Archive for September, 2010

Flash! Kindle on the Web not on the Kindle pages

September 30, 2010

Flash! Kindle on the Web not on the Kindle pages

In an earlier post, I wrote about Amazon’s new Kindle on the Web feature.

It allows you to read the first chapter of a book while you are online, and gives you a link to buy the Kindle edition.

I mentioned how I went to look for it, and it wasn’t there…I thought it wasn’t there yet.

Well, the weird thing is that it is on the Amazon product page for the paper book, not the Kindle book. 

I can understand having it there, since it might encourage somebody who didn’t have a Kindle to get one, or encourage somebody to buy the paperbook (it’s like a sample).

But why not put it on the Kindle product page?  I mean, there is a button in the KotW page that lets you buy it for the Kindle…doesn’t it make sense to have it on the page where people  who have Kindles are going to see it?

I’m hoping that’s just temporary…I found that confusing.  I suppose that it does take some bandwidth for Amazon, and they might figure Kindle owners will just download the sample anyway…but when I’m shopping on my computer (where you can see it), I don’t necessarily want to switch to my Kindle to check out that chapter.  Might be nice to read a couple of pages right there…not too many, of course.  For long form, I definitely prefer the Kindle.

Maybe this is just me (that happens) :) , but I’d like to see these on the Kindle pages.

Also, of course, the big advantage will be being able to read them on blogs and websites not run by Amazon.  Hopefully, people don’t think the experience is the same as reading on a Kindle…that might discourage Kindle sales (although not much seems to be able to do that).  ;)

 This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Flash! Borders adds a wireless Kobo Nov 1st

September 30, 2010

Flash! Borders adds a wireless Kobo Nov 1st

Borders has been carrying a variety of EBRs (E-Book Readers), but this one is interesting. 

One of the things that has held back the Kobo is that it hasn’t been wi-fi.  Well, that, and that weird plastic button navigation thingy.  :)

I think this one may pick up some of the market, though.  Borders will have it for $139.99.  Here’s some advice from a former retailer…drop the ninety-nine cents!  First, if something doesn’t end in an even number, it looks cheap…something that is $50 seems much classier than something that is $49.99.  But the big thing here is…why be more expensive than the wi-fi only Kindle?  You could be the same price, and you could say you, “You can’t get a wi-fi E Ink EBR cheaper.”  Pretty sure that’s still true…

One of the big things, of course, is selection…and the Kobo can access the Border e-book store, which is not bad. 

Let’s go through some of the features:

  • The sleep mode picture is the cover of the book you are reading (some people really want that for the Kindle…others don’t)
  • Supports PDF
  • Comes in three case colors: black, white, and lavender
  • Has a “quilted back”…some find the Kindle back slippery
  • Lighter than the Kindle wi-fi only (it says less than 8 ounces: the K is 8.5)
  • Slightly smaller than the K3 7.2 x 4.7 versus 7.5 x 4.8
  • 1 GB onboard memory, but can handle a 4 GB SD card
  • Comes with 100 pre-loaded books

Now, while it does have some advantages over the Kindle, I like the Kindle better.  One of the key things is the number of books…the Kindle store has over 700,000, Borders has 230,501. 

You can pre-order this device here:

http://www.borders.com/online/store/MediaView_kobowifi

Interestingly, the Kobo site has it…without that ninety-nine cents ($139):

http://koboereader.com/usd/

This may impact the Kindle some, but I think it may pose an interesting challenge to the NOOK.  Some people just want to buy things from bookstores…they feel like they are supporting book people.  It also doesn’t have that little LCD screen at the bottom of the NOOK…which some people find distracting, although some like it.  It’s also cheaper…

Oh, and here’s a weird thing: it doesn’t read txt, rtf, or docs.  That’s just odd, but won’t hurt a lot of people, I guess.  I do put txt files on my Kindle…it’s a handy way to carry notes around.

Kindles are in stores, but not bookstores…I think we’ll see a slice (not a big one) going to this reader this holiday season, unless there are some major changes.

I’ll be interested to see when more details come out about this.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Freebie flash! Elvis, Lady, Jane, Jake, Job

September 29, 2010

Freebie flash! Elvis, Lady, Jane, Jake, Job

As usual, I don’t vouch for these books, and they come from companies that are not (to my knowledge) blocking text-to-speech. As promotional titles, they may not be free for long. Note: these books are free in the USA: prices in other countries may vary.

