[Athen] New Amazon Kindle released

Sean Keegan skeegan at stanford.edu
Mon Feb 9 10:37:55 PST 2009

Just an FYI - Amazon has released the new version of the Kindle. More
information is available at the Amazon site (http://tinyurl.com/afddgh)
as well as at Engadget (http://tinyurl.com/btzncn). Some improvements
that were interesting were:

- Adjustable Text Size
Font size is adjustable for up to six different settings. No word on
whether or not you can change the font itself, but at least the size is
(somewhat) adjustable.

- Read To Me feature
The Kindle 2 now has text-to-speech capability with the option of either
a male or female voice. No word as to what speech engine or how the
voices sound, so it will be interesting to see what has been
implemented. Note - the addition of text-to-speech is for the content
text and does not seem to extend to system menus, etc.

- Built in dictionary
Dictionary is The New Oxford American Dictionary and allows the user to
navigate to any word on the page and the dictionary will show the
information at the bottom of the screen.

- Bookmarks and Annotations
Users can specify a bookmark on a page to return to the specific page
later as well as add annotations to the page using the keyboard
(annotations can be exported). You can also highlight content as well.
It is not clear if you can highlight page content and export that along
with your notes.

While it does support a number of different file formats (MS Word, HTML,
PDF, etc.) it is a bit convoluted to get these files onto the device.
Would also be nice if it supported DAISY or at least ePub. In any case,
it appears as if it has a few more improvements but will be interesting
to see how it actually functions in the real world (i.e., with students).

Take care,

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