Friday, April 27, 2012

Kindle News: (1) Draw Something is ready for Kindle Fire, (2) SendToKindle for Mac, (3) Amazon's surprising 1st Qtr results



    Free version

    Paid version


The L.A. Times' Michelle Maltais highlighted the new Kindle Fire app yesterday, Draw Something
' Picture this: Kindle Fire users finally get to join in the addictive fun of Draw Something. '

Note there are free and paid versions.  I haven't seen what more is available with the Paid version, but reviews are sort of ecstatic on both versions.

In images above, cLick on 'Free' to read the description for that and on 'Paid' to get that one (and I'll just add links in on this line).

While Draw Something had been available for regular Android users, the Kindle Fire runs, she points out, on an altered version of the Android operating system and Amazon tests them for compatability and reliability before approving them for their Android Apps Store

The multiplayer game is a bit different in that you try to get your opponent to guess the right answer, and you both get rewarded.  Maltais writes that in less than two months after launching on Android and Apple's iOS, the app has had 50 million downloads across platforms.


NEW KINDLE APP: sendtokindle for Mac (Send Once, Read Everywhere

Amazon released this in the last week.  Their page explains that with this Mac-focused Kindle app, you can:
  • Send personal documents to your Kindle from your Mac.
  • Drag and drop one or more documents on to the Send to Kindle icon in your Dock or launch the application and drag and drop one or more documents on to it.
  • From any Mac application that can print, select the print menu and choose Send to Kindle.
  • From Finder, simply control-click on one or more documents and choose Send to Kindle.
  • Choose to archive documents in your Kindle library, where you can re-download them conveniently at any time.

Note the System Requirements though:
  • A Mac with a 500 MHz Intel processor or faster
  • At least 512MB of RAM
  • 100MB of available disk space
  • Mac OS X v10.6 (Snow Leopard) or Mac OS X v10.7 (Lion)

AMAZON SURPRISES INVESTORS AND ANALYSTS
Amazon's net profits -- after sacrificing short term profitability by putting money back into expanding the market (Kindles and digital media) and the business, opening distribution centers galore, hiring 9,000+ more people recently, providing better customer service (a major strength) -- were down over last year but less so than anticipated by the analysts ('beating expectations'), so there was a lot of cheering Thursday over the numbers.

  While they were expected to have first quarter earnings of only $0.07 per share, the earnings were $0.28 per share, 4 times higher than anticipated by the experts -- despite earnings per share falling 35% compared to last year's $0.44.  It's all about beating (and managing) expectations.  News of their revenues increasing 36% and their obviously on-track long-range plans to grow the business are causing the stock to soar the last 2 days.

Good reading on this, with many details:
Seeking Alpha - "Investors Are Cheering After Another Quarter Of Margin Sacrifices," by Robert Broens

  A note to Kindle-Edition Subscribers: Remember that Kindle Keyboard and Kindle Touch e-readers have MENU/ARTICLE MODE once you reach the articles I link you to (which means you are then using the e-Ink Kindle's web-browser).

  The linked articles' fonts won't be particularly readable, size-wise, until you choose Menu/Article Mode, but then you'll see how easy it is to follow these links and read comfortably on the E-Ink Kindle after Article Mode removes ads and side-columns.

  Kindle Fire users: The new software update v6.3 has a Web READING VIEW, which shows up now as a pair of glasses that show up next to the Bookmarks ribbon at the bottom status bar showing the rectangular lined Menu.
  This feature removes any side elements (ads, links to other features) and just shows you the body of the article in very readable font, isolated, and with clickable links which the e-Ink Article Mode feature doesn't have.
  This new feature is SO good that I now use Amazon's Web ("Silk") by default instead of my previously preferred "Dolphin" Android browser which doesn't have the Reading View.

  Kindle Fire readers have an advantage in that they can double-click the normal web page text and that will enlarge the font of the story and fit it to the width of the screen usually, depending on your web settings.  But the new Reading View feature is a sure thing.


Here are several RELATED ARTICLES that I'll link interested readers to, as they give a better idea of the dynamics involved with Amazon's history of longer-range planning and they help explain what's happening now with Amazon in a digital-media-focused world.
  I'd mentioned that their new main page shows an emphasis on digital products, front and center, and that this emphasis was duplicated on submenus -- and that's where most of the profits came.  But a LOT of it came from their third-party Marketplace area, where company expenses would be lower.

  Amazon Kindle Fire has 54.4% of U.S. Android Tablet market, by TechnoBuffalo's Todd Haselton

  Note that Amazon's having over 54% of the Android Market here is rather huge for obvious reasons and also because Google owns the Android operating system.  I enjoy a Galaxy 10.1" Tab, and the very popular Samsung's percentage in comScore's data-collection is 15.4%, in 2nd place.

  All this is despite comScore's subtitle, '10" Tablets Have 39 Percent Higher Content Consumption Rate than 7" Tablets' (How does that affect advertising? How much reading is done on the Kindle Fire?)

  The Kindle Fire doubled its share of the Android Tablet Market in two months.

  Is the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2  7.0 a better Kindle Fire than the Kindle Fire?, by Eric Franklin

  I want to go into this one a bit more later but am pointing readers to the article, as it's related to what is happening with Amazon's overall sales of course.

  The answer in the article is No, and Franklin makes good points about why he thinks the Kindle Fire would be the better choice for Amazon's audience despite more features in the Samsung hardware.

  Even TIME Techland's Keith Wagstaff, in his review of the new Samsung 7", while impressed with the Samsung otherwise for only $50 more, ends with, "So, the $250 question: Should you buy this instead of a Kindle Fire?  If you have Amazon Prime, the answer is no.  That tablet was built as a media mecca for Amazon’s ever-growing library of books and movies, and it serves that purpose extremely well..."

  Amazon: Jeff Bezos Is a Genius, by The Street's Rocco Pendola (thanks to Island Librarian Nancy Picchi's alert, is a very interesting, entertaining article.


SOME GOOD SENSE ABOUT KINDLE FIRE AS 'LOSS' LEADER
Say something enough, even based on soft assumptions, and many will just repeat it until it becomes an Internet truth.

