Archive for May, 2012

Commenting on comments

May 21, 2012

Commenting on comments

I love it when people leave comments on my posts!

I have some of the liveliest discussions that way, and I’m pleased to have such inventive, articulate, and erudite readers.

I do wish it was easier to comment from the RSKs (Reflective Screen Kindles)…no simple way from those devices. I do always provide a link to this blog at the end of each post, but I’ll admit, it’s not easy from RSKs.

On the Kindle Fire, when you are using the Pulse app, you can either tap the Web choice at the top of the screen (you can view posts as either “Web” or “Text”), or scroll to the bottom and tap, “Go to original article”.

If you get to this on the website at

http://ilmk.wordpress.com/

then you’ll see a “Leave a comment” choice after the post.

Yes, I like getting those…usually.

There’s one weird thing, and I’m not quite sure how to handle it, so I thought I’d ask your opinion.

That’s when people use the comments for advertising purposes.

This seems to fall into three categories.

One is just the blatant, “Buy my stuff” variety…usually something that has no connection to what you and I discuss in this blog. Those are easy, I just trash those.

The second one is “backlinking”. The idea there is that you link to someone else’s blog by leaving a comment, and then a link your website is apparent to other people. If this is something like another Kindle blog, I’m not that concerned…I figure you might find that interesting. I’d obviously prefer that they are actually commenting on the post…never a problem with that.

The problem is when it appears to be done by software, and it’s clear that it isn’t really about the post. I think I’ve been linked to things like lawnmower websites and ones that appear to be…um…relationship based (perhaps adult sites)…sometimes in other languages.

Should I approve those? More links add to your visibility in Google searches, I believe, and I could just leave it up to you if you want to go there or not: you are smart enough. It just seems like it ups the noise to signal ratio.

I’ve had ones recently promoting

  • free samples
  • get a lot of facebook fans
  • hummel figurines
and so on. I didn’t approve any of those. I suppose the funniest one was a link to a place that had an “automatic backlinking tool”. Um, since I didn’t approve that one, I’m not convinced they have a worthwhile product. ;)

The ones I don’t like are the ones that appear to lie and indicate that they’ve read the post, when they haven’t.

Here’s an example of a comment that was left:

“Useful info. Fortunate me I found your website accidentally, and I am stunned why this twist of fate didn’t took place earlier! I bookmarked it.”

It links to a purely commercial site.

Notice that weird “didn’t took place” construction? That seems to be common. It’s like a telltale sign from a science fiction work, where the aliens are impersonating us or people are possessed. You know, the way the pinkies of the aliens in The Invaders didn’t bend properly, enabling David Vincent to recognize them. :) If I were them, I’d just write, “Great post!” I wouldn’t think twice about approving that.

I don’t like those because they are dishonest, plain and simple. I place a high premium on honesty. I won’t lie to you, although I might try to persuade you through a clever choice of words. :) Sure, games and jokes are different, but I’m big on telling the truth. If an employee lies to a an employer about work matters, I would typically dismiss them (and I have done that)…that’s not something they can fix through a remedy plan.

That brings me to a third type I’ve gotten recently.

An author posted a comment…that’s wonderful, I love that! I like to hear from authors, and I think you do, too.

The comment was the first chapter of a book…okay, that’s kind of nice. Yes, people can generally get the start of a book as a free sample from Amazon, but still, nice to do.

However…

After that, it just turned into an ad. There was a blurb from somebody praising the book, then “… is a bargain from Amazon at 99c”.

That stopped me from posting it.

I haven’t sold advertising on this blog…advertisers have a right to make money, but I don’t want you to think that I’m influenced by the ad revenue. I can’t say I’ve never considered it…I could make more money in a month by selling a “featured title of the day” mention, even for as little as $10. That’s just not my style. I know that WordPress sometimes shows you ads when you search for a single post, but I can’t control that.

So, I was torn about what to do. I considered stripping out the advertising part, but that didn’t seem fair to the author, really.

Oh, and I wouldn’t have minded the person posting the first chapter, and then signing the comment, “Aretha Writer, author of XYZ”…even if the XYZ part was a link to the book.

That’s not so…pushy I guess is part of it, but it seems like it is exploitation, I guess.

So, I’m asking for your opinion. Should I pretty much just approve all of the comments, even if they are irrelevant and/or advertising?

I know I tend to be overly strict on these sorts of things, and I’m just not sure if you are so used to advertising everywhere that it wouldn’t bother you. :)

Feel free to let me know what you think by commenting on this post…but I will be looking for those alien pinkies. ;)

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

The Pirate Steals Songs, Batman Rights Wrongs – part 1

May 21, 2012

The Pirate Steals Songs, Batman Rights Wrongs – part 1

This is part one of a parody of the 1960s Batman series with Adam West and Burt Ward.

(~^v^~)

We see spotlights outside a swanky theatre, and then a banquet room filled with celebrities and rich people.

Voiceover: “A glamorous night in Gotham City…all of Tinselwood has turned out for the Wayne Foundation charity premiere of the latest Bat-blockbuster! Silence those cellphones, viewers…your feature is about to start!”

We cut to a table. Seated at it are millionaire Bruce Wayne (Adam West), his ward Dick Grayson (Burt Ward), a famous movie director  (Paul Reubens) and his wildly-dressed companion, Helena Troy Mondale (Kristen Wiig).

Dick: “Gosh, Bert Timmons! I think your movies are the coolest!”

Bruce: “I agree, Dick. They have an offbeat surrealist sensibility, not unlike the early cinematic efforts of Tod Browning.”

Helena: “Are you a student of the cinema, Mr. Wayne?”

Bruce: “I prefer the classical arts, Ms. Mondale, but I don’t deny the value of the artistry of the moving image.”

Bert: “Well, I really appreciate you hosting this exclusive premiere of my latest Batman movie, Bruce.”

Bruce:  “The Wayne Foundation is always ready to help out a charity…especially when it involves such lovely ladies.”

Helena: “Oh, Mr. Wayne!”

(Bert chuckles)

Dick: “I think they’re starting.”

We cut to a podium in front of a large screen showing the Wayne Foundation logo. Commisioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara flank the podium.  A woman walks to to the podium. We cut to a medium shot, and can see a name plate: “Mayor Judi Rooleeanee”.

Voiceover: “Ladies and gentlemen, Mayor Rooleeanee.”

