Saturday, July 9, 2011

Kindle news + other bits. Project Gutenberg history giftbook download. Flipback books. Video on EInk? - UPDATE

For Project Gutenberg's 40th anniversary on July 4, they have a gift ebook for all their volunteers and visitors - a mini picture guide, in PDF format and downloadable, on "the history of Project Gutenberg; from the founding of the project by Michael Hart, to the first native French ebook, the inauguration of the Distributed Proof-readers, to the posting of ebook #30,000."

  The ebook has 15 pages of images, each with a paragraph covering the main milestones throughout PG’s 40 year history.  This would be best read in Landscape mode, if on a 6" display such as the Kindle 3 (UK: K3), if that mode is available).

  In fact, the Egyptian painting at the top-left accompanies the text for this milestone: "The 30,000th English-language ebook was posted on 12 April 2011.  Its title was The Religions of Ancient Egypt and Babylonia (1903), by Archibald Henry Sace.
  eBooks were also available in 59 other languages. 13 languages were lucky enough to have more than 50 books. 46 languages had up to 50 books.  Please join Distributed Proofreaders and contribute."

  The history is a very interesting read, no surprise.  The photo at the right, is one I took 1.5 yrs ago, about 4,000 yrs after the painting shown.

  To find out more about how to download free Project Gutenberg books directly to your Kindle (and to browse and search them from the Kindle, see the blog article explaining that.

"Wee book versus eBook in the battle of light reading"

Flipback books are in a recently created print format which you can see in the accompanying image, with the thought that book lovers "can enjoy the feel of a printed novel and the portability of an e-book, too."  Note that these books are almost as light as an iPhone, according to the article.

The publishers may not understand the many reasons for the increasing appeal of e-books, which has little to do with having one book at a time with a humongous amount of text facing you as you try to read, the print being even smaller when placed in a wee book like this.  People who read e-books have a tendency to increase the size of the font and they revel in being able to have many different books available to them at one time, on a light ebook holder.  The smaller screen size has been a boon for many who find the smaller chunks of text less formidable, and Kindle users have a good dictionary on hand, so to speak.

Add that most don't appear to want small books or e-books to cost $20 each either :-) I'll explain that last remark with an excerpt from the story by Justin Norrie for The Sydney Morning Herald, which also explains how a Flipback book is made:
' The format was invented in 2009 when a Dutchman, Hugo van Woerden, chief of the Christian printing house Jongbloed, was looking for ways to use excess Bible paper.  He put the lightweight, high-quality "onion skin" into a series of miniature sideways books that can be read using only one hand.

The books were an instant success, prompting claims about a paper fight-back against electronic readers.

The publisher will release 11 titles in the flipback form on Tuesday next week.  The recommended price is $19.99 '

The comments are quite funny, and my favorite one, by Ugetsu, has to do with the ability to adjust fonts on an eReader:
' Now what we need is for restaurants to start providing their menus on an SD card so we plug them into our portable readers, hit enlarge and be able to read the bloody things! '

VIDEO on eInk Readers? (for masochists only but ok as comic book stills)
Video On A Kindle Now Possible with iPlayer
  "With iPlayer"?  How did Frisnit Electronic Industrial get (keep) that name from Apple?  (It's probably older and stands for "Internet.")

  Steve Andersen, writing for, says, " [the Kindle] goes about it is going to prove downright astonishing, if not necessarily all that useful."

  It reminds me of people trying to play "Angry Birds" on a Nook eInk Touch.  It's pretty grotesque.  But, The Challenge's the Thing.

  iPlayer converts video "into what amounts to a big comic strip with subtitles," Anderson writes.
' [iPlayer] takes DVB digital television and the accompanying subtitles, and then takes any frame that has dialogue involved and puts them up together. Then it goes through and takes out some extra frames to intersperse with the dialogue frames to show things like movement.

It then takes the resulting file and converts it to an HTML file, which can then be converted into PDF for “watching” on your Kindle, just like a big old comic book.

  The conversion process really does an impressive job of compressing the file–reportedly, a 30 minute show gets compressed down to a 20 meg file–and the file even looks pretty good for black and white. '

But is there actually a market for this?  You never know, but it sounds so painful to do, so there'd be $$$ involved.

UPDATE Here's a story that I put through google-translation to read in English.  It's by Michael Ilegems writing for -- "BBC's Mark Longstaff-Tyrrell developed a system that automatically converts a television episode into a sequence of static images with subtitles.  This can be viewed as an HTML or PDF file, and is therefore accessible to a larger number of carriers."  See Frisnit's online sample.

For daily free ebooks, check the following links:
Temporarily-free books -
- USA: by:
NEW:  May  June  July 2011
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UK: PubDate   Popular
What is 3G? and "WiFi"?       Battery Care
Highly-rated under $1,  Newest: $1-$2, $2-$3
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U.S. & Int'l (NOT UK):
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USEFUL for your Kindle (U.S. only, currently):
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