  Forbes's Tim Worstall asks, Does Amazon Really Sell The Kindle At Break Even Or a Loss?.
  Worstall makes points that should have been made by others long ago, with most news articles I've seen just repeating the first guesstimates given, as fact.  Looking at device parts and assuming one knows the prices Amazon could get for massive production orders is odd.  Repeating an even educated guess as 'fact' from that is even odder to me.  But, yes, as Worstall points out, the margins at the same selling price tend to increase with time on electronic devices.




Current Kindle Models for reference, plus free-ebook search links
US:
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
UK:
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.

  *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, April 24, 2012

Kindle News: WSJ on flawed arguments of Big-5 publisher defenders


Wall Street Journal's Thomas Catan writes, "Critics of E-Books Lawsuit Miss the Mark, Experts Say"

The Passive Voice, a lawyer, summarizes the WSJ article and then links us to the FULL Wall Street Journal article, which few do, and that link may expire at any time so if you want to read the full article, get it now.

WSJ's Catan notes that what Eric Hellman calls the "nightmare narrative being spun by the publishing echo chamber" on behalf of "the Collusive 5 publishers" has been front and center the last week in a circling-wagons formation (with what seems shared boilerplate) decrying the DOJ action against the poor Big5 and the ebooks savior, Apple.  Here is some of what attorney Passive Guy excerpted yesterday from the WSJ article:
' But many experts say that under antitrust law, the department didn’t have much choice.  And even if it did, antitrust experts say, it is far from clear that doing nothing would have been wise.

U.S. antitrust law doesn’t seek to protect little companies against big ones, or even struggling ones against successful ones. Companies can grow as large as they want, as long as they do it through lower prices, better service or niftier innovations. Companies can even become monopolies, as long as they don’t get there illegally or try to extend their power by unlawfully stifling competition.

Companies under pressure from a more successful rival can’t band together to protect themselves, whatever their size.
“A lot of cartels are [composed of] small firms,” says Herbert Hovenkamp, law professor at the University of Iowa. “The criminal cases the Justice Department brings are often family firms—much smaller than these publishers.”
....
“Price fixing is kind of the first-degree murder of antitrust violations,” Prof. Hovenkamp says. “They don’t have discretion to just walk away from what appears to be a strong set of facts that, if true, are one of the most central of antitrust violations.”

The government might already have shown some leniency. For one, the Justice Department brought a civil, rather than a criminal, case, so no executives will go to prison...
....
But as disruptive as Amazon’s pricing may be to publishers, it isn’t illegal, experts say.

“What Amazon does may be harmful to the publishers, but so far it’s been very good for consumers,” says Spencer Waller, a law professor at Loyola University Chicago.
....
....the law is concerned with protecting competition, not competitors, experts say.  Cartels, for example, usually allow more players to coexist by enforcing higher prices.

The goal of antitrust policy is to protect consumer prices, Prof. Hovenkamp says. “It’s not to protect inefficient firms from having to exit the market.”
'

Mild-mannered Len Edgerly in an unusual, separate blog-posting that was not a podcast entry, at his The Kindle Chronicles Podcast site, pointed to the truly ludicrous column by David Carr for The New York Times, which described the Dept of Justice's action as akin to 'breaking up' "Ed’s Gas ’N’ Groceries on Route 19" (this would be the Big5 Publishers (!) and affecting even little B&N, apparently, which has put so many smaller book stores out of business).  He even refers to Apple as "a minor player in the realm of books" (more route-19-store fantasy -- the minor road-store that could, in one day, successfully encourage a jacking-up of e-book prices an average 50%, nation-wide, on new books, and, furthermore deny wee Random House space for its e-books for not cooperating on the Agency model.

 Big Bad Amazon vs the Gas 'N' Groceries on Route 19.  How do Carr and his editors publish a piece like that with straight faces.  They don't.  It's all about alignment and lack of any appropriate embarrassment when targeting readers they think are that gullible.  Edgerly mentioned other NYT articles of the same caliber and asked,as a 'loyal subscriber to the NYT's Kindle version, "Are ALL of the Times's objective [?], hard-hitting journalists in the pockets of New York publishers?"

The Wall Street Journal article is even stronger than described so far.  "Antitrust lawyers scoff at the notion that the Justice Department would refrain from bringing a case if it believes it has solid evidence."

  In fact, if you haven't, you should actually read the 36-page PDF with the FULL TEXT of the DOJ case against Apple and the Big5 publishers.  It's more eye-opening and truly riveting than most novels you'll buy.  It's also unbelievable at several points that the companies went as far as they did, even 'openly' requesting of one another that they hide what they were doing.

  Again, if you want to read the full WSJ article from yesterday, you should get it now while it's still available via the special email-sharing feature probably paid for by Passive Guy.

  It's interesting to see the photos of the CEOs behind each company after reading so much about them.

  Also, it has very sensible closing paragraphs.  What they describe is a business model that requests demands a form of public welfare from e-book consumers to protect the Big5 from the lower-profit margins they fear will be part of this digital age instead of focusing on how to restructure their businesses to DEAL effectively with the realities of the digital age.


I've gathered a lot of news lately, but will end this with just this one topic, as there is a lot of interesting reading involved in the DOJ case papers and, really, this affects, in a big way, those of us who are book readers via digital media.

  We're faced with a corporate mentality that would now deprive our public libraries of their new books in digital form for reading, with Penguin and others having voiced a need for "friction" in making it harder for anyone to borrow such a book (even if library reading has been shown to spur the general reading of authors and buying of books) so that, for instance, even if the library is an hour away, they should go there in person to borrow a book.  Four of the five publishers involved are not making their current new e-books available at public libraries at all now -- that's the depth of their fear of e-books and people who read them.

  Also, see Wired's Tim Carmody on DOJ Announces Terms of Settlement With Three Publishers in E-Book Suit.  He lists them and includes the proposed settlement doc.




Current Kindle Models for reference, plus free-ebook search links
US:
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
UK:
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.