Mayor Rooleeannee (Melissa McCarthy): “Citizens of our fair city, and distinguished visitors! Welcome to the Gotham Chinese Theatre! I want to first thank millionaire Bruce Wayne and the Wayne Foundation for their generous support. Second, thank you to director Bert Timmons and the lovely Helena Troy Mondale for allowing us this exclusive premiere of this movie, starring the city’s own caped crusader…Batman! I had hoped Batman himself might make an appearance, but it seems that he had another engagement. I don’t know what it could be, since we are the safest large city in the country…bat-villains excluded, of course.  If he was here, though, I’m sure he would ask you to give generously to the Orphans and Extras Fund on your way out, after your exclusive first look at Batman: Cave of Dreams!”

The lights stay up, and the screen changes to a green background. A piratey voiceover says, “This movie is rated Arrr!” The screen clears, and we see The Pirate (Will Ferrell).

The Pirate: “Yo ho ho and a bottle of bummer! You won’t be setting sail on an exclusive tonight!”

Bert: “Hey! That’s not my movie!”

The Pirate: “Information wants to be free! I’ve plundered your picture…but don’t worry, ye’ll all be seein’ it!”

Suddenly, we start hearing cellphones going off all around the room. We see Bert look at his phone, as a “Batman: Cave of Dreams” title card appears on it.

Bert: “Aah! They’ve stolen my movie and sent it to everyone in this room!”

Bruce: “Unless I miss my guess, the fiend has sent it to everyone in Gotham City.”

Dick: “Gosh, Bruce! Who’s going to donate to the Orphans & Extras now?”

The Pirate: “I’m thinkin’ that ye might all be wishin’ for a little less freedom right now. Well, never let it be said that The Pirate weren’t hospitable. I’ll be throwin’ the Mayor in the brig!”

The lights go out for literally just a second.

When they come back up, we see that the Mayor is missing!

Chief O’Hara: “Faith and begorrah!”

Commissioner Gordon: “The Mayor is gone!”

Dick: “Holy special elections!”

Bruce: “Well, Dick, since we aren’t going to see the movie tonight, I think we’d better get back to stately Wayne manor. After all, it is a school night.”

Dick: “You bet, Bruce! It was an honor to meet you, Mr. Timmons.”

Bert lets out a wail.

Bruce: “Don’t worry, Bert. The Wayne Foundation will make a generous donation in your name.  Good evening, Ms. Mondale. Let’s go, chum!”

Doodleedoodleedoodleedoodleedoo

We are at police headquarters.

Voiceover: “After a fruitless search for the city’s chief executive, Commissioner   Gordon and Chief O”Hara ponder the Pirates perfidious performance.”

O’Hara: “I don’t understand it. Me boys have scoured all of downtown, with nary a sign of her honor. If I could get me hands on that sea-going scoundrel, I’d keelhaul him!”

Gordon: “Now,Chief, while I understand your frustration, it will be up to the courts to determine an appropriate punishment…after a finding of guilty, of course.”

O’Hara: “Sure, and that’s the truth. I just don’t know what else we can do.”

Gordon: “Neither do I…but I think we know someone who might.”

Commissioner Gordon makes a call on the Bat-Phone. We do a bat-cut to stately Wayne Manor, where Bruce and Dick have just entered the sitting room.

Aunt Harriet: “You boys are home early. Wasn’t the movie good?”

Bruce: “Unfortunately, there were…technical difficulties.”

Aunt Harriet: “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that! A night at the picture show would have done you both some good.”

Alfred enters: “I’m sorry to interrupt. It’s the red phone, Master Bruce.”

Bruce: “Thank you, Alfred. We’ll take it in the library.”

We cut to the library, and Bruce on the phone.

Bruce: “The Pirate, you say? And the Mayor vanished? Fear not, Commissioner…we won’t waste a moment.” (hangs up dramatically) “To the Batpoles!”

(in the Batcave)

Robin: “Gosh, Bruce, I don’t understand. How did The Pirate get Mayor Rooleeanee out of the Gotham Chinese Theatre without anybody seeing them?”

Batman: “I have my suspicions, Boy Wonder, but let’s see what the Bat-Computer has to say.”

Batman pushes a few buttons. We can hear the relays closing, and the Batcomputer spits out a card, which Robin grabs and reads out loud.

Robin: “‘The Pirate could not have gotten the Mayor out of the theatre.’ Holy that does not compute!”

Batman: “Exactly as I had deduced.”

Suddenly, the Batcomputer begins making noises again, and another card spits out. Robin grabs it and read it: “Arr, Batlubber, you’ve been pinged!”

Batman: “Step back, Robin!”

Batman touches a button on the Batcomputer, and flames instantly appears, separating Batman and Robin from the Batcomputer.

Robin: “Holy flame-broiled burgers! What’s that?”

Batman: “Just a little security measure I installed on the Batcomputer. It prevents anyone who hacks into our system from getting any information or geolocating us.”

Robin: “But what is it?”

Batman: “The Bat-firewall.”

Robin: “Gee, that was smart, Batman! But how do we get to the Batcomputer now…and what did it mean by it saying it was impossible?”

Batman: “I’m afraid we won’t be able to use the Batcomputer for some time, Robin. Still, it’s never good to become too reliant on technology. The human brain is the greatest computer ever built.”

Robin: “Gosh, Batman, that’s right. I don’t know what I was thinking. You said you had an idea about what happened to the Mayor?”

Batman: “More than an idea…a theory, and the Batcomputer confirmed it. Did you notice anything unusual when the Mayor approached the podium?”

Robin: “It seemed like a perfectly ordinary star-studded event.”

Batman: “Although the microphone was open, there wasn’t the tell-tale sound of a woman’s heels on the floor, even though I had quite distinctly heard the sound of Commissioner Gordon and Chief O’Hara’s shoes as they had taken up their protective positions.”

Robin: “I don’t get it.”

Batman: “It’s simple: the Mayor was never in the theatre. What we saw was a clever three-dimensional illusion, created no doubt by that techno-fiend, the Pirate.”

Robin: “Holy hologram!”

Batman: “Precisely, Robin! Since it was impossible for The Pirate to have taken the Mayor from the benefit, the devil must have taken her before!”

Robin: “So what do we do now?”

Batman: “We think, Robin. The Pirate must have waited until the Mayor’s work was done for the day before absconding with her to his pirate ship. That means his hideout must be nearby. Now where would there be a pirate ship in Gotham City?”

Robin: “The old abandoned Pirate Bay attraction in Gotham Harbor!”

Batman: “You’ve done it, old chum! To the Batmobile!”

They leap into the Batmobile. We see “Bat airbag” icons appear on the dashboard, as they fasten their seatbelts.

Robin: “Atomic batteries to power…zero-emission turbines to speed!”

