Thursday, June 28, 2012

Kindle News; Kindle Fire 3? in 10" form also coming? Boy Genius thinks so.

Boy Genius Reports says Amazon IS readying the launch of its 10-inch tablet also.

Boy Genius Reports' Zach Epstein reports today that they've "confirmed that Amazon is indeed finally readying the launch of its 10-inch tablet."

They remind us of the "Hollywood"-tagged tablet that they "exclusively reported" last May and which is powered by a quad-core processor, and they say that "...a trusted source tells us that Amazon is finally ready to move forward with the tablet.

Epstein adds that their source, "who has handled both tablet models" told them that the build quality of both new Kindle Fire tablets "has been vastly improved. Epstein writes:
' Our source says that the new models feature a metal casing in place of the current-generation model’s soft-touch plastic body.  The back of the devices are said to include a chrome-look “rib” that adds contrast against the black matte finish, and the feature reportedly improves the feel of the tablets and the appearance as well.  This area of the new Kindle Fire models also houses the tablets’ speakers, we’re told. '

Well, so far, this description of appearance of it, even if more solid, does nothing for me, because my Kindle Fire has been solid, and light, relatively speaking.  Epstein concludes:
' The overall shape of Amazon’s new slates is described as a thinner version of the first-generation iPad but there are no buttons on the front of either device.   The 10-inch model includes a front-facing camera according to our source, and both new Kindle Fire models include a microUSB port and one additional jack that our source speculates may be an HDMI-out port. '

NO WORD of an SD card slot. So far, their trusted source is leaking that something well made and nice looking will be ready but is telling us too little of what most consumers want to know.


In the meantime, see Boy Genius's report to see the portions I didn't mention.

Thanks to KindleToday for the tweeted alert to TechCrunch's alert to BGR's article.




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


  *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!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Kindle-related News: Google officially announces Nexus 7" tablet. The upshot? - Update

The Google Nexus 7" tablet is officially announced.

As I wrote in the last blog entry, Google's Nexus, made by Asus, has been "due out any day" and they finally officially announced it today.  It's obviously meant to be a Kindle Fire competitor.  Coming almost a year later than the Kindle Fire, it has the latest features of course.

Like the 2011-Economy model Kindle Fire though, the $199 price gives you 8 gigs of storage and No SD card slot, the latter omission a surprise to many.

  Many of us use the cell-phone sized Wi-Drive for external portable storage with the Kindle Fire (and even with the iPad), and it streams files simultaneously to up to 3 devices and works very well.

A 16-gig Google Nexus tablet will cost $249.  It won't have an SD card slot either though.  Note that the Nook Tablet does.

An 8-gig tablet will no longer do it, although it barely did before, and the new Android games that are popular can use up most of the app storage space.  So, 16 gigs is the minimum, and the Kindle Fire 2 too will also have to offer that and should have before.

  But the Nexus has definite advantages over the current Kindle Fire (although as reported today, a 'credible source' told CNET that Amazon is due to announce a 2nd Kindle Fire model on or about July 31).

The more noteworthy specs
Engadget's Jon Fingas reports that, as the creator of the operating system, Google has "the first and currently only tablet shipping with Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean), which has optimization for smaller tablet screens, magazines and movies."

"What we get for the money: that quad-core Tegra 3, 1.2-megapixel front camera, NFC and 1280 x 800, IPS-based LCD are traits we'd normally look for in a pricier tablet.  How much pricier, you ask?  Google is asking just $199 for a dainty 8GB model and $249 for a 16GB version -- that's a lot of speed for the money, especially with a $25 Google Play credit and a slew of bundled content.  There's no SD card slot, however" [as mentioned above because it's such a disappointment to many].

So, that is a FAST 7" tablet.  Now, many of us wait to see what Amazon might be smart enough to offer because they need to offer something more substantial this year.

  While the first Kindle Fire work was outsourced, this one has been rumored to be Amazon's own to manage or mangle, so it'll be interesting to see.   I already have what is considered one of the best two Android 10" tablets out there (Samsung's, in my case), and I do love to use it, but it's still the Kindle Fire that I pick up everyday to use at home and to take out with me, so there is something about it that works for me and, it seems, for many others.

   Despite my previous computer background, my everyday needs are fairly simple.  I just want to read, browse the web, and listen to some music and not infrequently watch a TV series program that I missed on my TV and which my OnDemand cable doesn't offer.  That's easily done.

  GAME players will run out of space faster however, and people who are app-happy and want to have them all available, rather than store most of them on the cloud until actually using them, just need more storage space.  I mainly wish Amazon had added more internal storage space and an SD card slot for the usual storage expansion capability.

  The new Kindle Fire coming (and we know it is, because of all the activity in Europe, and leaks to CNET are for a purpose).

  At this point the Kindle Fire 2 needs to have a 1280px long-side display though I've been happy with the 1024 x 600, but this gadget game is about ever-increasing best specs and now iPad's 'Retina' has set higher expectations (and higher storage needs for iPad owners), although with smaller screens the current displays for KFire and Nook Tablet still look very good, which surprised a friend of mine who uses an iPad 3.

Here's Engadget's Google I/O 2012 event-details page for those more interested in this.

The Bits blog at the New York Times, by Brian X Chen (didn't he work for Wired?) adds that the v4.1 Jelly Bean Android system "will have smoother animation and the ability to transcribe speech into text, according to Google."

