Round up #92: Europe rejects ACTA, Gideon’s Kindle
UK hotel replacing paper Bibles with Kindles
For more than a century, the Gideons International has been placing Bibles in hotel rooms for guests, supposedly literally tens of millions in 2011.
There have been many pop culture references to “Gideon’s Bible” (Gideon appears in the Bible, but I’ve never been quite sure if we should refer to this as “Gideon’s Bible” or the “Gideons’ Bible”, but I almost always see the former), from the Beatles Rocky Raccoon to Mission:Impossible.
Now, the Hotel Indigo (part of the International Hotel Group, which includes Hilton) in Newcastle is replacing paper Bibles in hotel rooms with Kindles:
This is certainly not the first hotel to have Kindles available. That goes back to at least the Algonquin Hotel in New York in 2008:
Hotels.com gave Kindles away last year:
However, this feels different, and is getting a lot of buzz.
The press release specifically says that they are replacing Gideon’s Bible with a Kindle . The Kindle will have the Bible pre-loaded, and they point out that you can download other religious texts.
In fact, you’ll apparently be able to download any books from the Kindle store…but ones that you “purchase” will be charged to your hotel room. You also only have them for the length of the stay, and the books aren’t left for the next guest…they get a clean Kindle (except for the Bible).
I guess paying the equivalent of $10 for an e-book you only have during your hotel stay is no different from paying for a video to watch while you are there.
This seems a bit complex to me. You can see which Kindle got which book. You go to
click or tap on
then click or tap on
View Recent Successful Deliveries.
I guess they could name each Kindle for each of the 148 rooms. They would just have to check those recent deliveries when you were going to leave, and add it to your bill.
However, if the hotel only has one account, they’d typically be limited to six Kindles having a book at the same time. This part is a bit confusing to me: how do they keep the Kindle from seeing the archives (so you could read a book someone else bought), and still let you buy the books? They are reportedly going to use the Kindle Touch, Wi-Fi only. That doesn’t have the “parental controls” of the Kindle Fire or of the Mindle (the $79/$109 model in the USA…that’s just what I call it).
You could do it pretty effectively with the Mindle, since you can turn off access to the Archived Items, but leave access to the Kindle Store open.
Hm…I wonder if CNN is wrong about the model, or if the hotel somehow already knows about parental controls coming to the Touch (which seems inevitable). If you have them in place, the Kindle also can’t be deregistered or set to factory defaults.
My guess is that the CNN report has it incorrect, although I don’t know.
Next model(s) speculation
This has been heating up again…lots of speculation, and we’ve started to see the posts in the Kindle forum that already think a new model has been announced.
Nobody seems to really get it right ahead of time. I just guess, myself. People pay attention to
BGR has a very good handle on the rumors, but it is worth noting that they were talking about a 10.1 Amazon tablet back in mid 2011. They could just have been very ahead of the curve, though.
The other two report on supply chain information, which one would think would be more reliable. How could you hide that your factory is working on a new tablet very easily?
They haven’t always gotten it right either, though.
I’d say that the dates that seem most likely to me around new hardware from Amazon are July 31st for an announcement, and shipping in early August.
Just a guess, though!
I think we are very likely to see one or more frontlit models, a price drop on the current Kindle Fire, and a more sophisticated same size Kindle Fire. Will we see a bigger tablet? I think we will this year. People question Amazon going head-to-head with Apple on that, but I think there is room for that. Apple may also release an “iPad mini” type model, which makes the head-to-head unavoidable.
A larger tablet might be held a few months for the holiday season. I don’t feel very solid on that…would it lose the holiday buzz if they announced it at the end of July and shipped the bigger one in, say, October? Would that hurt sales of the smaller screen? My intuition is that it wouldn’t hurt…that people don’t buy a small screen instead of a big screen, although they may have bought a Fire instead of an iPad.
I’m very excited to see what happens, but it’s all pretty speculative at this point.
Europe rejects ACTA
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Act (ACTA) gets reported as a movie/TV story
but it’s much more far-reaching than that.
The treaty itself is complicated:
but let’s look at the basic idea and what that might mean for e-books.
The issue is that copyright laws, and especially the enforcement of them, varies wildly from country to country. There are international agreements now (including the Berne Convention), but it’s still a hodgepodge.
On the one side, you have the rightsholders, who want somebody to do something about piracy. They have a lot of money and power, and really push for more enforcement. ACTA mentions imprisonment (not just fines) for criminal violators.
On the other side, you have internet users…there are a lot of them, and many of them have the concept that the internet equals freedom. They don’t want to see restrictions put on the internet.
It’s a classic conundrum for politicians: the powerful versus the plentiful.
I think something has to happen eventually, but ACTA has some tough sledding ahead.
Added story: reading John Landis
I meant to include this one. A relative got me
by the director John Landis. While the above link goes to a Kindle edition, I have the hardback. This is one of those lavishly illustrated DK books…I’d say it is big and thick enough to provide adequate protection if I am ever attacked by elven archers.
I thought I’d give it a read on the bed (it’s big to hold sitting in a chair), and that’s where the paper versus Kindle experience was dramatic.
First, I laid down on the bed with it…and realized I’d need a lot more light. I’ve been reading mostly on my Fire, and that isn’t an issue. With a book this big, my little nightstand light wasn’t enough…it creates its own shadows. I turned on a room light.
I laid down again.
Then, I realized I might need my dollar store reading glasses…which were in another room. So, I went and got those.
I read a couple of pages, and then started to think, “Where can I put this near the bed when I’m done?” I have a library in the house with some shelves that are set to be tall enough, but next to the bed? It blocks the clock!
I’m thankful to have the book. I met John Landis and Rick Baker way back when Schlock was being released (at some little convention somewhere). I remember Rick Baker’s card said, “Rick Baker, Monster Maker”).
The book itself…it’s mostly pictures from movies, a bit of writing, and some interviews. I’ll warn you that it has pictures that are NSFW (Not Safe For Work), including some nudity (and gore). Landis himself uses the “f word” in the interviews. There are some spoilers (but an apparent attempt to avoid them in other cases).
It’s a beautiful book, and I can see an argument for wanting to have a hardback sitting on your shelf. If you want to actually read it, that might be different…
What do you think? Will there be an international copyright agreement that affects e-books? Would you think it was cool to have a Kindle provided in your hotel room? Will people mind if Fifty Shades of Grey shows up on their Significant Other’s hotel bill? Is hardware still the big story it was? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.