Amazon Kindle, an all-in-one wireless reader


Amazon recently released the Kindle ($399), an electronic reader that can wirelessly download books without a computer.  Once you buy a Kindle there are no service contracts or recurring fees and you can shop Amazon's selection of books, magazines, newspapers and blogs right from the Kindle.  The Kindle has a 6" electronic ink display that sips power and offers a reading experience very similar to paper.  The Kindle is definitely a breakthrough device and it's already being compared to the iPod.  But if the Kindle is the iPod of reading, where's the iTunes of reading?

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The Blue Pages: How to Vote with your Wallet


My amazing sister turned me on to this amazing book: The Blue Pages is a Zagat style directory of companies' political contributions, business behavior and policies.  I just ordered one for myself and am already obsessed with it.  Each entry has a nifty little chart that shows what percentage of political contributions went to the Democratic or Republican party, it also lists the exact dollar amount given to each party.  After browsing through it just quickly, it's a little disappointing (for Democrats at least), it seems that in general most companies contributed more to the Republicans and those that do contribute to the Democrats, contributed less.  It was printed in January 2006, and it would be interesting to know if that trend has shifted at all in the past year.  Anyways, I can't withhold my excitement about this book, without making just one tiny recommendation: They should totally make an online version of the book with data for a lot more companies, update the data annually, and provide graphs of historical data to show how a company's contributions changes over time.  This book is great, but they're going to need to update it every year or so, and an online could not only display a lot more data, but would also reduce the environmental cost of producing books year after year.

The Blue Pages - $9.99

Thanks Gen!

Halfbakery Book (with Pictures!)


For those unfamiliar with, it's a website featuring half-baked inventions and concepts from anyone that creates an account. While the ideas don't have to be well thought out, not even a little, with so many authors and posts the effect is something like monkeys at typewriters. So there really is a huge range of ideas from the sublime to the ridiculous (and some many which are both). In fact, I usually consult before I post anything on They should…, and if I had a company I'd scour the site daily for the next big thing, because I'm sure it's on there. The site is pretty much perfect, except for the total lack of pictures and there are so many ideas and categories it's a little daunting to even casually browse. They should really make a Halfbakery book with pictures of the highest rated inventions as well as some underappreciated editor's picks. Given the talent for making "fake" products that's out there, they could easily hire designers to create mock-ups of all the inventions. I could totally see a book like this being on par with the popularity of something like The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook.