Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Kindle news: YouSendIt, Inc. announces custom app built for Kindle Fire - Update

YouSendIt app for Kindle Fire released today

Broadcast Newsroom brings a press release from YouSendIt about their new "BYOD" (Bring Your Own Device to the workplace) app released today with "three new productivity features" making it "even easier to access content and collaborate on the go"

Mihir Nanavati, VP of product management for YouSendIt says, "... users can view files, sign documents and share files and folders from Kindle Fire..."

Clicking on either image takes you to the Amazon Android Appstore page for the product.  "When users download the app from Amazon [it's free at this point]  and sign up within 30 days of today, YouSendIt will give them unlimited e-signatures on their Kindle Fire for the lifetime of their YouSendIt account.

"Users can quickly sign any document and securely send it -- without having to print, scan, fax or ship it."

  YouSendIt also added new features to its Android smartphone application available in other Android marketplaces.

Advantages noted:
  • Add files from a memory card/local folder -- NEW
  • Open files from the YouSendIt app in other apps and edit them -- NEW
  • Quickly act on files via new action bar -- NEW
  • Move files from other applications to YouSendIt
  • Securely send a file, share a folder, sign a file and preview files
  • Manage folder permissions such as adding and removing users from shared folders

I'd say that the decision to try this one is a no-brainer.  If fees attached at a later date are unwelcome, the app can be deleted.

(Update: In addition, they offer for businesses needing to comply with BYOD policies, Workstream by YouSendIt, which includes procedures for "including application-level passcode protection, remote wipe and blacklist/whitelisting for sharing content. In addition, Workstream encrypts data on the device, in transit and at rest.")




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

  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


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-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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Kindle news after vacation's end: E-readers trigger a boom in reading; Kindle Fire Sales-another look; Target; Lovefilm and NBCUniversal

VACATION'S END
My vacationing at Yosemite is ended for this year, but with a bang in a way, in that after a week of totally sunny weather, we had sudden thunderstorms throughout day 5, with snow and hail in the higher areas -- at the end of May.

  I spent about 6 hours that afternoon, along with many others, trying to catch the shifting light during the 'clearings' between the storms, and it was a pretty wet time, at near-freezing temperatures at about 4,400 ft, and very odd to drive a bit higher above Tunnel View (the lower viewpoint shown here), to find the trees at the junction of Highway 41 and Glacier Point Road almost wholly white with instant snow as we approach summer.
  Small pieces of hail stayed on my windshield for a bit even in the area of the valley's stables earlier, where the mule and horseback rides were being cancelled.

  Below that blanket of green in the image above is Yosemite Valley, where we lodge and play.
  During the week, it's often explained to us in several ways how, long ago, glaciers carved out that space, specifically Yosemite Glacier.

  I haven't gone through the snow photos yet, but did put a set of about six shots of Tunnel View's scenic changes during the latter part of that day (ending about 7:30pm in these scenes).  There are also a couple of shots from Glacier Point (3,214 feet above the valley) of an area with the somewhat lesser-known Vernal and Nevada Falls, taken on the first day I was there.
  If pbase is having photo-display problems, you can use the google-plus album instead.

So, now I'll settle back into more regular blogging while the rest of the world goes on longer vacations.

Are people reading less? Or more?
The Royal Gazetteonline's Marcia Breen reports today that Pew Research Center's most recent research finds that about one in five adults in the US owns an e-reader as of January 2012, "up from one in ten in mid-December of last year" and "it looks like that boom in e-readers has triggered a boom in reading."
' According to the research, the average e-book reader reads 60 percent more than a traditional book reader. Owners of a Kindle, Nook or iPad read an average of 24 books a year compared to the non-e-book readers who read an average of 15 books a year.

The study also found 42 percent of those who read digital content say they now spend more time reading than they did before, whether it’s in bed or on the go and that women are reading more than men. '

Reasons given for moving to e-readers: easy access while traveling and commuting; font size adjustments, built-in dictionary, a library in the palm of your hand.  Even now, the study found, "88 percent of people" in that study who had read an e-book in the past year had also read a printed book during that time.  Read more on that here

Did Kindle Fire Sales really fade that much in 1st quarter 2012?
PCWorld's Jeff Berolucci points to a column by Stephen Baker for the NPD Group, "Shipments are Not Sales," in which he "pulls no punches in chastising tech bloggers for misinterpreting new data from research firm IDC.  Baker points out:
' Of course, sales always rise dramatically in the fourth quarter of the year--also known as the holiday shopping season--and Amazon understandably shipped millions of Kindle Fires to its warehouses and retail partners to meet demand. All of those 4.8 million Fires shipped didn't sell, naturally, which meant plenty of inventory was left over for early 2012. This resulted in lower (OK, significantly lower) Kindle Fire shipments in that quarter.

So how did the Kindle Fire do in the first quarter of 2012? Pretty darn well, thank you very much. According to NPD's Consumer Tracking Service, the Kindle actually sold (there is that word again, this time properly used) 1.8 million units in the first quarter. That is, "an actual consumer bought it and took it home (or had it delivered) and paid their own real money," Baker writes. '
  See Baker's post for much more detail.

I remember when ace commenter jftorres wrote this uncommon sense to Nate Hoffelder's The-Digital-Reader at about the same time, when IDG Research was also focusing on the drop in Kindle Fire shipments in the first qtr after the Holidays:
' ... Not unusual with seasonal products to see a big spike during the holidays followed by much lower sales during the year.
Gaming consoles are a perfect example:
MS has sold 67 million XBOX 360s worldwide (I just saw the number this morning) since 2005.
Last XMAS they sold about 4 million of those in the US over three months, whereas last month they sold about 400,000.
And those are good numbers.
700K FIREs in a month may not be in iPad territory but they still point at 10 million-plus for the year, which is what has been predicted for FIRE. '

Target's Kindle news
In the meantime, the recent story of Target dropping Kindles, indicating the reason is that Amazon is an aggressive retail competitor, coincided with their announcement that 25 of its main stores will add new iPad departments.

