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No Opt-Out For Ads On New Kindle Fires 383

Posted by Soulskill
from the aside-from-not-buying-one,-anyway dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Lost amid the announcements for Amazon's new tablets and e-readers was the news that their latest Kindle Fire tablets would include advertisements. So-called 'Special Offers' would place ads on the devices' lock screens in a similar fashion to the lowest price Kindle e-readers. However, on the e-readers, you had the option to 'buy out' the ads by simply paying the difference in price between the cheaper device and the regular version. But Amazon has no confirmed there is no way to opt out of the ads on the new Kindle Fire tablets." Update: 09/09 03:02 GMT by S : Reader Aoreias sends words that Amazon has now changed its mind. A spokesman announced that users will have the ability to opt-out for a fee of $15.
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No Opt-Out For Ads On New Kindle Fires

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  • by fm6 (162816) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @02:58PM (#41275407) Homepage Journal

    Recall the guy in Diamond Age who made a name for himself by putting animated ads on chopsticks? As always, SF is way ahead of reality.

  • significant nuisance (Score:3, Informative)

    by bcrowell (177657) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @03:11PM (#41275515) Homepage

    I picked up a low-end kindle at a discounted price (~$40) that I'm sure represented a loss for Amazon, and I don't buy any DRM'd books for it, so they're not recouping that loss from me. This gives me a gratifying feeling that I've successfully fought back against "the Man." I can read Jane Austen novels while traveling and not run out of reading material.

    But the ads really are creepy and a nuisance. Every time you stop reading for a while, an ad comes up. To get past the ad, you have to click a button. Then it talks to your wifi network and pops up the details of the ad. Then you can finally click again to get back to reading Pride and Prejudice.

    I accepted the ads as a conscious part of my plot to screw Amazon financially and get a useful toy for myself, which I use only while traveling. But would I pay hundreds of dollars for a device that pulled this kind of crap, if I was going to use the device a lot? No. Way. In. Hell.

    We're really headed for a nasty, dystopian future with ebooks.

  • Re:Except that... (Score:4, Informative)

    by DeeEff (2370332) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @03:33PM (#41275657)

    Google doesn't want you to opt out of ads on the Nexus, because a lot of their income comes from ads.

    That would make more sense if Google actually had unblockable ads anywhere in their devices. I have both a Galaxy Nexus and Nexus 7, and neither has ads anywhere outside of individual apps.

    And honestly, you don't sound as if you really know what you're talking about, since it's trivial to root Nexus devices and subsequently install ad-blockers across all applications. The same can't be said for all of Amazon's devices.

  • Screwing themselves (Score:5, Informative)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @03:55PM (#41275751)
    I paid for the version without ads. In the kindle hacking community, there was a definite aversion to helping people circumvent the ads. If you don't want the ads, but a kindle without ads they'd say. Now however, I'm willing to bet that very same hacking community will consider it their duty to help people remove the ads. Amazons screwing themselves with this move.
  • Re:Will? (Score:4, Informative)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @04:00PM (#41275789) Homepage Journal

    Not all people do. I wore 'name brand' for a while, and i removed the logo as i refuse to be a walking billboard.

    My dad used to demand the dealer take his logo off the car when he would buy a new car. Same reason. ( and when we had a body shop and could repair the damage, sometimes even the manufactures logo came off.

  • by rsmith-mac (639075) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @04:03PM (#41275825)

    For better or worse this reminds me of the "free" PC era.

    For you youngins that weren't around at the time, in the late 90s at the tail-end of the dot-com boom, companies would offer PCs for free [tweney.com] in exchange for the ability to track your usage of the PC, track your buying habits, and to run ads. This happened to come late enough in the dot-com boom that "free" PCs were only around for a short period of time before the PC suppliers (and really, the crazy dot-coms that funded them) vanished in a puff of red smoke.

    Anyhow, even though no one is getting a free device this time around the similarities are very strong. Amazon gets to track your usage and buying habits (via Silk), and they get to run ads. In fact the only thing that seems different is that instead of being exploited for free, people are expected to pay to be exploited this time around. Financially this is an improvement - this stupid concept may get off the ground for once - but I'm not sure this is any better for consumers than it was the first time around.

