Amazon Silk Web Browser… is it really just the SUCK?

Filed under: Industry News

Ever since I found out that my first dialup isp way back when was implementing a cache server I have always had a problem with anyone getting between me and the content that I want to view.

Most of my day I push very few bits.. I don’t sit there all day downloading videos just so I can win the contest with my friends.. .. maybe i did when I was younger but not anymore.

So for that reason cutting back on my cable modem access was more about paying $20 less a month then having access to the a 5mbit service 24/7. If i want to watch a movie on Hulu… I need to let it buffer a few seconds and there are always things I can do for a moment or two.

And yes I know every isp uses a cache proxy .. the one im on seems to crank it up just a little too high sometimes.

However when it gets to the point that a hardware vendor / website merchant is redesigning a browser to specifically hook into cache as a way to improve their performance.. I find that to be a little scamish..

If you remember back there was a time when Video card makers were specifically designing their firmware to fool the performance tests developed by PC Magazines.

This is pretty much what the new Kindle with Silk does.

So how does it work?

Well normally when you browse webpages you send a request to the remote website to spit a page into your browser. On the page can be pieces from the local server, advertising servers someplace away from the main server, even videos from youtube on the page or other media files that make up a full page.

With the silk browser every page you visit is cached into Amazon’s Massive cache servers.

So like my isp does Amazon requests the page once and serves it out thousands or millions of times before the cache is released.

Most cache servers are pretty respectable on how long they keep a page in cache.. I mean afterall if you aren’t tweeting or watching remote radar for weather or incoming ICBMs it is ok if the page you see was cached 5 or 10 minutes ago.

On the other hand who the fuck are they to cache content from other companies that work hard to produce it in a way that they want displayed… where does anyone running a cache server get that right to intercept and delay content …

Not only is Amazon caching the content in their cloud .. they are manipulating it for the device.

Specifically they say they are dumbing down images and other content and pumping a look alike to your browser.

Well what if you are looking at an image of the layout of your car’s break system…

They will send you a low res crap image good for layout proofs … but if you try to zoom in you seen nothing but jaggies…

Basically they or their algorithms are deciding what you can see.. not the content producer that you are contacting..


If this holds true and they don’t get a good grip on just what to and what not to cache and alter .. this could be one of the worst moves the industry ever made.. but then again .. Im sure with all the Apple Users out there.. there are enough fools to think its cool… then again they could probably never work on their cars brakes.

Just remember to make a silk shirt … IT TAKES A LOT OF BUGS.