TNW (The Next Web) has a good events page too.

  They mention that the new OS version has a predictive keyboard, and Google Voice Search (which I have on my Samsung Galaxy S2 smart phone and it's really amazingly accurate and understands my mumbling somehow).

  As someone more interested in privacy of movements, I'm not that keen on the "google Now" feature, since they explain that it "figures out where you commute to work and...gives you a faster route if there is a lot of traffic. When you're at a public transit stop, Google Now tells you when the next one arrives."  Others will find that a neat thing and very helpful.   I'd prefer Google not always 'know' where I am (it reminds me of sci fi stories and seems to give larger entities a bit more control over the crowd, at least our buying and going habits), and, besides, enabling the GPS feature can really drain the battery, so I leave mine off.
  My phone lasts a long time and that's more important to me, to say the least.  I like that I can turn ON GPS and get traffic info and directions when I want, though.

The movie partners for the Google app store (called Google Play -- formerly known as "The Market" or "The marketplace") includes "Disney, Bravo, NBCUniversal and more."  They'll of course be paid features. Google's store used to offer video only rentals but will now offer complete purchases (movie and tv) and magazines.

That should give you enough information.  It will ship in mid-July and people can order now.  I'll wait for the Kindle Fire announcements though, as I am actually still enjoying my KFire without having to spend more money yet.  If Amazon offers something substantailly better, I may spring for it.

Right now a faster, maybe visibly sharper-display tablet with no SD card slot is not that attractive to me yet, and the $199 version still has only 8 gigs of storage space, which is really odd and false economy for something so forward-looking otherwise.

 I'll say one thing, if anyone decides to buy it, get the 16-gig model rather than the 8-gig one, as in no way with game apps today will you want to spend another $200 on the latest device ("saving" $50) to be limited to forever watching how much space you have for apps and data and wondering what to do about it, moving things back and forth.  That would be false savings and no fun.

An important consideration (Update)
In the meantime, think about any contacts you've ever tried to reach in email or on the phone with Google customer support for any reason.  I am pretty sure this will come to be a very important factor in all this.  Have they ramped up a team to handle this? They tend to leave forum-help to volunteers and work behind the scenes developing a lot of useful programs. So, this will be something to watch.

Also, current Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet users should actually go handle a full Android device first, with its entirely different user interface, to know what that's like, but I read that Google has made the Nexus interface considerably more easily navigable than you'll see on generic Android tablets.




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!

Kindle News: Kindle Fire 2 and lighted Kindle Touch may be announced 7/31, per CNet's Carnoy

CNET's David Carnoy cites "a credible source" who has told CNET that Amazon will unveil a 2nd generation Kindle Fire this summer

The source also said, Carnoy reports, that Amazon is targeting July 31 for a launch event.

  This is being told CNET while headlines have a rumored $200 Google Nexus 7" tablet (made by Asus) with Google's latest Android operating system of course (v4.1 "Jelly Bean"), due out any day, which I don't think is coincidental.

  I haven't considered Google's tablet a threat to Amazon because of Google's non-reputation for direct customer support, while customer service is a huge strength of Amazon.

  But Google's Nexus tablet will also have, per specs leaked online, "a 1.3Ghz quad-core Tegra 3 processor, a GeForce 12-core graphics processor, front-facing camera, and 1GB of RAM.  The IPS (in-plane switching) display will offer a 178-degree viewing angle with a resolution of 1,280x800 pixels.  The entry-level 8GB model will reportedly retail for $199."

Carnoy says they can't confirm the Amazon launch date of course.  Then he cites DigiTimes's recent article quoted by one and all (despite what Carnoy rightly calls a reputation for being 'pretty spotty on the rumor front' and which I said had about 60% accuracy in their past predictions) that was ultra vague about sourcing but expected a tablet with a higher resolution, 1280 by 800 pixel display "at the beginning of the third quarter."  That would be July, which I said was too early for any to be ready.

CNET's sources didn't mention a higher resolution display but "did say that the new tablet would have a camera and physical volume-control buttons."   Also not mentioned:  Bluetooth capability,  processor type, memory, expansion capabilities or Amazon's rumored ad-supported Kindle Fire Special Offers version.
  Skype capability would be welcomed by many.

With all the current Amazon activity overseas, including requests that app developers from other countries submit Android apps for Amazon's Appstore, it's no surprise that a new Kindle Fire would be likely by Fall.  Digital rights contracts overseas have been mentioned lately too (finally).  If the launch IS July 31, they would likely not deliver until late August or September the way these things go.

  The current Kindle Fire is expected to be kept, with a price reduction to $150 for those who don't need one with more features.

E-Ink Kindle with built-in front lighting
  B&N's Glowlight has lit a fire under Amazon's development group too, but Amazon did buy technology for this (also leaked at an opportune time - just before B&N's announcement) and have been working on it.

  Also, a front-lit e-reader is required by the State Dept's coming Mobile Learning Initiative project, in its negotiations with Amazon for a no-bid contract, currently stalled by the National Federation for the Blind.

  This model should really be due even sooner, I'd think.  Any concerns Amazon development team have about lessened contrast would be alleviated by the fact that this has been true for the Nook Glowlight, and people who buy them don't care that much although reviewers mention it and hope that the fonts can be darkened later.

