Get ready to fire up Kindle 2

When Amazon announced today that it would hold a press conference Feb. 9 at the Morgan Library and Museum in Manhattan, the rumors started flying fast and furious, and the consensus seems to be:

Kindle 2 is to be released soon.

A quick trip over to also shows that the Kindle just happens to be "sold out." How convenient that it isn't likely to ship for another four to six weeks. And the last time Amazon held a press conference in New York City, it was to announce the first Kindle, several folks have pointed out.

The existing Kindle allows you to shop for books wirelessly, without Wi-Fi (it uses the same wireless technology as cell phones). More than 225,000 books are currently available on the Kindle. So are lots of newspapers and magazines (including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Time, Atlantic Monthly and Forbes) - including international newspapers from France, Germany and Ireland. You can even download free chapters of books you're interested in to see if you want to buy.

The new Kindle, according to various news reports, is supposed to be much snazzier. It'll be longer, flatter and fix some problems with the original, such as accidental page turns and is expected to be rechargeable via USB cable, instead of its own, separate charger.

Tags:  Amazon, ebook, Kindle