  *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!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Unsung Kindle Touch Software Update v5.1.0 improvements

As reported yesterday, the Kindle Touch 3G/WiFi e-Ink model is now shipping internationally, to over 175 countries.

This blog article will highlight some software enhancements not listed in the official announcement earlier.  At the bottom, I'll repeat the official list of enhancements.

Current Kindle Touch 3G/WiFi Models:
  US:  For U.S. residents;   UK:  For UK customers
  OTHER:  For Other International Shipping

THE OTHER ENHANCEMENTS
Most of the unmentioned enhancements or Finds were made by avid explorer and commenter Tom Semple, whose full individual comments on all this can be found at the original software announcement article of April 11-14.  I'll try to put the additional items in listed order but it's best to read his explanations of what he's found.  There are also features found by members of the Mobileread Forum.  And I've added a couple of items I noticed as well, although as of TODAY, 4/21, Amazon still had not updated me, so I downloaded the update today, as I now have some time to experiment, and tried a few things out.
  • We can now highlight ACROSS pages (something the older Kindles did and which had been much requested for the Touch)
  • As mentioned by a few others, the screen background SEEMS lighter, and in the dark room in which I'm sitting right now, it looks more whitish than grayish though mine has always been pretty light relative to the older models.
      As a result the Regular font is strikingly clear and I don't have to choose Sans Serif (although I like it) to get consistently stand-out clarity in the fonts.
  • Now we can 'filter' the display of the home screen or Archived Items folder to show only one category (Books, Periodicals, Docs, Audible, or Active Content [apps]) or ALL categories.  We had this with older Kindles so it's good to see that again.  Tom, and most of us, would like a filter for Samples, but I put those into a Collection named 'Samples' as a work around.
  • The highlighting feature brings back to users of former Kindles the ability to search the highlighted word at Wikipedia (and via free 3G if you have the 3G version of the Kindle Touch and you're in a no-WiFi area) and furthermore something else we hoped for -- the ability to "Report Content Error."
      It also allows you to share passages at Facebook and Twitter, as the Keyboard models do.
  • Search seems to work more reliably and faster now, and the reason 'Go' has to be clicked is that SUBstrings can be searched successfully now (not true in the past).  I wouldn't want it to start searching until I felt I was through typing the search-string I want.  In the past we had to navigate to the right, several steps, to choose searching of a book, or All Items on the device, at Wikipedia, etc.
  • I agree with Tom that browser scrolling is smoother and scrolls a larger portion.
  • Menu option responses seem quite a bit faster for me now.
  • Re "Archived Items" folder: In reply to one statement, I can still get to it via Title-sorting.  The Menu access is an alternate method and has been there before.  The Search feature at top does help, in addition to "1 of __" at the top right letting you tap that to choose go to a Page number or "Titles starting with" -- which has been a nice, almost hidden feature on its own.
  • Tom also discovered they added "NCX navigation" features (though I thought I used "Next Chapter" swiping before the update.  The KTouch recognizes By-Chapter movement, via swiping up for the 'next' chapter (if the publisher activated this feature) and down for the 'previous' chapter, but Tom also explains that NCX-activated Kindle books now show "a (hierarchical) list of the navpoint labels corresponding to beginning of chapters/sections, showing current location in the book (label in bold) and associated page numbers (with books that have real page nmbers)."   As a result, "...showing the current position helps establish context.   When page numbers are present, it also gives you information about how long each section is."  This has helped extinguish Tom's "ePub envy" :-), he said.
  • Harry, in the UK, wrote at Mobileread Forums,
    "The 'biggie' for me personally is that my US-bought KT can now access the Amazon UK Kindle Store [he's in the UK], which it previously couldn't.  Definitely a worthwhile upgrade."
  • veezh at Mobile Read also mentioned that he was happy to see that when he switched the device language to UK English, the 24-hour clock was activated.
  • cscat at Mobile REad likes the fact that
    1. you can get to next page even when zoomed into a PDF, by panning to the right
    2. and when you press the Shift key twice, the capital letters stay (this is normally true but maybe not for Ktouch earlier).
  • Tom Semple mentions at that forum that the tap zones for single-character footnote links seem larger now and are therefore very easy to activate, even at the smallest text sizes.
  • Tom also points out that "appropriately formatted footnotes" (the publisher does the formatting) include a "RETURN" link that will take you back to the original reference, which is more convenient than using the invisible "Back" button that you have to activate with a tap to even see.  Only one tap is needed then.
  • tanteoma loves the landscape mode and being able to jump to different chapters with the simple "go to" function.
  • thomass points out that we can now long-press and archive personal documents such as instapaper deliveries, as this wasn't possible before the update.  Semi-commercial mass-deliveries of personal doc news-collections are a tender subject though.
  • mewmartigan found that the new homescreen display shows the ENTIRE title rather than ellipses for an omitted segment.  That's a relief for a series, especially.
ALSO re the Landscape feature we've wanted added to this panel-zoned touch device, rvdparis at Mobileread Forums said,
 "And the landscape function worked magic on a badly scanned OCR book I have in PDF format, I kept tapping to turn the page, and it automatically jumped down the page (in 3 parts, for me) and turned to the next page. The print is now MUCH easier to read. Love it."

Even better maybe, thomass at Mobileread posted a gorgeous sampling of screenshots he got with KF8 samples from a link given there.  This is encouraging for the reading of technical books on the small Kindle.

UNWANTED "feature" though and a caveat -- When I updated, I again lost an attached dictionary, and the Kindle couldn't find the two copies of New Oxford American Dictionary that are on it and kept telling me that it would look at Archived Items for one.
   No go, so I moved a current dictionary (unnoticed-by-the-Kindle) into Archived Items folder and then it suddenly saw a lot of dictionary candidates and I was able to attach the New Oxford American again, although it selected WordNet for rme at first and that was just one I happened to download at one time.

Tom did also point out that the Glowlight Nook "still has no landscape, no web browser, no wireless library borrowing, no personal document service."
   Not including some new features noted above, a Features Comparison, written before the v5.1.0 Kindle Touch update, detailed the Nook Touch advantages and also quite a lack of some very useful features.  It all depends on what's important to the buyer.


