Take a closer look at Amazon's $199 Kindle Fire tablet, as unveiled Wednesday by CEO Jeff Bezos. One clear goal: Steal millions of hearts--and dollars--from Apple.
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At the launch event, an Amazon engineer explains Amazon Silk, the company's new "split browser" that can handle processing demands both locally on the device and on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). With each page request, Silk is said to automatically determine the most efficient split of processing, based on factors including network capacity, page complexity, and cached content. But Silk doesn't rely on back-and-forth hops between the device and the Internet for a page request that may draw on dozens of files served up from multiple domains. Instead, Silk can rely on EC2, its persistent connections to the Internet, and its massive processing power to collect all the required components, then quickly stream them directly to the device. As a result, Amazon says movies, music, books, magazines, apps, games and the Web (including Flash content) can be consumed quickly without overwhelming the processing capacity of the Kindle Fire.
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