Wired and the World Weighs In On Amazon’s Kindle

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Bruce Sterling over at Wired has put together this collection of negative design critiques of the new Amazon Kindle e-book device, from Adam Greenfield. The list is a great read, but if you do a search, you’ll likely be able to find half a million discussions about the thing, also about as negative as Greenfield’s (though the tide has turned a bit, with exceptions like over at 37signals and reviews like this). As luck would have it, we got a chance to take a look at one today and while we thought it was pretty cool to look at (which we usually do with nearly every piece of new technology that comes out, no matter how pointless), after having seen it, this writer at least is going to join the camp that doesn’t see much future in the device. No matter that it has electronic paper that looks like the real thing, or that it’s about the size of a book, it still feels like you’re holding a big PDA and you’re fully aware that you are. A lot of the downfall, we feel, is that the buying audience of this thing is still demanding the textile sensations of holding books and papers. Wait until we all die off and then try selling this thing to your Myspace generation who doesn’t mind getting their info through screens all the time. Until then, as much as we use computers in our lives, we’ll take our books heavy and dusty on the shelves, our pages bent and highlighted, and the wonderfully messy newsprint left on our fingers after a Sunday morning with the NY Times.