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Amazon Donates 2,000 Kindles To Wounded Veterans 62

Posted by samzenpus
from the time-to-read dept.
destinyland writes "Amazon's just announced that they're donating 2,000 Kindles to a charity for wounded soldiers and their families. They're also promising to hire at least 1,200 more veterans within the next year at fulfillment centers around the country through Amazon's Military Talent Program."
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Amazon Donates 2,000 Kindles To Wounded Veterans

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 12, 2012 @07:14PM (#41961497)

    So, they're saying you have to pay an arm or a leg for a Kindle?

    Seems high.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jhoegl (638955)
      That isnt even the best part. They still have to pay for books to read.
      Probably more of a profit for them than anything. "Donate".... please, it is nothing more than a scam anymore.
      • by DM9290 (797337) on Monday November 12, 2012 @07:27PM (#41961601) Journal

        That isnt even the best part. They still have to pay for books to read.

        Probably more of a profit for them than anything. "Donate".... please, it is nothing more than a scam anymore.

        or they can just download any of the thousands of free classic ebooks that are in the public domain and even available on the amazon store?

        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          by Master Moose (1243274)

          All the non-techys I know that have kindles have no idea how to put books on it that aren't on the Amazon store and think that it sounds too hard.. . . I have months of reading ahead of me on mine thanks to Project Gutenberg. http://www.gutenberg.org/ [gutenberg.org]

          But I think that expecting the average Joe to know and find out about this stuff is a stretch. Amazon has made it too convenient.

          Not being a regular on the Amazon store, I have only just learned that they offer free books (thanks to your post).

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          or they can just download any of the thousands of free classic ebooks that are in the public domain and even available on the amazon store?

          Provided that they don't mistakenly download the same public domain books that people are selling and appear earlier in the list over the free ones.

          Kindle revolutionized book buying and reading - there were earlier e-readers ,but the process of buying and reading books on them was very complex. Kindle made it simple - a PC was optional - you could buy books and read them

      • by MightyYar (622222) on Monday November 12, 2012 @07:42PM (#41961713)

        I don't think I've paid for a book since I got my Kindle a year ago. Even if you could somehow exhaust the tens of thousands of books at Project Gutenberg [gutenberg.org], they now loan eBooks at your friendly neighborhood library. If the veterans are even a tiny bit technically inclined, they can run Calibre [calibre-ebook.com] and convert almost anything into a Kindle-friendly ebook.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Gutenberg has lots of company -- here are just a few :

          Heritage History Library http://www.heritage-history.com/www/heritage.php?Dir=
          E-Books Directory http://www.e-booksdirectory.com/
          Open Library http://openlibrary.org/
          Internet Archive Texts http://archive.org/details/texts
          Plough eBooks http://www.plough.com/en/ebooks
          Global Christians E-Books (Free) http://www.globalchristians.org/
          Christian Classics Ethereal Library http://www.ccel.org/
          Free Christian Ebooks http://www.newtestamentprayer.org/ebooks/
          Inspiratio

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Way to look a gift-horse in the mouth. There's tons of free content out there for them, plus, if they don't feel like buying any books and don't want the free ones, then they can just sell it for some extra cash.

        The sense of entitlement these days is astounding. Even when companies are giving out free shit people are complaining that it didn't come with enough accessories.

  • I hope so, kinda useless otherwise. Of course, only one place to buy that content from.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 12, 2012 @07:35PM (#41961653)

      http://www.gutenberg.org/ is all these soldiers need, e-ink screens are great and there's no need to pay Amazon if they want great classics.

    • by BrokenHalo (565198) on Monday November 12, 2012 @07:51PM (#41961771)
      Just as devil's advocate for the moment, since my preference is for the Sony readers, but...

      You can download content from all sorts of places, and if you use Calibre (a great program, BTW) to manage your library, I understand you can use pretty much whatever device you want, and it will convert the format (if required) to whatever device you have. There are ways to strip any DRM if you have to. (Who cares if that's legal? If you've paid for a book, it's yours, just the same as if it's printed on paper.)

      It doesn't do to spit on Amazon here. Sure they may have ulterior motives, but there was nothing forcing them to make these donations, and they're certainly not hurting you or me.
    • by westlake (615356) on Monday November 12, 2012 @08:15PM (#41961989)

      I hope so, kinda useless otherwise. Of course, only one place to buy that content from.

      The are hundreds of thousands of free e-books available for the Kindle.

      Free Book Collections [amazon.com]

      Baen Free Library [baen.com]

      Munseys [munseys.com]

      The chances are quite good that you can borrow e-books formatted for the Kindle through the online services of your local public library:

      Nioga Digital Home [overdrive.com] [Western New York]

      • The chances are quite good that you can borrow e-books formatted for the Kindle through the online services of your local public library:

        Nioga Digital Home [overdrive.com] [Western New York]

        No they aren't.

        If your library is like mine, there's only ONE "copy" of that book for the entire CITY, and the line to read it stretches all the way into the next millennium. So lots of luck there.

        If they're going to attempt to control access on replicable items, I wish they'd at least take a page from ASCAP and allow as many concurrent readers as possible, with royalties distributed per-read instead of artificially restricting the distribution.

