Saturday, June 2, 2012

Kindle News: Children's illustrated classics-narration+music at $0.99 each. Kindle Fire Reading View. Big3 publishers ending Agreements with Apple? Dilbert+Doonesbury Exclusive. Kindle Fire Best E-Reader? Amazon gets Digital Gift patent. Borrowing from the Library. Nook Classic converts "Kindled" to "Nookd" in text. UK review of Kindle Touch. UK Bookseller tries to ban Kindles. - UPDATE on Dilbert book

(Apologies for the long title, but rather than do many blog entries which could get the blog credit for many more website views -- and for lots of blog entries -- I put what I found into one lengthy entry.)

Note: Kindle Edition blog subscribers can use Menu/Article Mode to read the stories more easily when clicking through the news links.

47 CHILDREN'S CLASSIC EBOOKS FOR $0.99 each - for a limited time
47 children's classic e-books for Kindle for $0.99 each, on a limited time basis, from Rabbit Ears, normally sold for over $7 each.  The Kindlepost blog did not say when the offer expires though.
  They are illustrated and include music and narration by various celebrities.
  While these are for Kindle Fire, SOME of them will work with the Kindle for Android app as well.  You can check the latter on the product page under device availability near the top.

I see a review showing Robin Williams narrating Pecos Bill, but this doesn't show up in the product description for some reason.

As many know, when you're reading a web page on the Kindle Fire, and you want to read a particular story, clicking on it, but find the type too small or there's too much junk surrounding it, you can look at the bottom status line and probably see the "eyeglasses" icon which, if you click on it, will put you in to Reading View mode.  It is very slick.

I just read a review of the Kindle Fire which said that the new Reading View "doesn't stitch together multiple pages of a story into one, instead only yielding a large-type ad-free version of the current page."
  I explained the following in a comment:
' It does, though. You just swipe up to read the rest of the piece below.  It's actually very smooth.  I had chosen to use Dolphin HD browser instead of Amazon's Silk, but with this new Reading View, I've switched to Silk because it's very effective. '

Good E-Reader's Mercy Pilkington points out that the three publishers who settled with the DOJ and various state class action lawsuits will have, "pending a wait period," just "one week to terminate their agreement with Apple on how much ebooks will cost."
 Pilkington says "the coming month is when the 60-day wait period on the settlement will expire" and soon there are likely to be discussions between retailers and the publishers about changed pricing for eBooks -- and few expect the pricing would go up :-)


These are two new anthologies marking anniversaries (Dilbert's 20th, Doonesbury's 40th): the Dilbert 2.0 set of four books and the Doonesbury Retrospective set of four.

NOTE: The Dilbert strip shown above stresses that you need to double-click on a strip frame to enlarge it for readability.  Then you tap the right edge to move to the next frame.   To normalize the strip size, double-click on the current frame to toggle the resizing off.
  Having said that, I noted that the Dilbert strips leave margins on the sides and top and so they could be larger.  Needing to enlarge them can halt the flow of reading, but these short strips are readable as-is unless you need very large fonts.
  The Doonesbury images enlarge to leave no margins, and from what I saw in the Sample (no actual strip was shown which means I won't be buying one unless they make a sample that shows an actual strip), they make better use of space when enlarging the images.

  ALSO, I did buy the Dilbert The Dot-Com Bubble and found that there is NO BOOKMARKING of pages or table of contents with links.  In fact Scott Adam's history of his experiences for the years covered by this volume, takes up about 25% of that book and the only way I could get to the cartoons was to find the starting location and press MENU/GoTo and type in Location 1325 to get to the starting cartoon in that book.
  It does keep track of the last page read though.

Dilbert UPDATE - I should re-emphasize that the comics, once they begin in these books, are readable as-is, for most, and that the frame enlargements if needed are done by double-clicking on a frame and then pressing the right-edge to advance to the next frame while the rest of it darkens.