FOR REFERENCE - the Officially announced changes (vs the unmentioned ones above) From the Amazon update page New features in this update include:
  • Language Support: Customize your Kindle Touch with the language you prefer: English (US and UK), German, French, Spanish, Italian, or Brazilian Portuguese.
  • Landscape Mode: Switch between portrait and landscape orientation in books and PDFs to read maps, graphs, and tables more easily.
  • Instant Translations: Tap any word or highlight a section to instantly translate into other languages, including Spanish, Japanese, and more. Translations by Bing Translator.
  • Kindle Format 8: Formatting and layout improvements make Kindle books look even better.
  • Wi-Fi Enhancements: Connect your Kindle Touch to Wi-Fi with WPS and select WPA2 Enterprise networks.
  • Read-to-Me With Text-to-Speech: Have your Kindle Touch read English-language content out loud to you, now including summaries of newspaper and magazine articles when available from the publisher.
  • More Sharing Options: Tell others what you're reading on Facebook or Twitter from anywhere within a book — just tap to share a link along with your comments.
  • Onscreen Keyboard Suggestions: Search and shop faster with automatic word suggestions as you type.



US:
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
UK:
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.  

*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, April 20, 2012

Kindle Touch 3G now shipping to 175+ countries, 7 days early









Kindle Touch 3G is shipping, 7 days earlier than anticipated, to over 175 countries today
.

The above was my tweet alert, and clicking on that image now leads to the specific International page.
  Updated: The link is: http://amzn.to/ktouch-global.

This is a quick blog entry to alert those who have been waiting for shipment of the Kindle Touch 3G/WiFi to countries outside the U.S.  Most international customers can get the international model by by clicking on International link for Kindle Touch 3G (NOT for the UK though -- See below)

Here's a link also for Kindle Touch 3G/WiFi for the UK

Amazon customers in other countries will find appropriate redirected links at the US page also, but these are direct to the Int'l Kindle Touch 3G page.

More later... 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, April 18, 2012

Kindle tips: Kindle Fire book download glitch; disappearing books; newly-free popular Read It Later app

When a newly-purchased book won't download

  Earlier I wrote about the solution two forumners found for a situation in which Kindle books seemed to disappear in both the Kindle Fire listings and in the "Cloud" (server) listings as well.

  Today's Kindle Fire tip is how to correct a glitch that causes a currently-purchased Kindle book to NOT download to the Kindle Fire, whether the attempted download is done via the Kindle Fire itself or from the Amazon ManageYourKindle page.

  The solution comes from forum member Josh -- and that is to:
  .  Lightly touch the gear or wheel icon at the top right
  .  Then select "+" or "More" to get Settings menu
  .  Select "My Account" (2nd on the settings list)
  .  Select "Deregister"

Once that's done, you can "Reregister" right away and all your info is there for you -- no need to retype it.

A mere deregister-register action saves a lot of time over the last-ditch "Reset to Factory Defaults" which I (and some senior Kindle support staff) feel should be a LAST choice, as a Factory-Default reset requires you to re-enter your basic Amazon and Kindle information and to select books and other media all over again (to re-populate the device) and to re-set up things the way you've wanted them, which can take an hour for most situations.

  Ashley seconds Josh's recommendation after his own experience based on the advice of a lone Kindle Fire specialist (among a few others who did not know a solution to this) who suggested he de-register and re-register the KFire.  Ashley wrote:
"This worked and it only took 10 sec. In addition I lost none of my settings/apps/content."

Popular Read It Later Android app renamed to "Pocket" and now free

paidContent's Laura Hazard Owen reports that Read It Later will no longer have a $2.99 Pro version and will be known as Pocket, as it makes it "simple "to take any content users discover, with them no matter where they go."

  The founder, Nate Weiner, told Owen that the app was profitable right away and has been the "number-one paid news app on Android and Kindle Fire."  He says he's after a different business model now, which he'll explain this summer.

  The app already has 4.5 million users and its most popular source of content to take to enjoy "later" is Youtube and its videos.
' Forty percent of items saved aren’t articles but content like videos, images, things to buy, travel tips and recipes. '

  Owen adds that the new version of the app "makes it easier to filter content by type and to tag and organize it."

  If you already own Read It Later Pro, you'll just need to update the app.
"Users of the free version have to download Pocket separately."

  The Amazon product page emphasizes the new user-interface and the Content-Type filter -- "Pocket automatically filters your content so that you can quickly switch between articles, videos, and images."


Reminder: Today's Kindle Daily Deal



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, April 15, 2012

Kindle News: Special 1-day Deal on 8 World Literature Titles, The Nook's glow. Lightning on the bridge


"Eight great works of world literature"
make up the Kindle Daily Deal today.

The intro for Kindle deals that change nightly is at the usual Kindle Daily Deal

Here's the direct link, though, to the world-literature special, which is good for Sunday only.

  The one that caught my eye was "The Secret Piano: From Mao's Labor Camps to Bach's Goldberg Variations, by Zhu Xiao-Mei.  They're not the usual fare.


What the last few days have been like in my area

Lightning struck the Bay Bridge towers 9 times, which happened to be when I was ON the bridge from 8:30pm to 10pm with many cars caught in deep puddles in the tunnel that you couldn't steer in, so the speed was less than 5mph, while the Sound and Light! show kept our attention. It was pretty hairy. There were 750 lightning strikes in the bay area.
  There are additional shots in the slideshow there.


There's a news videoclip of some of it.  Not a tornado, but it was something.   I have to be away from the blog for one more day and back on that bridge, in better weather though.


Glowing Nooks
So now we see why we saw the "leak" of the glowing Kindle that isn't ready.  B&N announced it is coming out with theirs, due sometime in May.  In the meantime, a few have had a look at it, though very briefly.  It'll be 8 Led lights under another layer above the display layer but the ereader will be lighter and the battery will still last a month or so at 1/2 hr of reading a day with the light on. (Do people really read a book for less than 1/2 hour a day?)  The photo is from The Digital Reader.

