Round up #118: HDMI, Penguin for sale?
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
Rupert Murdoch might buy Penguin, combine with HarperCollins
There’s a lot of speculation in this
but here’s the thing:
Marjorie Scardino has left as CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Pearson, a major media company that owns Penguin, Pearson (an educational publisher), and the Financial Times.
The thought is that the new CEO may be open to selling off part of the company, and that Rupert Murdoch might be interested in buying (Murdoch’s company already owns HarperCollins).
I used to be a big admirer of Penguin as a publisher, but they’ve made some moves in the digital world that has soured me on them. They blocked text-to-speech access, for one thing, and their prices have been perceived as being particularly high.
At this point, the image comes to mind to me of penguins on an ice shelf, and one gets pushed off to get eaten. The penguins are the parts of Pearson…and Penguin is the penguin.
I don’t know if this would all be approved, or even if it would be a real possibility. Interesting to speculate, though…
HDMI on the Fire HD
One of the differences between the first generation Kindle Fire and the Kindle Fire HD is an HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) out port. One that means is that you can buy a cable, and connect the micro HDMI output on the Kindle Fire to something with a regular HDMI input…like many TVs, and see the Fire on that second device.
I bought a fairly inexpensive one ($8.99):
One thing that will affect the cost is the length of the cable, and I debated with myself whether I wanted a short one (6′ is short) or a longer one so I could sit far away and control what I saw on the “monitor”. I went with the short one because my Significant Other is not a fan of seeing cords, and the six foot one is easier to hide when not in use.
I wasn’t quite sure how it was going to work…would it show me everything on my Fire’s screen, or just certain types of output, like video?
It shows me everything…and it looks fine.
I can see some good uses for this…watching Prime streaming video, of course, but also for websites, pictures, and so on.
That also means you could use it with an HDMI projector…that would let you show content from your Kindle Fire on a wall, for example. It wouldn’t look great on a wall, naturally, but it means you could use it as a presentation device in a meeting. We also have big screen monitors in some of our meeting rooms that use HDMI, so it would work for that.
It is a plus for the KFHD.
Oh, and I did try Skype, finally. The sound quality on the call was great…much better than on my SmartPhone, or even on my landline (although I do use a cordless phone for that). I suspect that was the Dolby sound.
The video was pretty unreliable. It never played smoothly. I tried calling two different relatives, and for one of them, my side never connected for video.
I’ve only tried it once (well, two people, but within minutes of each other) on one network, so that’s not much of a sample. When I’m on wi-fi, though, it could replace my SmartPhone for phone calls, I think.
Graphic: Why DRM Doesn’t Work
Thanks to Joe Wikert for the heads-up on this funny graphic (even if it is from 2010):
The premise is that DRM (Digital Rights Management) can make it much more difficult to get a file than getting it from an illegal torrent site. The illustration is hyperbolic (it’s part of what makes it funny), but yes, it can be awkward to work with some implementation of DRM.
Do book blogs only point people to easy reads?
The article quotes Sir Peter Strothard, the Chairman of the Man Book Prize judges, as saying:
“Books that are not immediately easy to read – the books that in the end will last, that reward you most – do increasingly require the Man Booker Prize judges to identify them so that people will find the pleasure and reward of reading them.”
The article suggests that Strothard thinks that online blogs which review books (which would include this one) tend to point people towards what are sometimes called “popcorn books”…easy reads which may not have a lasting literary value or impact on the reader.
Do we need Man Booker and other literary prizes to preserve traditional criticism?
My own thought is that there are blogs that do popcorn books, and blogs that would help you find those “worthy” titles.
My guess is that one driver of blogs towards easy reads is the need to publish frequently in a blog. There is going to be a push towards quantity…Man Booker doesn’t have to write about hundreds of books a year.
What do you think? Would you use your Fire to run your TV? If so, would you drop premium cable channels? How do you feel about Penguin as a publisher…and would Rupert Murdoch owning it change your feeling for good or bad? Have you had experience Skyping on a Fire? 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.