Amazon's LOVEFiLM (European)
LOVEFiLM announced today a "multi-year digital license agreement with NBCUniversal International Television Distribution, providing LOVEFiLM members exclusive streaming access to titles from Universal Pictures during the second pay window."
  My question: Why the serial-killer style capitalization-mix in a company name?  It reminds me of the tortured enTourage eDGe, which is no longer with us, possibly partially due to people not wanting to even type that name.

  The European streaming video company has previously announced exclusive content deals with Disney, Sony, Warner Bros. and STUDIOCANAL. [Now we have all caps.]
  See the press release for the several films included.

  The Telegraph's Emma Barnett explains that the "second pay window" means "around six months after [a film] has been released to Sky Movies (which has a lock on most pay-TV movie rights) after the cinema run has finished" and she adds that this deal is "a coup for Lovefilm" (she ignores the capitalization) as it goes head to head with Netflix...which launched its on-demand movie subscription service in the UK at the start of this year."

  Engadget's James Trew thinks it "looks Kick Ass."
  TechCrunch's Sarah Perez describes the wide variety of devices supported, "including PCs, Macs, the iPad, internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players, as well as game consoles like the Xbox 360 and Sony PlayStation. There are 175 devices, in total, which are supported."




Current Kindle Models for reference, plus free-ebook search links
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, May 26, 2012

Amazon finally gets tough on junk titles. IPG e-books are back (5,000 of them))

The Bookseller reports the welcome news (for many) that:
' In a note posted on its Kindle Direct Publishing forum, Amazon said it that it would no longer "accept content that is freely available on the web unless you are the copyright owner of that content".

Amazon said it would continue to accept public domain content, but said it may not allow it to be sold if "its content is undifferentiated or barely differentiated from one or more other books." '

See the article for what the ramifications may be. Kindle-Edition subscribers can use Menu/Article Mode after they click through to the story, to read it more easily.

Am still on vacation but sending along news items if they might be interesting.

ALSO, paidContent's Laura Hazard Owens reports that IPG and Amazon have finally made an agreement to bring back 5,000+ books at whatever terms are bearable for both parties.  No one seems to know what those terms are. But paidContent has printed IPG's statement to their authors, and they are not charging authors whatever working fees for the affected period.


That's it for now. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
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(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kindle News: Waterstone, soft rumors, Paramount movies to Prime

Kindle News: Bits and pieces - I'm on vacation this week and the news is mostly very soft rumors, most of them conflicting so until they firm up I don't tend to report them, but a bit on that further on down.

Waterstones in the UK has signed an agreement with Amazon to sell Kindles in the UK, although Waterstones had been said to be in talks with Barnes and Noble for international sales.  However, managing director James Daunt said in a statement. “The best digital readers, the Kindle family, will be married to the singular pleasures of browsing a curated bookshop. With the combination of “We asked ourselves, ‘what do our customers want?’; the answer was the Kindle. Once we’d done that this was self-evidently the best deal,” Daunt told The Bookseller...
...
paidContent's article by Laura Hazard Owen ends with what what looks like a quote from The Bookseller:
"Daunt said the two businesses had started talking only ‘relatively recently,’ admitting that he had looked at other options but rejected them. ‘Ultimately, when we thought about it, we had to give the customers what they wanted. And the best device on the market is the Kindle.’ "

They have about 300 stores, so it is a real plus for Amazon and of course bad news for Barnes and Noble.

Rumors
The Kindle Fire rumor a couple of weeks ago was that they were working on an 8.9" tablet to be ready for the holidays, end of 2012 but that while some orders were underaway, there were no named companies as there were when rumors were stronger in the past.

Now it's a 10" model, others say but with no basis for the rumors. I think it's a slow newscycle and these articles invariably end with "What do you think will happen?"

We'll see.

Hundreds of Paramount movies being added to Prime
See TechCrunch for details.

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.

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(Older posts have older Kindle model info. For latest models, see CURRENT KINDLES page. )
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Monday, May 21, 2012

Today's Kindle Daily Deal - one for dog lovers

A SMALL FURRY PRAYER - Today's Kindle Daily Deal

Just a quick note to alert dog lovers to Amazon's more unusual Kindle Daily Deal today, which is Steven Kotler's A Small Furry Prayer, which has 71 customer reviews and an average rating of 4.5 stars.

The Daily Deal blurb: "At 40, journalist Steven Kotler fell in love with Lila, a devoted animal rescuer. This investigative, philosophical, and fun-filled narrative follows the couple's move to New Mexico to create a dog sanctuary.  It's an insider's look at one of the largest and least underground movements in America: dog rescue."

Sunday's price: $9.50, Monday's discount $7.60, Monday's Daily Deal Price: $1.99 (79% off)

There are editorial reviews from Booklist and an unnamed one that references Kirsus Reviews: "'A delightful, rich read sure to take you to unexpected places and beyond' Bark," in addition to the customer reviews.




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!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Kindle News: 17 more states join class action suit. Excellent timeline and guide to points in DOJ and Class Action lawsuits

17 more states join class action against Big5 and Apple, with new details revealed.

paidContent's Laura Hazard Owen reports that New York, Washington D.C., and 15 other states "have joined the e-book pricing class action suit against Apple, Macmillan and Penguin, bringing the total number of states involved so far to 31 (if you include DC and Puerto Rico). "

Owens' piece is a more in-depth look than we've seen with other news-site reports,
She adds that, unlike the Department of Justice (DOJ), the states seek monetary restitution for consumers and have already reached, as we've seen earlier, a settlement with Hachette, Simon & Schuster and HarperCollins.