This should be very attractive for people who have asked for years why there is no light for the screen. One article in Gizmodo by a writer (Kyle Wagner) who is keen for the current non-glow Nook as well, mentions there is a fall off in contrast due to the added layer but that it didn't bother him and he feels the slightly uneven light was no problem either.

TIME's Techland (Harry McCracken) writes that the illumination "isn't perfectly even -- I could make out discrete beams emanating from the LEDs along the top edge -- but it's bright enough..."  He'd prefer it to the "grayishness of standard E Ink, "although it does make it more obvious that you're looking at an electronic display."  He is partial to the iPad for reading, however so is not an E Ink devotee.

The long name given this new unit is "The Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight" which signals what others have been writing -- that there is no other change in functionality from the current non-glow Nook Touch.

  If you read the features-comparison between Nook and Kindle Touch devices and if you don't miss all that the Nook is lacking in features relative to the Kindles (even before the latest, large Kindle Touch software update), this will be a no-brainer to try.

I don't like external add-on lights myself, but I've used the Beam N Read light that you wear around your neck (good for 120 hours on a recharge) and I use it for everything else around the house, so I never have to attach a light to the 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.

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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Quick note until tonight

Couldn't get back to the computer until now, for a few minutes, and then not again until tonight, despite a lot of news. Apologies. Will be back later and catch up and erase this note. 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. )
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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Kindle Touch Software Update Version 5.1 - BIG update

Kindle Touch Software receives big update

Nate Hoffelder, of The Digital Reader just sent notice that the Amazon Touch software update 5.1 is here.  Thanks, Nate.

Huge.  A few long requested features:
The update includes Landscape mode, Text to Speech (newspapers & magazines added), instant language translations by Bing, and onscreen keyboard suggestions as well as other features.

Kindle Touch Software Update, V5.1 is available online, and downloadable at the link, in case the update isn't already on your Kindle Touch when you read this and you decide you want it right away.

  So I'll be updating tonight when I get back instead of waiting, although the latter will be easier for most. From their page:

From the Amazon update page
We have a new, free software update available for your Kindle Touch that you can manually download. We will be delivering this update over Wi-Fi in the coming weeks.
New features in this update include:
  • Language Support: Customize your Kindle Touch with the language you prefer: English (US and UK), German, French, Spanish, Italian, or Brazilian Portuguese.
  • Landscape Mode: Switch between portrait and landscape orientation in books and PDFs to read maps, graphs, and tables more easily.
  • Instant Translations: Tap any word or highlight a section to instantly translate into other languages, including Spanish, Japanese, and more. Translations by Bing Translator.
  • Kindle Format 8: Formatting and layout improvements make Kindle books look even better.
  • Wi-Fi Enhancements: Connect your Kindle Touch to Wi-Fi with WPS and select WPA2 Enterprise networks.
  • Read-to-Me With Text-to-Speech: Have your Kindle Touch read English-language content out loud to you, now including summaries of newspaper and magazine articles when available from the publisher.
  • More Sharing Options: Tell others what you're reading on Facebook or Twitter from anywhere within a book — just tap to share a link along with your comments.
  • Onscreen Keyboard Suggestions: Search and shop faster with automatic word suggestions as you type.

Instructions for downloading if you don't want to wait are at the Kindle touch v5.1 upgrade page.



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. )
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Questions & feedback are welcome in the Comment areas (tho' spam is deleted). Thanks!

Kindle News: U.S files antitrust suit against Apple and publishers not settling. DOJ A/G statement at press conference included. UPDATE5

"Justice Department formally charges Apple, big five publishers in e-book price fixing case"

That's Engadget's headline

It's short and to the point. The Kindle Forum had the Engadget article, and the Washington Post one below, by Bob Van Voris, was sent by Edward Boyhan and has MUCH more detail. I have to leave, so I'll just direct you to the stories and to the transcript or release of Attorney General Holder's statement today.

Essentially, The DOJ decided to sue Apple, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster over alleged e-book price-rigging.  Apple and Macmillian have already denied any wrongdoing, Engadget points out, saying that the agreements were enhancing competition in an industry previously dominated by Amazon (Oh, brother).

Fuller story: Washington Post with Bloomberg, by Bob Van Voris.

The Kindle Forum members also came up with the US Dept of Justice webpage for Attorney General Eric Holder's speech today at the Ebooks Press conference.

  Here it is in its entirety, as it's meant for all of us as a public service.:
' Today I’m joined by Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division Sharis Pozen, and Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, to announce the Justice Department’s latest progress in protecting American consumers from anticompetitive harm, ensuring fairness in the marketplace, and making certain that cutting-edge technologies are available at the lowest possible price.

In recent years, we have seen the rapid growth – and the many benefits – of electronic books. E-books are transforming our daily lives, and improving how information and content is shared. For the growing number of Americans who want to take advantage of this new technology, the Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that e-books are as affordable as possible.

As part of this commitment, the Department has reached a settlement with three of the nation’s largest book publishers – and will continue to litigate against Apple, and two additional leading publishers – for conspiring to increase the prices that consumers pay for e-books.

Earlier today, we filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, against Apple and five different book publishers – Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster. In response to our allegations, three of these publishers – Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster – agreed to a proposed settlement. If approved by the court, this settlement would resolve the Department’s antitrust concerns with these companies, and would require them to grant retailers – such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble – the freedom to reduce the prices of their e-book titles. The settlement also requires the companies to terminate their anticompetitive most-favored-nation agreements with Apple and other e-books retailers.

In addition, the companies will be prohibited for two years from placing constraints on retailers’ ability to offer discounts to consumers. They will also be prohibited from conspiring or sharing competitively sensitive information with their competitors for five years. And each is required to implement a strong antitrust compliance program. These steps are appropriate – and essential in ensuring a competitive marketplace.

