Round up #111: Saving sci-fi, salt-powered USB
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
Power your Kindle with saltwater
about an electric lantern that is powered by salt and water…and has a USB charging plug! While I don’t think it work in the Revolution world (I suspect, like James Cameron‘s Dark Angel TV series, it’s not just having access to a live plug), the issue of reading our books if the power’s out is a real one.
My kid went to college in New Orleans, where the power being out for days at a time is far from hypothetical. One option is something like the
but if you’ve ever cranked one of these things to build up the power, it’s a physical challenge. There are many people who simply wouldn’t have the hand health to crank them long enough to power up a device.
Another option, which I have, is a power inverter. I’m not seeing the one I use on Amazon right away, but this one is the same idea:
It gives you a regular power outlet, like you have in your house, powered by the battery in your car. I keep mine in the car, and I definitely have used it. I can also charge USB in my car with an adapter, but there are a lot of electrically powered things you might really need that don’t have USB. I’ve always figured that in the post-Apocalyptic world, there would probably be plenty of cars around to use for power.
Saving the future of the past
I have paperbooks in my personal library that I know are rare…and widely not thought to be worth much. They are ephemera…books that aren’t seen by mainstream archivists as being worth saving. They weren’t read by many people at the time, but there are small markets that might see them as exceptional treasures. Regardless, I’d like to see all books preserved…that used to be something that was stated as a goal for the Kindle store “Every book ever published…”
It’s not an easy thing, though. Not only is there the actual effort of digitizing, there are the possibly very complex rights issue to work out. Even finding the rightsholder (if any) can be a daunting task.
Singularity & Co, a Brooklyn brick-and-mortar and online bookstore, lets their customers pick a book each month…and then they go through the efforts to get them converted:
What a wonderful program! Definitely check this one out…
“Jeff Bezos loves you”
It’s the second Saturday of the month, which is when my rotating “column” appears in the
It’s geared specifically for writers, and I do think I approached the recent Amazon announcement from an interesting angle:
Amazon confirms that the Kindle Fire HDs have TTS for Kindle store books
I am very happy to report that Amazon has confirmed for me that the new Kindle Fire HDs
will have TTS (text-to-speech) that works with Kindle store books!
This is huge for me personally, and a big plus for publishers and Amazon. I listen to TTS for hours a week in the car typically, and the first gen Kindle Fire (KF1) didn’t have the necessary software. I do use it with free books in text format from Project Gutenberg, but I’d much rather use it with my current Kindle store books…which radically speeds up my consumption of them.
I’ve asked them to confirm which software it will use…
Update: thanks to reader Jeanne for pointing out that TTS is now cited on the Amazon product pages for the Kindle Fire line…even the “KFSD” (Kindle Fire Standard Definition…the $159 in the USA model).
This brings up an obvious question: will existing KF1s get an update with the same TTS? That’s a tricky question. The KFHDs (the new ones) have at least twice the memory of the KF1…and people complain about the amount of memory on them now. Adding significantly to the onboard software with an update would cut down on that. I would absolutely go for it, even if it ate up a gig (I’m just making up that memory amount). However, I think many people wouldn’t.
I should have a KFHD next week or so…woo hoo! I’ll also have a Kindle Paperwhite before too long.
Kobo introduces three new models
On the same day that Amazon introduced their new Kindles, Kobo introduced three new EBRs (E-Book Readers) of their own:
I haven’t gotten a chance to go over them in depth, but they have a tablet, a glow model, a touch model, and a “mini”.
I’ll check them out for you later, but I thought you’d want to know.
Do you own a Kobo? What will you be reading in the PAW (Post-Apocalyptic World)…and how? What obscure books would you like to see digitized? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.