With that amended complaint comes new information that's been made public, though it's not clear why it was redacted from the version filed in April.  Much of that newly-public information (in the state's amended complaint) is found in the DOJ filing against Apple and the publishers, but new details include an e-mail from Steve Jobs that shows him becoming directly involved in the agency pricing negotiations "after [Apple's] Eddy Cue could not secure one of the Conspiring Publisher’s commitment directly from an executive."

We see yet another admission or confirmation that the publishers (and therefore presumably their authors) did make more money under the older, wholesale model despite many arguments made in forums by authors (who were asked by their publishers to join forum discussions) that the authors' revenue would be less under Amazon's traditional wholesaler arrangement.
' Macmillan CEO John Sargent attempted to negotiate with Apple’s Eddy Cue on a way to make agency pricing less painful for publishers (publishers actually make more money under the wholesale model, where they are paid based on a book’s retail list price, than from the agency model).

Asking Apple to help, then, by taking a reduced cut
On January 11, 2010, Sargent wrote to Apple in an e-mail, "Am thinking a possible way to ease the financial pain for the publishers and authors of moving to the agency model.  Could you take a reduced cut on hardcover first releases (where we are presently making 14.00 in revenue and would make 9.00 under your assumptions)?"
  Apple did not agree to take less than its customary 30 percent cut. '

Now, "hardcover" is mentioned there, but e-book 'suggested retail prices' were set by publishers under the traditional agreements (often set, in 2009, at $26), and Amazon, it's been explained often, usually paid about 50% of that publisher-set retail price to the publisher, EVEN when Amazon sold a bestseller e-book at $9.99, a price that made the Big5 nervous about the devaluing of their hardcover books.

  Many authors did actually believe that they'd make less when an e-book was discounted by Amazon, and I think the publishers let many of them believe and say this in forums.  There was a lot of rancor in the forums between some authors and customers as a result.

Publisher e-mail
Then a publisher, Owens points out, emailed the parent company's CEO Jan. 21, 2010 that
' [Apple's Eddy Cue] … was eloquent on why they would be a great partner, that price could and would be experimented with as Apple want [sic] to drive high revenues; that this would be for a one year term; that one major publisher (clearly RH) was out and that ne [sic] need the five majors in but maybe four. He said that he was sure he would close on two today and two tomorrow... '

Steve Jobs's e-mail
Jobs stepped in and wrote to a resistant executive at one of the "Conspiring Publishers," outlining the choices the publisher had, the only semi-attractive one being
' Throw in with Apple and see if we can all make a go of this to create a real mainstream ebooks market at $12.99 and $14.99. '

As we saw, the Big5 e-books actually came to sell between $12.99 and $19.99.

E-mails to Barnes & Noble - who became quite active in all this
After the Big5 and Apple agreed on the Agency model and pricing, the amended class action complaint, Owens explains (bold-facing mine):
'...says the five publishers “worked together to force” Random House to adopt it as well.

  On March 4, 2010, in an exchange also identified in the DOJ’s filing, Penguin CEO David Shanks sent Barnes & Noble’s then-CEO Steve Riggio an e-mail reading in part,
  “Random House has chosen to stay on their current model and will allow retailers to sell at whatever price they wish…I would hope that [Barnes & Noble] would be equally brutal to Publishers who have thrown in with your competition with obvious disdain for your welfare…I hope you make Random House hurt like Amazon is doing to people who are looking out for the overall welfare of the publishing industry.” '
While this is one CEO (of one of the two publishing companies that have not settled) writing to Barnes and Noble, it's an indication of an atmosphere of concern stated often (within the complaint) that the "conspiring publishers" needed more publishers to stay together on all this to get Amazon to agree to the Agency model and its higher, non-competitive pricing.

B&N's management did decide not to feature Random House in any future advertising, the complaint says.  And most who follow this pricing war know that Apple refused Random House books a place in their iBookStore.  Random House is said to be the largest U.S publisher of novels.  Neither Apple nor B&N are "Gas 'N' Groceries on Route 19" stores taking defensive measures against giant Amazon.  But that latter is Authors Guild President Scott Turow's most recent fantasy.  I feel bad for the authors who are represented by this guy whose forte seems to be a mixture of fantasy and bad melodrama, when he refers to Amazon as the 'Darth Vader of publishing.'

And, as I said in late April, Turow even refers to Apple as "a minor player in the realm of books" (the minor road-store that could, in one day, successfully encourage a jacking-up of e-book prices an average 50% (to $20 at the high-end), nation-wide, on new books, and even deny Random House space for its e-books because RH would not cooperate on the Agency model.  Yep, Apple's just a small store hoping to get its size 3 foot in the publishing door.

The Club
When discussing what I'd deem normal book business practices of 'windowing' or staggering different releases of a book, if not done in lock-step, the publishers "referenced themselves in one email as ‘the Club!’"  That was in connection with windowing discussions, and, as Owen says, not agency pricing discussions with Apple.  But a club seldom calls itself that over one small facet of whatever brings them together as co-members, but the label does tend to speak to group focus of some type, in this case having to do with e-book pricing.

Downloads linked at the paidContent story:
The states’ amended complaint (5/11/12)
The states’ original complaint (4/11/12)
The Department of Justice’s complaint (4/11/12)

I've left out a lot of detail and a table of how Apple calculated its e-book prices in publisher contracts, but you can read the full details at paidContent's story.


