August 2009 Issue

First Word: 08/09

Youíve probably read about Mooreís law, the much-quoted axiom that the number of components that can be placed inexpensively in an integrated circuit grows exponentially. It roughly doubles every two years. Along with these advances come faster processing speeds, more and cheaper memory and displays with greater pixel count. Washing ashore in this great tidal wave of technology is the Kindle DX, which we review on page 22 of this issue. The Kindle is Amazonís highly touted e-reader that distinguishes itself from other e-readers only to the extent that Amazon is flogging it to death. The very idea of the e-reader is to put the consumer at the cusp of deciding whether to be simply a reader of things or a user of physical books, newspapers or magazines. Inevitably, this technology will be used in ways it was never intended to be. Right on schedule, itís being pressed into service as an electronic approach plate reader. At this taskócompared to paperóit is compromised. My conclusion is that it works surprisingly well, but thatís not the same as "works well."

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