But there is very strong competitive pressure to release both an updated Kindle Fire and an E-Ink type reader with built-in 'front' lighting, which needs to be under a 2nd, higher layer, as E-Ink devices can't be backlit -- or, to at least announce them.

Controlled leaks will come when it's more crucial to deal with the competition than to worry about customers waiting on future models before buying a current one.  While there is always a 30-day full refund policy on Kindles, a July 31 launch indicates a late August delivery or later.

   When the last set of Kindles was announced (Sept. 28 last year), the Kindle Fire delivery date was November 15, which would make the updated Kindle Fire delivery date probably more like Sept. 15, close to when Fall school sessions begin.  But I have a hunch that Amazon will try for an earlier date.




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, June 26, 2012

Kindle News: Amazon's Best Books of 2012 (Top 20 w/ discounts), More on Flipboard and Android


Amazon's "Best Books of the Year So Far: 2012 Editors' Picks

Amazon has up to 40% off on their Top 20 picks in this listing.
  Here's the page for the "Best" Editors' Picks.


Flipbook app and some problems encountered when developing apps for Android, causing longer development time for some.

On June 22, we got the news that the Flipboard app was available on the Kindle Fire, and the touted features and accolades were listed on the blog article here.  I've seen a couple of interesting articles on this since writing that intro.

  This one from TechCrunch's Kim-Mai-Cutler explains the many mentions in news articles about the "fragmentation" issue with Android devices.

  The image at the right, from TechCrunch, is by animoca, a Hong Kong mobile app developer with more than 70 million downloads, and it's a good example of how "one picture is worth 10,000 words"  [see origins of that phrase for a surprise].

When developing an app for the one iPad tablet size and maybe an iPhone and iPod touch, developers can focus and, no doubt, complete their job in much less time, it's said, than developing one that will work on about 400 different phones and tablets for each app shipped.
  That bolded line was from the article and from me.

  The photo illustrating this was taken by the CEO of Animoca's parent company Outblaze (he shot and posted it the day of the article), and it's "just a sampling of Animoca's fleet of Android test units," as their studio "has detected about 600 unique Android devices on their network."  Many have already disappeared from the market.

  As the Asian market is pumping out new Android devices faster than it takes Nokia staff "to polish a PowerPoint presentation," developers who want to break into the lucrative Asian markets need to make sure that their apps work "on every single Android device," which means it'd be good to check their work on all these.   Since Animoca is backed by Intel Cap[ital and IDG-Accel, it has the resources.

  The reality is daunting enough that an Appcelerator "survey of 2,100 of its developer clients in March"... "found that, if anything, interest in Android development is stagnating.  Nevertheless Outblaze's CEO, Yat Siu, finds that Android users are more grateful or "delighted" than iOS users when they find apps that work even if there are a couple of glitches.  With the heavy testing by Outblaze and Animoco, many expect they'd have a happier user group than those with lighter Quality Assurance methodology, .

As for Android's ability to get developer time for Android devices vs Apple's iOS,  Marco aRMENT of Marco.org  quotes Android OS maker Google's Eric Schmidt: "...ultimately applications vendors are driven by volume, and the volume is favored by the open approach that Google is taking."

If you go to the TechCrunch article, there are added photos and descriptions of wall shelves and safes for Quality Assurance testing, this time by Pocket Gems, who "had two of the 10 top-grossing games on iOS last year."

Commenters' thoughts at the news site
The site's audience commenters go on about simpler ways to test (and we've seen the results of some of that too), but some point out that there is a difference between developing for Android and doing Quality Assurance.  There is also customer dissatisfaction in app reviews about things that don't work for this or that Android model in customer reviews.

  One commenter says he's an experienced Android developer and fragmentation's no problem for him, his apps work on just about everything and he tests on only two devices.  Google has support for all kinds of different hardware, and the apps can run "in cars, on tv's, on tablets, etc., and he considers it all a 'feature."

  I think games developers will do more hardware specific programming though, in some cases, and sometimes these are not ready for this or that Android device yet and we hear  "we're working on it."

 Whatever the reasons, I'm still waiting for HuluPlus for the Samsung Galaxy 10.1" tablet while it has been ready for my Kindle Fire for a long time and only recently came to my Samsung Galaxy S2 phone.

Well, THAT was off the topic of Flipboard, wasn't it.  I hope others find this kind of side article somewhat interesting though.

Flipboard
TechCrunch's Sarah Perez writes that Flipboard only recently added NPR and Public Radio audio content,  which can be background-enabled.

Perez's article on the launch reports that Flipboard CEO Mike McCue told her they saw over a million downloads of the app during its beta and it took longer to release because, unlike with Apple's iOS, developers  can "target a very specific screen size, a very specific processor" and that makes it "quite a bit easier.
  "On Android, to really build a high-quality application that works across a range of devices, you have to spend a lot of time optimizing…that’s why we did the beta.”  Actually, it seems strange to me he had to explain that.  There are times I've wished Amazon had done a wide beta.

 They integrated Flipboard with You Tube in that you can watch, Favorite, bookmark and comment on videos within Flipboard, and those changes sync with the YouTube website itself. You can also follow users and the channels you subscribe to."

  Well, that would be more necessary with Apple's devices since they don't acknowledge Flash and depend on apps to do this, but many of us already do these things on our tablet browsers.