ALSO: EXCELLENT "DOJ LAWSUIT UPDATE" by "Dear Author"

MANY interesting points are made in this piece that explains what is happening here, Mr. Jones, step-by step.  Fascinating read, because I remember hearing about all this as it was happening and then it all tended to fade and blend together, but she [Jane] lays it all out, in no-nonsense manner.
  I'll just quote the opening paragraph from her huge list of info-points with explanations of what some of the actions described indicate.
'  Collectively the Big 6 account for approximately 60% of all revenue generated from print titles sold in the U.S. and 85% of all revenue generated from the sale of NYT Bestsellers.
  In 2009, the publishers’ market share broke down as follows:  Random House (17.5%), Penguin (11.3%), Hachette (10%), HarperCollins (9.8%), Simon & Schuster (9.1%), and  Macmillan (5.4%) '

So, if you're interested in what is essentially a detective story with all the pieces starting to come together, go to Dear Author for the step-by-step guide.


Earlier and related:
TIMELINE:  Ebook Pricing Wars - what DOJ would have seen.




Current Kindle Models for reference, plus free-ebook search links (non-Big5)
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!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Kindle News: Federal judge refuses to toss out class action lawsuit on e-book pricing, citing damaging Apple statements. 56-page ruling download.

U.S. District Court Judge Denise Cote refuses to toss out a nationwide class action lawsuit against Big5 and Apple filed in August 2011.

Associated Press's Larry Neumesiter reports that, in her written ruling, District Court Judge Cote cited Steve Jobs's statements, one that was video'd in answer to Walt Mossberg of WSJ at the initial iPad launch event ("the prices will be the same"), and one that was made to biographer Walter Isaacson about what Steve Jobs had told the large publishers named in the lawsuit ("the customer pays a little more, but that's what you want anyway").

The argument for dismissing the class action lawsuit was that Apple and the publishers named were just improving the efficiencies of distribution, but the judge rejected that, saying,
  "It has everything to do with coordinating a horizontal agreement among publishers to raise prices, and eliminating horizontal price competition among Apple's competitors at the retail level."

  AP's Neumeister adds that Apple had said last year that the charge that it had conspired with the major book publishers to raise the prices of e-books was not true and that it had instead (as Neumeister's explains their position) 'fostered innovation and competition by introducing its iBookstore in 2010 and said customers had benefited from e-books that are more interactive and engaging.'

  Neumeister's AP report states that
  'The judge wrote that Apple had a "strong incentive" to encourage publishers to agree together on the rules for e-book sales so that its iBookstore did not face stiff competition' and that 'With the fortuitous entry of Apple into the market for e-books, and the decision by Apple to join the price-fixing conspiracy, that horizontal conspiracy became a potent weapon for engineering a fundamental shift in an entire industry," the judge said.'

The ruling means that the class action can proceed to trial.

The Department of Justice settlements
  As we saw earlier, the U.S. Department of Justice had reached a settlement with Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster.  The AP report on the district court judge's ruling says that the federal government is proceeding with its 'lawsuit against Apple and Holtzbrinck Publishers, doing business as Macmillan, and The Penguin Publishing Co. Ltd., doing business as Penguin Group.'  The settlement reached with the other 3 publishers is expected to help them avoid the class action lawsuit.

WSJ article on Judge Cote's ruling
The Wall Street Journal's "Cheat Sheet" article by Saul Griffith today described the ruling as a "damning indictment of collusive practices between Apple and five major U.S. book publishers," and Griffith quotes the judge further:
"In short, Apple did not try to earn money off of eBooks by competing with other retailers in an open market; rather, Apple 'accomplished this goal by [helping] the suppliers to collude, rather than to compete independently.' "
WSJ's Griffith adds, in his article titled, "Outlook Turns Gloomy as Judge Slams Apple in E-Book Case" ['Gloomy' was changed from 'not good'] :
' The proceedings probably ignored Apple's more substantive (and hidden) agenda – to thwart the growing popularity of Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle tablet by depriving the company of the opportunity to sell low-priced e-book content through the legacy ‘wholesale’ book selling model it created and dominated, controlling over 90 percent of e-book sales before Apple jumped into the game. '

Apple Insider's Mikey Campbell quotes Steve Perman, lead counsel and managing partner of Hagens Berman, the law firm handling the class action suit:

  "We thought that Judge Cote’s ruling was spot on, especially when she noted that we’ve gone above and beyond in illustrating the legitimacy of our case ... We are eager to push forward with the case.”


The 56-page ruling in PDF format, available for download
Marketwatch points us to the 56-page ruling, available as part of a set of documents at hbsslaw.com.


Simple Timeline of events upon which the lawsuits are based
TIMELINE: Ebook Pricing Wars - what DOJ would have seen - March 12, 2012 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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(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: Front-lit Kindle said to be ready by July. Another tablet by the holidays. Possible Nook GlowLight light-layer fragility

The front-lit E-Ink Kindle reported by TechCrunch's Coldewey on April 8 as in development and seen by him is now reported to be coming in July.

At the time it was reported in early April, a front-lit Kindle seemed many moons away, but it could be that Barnes and Noble's release of its Nook GlowLight may have lit a fire under Amazon's development team, although I hope Amazon has found a way to avoid the lowered-screem contrast reported for the GlowLight.  Since that is difficult to avoid with a 2nd layer above the basic screen display, that'll depend on the technology used by Amazon.

A Reuter's report, written by Nivedita Bhattacharjee, states outright that
' Amazon.com Inc. will launch new versions of its Kindle e-reader and tablet, including a monochrome e-reader with front lighting, a source who has seen the prototype told Reuters.

