July 29, 2009

George Orwell, 1984, Amazon.com and Kindle: A Historical Irony!

George Orwell and his famous novel 1984. Amazon.com and their latest publication hype, Kindle. Who would have thought that July 17, 2009 was going to connect them in the most bizarre and paradoxical way ever? On July 17, 2009, Amazon.com remotely removed copies of 1984 and Animal Farm by George Orwell from Kindle because of some copyright dispute they had with someone.

Little would have George Orwell thought that one day he and his book are going to be the victims of a Big Brother when he wrote about the "memory hole" Of course Orwell was talking about censorship. I think what Amazon did was worse than censoring and it serves them best to have taken George Orwell away from the Kindle Users. They allowed a historical irony by doing so!

What does it mean when Amazon removes a book from Kindles without the permission of the owners? It means 'you must be afraid' This means Amazon has the power to remotely control your Kindle. Now, that is not good news. If Amazon has the power to control your Kindle, what about Microsoft? Do they have the power to control your laptops and PCs? If Amazon can remove a book from your Kindle, what about service providers like Google or Yahoo? Do they have the power to meddle with your emails and documents, you have on-line? It worries me when I think that soon we are all moving into a more modern version of 'cloud computing.'

I remember an English Film I had seen long ago. I don't remember the name of the film. But I remember that it was about robots. There were robots in every house. And the Government introduced a more advanced version of robots and gave one to each family. Little did they know that the new robots were spying on the families. And one fine morning, the Government took control of all the robots centrally. The film was something like that. But I remember the protagonist, who was always against the idea of having a robot in his house. No one saw his point untill it was too late. The Amazon Kindle Episode reminded me of the film.

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