We see a shot of the back of the Batmobile, as bubbles come out of a pipe, form into bat shapes, and then pop. The Batmobile roars out of the Batcave, and we see it race off down the road.

Voiceover: “As the Dynamic Duo drives at the speed limit towards Pirate Bay, the Infamous Infringer taunts Gotham City’s duly-elected Chief Executive.”

We see the Pirate at a Captain’s Wheel (although we are indoors) and three henchmen. They are wearing shirts that have their names on them: HACKER, TROJAN, and MALWARE. The Pirate’s electronic parrot on his shoulder squawks. Mayor Rooleeanee is tied to a mast, in the enclosed room.

Hacker: “Gee, Boss, I don’t get it. Why’d we kidnap the Mayor? We don’t usually do stuff in real life.”

The Pirate: “That be Captain Boss, Hacker! Twere a necessary evil, twere.”

Mayor Rooleeanee: “You’ll never get away with this! Gotham City’s finest won’t rest until I”m rescued!”

The Pirate: “Ye be forgettin’…we be on the water, and outside their jurisdiction…arr har har!”

Mayor Rooleeanee: “It’s you that has forgotten! Batman knows no jurisdiction! I’m sure he’s on his way right now to serve you some waterlogged justice!”

The Pirate: “Aye, your dissed honor! I be countin’ on it.”

Hacker: “What do you mean, Boss…uh, Captain Boss? Batman’s coming here? How could he find us?”

The Pirate: “We’re on the only pirate ship in a hundred miles, barnacle brain! But don’t be worried…I’ve prepared a surprise for the noxious noobs!”

Voiceover: “A surprise? Watch out, Batman! Sometimes surprises are not good!”

We cut to Batman and Robin on either side of a door in what appears to be the interior of a pirate ship. There is a big X on it, and it is labeled…”www.thepiratesbrig.com”.

Batman: “Ready, old chum?”

Robin: “As always, Batman! But, gosh, it seems a little obvious…what if it’s a trap?”

Batman: “What are the odd of that?”

Robin: “Gee, Batman, I’m not that good at math.”

Batman: “Mathematics are the ballet of the mind, Robin. We may not all dance in the Gotham City Ballet, but we all have to pirouette from time to time.”

Robin: “Gosh, I never thought of it that way, Batman.”

Batman: “It’s never too late to see things from a new perspective. Now, let’s rescue the Mayor!”

Batman and Robin burst through the door and assume fighting positions. The lights come up on a stage and we see…Rick Astley (live) performing Never Gonna Give You Up.

Robin: “Holy hijacked hyperlink, Batman! We’ve been Rickrolled!”

The Pirate appears on a screen behind Rick Astley, who has stopped playing and looks confused.

The Pirate: “Ye be right, me unlucky lad! Don’t be tryin’ the door…it be battened down!”

Batman: “You scurrilous cyber sea-dog! What have you done with the Mayor?”

The Pirate: “Oh, she be here with we…um, us. She’ll be goin’ on a voyage with us!  Hacker! Trojan! Malware! Ready the boards…it’s time for us to surf!”

The henchmen take the Mayor and each step on to a brightly colored motorized surfboard. The Pirate turns back to the camera.

The Pirate: “I’ll be sendin’ you to Davy Jones’ Locker, Masked Monkees! It be time for you to log out…”

We hear a loud rumbling sound, and a huge log (several feet high) that has been up by the ceiling begins slowly, inexorably rolling towards Batman and Robin.

Robin: “Holy orange crush, Batman! We’ll be squashed like bugs!”

Voiceover: “Will Batman and Robin be logged out…permanently? Will their crimefighting accounts be deleted by a shivering timber? Wooden you like to know? Tune in tomorrow…same Bat-time, same Bat-blog!”

(~^v^~)

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

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear…

May 20, 2012

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear…

“You don’t own a TV? What’s all your furniture pointed at?”
–Joey Tribiani (played by Matt LeBlanc)
The One in Barbados: Part 1 episode of
Friends
screenplay by Shana Goldberg-Meehan, Scott Silveri

Decades before the TV became the centerpiece of the American home, families still gathered around a mass media device and everybody was talking about it the next day.

Radio.

Early television, in fact, wouldn’t have been what it was without those radio shows establishing that weekly entertainment habit.

Some famous TV shows and stars started out on radio: Jack Benny, Ozzie & Harriett, The Lone Ranger, and many more. Dragnet originally said, “The story you are about to hear is true,” not that you “are about to see”…although the names were still changed to protect the innocent.

Even the sight-gag oriented Candid Camera started out as Candid Microphone.

Sure, they came out of the entertainment “industry”…made to make money, with sponsorship as obvious as any major league ballpark is today. Still, there can be something magical about OTR (Old Time Radio).

The make-up, the special effects, the wild locations…those were all in your head. The only real limitation was the writer’s imagination…oh, and what the sponsors approved, of course. ;)

That, by the way, may be a lot more than you’d expect. Murder, horror…even to the point of people being turned inside out in one famous Lights Out episode  (that’s an image that will stay with you).

I don’t listen to OTR every day, but it is part of my Kindle mix. I particularly like it on a plane trip, but it’s also good from time to time in the car (although I tend to prefer text-to-speech).

If you’d like to give it a try, there are a few ways to get Old Time Radio on your Kindle:

Download an MP3

You can do this with any Kindle (except the Mindle, the $79/$109 model, which doesn’t have speakers)…even a Kindle 1.

You can get the MP3 from a number of sources. For free ones, I recommend

The trick to listening to these on an RSK (Reflective Screen Kindle) is to put them into the Audible folder on the Kindle, not into the music folder.

Each file you’ve downloaded will then appear like an e-book in the homescreen. That will let you select the one you to which you want to listen at the time, stop in the middle and resume later, and so on.

If you have a Kindle that does Collections, you can put them into a Collection to make them easier to find…that’s what I do.

With the Kindle Fire, you can go to one of the sites, find the file you want, long press it (hold your finger or stylus on it for about a second), and choose “Save Link” (in the Silk browser…other browsers may use a different technique). You’ll find it again in

Web – Menu – Downloads

One nice thing: once you’ve started listening to it once, you’ll also find it in your Music tab. It might be in an album called “download”, but you should find them as individual songs. How it classifies it can be interesting…this is a place where the free app ES File Explorer comes in handy…not only in finding them, but in renaming them.