Enchanting the Lady
Kathryne Kennedy
published by Love Spell (part of Dorchester, a publisher of romance, horror, Westerns, and thrillers)

“…handsome were-lion baronet…”  Need I say more?  ;)  Actually, the reviews are pretty good on this.

According to Jane
by Marilyn Brant
published by Kensington Books (a genre and romance publisher)

Picture “Play it Again, Sam” with Jane Austen…

Elvis and the Dearly Departed 
by Peggy Webb
published by Kensington Books (a genre and romance publisher)

I don’t know how many pop culture mavens during Elvis’ career would have imagined how much fiction would be inspired by The King.  Dojos, maybe, but light-hearted novels?  Features a basset hound named Elvis, but yes, tied to Presley.

Raising Jake
by Charlie Carillo
published by Kensington Books (a genre and romance publisher)

This one was free previously, and it’s free again…that’s something Kensington does sometimes.  It’s contemporary fiction…

Get a Life, Not a Job: Are Multiple Career Acts Right for You?
Get a Life, Not a Job: It’s Your Time–Make the Most of It
by Paula Caliguiri
published by FT Press (a business publisher)

Two free excerpts from the same book?  That’s unusual…

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Flash! My third Kindle 3 is here

September 29, 2010

Flash! My third Kindle 3 is here

So, my latest item from the Kindle of the week club has arrived.  ;)

I haven’t set it up yet (long day…but a good one), but I wanted to let you know Drake was here.

I guess 50 trivia points was too low, since nobody answered (here or elsewhere) why it’s named Drake.  Yes, it’s more obscure than I thought.

My Kindles so far:

  • Kindle 1: K-1 (still going strong)
  • Kindle 2: Tom (lost or stolen)
  • Kindle 2 international: Durgo (named after Triplicate Girl, later known as Duo Damsel…because my Kindles would have been three and became two through an unfortunate incident) (still going strong, now used by my Significant Other)
  • Kindle 3 #1 (D’Artagnan…the new, young, fourth…like the character in the Three Musketeers) (screen failed)
  • Kindle 3 #2 (Pete…named after Pete Best, who some consider the 5th Beatle…screen failed within a week)

The new one  is Kindle 3 #3 (Drake…this is Kindle #6 for me, and Number 6 on The Prisoner is widely believed, with some evidence to support it, to be John Drake, Patrick McGoohan’s spy character in a previous series).

Okay, I’ll let the forum know, then eat dinner, then set up Drake.  It won’t take too long…I have the routine down, now.  :)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Flash! Kindle for the Web released

September 28, 2010

Flash! Kindle for the Web released

You know the difference between a river and a lake?  A river never stands still.

The Amazon is a famous river.  It’s also a company that never stands still. 

I was tempted to say a “river and a tree”, but that’s not fair to a particular fruit tree.  ;)  

Amazon’s latest Kindle innovation is

Kindle for the Web

Press Release

What does this mean?

You can read the first chapter of a Kindle book right on a website.  Either on Amazon’s product page…or on somebody else’s webpage.

It’s an interesting idea.  It strengthens the separation between the Kindle and Kindle store books, which Jeff Bezos has mentioned. 

Why?

Kindle owners can already get free samples.  Sure, there are times it might be more convenient to read a couple of pages on a website.  Hmm…in fact, it might be much more when you are on a blog of some such. 

I was looking for a sample to show you…but I didn’t find one.  Oddly, even on the book they use as the example, it doesn’t show up on the actual product page.  Maybe they’ll start showing up today.

I tried pasting in their “embed” code…nothing.  Maybe it’s not active yet, either. 

It looked like the share button might be working.

I’ll try this all later and see if it works.

It’s also possible that this blog just doesn’t support “script” tags.  Not sure…

Anyway, I was saying that this separates the Kindle and Kindle store books.  You could read the sample online, and then buy the book for your iPad, PC, Mac, Android device…well, I could go on.  :)

Here are the FAQs:

Kindle for the Web FAQs

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Flash! My Kindle 3′s screen fails…again

September 27, 2010

Flash! My Kindle 3′s screen fails…again

Well, I’m glad this wasn’t my first experience with the Kindle…or this blog might not exist.  ;)

Tuesday of this week, I got a replacement for my Kindle 3, on which the  screen had failed.

