Wednesday, March 03, 2010

My Wonderful, Useless Kindle

I mentioned in my first post about the earthquake in Chile that I had just purchased a Kindle book reader from Amazon.

This marvellous piece of equipment has functioned perfectly from the day it arrived in early February and of all the communication possibilities I’ve had at my disposal since the earthquake on in the wee hours of February 27th, this is the only one that has not failed to work.

This device is lightweight and easy to transport, it consumes little power, once charged it runs for a long period and can be recharged relatively quickly.  I have never, to date, attempted to connect to their network and not been able to make a connection to either the Kindle store or to Wikipedia.

There is the nub of the marvel and the worthlessness of this piece of equipment.  While I’ve been able to connect when the regular internet, cell phones, fixed phones, television and power systems failed, the device has not permitted me to send or receive any personal or specific information.

For example, as I sit here at using my laptop computer to compose this blog, I have to save it for some future moment when I might connect to the internet, but my Kindle, sitting at my side, is connected to Wikipedia telling me the latest news which has been posted about the Chile disaster. (The web browser is “not available” in Chile.)

It occurred to me that possibly if I searched for a book title such as “Help! Earthquake in Chile” that it might be noticed by someone.  I did so, and maybe it was noticed … however, not in any way which I can verify.

The fact is that the technology is there now.  It is in place and working now.  All that is necessary is for Amazon, or other companies to implement some sort of emergency trigger that would allow a person in a critical situation to enter in some kind of key phrase or even use a certain special button to be immediately connected to an operator who could attend to the request and assist.

Whether this service would be free, an optional extra which would be charged for if used, or completely without cost is not important.  What is important is to recognize the tremendous service and and potential which this marvellous machine now has, and to set up some way to put it into practice.

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