Although Amazon added native support for PDF to Kindle DX they didn’t add the ability to download these directly from the Internet. I believe that this feature was left out deliberately rather than by chance because Amazon pays Sprint $0.12 for each megabyte downloaded. In the case of PDFs cost of downloading PDFs to users for free can easily top profits from book and device sales because as we know Amazon’s profit is not that big as they are trying to grab as much market as possible.
Recently Nirmal Patel created a hack for Kindle DX (based on the source code of UFHack) that enables direct PDF downloads. Since at the moment I’m outside US and don’t have WhisperNet coverage I can’t truly test it however I looked at the hack – it’s very simple and should work.
It installs and uninstalls just as any other Kindle hack:
- Download update_install_download_pdfs_from_browser.bin to install the hack or update_uninstall_download_pdfs_from_browser.bin to uninstall it.
- Connect your Kindle to PC using USB cable and copy the file to root folder.
- Press “Menu”, select “Settings”, press “Menu”, select “Update Your Kindle” and then select “Ok”.
- You Kindle will reboot and changes will be applied.
While I congratulate Nirmal Patel on this hack I do urge you to enjoy it responsibly and don’t abuse Kindle’s 3G connection because should this become a significant financial liability for Amazon they can easily start signing update packages with strong cryptographic keys and this would prevent any other hacks from working altogether.
Also keep in mind that when you download stuff using your Kindle, Amazon knows:
- What exactly and when you download since it all goes through their proxy server.
- Where you live since your address is in your account information.
- Where you are right now since Kindles can triangulate their position based on cell towers with accuracy of several hundred feet.
- Your credit card number since you have it on file so you can buy Kindle books.