Kindle Fire HD's HDMI-out to HDTV
One of the features that the 7" and 8.9" Kindle Fire HD tablets have and which neither the Google Nexus nor Apple iPad mini offers is a simple, direct HDMI port that takes a microHDMI cable, which is then connected to the HDMI input of an HDTV so that you can show on that HDTV what you're seeing on your Kindle Fire HD.
I was able to just hook up the two end connectors and instantly saw the contents of whichever Kindle Fire HD tablet (KFHD) I was using, full screen, even the 7" tablet -- probably because my LG 22" HDTV (only $235 last year but now selling through others for more) in the computer space, is a 720p display (1080i). It likely wouldn't fill the screen of an HDTV screen with an 1080p display.
The image above is taken with a Sony RX100 camera in a room with no lights on, and so there's no TV frame shown, as the border around the KFire's ABC episode shown (from Castle with Nathan Fillion) is just a lighter black, so I trimmed the photo to show just the screen. I made a somewhat larger version, which shows the grid lines a bit. On the TV itself I see no grid lines, but in photographing it, these show up and it's difficult to do a good photo of screen output like this.
Also tried to video part of a Vimeo video timelapse I really like but was concerned about digital rights violations since my favorite one was taken off of Youtube for country-rights reasons. As for the HDMI-out feature, the plus (or minus) here is that everyone in the room can see whatever material you're seeing while surfing, including normal web pages and whatever video streaming there is. I haven't tried a Prime Instant video yet, as I had read some user reports that it didn't work with those, but I'll try it later today and add an update here. Have something else on right now.
UPDATE - Commenter JeffGr reported that during a recent hotel stay, he watched a Prime Instant movie from his 7" Kindle Fire HD on the hotel room HDTV via the tablet's micro-HDMI out and "it worked just fine."
Here's the 10 feet micro HDMI to HDMI cable with Ethernet that I used (it went down $1 while I was typing this). It's by BlueRigger, and I chose it only because there was so much positive feedback for their cables and some had already used it for the Kindle Fire HD without any problems. It is problem-free for me - no fancy setups to be done, just a direct connection on each end. Of course this will work only if you have an HDMI connection freeable on your TV. (I've no idea if it works with a switch box for multiple inputs but I kind of doubt it.)
Updated 12/13/12 to add a link to the blog article on how to play Flash files on the Kindle Fires when Flash is required to play video as with many TV network past-episode site pages.
Amazon's new "Friends & Family Gifting" feature
This new feature will appeal mostly to those who like seeing personal recommendations when shopping Amazon. With 9 shopping days left, it'll also appeal to some who might like an organizational and reminder feature with links to the Amazon Wish Lists of potential giftees.
As is so prevalent these days, the connections involve both just adding names to a list on your own and/or using Facebook to add them. Personally, I link my social networks minimally, but many do use the social connection features.
Now, for those who are interested in the feature, here is what Amazon highlights as benefits:
. Keep track of birthdays and gift ideas
. Get shopping reminders for every occasion
. Find and remember friends' Wish Lists
Here's their FAQ on the feature and how it works.
They also have reminders for last minute shoppers on the "Top Holiday Deals" and, in keeping with the new feature, "Holiday 2012 Electronics Gift List"
Free Super Saver Shipping for last minute holiday shopping
Some information from their press release on this:
Amazon has 'extended the ordering deadline for Free Super Saver Shipping by two days. Customers can now place orders through Dec. 18 with free delivery by Christmas on millions of items...'
' Amazon Prime members can place orders up until 7:00 p.m. EST on Dec. 21 to receive deliveries by Dec. 24 using Free Two-Day Shipping (cut-off time varies by item).
For delivery by Christmas, the following ordering deadlines apply:
Dec. 18: Free Super Saver Shipping
Dec. 19: Standard Shipping
Dec. 21: Two-Day Shipping (order as late as 7:00 p.m. EST; varies by item; free with Amazon Prime)
Dec. 22: One-Day Shipping (order as late as 3:00 p.m. EST; varies by item; as low as $3.99/item with Amazon Prime)
Dec. 24: Local Express Delivery (while available; select cities; varies by item; as low as $3.99/item with Amazon Prime)
Dec. 25: Email and printable Amazon Gift Cards can be sent immediately, at any time
Some restrictions apply. Visit amazon.com/holiday-shipping for more details. '
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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