Round up #157: AMZN 5% tax refund bonus, LibraryThing free today
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
A Skrumpshus deal
One of today’s Kindle Daily Deals is the original Ian Fleming Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, as well as two 21st Century sequels, for $1.99 each. I would have said this was a “Truly Scrumptious” deal, but that character (and spelling) was added for the movie. This book does have the Whispersync for Voice option for $6.49…audiobook read by Andrew Sachs, who played Manuel in Fawlty Towers. I have to admit, I was sort of hoping for Dick Van Dyke. ;) WSV lets you switch back and forth between an audiobook and sight-reading.
As always, check the prices before you buy…this is a Kindle Daily Deal, and it may not apply in your country.
Use TurboTax, get a 105% refund as an Amazon gift card
This was quite a nice surprise! We use TurboTax to do our taxes. Note: I’ve linked to the version in the Amazon Appstore to keep this more Kindley, but I was using the website on my desktop. I assume this deal would be the same, though.
When it got time to do the Federal refund (we got a refund from the Feds…I have extra withheld to handle the writing, and we owed the State…not uncommon in California, I think), I had an interesting option.
If I took all or part of the refund as an Amazon gift card, they would give me 5% extra!
You can do it in increments of $100…so if you took $100 that way, you’d get $105. If you take $500 that way, you get $525.
Of course, you do have to use it at Amazon, but with all of our Subscribe and Save items and such, we know we’ll spend it.
That also, in a way, keeps us from treating it like “found money” and just spending it frivolously (we wouldn’t tend to do that, actually, but there is certainly some temptation).
My Significant Other commented that “Amazon is everywhere.” ;)
Now, it’s important to note that this likely isn’t the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) making a deal with Amazon…it’s Intuit, the makers of TurboTax.
When you “refer” a gift card, just like with other items, you can get an “advertising fee”. That might cut down the cost on this from the Intuit side, but this is probably a big money maker for Amazon. I think most people will splurge a bit with it with Amazon, and buy things they wouldn’t have done otherwise.
Amazon does a similar thing with Coinstar, where you can turn in your coins and elect to get an Amazon gift card, saving the normal counting fee (which is now 9.8 cents per dollar in the USA).
This didn’t pay for entirely for using Turbotax for us, but it was nice. :) I’m certainly hoping they continue to do it in the future.
“Experimental streaming viewer”
Thanks to Colleen, one of the Kindle Forum Pros, who noticed this new feature!
This appears to be since the recent Kindle Fire updates. Adobe made the decision to stop supporting Flash on mobile devices. I downloaded Flash to my Kindle Fire and use the Maxthon browser…I rarely use the Fire’s own Silk browser.
Now, though, there is a new setting.
If you go from Home to Web, then hit the Menu (horizontal lines in a box), you can now see a choice to “Prompt for experimental streaming viewer” (mine was checked automatically). You apparently must have “Accelerate page loading” on to have that option.
This is not just on Kindle Fire 8.9″ (which is where I’ve seen it)…my guess is that it is all of the second generation Kindle Fires that just got the update.
Amazon says here:
in part, that
“Adobe Flash content is not supported on Kindle Fire HD 8.9″.
We have developed the experimental streaming viewer to allow you to view Flash content from a limited number of websites using your Kindle Fire. If you choose to view Flash content using the experimental streaming viewer, content for the Flash-enabled site (including any SSL content) will pass through Amazon’s servers if Silk’s cloud accelerator feature is enabled. Individual identifiers like IP and MAC addresses are not associated with browsing history, and are only collected for technical troubleshooting. Please see the Amazon Silk Terms and Conditions for more information.
To use the experimental streaming viewer:
- Tap the Menu icon at the bottom or right side of the screen.
- Select Open experimental viewer.
You may also open the experimental streaming viewer by tapping the notification message that appears at the bottom of the screen when Flash content is detected.”
I’ve explored a bit, and haven’t found it showing up yet…but videos are working. However, I do have Flash installed, so maybe it only shows up if you don’t.
If they have figured out some way to get Flash videos to work in Silk without extra installations, that’s big news!
Oh, wait…I did find a place where I got the “puzzle piece” missing plug-in indicator, and I’m not seeing anything about the experimental browser (even when I click the menu). However, I suppose it’s possible that the plug-in it wants is something else. I tried opening the same video with Maxthon, and it did work…
Video now working in Enhance versions
When I first did the new update, I tested some Vook books I had gotten for free to see if they would now play the video on my Fire. They didn’t at first. I had downloaded them fresh for the test (I got them when they were free some time ago, partially in case video ever did work). ;)
Now, though, they do!
as one test, and was rewarded with a cool short video of some ads from the period (including a very young John Travolta in an Army recruiting ad).
I wanted to share it with my Significant Other, and was very pleased that it worked with
My SO doesn’t like to see things on a small screen, and Juice lets me throw some videos (and still images) to our TV through our Roku…wirelessly. It was great to be able to just say, “Hey, I want to show you something.”), switch to the Roku input, open the channel, and show the video.
LibraryThing free accounts through today (Sunday, 31 March)
I was just going to mention LibraryThing’s open thread on Amazon’s acquisition of Goodreads
when I noticed this announcement from LibraryThing. Ordinarily, there is a fee for adding more than 200 books, but they say (in part):
“…we’ve had some blow-back on the fact that LibraryThing charges for a membership to add more than 200 books. In fact, when you go to pay, it’s pay-what-you-want. The money helps pay for the site, and keeps us advertisement-free for members. Also, we believe customers should be customers, with the loyalty and rights of customers, not the thing we sell to our real customers.
However, some people don’t like it. And we want everyone. So, as a test and a welcome, we’re giving out free year’s accounts to everyone who signs up through the end of Sunday. We’ve also upgraded everyone who signed up since 4pm yesterday.”
I’m already a member (since 2009, although I haven’t used it much), so I guess that doesn’t help me, but some of you might be interested.
You can join here:
Joining is always free, but this gets you a pass when you are adding a lot of books.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.