Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Kindle News: Free Android App of Day: Open Sea. B&N stops Nook tablet production. FAA may allow Kindles ON for take-off + landing, More PBS on prime instant video, More free time unlimited programs. Around the World in 80 Books. Tablet competition.

Open Sea is the Free Android App of the Day for Wednesday only.
  By The Pixelizers, it's normally only 99 cents anyway, so this will just draw attention to the predominantly delighted customer reviews if you're looking for a fun Android game app.  Other reviews noted in the Product Description are:
- “An epic, sweeping game”... “a treat to look at”... — JayIsGames, Voted Best Mobile Action Game of 2011
- “Great design”... “a strongly recommended game for all ages and beliefs” - AndroidZoom, 5/5
- “A breath of fresh air”.., “the sort of game that makes smartphone gaming so enjoyable”... — PocketGamer, Silver Award
- “A blast to play” —
- “Excellent graphics and cute characters”... — AppEggs, Editor's Pick

Kindle for Windows 8 Update v2.0
Announced June 17, the new version's added features include:
  * Ability to search from inside a book
  * Redesigned home screen and in-book navigation
  * Easier bookmarking
  * Filtering of Notes and Bookmarks
  * Option to sample recommended books
  * Live Tile displays of the book you're reading
  * Updated view options menu, library and search views

Barnes and Noble announced Tuesday that it will stop manufacturing its own Nook tablets
  Their stock plunged 17 percent after the report of a fiscal 4th-qtr loss twice as much as Wall Street had expected.  There was a 34 percent drop in sales of Nook devices and ebooks business.

  This has raised concerns about B&N's ability to sell its Nook Media subsidiary (Nook and its college bookstore chain), and Barclays Capital analyst Alan Rifkin wrote that the losses will "reduce the likelihood" that the bookseller will find a buyer for its digital business.

  As a card-carrying member of their stores and emotionally dependent on their store nearby, with its physical items (printed books, DVDs & Blu-rays, Sheet Music, and a large selection of accessories) and a browsing atmosphere I can enjoy for hours at a time, I'm sad to see that even sales at their stores that have been open at least 15 months fell 8.8% last quarter and they expect sales to be down by a similar amount in its new fiscal year.

  B&N's chief, William Lynch, told investors that B&N will no longer produce Nook tablets and are in talks to find a manufacturing partner for the Nook.  It will still design its Nook e-Ink readers, the Simple Touch and Glowlight.
  He added that they no longer wanted to "take on all that risk ourselves" and that "it was very capital intensive to build our own tablets."

  Buyers can get their remaining tablets for very little now, but their customer support, which has been B&N's Achilles Heel, will be an even shakier proposition now.  There's more at NBC News's Reuters article by Phil Wahba.

  For a more upbeat look at this, focusing on the 16% increase in EBITDA for the company's retail segment, though Nook EBITDA was -$475 million, leaving an overall $10 million EBITDA on nearly $7 billion in profit, see Forbes's report by Jeremy Greenfield.

FAA might allow iPads and Kindles, etc., throughout flights
In fact, flying crews have been allowed iPads for awhile.  The FAA approved them in February 2011 for pilots with a charter company, and American Ailine pilots were allowed to replace their paper maps and charts with iPads recently.  I've read that Jetblue allows them for the pilots also.  From general reading, I think they will still want passengers' 3G wireless Off for during takeoff and landing.

The Washington Business Journal cites the Wall Street Journal's report that the FAA's advisory group "has proposed a draft report that would ease restrictions on e-readers (like Kindle or the iPad)."  The findings are due July 31, but the advisory group is asking for more time to deliver its findings.

Amazon expands Agreement with PBS, bringing more popular TV shows to Prime Instant Video
(See also this Prime Instant Video page by categories.)

The agreement offers access to "an expanded multi-year licensing agreement with PBS Distribution that will allow Amazon Prime members to instantly stream, at no additional cost, past seasons of PBS programs.  Prime Instant Video will now have hundreds of additional episodes of popular PBS programs including NOVA, Masterpiece and Ken Burns documentaries along with even more great PBS KIDS shows like Caillou, Arthur, Daniels Tiger’s Neighborhood, Dinosaur Train and Wild Kratts."  See full details here.

