Saturday, March 31, 2012

Free Kindle Books and forum threads 3/31/12, going back 5 days

Links to Kindle forum threads about temporarily-free Kindle books released that day, for the last 6 days.

Rather than listing each book, these hold the offerings selected by avid readers for themselves out of about 400/day and may help those who don't have time to look at each title listed in the various temporarily-free catalogs on any particular day.

The forum threads by Joyce are no longer run by her, as she opted out, but others are following her template, and instead of one forum thread each time a batch of new free Kindle books is announced, there are two: one with discussions and one without (they call it 'without chat') so that people can breeze through these more quickly although Joyce's forum topic was especially enjoyed because of the community that had been built up there.  But now, people can access both, although it can be confusing.

First, I'll mention a couple of free Kindle books I just came across today because I was looking for something else to borrow in the Prime Lending Library (using the Amazon webpage Prime Kindle book browsing  [Tip: Select Low-to-High when doing a "Search" there for specific-genre books that are Prime-borrowable] when I noticed the two books below were on free-purchase status today in the search results I'd gotten.
  [ Their free pricing has ended. ]

Notes on Photography, by Jim Dollar, released February 25, 2012.
  The sample is ample :-) The photos are high resolution enough to be viewable full screen, which you can do by long-pressing on the photo and choosing 'zoom' -- and, with the Kindle Fire, you also pinch-zoom it to enlarge it and zoom in further for more detail.

The photos are of the intentionally intense-colors type, popular these days although I get more out of the ones which keep closer to nature's colors, but the vividness of over-saturated ones is probably more like the heightened emotions one might feel when viewing a landscape, or the strength of a memory.   I like the "Backyard" ones the best and enjoyed his apt descriptions (though repetitive) of the mindset of an incorrigible photo catcher.  And there are some very nice meditative ones.


Bound by Law?: Tales from the Public Domain, by James Boyle and Jennifer Jenkins, with Illustrator Keith Aoki, 8 customer reviews, 4.1 stars avg.

This introduction to copyright law is is in comic book format and DRM-free, to boot.
"“A knockout comic book about fair use and filmmaking. Bound by Law? riffs expertly on classic comic styles, from the Crypt Keeper to Mad Magazine, superheroes to Understanding Comics, and lays out a sparkling, witty, moving and informative story about how the eroded public domain has made documentary filmmaking into a minefield.” -- Cory Doctorow, co-editor of the blog BoingBoing.net

“This wonderful, funny, and clever comic makes a very complex issue simple. . . . I keep a copy in my desk.” -- Davis Guggenheim, Oscar-winning director of the documentary An Inconvenient Truth

Booklist's Esther Sinofsky writes that it's "an excellent introduction to copyright law.  The authors, all law professors, wanted to make copyright accessible for everyone in a form other than a law-review article..."


FREE KINDLE BOOKS - Amazon Kindle Community Forums
You can check the Kindle forum for 'free book' threads at any time to see the daily info as fast as it's posted there.)

Again, some are free for only a few hours, some for a day or 5, so

Double-check your selections for Price.

Watch out for the huge-number for any Prime's $0.00 price, which is for *borrowing* (via using the Kindle device only rather than a computer), but the $0.00 borrowing cost looks like a purchase price and is sized larger than the normal pricing, which of course has confused people.

LINKS to the Free Book threads for a few days, latest first.
I'm linking to the first actual posting of free books in each message thread.

Today, Saturday, March 31 - "Freebie BOOKS - Links Only"
Sat, 3/31/12

    Links to older threads will definitely bring up SOME books that are no longer free
      * So, check the price *

    Kindle-edition subscribers should try these at the blog page,
      at a computer - Link: http://bit.ly/kwf0331

Friday, March 30
Thursday, March 29
Wednesday, March 28
Tuesday, March 27
Monday, March 26

I'll try to work these in regularly for those who don't have the time to go looking for free books everywhere.


As always, here's the link to Amazon's Kindle Daily Deal that changes each night.



Kindle Touch 3G, US-only   Kindle Touch WiFi (US)   Kindle Touch WiFi-Only, outside US    Kindle Basic   (UK: KBasic)   Kindle Fire
Kindle Keybd 3G   (UK: Kindle Keybd 3G)   K3 Special Offers   K3-3G Special Offers   DX

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published ones
  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.

Send to Kindle


(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!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kindle Fire Update v6.3 now READY.. Here's what it has, + my comments. Updates

KINDLE FIRE UPDATE v6.3 is apparently almost upon us

UPDATE - I've revised the title of the post, to keep the below info intact in one blog posting, but as of 3/28, Wednesday, the software v6.3 is ready for download.
  Download it at the software-update page (good instructions there) and also read the comments to get a fuller picture on Amazon's described changes before or after you've downloaded it. [End of Update]

ORIGINAL POST INFO from 3/27/12 - 11:55 AM
They say it'll be over the air and that if we want it sooner we can download it when it'a made available.  Since Amazon doesn't announce software updates much in advance (and usually after the fact), it must mean it's "around the corner, I can see, where it is, gonna be soon." (Sorry, am an old WSS fan).

Update: A couple of forum members have received it over the air already, while others have rebooted and don't have it yet.

Until then they want you to be sure you've got on your Kindle the latest v6.2.2 and the usual instructions are there for downloading it.  But you can also see my blog posting that explains that update and then takes you there to complete it.

I will copy in here what they've written on that software update page today, as it will change once the v6.3 software is released on that same page (the usual method) while adding my own comments for some of the (good) changes that are coming.
'Coming soon: A new, free over-the-air software update will soon be available for Kindle Fire that includes:
  • Sharing: Customers will be able to easily share favorite passages and notes from their books directly from Kindle Fire, without even leaving the book. Customers simply highlight a passage and select "Share" or choose the "Share" option from the toolbar within a book, write a note if they choose, and select which social network to share with. Passages or notes a customer chooses to share will be displayed to other Kindle readers viewing the same book, and customers can also choose to share via Facebook and Twitter. Amazon already has a vibrant community of readers who choose to share favorite passages and notes from their reading through Kindle.amazon.com. This update brings these notes and highlights to Kindle Fire, so a reader can easily see what other readers are saying about their books.
  • Book Extras: Powered by Shelfari, Amazon's community of book lovers, Book Extras make it easy for customers to see supplemental material about the book they are reading, without even leaving the book. Customers can view descriptions of characters, a glossary of common terms used in the book, information on the authors and common locations referenced in the book, and more. To view Book Extras from within a book, customers simply tap the top of the screen to bring up the toolbar, tap the menu button and select "Book Extras."

