Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Merry Christmas, George Orwell

For a book lover, there's a certain appeal to electronic readers like the Kindle.

Every time I look up a book on Amazon, it shows me how quickly and inexpensively I could have that book if I only had a Kindle. Many textbooks are being released in e-reader format, which is somewhat appealing as I get ready for a new season of serious study. But for various reasons, I haven't invested in one of the devices, though I've been curious about them.

However.

Today, NPR ran a story on All Things Considered about the potential of e-readers to send information about the user's habits — what they're reading, where they're reading, even how long they're spending on each page. So the antenna is not only receiving data; it's sending.

Bringing a whole new meaning to the word Whispernet.

The radio version of the story ends with a sound bite from Stephen King, who confesses he's frightened by the technology. Reporter Martin Kaste caps the story with this:

When contemplating the fact that books now come with antennas, even the master of creepy admits to being a little creeped out.
If I ever do get a Kindle, maybe my first download should be 1984.

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