Friday, January 29, 2010

I Love My Kindle.......But...............

I've had my Kindle (technically, Kindle II) from Amazon for about a year now.  I really love it.  Downloading books is simple, quick and generally less expensive than buying physical versions of them.  It is, however, not cheap to buy, and even Kindle books are more expensive than the FREE books we can check out from the public library.  In my case, the library rarely has the books I want to read, so my Kindle is an asset.  In the first year I saved enough money on the purchased books (I'm a fairly active reader) to pay for the reader.  So, it's all good.

The Kindle is not great for text books or graphic intensive books, but for novels and most non fiction, it's fantastic.  It is also great for newspapers (remember those?) and certain blogs.  The font size is easily adjusted and the entire experience is like reading a paperback, but without worring about the pages falling out, or losing your place, or having books pile up around the house.  So, while it's not perfect, the Kindle is a fun asset and tool.

Yesterday, I got an email from Amazon announcing "Kindle for PC", meaning, I could download an app that allows my kindle books to be available on my laptop in addition to the actual reader.  Just what I need, another distraction at work.  But I eagerly downloaded it.  The cool part is that the pc version and the reader, synch so that whichever one you open you are at the place you most recently left off.  So, you can bounce back and forth smoothly. How cool is that?

Here's the but.......... But what does that say about privacy?  The conspiracy theorist who lives inside me, sees 'Big Brother(s)' somewhere in the inner workings of all our new technological advances.  If we use computers, especially if we use the internet, we have no privacy.  Everything we do can be tracked to one degree or another.  Keep that in mind next time you are surfing or downloading.

We applaud when a pedophile or terrorist is captured and incriminating evidence is located deep within his(or her) computer, despite attempts to wipe it.  And rightly so.  But the same technology allows our 'private' time to be made accessible also. 

Technology is a boon.  But it comes with a price beyond the one scanned at the checkout.  I love my Kindle.  I love the worldwide web.  But in using it, I have compromised my liberty, or at least my expectations of complete privacy.  I'm just sayin'...................