      [ This would be what X-Ray provides to e-Ink Kindle Touch currently. ]
  • Archive of Personal Documents: Customers' personal documents will be stored in the Amazon Cloud and available for re-download at any time from the Documents tab on Kindle Fire.  Just as with Kindle books, Whispersync will automatically sync notes, highlights and last page read for personal documents.  [MUCH begged for requested by Kindle Fire customers!  This is a very welcome feature.]
  • Print Replica Textbooks: Students can buy thousands of print replica textbooks to read on their Kindle Fire and save up to 60% off the list price of the print textbook.  Print replica textbooks maintain the rich formatting, color and layout of the print editions, with features including notes and highlights, zoom and pan, linked table of contents, real page numbers and whispersync of notes, highlights and last page read.
  • Reading View for Amazon Silk: There is a seemingly endless array of interesting and engaging content available on the Internet.  Sometimes, unfortunately, that business article, blog post, or sports recap you clicked on is surrounded by a host of competing material.  With Immersion Mode on Silk, the content that you're interested in is elevated above the clutter.

    When invoked by the customer, Silk will load the body of the page in a reading-optimized, single screen view (even for multi-page articles).  The full page is still available in the background, allowing the reader to easily toggle back to a traditional view to see other interesting features on the page.
  • [ AB speaking here whenever in brackets: This will be like 'Article Mode' in e-Ink Kindle 3 and later Kindles and like the Article-textview options we see with magazine viewing tablet magazine apps. FOR NOW or as a good alternative later, also know that you can *double-tap" the webpage story column on a Kindle Fire, and it will fit the article to the width of the KFire, getting rid of the other-info or ad boxes in another column that would otherwise show on the page. AND THEN:   Pinch-zoom-enlarge the resulting column text and the article *reformats the current column at that new size you want to the width of the KFire. (Repeat as desired.)   ( With Kindle Touch e-Ink, you SINGLE-tap to get the same effect when reading tiny webpage font, width will fit text and larger fonts if you like, along with the old alternate choice of easier-to-read "Article Mode," but links aren't clickable in Article Mode on the e-Ink Kindles.)]
  • Movie Rentals: The rental period for movie rentals that are downloaded to Kindle Fire now starts when a customer starts watching the movie, rather than when a customer starts downloading the movie.
  • [ This is HUGE.  For too long, the rental period has started when a person downloaded the rental, even if they'd not opened it yet, and then some found that the rental had already expired during the vacation when they opened it.   In this case, when many of us wrote to Amazon that this just had to be changed, they've gone ahead and made the software change.]
  • Additional Enhancements: This update will also bring some of the features customers have requested, including faster re-connect of Wi-Fi after Kindle Fire has been asleep, and general performance enhancements. '

All good to read, no?  Something to look forward to.



Kindle Touch 3G, US-only   Kindle Touch WiFi (US)   Kindle Touch WiFi-Only, outside US    Kindle Basic   (UK: KBasic)   Kindle Fire
Kindle Keybd 3G   (UK: Kindle Keybd 3G)   K3 Special Offers   K3-3G Special Offers   DX

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published ones
  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.

Send to Kindle


(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!

HARRY POTTER books are now on Kindle and will be globally too. Updated w/ forum tips



QUICK NOTE for now.  More will be coming today was added Wednesday morning.

Here's the new Harry Potter page at Amazon (Link: amzn.to/pottermorepage).

To purchase a book shown, you'll need to also create an account at the Pottermore store to buy a book, (Link to Pottermore's Help page: amzn.to/pottermoresite).

  They seem reasonably priced at $7.99 for the most part, considering what we've been used to with other larger publishers.  But I'm getting this out right away and will add the usual details in a short while.

  When actually buying a book from Amazon for the Kindle, you'll click the usual button but will be taken to the Pottermore store.

Update, 3/27/12 - Here's the detailed Amazon Help page for Harry Potter books on Kindle (Link: amzn.to/kpotter)

Update 2, 3/28/12 - More details
A discount is given if you buy a full set of 7 books at the same time. $57.54, about a 10% savings.  This includes taxes.

A DRM-free ePub copy can be one of the 8-allowed downloads from Pottermore site.

Below is what is fairly common language now for Terms and Conditions of e-book purchases, but some may be interested in what Rowling's attorneys decided to use:

  From Pottermore Terms and Conditions - Section 12 Use and Limitation of Use of Books
    Excerpts from 12.1, What a purchaser can and can't do:
'
12.1 When you buy a downloadable book from us, what you are buying is the right to use that book in the way we explain below for your own personal, non-commercial use only:

§ You may download one (1) copy of each book you purchase for storage and use on your reading/listening system, which could be your computer, your tablet, your MP3 player, your mobile phone, your eBook reader or any other compatible electronic device, or any compatible reading/listening service linked with the Pottermore Shop ("System").
  You may also download up to seven (7) further copies of the book for storage and use in the same ways but this is subject to the continued availability of the book via the Pottermore Shop...
...
12.3 You may not and may not permit others to do any of the following things in relation to any book or extract:
  sell, distribute, loan, share, give or lend the book or extract to any other person including to your friends (except in the limited circumstances explained at 12.1 above)...

However, there are various upsides, including the reasonable pricing relative to other in-demand e-books today, the number of times (8) that you can download a purchased copy while being able to take advantage of a Kindle copy being automatically sent to up to 6 of your Kindle-compatible devices while it is counted by Pottermore as only one copy downloaded, etc.
  And with the Kindle copy served by Amazon, you can redownload that as often as necessary.

Here are some tips exchanged from the experience yesterday of Kindle forum members -- one focus is on being able to get the original English version of the books when you live in the U.S. and use a U.S. credit card with Amazon.com US:
Thomas Palmer
"Warning (or note) to everyone.  When you send a HP book to your Kindle account, it is also automatically sent to every device and app you have registered on your account, up to 6 of them."

___
Jolie Griffin mentions the "availability of the last book as a digital audio production, which even itunes didn't get!"

___
Fanny V. Darling says:
"you link your Pottermore account and your amazon account, then the books show on your MYK [ManageYourKindle] page"

___
CBRetriever says [in order to get the Great Britain or original English versions of the Potter books vs the US English versions)
"When I signed up, I set my language to GB english"

__
Thomas Palmer says
"I just did a test. If you set your country of residence on your account to be one where the GB version is available you can put it in your cart.  But if you enter in a US CC when checking out then the system will automatically change it to the US version and send you back to the start of the checkout process."

Thomas Palmer adds:
"OK. I was able to figure out how to buy the UK version of the HP books when you have a US account.  You will need 2 Pottermore Store accounts.  You will need your main US one to buy the book and a second UK one to get the books.  So you will need 2 e-mail addresses.

1) Set up your main US account.  This one will be where you buy the GB version.

2) Change the Book Language to English(GB).  Not the site language, the book language.

3) You won't be able to use the buy button.  Use the gift link just below the buy button.

4) Send the gift to yourself at a different e-mail address.  Use UK as that gift recipients country.

5) You can now check out as normal using your US credit card.

