My vacationing at Yosemite is ended for this year, but with a bang in a way, in that after a week of totally sunny weather, we had sudden thunderstorms throughout day 5, with snow and hail in the higher areas -- at the end of May.
I spent about 6 hours that afternoon, along with many others, trying to catch the shifting light during the 'clearings' between the storms, and it was a pretty wet time, at near-freezing temperatures at about 4,400 ft, and very odd to drive a bit higher above Tunnel View (the lower viewpoint shown here), to find the trees at the junction of Highway 41 and Glacier Point Road almost wholly white with instant snow as we approach summer.
Small pieces of hail stayed on my windshield for a bit even in the area of the valley's stables earlier, where the mule and horseback rides were being cancelled.
Below that blanket of green in the image above is Yosemite Valley, where we lodge and play.
During the week, it's often explained to us in several ways how, long ago, glaciers carved out that space, specifically Yosemite Glacier.
I haven't gone through the snow photos yet, but did put a set of about six shots of Tunnel View's scenic changes during the latter part of that day (ending about 7:30pm in these scenes). There are also a couple of shots from Glacier Point (3,214 feet above the valley) of an area with the somewhat lesser-known Vernal and Nevada Falls, taken on the first day I was there.
If pbase is having photo-display problems, you can use the google-plus album instead.
So, now I'll settle back into more regular blogging while the rest of the world goes on longer vacations.
Are people reading less? Or more?
The Royal Gazetteonline's Marcia Breen reports today that Pew Research Center's most recent research finds that about one in five adults in the US owns an e-reader as of January 2012, "up from one in ten in mid-December of last year" and "it looks like that boom in e-readers has triggered a boom in reading."
' According to the research, the average e-book reader reads 60 percent more than a traditional book reader. Owners of a Kindle, Nook or iPad read an average of 24 books a year compared to the non-e-book readers who read an average of 15 books a year.
The study also found 42 percent of those who read digital content say they now spend more time reading than they did before, whether it’s in bed or on the go and that women are reading more than men. '
Reasons given for moving to e-readers: easy access while traveling and commuting; font size adjustments, built-in dictionary, a library in the palm of your hand. Even now, the study found, "88 percent of people" in that study who had read an e-book in the past year had also read a printed book during that time. Read more on that here
Did Kindle Fire Sales really fade that much in 1st quarter 2012?
PCWorld's Jeff Berolucci points to a column by Stephen Baker for the NPD Group, "Shipments are Not Sales," in which he "pulls no punches in chastising tech bloggers for misinterpreting new data from research firm IDC. Baker points out:
' Of course, sales always rise dramatically in the fourth quarter of the year--also known as the holiday shopping season--and Amazon understandably shipped millions of Kindle Fires to its warehouses and retail partners to meet demand. All of those 4.8 million Fires shipped didn't sell, naturally, which meant plenty of inventory was left over for early 2012. This resulted in lower (OK, significantly lower) Kindle Fire shipments in that quarter.See Baker's post for much more detail.
So how did the Kindle Fire do in the first quarter of 2012? Pretty darn well, thank you very much. According to NPD's Consumer Tracking Service, the Kindle actually sold (there is that word again, this time properly used) 1.8 million units in the first quarter. That is, "an actual consumer bought it and took it home (or had it delivered) and paid their own real money," Baker writes. '
I remember when ace commenter jftorres wrote this uncommon sense to Nate Hoffelder's The-Digital-Reader at about the same time, when IDG Research was also focusing on the drop in Kindle Fire shipments in the first qtr after the Holidays:
' ... Not unusual with seasonal products to see a big spike during the holidays followed by much lower sales during the year.
Gaming consoles are a perfect example:
MS has sold 67 million XBOX 360s worldwide (I just saw the number this morning) since 2005.
Last XMAS they sold about 4 million of those in the US over three months, whereas last month they sold about 400,000.
And those are good numbers.
700K FIREs in a month may not be in iPad territory but they still point at 10 million-plus for the year, which is what has been predicted for FIRE. '
Target's Kindle news
In the meantime, the recent story of Target dropping Kindles, indicating the reason is that Amazon is an aggressive retail competitor, coincided with their announcement that 25 of its main stores will add new iPad departments.
Amazon's LOVEFiLM (European)
LOVEFiLM announced today a "multi-year digital license agreement with NBCUniversal International Television Distribution, providing LOVEFiLM members exclusive streaming access to titles from Universal Pictures during the second pay window."
My question: Why the serial-killer style capitalization-mix in a company name? It reminds me of the tortured enTourage eDGe, which is no longer with us, possibly partially due to people not wanting to even type that name.
The European streaming video company has previously announced exclusive content deals with Disney, Sony, Warner Bros. and STUDIOCANAL. [Now we have all caps.]
See the press release for the several films included.
The Telegraph's Emma Barnett explains that the "second pay window" means "around six months after [a film] has been released to Sky Movies (which has a lock on most pay-TV movie rights) after the cinema run has finished" and she adds that this deal is "a coup for Lovefilm" (she ignores the capitalization) as it goes head to head with Netflix...which launched its on-demand movie subscription service in the UK at the start of this year."
Engadget's James Trew thinks it "looks Kick Ass."
TechCrunch's Sarah Perez describes the wide variety of devices supported, "including PCs, Macs, the iPad, internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players, as well as game consoles like the Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation. There are 175 devices, in total, which are supported."
Current Kindle Models for reference, plus free-ebook search links
Kindle Fire 7" tablet - $199
Kindle NoTouch ("Kindle") - $79/$109
Kindle Touch, WiFi
Kindle Touch, 3G/WiFi - $149/$189
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189, Free, slow web
Kindle DX - $379, Free, slow web
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - £89
Kindle Touch WiFi, UK - £109
Kindle Touch 3G/WiFi, UK - £169
Kindle Keyboard 3G, UK - £149
Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
Kindle NoTouch Basic - $109
Kindle Touch WiFi - $139
Kindle Touch 3G/WiFi - $189
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189
Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
Check often: Temporarily-free recently published Kindle books
Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources. Top 100 free bestsellers. Liked-books under $1
UK-Only: recently published free books, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.
*Click* to Return to the HOME PAGE. Or click on the web browser's BACK button Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.
(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
If interested, you can also follow my add'l blog-related news at Facebook and Twitter
Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!