The world's largest Internet retailer is aiming to have the new e-reader in stores in July, said the source, who has direct knowledge of the matter but asked not to be named because Amazon has not yet made the decision public. '

The source also said that Amazon "plans" to launch a new tablet "closer to the holiday season later this year" and it's "expected" to have a display of 8.9 inches, larger than the Kindle Fire but smaller than the iPad's 9.7."  The iPad 3 has the very high-resolution "Retina" display, and it wouldn't be expected that Amazon would match that, as it's costly and Amazon's Kindle Fire targeted audiences looking for a lower-cost tablet.  It would be a surprising change for Amazon to target Apple's iPad, which I think they've been careful not to do except to make it possible to view movies very nicely in the wider-screen 16:1 aspect while making Kindle books easier to read than had been expected on a 7" backlit LCD tablet.  But a tablet larger than the Kindle Fire but smaller than the iPad may be attractive to many who find the 10" too large but the 7" too small.

E-Ink Holdings' Chief Marketing Officer explained that they don't comment on their customers' launch plans.

The unnamed source adds that the new e-Ink e-readers would be launched in the touch 3G and touch WiFi versions and said that Amazon was likely to keep prices the same, maybe raising them slightly if at all.  Another analyst expected the added cost would be about $10, as "the component is not very expensive."  They tend to undercut the Nook prices when they can, though.

The source said there's very little chance of a color E-Ink reader being launched in 2012 despite talks held with E Ink, since no "concrete decisions" had been reached.

Another analyst quoted by Reuters saw the color e-paper product in a trade show in October and felt that it needed "a lot of technological improvements" before it would be used in a mass-produced product.

The earlier TechCrunch article pointed out that Amazon had bought a Oy Modilis, a company specializing in this technology, in late 2010 although this happened under the radar in that no one seems to have reported it, Coldewey said.  He added that he was told that this company is "the world leader in light-guide technology."  Since Amazon bought this company would it be exactly the same technology used in the Nook GlowLight?  Coldewey added, re the Kindle front-lit screen he saw briefly:
' [I] thought that the text looked better as well, but it’s possible that this was the result of improved font rendering and aliasing reduction, or perhaps something to do with the light...

... the whole point of purchasing the light-guide company was to get the team and their patents, which essentially laminate the light diffusion layer right onto the screen without adding much in the way of depth or interfering with the touch system.
  I was told the industrial design isn’t finished yet, but I ruled out things like ruggedness, waterproofing, or a flush-front screen — all things, by the way, I suggested they look into.
[Coldewey makes a good point there.  Gizmodo's Kyle Wagner, an e-Ink Nook fan, found that when he inadvertently dropped a remote control on the front-lit unit from about 6" above, the result was a "frightful little light tunnel" as well as scratches on the light layer.  Wagner's article is titled, "You Really Don’t Want to Drop the New Nook Simple Touch" but he is extremely apologetic for having dropped his remote control on it, leaving a "gash" and a "super distracting hole of light" like a "coffee stain on a page -- except it's on every page of every book you own."  Nevertheless, he felt the Nook is good and you shouldn't ruin "every one of your books with a single act of idiocy."

Then Nate Hoffelder of The Digital Reader referenced Gizmodo's article, titling his, "Here's why you shouldn't get the new Nooklit," which seemed too quick a judgment to some of his readers and he then tested his Nook GlowLight by dropping a set of keys from about 4 inches above it.  While the Gizmodo unit suffered only one light hole, Hoffelder's unit had 4 light holes.  Both writers have good images of the light layer damage, which is mostly not seen when the Glow light isn't used.

Another commenter wrote that he had returned his because the unevenness of the lighting seemed to make reading in low light conditions harder than it is with the backlit Nook Tablet.

Other commenters said people should use cases, but most don't use a case to cover the screen while reading.  It does make me wonder how Amazon will get around these problems.

Hoffelder then decided to try the key drop, this time from 6 to 7 inches above, on an Asus Transformer, a Samsung Galaxy Tab, a Kindle DX, an Innosoul Android tablet, and the Kindle Touch.  None of these showed any damage, he reported.

As I said on that thread though, the damage described in Gizmodo’s overapologetic report is to the light layer and not to the basic layer underneath that displays text and images.  The damage reported is to the top layer only, but that can cause the light to be unusable.]
It shouldn’t be any thicker, though it will have to accommodate the LED circuitry and presumably a larger battery.'

B&N claims two months of reading on the non-lit Nook Touch on one battery charge if reading only 1/2 a day on average.  But for the lit unit, it's one month at that daily reading rate, so the battery runs out twice as fast under those conditions.  That'll likely be the same for the new lit Kindle.

Photo credit and disclaimer:
TechCrunch's image at the top, left, is, they explain, just a concept image from Flex Lighting
and not a real device.





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.

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(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!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday's Kindle Daily Deal is the Gold Box deal: 20 novels made into films. 99c each.  Also, huge discounts on many popular books are highlighted in alerts from the forums

Sunday's Kindle Deal: "20 great novels that inspired movies" are $0.99 each on Kindle for the rest of this Sunday.

The usual Kindle Daily Deal link for Sunday takes you then to today's Gold Box Daily Deal.  It also serves to make more people aware of the daily Gold Box deal, I imagine.


Also, this is a reminder that's posted every few weeks for those new and olde to this site because there are many new visitors each day here who've never seen some of the subsets of free or bargain books available for searching and who wouldn't know about the several ongoing Amazon Kindle deals.



A SLEW OF RECENT HUGE DISCOUNTS on Kindle book (some or most, temporarily, as promos), at kdisc0513:

There is an unusual number of highly-regarded books normally priced at $8 to $12 showing up at a price of $0.99 over the last few days.