6) Set up a second Pottermore Store account with the other email address, but this time select UK as the country of residence.

7) You will get the gift code in that email account you set when you bought the gift.  Use that code to accept the gift in your second Pottermore account.

8) You will now have the UK version of the book. :)  Go ahead and link your Amazon account and send it off to your Kindle.  Even though it's a US Amazon account it works just fine.  You will get Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. YAY!!! :)  In fact I now have both in my account with no problems..."

___
H. kendall says:
"Thanks Thomas Palmer! I now have the UK version which I wanted.  It really was easy to follow your instuctions."

__
Thomas Palmer says:
'"CLS10 says: "Can you tell me how to unlink my amazon account? I don't see any options to do so."

When you are logged in on the Pottermore Store page, click on "My shop account" at the top of the page.  You will see a bunch of big icons for all the different account settings sections.  Click on Linked Accounts.  It will show you the accounts that are linked.  Click on "Remove linked account" on the right side of the account you want to unlink from the Pottermore Shop account.'

___
Satellite Girl says:
'This is actually better than "real" kindle books because you can get multiple versions for different countries regardless of where you live and you can download up to 8 versions which means you can get versions for different devices in different formats without rebuying it.  So having purchased it once you can get it for Nook, Google, Kindle etc. All having purchased it once.  This basically gives you all the advantages of having purchased it from Amazon but unlocks it so you don't have to read it in Kindle format or be bound by the restrictions.'

___
Stephanie Wheeler says:
"...SO happy to see that the artwork is still there in the ebook version. I loved all the little drawings! "

___
CBP the bookworm says:
"...it doesn't work if you've already bought the books - you can only do the gift option at checkout."

___
AmeliaAT says [re full-set discount, for 7 individual books]
"It's the very last option, right next to the Deathly Hallows book, and it has a little "10%" sticker-thingy over it. So if you want all 7 and want to buy them all at once, you can save 10% over buying them individually."

___
ProfCrash says:
"Password wise, use at least one capitol letter and two numbers and you are good to go.
  As for the 8 downloads, I sent it to my Kindle account and it counted as one download even though it went to 4 devices (k1, K3, and 2 DXGs).  My second download was to my computer, I saved the EPUBs on my hard drive just to be safe.  I have 6 downloads left.  So if I wanted to, or needed to, I could send it to a IPad, Nook and a Sony and still have 3 downloads left..."

___
Robert Berryman says:
"Thanks to Thomas for his instructions; I'm in the US and now have the UK
version. One thing I discovered is that you don't need two Pottermore
accts, just two email addresses which I already had.  Use the same email
you use for Amazon and gift it to the other email, telling Pottermore
that the send-to address is UK. Worked great! Thanks again, Tom."

___
CLS10 says:
"Here's a site that notes the differences between the US and UK versions
of the first book:

http://www.hp-lexicon.org/about/books/ps/differences-ps.html

I'm good with the American version. That's what I always read. plus, in
this instance only, i don't want to have to figure out that 'comprehensive' means public school."

___
Paxton says:
"I was interested to find that, at least with the first book, text-to-speech is enabled. TTS is turned off by publishers on so many books that this was a pleasant surprise."


Kindle Touch 3G, US-only   Kindle Touch WiFi (US)   Kindle Touch WiFi-Only, outside US    Kindle Basic   (UK: KBasic)   Kindle Fire
Kindle Keybd 3G   (UK: Kindle Keybd 3G)   K3 Special Offers   K3-3G Special Offers   DX

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published ones
  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.

Send to Kindle


(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!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kindle Touch 3G now available in 175+ countries. Kindle features vs Nook features - Update


Amazon is really in motion these days, isn't it.

  Now they've announced that the Kindle Touch 3G will be available in over 175 countries.  All this time, the UK had only the Kindle Basic (NoTouch/NoKeyboard) available for purchase there.

The heading on their Press Release:
' Kindle Touch 3G – the most full-featured Kindle e-reader – easy-to-use touch screen and free 3G wireless, no annual contracts or monthly fees and never pay for or hunt for a Wi-Fi hotspot

Now available in multiple languages – German, French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and American and British English '

It's available today for pre-order from Amazon.

The Kindle Touch 3G will ship to customers beginning April 27, a month from now. Kindle Touch and Kindle Touch 3G are also available today for pre-order from Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, Amazon.fr, Amazon.es and Amazon.it.  (Until recently, Kindles in Italy were ordered from U.S. Amazon.)

Update- A personal review or report cited today
KindleZen tweeted the link to this article, "The Right Tool for the Job: The Kindle Touch," this morning, giving his reasons for the title. [End of update]

X-ray Feature
I personally love using the X-Ray feature (now being made available on Kindle Fire also) on non-fiction books especially, but it's also useful to keep track of characters in novels as well.

  You can learn more about what X-Ray actually is or does, at What does X-Ray do? and with an example of my use of it in the book on Steve Jobs in the Tips post on Kindle Touch and its X-Ray Feature.

Kindle Touch features, beyond reading
The Kindle Touch (both in WiFi and in 3G/WiFi) comes with built-in speakers supporting text-to-speech when the publisher allows it, audiobooks, and mp3 files.

Now, I've been asked a lot about whether to get a Kindle or a Nook Touch.  I had bought a Nook Color on sight at my B&N (and used it daily for a year) but am not keen on the Nook Simple Touch because its many font faces and size choices displayed much lighter than what I'm used to seeing with the Kindle 3 Keyboard and Touch models.  B&N wouldn't allow me to photograph them side by side so I could have something more to go on than my personal reaction.  But the relative lightness was described in some magazine reviews and they've recently improved the darkness level, I read.  The darkness of fonts is important to me, and I was among those who posted about the lightness of Kindle 2 fonts (and was quoted in Wired on the problem for some Kindle users).

Nook and its "no ads" statement
It's said the Nook doesn't have ads, but almost half the Nook's Home screen is comprised of recommendations from B&N as to what you might like to read.  I'm one that doesn't want books I haven't chosen to buy, appearing on my home screen like that and, to me, they are ads, and others have felt that way.

Nook Touch advantages over Kindle Touch
 However, in response to those who ask, there are things many have preferred on the Nook (though The Nook Touch is NOT available globally nor can most people outside the U.S. buy Nook books -- which is not a small point especially when U.S. Nook owners can't buy Nook books for their devices while traveling outside the U.S.
  [ B&N was trying to change this.  Let me know if they did.]
  Update
  Commenter Geert responded that B&N changed this last year to allow US credit card holders to be able to buy from outside the U.S.  He added a note about SD card storage, so read the comments also to get that added information.