If you want to buy the MP3s from Amazon (which can be an easier way to get a bunch of them at once…and gives you more flexibility listening to them on multiple devices), here’s a search for them:

Old Time Radio MP3s at Amazon

As an alternative, you can get them from Audible.com (also owned by Amazon). I like the way that works on my Kindle Fire with the Audible app…

OTR at Audible.com

Streaming

As far as Kindles go, this is only an option on the Kindle Fire. You can stream from Archive. org (the downloadable files are at the bottom of this page, the streamable ones are at the top). You can also stream at RadioLovers.com.

Apps

Again, this is only on the Kindle Fire.

I’ve used

Old Time Radio Player

which is free, but streaming only. I wouldn’t say they have a huge selection, but it’s an easy way to listen when connected.

Just for the sake of this post (really, dear, that’s why I spent $1.99) ;) I got

Tales of Horror – OTR

It did seem to have a lot of shows, and the playback was fine. The negatives: there didn’t seem to be an easy way to find a particular episode (or even a show), there wasn’t an explanation of the show that I could see (even as to what the series was called), and there was an ad/intro at the beginning of the show. However, you could quickly and seamlessly download an episode, and you could star your favorites. This appears to be a podcast, and they have other “flavors” besides horror as well.

Before we get into some specific recommendations for shows from me, I do want to mention

On the Air : The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio

That’s the updated version of the classic reference work, Tune in Yesterday (I have it in paper) by John Dunning, and now published by Oxford University Press.

Okay, let’s tune in that dial…

One warning: the golden era  of Old Time Radio was decades ago (really in the twenties, thirties, and forties, although there is some fuzziness in the dates). The “politically correct” standards were different. Just diving into it at random, you could run into something that you might consider offensive. Also, as I’ve mentioned already, it could be really scary. I’d very careful about letting, oh, a six-year old listen to the horror shows like Lights Out in the dark by themselves…

You’ll also probably be amused when characters describe what’s happening in the scene: “John, why are you putting that box on the table by the door?” ;)

Oh, and don’t be surprised if you hear what sounds like the old hiss and pop of vinyl. That’s why we have a lot of these shows…they were actually distributed to radio stations as records like the vinyl records we used to have (although they were more commonly on aluminum, I think).

The Lone Ranger

Start at the beginning with this one…there’s a real origin and development. In fact, the details are all explained: we know how the Lone Ranger became the Lone Ranger, how the masked man got Silver…even the origin of the mask itself. You might want to listen to it before the Johnny Depp movie next year.  Incidentally, they are making a point in that version of making Tonto a more important figure…but Tonto in the radio series is already a strong character. Yes, other people treat Tonto poorly, and there is that “broken English”, but Tonto is shown as a very capable person.

The Avenger

No connection to the Marvel superheroes. :) This can be quite a strange superhero show. It plays somewhat like a detective show, but the hero has two special abilities (both through secret inventions of the character). One is the “telepathic indicator”, which picks up sort of random thoughts…the Avenger can’t use it to read a specific person’s thoughts in a specific circumstance. The other one is the “diffusion capsule”, which renders the Avenger invisible. The plots can be out there, though…try The Mystery of the Giant Brain for an example.

If you are interested in what were the most popular shows, this site has done a nice job of organizing them:

http://www.old-time.com/ratings/by%20season/index.html

This, by the way, is particularly fascinating. Station WSJV recorded their entire broadcasting day on September 21, 1939. You can listen to it in “real-time”, if you want…but you’d have to start at 6:30 AM and go past 12:30 AM the next day. :)

http://archive.org/details/CompleteBroadcastDay

It’s twelve MP3s…

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

Kindle Daily Deal: The Mongoliad

May 20, 2012

Kindle Daily Deal: The Mongoliad

Today’s Kindle Daily Deal is a book I’m currently reading! What are the odds? Well, actually, to calculate that, I’d need to know which books are eligible to be the Kindle Daily Deal, which books outside of that I might be reading, and…never mind. ;)

It’s

The Mongoliad: Book One (The Foreworld Saga)

I actually borrowed it from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library, so I didn’t even pay the paltry ninety-nine cents at which it is offered today. I got it at no additional cost to my $79 a year Amazon Prime membership.

Bottom line: I am enjoying it.

It’s written by a bunch of authors (including Greg Bear and Neal Stephenson), and as sometimes happens in that case, has multiple plot lines. I don’t find that confusing, though. It’s okay for authors to say, “You write the Mongol scenes, I’ll write the knights”), when those stories are in parallel. They will intersect, and that’s where it can get tricky.

So far, I like the characters, and the historical detail (which knowing the folks behind this, I presume is reasonably accurate) is fascinating. I wouldn’t have thought of Knights not on a Crusade encountering the Khan’s forces,but it makes sense.

While you might expect this to read like science fiction, that’s not really the case so far. It’s much more of a medieval tale…nothing that stretches credulity for the average reader so far. Oh, and there is actually more than one important and strong female character at this point…not always seen. Unlike some independent books I’ve read, it hasn’t had any explicit sexual content so far…although there is definitely violence, it isn’t what I call “gorenographia”.  Yes, we do hear about people being dismembered, but it isn’t described in anatomical detail.

I’d say it’s worth a try. You could get the sample…but remember, this deal is only good for today, so don’t wait too long to do the 1-click. You could also wait until next month…it may still be in the KOLL at that point.

Update: I forgot to point out that this book is published by one of Amazon’s traditional publishing imprints. Getting it is a way to…undercut the power of the tradpubs, if you want to do that. I should also mention: so far, it was impeccably proof-read. :)

Enjoy! I’ll write a review after I finish it.

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

Round up #84: new British Kindle ad, ads on the Fire?

May 19, 2012

Round up #84: new British Kindle ad, ads on the Fire?

I’m writing this in a business center in a hotel, and it has somewhat unreliable and limited internet, but I’ll do the best I can. I like to tell you about new Kindle ads when I can, and I got an alert, so I’m taking a few minutes for this.

Ads on the Fire

This first one is in the rumor category, but interesting.

Ad Age (really, the major advertising publication) reported that Amazon is asking for $600,000 to put ads on the homescreen of the Kinde Fire.

Ad Age article

I first saw this when somebody on the Kindle forum wrote a really irate post about it, threatening illegal activities in response.

Yes, before we even know if it’s happening. 

Yes, before we even know how it’s happening if it is.

Some people love to get upset, I guess. :)

What I would guess is that this could be part of the package of new tablet and RSK (Reflective Screen Kindle) releases I think may happen before the end of the summer

Of course, precedent suggests these wouldn’t show up unless you wanted them…contrary to what some people might assume (and curse, prematurely in my opinion).

