Slab Fight

It has been a fair week, despite all the nonsense from fanatic politicians and religionists. But that also means that I have more than the usual number of tabs to hawg. And no, I have no idea of the development of that idiom.

The first [Link] is that MalWart will discontinue selling Kindle slabs. Did MalWart sell Kindle slabs? Evidently so although I have to admit to never seeing any in the Greater Metropolitan Arab MalWart. I have seen Nooks and iPuds but no Kindles. Not that I doubt the report, just that I was unaware of this.

Anyway, the combination of the article and this realization is a bit startling. For one thing there is the reason that MalWart and Amazing are in competition with each other? They are? I am hard pressed to recall goods that I would have bought at either. I can think of only two, both electronics. One was a USB extension cable that I got at MalWart because (a) we no longer have a Wireless Shanty in Greater Metropolitan Arab, and (b) I was in a hurry. If MalWart had not had, as is usually the case (P > 0.9) with computer stuff, the I would have either driven to Huntsville or bought on-line, which might have meant Amazing. The other was a digital electromagnetic audiovisual receiver which I bought on-line from MalWart and had shipped to the local store so that in the low probability it was whacked I could return easier. (This was a 105 cm monster that FD SCP wanted and I knew I would not be able to lug it, nor did I want to wish such lugging on the UPS/USPS/FX person.)

In my assessment this is sufficient differentiation to split the customer space and hence give serious doubt to the competitive claims. But I can concede that they are not without merit outside my consumer space. The Kindles are not really computers, more so than most tablets. They are primarily appliances for accessing “entertainment”. And I am told that both Amazing and MalWart sell this “entertainment”. Not that I buy much entertainment from either. Yes, I have bought some music CDs from Amazing, then ripped them onto my music MP3 player. But I also note that the CDs I buy from Amazing are either (a) folk music from the ’50’s and ’60’s held over to today, or (b) civil war music. Neither of these are really available as downloads to a slab from either vendor.

And I definitely don’t purchase video files. I have purchased a few DVDs from Amazing and a few from MalWart but again there market spaces are different. Even as a physicist stumbling with the idea that the information is the particle, I prefer light matter as a product, not a recording of bits. Yes, I know that plastic disks deteriorate over time, but I doubt that neither Amazing nor MalWart is a proton. They too will decay and I will be left with nothing.

Anyway, I like competition among large vendors. It tends to keep their outrageous prices under control and give me some options other than the Yugoslavian solution that both would like to impose over the corpse of the other.  And I’m not about to buy a Kindle. I own a Kobo eBook reader and assess it superior to both Nook (I owned one but gave away) and Kindle both in resolution, corporate intrusion, and file support. And my tablet is a Samsung, which gets into another competition that I ain’t gonna assay today.

Selah. Don’t like doing business with either but do like irritating both by doing so.

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