  .  The Nook has a wider bezel.  That may make it look squarer but it gives the hands more support in that you don't inadvertently touch the screen and turn a page that way.
  .  You can hold the Nook Touch and turn pages with one hand more easily, because it has page-turn buttons, while Amazon did away with the buttons.
  .  You can flip ahead more easily on the Nook, with a slider that lets you move ahead a certain amount.
  .  The Nook Touch, like the Kindle Touch, has "Real" page numbers matching a given print book version for thousands of books, but they also have page numbers that they create when there is nothing available with page numbers that would match a print book.  Many are comforted by having page numbers at all, as they're a more traditional reference than a 4-digit 'location' number (even if the latter is accurate in absolute terms no matter what the font size may be).

Why would anyone buy a Kindle Touch over the Nook Touch?
A couple of months ago, an Amazon Kindle forum member asked about this point:
  If the Kindle Touch 3G does not offer 3G access usable on any webpages beyond Free 24/7 Wikipedia access and the Amazon store, why should anyone not just buy a Nook then.
 (Never mind that no other e-reader offers free 3G access 24/7 to Wikipedia.)

  I didn't blog my response for months because I know that I'm biased on this.  But that's based on some quite real aspects of the two e-readers.
  So, here's a copy of what I posted at the time, in a format that replies to what the Kindle does have and can do that the Nook Touch can't.  Again, there's no pretense to being neutral, as the reasons given are the basis for the bias in my case.
' Zad,
Re your note that the new KTouch is [basically] the nook Touch and your question
  "What sets your reader apart now Amazon?"

I'm not Amazon but I've identified the following for a blog entry earlier:

1a. The Kindle has a web browser that works very well under WiFi.
1b. The Nook doesn't have a web-browser at all and B&N removed recently the vestiges of the hidden one that didn't really work, which is why B&N's comparison chart said the Nook didn't have a web browser.

2a. The Kindle has audio and music
2b. The Nook Touch doesn't.

3a. The Kindle has text to speech on most books and all personal docs
3b. The Nook doesn't.

4a. Kindle owners get 5 free gigs of storage space for personal documents (non-Amazon documents) [And these are now sync'd across various devices.]
4b. Nook owners don't. Nor do they have the free 5 gigs ALL Amazon customers get for storage of whatever legitimate [non-Amazon] documents and files they have.

5a. The Kindle can zoom any photo [or map] to full screen, within a book.
5b. The Nook Touch can't. (I can't do it on my NookColor books either.)

6a. Kindle owners who pay $6.58/mo. for unlimited free 2-day shipping of goods sold by Amazon itself get a bonus of access to instant video streaming of about 12,000 movies and tv shows -- older, but good ones, and some new ones from PBS and BBC -- for either their computers, their Kindle Fires if they have one, or even the TV, via a Roku or siimilar box.
6b. B&N offers no free streaming of media

7a. Kindle owners who pay that Prime membership also get now the bonus of being able to borrow one popular book per calendar month with no waiting period or due date.
7b. B&N doesn't have a program like that.

8a. Owners of the Kindle ereader can buy Kindle books when vacationing out of the country.
8b. Owners of the Nook ereader can't buy Nook books when out of the U.S.
    [Update: This was changed to allow this for U.S. customers using US credit cards.]


9a. 3G Kindle owners get free 3G web access to all of Wikipedia at any time, to look up information.
9b. The Nook Touch B&W has no web browser.

10a. Kindle owners get a personal web server page that shows their annotations for each book, backed up and displayable and transferrable to their computers.
10b. B&N hasn't made anything like that for the Nook.

- Andrys
http://kindleworld.blogspot.com '

Note that I didn't mention the X-Ray feature, which many find quite useful.

Nevertheless, look at the Nook Touch advantages above before making up your mind if you're trying to decide between the two (as many still are).



Kindle Touch 3G, US-only   Kindle Touch WiFi (US)   Kindle Touch WiFi-Only, outside US    Kindle Basic   (UK: KBasic)   Kindle Fire
Kindle Keybd 3G   (UK: Kindle Keybd 3G)   K3 Special Offers   K3-3G Special Offers   DX

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published ones
  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.

Send to Kindle


(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!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

New Amazon home page? Are print books de-emphasized? UPDATES



Amazon home page revamp?

Update: A commenter's Amazon page and my own have reverted to the older, much easier to read Amazon page for now. 3/27/12 [End of Update]

Update 2: It has double-reverted to the new all-white page.  It probably loads faster, but my eyes wish for the old, visually pleasureable one.  Also, I see the word 'paperback' found its way onto to the top of a page in an ad for a book.   :-)

  Irony: My Kindle Fire tablet shows the old beautiful page.
[ End of update2]

Amazon has been trying out a new home page layout for, I think, a year or so, well before the Kindle Fire finally was announced, lending credence to the idea that they've been slowly optimizing the site for tablets (studies show tablet owners are heavy buyers) and also for its own tablet.

Some reported receiving the new layout for testing for quite some time, and news reports showed the 'new' pages that some customers were asked to try vs the older ones.   In seeing those, I always preferred some blue or beige added rather than just the generic all-white background that they are all using now, to the disadavantage of eyes that are not comfortable with a glaringly white screen background (and it would cause me to shop less), but they all seem to imitate one another.

I personally dislike all white glaring at me.  Once I got over that temporarily, I then missed the borders around things, so it has become more undifferentiated.  Some will find it a 'cleaner' look and maybe it'll load faster on tablets.  Haven't tried it on the Kindle Fire or my Samsung 10.1" yet.  But this generic look they're all after (including Google's pale new pages they're asking us to try) is something we apparently can't avoid.  If nothing else, it is entirely devoid of imagination or character in my narrower view of things, but I'm sure they have their reasons.  I hope they're good ones.

However, after that grumble, I the noticed that in the lead headings they use, that I've extracted and put as a lead image for this posting, we see the first item is "Instant Video."

  That screams tablets or TV (Roku and other box-helpers) to me.  Then comes "MP3 Store" and "Cloud Player" - two media-heavy features.  Then we come to "Kindle" -- I don't know what people who don't own Kindles see though.

  Do they see "Books" as a starter?  My only hardcover books are generally 3rd-party or 'marketplace' vendors for special non-fiction.  Is that why I'm not seeing those highlighted?  Didn't Amazon start out as as book store? On the other hand, "DRESS SHOP" is in huge letters right under the Kindle Fire ad at the top, and I have not bought one article of clothing from Amazon, so that's not based on my buying or even viewing history.

  Going all the way down the page, I didn't find regular, non-Kindle books.

  Obviously, I found this curious and began looking for them and finally found them under the heading "Shop by Department" with the little black arrow-down icon next to it.  This doesn't have the older-fashioned pull-down or pop-down menu so it never occurred to me to click it to see what was there, as it just looked like plain Text to me.

  But I finally saw it and had my mouse hover over it, to see a two-panel pop-up box that leads off with the headings we already see at the top.

  UNDER that, we finally see "Books", then "Movies, Music & Games" -- these three already being covered under the visible header and then heading the first set of listings under this pop-up menu.

