Other Means

Kindle prohibitions

Digital dark ages in Germaninland? Or as Angie likes to put it (and I’m paraphrasing): To Germans the Internet is Neuland. With that in mind, I’ve been considering getting a tablet for a while now. But a few things have been holding me back. For one, my experience with a third gen Kindle hasn’t been all that great. As a reader it’s almost perfect. As a device that is meant to connect wirelessly to unlimited content, it’s a mess. Also, with the roar of technology I find it a bit overkill to have both a Kindle and a tablet. Indeed. The Post-PC era is upon us and that includes the idear of a tablet replacing not only my Kindle but potentially my ageing MacBook. Or am I off base here? Nomatter. While shopping for a tablet I happened across something that caught my attention and makes me ask: who exactly is Post-PC? Is it a he or a she? And will it/she eventually try to mate with me?

Focus, dear worst-reader, on the screenshot above. Keep in mind that I just got back from traveling and experienced exactly what is explained in the text. Here a short worst-translation from the yellow box:

If you are traveling with your Kindle Fire HDX you will only have access to the content you downloaded in Germany. You can connect to WiFi and also purchase books and apps on Amazon. In order to purchase films and TV shows from LOVEFiLM you must be in Germany.   

So. Let’s have a closer look at these three sentences, shall we?

  • “If you are traveling with your Kindle Fire HDX you will only have access to the content you downloaded in Germany.”

This means that if you’re travelling outside of Germany you better purchase and download the content you want to read before you leave the country. Wow. Doesn’t sound like a mobile device to me. And what if I read all the books I downloaded in Germany and want to buy another one while not in Germany? I think the only logical response from Amazon to that is: shit-outta-luck, bitch!

  • “You can connect to WiFi and also purchase books and apps on Amazon.”

They are saying that you can download books but they are not saying you can buy them while traveling, and they specifically leave out mention of 3G.

  • “In order to purchase films and TV shows from LOVEFiLM you must be in Germany.”

This sentence is the only one that really makes any sense. You must be in Germany to buy film and TV content. Is it me or does anyone else out there in worst-land feel the ropes around our digital necks tightening?

What Amazon is saying here, obviously at the behest of German regulators and overseers of the German state controlled media, is that in order for you to utilise the technology offered by Amazon and its tablet, you must be in Germany to do so. And you must also not expect anything different than the status quo of publishers and content owners using technology to sell you what they’ve always sold you. I can attest to the fact that that is wholly true. While in Morocco the 3G of my Kindle didn’t work at all. And there were two more books I was planning on reading while traveling. Luckily I had my MacBook with me and my hotel room had an ethernet connection. Using my Mac and ethernet I was able to connect to Amazon.de and buy a book. After that I was able to find a place in the hotel that had WiFi where I could then download my purchase to my Kindle. Wow. What a hassle in this technology driven world, eh? And all because German regulators are in control of everything. And to think that German technocrats are all sitting around in their historic offices in their historic buildings thinking about the next bratwurst and pils they’ll stuff in their fat ass faces! Indeed, dear worst-reader. Germany is the most prosperous country in the shithole of Eurowasteland and none of that prosperity has anything whatsoever to do with progress or technology.

But before I really lose my cool. What can we take from all the hassle put out by German regulators? 1) It’s not worth it to pay the extra money for the 3G technology of a German Kindle. 2) Make sure you know exactly what digital content you want before leaving Germany and make sure you download it before you travel. 3) For Germans, as with most other advancements, the Post-PC era ain’t quite here yet. Tough shit, eh! I guess there’s still not enough reason to consider why so many people (excluding yours truly, of course) resort to other means to download their digital content. Indeed. All the wrong people are controlling our digital world. And all those same controlling people want to prevent the future.


Rant on.