Guess what?

The screen on my new Kindle just failed. 

It’s a different type of failure, so at least that’s interesting.

On the last one, part of one of the sleep mode pictures just stayed on there.

With this one, it was stuck on a page of text.  Then, the entire screen turned about the same color as the graphite case.  I can still see those words of text, but only because they are a bit blacker.

I went through all the trouble-shooting…nothing.

Since I couldn’t apparently change the screen at all, I couldn’t restart, except a hard restart, which didn’t work.  Fortunately, it was still recognized by my laptop, so I could do one more backup.  I’d synced earlier today, so I think I’ll be okay on that…might not have the “last page read” information is all.

I should have my third K3 on Tuesday.

I know the drill…and I still have the box.

The one irritating thing is that I’d already put the TrackItBack* sticker on this one…the one I’d ordered for the first Kindle 3, of course.  That means I’m out twenty dollars for that.  :(

I was also planning to use it in a meeting tomorrow (I keep notes on it), but maybe I can borrow back my Significant Other’s K2 again.

I’ll have to figure out what good I am going to get out of this experience…don’t think I really learned a whole lot new.  :)  Oh, and now I’ll have to think of another name to go with six…I feel like Janet Evanovich.  ;)  Oh, I’ve got it!  Drake!  Um…fifty trivia points if you know why (without looking it up).

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Flash! Newest Kindle commercial (in the park)

September 27, 2010

Flash! Newest Kindle commercial (in the park)

As you may know, I’m not crazy about the “hee, hee, hee, I can read and you can’t” Kindle by the pool ad. 

I like this one, though…simple and to the point.

Kindle in the park ad

You can also see all the Kindle ads here:

Kindle ads on YouTube 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Flash! Free, legal, big name science fiction…now wirelessly!

September 26, 2010

Flash! Free, legal, big name science fiction…now wirelessly!

Free!  Legal!  Um…freegal

Too much?  I’m never sure on those neologisms, but I like making up words.  ;)

I’ve written previously about the Baen Free Library.

These are in-copyright books by major science fiction authors: Eric Flint, Larry Niven, Andre Norton, just to name a few.

Before the K3s, we had two basic choices.  Download them to our computers and “sideload” them to our Kindles for free, or have them sent wirelessly to the Kindles…for fifteen cents a megabyte rounded up (for US Kindleers in the US).

That’s changed!

When you send a personal document (and that’s how Amazon sees these) to your wi-fi equipped Kindle (either just wi-fi or the wi-fi and 3G model), Amazon doesn’t charge you the fifteen cents a meg.  That makes sense, because you (or the wi-fi hotspot provider) are paying for the internet use, not Amazon. 

The key thing is that you should send it to your free address if you have both wi-fi and 3G.  With just wi-fi, it doesn’t matter.  With a dual access device, you don’t want it downloaded using the 3G…that won’t happen if you send it to the free address.

This is so cool!  It’s no harder to shop at Baen than at Amazon, really.  You do need to set it up (once), but after that, it’s a snap.  Even if you don’t normally read science fiction, this is a bonanza.  :)

Here are the basic steps:

1. Go to http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle .  Authorize the e-mail address

@webscription.net

Enter it that way, with the @ sign.  That tells your Kindle it is okay to receive documents via e-mail from any address at webscription

2. Go to the Baen Free Library.  Find a book you want

3. Click the link that says “Email book to your Kindle”

4. Enter your Kindle’s free e-mail address.  That will be something like clarksavage@free.kindle.com

That’s it…I had it under a minute, certainly.  If you aren’t connected via wi-fi when you do that, you’ll get a notification on your homescreen that you have a document waiting for wi-fi.  When you connect, the book will download and you can get rid of that message.  You won’t get that message if your Kindle is connected when the book is delivered.

You will still get the link to the book in your regular e-mail, but you can delete that if you’ve already received the book.

Oh, and some people may wonder…this is safe to do.  The Kindles are quite safe in terms of viruses and such, and this is a reliable vendor, regardless.

Over one hundred books from well-known authors that have paper equivalents delivered freegally wirelessly?  I think that justifies the upgrade.  ;)

Up to you, though..

Enjoy!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

So many ways to read

September 25, 2010

So many ways to read

This was just interesting.