  I've enjoyed Flipboard for its surprises...Am never quite sure what they're going to show me, but I haven't customized it to my own favorite reads yet and am just seeing what else they have to show.

It's very fast on all my devices.  I can't say it's as intuitive as Pulse, but it's oddly engaging for me, maybe because it feels more random vs "Here's this row and this image and story from this magazine..."

What IS Flipboard?
A commenter to the last article writes, to the gratitude of a couple of people, a simple descriptive statement that many have wanted to see:
' Flipboard is a social-network aggregation, magazine-format application software for Android and iOS.  It collects the content of social media and other websites. '

  In other words, it does what you'd expect from an online magazine but encourages interaction with other users on social networks in that reading.  Some will find that appealing, and some will just want to be left alone to their quiet time.  I haven't felt much need to 'share' anything I'm reading (except here), but sometimes it happens.

  One commenter finds Flipboard really annoying and far prefers the more linear Pulse experience.  Another says he was a big-time Pulse user, to follow his favorite feeds, but says that since Flipboard, he's hardly ever opened Pulse.

  The latter also points out that Flipboard allows you to 'push' articles (to your device) to read later, offline, with Flipboard's Chrome extension (with no worry about expiration times) and that's a draw.

  Another commenter suggests an "Anti-Flipboard" solution, using TextOnly Browser for Android, reducing data usage by 80-90% and displaying content much faster even on slow 2G connections.  (This would be like using an e-Ink Kindle's mobile-pages access, but faster.)   Some actually do care mainly about the words when skimming tons of news with little time.

  For other mobile devices he mentions an alternative app, "TextOnly" -- which looks like 1985 but it's of course fast if that's the main concern when in an area with poor cellphone or weak WiFi reception, I suppose.

Personally, I've been enjoying FlipBoard but I don't actually know why.  Pulse is great but I think it's like anything else -- sometimes you like a bit of variety and something new, and what I've read on it so far has been interesting too.  I think it's about choice and could be dependent on mood. 

If you've a reaction you'd like to share, I'd love to read it.


Flipboard's deal with The New York Times
Nate Hoffelder tweeted the article by Mathew Ingram yesterday at gigaom, that the Wall St. Journal and Pulse have formed a partnership to distribute that newspaper's content through its app.  This will be through paid subscriptions.
  Flipboard has partnered with The New York Times, and the arrangement there is that current NY Times subscribers (paper or digital format) will get full access to the NY Times's full content through Flipboard's mobile and tablet apps, while non-subscribers will be able to see just the top 10 stories and be offered subscriptions.

 While Flipboard is described as more'advertising-based' this deal with The NYT is still subscription based, as far as I can see, with advertising added.  While Pulse would share subscription revenue with the WSJ, Flipboard's deal won't include subscription revenue sharing. but the NYT can sell advertisers "full screen ads that appear between its Flipboard pages," and Flipboard would share in the revenue from the ads.  Does not sound to me like the greatest thing for current digital subscribers.

The NYT has not distributed "the full range" of the newspaper's content through a 3rd-party service before (crossword puzzles, I suppose, as well as videos, slide shows, and NYT blog posts).  A NYT survey of its subscribers found that 20 percent read web content through 3rd party apps like Flipboard, according to Laura Hazard Owen of paidContent.  As Ingram writes, the NYT will be experimenting "with mobile ads and different forms of monetization if it wants to by modifying the way the paywall works.

  I don't know what that means about the amount of ads an existing paid NYT subscriber might see but I guess they mean that the NYT could lower the subscription price for apps users if advertising works for them, since mobile users are said to be much more likely to click on ads.  I wouldn't want to pay full subscription price and see additional ads.




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


  *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, June 23, 2012

Kindle News: US Judge sets June 3, 2013 trial date for DOJ's Apple & Big2 e-book lawsuit...Apple fined in Australia for misleading claims...Apple to pay Samsung damages in the Netherlands for patent issue...Amazon's expanded music service next month, w/ Europe included soonafter.

US District Judge Denise Cote sets June 3, 2013 for a bench trial for Apple and the remaining two e-book publishers in DOJ e-book pricing lawsuit.

The two e-book publishers are Macmillan and Penguin Group.  The other three publishers (HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster and Hachette Book Group) settled the case with the U.S. Justice Department and are "on track to submit a settlement proposal to the judge by the end of the summer to resolve claims by a group of U.S. states" according to the Reuters report, based on statements by lawyers for the book companies and the states on Friday.

The Connecticut assistant Attorney General, Gary Becker, is "confident" they'll get "all 50 states and six territories and commonwealths to sign on" to the settlement.

More info on Apple's request to rush the lawsuit - first reported yesterday
The Arizona Daily Star's AP story yesterday included more detail.  Apple wanted to end evidence gathering by end of 2012 while the government lawyers argued, the AP reports, that "Government lawyers told a judge there is much to be learned about the scope and identity of individuals who participated in a conspiracy between publishers and Apple to set book prices."  From the AP story:
' They said they were trying to reveal "a long-running, detailed conspiracy that affected millions of U.S. consumers and likely involved multiple executives at each co-conspirator. Some of the acts in furtherance of the conspiracy occurred in Europe, where the defendants also pursued a similar course of conduct aimed at European consumers."

The lawyers said time was required to sort out what happened and "bring the full course of the defendants' conduct to light." '
Apple's rush to cut the time for gathering evidence is not too surprising then?  Apple's letter even stated that "It is also a reality that the mere existence of litigation of this type creates marketplace uncertainties, which impact competitive conditions and the public interest."