  • Troll? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ecuador (740021) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @04:56PM (#41276181) Homepage

    Eh??? BS much?
    I have both the low-end Kindle and the Kindle Keyboard (for me and my wife), both with "Special Offers" and have been extremely happy with them (which is why I bought the second) and would never even consider paying more for skipping the ads.
    How it works is, if you stop reading and leave your Kindle for a while, it will go to "sleep" mode. Instead of showing a blank screen, it will show an ad. I am noting here that since an e-ink display will only use power to change a page, this ad will do nothing to your battery usage. Anyway, the next time you pick up the Kindle you will see the add instead of a blank screen etc. You just have to press the power button and in a second you are back to where you were last reading.
    Now, if you like the ad (sometimes it can be something good, like a discounted book, or a $-off coupon etc - another reason to get the special-offers section), you can get more info on it by holding the center button, and at that point you will need a wifi/3g connection.
    Also, if you don't connect to the internet for a while, you will actually stop seeing ads and you will get instead a "connect to the internet if you want to get new ads" screen instead.
    There is also a banner in the home screen - I don't spend any time in that screen (too busy reading books), and it is a rather small banner.
    So, overall the special offers version is great. Cheaper to buy the device, also has saved me some $ when books I wanted came up as a special offer in an ad and it does not cripple the device in any way.
    The parent poster is either a troll, or mildly retarded and actually follows the on-screen instructions on how to read more about the ad instead of just skipping it.

  • by pla (258480) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @05:30PM (#41276401) Journal
    I wonder why ads bother people so much. Especially on the kindle where the ads are unobtrusive (you only see them on the power-off screensaver).

    Has some of my bandwidth gone to downloading those ads? Has some of my electricity gone to displaying them? Did I lose a tenth of a second of my life hesitating on unlocking it because I thought I saw boobies in the ad?

    In all seriousness, I first started blocking ads because of bandwidth, back in the days of dialup. Oddly enough, the ads have kept pace with technology, and you'll still see a noticeable speedup (whether actually my network, or just because they can't be assed to pay for decent hosting so the load takes about 10x longer than the rest of the page combined).

    At some point, I came to consider the ads as no different than your run-of-the-mill spammer - They go out of their way to waste my time, get me to look at their crap, try to con me into spending money, all on something in which I have no interest to start with. They fight back against ad-blocking technology with ever more subtle ways of getting around our filters, and yet they still can't take the goddamned hint.

    So, you want to know why I loathe ads so much? Because marketers don't know how to take a polite "no" for an answer.
  • Re:Nook touch FTW (Score:4, Informative)

    by Overzeetop (214511) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @05:48PM (#41276515) Journal

    No, it's exactly lighted e-ink. It is not self-luminescent e-ink, but if it were that would defeat the purpose of e-ink being a reflective surface and easy-to-read. The light is even better than an external light because it has been engineered to provide even lighting, which is almost impossible to get with external lighting solutions.

  • by thegarbz (1787294) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @06:04PM (#41276611)

    No they don't have an off switch. The switch at the bottom locks the display and then it shows a static picture. Estimated battery life in this state is approximately 8months.

    E-ink displays use power only to update the display, and that power is rather consistent. That's why you see battery life quoted in page turns. I'm not sure how fast the adverts cycle but I doubt you'll get 8months out of a device which has to display a new ad periodically unless the ad is static for the entire day or per activation of lock. Then there's the 3G usage in fetching those ads too.

  • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Saturday September 08, 2012 @08:21PM (#41277215) Journal

    Except it's bullshit. I've had an ad-ridden Kindle Touch, and the only two places where it shows ads is the lock screen and the book selection screen. It never shows ads when you actually read the book. If you leave it around for long enough that the device goes to sleep, then you see a lock screen with an ad. But it goes away as soon as you unlock (which you do with a physical button), and returns you straight to the book.

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