Today in Cleantech

Here’s a juicy new rumor. According to TechCrunch, Amazon is considering handing out Kindles to its Prime subscribers at no cost. Said customers — presumably its most loyal — pay nearly $80 a year for fast, free shipping on eligible products. It stands to reason that they’ll eagerly snap up e-books too, right? Maybe. If most prime subscribers are of the book buying variety, then it’s a safe bet. If instead they use the program to save some coin on electronics (like me) and a variety of other products, then the picture gets a bit hazy. Regardless, it’s a bold move and one that could help strengthen Amazon’s position in the face of increased competition from Barnes & Noble and Apple’s upcoming iBooks store. At the very least, more customers will experience the wonders of dematerializing the NYT Bestsellers List.