  But that doesn't keep them from filing lawsuits against several competing companies all over the world!

Wall St. Cheat Sheet's Emily Knapp suspects that a March trial date could "cast a dark cloud" at a bad time, as the iPad has been, she says, updated each March since its introduction in 2010.


Apple was fined $2.3 million in Australia for misleading claims
  Apple's being oddly careless. They were also fined $2.3 million in Australia this week for misleading claims of 4G capabilities in the iPad, implying that the iPad 3 could connect to Australia's fourth generation (4G) cellular networks when it can't.

  Justice Mordy Bromberg said "The conduct concerned was deliberate and very serious...It exposed a significant proportion of Australian consumers of tablet devices to a misleading representation."

  Apple also had to pay court costs in addition to the $2.3 million (Australian dollars, almost exactly the same as $US).

  TechRadar's Joe Svetlik adds that "Apple had already apologised to any Australian customers it misled, and offered refunds for anyone who bought an iPad expecting speeds it couldn't deliver.

  It also changed its advertising in the UK, changing the description of the "Wi-Fi + 4G" model to "Wi-Fi + Cellular."


Apple must pay Samsung damages in the Netherlands
  Ironically, although Apple has been filing lawsuits in various countries to stop the distribution of some of Samsung's most popular recent devices (two of which I own), due to patent issues (such as devices being rectangular, flat-screened, and with rounded edges on the bevel!), Samsung has been counterfiling, and BBC News reports that Apple was ordered by a court in the Netherlands Thursday to pay damages to Samsung Electronics because Apple had "infringed a patent held by Samsung relating to the way phones and tablet PCs connect to the internet."

  TheNextWeb (TNW) reports that Samsung has already issued a statement to Dutch media about recovering "adequate damages" and they're "expected to seek compensation totalling in the millions."
  Samsung lost two of the patent lawsuits and, on its own side, "will have to pay €800,000 in court costs."

Apple devices use Samsung components rather heavily, which complicates the situation.
  Apple's official statement repeated that Samsung is "blatantly" copying Apple's products.  Note that they've listed copying in connection with, as I mentioned, a rectangular device with a screen that is flat and a bezel that has rounded corners.

  I'm glad that violin and piano makers don't carry on like this.

  When Apple uses, without licensing and paying for it,  a technically complex 3G networking method patented by Samsung, while suing competitors on 'look and feel' of a tablet as described above (and that is actually real, believe it or not, starting April 2011), Apple doesn't come off well, and it just seems to be more of the same when it tells the DOJ that with higher agreed-upon (fixed) e-book pricing, it was saving the world from Amazon's monopoly power and had fueled demand for e-books by forcing Amazon and rivals, including B&N, to compete more aggressively, including by upgrading e-reader technology.

  Judge Cote is a no-nonsense judge though.  I would not even try the "Fool me once" thing with her, from what I see in her recent rulings.

Computerworld's Loek Essers has good detail on what is involved in the patent issues in these cases.

The Wall Street Journal (Jung Ah-Lee and Robert Van den Oever, reporters) has a bit more on how the damages would be calculated in the Samsung case in the Netherlands:
' ... for infringing a technical communications patent in some of its mobile devices, including the iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4 and iPad 1 and 2.

Damages will be calculated within the next two months, based on the number of patent-breaching products sold by Apple in the Netherlands over the time period of the infringement—deemed by the court to be from Aug. 4, 2010. The court rejected Samsung's claims for damages for a further three technical patents. '

Although a judge in the US ordered, last month, the chief executives of both firms
to try to settle their legal differences, the BBC report says that
' But the talks did not lead to any agreement and Apple has since sought a ban on sales of one of Samsung's tablet computers and the latest range of its Galaxy smartphones. '

That's certainly one way to try to 'win' against a strong competitor.


Amazon's Agreements with record companies
Wall St. Cheat Sheet's Emily Knapp has an article today on Amazon's plans to "start" a music service next month "that lets users store songs on a remote server and access them online" (which they've had for a good while).
   However, Amazon has reached agreements with the record company Big4 -- Universal Music Group, Sony, EMI Group Ltd., and Warner Music Group.  An expanded music service may launch "in the first week of July, with Europe availability shortly after.  Most of what Knapp describes, as far as capability, is already offered by Amazon (since March 2011), including the recently added Amazon Cloud Player app providing this on iPhone and iPod touch devices.  It'll be interesting to see what added features we'll have with the official agreements they've signed for access to more music.

It's curious that all the features that she describes as coming (free storage, an entire-collection-stored option for a fee, playing from a remote server) have been with us for over 1-1/4 years.
  From what I can see, this will mean easier access to quite a bit more music content and probably mp3 streaming overseas soon.




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!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Kindle News: Apple wants to rush DOJ lawsuit...Flipboard app comes to Kindle Fire...Throw in the Vowel now on Kindle Touch...TechRadar comparison of Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet


Apple wants to rush the antitrust lawsuit

Boston Globe.com carries an AP story today that the U.S. government has said that Apple "wants to rush the lawsuit by finishing evidence gathering by year's end" while acknowledging "it has a 'special urgency' in ending the case, while the government intends to finish gathering evidence in March.


