Round up #96: Matchstick, Touch security

Round up #96: Matchstick, Touch security

The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.

Security flaw found in Kindle Touch

I personally don’t worry too much about security flaws on RSKs (Reflective Screen Kindles…anything but a Kindle Fire, at this point).

The main reason is that I don’t think most people have very valuable things on their RSKs.

The exception might be if someone could manipulate the Touch (for example) to place orders for things other than Kindle store books (which can be “returned” within seven days of purchase for a refund), but that would be a considerable challenge.

You’d need to have stored credit card or other payment information on your device, or stored access credentials to a site that has your payment information.

I just don’t think very many people have done that on an RSK.

heise Video (sic) claims to have found a gap that allows a malicious website to send executable commands to a Kindle Touch:

heise Video webpage with video

That page is in German, by the way…I read the Google translation.

For this to be a problem, you have to visit one of these websites using the experimental browser on the Kindle Touch…and the site has to send a command that does something bad.

Interestingly, the page suggests that this is going directly to a root-level command…which bypasses restrictions that Amazon has put on the device.

I can see why Amazon might not have publicized this…if Kindle owners can easily send commands to their own Kindles, that could cause a problem (both by modifying the software which complicates support, and by placing agreements Amazon has with content providers in jeopardy). Of course, this doesn’t say it is easy to do…

Kindle Fire charging dock with speakers

Grace Digital MatchStick

One of the general concerns I hear about the Kindle Fire is that it isn’t loud enough.

I think I’ve improved that on mine with the free app

Volume Master Free

This dock is a much more sophisticated solution…but it isn’t free. :) It’s currently being introduced at $99.99 (that’s thirty dollars off).

Currently, you plug the dock into the wall (a battery is reportedly coming). Your Fire then fits easily into a bracket, which both charges the Fire and lets it uses speakers.

The reviews do indicate that the speakers (which can be equalized) are good.

I should be clear: I have not used this one yet, I’ve just heard about it.

Having a battery so you can take the Fire outside (for music in a park, for example) would make this more valuable.

The other thing I would want is an option to wall mount it. Hey, I don’t want to stop reading just because I’m brushing my teeth, and I don’t like to have my Fire on the counter around all that water.

The mount does allow you to rotate the Fire while it is in the dock.

One other thing…you can plug other sound sources into the dock with an included cable.

If you do try this, feel free to let me and my readers know what you think.

The Daily Beast: “How We Lost Bookshops Thanks to Amazon and Publishers”

Tim Waterstone, of the famous British bookstores, has an interesting piece in The Daily Beast.

Writing as a brick-and-mortar magnate, I’m glad Waterstone doesn’t just blame Amazon, but talks about the publishers’ part in how bookstores have declined.

I also liked this comment about people who were taking over bookstores:

“They read nothing, and knew nothing about the world they were entering.”

That’s important…you can’t apply the same strategy to selling books that you can to selling cereal.

Serious readers are different…if we weren’t we wouldn’t have been picked on in school, right? ;)

People who buy a lot of books (let’s say 100 books a year) are proud of that activity. They respect it. They want to buy their books somewhere that respects it.

I keep going back to this, but people will pay more money for books from a brick-and-mortar store if they like the store…well, the people they perceive as running the store.

As a former bookstore manager:

You will not beat the internet on price.

You will not beat the internet on selection.

Can you beat them on convenience? Do people really think driving to the store is convenient nowadays? Is that easier than 1-clicking from your couch?

You have to beat it on service, rapport, and the experience of going.

Konichiwa, EBRs!

Japan is a huge consumer of pop culture.

Movies, TV, videogames, and yes, books, play a big part in the life of its citizens.

You would think, with Japan’s association with high tech, and with Sony having introduced EBRs (E-Book Readers) well before Amazon, that the Tokyo subway would be packed with people reading on screens with nary a paperbook in sight.

Well, that hasn’t been the case…yet. In this

Guardian article

they do a good job of explaining the upcoming competition between Amazon in Japan and Rakuten (whose executive, Hiroshi Mikitani, recently showed a t-shirt reading, “Destroy Amazon”).

In Japan, I would say that you don’t automatically win because you are from Japan…or because you aren’t. :)

This is definitely going to be a fun one to watch!

I think that sometimes Amazon moves too slowly…and I’m not convinced that the result is much better because they waited.

Disappearing ILMK sales…ranking

This was a weird one. I’m very thankful to my subscribers that ILMK (this blog) is usually in the top ten of any kind of blog in the Kindle store. It’s been in the top 100 for more than 1,000 days.

However, when I checked it the other day, it wasn’t there at all…not in the top ten, not anywhere that I could see.  There was no sales ranking on the Amazon product page, which was really strange.

I e-mailed Amazon, and it’s reappeared…but I am wondering what happened there. It was definitely disconcerting, and I’ve dropped down a few places, which may have been because it wasn’t there for that period.

Anyway, it appears to be fixed now. :)

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

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One Response to “Round up #96: Matchstick, Touch security”

  1. Harold Delk Says:

    I use my Fire near the kitchen to listen to music, BBC, PBS, etc. while I cook. It is plugged into a pair of small AudioEngine powered speakers and the sound is superb both from internally stored music and from the Cloud.

    As to wall-mounting there was an article in Home Automation magazine last year about using the Fire as a control panel device rather than the dedicated and more expensive units. It worked very well EXCEPT for the wall mounting due to the position of the on-off switch on the edge rather than on front panel making flush mounting impossible. I have tried some small automation projects using some proprietary software and have had enough success controlling lighting that I’m hoping Amazon moves the controls to the faceplate in the next iteration. $199.00 is a great price to consider buying one to dedicate to automation control for us tech nerds.

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