Not too long ago, I was on BART, our local subway system.  I, of course, had my Kindle out to read.  I was standing in the back of the car, so it happened that I could see a number of people.

Just to my right was a person writing in a paper composition book…you know, the ones with those cardboard, black and white mottled covers.  I didn’t look at what was being written, of course, but I would guess a diary or some such.  It didn’t seem like notes on something. 

To that person’s right, someone else was reading on a smartphone.  That appeared to be a book.

Immediately to my left, another person had out a big hardback book…I think a novel. 

Not far away was someone reading on a Kindle 2 (I have a K3).

A couple of rows ahead, there was a mass market paperback.

I could also see a laptop, but I’m not sure the person was reading something so much as working on something.

I looked around for a chiseled stone tablet, but didn’t see one.  ;)

Just fun to see…reading, reading, everywhere…

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

Looking a gift book in the mouth

September 25, 2010

Looking a gift book in the mouth

Yesterday, I posted about twelve free textbooks.

FreeTextbooks.

Woo-hoo, right?  Textbooks can easily cost more than $100.  They were on a variety of math and science topics.

So, you would think people would be doing a little book-reading jig, right?  The “Bookworm Boogie””?  ;)

Well, there was a little problem.  At least one of the books indicated it would be delivered in 2025. 

That produced some snarky, cynical comments…not here, by the way, although a couple of people asked about it.

Yeah…how dare they give you something for free and then say you won’t get it for fifteen years!

That justifies being mad at them, right? 

Um…not for me.  I don’t get that reaction at all. 

First, let’s say that it doesn’t get delivered until 2025.  It would still be free.  Somebody on my account might want to read it then.  I think one of the oddest ideas is that, as a science book, it would be obsolete by then.  I’m not saying you could use it in a classroom, necessarily, but a lot of science is the same as it was fifteen years ago.  ;)  Some of it is the same as it was in Ancient Greece.  I take my hat off to the textbook publishers!  They’ve done a great job getting people to believe a science textbook will be worthless in fifteen years!   No wonder high schools spend millions of dollars replacing them!  Yes, yes, yes, new things develop, and you might want supplemental materials.  No, it’s not just textbook makers who think this. 

“I conceive of nothing in religion, science, or philosophy that is more than the proper thing to wear, for awhile.”
–Charles Fort
writing in
Wild Talents (1932)

But if you aren’t a Fortean, much of the science in a textbook today will still be valuable to you in fifteen years.  ;)

What if they don’t deliver the book to you in 2025? 

Wow, they would have tricked you into clicking a button…you’d feel like one of P.T. Barnum’s “suckers”, right?  There you would be, perfectly happy on January 1st 2026, having had a wonderful New Year’s Eve the night before.  You finally wake up feeling great (the problems of hangovers and over-tiredness having been solved).  Your Kindle zips up to you, hovering in the air.  You ask it what’s new. 

There are some great books that have just fallen into the public domain…so you can get them free!  Those are books first published in the USA in 1929…All Quiet on the Western Front, A Farewell to Arms, the Roman Hat Mystery (the first Ellery Queen novel)…

and then it hits you.

“Hey, that free textbook I ordered in 2010!  It’s not here!  What a rip!  I am so bummed!  No, you stupid Kindle, I don’t want to watch the Coconuts (one of the great Marx Brothers comedies) just because it’s free now!  Synthesizing my favorite mocha-cocoa-instant health & exercise lattes is not going to do it!  You failed me!  Life is so unfair…”

:)

I’m just kidding, of course…but my basic point is, why not order them?  If you get it today, great.  If it’s 2025, fine.  If you don’t get it at all, oh well.

By the way, the 2025 statement was testable…I mention that since so many of these books are science.  I ordered them all, and they all delivered just fine last night.  It did take a while…these are big files.  I had them sent to my Kindle for PC…I do that usually when it isn’t a book I want to read right away.  I’d like it if I could specify a book should go right to the archives, but I suppose that makes it a bit harder for the licensing.  In this case, though, I also figured that the computer would handle the downloads better than the Kindle.

You are perfectly welcome not to order a book because it might mistakenly say you won’t get it for fifteen years.    There are plenty of options out there.  For me, I think I might try listening to the Life Science book in the car…might be fun.  :)

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.


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