Beginning in the summer of 2009, we allege that executives at the highest levels of the companies included in today’s lawsuit – concerned that e-book sellers had reduced prices – worked together to eliminate competition among stores selling e-books, ultimately increasing prices for consumers. As a result of this alleged conspiracy, we believe that consumers paid millions of dollars more for some of the most popular titles.

During regular, near-quarterly meetings, we allege that publishing company executives discussed confidential business and competitive matters – including Amazon’s e-book retailing practices – as part of a conspiracy to raise, fix, and stabilize retail prices. In addition, we allege that these publishers agreed to impose a new model which would enable them to seize pricing authority from bookstores; that they entered into agreements to pay Apple a 30 percent commission on books sold through its iBookstore; and that they promised – through contracts including most-favored-nation provisions – that no other e-book retailer would set a lower price. Our investigation even revealed that one CEO allegedly went so far as to encourage an e-book retailer to punish another publisher for not engaging in these illegal practices.

In advancing this critical investigation, I’d like to thank Attorney General Jepsen and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott – along with our partners at the European Commission – for their hard work and close cooperation. Today’s action sends a clear message that the Department’s Antitrust Division continues to be open for business – and that we will not hesitate to do what is necessary to protect American consumers.

I am grateful for the outstanding leadership that Acting Assistant Attorney General Sharis Pozen has provided in this matter. Not only has she ensured a seamless transition in the Division’s senior leadership, she has proven that vigorous enforcement will remain its hallmark. I also want to commend her dedicated team, and thank each of the attorneys and investigators who worked so hard to make today’s announcement possible. Although this matter remains in its initial stages, it’s clear that, in all of you, the Department – and the American people – could have no stronger team of advocates.

At this time, I’d like to turn things over to Sharis, who will provide additional details on today’s action. '

Acting Asst. Atty General Sharis A Pozen speaks next
  She cites quotes from publishers in connection with openly conspiring among themselves to get Amazon to raise prices.

 She prefaced these with, "I would just like to give you a flavor of the egregiousness of the alleged behavior, which took place at the highest levels of these publishing companies by providing you with some statements from our complaint..."


Kindle-Edition blog subscribers
Again, Kindle-Edition subscribers can click on the links and once on the Web,
click Menu/Article-Mode and read these fairly comfortably.  I hope that will work well for most.

ApppleInsider talks about other aspects involved.  Simon & Schuster, Hachette and HarperCollins have already settled with the department to avoid the suit.  Apple, Macmillan, and Penguin are the holdouts.

From Reuters:
' The Justice Department complaint cites an email from an executive for an unnamed publisher pointing out the need for the publishers to work together to convince Amazon to raise prices.

"We've always known that unless other publishers follow us, there's no chance of success in getting Amazon to change its pricing practices," the executive wrote.

"Without a critical mass behind us, Amazon won't 'negotiate,' so we need to be more confident of how our fellow publishers will react," the executive said in the email. '


FULL TEXT of the DOJ case against Apple and the publishers, found by Larkspotter at the forum.  It's a 36-page pdf.

Wired's Tim Carmody reports DOJ Announces Terms of Settlement With Three Publishers in E-Book Suit.  He lists them and includes the proposed settlement doc.

Update 5 - Commenter Tom Semple writes that the Publishers Lunch site's Details From the DOJ's Lawsuit "summarizes some of the juicier details," so I'm adding it here while back briefly and am leaving again.
  Thanks, Tom!


Related articles
TIMELINE:  Ebook Pricing Wars - what DOJ would have seen.
Also, History of the e-book pricing wars



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, April 10, 2012

Kindle News: Quell: free Android App today. Kindle Touch 3G rave, Your Annotations web page

Another free Android App?  Yes, because this is a Quality One

As you know, I don't blog about 99% of the free Android apps for the Kindle Fire, but Quell is a strangely calming and beautiful game which is more a set of zen-like puzzles.  Sound and Music are controlled separately.

This is normally only 99c anyway, and is it a new thing that there are sponsors for the free App of the Day?  Today, at the Appstore for Android, the ad for it says, "Presented by the Toyota prius C"... This doesn't show up on the product page, just on the store page.

  The Amazon intro there: "...an atmospheric puzzler.  This critically acclaimed game includes more than 80 levels of ingenious puzzles, gorgeous graphics, and a stunning [not booming] soundtrack.  Play as a raindrop and collect pearls in as few moves as possible.  Completing a puzzle unlocks the next."
  It has 1,810 customer reviews and averages 4.8 stars out of 5


Kindle Touch 3G eBook reader "might just be the most compelling global eBook reader..."
  The Calgary Herald story is somewhat short on details as to why that might be.  Many Kindle Touch owners would agree for many reasons we've mentioned, but the article gives two good reasons (besides listing the usual features), and those are:
  .  the added cellular network 3G access so that people don't have to depend on WiFi in the home or wherever they are, to download a book or to access Wikipedia (the latter I do think would be compelling for students or the ever curious) and
  .  "the Kindle Touch is now available in seven languages - German, French, Italian, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese and American or British English - so customers can read, take notes, and navigate their Kindle in any of these languages."

Your personal book annotations web page at Amazon
Some may not know about http://kindle.amazon.com, the personal web page Amazon makes for the web version of your book annotations and the organization that's there.
  It's also a burgeoning social network area now too, with people able to follow the notes and highlights of those who want to share theirs.

For detailed information on what the annotations area of that page is about, see
Web Kindle Tool for Books Purchased from Amazon.



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

For daily free ebooks, check the following links:
Temporarily-free books - Non-classics
USA: by:
   Publication Date  
   Bestselling   High-ratings

UK: PubDate   Popular
The Kindle Daily Deal
What is 3G? and "WiFi"?       Battery Care
Highly-rated under $1,  Newest: $1-$2, $2-$3
Most Popular Free K-Books
U.S. & Int'l (NOT UK):
   Top 100 free
UK-Only:
   Top 100 free
USEFUL for your Kindle Keyboard(U.S. only, currently):
  99c Notepad 1.1,   99c Calculator,
  99c Calendar,   99c Converter


  *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!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Kindle News: FREE Android App for today-only prints computer items to Kindle Fire

ACTPrinter app for Android prints computer documents not to a printer but to Kindle Fire and other Android devices.