I think that a customer reviewer actually was referring to comics referenced in Scott Adams' introduction and personal history in which samples are shown but these actually are not readable and probably aren't meant to be.  (Those threw me initially but I found that the 75% main course is easily readable without the double-click enlargements --  I'd thought at first that they were the ones meant to be read.)  Other customer-reviewers are upset because the Dilbert 2.0 series is not available except on the Kindle Fire currently and they give it 1-star ratings as a result but weren't reviewing the book itself.

I'm adding this update because many Dilbert fans will very likely enjoy the author's personal history of the decade for each set in the series and I'm enjoying his comments on many of the comics chosen for the book - giving the reason he chose them and some facts behind the comic strip being shown.  Most will know he's pretty cynical about office life and it's a reason for the popularity of these.  Also check out the Q&A with Adams, which is part of the product page.

SIZE: Each of these books is about 90 MB, which is 90 times larger than the average novel.  In other words, each will take the space that about 90 novels would on the Kindle Fire storage space.
  I always have a Wi-Drive in my purse so I can just read them from there wirelessly at anytime, but if you don't use a solution like that, watch the storage space you have left.  A Wi-Drive unit is smaller than a cell-phone and can hold from 16-64 GB of files to be streamed and shared on several devices at the same time.

I was startled to see, in an e-reader comparison at Tech Goes Strong, the Kindle Fire listed in the top spot as an eBook reader since it's a hybrid tablet/reader and the Kindle line does have topnotch dedicated eInk readers.  However, I do sometimes take the KFire out instead of the KTouch, but if I'm worried about battery life that day, then I take the eInk reader, and of course book-reading on this is easier on the eyes but the Kindle Fire is surprisingly comfortable unless you're in direct sunlight.

The KFire is followed on this listing by the iPad 3, B&N's Nook Glowlight, the Sony Reader, and the Kobo one. These are actually summary comparisons.

VR-Zone points out that there's a "twist to the patent," which would otherwise be silly, in that in addition to selecting a digital gift, sending a notification to the recipient, and having the recipient download the gift, "it also describes the ability for the gift-giver to DELAY PAYMENT for the item until the digital gift has been accepted.  If the gift hasn’t been accepted and downloaded by a specific time, the order can be cancelled and no payment will be made by the gift-giver."

 Amazon applied for the patent in 2008, so it's taken about 4 years.  Now let's see them actually implement the delayed-payment feature.

This how-to by Clayton Morris for FoxNews was of interest to me in a couple of ways.  First, the header shows the first generation Nook from a couple of years ago, and second, it describes clearly how simple it is for Kindlers to borrow a book from a public library while detailing the steps necessary for the "bit more cumbersome" process used with the Nook.  It'll be useful for Nook owners new to the procedure though.

VentureBeat's Sean Ludwig references the original blog that discovered this special conversion that applied the changes of the dreaded "Kindle" word to "Nook" throughout the classic, producing sentences like, "It was as if a light had been Nookd in a carved and painted lantern…."   :-)

  (This could have been a very early anticipation of the GlowLight.)

  While some had wondered if B&N would go so far, it's almost surely caused by the publisher, ironically named "Superior Formatting Publishing" doing a Search and Replace when converting a Kindle book (created first) to the Nook platform and wanting to remove any Amazon Kindle references.

UK REVIEW OF KINDLE TOUCH NOW FINALLY AVAILABLE THERE's Madeline Bennett reviews it.  The long recharge time is caused by recharging it via USB connection to a computer, which takes much longer than using a power adapter.  A new Kindle with many new books being added to it will also use more battery power at first because each book is indexed for later keyword searches.

This was just funny, though I can appreciate the worry.  The Guardian has fun with the story about Derek Addyman's remarks to the Daily Mail (which has many colorful photos) about the new gadgets that "have no soul."  He further explains, "Booksellers here definitely want them banned. You see people walking around with Kindles and they are like robots in another world.

‘Books are sociable and people stop and talk to each other about them.  Kindles are just a phase and they won’t last. They are our enemy."

Current Kindle Models for reference, plus free-ebook search links
Kindle Fire  7" tablet - $199
Kindle NoTouch ("Kindle") - $79/$109
Kindle Touch, WiFi
- $99/$139
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
OTHER International
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.

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