Wacky Discovery Founder Sues over Kindle

Owen Thomas · 03/18/09 12:26PM

Discovery Communications, the owner of cable channels like FitTV and Animal Planet, is suing, maker of the Kindle, over an electronic-books patent taken out by its founder and CEO, John Hendricks, years ago.

Hearst's E-Reader: The Last Stand of a Doomed Industry

Owen Thomas · 02/27/09 01:15PM

Dear media companies: Please stop trying to innovate. You're lousy at it. Hearst's supposed "Kindle killer," an electronic reader for magazines, is just the latest in a series of debacles from the moribund print-media business.

The Revenge of's 'Chuckling Maniac'

Owen Thomas · 02/24/09 02:00AM

Jeff Bezos turned up on the Daily Show couch to promote's newest Kindle e-book reader. And as this clip shows, he laughed, and laughed, and laughed. Why wouldn't he?

Apparently everything gets past security these days

Jackson West · 09/04/08 06:00PM

Kindlespotting continues, with a reader sending us this picture of a reader on a flight from Dallas to San Francisco. Considering how much the e-book readers cost and the premium prices for the content, you'd think this reader would be in first class — then again, after paying Amazon $359 plus shipping for the gadget, maybe all he could afford was coach. Go on, write a better caption in the comments. Best one will become the new headline. Yesterday's winner in our very special caption contest: "And now that I've had Firefox dig this hole in the desert for me..." by Beachfront_Perk.

No new Kindle from Amazon this year

Paul Boutin · 08/28/08 12:40PM

"There will be no new version of the Kindle this year," spokesman Craig Berman told The New York Times. Berman seems intent on stomping rumors of a new Kindle for Christmas. His message? Stop saving up. Buy some more e-books instead.(Photo by AP/Mark Lennihan) execs: Kindle not quite the huge hit everyone says it is

Nicholas Carlson · 08/25/08 09:40AM

After a TechCrunch report said that had already sold 240,000 Kindles this year, Wall Street analyst Mark Mahaney called the Kindle "the iPod of the book world." Now says both Mahaney and TechCrunch spoke too soon and without talking to the right people. The right people, according to analysts from McAdams Wright Ragen, being analysts from McAdams Wright Ragen.They say Amazon executives told them "high-end estimates on Kindle sales reported by TechCrunch and a Citigroup analyst are not reasonable." Writes one of the McAdams Wright Ragen analysts: " told us that the Kindle is definitely selling very well, but they also said the analysts and reporters giving out these extremely high estimates 'did not run them by company. Since we've never seen a Kindle in person, we're inclined to believe the Amazon executives when they say the Kindle isn't quite such a huge hit. But the suits might also be trying to keep expectations low enough to be easily surpassed.

Pardon me, do you have any grey poupon?

Nicholas Carlson · 08/14/08 06:00PM's electronic-book reader, the Kindle, is a rare find in the wild. The only place we've ever spotted one was in New York's subway system. And that's where a Valleywag reader found this specimen yesterday. Unfortunately, in his excitement, our volunteer paparazzo may have startled the rare creature, perhaps disturbing its mating cycle. You can tell by looking at its eyes. Can you come up with a better caption? Do so in the comments and we'll rename the post with the best one. Yesterday's winner is Sample32 with "This picture would be 10x better if it was accompanied by Australian accents."

The Kindle is the Sasquatch of the Book World

Sheila · 08/11/08 10:36AM

There have been dozens of alleged sightings, but have you or anyone you know actually seen either Bigfoot or a an actual person using Amazon's $400 electronic reader? Yet, Citigroup reports that its sales are "better than expected" and predicts that "Amazon will sell up to 380,000 Kindles in 2008, up from a previous forecast of 190,000." Wishful thinking? Crackpot theory? We need non-faked photographic evidence. (Valleywag saw a real live Kindle user once.) [Reuters]

Attempt to spark Kindle flame leaves publishers cold at Book Expo

Jackson West · 06/02/08 11:40AM

LOS ANGELES, CA — Consumers aren't the only ones not buying the Amazon Kindle pitch. At a presentation by representatives at Book Expo America on Saturday, publishers proved an equally tough sell. The reps held a special session to introduce publishers to Amazon's tools for uploading, publishing, and managing inventory for the Kindle. While the Digital Tools for Publishers system is slick and easy to use, the company wasn't particularly transparent about questions regarding the size and makeup of the market for Kindle e-books.

Jeff Bezos pitches the Kindle, BookSurge to skeptical mob at Book Expo America

Jackson West · 05/30/08 06:20PM

LOS ANGELES, CA — Jeff Bezos pitched the Kindle to attendees at Book Expo America today in downtown LA, and then sat down with Wired editor and author of The Long Tail Chris Anderson for a little chit-chat. The takeaway? Much like Apple, Bezos uses the euphemism "customer experience" for "vertical integration," especially when it comes to the new Kindle and the requirement that print-on-demand publishers work with Amazon subsidiary BookSurge. After the jump, some choice quotes from before Anderson's questions (presumably from his notes, on regular old paper, pictured here) started to veer into extreme audience irrelevance when he brought up EC2 and Bezos' space ambitions.

Open Question

Sheila · 05/21/08 08:53AM

Is it any coincidence that the most annoying person on the train this morning—a grown woman wearing pigtails, noisily making out with her boyfriend—was also brandishing a Kindle (Amazon's $400 "electronic reader")?

Sun has great friends, but business plan still a mystery

Jackson West · 05/06/08 04:00PM

At the JavaOne keynote this held at the Moscone Center this morning, EVP of software Rich Green took the stage and told the assembled crowd, mostly developers, "Welcome to the revolution. Businesses used to drive technology adoption, but now it's all about consumers." Which suggests the company, known historically as an enterprise hardware and software provider, is changing focus to enable more consumer-focused applications. Not mentioned? Last week's announcement of a $34 million quarterly loss and a stock price that has hardly improved since plummeting 20 percent. But look everybody, Neil Young!

Amazon Briefly Runs Out of Kindles

Sheila · 05/05/08 10:51AM's $400 electronic-reading device, the Kindle, is back in stock. Whew! They ran out of Kindles for a moment there, but they're "back in stock and ready for immediate shipment," wants us to know. can't tell who's getting off on the Kindle

Melissa Gira Grant · 04/29/08 02:00PM

For the makers of e-book readers, the raincoater audience — the straightish men who frequent adult bookstores for the promise of a little action in the back — are an unlikely market. They're not even there to read, for starters. But for literate smut fans, who have been choosing from the first day they made erotic books available in discreet, brown-wrapped boxes? If they're turning to the Kindle to deliver their porn, Amazon's not telling. Not entirely. We've got numbers on how well the same books sell in print, but not for their Kindle counterparts. Better figures might be possible if everyone's who's spindled their Kindle dropped Amazon a line.