Normerly $1.99, you can get ACTPrinter app today for $0.00.

It allows you to organize the printfile versions it receives, by the way.

There are some things you should know, and it's easier to read them on a webpage than on the Kindle Fire screen when there are no paragraph breaks in a product description and you can't enlarge the tiny fonts of an Android store app description.

PCWorld ranked ACTPrinter as the #1 "Green App" - Bear in mind though that a printable file can be 500K or more as shown in the image I used from the product page. That's half a meg, or about 2/3rds the size of a normal novel.

From the product page:
'Have you ever wondered why you always end up printing those so-called electronic tickets, boarding passes, and similar documents? Ever wasted a sheet of paper to remember a will-call pickup number? ... ACTPrinter allows you to virtually "print" any document from your Mac or PC to your Android device.'
' Want to read documents on the go? ACTPrinter is for you. "Print" documents, e-mails, webpages, and more from any program on your computer directly to your Android device. Your computer will automatically detect your Android device when connected to your AirPort or Wi-Fi network - there's no need to type in an IP address. '

This requires installing a program on your computer, however.
' Computer Requirements

In order to use this app, you must install the free ACTPrinter companion software available at Houdah Software's website.  or PCs, you must have a computer with a Wi-Fi card that is running Microsoft Windows XP, Vista (x32 and x64), or Windows 7 (x32 and 64).  For Macs, you must have a computer with an Airport card that is running Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or later.  Please note that ACTPrinter is not designed to print hard copies, but "print" virtual copies to your Android device. '



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 News: E-Ink color? An OLDER report being resuscitated.


Computerworld's Jeff Bertolucci
, while reporting TechCrunch's look at a 'glowing' Kindle e-reader due someday in 2012, mentions again the possibility of a color e-Ink Kindle, since the theme of the story is that some kind of change will be coming sooner or later. This may be prompted by the theory that the Kindle Fire has caused many to choose the tablet rather than an e-reader and there is need for a new type of e-reader.

 Bertolucci references his own story back in February (2/22/12), for PCWorld, about a report in the Chinese-Language Economic Daily News that E-Ink Holdings had received an order from Amazon, he writes this week, "to build millions of 6-inch color e-Readers" which were said, in February, to begin shipping in March (a month ago).

But on February 23, a day later, Nate Hoffelder at mediabistro's eBookNewser said:
' E-ink chairman Scott Liu also denied the recent rumors concerning a Kindle with a color E-ink screen; E-ink does not yet have that screen in production, so there is no way for them to ship it to Amazon. '

It remains possible that any color eInk might go into production sometime, but it seems it wouldn't be very soon if so.

Bertolucci probably did not see the reported denial on February 23, but since the color e-Ink orders-story was reported again two days ago on April 6, I thought I should mention it.



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, April 8, 2012

Kindle News - April 8: Front-lit Kindle? Kindle in Spanish. Google's coming tablet. Amazon's future tablets

A coming front-lit Kindle?

That's what a TechCrunch writer, Devin Coldewey, said he was shown at Lab 126, though it's not ready for prime time yet.  It may be ready sometime this year, or that's the goal.  Amazon bought a company specializing in this technology and somehow it escaped the notice of most gadget news sites.  The interesting part is that Amazon wanted to show this to Coldewey (as they did with M. Siegler with a prototype of the Kindle Fire when he was with TechCrunch) on Friday.

Some of us don't want to look at a lit screen when just trying to read long-form text in daylight, but the effect is said to be more like looking at light shining ON the screen rather than coming from behind it.
  Color me backward but I LIKE the fact that it's not backlit, and I've not been hoping for front-lit.  But it WOULD be useful if it's a switchable lighting and we can turn it on when the light is dim.  I've asked the writer, in the Comments section, if that's a color image in the top-left corner of the TechCrunch story.

  What I especially like about the story: Dewey Coldewey didn't call it a "scoop" when Amazon chose to show him something (which means they want him to write about it) the way M. Siegler did.

  Is this something of interest to readers?

Free-book listings and Kindle edition blog
I've re-thought the idea of detailed free-book listings, by the way.  Took too much time and people can easily find them on their own these days, so I am back to Kindle world news for the most part.

I've also been thinking about opting out of the Kindle-edition blog subscriptions because this blog uses many story links, which is frustrating to Kindle-device users.  I'll add that most don't know that you can click on a link to a story (including with Kindle Keyboard models) and then choose Menu -> Article Mode and see it in large, very readable text adjusted to the width of your screen on most Kindles.  I've done stories on how tiny web text can be quickly made very readable on both the Kindle Touch and the Kindle Fire, but the how of this would need to be repeated often and as a result I often don't choose as many stories as I would.  I sometimes want readers to know about a story and I would like to just be able to link them to the stories if they're of interest, but this would not work well for a Kindle-edition blog.

Some news is going to be of less interest to the majority, but I want to include them also.  So I'll do that more often now, and I apologize in advance to Kindle-edition subscribers.  I think the only advantage of Kindle-edition subscription is to be able to search the last 25 articles from this blog offline.

Kindle in Spanish store on Amazon
Amazon opened up a "store" for Kindle books in Spanish, called "eBooks Kindle en EspaƱol."
  Before this, all that was available in other languages was in the little-known Amazon foreign-language area.

Google Nexus Tablet due eventually
This has been rumored as an Asus-built tablet meant to help Google pummel Amazon's Kindle, with more hardware features but, somehow, less cost. It was due, people said, in May.  Now it's July.  And to do this, they'll need to cut back the costs even more.  They'd already scaled back the type of processor used and now they need to cut back on other items.  It'll be interesting to see what they do.  I use Google everyday in MANY ways, searching, blogging, translating, and it's a real boon, but one thing Google is not known for: customer support.