What I’m thinking is that we’ll have the option to buy an ad-sponsored Kindle Fire for a lower price…and that might go for other tablets Amazon releases. That makes sense to me…why not?

If you don’t want it, my bet would be that you won’t have to have it.

New UK Kindle ad

I got alerted to this one from the official Kindle YouTube channel (I’m signed up for alerts).

It’s an interesting ad which I think really does show the virtues of the Kindle in a way that many of the other haven’t.

It’s about taking Kindles on vacation…er, holiday, since it is British.

It actually shows people using them.

It also shows a lot of skin.

Seriously, Amazon, people who aren’t young models use Kindles, too. ;) I know, I know, that’s how advertising often works. Yes, people who go to the Riviera in bikinis read, too. It’s just my guess that the people in the ad aren’t exactly…representational, statistically.  :)

 I did manage to get the link for you. :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4lo-4DbHKs

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

Random Tips #2

May 19, 2012

Random Tips #2

I like to cover a subject in-depth, like I do in the Frequently Asked Kindle Questions category.  However, that can be a lot to swallow at one time.  I like giving you the big picture, the whys and wherefores.  Sometimes, though, you just want to hear something cool and self-contained.  :)   So, this time, I’m just going to give you little random tips.  After all, you can search the blog to find things…even if they are in a patchwork quilt post.  This is the second in a series…thanks for letting me know you liked the first one!

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Want to search your e-mail on your Kindle Fire? Swipe down when you get to the message list.

Want to report misspellings or other errors on a Kindle Touch? Highlight it, then tap More, Report Content Error.

Want to see which books have recently delivered to which Kindles/apps on your account? http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle – Pending Deliveries – scroll down and click to View Recent Successful Deliveries.

Want to return a Kindle store book for a refund within seven days of purchasing it? Go to that http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle page, click or tap Actions…and you’ll see the choice.

Want to quickly add books to a Collection? Open the Collection (not an individual book), and choose to Add/Remove Items. Once you’ve selected the ones you want, you can go to Home..you don’t need to click or tap the Done button first.

Want to find out when an e-book drops in price, or when it first appears as a Kindle edition? Use http://www.ereaderiq.com/.

Want to play a particular sound recording when you choose on a Reflective Screen Kindle? Put it in the Audible folder, rather than the Music folder. It will appear like an e-book in your homescreen.

Want to change which Kindle is the default when you buy something from the Kindle store? First, if you shop from your Kindle, that should be the default. Second, it’s done when you shop on your computer alphabetically (except that hardware Kindles come before Kindle apps…and Kindle Fires are treated like Kindle apps). You can go to http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle, Manage Your Devices. Under the column that says “Kindle Name”, you’ll see a link that says “Edit” in the record for each of your devices.

Want to send Amazon feedback about anything Kindle? kindle-feedback@amazon.com.

Want to get more information about where you are in a book? On RSKs, try hitting the Menu…that will likely show you your location, and page numbers if available.

Want to contact a traditional publisher? Try http://www.publishers.org/.  Then, click or tap Join AAP, then click or tap AAP Members.  If you want to skip the home page (which can have some very interesting things), you can go directly here: http://publishers.org/members/.

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

The Essential Collection series

May 18, 2012

The Essential Collection series

People sometimes complain about the price of e-books. Oh sure, you can get e-books for free, but it can be a lot of work to find the ones you want and download them one at a time…and how do you know which ones are good?

Well, another alternative is to get low-priced collections of classic works. You get a bunch of books with 1-click, and they are works which have stood the test of time.

One such series is the “Essential Collection” books in the Kindle store. It’s unclear to me if they are actually published by Amazon…they don’t list any other publisher, but that happens quite often with publishers using Kindle Direct Publishing.

I’m going to list a few of these. I’ve seen that at least some of them are illustrated, and I downloaded a sample of one that had an Active Table of Contents (meaning that you can click on an entry to jump there). I did see reviews that said others didn’t have that, though.

I’m going to give you an overall search first that finds them…although it does find other things as well:

Essential Collection series

The Essential Ernest Thompson Seton Collection

Animal Heroes
The Arctic Prairies
The Biography of a Grizzly
Johnny Bear
Lobo, Rag and Vixen
Rolf In The Woods
Two Little Savages
Wild Animals at Home
Wild Animals I Have Known
Woodland Tales

Seton is known for writing fiction about animals, and that’s the focus of this collection. Seton was also a naturalist and an early shaper of the Boy Scouts.

The Essential H. Rider Haggard Collection (50 books)

Allan and the Holy Flower
Allan Quatermain
Allan’s Wife
The Ancient Allan
Ayesha
Beatrice
Benita, An African Romance
Black Heart and White Heart
The Brethren
Cetywayo and his White Neighbours
Child of Storm
Cleopatra
Colonel Quaritch, V.C.
Dawn
Doctor Therne
Elissa
Eric Brighteyes
Fair Margaret
Finished
The Ghost Kings
The Ivory Child
Jess
King Solomon’s Mines
The Lady Of Blossholme
Love Eternal
Lysbeth
The Mahatma and the Hare
Maiwa’s Revenge
Marie, An Episode in The Life of the late Allan Quatermain
Montezuma’s Daughter
Moon of Israel
Morning Star
Mr. Meeson’s Will
Nada the Lily
Pearl-Maiden
The People Of The Mist
Queen Sheba’s Ring
Red Eve
Regeneration
She
She and Allan
Smith and the Pharaohs, and Other Tales
Stella Fregelius
Swallow
The Virgin of the Sun
The Wanderer’s Necklace
When the World Shook
The Wizard
The World’s Desire
The Yellow God

Allan Quartermain…and She Who Must By Obeyed. We would never have had Indiana Jones without Allan Quartermain.

The Essential Moliere Collection (21 works)

Amphitryon
The Blunderer
The Bores
The Countess of Escarbagnas
Don Garcia of Navarre
The Flying Doctor
The Imaginary Invalid
The Impostures of Scapin
The Jealousy of le Barbouillé
The Learned Women
The Love-Tiff
The Magnificent Lovers
The Middle Class Gentleman
The Miser
Monsieur de Pourceaugnac
The Pretentious Young Ladies
Psyche
The School for Husbands
Sganarelle
The Shopkeeper Turned Gentleman
Tartuffe

You may not be used to reading scripts, but you may want to make an exception for Moliere. The writing was scandalous at the time…satirical, especially of the upper class and the establishment (including the church).