Flipboard app is here, as of June 22,  for Kindle Fire and Android devices in general

Flipboard: Your Social News Magazine
- Some features cited by creators:
  • Search for anything--people, topics, hashtags, blogs, your favorite sites--and flip through articles, updates, photos, and videos in a beautiful magazine format.
  • Connect Flipboard to 12 social networks, streamlining your reading and activities like commenting, liking, and sharing. Services include Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Google Reader, LinkedIn, Flickr, 500px, Sina Weibo, and Renren.
  • Get a quick dose of what's happening now in Cover Stories, a constantly updated selection of articles, photos, and videos shared by your friends.
  • Save anything to read later using Instapaper, Pocket, and Readability.
Accolades cited at product page:
  • Webby Award Winner in News and Social categories, as well as People's Voice Award (2011, 2012)
  • PC Magazine 100 Best iPad Apps (2012)
  • WIRED magazine Essential App (2011)
  • TechCrunch Cruchies--Best Touch Interface (2011)
  • Gannett Foundation Award for Technical Innovation in the Service of Digital Journalism (2011)
  • Apple's App of the Year (2010)
  • TIME Magazine 50 Best Inventions (2010)

Throw in the Vowel is now also available on Kindle Touch.

Throw in the Vowel
, an original word game for Kindle, has been available for Kindle Keyboard devices from Kindle 2 up and is now ready for the Kindle Touch.

  It has 16 customer reviews and an average rating of 4.4 stars.


Today's Kindle Daily Deal: River of the Brokenhearted
Today's Kindle Daily Deal at the ongoing link that changes each night  (Link: amzn.to/kdailydeal ) gets a rave review by Amazon Editors:
  "...despite the somewhat bleak subject matter, tremendous humour and vitality persist in this story. The characters leap off the page, and in the person of Miles King, Richards has imagined a fully human soul of stunning believability...a character of great loneliness, pathos, humor, and compassion, one of the finest creations not only of Canadian writing but any literature." -- Amazon.com, Mark Frutkin
 River of the Brokenhearted is $1.99 today, at a 47% discount.
 Note that this link will show a different Kindle book deal after midnight.


Techradar "In Depth" comparison of Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet:
TechRadar's Andrew Hayward has an "In Depth" comparison of two budget tablets: Kindle Fire vs Nook Tablet: which should you buy?
Note that the Kindle Fire will be available in Europe probably sometime in the summer, as noted when Amazon requested Kindle Fire app submissions from several countries in Europe a few days ago.




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!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Kindle News: Developers can submit Kindle Fire apps for overseas distribution this summer

Amazon is looking for apps for the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain

CNet's Donna Tam reports on an Amazon press release requesting submission of apps for international distribution, as above, and saying that it has "plans for further global expansion in the near future."

Those apps would be useless in those areas without a Kindle Fire, so, finally, these will soon be available outside the U.S.  Amazon includes, Tam says, praise from companies like Rovio and Electronic Arts on "the success of their apps in the US Amazon appstore and among Kindle Fire users..."

More important for developers, Amazon's distribution terms for the developers are vastly improved, with "more flexibility in when they launch their apps" and their new payment rate of "70 percent of the list price on each app sale" no matter what Amazon's selling price for the app is on a given day.


NY Times Gadgetwise tip on playing music on a Kindle touch
The New York Times's J. D. Biersdorfer has a Q&A on what might prevent the music from playing, and it is more step-by-step than seen for most news websites.  (Kindle Edition blog subscribers should press Menu/Article when they get to The New York Times page, to read the steps for making sure.)




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, June 19, 2012

Kindle News: Harry Potter now at Prime Kindle Lending Library. State Dept postpones Kindle press conference, New study indicates Android tablet adoption is even with iPad, thanks to Kindle Fire.

All 7 of the Harry Potter books are now in the Kindle Owners' Lending Library

I'll repeat some information from an earlier announcement borrowing via Amazon Prime Lending, on who's eligible and whats involved.

Here's the listing for the Prime Kindle Lending Library Harry Potter books (Link: http://amzn.to/primepotter )

  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

  Also remember that you can borrow a Prime-eligible Kindle-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. From the BusinessWire for June 19, 2012:
' Nowhere else can customers borrow any of the seven Harry Potter books for free, with an unlimited supply of each title and no waiting list," said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President, Kindle Content. "A $79 Prime membership was already the best deal in retail, and now it's become even more valuable. '

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

  It now also includes unlimited free streaming of over 18,000 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.

To buy them, rather than borrow them, though, see the normal Pottermore page process.

State Department postpones Kindle press conference
paidContent's Laura Hazard Owen is being kept busy on this particular news topic.  She reports that spokesman Philippe Reines says the event had to be postponed due to Clinton’s schedule at the G-20 Mexico Summit and Rio+20 conference this week.

Owen adds that "...on Monday, Marc Maurer, the president of the National Federation for the Blind, sent a letter to Hillary Clinton stating that because e-readers are not accessible to the blind, “any agreement by the United States to procure inaccessible Kindle, or other, e-readers is a violation of the law, including Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.”  Infodocket has the full letter.  It’s unclear whether the letter is the reason the event was postponed." (I thought this issue had been settled at some point.)

Now Android tablet adoption is even with iPad?
betanews' Joe Wilcox asks if we would believe this, then reports that Online Publishers Association, "a reasonably reliable source, puts US iPad adoption at 52 percent and Android at 51 percent." (He explains the addition results.)

