What to expect at next week’s Kindle event: A rumor roundup

What should we expect from next week’s Amazon press conference in Los Angeles? The rumor mill suggest a front-lit Kindle e-reader, a new Kindle Fire with a camera and location technology, and more streaming movie offerings for Prime members.

Today in Mobile

The world — not just the tech world — is still recovering from yesterday’s news that Steve Jobs is stepping down from his role as Apple CEO, and it seems like every journo, enthusiast and pundit has some thoughts to share. But here are a few of the best reads: Walt Mossberg calls it “the end of an extraordinary era,” David Pogue details how “Steve Jobs reshaped industries,” and the New York Times looks at Jobs’ remarkable talents through the prism of 313 patents. And my favorite piece is from Om, who discusses how Jobs stayed true to himself by focusing on his vision. That’s a tremendous lesson that goes well beyond profit margins and quarterly earnings.

Today in Mobile

The reviews for Research In Motion’s PlayBook are pouring in, and to say they’re mixed would be generous. Om was impressed with the browser and user interface, among other things, but said the tablet’s productivity and communications features were “the deal killer.” The New York Times’ David Pogue notes the lack of apps, and the Wall Street Journal wonders whether it’s “ready for prime time.” The critical reviews sent shares of RIM to a five-month low, underscoring the tablet’s importance for the Canadian manufacturer. The PlayBook’s flaws can be addressed, but RIM must get those fixes out in a hurry if it hopes to become a player in the tablet space.

Macworld 2010: In Closing

In the first year that Macworld Expo San Francisco did not see Apple (s aapl) attend, the speculation leading up to the show was centered on what Macworld Expo would be like without its best known exhibitor. David Pogue gave us a look at the world without Apple, and then the show itself gave us a look at Macworld Expo without Apple. The results in both cases were still pretty enjoyable.

In any other year, the start of Macworld Expo would mean looking forward to a riveting Stevenote with all sorts of product announcements. This year, the Expo started with David Pogue of the New York Times leaping on stage to do his best Steve Ballmer impersonation.

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The highlight of the opener was a clever and entertaining stage play of “It’s a Wonderful Mac” which riffs on the premise of “It’s a Wonderful Life” starring Jimmy Stewart by imaging what the world would be like without Apple. Read More about Macworld 2010: In Closing