Another (final) episode in the @AmazonKindle farce

Cover of "Kindle Wireless Reading Device,...
Cover via Amazon

In August I bought this book – Information and Coding Theory.

As I was then in rural Norfolk I bought it for the Kindle. That was a mistake.

The book is a good one – I would recommend it for those seeking to get to grips with the maths of information theory – an increasingly important field of study well beyond communications.

But do not buy it – or any other mathematical or scientific – textbook for the Kindle. Because Amazon do such a shoddy job that sooner or later you will hit a page or pages where the notation is so messed up that the book is impossible to use.

When this happened to me I contacted the publishers – Springer Verlag – who were polite and helpful but said it was really a matter for Amazon.

I then tried the book on other versions of the Kindle reader (eg for Mac, for Android) – but it was no better and nor did a recent update of the Kindle’s OS fix it (I suspect the character are missing and the notation messed up in the data file, so no hardware or software fix would ever help – in other words the fundamental data format for the Kindle is broken.

I repeatedly questioned Amazon on twitter on this but got no answers as to what they intended to do about it. I even got a story on Slashdot but still no answers.

So I did the last thing that was open to me and asked for a refund.

To be fair to Amazon they gave that without question.

I have now ordered (from Amazon – this is a monopoly) a paper copy.

Lesson learned.

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