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WiFi is now free at Barnes & Noble stores

Caribou coffee offers free WiFi to everyone. Starbucks gives 2 hours of access daily to their Rewards Members. Barnes & Nobles is one of a few more places where I regularly go to work and finally they are opening up wireless access to the web as well. The lack of WiFi has been the biggest reason why I didn’t come to the place more often.

The announcement has more than anything to do with the eBook store B&N launched earlier this month, a store competing with the Amazon’s library of eBooks for the Kindle reader. B&N doesn’t offer a dedicated reader device yet but there is an application for iPhone and BlackBerry that you can use to view books on (as well as using your laptop). The prices on new releases are similar to Amazon’s $9.99 but you also get access to over 500,000 free (public domain) books via Google Books.

I don’t have the Kindle and I have always been reluctant to buy a device with proprietary/closed architecture which Kindle is. The latest scandal about Amazon pulling eBooks has reassured me about my choice. That said I would very much like to get myself an e-Ink device and if B&N comes out with one I will certainly take a look.

Oprah endorses Amazon Kindle with $50 discount

Amazon Kindle was a hot buy during the last holiday season and sold out in just 5-1/2 hours after going on sale online. Sure enough the company is looking to replicate some of that success this season and has brought aboard the super star of daily shows Oprah Winfrey who just endorsed the device in her today’s show and announced a $50 discount which everyone can get with this code OPRAHWINFREY at checkout.

Are you planning on buying the Kindle this holiday? Last time I looked at it I was amazed at how crisp the display is and how close the experience is to reading a real book. That said I think I will go away with a smart phone instead which is a much more functional device. I always loved Swiss Army knives. ;-)




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