The Essential Elinor Glyn Collection

Beyond The Rocks
The Damsel and the Sage
Elizabeth Visits America
Halcyone
His Hour
Man and Maid
The Man and the Moment
The Point of View
The Price of Things
The Reason Why
Red Hair
The Reflections of Ambrosine
Three Things
Three Weeks
The Visits of Elizabeth

You’ve probably heard of someone referred to as an “It girl”, but not of Elinor Glyn. There was a time when Glyn was a huge cultural phenomenon, writing about sexual attraction…but not just sexual, what can be called “personal magnetism”. There was a time when you could reference Glyn to refer to frankly thinking about…sex appeal isn’t quite right. Unfortunately, the book It isn’t included, but it may still be under copyright protection.

The Essential Charlotte M. Yonge Collection (27 books)

Abbeychurch
The Armourer’s Prentices
Beechcroft at Rockstone
A Book of Golden Deeds
The Caged Lion
The Carbonels
Chantry House
The Chaplet of Pearls
The Chosen People
Clever Woman of the Family
Countess Kate
The Dove in the Eagle’s Nest
Friarswood Post Office
Grisly Grisell
Heartsease
The Heir of Redclyffe
Henrietta’s Wish
The Herd Boy and His Hermit
Lady Hester
The Lances of Lynwood
Modern Broods
A Modern Telemachus
More Bywords
The Pigeon Pie
The Prince and the Page
Scenes and Characters
Two Penniless Princesses

Another cultural phenomenon of the past, Yonge had over 150 books published. In this case, what is probably the best known one is included: The Heir of Redclyffe.

The Essential Howard R. Garis Collection (17 books)

Buddy And Brighteyes Pigg
Bully and Bawly No-Tail
Curly and Floppy Twistytail
The Curlytops and Their Pets
The Curlytops and Their Playmates
The Curlytops at Uncle Frank’s Ranch
The Curlytops on Star Island
Daddy Takes Us to the Garden
Dick Hamilton’s Airship
Larry Dexter’s Great Search
Lulu, Alice and Jimmie Wibblewobble
Sammie and Susie Littletail
Umboo, the Elephant
Uncle Wiggily and Old Mother Hubbard
Uncle Wiggily in the Woods
Uncle Wiggily’s Adventures
Uncle Wiggily’s Travels

Did you have the Uncle Wiggily board game? That comes from Garis’ work. While this is only a tiny bit of what Garis wrote, its good to see a collection of kids’ stories. There’s probably a better chance that you’ve read something under one of Garis’ pseudonyms…Tom Swift written as Victor Appleton or some of the Bobbsey Twins books, written as Laura Lee Hope.

The Essential Henry James Collection (40 works)

The Turn of the Screw
The Altar of the Dead
The Ambassadors
The American
The Aspern Papers
The Author of Beltraffio
The Awkward Age
The Beast in the Jungle
The Beldonald Holbein
A Bundle of Letters
The Chaperon
Confidence
The Coxon Fund
Daisy Miller
The Death of the Lion
The Diary of a Man of Fifty
Embarrassments
Eugene Pickering
The Europeans
The Figure in the Carpet
The Finer Grain
Four Meetings
Georgina’s Reasons
Glasses
The Golden Bowl
Greville Fane
An International Episode
In the Cage
Italian Hours
A Little Tour In France
A London Life and Others
The Outcry
The Portrait of a Lady, Vol. I
The Portrait of a Lady, Vol. II
The Reverberator
Roderick Hudson
A Small Boy and Others
The Tragic Muse
Washington Square
What Maisie Knew

It’s no exaggeration to say that James redefined literature. Not only in James’ own works (including the classic horror novel The Turn of the Screw and the very different Daisy Miller), but in thinking and writing about…writing. By the way, as with many of these books, if you get the sample, you’ll get at least one full book…and in this case, the first book is The Turn of the Screw).

The Essential Algernon Blackwood Collection

The Centaur
The Damned
The Empty House And Other Ghost Stories
The Extra Day
Four Weird Tales
The Garden of Survival
The Human Chord
The Man Whom the Trees Loved
A Prisoner in Fairyland
Three John Silence Stories
Three More John Silence Stories
The Wendigo
The Willows

Blackwood is known for short ghost stories, but I recommend A Prisoner in Fairyland, personally.

The Essential Mary Roberts Rinehart Collection (21 books)

The After House
The Amazing Interlude
Bab: A Sub-Deb
The Bat
The Breaking Point
The Case of Jennie Brice
The Circular Staircase
The Confession
Dangerous Days
K
Kings, Queens And Pawns
Long Live the King
Love Stories
The Man in Lower Ten
More Tish
A Poor Wise Man
Sight Unseen
The Street of Seven Stars
Tish, The Chronicle of Her Escapades and Excursions
When a Man Marries
Where There’s A Will

The Bat became one of the longest running Broadway plays, and Rinehart is credited with creating a whole new school of mysteries. Don’t read her for this reason, but The Bat Whispers was a cited inspiration for Batman…

The Essential Edward Bulwer Lytton Collection (32 books) [Illustrated]

Alice, or The Mysteries
Athens: Its Rise and Fall
Calderon The Courtier
The Caxtons
The Coming Race
Devereux
The Disowned
Ernest Maltravers
Eugene Aram
Falkland
The Fallen Star
Godolphin
Harold, The Last Of The Saxon Kings
Haunted and the Haunters
Kenelm Chillingly
The Lady of Lyons
The Last Days of Pompeii
The Last Of The Barons
Leila
Lucretia
My Novel
Night and Morning
The Parisians
Paul Clifford
Pausanias, the Spartan
Pelham
The Pilgrims Of The Rhine
Rienzi
A Strange Story
What Will He Do With It
Zanoni
Zicci

“It was a dark and stormy night…” Yes, this is that Bulwer-Lytton, perhaps best known for a bad writing contest inspired by that line (which was also used by Charlie Brown’s dog, Snoopy). I think that’s a bit of a bad rap, although the writing can certainly be melodramatic. I’m glad I read The Coming Race, though, which is science fiction with a sort of snarky commentary on society.

I think this quotation from that book is particularly appropriate to our world today:

“”Our public libraries contain all the books of the past which time has preserved; those books, for the reasons above stated, are infinitely better than any can write nowadays, and they are open to all to read without cost. We are not such fools as to pay for reading inferior books, when we can read superior books for nothing.””

In this post, I’ve given you some books you can get for free…but which you might find worth the money.

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

The Fifty Dollar Novel

May 17, 2012

The Fifty Dollar Novel

Would you pay fifty dollars for a new novel?

I’ve suggested before that we may see that for hardbacks in stores.

When I wrote it recently, one of my readers, beccadi, commented that a price point like would drive many people out of the market.

