S. Lewis, Beverly Cleary, Martha Stewart, Terry
Goodkind, and Spencer Johnson.

Author Stephen King has also written a plainly promotional novella, "Ur",
whose protagonist "can't seem to get his ex-girlfriend's parting shot out of
his head." The parting shot? "Why can't you just read off the computer like
the rest of us?" The lovelorn college English instructor then places an
order for a Kindle, and, we assume, lives happily ever after. Pre-orders
will get the novella automatically downloaded to their device.

Amazon has also rolled out support for more magazines, newspapers, and
Newspaper subscriptions range from $5.99 to $14.99 fees per month, magazines
are priced at $1.25 to $3.49 per month. Wireless blog delivery starts at
for each per month with a free two-week trial.

Kindle 2

Pricing and Availability

The Kindle 2 will sell for the same price its predecessor most recently went
for, $359. (The original device launched at $399.) Customers still waiting
on unfulfilled Kindle 1 orders will be automatically upgraded to Kindle 2,
with the devices scheduled to begin shipping February 24. Current Kindle
owners are also invited to pre-order before midnight tonight to receive

For everyone else, it's available for pre-order today.

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