The Grinch's guide to gifts you should not give this holiday season, continued:
> Sony GC1 Net-Sharing Cam. Attractive design is a Sony hallmark. So is a perplexing user interface, and this pocket video camcorder is a true blue Sony device in both respects. Despite its recent $50 price drop (the camcorder now lists for $149), this camcorder is still not a good buy. Video quality is mediocre (see the video clip below, which I posted previously on this blog). You can barely view what's on its LCD screen in bright sunlight. And for just $50 more, you can buy a good, low-end MiniDV-tape camcorder, the Canon ZR800.
> Amazon Kindle. I've yet to actually see one of these new $399 e-book readers, so take my advice with a grain of salt. Still, the reviews have been consistent: Yes, the Kindle's free wireless connection, for easily buying and downloading books, is a big step forward. But its hardware buttons for navigating the pages of a book are awkwardly placed, causing readers to unintentionally skip forward or jump backward. Bottom line? The Kindle is a first-generation hardware device. And as a rule, I rarely buy a first-gen product. I wait for a second- or third-gen product, to give the developer time to work out the kinks.