I agreed.

I gave some explanation at the time, but I do think that the scenario could probably use a fuller fleshing out.

First, let’s define this a bit more.

I’m talking about the publisher’s list price…not necessarily the price a customer pays in the store. However, I do expect brick-and-mortar bookstores that stick around to be either: used bookstores; or full-priced, full service stores. I’m saying this from the perspective of a former bookstore manager, by the way.

Second, I’m not talking about a special commemorative edition that might be released at the same time as a less expensive “standard edition”.  I’m talking about what would be the standard release for a new novel by a bestselling author.

Third, I also want to be clear that this isn’t a prediction. :) It’s a possible scenario. I do think it seems increasingly likely since I first suggested it…

Okay, with that out of the way…

Let’s take a look at where we are now.

Looking at the twenty books that Amazon lists as the New York Times hardback fiction bestsellers, the average price is $27.13. The highest priced one is $35, the lowest priced one is $24.95. Ten years ago, it was $24.53…highest was $28, lowest was $14.95.  Twenty years ago, it was 19.58: highest $24.95, lowest $6.98.

Even just looking at those trends, we could project $50 as an average by 2072:

Year Average
1992 $19.58
2002 $24.53
2012 $27.13
2022 $31.30
2032 $35.07
2042 $38.85
2052 $42.62
2062 $46.40
2072 $50.17

However, I’ve been talking about this happening at a vastly accelerated pace…within the next decade.

Rather than just the predictable price increase one would expect (especially in a product based in large part on natural resources), I’m suggesting this would be a deliberate strategy.

Why would it make sense to rapidly raise prices?

As beccadi asked, wouldn’t that price a lot of people out of the market?

Absolutely.

This is where the difference in thinking between a consumer and a supplier comes into play.

A consumer tends to think in terms of just their own transaction with the supplier. That’s perfectly reasonable: to that person, it is them interacting with the company. A consumer thinks, “Why would they raise the price to fifty dollars? They would lose my business.” They may presume that other consumers will feel the same way.

The supplier, on the other hand, has perhaps thousands of customers (maybe even more). The supplier thinks in terms of populations of sales.

It’s perfectly fine to lose sales, if you make up those sales in other ways.

You could lose one set of customers and gain another set that was equally large…or a smaller set that spent the same amount of money (either by buying more items at a lower price or fewer items at a higher price…or, of course, the same number of items at the same price).

You can never sell something to everyone: people have different motivations for buying things.

Many, probably most, people want to get things for a low price.

Some people want to pay more for things, and to have other people know it. It’s a status thing. If you buy a $100,000 car or a $10 million house, you may do it partly so that other people know you can afford the luxury.

A status seeker might not buy that $100,000 car if only cost $10,000…even if it was the exact same car.

Books used to be in that category, owned by the elite, sometimes in hand-tooled leather covers.

If you are a bookstore manager, or a publisher, you need to be looking at the future.

Will you be able to compete with e-books on price? No, that seems very unlikely. Even though it is possible to find a hardback for less than an e-book, that doesn’t tend to be the case if you are looking at the list prices. It’s usually because a retailer (like Amazon) has discounted the p-book (paperbook). If the Agency Model collapses, which it may under pressure from the US Department of Justice), Amazon will again presumably resume discounting e-books.

You are not going to survive against e-books by competing on price.

Let’s look at these sales motivating factors:

  • Price
  • Service
  • Convenience
  • Selection
  • Status
  • Familiarity/Trust
  • Novelty
  • Compatibility

If you are going to keep making hardbacks and selling them in stores, you can’t win on price, selection, or convenience against e-books, certainly. Ignore those in the strategy.

You can win on service, possibly. You can win on status. You do win on Familiarity, for now. You win, in a sense, on trust: people worry that their e-books are going to disappear somehow.

So, let’s say you choose to leverage status.

You start deliberately making books for the elite. You improve the quality of them…making them out of nicer materials, making them heirlooms. Books have been declining in production value for decades. If price savings isn’t an issue, reverse that.

Make books beautiful things that you show off…like diamonds.

The bookstores can also up their service: employing more and better informed salespeople (which also raises their costs).

Don’t count on discounting: that may be “distasteful” to the new market.

Mass market paperbacks are rapidly declining anyway: drop those as a strategy.

Continue to make high quality trade paperbacks: maybe $25. That’s for aspirational readers, people who would like to be in the elite, but aren’t quite there yet.

Are you going to lose a lot of customers with this strategy? Yes, you plan on it.

The clear question: would you have been able to keep those people anyway? Maybe not.

Will you attract different customers…ones who spend more at a time? Yes, that would be the idea.

When you got to the holidays, your more expensive books would be more attractive as gifts…because they are luxury items.

More expensive hardbacks also justify a higher price for e-books.

So, here’s the basic idea:

You lose forty-nine people who would have spent $10 a month on books, and replace them with one person who spends $500 a month on books. During the holiday season, those people who usually spent $30 on books for gifts now spend $50 (buying one book as a gift instead of three…but it’s a more impressive gift), and the big spenders buy books as gifts who wouldn’t have done it at all before.

I’m not saying that the publishers will do this, or even should do this…but it does seem like one possible way for them to continue to make hardbacks.

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

My kid is graduating

May 16, 2012

My kid is graduating

I’ve always said that my Significant Other and I have done our part for the species, because our (now adult) kid is a much better person than either one of us. ;)

We’re heading off to New Orleans for my kid’s college graduation. We’re going to be there for about a week…in addition to the graduation, there are other events. One of them (proud parent puffs on fingernails, shines them on shirt) is the Phi Beta Kappa ceremony.

Graduating from Tulane (which some people call the Harvard of the South…although other colleges claim that too) with a 3.97 is a great achievement. Some of you may know that this is despite having had to take a medical leave at one point. Oh, in case you are wondering? Linguistics…and French. It was amusing for me when my kid was home on a break and we watched telenovelas in Spanish, I was hearing German YouTube from my kid’s laptop, and we saw movies in Turkish. :)

Okay, I don’t usually tell you this much about my family, but I’m just bursting with pride right now. :)

Why does this matter to you?

Being on the road for a week creates a different dynamic for me with this blog. We don’t take a laptop any more. I can write short things on my Fire, but I don’t really feel comfortable writing a thousand word piece that way.

That means I’ve been writing ahead (I’m actually writing this on Monday). That’s hard. I tend to fill up the unscheduled times in my life, so that I end up working near capacity. I think that’s true for a lot of people. To double the amount of time I spend on the blog (so I can write ahead) requires cutting back on other things some.

