Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the tag “Jeff Bezos”

Review: Amazon Dash

Amazon-Dash-Telecommande-connectee-course-en-ligne-Amazon-FreshI recently started using Amazon Fresh and today I received Amazon Dash, a new device meant to make ordering from Amazon Fresh as easy as possible. What do I think of this new piece of technology? Watch my video review below to find out.

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Amazon Unveils New Kindle Fire HDX

Kindle Fire HDXYesterday, Amazon announced its new lineup of Kindle Fire tablets. In addition to upgrading last year’s 7″ Kindle Fire and lowering its introductory price to $139, Amazon unveiled the Kindle Fire HDX, which has a higher pixel density rate than Apple’s iPad – making for an ultra-high definition viewing experience. The 16 GB, Wi-Fi model with special offers costs $229 for the 7″ version, and the most expensive 8.9″ model – with a 64 GB hard drive and an optional 4G connection – will set you back $579.

As you’ll see from the features below, the Kindle Fire HDX is significantly lighter than its predecessor and it has an exciting new feature called the “Mayday” button. This feature provides you with on-screen support, whenever you want, from a Kindle Support representative. And while you can see the rep and he or she can remotely access your device with your permission, the representative can’t see you – so no need to worry if you’re hair is sticking up and you’re still in your bathrobe while you’re being helped.

Kindle Fire HDX Features

  • Exclusive 8.9″ HDX display (2560×1600) with unsurpassed pixel density (339 PPI) and perfect color accuracy (100% sRGB) for vivid, lifelike images that go beyond standard HD
  • Breakthrough ultra-light design—weighing just 13.2oz, it’s 34% lighter than the previous generation
  • Ultra-fast 2.2GHz quad-core processor—3x more powerful than previous generation—with 2GB of RAM and Adreno 330 GPU for fast, fluid gaming and video
  • Introducing the “Mayday” button—revolutionary, on-device tech support, exclusive to Kindle Fire HDX tablets. Connect for free to an Amazon expert 24×7, 365 days a year
  • 8MP rear-facing camera with LED flash for high-resolution photos and 1080p HD video, plus a front-facing 720p HD camera for Skype video calls and more
  • Stay productive on the go with ultra-fast web browsing, built-in OfficeSuite, plus e-mail and calendar support for Gmail, Outlook, and more
  • In addition to Free Two-Day Shipping, Prime members enjoy exclusive digital benefits, including the new ability to download Prime Instant Video titles to new Kindle Fire HDX tablets

Below is a letter from Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, that was posted to Amazon’s website the day of the announcement, as well as a video highlighting the “Mayday” feature. And stay tuned for my review of the device in the coming months.

Jeff Bezos - Kindle Fire HDXJeff Bezos’ Letter

Dear Customers,

It’s been just two years since we introduced Kindle Fire, and the team is innovating at unbelievable speed. Today, I’m excited to introduce you to the all-new Kindle Fire family.

These are powerhouse tablets. We added the latest graphics engine, doubled the memory, and tripled the processing power with the most advanced 2.2 GHz quad-core processor. Our HDX displays bring together exceptional pixel density (up to 339 ppi), perfect 100% sRGB color accuracy, improved brightness, and dynamic image contrast. You also get up to 11 hours of battery life—17 hours when you’re reading.

Even the largest new Kindle Fire—the 8.9″—is startlingly light. We re-imagined our design from scratch, with a new magnesium unibody and molded glass-nylon alloy. At just 13.2 ounces, it’s 34% lighter than the previous generation.

Kindle Fire HDX is packed with hundreds of updates, including new email, calendar, and productivity apps, X-Ray for Music, Second Screen, and—in addition to streaming—you can now download Prime Instant Videos and watch them offline.

indle Fire HDX also introduces the revolutionary new “Mayday” button. With a single tap, an Amazon expert will appear on your Fire HDX and can co-pilot you through any feature by drawing on your screen, walking you through how to do something yourself, or doing it for you—whatever works best. Mayday is available 24×7, 365 days a year, and it’s free.

Mayday is one of those things that really has to be seen—
check out our upcoming TV commercials.

In addition to all the above, we’re taking another step forward in our mission to make it possible for anyone to afford a Kindle Fire. The all-new Kindle Fire HD has the same display quality and processing speed of last year’s high-end models and comes in at the breakthrough price point of only $139.

We’ve worked hard to pack this much hardware, innovation, and customer obsession into these devices. We hope you enjoy the new Kindle Fires.

Thank you for being a customer,

Jeff Bezos
Founder & CEO

P.S. Our industrial design team has invented what I think are the most ingenious covers—you can learn more about the new Origami covers here.

Amazon Announces New Kindle Paperwhite

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This morning Amazon accidentally leaked information about its new Kindle Paperwhite. This resulted in a flurry of media coverage. A few hours later, Amazon officially announced the device on its homepage with a letter from Jeff Bezos (see below). I own the original Kindle Paperwhite and think it’s a wonderful device, so I’m looking forward to checking out the new model. Once I do, I’ll let you know whether or not it’s worth upgrading.

Dear Customers,

We believe in the power and importance of reading. We are passionate about books. Books convey knowledge, spread ideas, and can transport you into alternate lives and worlds. It’s why we’re working so hard to help people read more and get more out of reading.

Today we’re excited to announce another milestone in our journey—the all-new Kindle Paperwhite.

