Amazon.com Second Thoughts

Amazon.com was my hero. I used to buy everything through them, seriously what ever I wanted I’d go to Amazon.com first. If they had what I was looking for they’d get the business. This passionate loyalty extended to books, until recently.

Reading is a BIG freaking deal. I can’t read text in printed form anymore, never really could. When I look at magazines or newspapers I’m looking at the BIG headlines and the pictures. The lack of access to content is a huge deal for me personally as I’m jazzed by learning new things. This is how I read the printed word:

Newspaper
The only way to read a newspaper is through a CCTV like the EVS Merlin or EVS MaxPort, check out the links page on the blog for detailed product information. Newspapers are very dirty the ink and the paper generally are not good things for scanners. I wouldn’t scan a newspaper it would do bad things to the scanner and there are very few affordable scanners big enough to handle a newsprint page.

The cost to read a newspaper: $3000 for a CCTV solution

Time to get to reading:

  • Buy the newspaper
  • Go to the CCTV
  • Read the newspaper
  • Total: 1/2 day

Magazine
Magazines are very similar to newspapers and generally require a CCTV solution to read. Again the paper and ink can be very hard on a scanner. You’ll have to determine on a case by case basis if your favourite magazine is worth scanning. Scanner cleaning can be a pain especially if you can’t see what you need to clean.

Note: When I discuss scanning I’m talking about auto feed duplex scanning. There is no way, unless I didn’t have anything else to do, I’d scan a book magazine or newspaper on a flatbed scanner. Life’s too short.

The cost to read a magazine: $3000 for a CCTV solution

Time to get to reading:

  • Buy the magazine
  • Go to the CCTV
  • Read the magazine
  • Total: 1/2 day



Books
I’ve always loved books. When I was a toddler I’d eat books the binding glue tasted great. I love the texture of paper and the smell of the book in general. Blind babies eat everything so beware. I worry about the cancers I might get from some of the things I ate, including: glass, iron, carpet underlay, newsprint, tile, linoleum, my cloths, my sisters dolls, etc..

Books are a wonderful source of entertainment and learning. Without books I wouldn’t be where I am professionally or personally. The information and learning opportunities are huge. Its always beneficial to see how someone else contextualizes uses language and things about something that is of interest to you. I use books everyday of my life. I’m going to show both USA and Canadian times to get reading. The following process is what I go through to read a printed book:

  • buy the book:
    • note, local book stores general don’t have what I want so its all internet purchases
  • wait for the book to arrive:
    • in the US a day
    • in Canada at least two weeks more if the post office is on strike
  • cut the book:
    • to scan the book the binding has to be removed, generally takes a day
  • scan the book:
    • 1000 pages in 45 minutes I love Canon scanners
  • convert the book:
    • once scanned I used Kurzweill 3000 takes about an hour to load a book
  • read the book:
    • It depends


The cost to read a book: $8000 for a computer, scanner, scanning software, Kurzweil 3000.

Time to get to reading, in the USA:

  • Buy the book: 15 minutes
  • Shipping: 1 Day
  • Cut the book: 1 hour
  • Scan the book: 1 hour
  • covert the book: 1 hour
  • Ready to read in the USA, 2 days


Time to get to reading, in the Canada:

  • Buy the book: 15 minutes
  • Shipping: 14 Days
  • Cut the book: 1 day
  • Scan the book: 1 hour
  • covert the book: 1 hour
  • Ready to read in the Canada, 16 days

The major difference between USA and Canada is this arcane view that a unique Canadian culture exists and must be protected. Us children obviously can’t determine and makes choices for ourselves on our identity. There are logistical issues and customs, duty issues and the time it takes to get anywhere to get things done. Am I frustrated by all of this, yes.

Apple iPAD
Recently I’ve started using an iPAD to read. Initially I downloaded the Kindle client for the iPad and started looking at books. I cried!!, the printed word via newspaper, magazine, and book, is once again easy and accessible to me. For the cost of an iPAD I was in business. As I’ve written before the iPAD is one of the most transformational pieces of accessible technology I’ve ever seen. I can magnify content and get the iPAD close enough to see it. Some asinine iPAD app developers take away the accessibility for their app, I’ll deal with those mindless dogs later. Look at the cost and time to reading for the iPAD, which is zero for both, and you’ll understand the appeal.

Cost to read: $0.00
Time to read: 0

There has been a lot off noise lately about how search engines limit our view of the world through personalization. I think search engines are making us all into mindless mono dull dumb consumers, as the only use for a search engine these days is to force mindless consumers into buying what vendors want us to buy. How dare I say such things. Open you eyes, so to speak, they are watching everything we do on the internet, the purchases we make with our credit and debt cards, and watching our use of loyalty cards. The search engines and vendors aggregate this data and this determines our search results. Thus offering us things we’re more likely to buy.

Turns out the same thing is true for where you live. Again since Canadians are incapable of determining their own identity and culture Canadians are banned from accessing electronic forms of books that are available in the US. From the network address our computer uses to connect to the internet they can pin us with a geography and determine what we are allowed to buy and not to buy. Recently on a trip to the US I wasn’t allowed to us my Canadian Netflix account. I was a threat to the culture if I watched movies on my computer.

Amazon.com in their wisdom hasn’t had the foresight, wisdom, customer focused consideration to address this issue. Based on publishing deals you will get a different experience on Amazon.com in every country on the earth. Lame

I am working on a major services deal at work worth probably half a billion dollars. There are two books by one author. One of the books somehow is available in the Kindle store in Canada and I bought it. There is a second book by the same author not in the Kindle store in Canada, but the book is in the Kindle store in the US. I’m having to physically buy the book and transform it to read it. Can someone explain to me why there isn’t a provision for persons with disabilities to get a soft copy of a book if it is available? Help me out here Amazon.com. I emailed the Amazon.com customer service organization, again Lame. The Amazon.com response didn’t even acknowledge the issue or my disability and I haven’t heard from them since. Did I say Lame.

I am glad I’m a disabled person with some resources as I have the ability to transform the printed word to electronic word where I can deal with it. I hate to think what would happen if I didn’t have the gear to read. Illiteracy by poverty? Unable to work? Isolation and Death, no question, absolutely!!! Amazon.com equals illiteracy poverty and death?

Amazon be a leader, get your head out of your butt. I am going to send you the soft copy of the book I had to buy in an obsolete format because you don’t have any imagination. I hope your stupid enough to try and sue me for some kind of infringement of publishing and licensing. Your probably too dim to do a search and see that blind people like me have the right to convert content to access it.

In the meantime I’m giving Apple iBooks a go. Apple iBooks, so far looks good and the accessibility is better. Apple seems to have addressed the accessible content in different country issues. Who ever has the content and the access to the content wins. Amazon, you loose.

Posted in: Employment, Literacy, Living

About the Author:

Kyle has ocular albinism and has been legally blind since birth. Kyle leads a very active live and is besides his professional career involved in many projects for persons who are different.

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