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Friday 23 November, 2007  

Good morning

I hope your Thanksgiving was full of friends, food, and fine experiences.  As for me, I spent my Thanksgiving day nonstop working through a review of the latest gadget to attract major attention - Amazon's new Kindle eBook reader, which went on sale on Monday, and was sold out within 5 hours.  If you order one today, you're up for an almost two week wait until backorders are cleared.

I'd reviewed the Sony eBook reader barely three months ago, and sort of liked it, with reservations.  More than anything else, I have been and still am seduced by the abstract concept of electronic books - it is such a massive potential saving of space and weight for a traveler, like me, who likes to read voraciously on long flights.

Amazon say they spent three years developing the Kindle.  It definitely has some innovative features that advance 'the state of the art' way beyond where Sony's product lies.  But.....

So - should you urgently place an order for a Kindle for yourself, or for the gadget loving reader in your life?  I'm glad you asked that question, because :

This Week's Feature Column :  Amazon's Kindle eBook Reader :  There's a lot to like about this innovative new product, but unfortunately, it lacks the polish and presentation that is needed to transform it from what some reviewers have described as a Commodore-64 or Apple-II style design to a 'must have' gadget such as an iPod or iPhone.  And the constraints of its copy protection reduce the value equation of the reduced price books available for purchase to read on the Kindle.

To my surprise, this review just kept growing and growing, and ended up spilling onto two pages, both of which are lengthy.  Rather than release the review half this week and half next week, you can get it all now.  However, being as how there are, alas, only 24 hours in each day, something had to suffer as a result of completing this surprisingly complicated evaluation.  And so there's no newsletter this week, other than for the link to the feature column.  A Thanksgiving holiday for me (he says, writing this at 2.15am on Friday morning....)

Stay tuned for a regular newsletter next week, with, for sure, plenty of Dinosaur watching, Security Horror stories, and who knows what else.  But, as solace, here are a few links to amuse and entertain (as a quick disclaimer to new readers, there's usually more to the newsletters than this!) :

The young lady who was admonished for wearing too revealing clothing on a Southwest flight has, unsurprisingly enough, now found herself being, ahem, exposed in a photo shoot in a well known gentleman's magazine.

On the other hand, a group of flight attendants at Ryanair have obviously decided that if it is good enough for the passengers, then it is good enough for them, too, and so they've created their own calendar for next year.

What do you do when you go to Disneyland?  Here's one apparently quite popular activity.

What on earth were they thinking of?  This has to be one of the most outrageous misuses of advertising money yet.

Which kinda sorta segues into this article on one of those perennial 'end of newsletter' themes....

Whether you be buying or selling, good luck with the Black Friday sales, and until next week, please enjoy safe travels

              David M Rowell aka The Travel Insider

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