I checked just now and saw that the ones I clicked on, which were announced starting May 8, are still being sold at the lower rate.  I'm calling attention to those today.

My link above will start you from May 8th, in a huge thread that started eons ago, but you can of course go backwards in the thread, and Amazon will keep track of the last page you read in that message thread.



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
April 2012  May 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



Free Kindle Books Guide
One of the most visited pages on this blog is the general Free Kindle 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 145,000 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.


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?


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

  Help from other customers 24/7
  Also, if you need especially fast response to a problem you're having, 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.  You can use Menu/Article Mode for eInk readers or use Reading View (eyeglasses icon) with Kindle Fire to see these in readable format.
  Thanks for visiting, either here, or via the Kindle edition, and for the helpful comments I get to blog items or in email.




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

  *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, May 11, 2012

How to read DRM'd ePub books on the Kindle Fire. Amazon makes it doable.


Amazon makes it possible but doesn't make it ultra-easy

The two most popular ePub readers for Android are not made available for the Kindle Fire, as Amazon concentrates on its own books but, as with about 3 million free books available these days for reading on the Kindle and which Amazon points us to on their own pages (re Project Gutenberg, Internet Archive, etc., all explained at this blog's Free Kindle Books guide), Amazon doesn't limit your ability to download non-Amazon books (despite the myths propagated by those who may just wish it were so).

With Amazon's new KF8 (Kindle Format using HTML 5) capabilities, there is less reason to go out of one's way to get an ePub version of a book for layouat reasons, but there will always be certain ePub books that Amazon doesn't have, and now those, even if using Adobe DRM, can be read on a Kindle device - the Kindle Fire.

It's an Android-based device, and there are Android apps written to read ePub files and, further more, ADOBE-DRM'd ePub files.

The two most commonly recommended ones are Aldiko and Mantano. You can download the Aldiko app from Aldiko, and there are a number of mostly-reliable places that offer app downloads (LEN EDGERLY recommended one of my favorites, slideme.org, for the Mantano app -- you also need to sign up with slideme.org and download its store app to get its apps).

  Off Topic - but something you should know about.  See Len's The Kindle Chronicles, which is now being offered as a Kindle-edition blog subscription too, so you can read it offline, as Len is adding lengthier written pieces as well as his ultra-informative weekly podcasts and summaries.  Tonight's will be an interview with James McQuivey, of Forrester Research, whose interview is likely going to be an antidote to the The Sky is Falling columns by news-site publishers lately, who only a week before had reams of stories on how Amazon is becoming a scary monopoly which must be stopped!
    Kindle sales were down 1st quarter after a huge Christmas with the new launches and as the iPad 3 was being released.   I'm surprised people didn't expect the usual post-season lower sales.  This will be true with any product.  But McQuivey has a good handle on the e-reader scene, so I look forward to what he says and there's a lot more that's happening with e-readers and tablets.  [ Ending Off-Topic]


A DEFAULT SETTING ON THE KINDLE FIRE MUST BE SET TO 'ON' RATHER THAN 'OFF' for installing Non-Amazon apps.
  So,  BEFORE you install any of these ePub readers, you need to change a default setting on your Kindle Fire "Device" option, to "Allow Installation of Applications from Unknown Sources" - then select the "ON" status and confirm, for the pop-up advisory, that you do want to install apps from unknown sources.  Here are the steps:
  • Lightly tap gear/wheel icon on top right of Kindle Fire
  • Click on "+ or More"
  • Scroll down below "Kindle Keyboard" to get to "Device"
  • Scroll down to "Allow Installation of Applications from Unknown Sources" and change the setting from "OFF" to "ON"
  • Tell the pop-up Yes, you want to allow this
  • Then use the Kindle Fire's web browser to download the file and install it the way you'd install any other app that's downloadable to the device.
  You can always turn this setting Off again after getting a file, so that you can confirm you want to do this each time you decide you want to try an app not available at the Amazon Android Appstore.

REMINDER that you need to use  CAUTION with FILE DOWNLOADS, on computers, tablets, and phones.
 
  The option to install an app from "an unknown source" is an everyday Android system feature and is one reason Android is considered more 'open' than Apple, but also, the device owner takes responsibility for knowing that an app could be quite buggy, might not be that compatible with your device, or may even may have malware.

   We all know about the latter with our normal computer downloads from file-download sites.   NOTE that Barnes and Noble decided not to allow this 'unknown sources' feature on its Nook Tablet.  With B&N's tablet, you can install only Nookstore apps (a relatively limited set), which is one reason people rush to root it if they can, as it's the only way to take advantage of the regular Android market apps, and it usually needs to be done with each new software update.

WHY USERS LOOK FOR ALTERNATIVE APPS
  One example:  many of us have used something called Dolphin web browser instead of Amazon's "Silk" default web browser because it allows full-screen view and was more likely to access with fewer problems some television series videos usinsg Flash.
    Recently Amazon added not only the full-screen toggle but added a *really useful and effective* "Reading View" to separate a web article from ads and side-columns surrounding it, and it's beautifully implemented and extremely readable on a small unit.

  As a result, many of us have gone back to the Silk browser (even if we turn OFF "Acceleration" because some of us find our own preferred website locations load faster with that off).  
  Despite a column by CNet's Ed Rhee that Acceleration must be turned on for this to work, thats not true.

  Once the browser identifies an article as the main body of a web page, it'll display a reading-glasses icon at the bottom status line near the Bookmarks icon, although it can take awhile to 'decide' this.
  Just lightly press that to get it going.  Rhee has on that page, though, a good illustration of what a regular web page looks like vs the Reading View of it.