    • by Nyder (754090)

      I hope so, kinda useless otherwise. Of course, only one place to buy that content from.

      Kindles can accept ebooks from various sources, one of them being via usb from a computer. I own a kindle, and I have never bought an ebook thru amazon. Free legal ebooks are plenty and if you are like me and don't care about downloading copyrighted material, there is a ton of ebooks you can download and find very easy.

      But yes, Amazon's hope is that the people will buy ebooks via Amazon, but no kindle is restricted to that only.

      I like my kindle, it does what I got it for, to read ebooks. And it's not a

  • by GodfatherofSoul (174979) on Monday November 12, 2012 @07:20PM (#41961541)

    This would be like Microsoft giving away X-boxes under the hope you'll go out and buy games. They're loss-leading new customers.

  • Working Conditions (Score:5, Informative)

    by ohnocitizen (1951674) on Monday November 12, 2012 @07:22PM (#41961557)
    Hopefully they improve working conditions [huffingtonpost.com] (beyond just installing air conditioners), or their offer to hire veterans takes on a less impressive light.
  • Please don't (Score:5, Insightful)

    by YodasEvilTwin (2014446) on Monday November 12, 2012 @07:23PM (#41961563) Homepage

    They're also promising to hire at least 1,200 more veterans within the next year at fulfillment centers around the country through Amazon's Military Talent Program."

    Amazon's warehouses are the closest thing the US has to Foxconn-style conditions. Obviously there is no serious comparison to be had but I wouldn't wish that job on anyone, much less a veteran. Make with the robots already and let's find a better way to make sure seniors and the disabled have money and work.

    • by Kotoku (1531373)
      Seriously, I know Bezos isn't a fan of the war but it'd be more humane to give them a new job in Afghanistan than put them in a warehouse that people regularly heat stroke out of, are berated all day, and fired for not keeping up with untenable quotas.
      • Seriously, I know Bezos isn't a fan of the war but it'd be more humane to give them a new job in Afghanistan than put them in a warehouse that people regularly heat stroke out of, are berated all day, and fired for not keeping up with untenable quotas.

        Heatstroke.
        Pressured to perform all day.
        Untenable quotas.

        Sounds like a typical day in the Navy.

        On a more serious note. Perhaps veterans are used to pretty hard work, and I'm not talking combat. Training, maintenance, logistics, etc ... I don't think many people posting around here have a clue what a normal workday in the military can be like. When a vet says he is sore after working at Amazon I'll be more concerned than when a keyboard jockey says he is sore after working at Amazon.

  • On e-readers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Monday November 12, 2012 @08:00PM (#41961853) Journal

    I was a skeptic about e-readers for a while. I thought the Kindle was a bit overpriced when it first came out, I didn't understand why they weren't selling them at a loss to encourage more book sales. I also kinda liked the concept of the printed page and the traditional look and feel of it. But lately my curiosity got the better of me and I got the Kindle app for my phone and was blown away by the convenience of being able to download a book and start reading right away. Then I ended up getting a Nook.

    Man, my view of books has changed overnight! I've been reading books at a rate of knots compared to before. It's just so damn convenient to carry this little thing around with an entire library stored in it, and it's way more robust than the printed page in terms of being resistant to dog ears and the like. (I wouldn't like to drop it, but still...) I've taken delight in taking the train to work even though it takes twice as long because it gives me an opportunity to indulge in novels. The convenience of being able to instantly download any book you feel like getting/buying makes the shipping of printed books look like pigeon post. My shelves full of books are now starting to look like my old CD collection: obsolete, wasteful and space-consuming. And the e-ink is very easy on the eye.

    Now I'm a believer!

  • The way these devices are made they make hand over fist back in money. I'm guessing these also have the ads on them.

    They could give these away for free to everyone and they'd still make plenty of money back on them simply through sales and ads on the device. Consumers seem to feel the need to still pay for them though.
  • by wbr1 (2538558)
    Wounded vets? How do you use a touch screen with no arms?
    Thanks, I'll be here all night.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Someone donated a art work you build from string and tacks on a velvet background.
    At the time it was the most wonderful thing to take my mind off things.
    Helped me pass the time, I still love whom ever gave it.

    No family or friends no cell phones back then. I hope others will do what they can this Veterans Day.

    2nd ACR

  • I read "donates kidneys".... Changes the reading completely

  • Why not hire a veteran in IT development? At my previous job where we have about 7 developers, one was a veteran. OK, he had both arms and legs. But I don't think that having them was how he was able to do development. Of course had he been severely wounded, it might take him a few seconds longer to get to the meetings.

  • are soldiers. Are airmen, sailors, and marines excluded from the offer?
  • So Amazon's got a special hiring push on just for veterans? Sounds like Affirmative Action! (horrors). Can't wait to see some non-vet sue for reverse discrimination on this one!

    • by cellocgw (617879)

      omg etc. etc. - little did I suspect that invalid html tags would be removed from the Subject line.

      Anyway, just to be explicit: parent post (mine) is 100% sarcasm, plus whatever legally amount of toxic chemicals leached from the container.

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