With its Kindle Fire, Amazon seems to have sought to create a neatly packaged experience, in some ways similar to Apple's iPad. The device runs a heavily customized version of Android and is tightly integrated with Amazon's services. There's one key difference, though. Amazon has released the source code for the Android software fork that powers the device.
You can grab the code in a 204MB tar.gz archive right on this page, no questions asked. Amazon doesn't require that you sign up, sign in, or agree to any terms. The only legal notice on the page says the code is provided "on an 'as is' basis without representations or warranties or any kind," and Amazon isn't liable for damages. So, you know, just don't try to retrofit the software to power a flight computer or a nuclear reactor.
Amazon also offers source code for its other Kindle devices, including the Kindle Touch, Kindle Wi-Fi, and Kindle Keyboard.
It's nice to see Amazon giving hackers and tweakers some measure of freedom. After all, keeping those folks at bay rarely works. As PC World reported earlier this month, the Kindle Fire got rooted just two days after it began shipping. I'm sure the source code release will help pave the way for some neat customizations.