  OPA's study found, he said, that "Android gains largely come from Kindle Fire" with a share of 32 percent.
  He's skeptical.  You can read why and see the detail for the findings at the link.

  (E-Ink Kindle users receiving the Kindle-edition of this blog can follow links and click on Menu/Article Mode when reaching the linked page, to read a nicely-formatted version of the article without side-columns or ads.




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!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Kindle News: 5 Mystery-Thriller series for Kindle Daily Deal Sunday. Kindle Fire rumors, how solid are they? Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Jeff Bezos to present mobile learning initiative Wednesday, Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, Ofc Pro KFire app for 99c ended tonight.

Goldbox-Kindle Daily Deal today: all novels from five mystery and thriller series, $0.99 each

Amazon is showcasing today "the world-class work of D.M. Annechino, Scott Nicholson, Blair S. Walker, Traci Hohenstein, and Rex Kusler.  With settings ranging from Kusler's gritty, Great Recession-era Las Vegas to rural America and Nicholson's harrowing Monkey House drug trials, these suspenseful books promise to keep you reading into the night."
  The up to 80% discount ends at Sunday night.

Reminder - The Kindle Fire app, Office Suite Professional 6  discounted price from $14.99 to $0.99 also ends tonight (Sunday night, June 17) ended already.  Thanks to Andy for alerting us about the discounted price ending earlier than stated.  It may have been 'Midnight, Sunday,' which would have been last night but I don't have the reference.

The usual rumors
Almost every news site is repeating the latest rumors from Digitimes which has been about 60% accurate when it comes to details, in the past, and usually over-optimistic about delivery dates, even when they're naming suppliers and talking about actual orders.   They're not naming suppliers nor talking about orders at this point, so the sourcing given by them is vaguer than most of their reports.

.  Still, what they predict is likely to happen eventually because all these companies do upgrade their models, at which point they price the earlier model lower (as has been done with the Kindle 3 AKA Kindle Keyboard).

  Their latest article, linked above, written by Max Wang and Joseph Tsai, says that "reportedly" Amazon "may" drop the 7" Kindle Fire price when they release another model, which Digitimes writes, "Amazon is SAID to be 'considering' doing "at the beginning of the third quarter.  This release uses more conditional wording than I've seen from them in the past.

  It makes sense to me that one would be ready sometime in the third quarter though, so I'd be surprised if a new, 2nd model wasn't added to the 'tablet family' in July or August.

  We know that a lighted e-Ink model is likely around that time as well, but the wording in this report is that it's third quarter at the earliest" and they even err in saying "backlight" which isn't possible with e-Ink.   The earlier 'leak' from a reporter who saw it (months ago when it wasn't ready) said it was front-lighted, as is the Nook's.

  Also, if Amazon wants to expand its tablet market share (it doesn't sell Kindle Fires overseas yet), it'd be smart to have one tablet with added features and one which would be the economy version (the current Kindle Fire).  Apple has 16/32/64 gigs of storage options available on each iPad.  They're also selling the iPad 2 for $100 less than the $500 it went for the year before, now that they've boosting the display resolution of the iPad 3 with the Retina display.

  Digitimes' "sources from the upstream supply chain" say they "expect Amazon to release a new 7" Kindle Fire, which would have a screen resolution of 1280 by 800 vs the current 1024 by 600 (and I would imagine more storage and memory) while lowering the price of the current one to $149 once they ever release a more fully featured model.

 Contrary to their earlier reports, Digitimes  now say there is no 8.9" tablet coming (the 'development' of one has been "halted", they say),  but as of this week, their "latest information" is that a 10" one is planned for the end of this year OR the beginning of next year.

Other rumors
Microsoft is said to be announcing something along with Nokia on Monday.
People are expecting a tablet from Microsoft too.

That State Dept Contract
Hillary Clinton and Jeff Bezos are set to announce Kindle Mobile Learning Initiative next Wednesday.
  This is another report by Laura Hazard Owen on the State Dept contract negotiations in connection with the no-bid contract for up to $16.5 million for Amazon Kindles, operations management, service and support, including a 24/7 help desk, and quick non-questioned free replacements as needed.

Earlier blog articles with detail on this are:
  .  http://kindleworld.blogspot.com/2012/06/amazons-contract-with-us-state-dept-for.html
  .  http://kindleworld.blogspot.com/2012/06/kindle-news-kindle-touch-with-front.html

  It was said Friday that the contract isn't signed yet, but the wording left it as a formality.  Amazon needs to 'respond' to the contract stipulations and the two sides need to work out the details.  That is pretty common.  Do we think Amazon will turn down the $16.5 million potential?

 Also, the joint appearance by Secretary of State Clinton and Amazon's CEO Bezos to announce the global launch of the Kindle Mobile Learning Initiative June 20 at a press conference would seem quite strange if things weren't expected to be in place.  They are calling it a 'pilot program' at this point.

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award
The winners of the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award were named by Amazon, Penguin Group (USA) and CreateSpace today:  Alan Averill and Regina Sirois. The link has all the details.
' Alan Averill is the Grand Prize winner in the general fiction category for his novel, "The Beautiful Land," while Regina Sirois was awarded the Grand Prize in the young adult fiction group for her novel, "On Little Wings."  Both authors have received a publishing contract from Penguin Group (USA) that includes a $15,000 advance.  "The Beautiful Land" and "On Little Wings" will be published by Berkley Books and Viking Books for Young Readers, respectively.  The novels are now available for pre-order on Amazon.com at www.amazon.com/abna. '




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


  *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, June 14, 2012

Kindle News: Office Suite Pro 6 app: $0.99 thru' June 17. Prime Instant Video gets hundreds more from MGM.


