waderoush writes "Critics are eating up everything about Amazon's Kindle 2 e-book reader except its $359 price tag. But if you think that's expensive, take a look behind the Kindle at E Ink, the Cambridge, MA, company that has spent $150 million since 1997 developing the electronic paper display that is the Kindle's coolest feature. In the company's first interview since the Kindle 2 came out, E Ink CEO Russ Wilcox says it took far longer than expected to make the microcapsule-based e-paper film not only legible, but durable and manufacturable. Now that the Kindle 2 is finally getting readers to take e-books seriously, however, Wilcox says he sees a profitable future in which many book, magazine, and newspaper publishers will turn to e-paper, if only to save money on printing and delivery. (Silicon Alley Insider recently calculated that the New York Times could save more than $300 million a year by shutting down its presses and buying every subscriber a Kindle). 'What we've got here is a technology that could be saving the world $80 billion a year,' Wilcox says."
mikeyo86 writes: The New York Times is reporting that Amazon.com will get into the music download business, offering DRM-free songs from EMI and 12,000 smaller, independent labels. From the article: "Amazon, the Internet's most successful seller of physical CDs, today announced plans to introduce a music download store later this year, selling songs and albums in the MP3 format without the anti-copying protection used by most online music retailers." No word yet on pricing or whether the Beatles' catalog will be available.
BadOctopus writes: "The guys over at The Oil Drum have the story that the world's biggest oil exporter, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, experienced an 8% drop in oil production since the beginning of 2006. This decline coincides with a large increase in the number of oil rigs in the country, which implies that either the Saudis are preparing for a large future increase in production, or it is getting ever harder to extract the oil. What seems more likely? What does this mean for the KSA's internal and external political relations?