Round up #86: Closed captioning, Aztec Mummies, Japan
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
Note; a power outage slowed me down a bit today. Power’s back on now, but yes, that was a bit disconcerting. My Kindle Fire had about a 40% charge, but without power, no wi-fi in my house. My Samsung Captivate also usually doesn’t connect in my home without wi-fi…so I was web-blind!
Santo and eReaderIQ
I’ve written about
many times, and I consider it one of the best Kindle resources anywhere.
Well, they really came through for me yesterday!
On August 22 of 2010 (!) I listed some books with their free “tell me when it is Kindleized” service.
As promised, they sent me a free e-mail when
was finally available! That book isn’t going to appeal to everybody, but if you’ve watched a movie with Santo or some other lucha libre wrestler fighting a vampire, you know what we are discussing. This is a fairly serious look…and I’m always fascinated by what non-art factors affect the creation of any kind of art (even cheap exploitation movies). In this case, I’ve already learned some things. One issue: the government had banned professional wrestling on television, so making these movies was a way for these very popular entertainers to keep doing their jobs.
The book was also much less expensive than the hardback had been (that was $35). I paid $14.99 for this…I know some people never want to pay more than $9.99, but this isn’t a novel, it’s something I would expect to be more expensive.
Bottom line: eReaderIQ made me very happy, at no cost to me. I highly recommend them.
Closed captioning coming on July 15
This may not affect you personally, but I think you’ll still be excited about it.
Currently, Amazon Instant video does not have closed captioning available.
What is closed captioning?
Some people use the terms differently, but my understanding of it is that “closed captioning” is text that shows you the dialogue (and some other sounds) that are happening in a movie or TV show…but only appear when requested. That’s why they are called “closed”…you have to choose to open them.
You may also see the term “subtitles” used for this, but again, my understanding is that subtitles are always visible (like when you are watching a movie in a foreign language with subtitles) and closed captioning is not.
Essentially, what happened was that the studios thought it was too expensive or complicated to include closed captioning on streaming video, and it wasn’t illegal not to include it, so they didn’t.
Back in 2010 (there’s that year again), a law was passed that would change that.
Studios have been given time to implement it, and July 15th marks when it begins to have an impact.
At that point, video which has been previously broadcast (TV shows, movies that have been on TV) starts including closed captioning when it is streamed.
That’s a huge improvement for the deaf and hard of hearing*!
There’s more to come, and this doesn’t cover movies that have never been broadcast or video that is strictly web video, but it’s a big plus.
The Act has a lot of provisions, but as regular readers know, I’m interested in equal access for the disabled, so this is nice to see.
There have been a lot of rumors about Amazon selling the Kindle in Japan, and my sense is that we are getting closer. It may happen at the same time that the release new hardware models, but that’s not necessarily the case.
Japan is, not surprisingly, an interesting market for electronics. In this case, it’s the home turf for Sony…which preceded the Kindle into the EBR (E-Book Reader) market, and continues to be active in it today. They didn’t exactly set the world on Fire (so to speak)…it took the Kindle to that in the US.
It will be really fascinating to see how the Kindle does in Japan, if it does launch there soon. Is it just another kid on the block? Do they undersell Sony? How will they handle the language in the menus? Will this mean more books in Japanese for the USA Kindle store? I’ll be watching…
Atari on the Fire
This is a little dangerous, but yes, it’s fun.
I’ve been playing
As you can see, you get the original Missile Command (ported to the Fire). However, what was cool was that you could pay $9.99 and get a whole bunch of games. Sure, there are adjustments when you don’t have a physical trackball (these are the arcade games, by the way, not the 2600 games). I’ve been playing Asteroids, although it is taking some doing to get used to the controls. I’ve also played Centipede, and one at which I used to be really good…Tempest.
The interface isn’t the most intuitive to get into the games or to purchase them, but outside of that, I thought it was well worth the money. As an ambidexter, I did appreciate that you could choose different configurations…button on the left, button on the right, and so on. You wouldn’t think that wouldn’t matter to me, but I do like the variety of being able to switch which hand does what in games.
Oh, and there is something charmingly retro about playing Pong on a Kindle Fire.
* I had originally used a different term for this group who don’t perceive audible input in the way that most people do. One of my readers, Joseph, pointed out that the term I used might be culturally insensitive, and I think Joseph for alerting me to that
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.