  So, I'd say Books, as in print books, are now de-emphasized, at least for my viewing.  It well may be that "Books" are the first thing people see when they are generally hardcover or paperback buyers and have shown no interest in Kindles.

  I've no way of knowing but hope to find that some people are seeing "Books" as important, visibly, on the main page, or the Big6 publishers will get even more paranoid about what The Author Guild's alarmist president today is calling "the Darth Vader of the literary world."  That man is such a drama queen.  BUT, he may be right in that hardcover and paperback books are being made invisible on Amazon's main page to people like me, at least.  If this is targeted rather than general, it's probably good marketing.  If everyone is getting this de-emphasis, Amazon is sending a message.

  Hovering down the first set of listings, we then see the sub-pages for them, which is why they'd be shown again at the top.

  But what's clear is that they are all Amazon media that is first and foremost available on the Kindle tablet and of course on our computers if we are multimedia focused, which I am, and maybe that's why I'm seeing them as the emphasis on my new white-white main page.  Why is the web world turning so vanilla?

  About halfway down, I see "Inspired by Your Browsing History" -- so maybe the top material IS for most customers.  I'll be interested to know if some of you are getting a different main page.  While most reading here may have Kindles, I'd say a good number of visitors are only thinking of getting a Kindle, so if that's the case, maybe their main pages are different.

  Nothing of grand importance, probably, but the new page and the invisibility of the word "Books" without "Kindle" attached to them startled me.



Kindle Touch 3G, US-only   Kindle Touch WiFi (US)   Kindle Touch WiFi-Only, outside US    Kindle Basic   (UK: KBasic)   Kindle Fire
Kindle Keybd 3G   (UK: Kindle Keybd 3G)   K3 Special Offers   K3-3G Special Offers   DX

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published ones
  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.

Send to Kindle


(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!

Kurt Vonnegut - Unpublished Novella, Basic Training, is now an "Amazon Single" and exclusive

The New York Times's Art Beat writer, Julie Bosman, wrote a few days ago that long before Vonnegut became famous, the Saturday Evening Post in the 1940s rejected his 22,000-word novella, "Basic Training," written under the pseudonym of Mark Harvey.

  He went on to write Slaughterhouse-Five, Cat's Cradle, and many other famous works.

The publisher, RosettaBooks, chose the novella from "a trove of his unpublished work" remaining in Indiana after he died in 2007.  Vonnegut's literary executor had made available "hundreds of other works" (one can wonder what will happen with those).

  RosettaBooks describes this work as one with Vonnegut's
"trademark grand themes: the lunacy of kings, the improbability of existence, the yearling hero’s struggle with duty and love and the meaning of heroism.”

Digital Journal's Jeff Cottrill writes,
' Written when the twenty-something Vonnegut was working for General Electric while struggling to sell short stories to magazines, Basic Training tells the story of a teenage pianist, Haley Brandon, who journeys from New York City to live on the farm of his adopted uncle, a retired military general who's more than a little crazy and determined to work the musical talent out of the young man.

While Basic Training doesn't have the science-fiction elements or self-referential qualities of Vonnegut's later work, his satirical and anti-authority bent is unmistakable even at this early stage. '

I see that this currently has (since March 22 release) four customer reviews, each one of them 5 Stars, so it seems a pretty safe pick :-)  Also, it's exclusive to Amazon.

Jason Kirk, reviewing for Amazon.com, summarizes his post, "Passing fans of absurdist fiction, lovers of the novella in all its welcome restraint, and avid readers of Kindle Singles should all hail the arrival of the late, great Kurt Vonnegut to these ranks."



Kindle Touch 3G, US-only   Kindle Touch WiFi (US)   Kindle Touch WiFi-Only, outside US    Kindle Basic   (UK: KBasic)   Kindle Fire
Kindle Keybd 3G   (UK: Kindle Keybd 3G)   K3 Special Offers   K3-3G Special Offers   DX

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published ones
  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.

Send to Kindle


(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!

Friday, March 23, 2012

BACH Birthday special, FRIDAY ONLY - 9 hrs for 99 cents, Bach Guild - full albums on mp3


Celebrating Johann Sebastian Bach's 327th birthday (but he doesn't age), eOne Music (formerly "Koch" label) has a one-day promo of 120 tracks of finest Bach works on an mp3 album for 99 cents total.

Excellent researcher Nancy Picchi sent this tip and it's from The New York Times Arts Beat, blogged by Daniel J. Wakin.  This is how Wakin describes it:
' The company, eOne Music – the label formerly known as Koch [and Vanguard is involved] – says it is selling the downloads to publicize its plans to reissue recordings by the Bach Guild, a label started in 1948 to make the composer’s works more widely available.  EOne Music said it also planned new recordings.

This promotional issue covers 120 tracks, and includes the B minor Mass, harpsichord and flute works, the “Italian Concerto,” orchestral suites and the “Brandenburg” Concertos.  Many of the versions hail from an earlier era of Bach interpretation, before a tendency to reduce the size of choruses and orchestras and play with a sharp eye toward period practice had set in, and they may sound dated to some ears.
  After Friday, the price goes up to $9.99 on digital retailers, eOne said. '

This includes the complete B minor Mass performed by the English Chamber Orchestra and Amor Artis Chorale, led by Johannes Somary, with other (concerto) works performed by I Solisti di Zagreb (this group was huge in 1960).  This music is timeless, as they say, and while I love the 'later' period-performance style and sound, I also enjoy, for different reasons, many late 19th C. interpretations almost as much.  In fact, many prefer the massive forces and slower tempi of late-19th C. style performances.  Some sections of that Bach B Minor are really beautiful (Crucifixus)

The somewhat thin-toned but expressive violinist Szigeti does the Partita No. 2.

Andras Schiff performs the Italian Concerto and French Suite No. 5 on the piano, and I've always liked his Bach.

The Vienna State Opera Orchestra does the complete set of four Orchestral Suites, under Felix Prohaska.

These were all first-class forces.  For 99 cents, how can you miss with this kind of material?

Remember, this promo ends around midnight tonight (Friday).



Kindle Touch 3G, US-only   Kindle Touch WiFi (US)   Kindle Touch WiFi-Only, outside US    Kindle Basic   (UK: KBasic)   Kindle Fire
Kindle Keybd 3G   (UK: Kindle Keybd 3G)   K3 Special Offers   K3-3G Special Offers   DX

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published ones
  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.

Send to Kindle


(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!

Kindle for Android gets upgrade to v3.5.0.83 . Adds support for richer layout and personal docs to Kindle app


The Kindle App for Android updatea v3.5.0.83 is quite a big update that offers added access to a much larger assortment of richly illustrated Kindle books and allows you to email personal documents to your Send-to-Kindle e-mail address -- Amazon delivers them to your device and automatically archives the documents.

