Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Amazon Kindle swindle -- another monopolistic monster

infoweek has this grinning columnist named fritz give us the low-down on the blow-down -- the incredible, earth-shaking, game-changing amazon tablet:
Amazon Kindle Fire: 4 Key Considerations - Personal-tech - Tablets - Informationweek: "Amazon finally sat down to the adults table in the tablet world today. For those expecting a Samsung tablet at an Amazon price, please try to hide your disappointment, but remember: We need another Android clone like we need another mobile patent lawsuit. Time for something different. While the Amazon Kindle Fire isn't going to be for everyone (read: Apple lovers, iPad owners, and possibly Amazon neophytes), it conjures up a simple new notion: a tablet for the rest of us."
the US seems to be in love with XL. when one of the megalithic entities of the commercial universe unveils it's latest gift to humanity, the messenger boys from the fawning corporate media establishment are front and center, on the scene and drooling over their sanctified sneak peek at the latest dick-stiffening tablet to come down from mount sinai.

amazon is just big enough, the profit margins high enough, their MTM growth rate impressive enough to be amazing and awesome whenever they deign to drop some new gadget on the market. it is greeted with hushed admiration, giving way to hoots of unrestrained joy, as the newest essential lifestyle augmentation gets its requisite welcome and fanboy adulation.

amazon calls its latest offering the kindle fire, but let's be honest: kindle swindle is a lot more catchy, not to mention it better describes this latest foray into totally unnecessary, disposable lifestyle appliance. it's such a winner from amazon's perspective that they're even willing to take a loss on the $200 sell price in order to welcome you into the amazon universe of "content" -- music, books, movies and all the other cultural detritus that keeps the skids of online commerce greased.

the kindle swindle keeps you tied to a handheld gadget that absorbs your time and your mind in ways that keep you tied to the collective we call society, but which is quite a more restrictive and controlling environment than human interactions as we used to know them. the marketplace and communities have turned into quite a different thing than they once were, and as just another node on someone's network, we begin to lose our individuality and identity.

in any event, there's no clear benefit to become enmeshed in apple's and amazon's ecosphere, where giant corporations try to control both the enabling technology and the content -- making the corporate presence a constant in one's interaction with goods and services outside the web created by these devices. centralization and control are two corporate values that are at odds with human societies and personal interaction.

corporations are -- and should never be confused with -- people, but we're locked into a paradigm where as consumers (rather than simply citizens) we're tethered to the corporate machine by a digital web that stronger than steel in its ability to keep our view of the world circumscribed.

besides, after amazon kicked wikileaks off its servers, you knew then that the corporation was at odds with the values of most of its human customers. who ever heard of a bookseller that was hostile to free speech? to me, there's no greater affirmation of amazon's corporate mission than this expression of its solidarity with the regime of the corporate, kleptocratic state.

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