Amazon Free Time Unlimited (for ages 3-8) adds popular content from Disney, Warner Bros Interacive Entertainment, and Electronic Arts.
  "These include Disney’s hit Where’s My Mickey?, Warner Brother’s LEGO Harry Potter Years 1-4, Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat Comes Back from Oceanhouse Media, Plants vs. Zombies by EA, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Curious George at the Zoo."
  This one has a subscription cost offered from within the FreeTime app on the Kindle Fire.

New Amazon feature for Travelers - 'Around the World in 80 Books'

Hand-picked Reads for Every Traveler
  Amazon's focus here: "Explore contemporary novels, memoirs and travel books about destinations near and far, familiar and remote.

  Whether you’re a vacationer or an ambitious armchair traveler, we hope you’ll find a new great read to bring you along."

Tablet competition fallout for PC sales
A Huffington Post article by Django Wylie looks at earlier reports by International Data Corp showing a 14% "plummet in sales" worldwide [for laptops/desktops] for the first three months of 2013, hitting HP and Dell the most (24% and 11% drops respectively).
' HP and Dell's pain has proved, however, to be Apple and Amazon's gain.  With the iPad and Kindle taking the lion's share, tablet sales are expected to top 229.3 million units this year -- a breathtaking 59% percent increase over 2012's still strong 144.5 million. '

  The long, interesting perspective includes the strong effect of the Internet on current technology and consumers.
' After decades of supine passivity under television's enthronement as the dominant form of mass entertainment and subsequent hegemony, people could create and share freely and easily.  Citizens became citizen journalists, geeks became millionaires, and everyone with a computer could find others with shared interests.  It was as if the age-old longing expressed in EM Forster's famous epigraph had been realised.  The imaginatively stultifying enforced silence of the viewer was usurped by the possibility for a groundswell of active engagement at a grassroots, individual level.  We could, in other words, at last upload, rather than solely download...
...the dominant and most perceptive of the tech corporations and the government eventually caught up, and in recent years have tried to quell the anarchic freedom, like an irate parent at an illicit houseparty.  And by and large, they have done a good job of stemming the flow of active participators and re-subjugating the participating public.  The producer or potential producer is being subtly ushered away from personal, self-deterministic agency and activity, and turned once more towards passive consumptive practices. '

As you can see, he doesn't see the seductive powers of the iPad or Kindle as much of a positive :-)

That's it for now, and I have more, including news that came in while I've not been here much this summer.

Current Kindle Models for reference, plus free-ebook search links.
Updated Kindle Fire 2 Basic  7" tablet - $159
Kindle Fire HD 7" 16/32GB - $199/$229 *
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 16/32GB - $269/$299
Kindle Fire HD 8.9" 4G 32/64GB - $399/$499
Kindle NoTouch ("Kindle") - $69/$89
Kindle Touch WiFi - $99
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi - $119/$139
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi+3G - $179/$199
Kindle Keybd 3G - $139/$159, Free slow web
Kindle DX - $379 $299 (Yes)
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - £69
Kindle Touch WiFi, UK - ~£89 Refurb'd
Kindle Keyboard 3G, UK - £149
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi
Kindle Paperwhite 3G, UK
Kindle Fire 2, UK
Kindle Fire HD 7" 16/32GB, UK
Canada - Kindlestore, CDN-$
Kindle Basic, NoTouch - $79
Kindle Paperwhite, WiFi - $129
Kindle Paperwhite, 3G - $199
Kindle Fire HD 7" - 214.00
KFire HD 7" $214,  8.9" $284

*OTHER Int'l pages*
Kindle NoTouch Basic - $89
Kindle Keybd 3G - $189
  Keybd: w/ Free, slow 3G WEB
Paperwhite WiFi $139, 3G/Wifi $199
KFire HD 7" $214,  8.9" $284

France Boutique Kindle
Deutschland - Kindle Store
Italia - Kindle Store
Spain - Tienda Kindle
Brazil - Amazon Brazil
China - Amazon China [?]
Japan - Amazon Japan

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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