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Kindle cuddles Twitter

Post really weeny book extracts to the net - yay!

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Kindle users will be able to post book passages to Twitter or as Facebook updates, as Amazon updates the device's firmware with ever more web-friendly features.

Kindle users don't pay for their data usage, so Amazon isn't about to start encouraging web browsing on the e-reader, but the latest firmware does allow users to select text to have it posted to a Twitter feed or Facebook page, for those who wish to appear well read but can't remember decent quotations.

It used to be that one would have to commit a good quotation to memory, then wait for the moment when one's wit and erudition could be displayed by quoting the author's prose. But now one just highlights the text and off it goes to the Twitter feed - showing off one's cleverness by association, and regardless of the recipient's circumstances.

The new Kindle firmware - which is being slipped out to users slowly via an automatic update - also offers to highlight the best bits of the book you're reading, based on how other readers reacted, so you don't even need to absorb the entire text to get to the best quotations.

But perhaps we're being disingenuous: selecting paragraphs from long documents is something journalists have to do a lot, so there's value in having them automatically filed even if it is to a Facebook page. Being able to see which parts of a book are most quoted is clearly a step towards what the Kindle wants to be - the vehicle for the next generation of socially-aware books. ®

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