 Just try to find a human to ask about things.  On their help boards, they have volunteer users who will sometimes try to calm questioners by saying they'll forward the questions.  It's not like Amazon's Kindle boards which is filled with Kindle owners 24/7 wanting to help other Kindle owners.  Google's volunteer helpers are scarce and not nearly as quick to reply and it's usually to say "We're trying to find out." but with Amazon, besides the user-to-user forums, an Amazon tech support person trained on Kindle is about 2 seconds away with their "Contact us" button.  And you can call some numbers I've listed at:

  the special Kindle Support page which I think I've forgotten to link in the right-hand reference column on the webpage. (Link: bit.ly/ksupportinfo - I try to make the shortcuts make sense.  They're always preceded by "bit.ly/" ...)

  Joe Wilcox, writing for betanews.com, headlines his article a few days ago, "Google isn't trying to save Android tablets but kill Kindle Fire."

  Well, I'd say they'll try to compete with it and hope theirs will meet the fancy of more users.

  The Kindle Fire has really taken off, and latest reports have been that the Kindle Fire apps are bringing developers more revenue than Google's Android store does.  Seeing that the Android operating system is by Google, that would seem an untenable situation for them.  And they would be able to afford to take a loss on hardware to compete against the Kindle Fire and any eventual addidtional tablets very well, except for the area of customer service, which as you can tell from Kindle board discussions of a customer-focused user-interface, would be a busy area, because the Android operating system is, in its rawer state, not exactly targeted for novice users.

  But Google would also need to have a good ecosystem as Apple and Amazon do but Google Books area has not been as popular as either Apple's or Amazon's.  So they have a road to travel to bulid a support system around it.

  Wilcox's story points out that "in just one quarter, Amazon's Kindle Fire jumped ahead of all other Android tablets, putting it second to iPad."  He disagrees with CNet's Roger Cheng who feels Google shouldn't jump into the Android tablet business.  Wilcox feels that a Google-branded tablet is the "best thing" they can do now for Android tablets.
' Something else: Kindle Fire is largely responsible for Android market share gains -- to 44.6 percent during fourth quarter, up from 32.3 percent three months earlier. During Q4 the two leading tablet operating systems were iOS and Amazon's Android, with combined share of 71.5 percent. Let me restate that: Not Android, but Amazon Android.
...
  ...Amazon's continued success is good for driving up Android shipments against iPad, but it's bad broadly...

  Amazon's objectives are contrary to Google's. For example, if I type the web address to Google's Android Market into the Silk browser on my wife's Kindle Fire, Amazon's Android app store opens instead. '

  He points out that the change of name from "Android Market" to "Google Play" "emphasizes Google as dominant brand and foreshadows the curated approach to come."

There is a ton of info in the article if you're interested in it, but you won't see the words "customer service" in it anywhere, and that is everything when it comes to Amazon's success.

Coming Amazon tablets
The news has been filled with conjecture, most of it conflicting, and changing each day in a way that doesn't resemble even evolving news but pure rumor, so I've stayed away from it.  The stories careen wildly between a Kindle Fire 2 or two Kindle Fire 2's, a low-cost and higher cost 7" or maybe just one or maybe an 8.9" tablet or maybe a 10" tablet, maybe two months away, but etc etc. Digitimes even said that the costs of an 8.9" tablet were seen as a hurdle.  So that hasn't even started.
  As I've done in the past, though, I'll be reporting whenever any parts orders have been reported by the usual Taiwan sources.




US:
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 3G web
UK:
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.

  *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, April 6, 2012

Free Kindle Books, April 6 -- 240+ direct book links by 23 forum members

Links to TEMPORARILY-FREE KINDLE BOOKS selected April 6 are listed in this blog on a separate page for the most recent free-book links.

On some days there will be mainly pointers to free-book message threads
by Kindle forum members for the day.  It depends on how much time I have.

  Click here to get the April 6 book recommendations and direct links to the Kindle books.  The ongoing Link to the most recent book links blogged: [Link: http://bit.ly/latestfreebookslist ].

The SECOND-most recent links (today's are from April 5 -- yesterday), can be found here.  [Link: http://bit.ly/latestfreebookslist2 ]



Night Swim
, by Jessica Kenner, 21 customer reviews, 4.9 stars average, $0.00

The book was released Jan. 2012 and gets raves from a number of sources.


Today, Friday, there have been about 420-600 temporarily free books released, depending on the various websites' numbers.

  Forum regulars post titles and descriptions for the books that each pick as interesting for themselves, as that should help others who don't have the time to go check out hundreds each day.

  The message threads with "no chat" in them are ending tonight, and the ones "with chat" will take longer to read through.   I'll tend to link you, in the future, to the message threads "with chat" [I omit the chat from my long-listings], and you can just skim the the threads, which do have direct links also, to get the books of interest if you want them sooner.

For today, April 6, I've posted, on the new ongoing blog page, a list of 241 links to free-Kindle books chosen by 23 Kindle forum regulars as of noon today.

  There are descriptions or genre information for many of these and a few of the books are discussed.
  Again, these are recommended temporarily-free Kindle book links for Friday, April 6.


Recently discounted books
There is also a popular message thread of links to good Kindle books that have recently had the price lowered.  I haven't mentioned these lately, and I'll link you to those starting at the page showing listings March 31, 2012 and after, as earlier ones will more likely be back at regular pricing.

  As with free books, these often last for only days (sometimes only hours, on promos, though some will remain at the lower price for a longer time).  You might want to skip ahead there to catch the latest ones first and work backwards, but this gives you a starting point in a humongous list.


Friday's Kindle Daily Deal
  As usual, a reminder of the ongoing Kindle Daily Deal.  Friday's: 'The Westies'.  "In the 1970s, organized crime in New York City's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood radically changed when charismatic sociopath Jimmy Coonan took over the Irish mob..." by T.J. English, $1.99 Friday (it was $9.99 on Thursday), 3 customer reviews, 4.8 stars avg.
“Sterling social history . . . the author’s skillful reporting makes the most of his subject.” — The New Yorker
“A disquieting look at a worthwhile subject: the frailties of justice in the big city.” — The New York Time

  Many of you use an ongoing bookmark (a shortcut: amzn.to/kdailydeal ) to see the daily title.  As always these change nightly.



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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