Thanks for Twitter alerts sent by Elias Zuniga and Corneliu Dascalu.

Supported formats for personal documents, including non-Amazon books:
  PDF, MOBI, HTML, DOC, TXT and PRC

The free Kindle for Android now supports the new Kindle Format 8 (KF8) - HTML5, with access to popular comics like Batman, Superman and many more, plus over 1000 illustrated children's titles, including Brown Bear and Curious George.  It brings richer formatting capabilities to thousands of other Kindle titles, and now Android device users can select from multiple dictionary languages when looking up definitions in Kindle books.

Access to over 100 newspapers and magazines is included with no Kindle required, but if you have a Kindle, the Whispersync technology syncs last page read, bookmarks, notes, and highlights across various devices.

The update can be downloaded from the Amazon Android Appstore or from Google Play (formerly Android Market).


NOTE RE DOCUMENT EMAIL FEES IF USING 3G/4G instead of WiFi
If sending by cell phone networks as with smart phones or tablets with data plans:
  There is a 15c per MB charge unless you use WiFi.

To see how and where to change your settings to avoid accruing 3G/4G charges when sending personal docs to your Kindle device, see these earlier posts:
  GENERAL
  . How to send documents to your Kindle

  WORD docs
  . How to send WORD docs to your Kindle



Kindle Touch 3G, US-only   Kindle Touch WiFi (US)   Kindle Touch WiFi-Only, outside US    Kindle Basic   (UK: KBasic)   Kindle Fire
Kindle Keybd 3G   (UK: Kindle Keybd 3G)   K3 Special Offers   K3-3G Special Offers   DX

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published ones
  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.

Send to Kindle


(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!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Free Kindle Books - Reminders and recommended browsing 3/22/12

A reminder posting every few weeks for those new (and even olde) to this site

I run a reminder every so often, as there are many new visitors each day here who've never seen some of the subsets available for searching and who wouldn't know about the several ongoing Amazon Kindle deals.

  The picture used for this post is just symbolic of my discombobulation during a fun short vacation and in getting back in step with the world of e-books.

  For anyone with time, the Kindle Community Forums are especially helpful, with Kindle owners willing to help and very knowledgeable, so that you can find an answer 24/7 quite often, worldwide.

Kindle-Edition subscribers of this blog, who get, on their Kindles, the most-recent 25 Kindleworld blog postings at any time, who've never visited the web page, might want to stop by briefly (Link: kindleworld.blogspot.com), to take a look at the right-hand column that holds earlier articles that can answer questions that many have had about any of the Kindle models, older or newer, plus info on how to make use of the many features not often described or publicized.  Thanks for visiting, either here, or via the Kindle edition, and for the helpful comments I get to blog items or in email.


A Free city travel guide from an interesting series of shorter travel guides
The Purple Passport to Los Angeles. by Rebecca Salois, Emily Brands, and Rachel Levin, is a free Kindle book release today (Friday), though I don't know if it's for one day or two.

  Los Angeles isn't one of my own destinations in the near future, but the tips on visiting Hollywood look like fun.  The authors also have popular short guides with 'insider' tips to little-known places in London, by Jennifer Garcia-Alonso with Emily Brands (both are founders) and Rebecca Salois, and in Paris.  These are $0.99 each.


FREE AND LOW-COST KINDLE BOOKS IN GENERAL
If you'd like to browse for current free books (especially non-classics) or lower-cost offerings from Amazon that are available on an ongoing basis (although the books themselves go off-sale quite quickly) but which newer visitors will not have seen before, here's some light browsing:

Links to Free Kindle Books - Non-Classics - available today

Feb 2012  March 2012, included in the sorting by:
   Publication Date   Bestselling
   High-ratings

   Amazon's Limited Time Free Promos

UKPublication Date   Popular


Most Popular Free K-Books:
  U.S. & Int'l (although NOT UK):
     Top 100 free
  UK-Only:
     Top 100 free

Here's the blog's general Free Books Guide

Top 100 free Android apps, for Kindle Fire owners (who should check out the free app of the day each day)


PRIME Lending Library - borrowing books
  In the forums, I've found some who did not know that with the Prime membership,  which gets you free 2-day shipping on almost all of Amazon's own items (not so much 3rd party Marketplace items),  you not only have access to about 15,000 no-add'l-cost streaming videos, you can also borrow one Kindle book per calendar month, from a choice of over 100,000 now, without dealing with waiting times or due-dates.

  Prime
's Lending Library:
     RulesBorrowing;
     How to Browse or search the now voluminous List
        Note:  When you borrow a Prime library book,
              you do this from your Kindle, at the Kindle's Kindle Store

                and not from the Amazon web pages.
        The BIG RED $0.00 you see on the product page for "Prime" cost
        means it's $0.00 to Borrow it, from the Kindle,
        and I wish that would be made clearer.


NOT FREE, BUT MOSTLY UNDER $1
Non-Classics under $1:
  Highly rated, under $1
  Amazon's specific mostly 99c Kindle Books page


And then there's the Kindle Daily Deal that changes each night, at around midnight, into a pumpkin and then back into a new carriage.


OVER $1 BUT SPECIALLY FEATURED POPULAR BOOKS
There are also the monthly Kindle book deals, with 100 Editors' Choices priced at $1.99-$3.99.


CUSTOMER DISCUSSION THREADS
Ongoing or completed but informative popular discussions   (See Kindle Forums for more.)
  . Pros and Cons on WSJ report that the Justice Dept is looking at e-book price collusion
  . Are you sorry you bought a Fire?
  . Kindle touch or Kindle Keyboard
  . Kindle Fire for nonTech person?
  . Kindle Fire Keyboard.. Anyone else having issues?
  . Any happy Kindle Touch owners?
  . Kindle Fire video on airplane compared with iPad video, a tense thread :-)
  . Got my Fire!
  . Feel like almost crying - Kindle loss and personalizing Kindles - lighthearted
  . Unusual calls from Amazon because of forum posts
  . Personal docs now sendable to individual Kindles again
  . To Avoid Confusion, Please Use the Official Product Names in Forum" [entertaining]
  . Discussion of geographic restrictions on digital purchases
  . Discount-alert books discussed on separate message thread
  . What have been your favorite public domain books that are not so well known?
  . Best "Free" books you've read (many are no longer free, however).
  . Highly recommended Indie authors
  . Unique Uses of Kindles

Other current forum threads that might interest some
Public Library Lending questions at the forums, and Lendle's Kindle borrowing
  . How many e-books does your public library have?
  . Public librarians: what has been your Kindle/Overdrive experience?


New KINDLE SUPPORT INFO page
The shortcut (link) is http://bit.ly/ksupportinfo.