I suppose it might be healthier to allow some “empty” time ordinarily, but it just doesn’t seem to work that way. I recently said to somebody that I should make a t-shirt that says, “Stop…and don’t smell anything.” :) That’s the real mindfulness challenge, I think. Needless to say, I’d find that difficult. I did do the shirt, though:

Stop and don’t smell anything shirt

and a mug

Stop and don’t smell anything mug

Writing ahead may be an advantage for you as a reader..I may have time to do a lengthier or more thoughtful piece, for example, by writing it catch as catch can over a few weeks, rather than all at once on one day.

There are three minor negatives that I can see for you:

1. I may not be able to cover a major story as quickly and completely as usual. Let’s say that Amazon releases a few new tablets while I’m at the graduation ceremony…that might be tough to research properly in the first hour. :) On the other hand, I do work full time as it is, and still manage to get to things in a timely fashion

2. I may not be as responsive to comments, although I’ll get to them eventually

3. I won’t have my older Kindles with me to do research…I’m only bringing my Kindle Fire

By the way, my Significant Other laughs at the idea that I won’t be spending just as much time. :) I do expect I’ll jump into the Business Center from time to time, and properly, our kid will probably spend more time with friends than with us. This isn’t a family vacation, like when we went to Boston in March. That means we may have more down time in the hotel. Our kid’s coming back with us  for a month or so before moving to Boston, so we will help with packing and such, but still…

By the way, potential burglars…this doesn’t mean our house is empty when we are gone. :)

In case you don’t feel like you are getting enough ILMK, I have scheduled

The Collected I Love My Kindle Blog Volume 1

to be free today. :)

What am I taking on my Kindle?

Newsstand:

Okay, I admit it: I am taking two paper magazines with me for takeoff and landing. The FAA is looking at that rule, but for now, I don’t want to take the chance. I have recently, though, switched one subscription to digital, so I’m making progress. :) I have some magazines downloaded, including National Geographic and the Smithsonian. It’s worth noting that I also have a subscription from Zinio I expect to read.

Books:

I have more books on my Kindle right now than I usually do. I’ll probably have about twenty, rather than ten or so. That’s just back-up…I shouldn’t need that many (my record is only three and a half novels in a day), but I do like to bounce around.

Music:

I’m not adding any music to my Fire, but I do have some on there. That’s not a big deal to me. Old Time Radio? Yes, I’ll bring some of those.

Video:

Partially to test it for you readers, I have rented a movie…

Battle Royale

It’s a 2000 Japanese movie (based on a 1999) novel about a group of teenagers forced to fight each other to the death on TV. I do want to see how much it is like The Hunger Games, or perhaps I should say, how much The Hunger Games is like it. I’ve blithely said that you could watch a downloaded, rented movie on your Kindle Fire on an airplane without the internet, but I haven’t actually tested it. For one thing, I think $3.99 to rent a movie seems like a lot…there are so many free movies, and buying them doesn’t seem that much more expensive. I do go back and rewatch movies, and $3.99 to rent for 48 hours versus $14.99 to own it (so others on my account in the future can watch it as well) doesn’t seem like a huge bargain.

When I rented it, I got this:

“Reminder

This movie is not included with your Amazon Prime membership. You will be charged for this transaction if you continue.”

A banner appeared: “Your 48 hour rental is available until June 11 @ 5:52 AM”.

Those were both nice reminders. I’ll need to download the movie before we head to the airport, and then I’ll have 48 hours to watch it.

Docs:

I do have my travel information on there, but thanks to the latest update, i password protect it. That makes me more comfortable if my Kindle Fire is lost or stolen (knock virtual wood), and I have had that happen once already. There are some pictures and such on there.

Apps:

I’m likely to play Dabble. :)

Web:

If the flight has GoGo in-flight internet, I plan to try it out…maybe on the way back, since I want to try watching Battle Royale without it on the way out.

Well, enjoy the week! You’ll get at least a post from me every day, and I’m likely to sneak in a few others. ;)

Signed — a Proud Parent

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

Reuters: “Amazon aims to launch front-lit Kindle in July: source”

May 15, 2012

Reuters: “Amazon aims to launch front-lit Kindle in July: source”

Amazon is good at surprising me and, well, this report doesn’t. :)

Reuters article

That makes me think that, if it is accurate, it isn’t everything. ;)

The gist of the article is that an unnamed source told Reuters that Amazon will have a frontlit version of the Kindle Touch in July…and an 8.9″ tablet (larger than the current Fire) “…closer to the holiday season…”

The frontlit E Ink Kindle is pretty much a given. I wrote about an article saying that one was seen about five weeks ago. Barnes & Noble has already released their NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight, and it’s had good reviews (my guess is that the sales have been good as well). I saw one in a Barnes & Noble recently…it was hard to get a really good sense of the lighting in the store, but I did cup my hands around my eyes and look. The lighting was pretty even, although I mentioned to the salesperson that it looked brighter at the top edge, and the salesperson agreed.

That B&N, by the way, was unexpectedly empty to me. It really seemed to surprise them when I wanted to buy something. ;) That might have just been that day, I suppose, but I’m pretty sure they only had (out of, oh, a possible five) one register open.

By the way, side note…I was told this “loss prevention” story once. It was supposed to be true, although I have no way to verify it.

The story goes that an accountant for a corporation was on vacation. Coming back, the accountant said to someone, “You know, I went into store 221, and all twelve registers were really humming.” The person responds, ‘Store 221 only has eleven registers.” Accountant: “I’m an accountant…I know how many registers there were, and there were definitely twelve.”

Well, they send a loss prevention officer to the store. I dealt with those…they look for employee theft, among other thing, and that’s a serious problem. I had that happen a few times as a retail manager.

Anyway, it turns out that the manager had set up an extra register, for cash only. The register wasn’t actually hooked up to the system, so the sales weren’t recorded…and the manager just took the cash at the end of the day.

Sounds clever…and while I don’t think it would have happened quite the way the story goes, it does seem possible.

Okay, back to Amazon. :)

I think one tablet is part of what’s too conservative. I’ve been predicting at least three (a more full-featured one the size of the current Kindle Fire, and two larger ones, entry level and fancier).

I would hope we will see those before the fourth quarter, although it doesn’t hurt to have a hot new item going into that period.

Of course, a “Kindle phone” would be a hot new item, too… :)

There is some other interesting speculation in the article…I’d recommend you take a look at it.

One other thing…I just wonder if this might be a deliberate leak. It might be a way to slow down those NOOK Simple Touch with GlowLight sales. I’m just sayin’…

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


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