  I do miss this Reading View function when in other web browsers now and haven't seen anything else like this for web browsing on any other small device.  Kudos to Amazon programmers.


"VETTING" OF ANDROID APPS
  At any rate, Amazon Kindle Fire users have the ability to try apps from other sources, in case they have features that our current app doesn't.  But if they're not in the Amazon store, it means they haven't gone through or passed Amazon's vetting system for its Android appstore. 
  Just before Christmas, I pointed out the following, quoted from a LinuxInsider story,  and it's explains why Amazon can take so long to approve apps and why some may not be approved for the Kindle Fire:
  "LinuxInsider has a story on Dec 20 titled, "Can Amazon Save Android from Malware Hell?"  They point out:
' Simply put, Amazon tests apps to death before letting them into its app store.  Every app submitted undergoes tests for various aspects of its performance.  There are linking tests, stability and functionality tests, tests on content issues and tests on security issues.

Each aspect is tested in several ways.  For example, stability and functionality tests look to see whether an app opens within 15 seconds; whether it is compliant with the major carriers' networks; whether it freezes, has forced closings or exhibits other forms of instability; and how it reacts to phone calls, text messages, and alarms.  

Content issue tests look for missing content, unreadable text and incorrect graphics.   They also ensure the app complies with Amazon's content guidelines on offensive content, copyright infringement, illegal activities and other issues.

Security tests include making sure the app doesn't store passwords without the user's content, doesn't collect data and send it to unknown servers, and doesn't harm existing content on the device. '
Reminder:  Even with Google's official Android Market (now called Google Play), Google was hit with malware a few times.  I tend to let a newly offered file or file update sit for a few days, at least, anywhere, to make sure it doesn't give other people problems, before I download it.


HAVING SAID ALL THAT...
We finally get to Aldiko and Mantano.  Aldiko used to be the one most mentioned, as it may have been more intuitive at first and has good email-attachment handling for downloading of ebooks, but Mantano has features like annotations and bookmarks that for some reason Aldiko doesn't, and that makes a huge difference for most people.   Lynne Connolly at Nate Hoffelder's The Digital Reader added the following to Nate's interesting column on Aldiko:
' I uninstalled Aldiko because it doesn’t have highlighting, note-taking or bookmarking, and because it doesn’t render text properly – no italics! You can tell it to go to publisher defaults but then the fonts are horrible and it will only scroll, not flip.

I’m with you on Cool Reader. I really like it and it’s my second favorite on Android. proper rendering, nice note taking.

My first is Mantano. Note-taking, add your own fonts, proper rendering, italics and all, and the library function is fantastic. You can have your own Collections, like on the Kindle, and there are several views. Mantano is now available in a free version, ad supported, but they’re only on the home page, not in the books. '
Cool Reader is giving Mantano a run for its money though.  At Mobileread.com forums, I saw this by jjansen:
' I did quite like Aldiko until I tried Mantano.  Mantano is my favourite so far in terms of finding a book to read. I can list books by genre, tags and something that Aldiko doesn't do - by Series. I really liked scrolling through the list of series and then saying Yes I would like to read a book in the Alex Cross series for example. For now I anticipate having both Mantano and Cool Reader installed with Cool Reader being the program that I use the most often. '
Cool Reader doesn't handle Adobe DRM though! and doesn't read PDFs, while Mantano is said to do a good job with PDFs, but I've liked ezPDF for PDFs, and it's available at Amazon.  Have not looked at it extensively for relative effectiveness of formatting, however.
   The ability of Mantano to do Collections has to be a deal maker though when it goes with annotations and bookmarks as well.  All three of these ePub readers have text to speech.  Scrolling is said to be very good on Cool Reader and it has page-turning animations, a popular feature.  It reads DOC, RTF, TXT also.

  You may have to "sideload" this app - meaning move it from your computer to the Kindle Fire.   Here's a download site that carries Cool Reader app file but even better here's the author's info page with links to downloads (which seem to be to a computer in a zip file).



"SIDELOADING" APP FILES IF NECESSARY For apps not directly downloadable to the Kindle Fire for some reason, see "How to Sideload non-Amazon Apps" when necessary.




Current Kindle Models for reference, plus free-ebook search links.
NOTES on newer Kindles.
US:
Updated Kindle Fire Basic  7" tablet - $159
Kindle Fire HD 7" 16/32GB - $199/$249
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 16/32GB - $299/$369
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 4G 32/64GB - $499/$599
Kindle NoTouch ("Kindle") - $69/$89
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi - $119/$139
Kindle Paperwhite, 3G - $179/$199
Kindle Keybd 3G - $139/$159, Free but slow web
Kindle DX - $379 $299, Free, slow web
UK:
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - £69
Kindle Touch WiFi, UK - £109
Kindle Keyboard 3G, UK - £149
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi
£109
Kindle Paperwhite 3G, UK
£169
OTHER International
Kindle NoTouch Basic - $89
Kindle Touch WiFi - $139
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB

France
Boutique Kindle
Deutschland - Kindle Store
Italia - Kindle Store
Spain - Kindle Store

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!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Kindle News: All Harry Potter eBooks coming to Kindle Owners' Lending Library; E-Ink Color Kindle E-Readers may launch 2nd Half of 2012; Wi-Drive gets web-browser update; 3 Solitaire programs in one set, by 7 Dragons, for Kindle Fire

Kindle Owner's Lending Library will carry all 7 Harry Potter eBooks.

  The Potter eBooks had already been part of an exclusive worldwide e-book and digital audiobook distribution agreement with Overdrive for public and school libraries.