Kindle Touch 3G, US-only   Kindle Touch WiFi (US)   Kindle Touch WiFi-Only, outside US    Kindle Basic   (UK: KBasic)   Kindle Fire
Kindle Keybd 3G   (UK: Kindle Keybd 3G)   K3 Special Offers   K3-3G Special Offers   DX

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published ones
  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.

Send to Kindle


(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!

New KINDLE SUPPORT page for phones, user guides, software updates, etc.

This is just a note that I've made a  special blog Page for KINDLE SUPPORT info that includes phones, other contact info, email addresses, web support (including UK), Amazon's Kindle FAQ, a link to the Kindle Customer Support forum, general Amazon help page for all Kindles, and other answers to Often-asked questions on Kindle models, Kindle management page, synchronization of Kindles, and Amazon file conversion.

That's now at http://bit.ly/ksupportinfo.

This page will come up as the only blog page (posting) that shows up and is a static page.  Hope this is helpful.  It's probably a good page to bookmark.



Kindle Touch 3G, US-only   Kindle Touch WiFi (US)   Kindle Touch WiFi-Only, outside US    Kindle Basic   (UK: KBasic)   Kindle Fire Kindle Keybd 3G   (UK: Kindle Keybd 3G)   K3 Special Offers   K3-3G Special Offers   DX

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published ones   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.

Send to Kindle


(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!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Today only -- AmazonLocal offers a $10 Amazon Gift Card for $5

Many may have received (as I did) an email from AmazonLocal today saying that we can get a $10 Amazon GiftCard for $5 for today only, to spend at Amazon.
S O L D   O U T  already, I was told,
despite a clock saying 7 hours left at the time.

7:38PM Tuesday PDT.  This was a WASTE of Time not to make sure we knew there was a limit and that the limit was shown to us.  It wasted my time and that of readers.  I apologize for my part in it.  [I found out that some reading here were able to get it in time, at least.]



EARLIER, and no longer applies, thanks to a not-well-thought-out offer

They've had better deals, usually $20 for $10 but I thought I should make sure people know it's available.

Note that if you do take their offer, the idea is to let you know that AmazonLocal is available and has special deals in your area (which some Kindle-Special-Offer model owners already see) to save "up to 75% in your city."

You'd be subscribing to alerts of local deals in your local area, so you would start seeing these in your email if you don't already.

In my case, the email said, "We are no longer sending you daily deals, but we wanted to make sure you saw this special offer" and yet it says I'm subscribed to them and I don't remember opting out.  That email then gave me a link to unsubscribe from ALL AmazonLocal emails, which I haven't.

Amazon is a big investor in LivingSocial, Bloomberg Businessweek notes today while also saying that AmazonLocal is Amazon's "answer to deals sites such as Groupon and LivingSocial."

Their more-local offers are of course U.S. only, but they don't make it clear whether the Amazon offer today also applies to non-USA customers who are Amazon.com customers, but I'd think it's not likely because if you do "sign in to AmazonLocal" with your Amazon.com account, you'd not be in their U.S. areas.



If you check it out, of course remember Amazon's daily Kindle deal too, which changes each night around midnight and is primarily U.S., with some exceptions.

At the time I post this, less than 7 hours are left for the (small) AmazonLocal offer.



Kindle Touch 3G, US-only   Kindle Touch WiFi (US)   Kindle Touch WiFi-Only, outside US    Kindle Basic   (UK: KBasic)   Kindle Fire
Kindle Keybd 3G   (UK: Kindle Keybd 3G)   K3 Special Offers   K3-3G Special Offers   DX

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published ones
  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.

Send to Kindle


(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!

Why was Flash setting set to OFF with Kindle Fire's last Update with nothing said?

WHAT HAPPENED TO FLASH AFTER THE LAST KINDLE FIRE UPDATE?

BLOG UPDATE: - This situation was fixed with Kindle Fire Software Update v6.3 and that's detailed in the March 28 blog post about the software update.

[Earlier]
The most recent Kindle Fire update was January 18, and for some reason Amazon suddenly changed the FLASH (video and scripts) setting to OFF (not 'enabled') as the Default Option.

  They actually RENAMED the setting from "Enable Plug-ins" to the more understandable "Enable Flash" -- and then, they turned it *Off* as a default, leaving customers to flounder about wondering what to do to get it back.

  As a result, as they would know because they do monitor the forums, deleting posts that clearly don't follow board guidelines, the Amazon Kindle Forums have people asking, each and every single day since the latest update, essentially, "I can't see videos on web pages anymore! Can anyone help me?".
  I'm not exaggerating.  There's not a day missed that at least two people posting on the front page threads are upset or just plain angry that the video feature no longer works for web pages.  It's as if they had an iPad, which has this limitation intentionally.

  And who answers these perplexed customers who have wasted a lot of time trying to figure it out before coming to the forums.?  The other customers who hang out to help on the Amazon Kindle Community Forums.

Amazon has excellent phone support for Kindle customers but virtually zero customer-support help on their forums -- not even a boilerplate for a question like this that is asked daily.

  All this does is cause people to think something is wrong with the device, so what is Amazon thinking, to let this go on day after day?

  I realize Amazon is busy with many changes in a competitive business, but it's just Common Courtesy to let their customers know  1) what feature NO LONGER WORKS due to a change they intentionally made in an announced software update -- and  2) what the customer can do if they'd actually like it to work.

  As in, being able to see a video on a web page.  Elementary stuff.

  The ones most asked about are full TV videos from a prior night's prime-time show, at ABC or Fox that they used to be able to watch. But most news site videoclips are also done by Flash and won't work in this situation until you change a setting.

  Why would Amazon take an advertised feature, which they point out the iPad doesn't have but the Kindle Fire does, and suddenly set that feature to *Off*?? -- without any warning to the customers or, after the fact, even bothering to explain it to them when they see that this question is asked by obviously unhappy users each and every single day on their own Kindle forums?

  Amazon's taken pride, in the past, in their focus on making things easier and more intuitive for the customer.  Not in this case.

SIMPLE SOLUTION (if you know the problem is due to a setting and if you know where to find it)
  It's not simple for people new to the Kindle Fire or who are new to tablets and especially new to Android tablets or phones where one must figure out where a setting is, depending on which Android tablet or phone one has.

This specific setting is not in the usual (hidden) Settings Menu at the Top, which you can always get to by lightly touching the top edge in the left or center areas, which will then show it at the right as a 'gear' or 'wheel' icon.  That settings-menu that will appear across the top is for general settings like Volume, Brightness, and WiFi, etc., and "More" will get you, well, more options.

The Flash feature, though, used on web pages, is controlled by a WEB (or browser) setting (Amazon's web browser is called "Silk" but they often refer in wording to 'Silk' without explaining it refers to the WEB browser that comes with the Kindle Fire.

  STEPS
  1. Lightly press the HOME icon at bottom left of your Kindle Fire to get to the Home page where the Carousel is (unless you're already there).
        Note that you may not see the Home icon there unless you lightly press the left (or center) TOP edge.  If you're reading a Kindle book, pressing anywhere on the screen except the sides (this would turn a page instead) will also bring up the Home icon and menu options.