Office Suite Professional 6 app for the KindleFire, normally $14.99, is $0.99 until end of day June 17.

The Office Suite Professional 6 customer reviews are mostly enthusiastic. Some low '1'-votes were given because of updates that appear to cost extra.  However, as a commenter points out based on the company's Facebook page, updates to this app are free for registered users, so do register right away after downloading the app.  I grabbed this one when it was free for one day many moons ago, and the updates never cost me anything.

The "Most helpful" review so far (by K. Tevald) includes these statements:
' The word processor is,for me,the most outstanding portion of the software. The text editing and alignment. options are easy to use and translate perfectly when opened in MS Office Blue. The indentation and margin options available in OfficeSuite pro are second to none and adding pictures and media into the .docs is as easy as can be.
...
Until this I was using QuickOffice Pro. QuickOffice Pro does not offer anywhere near as useful a word processor, and it often loses formatting when importing and exporting to and from MS Word. QuickOffice Pro does not compare to this in any way. '

Amazon announces a licensing agreement with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studies.
Business Wire posting: As a result of the licensing agreement with MGM, Amazon is "adding hundreds of classic movies and hit TV episodes throughout 2012 to the Prime Instant Video catalog. Prime Instant Video now features more than 18,000 movies and TV episodes to instantly stream and enjoy at no additional cost."

These include "favorites like The Silence of the Lambs, Dances with Wolves, Rain Man and The Terminator, as well as fan-favorite TV series like Stargate."

  To start watching Prime Instant Video, visit amzn.to/primeinstantvideo.

  To find out what devices are compatible with Prime Instant Video, see amzn.to/watch-anywhere.

  Customers who are not already Prime members can enjoy a free one month trial of Prime. (Link: amzn.to/primevideos )

I'll add here a reminder that there's always the Kindle Daily Deal that changes each night at about midnight. (Link: amzn.to/kdailydeal )




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, June 12, 2012

Kindle News: Kindle Touch with front light - Is it coming soon? State Dept requires it. What else do they require?

Ace commenter Felix Torres finds the answer to the subject question in the State Dept contract with Amazon for the up to $16.5 million educational project agreement.

In the blog entry yesterday for the Kindle contract story, I included a link to the State Department document justifying the no-bid contract.  I'd not read it though and then forgot about it.

The vigilant Felix Torres, in his comment today to Teleread.Com's story on this, addresses the mistaken idea by many writers that the contract was just for x number of Kindle Touch devices x 50 Kindle books for each.

He explains that you could just read the government specs and rationale to find what it does require:
' ...they need an *integrated* system for “push”-deployment of DoS in-house documents as well as licensed 3rd party commercial content, worldwide, via WiFi *and* 3G for in-the-field use.
Now, oh wise Amazon haters: who else can deliver those features today, at *all*?

Push deliver + 3G? “Hello? Bueller?” '

He adds that it's an election year and
  "Of course the thing was vetted to within an inch of the Contracting Officer’s life!  They have a need and they found an answer, they jumped through all legal hoops and signed the deal.  End of story.  Almost..."

Then he casually tosses in the key portion for those wondering if the Kindle Touch with built-in light is just another rumor.
' Oh, and by the way: lost in all the grumbling and Proxmiring is the real news: Amazon is going to ship Kindles with *front lights* to the State Department.

AKA, Kindle 6.

Not a rumor, not a hoax; it’s right there in the contract.'

Those contract requirements
The contract requirements section is #3 and it shows clearly what the Kindle Touch can do, as needed for this project, and the type of very complex, integrated services and support Amazon must be able to provide and, as Felix says, who else can?

One thing I just noticed is that "3G wireless costs must be not separately priced."

Re Service and Support:
Besides quite involved central management internationally, "the Contractor must be able to provide a dedicated 24/7 help desk to support inquires [sic]."

It's interesting to see that a 2-year warranty must be included with replacements for any device failures, [adding even] accidental danage, with free shipping both ways for damaged and replacement device.

Amazon must upgrade and phase in updated versions of the e-Reader product "at least every two years so that the technology stays up to date for users."

And here's the requirement that Felix noted and that will probably be of most interest -- under e-Reader Device subsection, the requirements itemized include this:

  The device must include a front light feature.

My bolded emphasis of course.

Bear in mind that even the most praising of reviews of the Nook Glowlight mention the lighter display contrast when the front-light technology used is included in an e-Ink device.  Some are bothered by it, some aren't, and there's no question that many will really like having a front light, no matter how uneven or somewhat lighter the text if one can read it in dimmer light without an external light.

I got the DX Graphite and Kindle 3 and then the Touch for the quality of that screen contrast after becoming frustrated with the lighter Kindle 2 contrast.  Am pretty sure I'd not want to give that up, since it's my biggest pleasure when switching to e-Ink reading.  But others will not care about darker font readability if the difference is not noticeable unless the devices are held side by side.

So, there it is. It's a reality. Thanks to Felix for the alert !





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

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