Round up #71: Color overlay, color Kindle, bye-bye keyboard?
ComputerAct!ve: “Kindle cover to help people with dyslexia”
It’s interesting to me that there are still a lot of things we don’t know.
There are different approaches to that. We can try to figure out why something should be true, and then test it. That’s sort of the scientific method.
On the other hand, we have what is called by Isaac Bonewits The Law of Pragmatism (also called The Engineer’s Law): “If it works, it’s true.”
Dyslexia and color is a good example.
There is reportedly some evidence that using a color overlay on a paperbook can make it easier for dyslexic to read it.
Well, the above article talks about a color overlay that has been made for the Kindle Keyboard (formerly known as the Kindle 3):
At this point, it appears that the three different colored covers are only available through Amazon.co.uk, but they may come to Amazon.com eventually.
If it works, great! That’s even if we don’t know for sure why.
It’s interesting, I’ve also heard that it’s harder for people with certain reading challenges when you use two spaces after a period (which is how a lot of people were trained when we used typewriters). For some reason, it creates visual “rivers” in the “page” in a way different from using one space. I’ve tried to retrain myself to use one space for that reason.
The Verge: “Ebook download site library.nu shut down by coalition of international publishers”
One of my readers gave me the heads-up on this in a private e-mail.
It’s been a little while, but that happens sometimes. I just leave the tab open in Google Chrome until it feels like the “write” time.
In this case, there wasn’t any particular hurry, because the deed has been done.
The article is about a site (library.nu) being shut down by publishers.
A lot of people’s immediate reactions are going to be to be mad at the big bad publishers. The companies partially have themselves to blame for that. There have been concrete examples of publishers doing things that make reading e-books more difficult. There was the Agency Model (which resulted in higher prices on New York Times hardback bestseller equivalents)…that one’s been challenged in a number of ways, including class action suits. Then there is blocking text-to-speech access. That engendered actual protests. There are restrictions on lending, restrictions on “clipping”, and so on.
I think, though, that this is something different.
In this case, it was a website that was allegedly linking to pirated copies of e-books…especially textbooks.
The article may answer a question for you…why pirate? How does benefit people to give away free books?
Well, there are a lot of reasons for that, but in this case, it sounds like it was (at least partially) for advertising dollars…more than $10 million.
If what is alleged is true, the site was using infringement on the rights of others (even if it wasn’t doing the pirating, but linking to pirated copies) for their personal enrichment.
I know that people have different opinions about copyright, and what’s an appropriate use, but I wouldn’t extrapolate from shutting down this site to something people might do without intent.
PC World: “Is the Kindle Getting a Color Screen?”
What’s being talked about here is a color RSK (Reflective Screen Kindle). There is, of course, something Amazon calls a Kindle which has a color screen…the Kindle Fire.
This would be something different, though, and for quite a while it was a topic of a lot of speculation.
I wonder if it would have the same impact now, though?
A color reflective screen would have a lot of advantages…but it couldn’t do what a backlit screen (like the Kindle Fire) does. Quite simply, no reflective screen at this point can refresh (draw something new on the screen) fast enough for real animation.
If the article is accurate, though, it would show a continuing commitment to RSKs on Amazon’s part.
More interesting to me (since I have some color vision deficiency…color blindness…I don’t care that much about the color part) is that the article suggests it could be in the market in March.
That would coincide with a possible release date for a larger screen Kindle Fire (or two) and an updated version of the current Kindle Fire.
I think Amazon would like to release several models at once…they did that last time, and it appears to have worked well for them.
One possibility…will they eliminate and/or replace the Kindle Keyboard?
When you look from the main navigation on the Amazon homepage, it doesn’t show up:
is not available new from Amazon currently. The picture for it doesn’t show up any more when you are seeing the Kindle family, although the
Does this mean Amazon will abandon a physical keyboard for Kindles?
I don’t see that happening quite yet…maybe eventually keyboards will be as old-fashioned as floppy drives, but I don’t see that happening this year.
By the way, notice that the Kindle DX is still around. I thought it was doomed, at least in its current state. Would a color DX make sense? Maybe…maybe they could give us color for the same price as what grayscale is now.
That would be a specialty item, though.
What do you think? Is the shutdown of an e-book file sharing site a sign of things to come? Would you buy a color RSK…let’s say it was $175? Are you an expert on dyslexia and can comment on the impact of color overlays? Free free to comment on this post to let me (and my readers) know what you think.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.