  2. Lightly press "Web" at top right menu to get the web browser.

  3. At the bottom line, you'll then see, in the middle, something that looks like a a washboard, a ladder, or air conditioner.  That is probably meant to look like a Table of Contents, though this doesn't usually occur to us at first but that does make sense and is a regular Android feature.

  4. Press that Menu option.

  5. Choose "Settings" in the pop-up sub-menu, at the right.

  6. Use your finger (or stylus) to move the list of settings UP ("swiping up") so that you can see what is lower down on the scrolling page of web browser settings.

  7. Find, in the "Behavior" heading (the headings are in smaller fonts), the setting:
        "Enable Flash"

  8. You'll have three choices: "Always on"   "On demand"   and "Off"
    Many of us choose "On demand" which means the Flash won't load and run until you press on a DOWN ARROW in the rectangular video frame to signal you want to run the Flash feature.
      This saves loading time if you don't want videos to run.
        I suspect Amazon turned it off to make the pages load faster, since people were saying page loads were slower than on an iPad, which doesn't recognize or run Flash at all.

      Flash videos on webpages are often ads and most of us would rather not see them.  So, we get a choice this way, and the DownArrow lets us know we can run a videoclip if we press that. (Lightest presses almost always work right away on this touch screen.)

      The "Always On" choice loads and runs Flash videos along with the loading of the basic webpage.  Some will prefer it, since they don't have to wait for the page to load (with the usual ads on these pages) and then make a 2nd movement to actually run the video.

      Few will choose to Not 'Enable' Flash.

So, that's all it takes.  Obviously, I feel Amazon should have explained this to Customers since they made a change that they knew would make a hugely important feature suddenly not work and then didn't explain it.


NOTE This blog keeps a boxed section for Kindle Support info such as phone numbers, user guides, software updates, ID'g Kindle Models (updated), etc.   That's at http://bit.ly/kworldsupport.



Kindle Touch 3G, US-only
   Kindle Touch WiFi (US)   Kindle Touch WiFi-Only, outside US    Kindle Basic   (UK: KBasic)   Kindle Fire Kindle Keybd 3G   (UK: Kindle Keybd 3G)   K3 Special Offers   K3-3G Special Offers   DX

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published ones   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.

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Kindle News:: Ebooks: Libraries vs Publishers. Random House charging ~300% more to libraries.

Kindle News I missed while away in the unwired environment of Yosemite

Actually, there was not that much happening in the Kindle world this last week, but I'll add a separate post that has more about aspects of The New iPad's retina display feature and what it means for buyers, as this seemed to dominate the news this last week.

  One thing I had not seen were earlier articles on March 2 (DigitalShift's more detailed story) and 5 (a simpler summary from DailyTech) reporting on Random House's raising of e-book prices for libraries, by up to (and often) 300%.
' On Wednesday, Oberhausen bought Eisenhower in War and Peace by Jean Edward Smith for $40 via OverDrive. On Thursday, the price was $120. The print version of the book, with the library’s discount, is a little over $20 (it retails at $40). For Blessings by Anna Quindlen the ebook price went from $15 to $45. '

  Libraries are already struggling so the gist is that they will need to buy fewer copies and, worst of all, plan on filling orders (slowly) for most in-demand books but are planning to not buy, then, books which aren't mass-market types, which used to have a chance, at regular cost.

  Of the Big6, four now do not offer e-books at all for public libraries: Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, Penguin Group (no new e-books), and Hachette.

  Harper Collins does allow their e-books in public libraries but wants the libraries to buy new copies after 26 loans.

  Until this month, Random House was the lone Big 6 publisher willing to allow its ebooks in libraries without restriction.

  Author/blogger Scott Marlowe keeps a listing of Publishing's Big 6: Who are they?
  This includes information about their humongous number of imprints - "trade names a publisher uses when publishing in a narrower field."

To illustrate just how bad the situation is for libraries:
' “They’ve tripled their prices on every title. A book that a week ago we purchased for $28.00 now costs $84.00,” said Scarlett Fisher-Herreman, the technical services & collection development supervisor, at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library in Kansas, whose director, Gina Millsap, is seeking the presidency of the American Library Association. “I looked back at Random House titles we’ve purchased since December and looked up a number of titles, both new and titles they’ve had for years on Overdrive. Everything has tripled in price: kids, YA, adult, fiction, and nonfiction,” she said.

Fisher-Herreman, who had been bracing for an increase in the 50 percent range, said she found the tripling of price frustrating and surprising. For example, The 10 Easter Egg Hunters, a children’s title by Janet Schulman, was affordable at $8.99, but it now costs $26.97. '

And anyone trying to get a current, popular e-book will have seen how long the holds on those e-books are. I've seen them at 20 weeks out.

There's much more detail in the web story, and there are 78 comments, most of them (unlike most technews boards) with serious points to make, on either side.

Safeguarding libraries
Today's San Francisco Chronicle with Bloomberg, written by James Temple, has a Business Report and Commentary on the conflict between publishing and libraries on basic issues of copyright and ownership and what we should do to safeguard libraries.  Penguin Group's concern over the "lack of friction" in the loaning of e-books comes up again and basically it means that publishers don't like borrowing being so easy, with no effort needed to even physically get to a library.
' The nature of digital books, however, gives publishers a new opportunity to assert greater control through technology, terms of service and pricing power. Libraries can't simply buy the virtual books and hand them out in the way they can with physical ones.

The Association of American Publishers and several of the companies in question didn't respond to inquires from The Chronicle.  But they've argued in the past that lending e-books is a graver threat than physical ones, demanding a different set of restrictions, because of the lack of "friction."

In other words, to borrow and return a physical book, a person has to get themselves to an actual library at least twice.  With digital, they can just as easily download a free book from the library, as they can a full-priced version from Amazon. '

The business report points out that libraries encourage lifelong reading habits, and publishers seem to ignore this reality.

Library law consultant Mary Minow argues, Temple says, that "to clear up any legal uncertainty and protect the privacy of library users...legislators need to amend federal copyright law to assert that libraries can own and lend digital books.  Temple adds that "Others watching this space also think new legal protections are necessary to protect the role of libraries."

See the rest of the article at The San Francisco Chronicle.

Thanks to the Kindle Forum's Q for alerting us to this article.


Kindle Touch 3G, US-only   Kindle Touch WiFi (US)   Kindle Touch WiFi-Only, outside US    Kindle Basic   (UK: KBasic)   Kindle Fire
Kindle Keybd 3G   (UK: Kindle Keybd 3G)   K3 Special Offers   K3-3G Special Offers   DX

Check often: Temporarily-free recently published ones
  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.

Send to Kindle


(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!

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