[caption id="attachment_42653" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="The Kindle Fire only has 8 MB of storage space, but Amazon is offering users free web-based storage for any digital content they buy from the company."][/caption]

Amazon’s unveiling of the Kindle Fire, a tablet computer that costs a few hundred dollars less than Apple’s iPad, sends a bright-hot message: The online retailer is ready to rival Apple in an effort to be the world’s top provider of digital content.

It might sound odd coming from a company that pioneered online sales of physical books in 1995. But since it...

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