The all-new Kindle Paperwhite

The new Paperwhite is our best ever, with a new higher contrast display, the next generation of our built-in light, a powerful new processor, and the latest touchscreen technology.

We’ve also added new reading features like Page Flip—skim books page-by-page, or skip through chapters without losing your place. We’ve integrated Goodreads—the world’s largest community of book lovers—so you can connect with like-minded readers, share recommendations and decide what to read next, straight from your book. Our new Vocabulary Builder automatically compiles words you look up in the dictionary into easy-to-use flashcards. And for parents, Kindle FreeTime offers a simple, engaging new way to encourage and reward kids’ reading.

Kindle is the best-selling e-reader in the world for six years running. No one is investing on behalf of readers or pushing the boundaries of hardware, software, and content for readers like the Kindle team. We continue to invest not only in new hardware like the new Kindle Paperwhite, but also in new features and benefits that make Kindle a superior service: Kindle MatchBookKindle Owners’ Lending Library, over 400,000 books that are exclusive to the Kindle StoreKindle SinglesKindle Worlds, and many more.

We hope you enjoy the new Kindle Paperwhite. Happy reading,

Jeff Bezos
Founder & CEO

Audible.com: Behind-The-Scenes

AudibleAudible.com, an Amazon company, is the leading provider of audiobooks – a business that’s booming. Being an avid audiobook listener and originally from New Jersey, I found the following video tour of Audible’s headquarters interesting.

Amazon’s Pro-Gay Marriage Kindle Commercial

Kindle Paperwhite PhotoAmazon recently released a clever commercial for its Kindle Paperwhite that touts the product’s strengths while also supporting equal marriage rights for gays. In addition to being a terrific commercial, it’s refreshing to see one of the nation’s largest companies fearlessly taking a stance on a sensitive social issue.

Amazon Kindle Turns Five

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Five years ago Amazon introduced the first Kindle, and the world hasn’t been the same since. While the first iteration cost $399 and wasn’t aesthetically pleasing, it set out to become the iPod of books by allowing readers to carry their entire library of content on one device. As the years went by, newer models were thinner, lighter, sexier, and cheaper.

While other e-readers existed prior to Kindle, the public hadn’t embraced them. Amazon’s device allowed readers to tap into the company’s vast content ecosystem of newspapers, magazines and books – all without the need to plug into a computer. This was revolutionary, and the first batch of Kindles sold out it in less than six hours.

In 2008, Oprah announced that Kindle was her new favorite thing and provided viewers with a $50 discount. With the daytime diva’s stamp of approval and the launch of second generation hardware, Kindle continued its dominance as the e-reader to beat.

Over time, millions of Kindle devices and e-books were sold. Kindle’s ubiquity was most evident when Amazon reported that Kindle e-books were regularly outselling all print books.

Last year saw the launch of Kindle Fire, which went on to make up 22 percent of U.S. tablet sales. A new iteration, Kindle Fire HD, is now available in two versions and has received mostly positive reviews from critics.

This year also brought a new Kindle e-reader: Kindle Paperwhite. This device has also been well received by critics and the public, and rightfully so. It’s taken the device to a whole new level by incorporating a beautiful front-lit display.

My first Kindle was the second generation device, and my reading habits haven’t been the same since. I read more than ever, and consider my Kindle to be an essential part of my life. If you’ve never tried reading on one, you should; it’s a delightful experience. I can’t wait to see what the next five years bring.

If you have any fond Kindle memories you’d like to share, please feel free to leave a comment.

Below you’ll find a couple of my favorite Kindle commercials and an informational video about the first device.

Video Review: Amazon Kindle Fire HD

I’ve had the Kindle Fire HD for a little over a week, so I thought I’d create a video review – my first ever – so you can learn more about this device and its capabilities. Below, you’ll also find a video further explaining “Whispersync for Voice,” a new feature I love. Enjoy!

Amazon Unveils Kindle Fire HD & Kindle Paperwhite

Jeff Bezos introduces Kindle HD (Associated Press)

Anyone that knows me is well aware of my love for Amazon. I think it’s the best retailer in the world, and I believe Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos when he says, “We offer premium products at non-premium prices.” Yes, I’ll admit it: I own an iPad, iPhone and MacBook. But I still prefer Amazon to Apple.

Today was the long-awaited press conference where Bezos unveiled the new line of Kindle Fire tablets and e-readers. There are four new Kindle Fire tablets, three of which are being billed as “Kindle Fire HD” because of their high-resolution displays. The fourth one is an updated version of last year’s Kindle Fire, with 40 percent faster performance, twice the memory and longer battery life. In addition to reducing the entry-level Kindle’s price to $69 (with special offers), Amazon has two new e-readers called “Kindle Paperwhite,” and they look fantastic. They have 62 percent more pixels and 25 percent better contrast than previous models, and they come with a built-in light for reading in the dark.

Kindle Paperwhite

I decided to buy two of the new Kindles: The 7″ Kindle HD and the Kindle Paperwhite 3G. The Kindle HD should arrive by next Friday, September 14, and the Kindle Paperwhite 3G ships on October 1. The other two Kindle HD tablets, which both feature an 8.9″ screen, ship November 20.

The prices for the new set of Kindles ranges from $69 for the entry level model to $599 for the 64 GB Kindle HD.

Kindle Fire HD

Are you planning to buy a Kindle for yourself or loved one this year? If so, which one?

Below are the new ads for Kindle Fire HD and Kindle Paperwhite, as well as the full press conference.

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