11:08AM "Thank you." And that's that! Now time for a little hands-on action. Thanks for reading -- stay tuned for pics (and video!).
11:08AM Kindle 2 price has not changed.
11:07AM 9.7-inch display with auto-rotate, 3G wireless, 3.3GB of storage, native PDF support, $9.99 or less NYT bestsellers, no wireless contract... $489. But we knew that.
11:06AM "So let me put this all together for you."
11:06AM We're checking out some textbooks now -- Jeff is demo'ing the ability to search words just... like... the... Kindle. Nothing really truly new here so far. Wait! "This is a new feature -- you can decide how many words per line you want. I find I read faster when the line length is shorter."
11:04AM Now showing off reading stories in shortened groupings. Yep... just like reading news on the Kindle.
11:03AM Now he's reading the news out loud. Looks good... but about the same as the Kindle 2. If you just bought one of those, it's going to be hard to convince you on the DX. This timing is odd to us.
11:02AM "I don't think it makes sense to continue with the demo..." Now Jeff is inviting people on stage... oh wait -- screen is back. Someone is getting fired today.
11:02AM Oh man. The screen just went off totally. "Does the camera seem to be working right?"
11:01AM "You can see, even in reverse, how good the display looks." Wow, Bezos must be a bit angry right now. "I'm going to choose to find this hilarious." More laughs. It's all backwards! "Let's look at the NYT -- I've never seen it backwards."
11:00AM Ha! "How in the world did we make it backwards..." The display is backwards right now. Big laughs on that.
11:00AM "Here's something from my collection. This is exactly the kind of document I would have wasted ink on. It looks absolutely beautiful."
10:58AM PDF demo now -- the screen looks good, but the refresh is still fairly slow. We'd imagine the larger screen hurts it a bit.
10:58AM Jeff is back. "Let's do a quick demo. We'll have these after the event for you to play with."
10:57AM "Thank you Amazon, thank you Jeff, for boosting book sales, and thank you for making the Kindle DX such a compelling experience for readers."
10:57AM "This experiment..." Ouch. "Will combine the immediacy of the web, with the readability of the Kindle experience." "We will offer the Kindle plans where our paper is not available to provide our readers with what they want, and where they want it."
10:55AM "We knew that one day an e-reader would offer the same experience of a newspaper. As each new generation of the Kindle came to market, that dream continues to get closer to realization. This is an example of how we're using every medium to meet the demands of our readers."
10:54AM "We're pleased to announce that three papers have signed on with us, the NYT, Boston Globe, and the Washington Post. They will offer reduced prices for long term commitments on subscriptions." And NYT chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr. is out.
10:53AM "People love getting newspapers on their Kindles. They love that it follows them around."
10:52AM Newspapers... here we go.
10:52AM And Jeff is back...
10:51AM Barbara: "We believe this will revolutionize learning. As a research university, we're bound to test our hypothesis -- will the Kindle change how students work? We're going to look at these questions. To all the reporters here, can you imagine what it would be like to craft your story using paper, a typewriter, white out?"
10:49AM "This is a dream to have textbooks on a device this small. Students with smaller backpacks, less load, easier access. Speaking of students. We've got the textbooks, we've got the device -- what about the students? 5 universities have decided to pilot the Kindle DX this fall. And here's Barbara Snyder, president of Case Western Reserve."
10:48AM "Textbooks shine with this display. I'm excited to announce today that we've reached an agreement with three leading textbook publishers."
10:47AM "Any highly structured documents look great on this device. Here's a cookbook, lots of structure. Here's another one, a photo of sushi... it's making me hungry. Computer books, they're highly structured, complex layouts. They shine with the Kindle DX."
10:46AM "Here's an article from Nature, a newsletter, a memo, an annual report. You just rotate the device and you go to widescreen mode."
10:46AM "The display is 2 and a half times the size of the Kindle 2. Built in PDF reader, you never have to pan, you never have to zoom, you never have to scroll. You just read."
10:45AM "Most of the documents that we print and read are 8 1/2 x 11 -- you can't reflow these documents. Even with electronic paper, you need a big display." Hmm... really? And it's out. "I'm excited to introduce... Kindle DX."
10:44AM "Why do we still print? Because computer displays are worse than paper. Paper is just better. It's worth the hassle of printing. Well, Kindle's paperlike display solves that problem, but there is one more thing."
10:44AM "We print more paper now than ever before. Paperless society never came. Printers have proliferated, and so have their evil companion..." Ha! Picture of ink cartridges.
10:43AM He's really driving home the reasons why the Kindle is killing. He's working towards documents now... paper... here we go.
10:42AM "It's meant for people to read. It's light, it feels good in your hands. You don't notice it's there. It doesn't beep at you, it doesn't get warm in your hands. These are real issues, and if they existed they would make the reading experience less enjoyable."
10:41AM "Another reason: it's 3G wireless. You don't need the computer, you don't even have to own a PC. It's seamless integration. Even though it's 3G, there's no annual contracts, no monthly service fees. You can download books in less than 60 seconds."
10:40AM "Why is that? We have the books that people want to read. We have tens of millions of customers who buy books from us -- we know what they want. There's another reason too -- the paper like display. It doesn't cause eye strain, it's readable in the sunlight. It's better than computer displays. And of course it sips battery power."
10:39AM He's into his same intro from the Kindle 2 event. "We've added 45,000 books in the last three months. Kindle sales are now 35% of books where we have Kindle editions -- that's coincident with the launch of Kindle 2."
10:38AM "Ladies and gentlemen, Jeff Bezos." Applause. And Jeff is out!
10:36AM Team Amazon is running a bit behind schedule as you can see. We can't really blame them though, we hear that Terminator Salvation Kindle is hard to deal with. It keeps trying to exterminate its owner because it thinks they're "obsolete."
10:34AM Whoa -- the music in here has just gotten extremely funky thanks to a band called MFSB... claims Shazam.
10:30AM We can say this: so far, our connection is holding up way better here than it did in the Morgan Library (for the Kindle 2 launch). Maybe Amazon is listening. Now if they just have enough Kindles to go around when it's time for some hands-on action, we'll be in business.
10:20AM Are we about to see the emergence of phone-carrier style plans for e-readers? Logically, it makes sense for subsidies to enter the picture when you have content providers like the Times pairing up with hardware companies (like Amazon in this case). So the idea of a free or more moderately priced device coupled with a one or two-year contract for delivery seems highly plausible.
10:15AM So before things get rolling, some more serious predictions. It's going to be hard for Amazon to convince people to drop another $360 on a device. Our feelings (as of right now) is that they (and the New York Times, of course) will have to come with an attractive subscription plan to make this enticing to users. Should be interesting to see how they position this, but we at least know that it costs the NYT basically nothing to pipe their paper onto this device, so that price better be reasonable.
10:11AM We managed to nab some front row seats and we're right next to the cats from Gizmodo -- as you can see in the pic below. The house is getting kinda full now... Bezos will be pleased.
10:07AM Here's our predictions besides the Kindle DX (the big daddy we saw yesterday). Tiny Kindle (about the size of a Tic-Tac box), Kindle Lady (it's pink), and a very special Terminator Salvation Kindle.
10:03AM And we're in our seats! Once again, a nice theater setting for the Amazon folks. Everyone is scrambling to get situated right now, and there's some sweet soul on the sound system here.
9:48AM We're in folks. Right now the press is in a holding pattern outside of the actual venue, but hey... free coffee.