  However, waiting lists at libraries are notoriously long, and books are due within 2 weeks in some.  So, the PRIME Kindle Lending Library will be a boon for many.
  There are no waiting lists and no due dates.

  Remember that you can borrow only one Kindle book per calendar month though.  For more info on the PRIME lending program, which now includes 145,000 books, "including over 100 current and former New York Times Best Sellers," see:

  Prime's Lending Library:
    Rules;
    Borrowing;
    How to Browse List

  Remember that you can borrow an e-book ONLY on a Kindle Device and NOT via a web page on a computer.

 Amazon purchased an exclusive license from Pottermore to make these titles available on the Kindle Owners Lending program.

  PRIME was originally created to offer Free Shipping of Amazon products in two days, for $79/yr, or essentially, $6.58/mo.

  It now includes unlimited free streaming of over 17,000 movies and TV episodes.   Jeff Bezos, Amazon's CEO, pointed out that "Over a year, borrowing the Harry Potter books, plus a handful of additional titles, can alone be worth more than the $79 cost of Prime or a Kindle. "

As with Kindle books, your annotations and bookmarks will be saved for you (unless you don't want them backed up) in case you want to borrow the book again or buy it later.


Color E-Ink Kindles due in 2nd Half of 2012?
Forbes points to Digitimes' article today that Amazon is 'likely' to launch these sometime during the 2nd half of this year.
  However, this is very SOFT info, since with E Ink Holdings's plans to unveil "color EPD products" soon, according to company chairman Scott Liu, "sources" describe the products as "likely" to be adopted by Amazon.  NOT exactly firm rumors.

  They mention "makers in the supply chain to begin shipping related parts and components in May" -- to whom?  They don't say and it would probably be to E Ink holdings, whose first quarter was below expectations.

  Digitimes highlights two item, which I forgot to insert while linking to their article:
' Amazon's new color e-book readers will be built with multi-touch capacitive touch panels instead of infrared touch panels used in the previous mono-color e-book readers, the sources noted.
...
Touch panel maker TPK Holding reportedly has landed touch module orders for Amazon's color e-book readers, the sources added. '

Wi-Drive Update
The Wi-Drive is a small flash drive that stores files and allows streaming of media (video, text) to up to three devices at one time and I've used one with the Kindle Fire since January.   See the article from January 24.  I have two, and one is always in my purse, as it's smaller than a cell phone.  The Wi-Drive app update announced today enables web browser support for the WiDrive.

  While they've been available in 16 GB and 32 GB versions, Kingston is now adding a 64 GB model though I don't see it shown at Amazon yet.

  The Wi-Drive app update is available at Google Play's app store.  The Kindle Fire Wi-Drive app doesn't show an update ready yet though, but it shouldn't be long.  I received an update for my Samsung devices, but Amazon's vetting processes for its Android apps always take longer.


New Solitaire, Mahjong Solitaire, Spider Solitaire app for Kindle Fire
7 Dragons, the popular creator of Kindle E-Reader and Kindle Fire apps has just released a new app for Kindle Fire -- a combination of several Solitaire games released in just one app, for $1 as a launch sale, as the permanent price will be $3 later.

  This won't work on other Android tablets, and is available only for the Kindle Fire.   It was released May 8, and there are two reviews so far, both verified Amazon purchases, with 5 stars each.

Optimized for the 7" tablet, it's very customizable, has Autosave, unlimited Undo, and hints plus optional background music.  There are 19 levels from "easy" to "very challenging."




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, May 8, 2012

Kindle Tips: Kindle E-Ink and Kindle Fire - most reliable Gmail mode



I've noticed that E-Ink-Ereader and Kindle Fire owners have reported problems accessing Gmail lately. One aspect is that few settle for "mobile" version on the larger mobile devices and choose 'desktop' mode. I'm one of them.

The one mode that always works for me on either the Kindle Touch or the Kindle Fire, though, is GMail's "Basic Html" mode, which is simpler and faster to load than the "Standard" mode, the latter being the default mode and causing problems for some larger mobile devices.

While GMail apps can work well for some, they are missing features that some depend on in GMail, and as a result some choose the browser version instead and, as I mentioned, Desktop mode.  If you prefer to use a browser version (I do), I have a shortcut that makes sure the Kindle Touch or the Kindle Fire get to the "Basic HTML" version of GMail.

That's http://bit.ly/gmailbasichtml.

The shortcut uses no dashes, so it's easier to type.  After you get to the GMail page in basic-html mode, then you can bookmark it so you don't have to type it again.

The Kindle Touch will show the listing of emails.  To get the folders, see the lined rectangle at top left of that page.  The rectangle represents these days a "Menu" option, and that'll bring up the folders.

Let me know if you have any problems with these.


KEYBOARD Kindles respond differently though.
For older models like Kindle 2, 3, DX, use:
    bit.ly/g_mail (That's an underscore there rather than a space, and the 'http://' is not needed with Kindles, as the Kindle adds it.)
  (Kindle 1 is just entirely too slow and has no direct-screen-link access for gmail.)

In the mobiweb.azw weblinks 'book' file that I've had for download for a long time for older E-Ink Kindles, you can just click on the links instead of going to Experimental browser where you type in links.  The "preferred" GMail shortcut in that mobiweb 'book' file for the older e-Ink devices is the bit.ly/g_mail one (with an underscore rather than a space) mentioned as an alternative.

The Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire models will be less problematical with the various GMail versions.   The mobiweb.azw file mentioned also uses good 'umbrella'-menu sites (such as Cantoni, Kinstant, ReadingTheNet, and Skweezer) which hold categories of links that are better to use when on a slow e-Ink device.

Hope that helps some !




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!

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