Hoping for a Kindle Color?

For the first time in a while, we have some real hope for a decent full-color eReader in the near future.  Sure, the NOOKcolor will be out soon, but nobody really cares that much.  E Ink, maker of the current amazingly popular screens for the Kindle and nook, has announced a new display technology that they have dubbed Triton.

E Ink Triton is a color active matrix imaging film that manages to retain all of the benefits of their previous products(such as the monochrome E Ink Pearl screen found in the current generation of the Kindle) without limiting the display options when it comes to illustration.  Users can expect to retain the direct sunlight readability, quick page turns, amazing battery life, and durability that they have come to expect and hopefully quite a bit more, depending on how companies like Amazon(NASDAQ:AMZN) manage to adapt the technology for improved user experience.

This comes with the usual cautions, of course, before people get too excited.  Namely, this is not an LCD screen.  This means that you cannot expect everything to work precisely the same way a standard computer monitor would.  You will not be watching video on it, nor will there be a back-light.  It is an amazing leap forward for eReading technology, not just another potential selling point for entries into the tablet race.  Reflecting on that point, if this works well and is adopted for use in something like the Kindle, there will really no longer be any grounds for complaints about usability from people wanting anything short of a full-function tablet.

This advance bodes well for the future of eReading and will definitely tie in well to such things as the recent push by Amazon to get periodicals published on the Kindle platform.  I know that we won’t be seeing a color Kindle by the end of this year, but now that it appears to be a practical inevitability, the possibilities are abundant.

Amazon pulls “A Child-Lover’s Code of Conduct” from Kindle Marketplace

Either Amazon has reversed their initial stance on keeping the book (The Pedophile’s Guide To Love And Pleasure by Philip R Greaves) in the marketplace or the author has pulled the book himself. As for 11:55PM PST November 10th the book URL returns 404 Not Found status code.

The book has apparently been on the marketplace from October 28th and it was just one of 750,000+ books on the marketplace (most of which no one will ever see). Here’s excerpt from author’s book description:

This is my attempt to make pedophile situations safer for those juveniles that find themselves involved in them, by establishing certian rules for these adults to follow. I hope to achieve this by appealing to the better nature of pedosexuals, with hope that their doing so will result in less hatred and perhaps liter sentences should they ever be caught.

The book slowly drew notice until inevitably all hell broke lose on October 10th in the blogosphere. Cached copy in Bing search dated 11/10 has 8 customer reviews (all negative). Posts written on the same date at a later time mention 500+ reviews (vast majority of them negative) leading me to believe that all of them were left in the second half of the day. As of now there are 1,700 blog posts on the subject that were published within last 24 hours.

Amazon’s initial stance was summarized in the following statement:

Amazon believes it is censorship not to sell certain books simply because we or others believe their message is objectionable. Amazon does not support or promote hatred or criminal acts, however, we do support the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions.

Pretty soon boycott petitions started circulating on the internet rapidly collecting hundreds of signatures despite the late hour.

Eventually either Amazon or the author got their wits together and pulled the book from the marketplace.

There were pretty much bare facts.

Now for my personal opinion…

Somebody within Amazon who reviewed the book and approved it for the Kindle marketplace exercised some very bad judgement by letting a book like this get published. While it’s hard to say if the book text technically constitutes a crime or not, there is no more moral justification for existence of such book than for hypothetical “Humane murderer’s field manual – How to kill your victims without making them suffer”.  Just as Amazon leadership believes in the “the right of every individual to make their own purchasing decisions” I believe in the right of every company to use moral judgement and plain common sense when making their own selling decisions. Legality shouldn’t be the only criteria when deciding whether to sell something or not.

I do hope that Amazon realized that selling this kind of book is wrong not only because customers and bloggers scold you for it but just because it is just wrong regardless of freedom speech. I will be looking forward to an official press release admitting as much. If would merely be a symbolic gesture since with or without Amazon there are loads of filth in the Internet but the right gesture nonetheless.