Archive for the ‘Kindle 4 (Mindle)’ Category

Round up #243: under $50 Kindle, blogs on Fire

March 4, 2014

Round up #243: under $50 Kindle, blogs on Fire

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

Mindle under $50, Paperwhite under $100

“Today only” per Amazon, two popular models of the Kindle are $20 off:

Kindle, 6″ E Ink Display, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (Black) (what I call the “Mindle” (at AmazonSmile: support a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

and the

Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High Resolution Display with Next-Gen Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile)

That brings the least expensive version of the Kindle down to $49, and the least expensive Paperwhite down to $99.

The twenty dollar discount still applies if you decide not to let advertisers support your purchase (if you get it without Special Offers), it’s still $20 less than it would have been. For some people, this basically means that they’ll get the “ad-free” version for the price they would normally pay for the one with ads.

It does not apply to the Paperwhite 3G.

According to Amazon, this is to celebrate National Reading Month.

This offer may not apply in your country (I have readers around the world…which is so cool!), so check the price before you buy.

This is a good deal! Having a “guest room Kindle” worked out very well for us, and you might consider that.

Does this indicate new models are coming soon? Perhaps…there have been rumors of a new Paperwhite. However, unless they release a color version later this year (which I think is a possibility), I doubt the next generation would be so much better that you’d be sorry you got this. It could have some new features, and it could be cheaper…hm, a sound-equipped Paperwhite might make me back off that statement.

Regardless, right here, right now, this is a good price.

Are Kindle store blogs finally coming to the Kindle Fires?

This blog has typically been in the top ten in the USA Kindle store (thanks, subscribers!), although we do sometimes drop to still being in the top twenty.

However, the number of subscribers went down after the introduction of the Fire tablets.

Naturally, that could be because of some factor intrinsic to the blog, but I don’t think that’s the case…my ranking hasn’t changed considerably at the same time that the number of subscribers dropped, suggesting that everybody else at the top was dropping right along with me.

I think one main reason was because you haven’t been able to have your Kindle store blogs delivered to your tablet. If someone switched to mostly using a Fire for reading, I can understand them not wanting to pay for a blog which wasn’t being directly delivered (even if it is only ninety-nine cents a month).

I am sure that some readers have continued to subscribe just to support my efforts, for which I am truly grateful.

Now, a sharp-eyed reader alerted me to something in a private comment (thanks!) which strongly suggests that situation might change!

If you go to

http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle (at AmazonSmile)

and click or tap

Subscription Settings

you’ll see a column for “Deliver future editions to” for each of your subscriptions. There is an “Edit” link, that you can click to choose a device.

Checking those options, our Fires are now listed!

However, if I actually choose a Fire, it says:

“Upgrade Your Device

To start reading I Love My Kindle, you must first install the latest software update for HDXter. Once installed you may deliver this title to your Kindle. For detailed instructions on installing the free update please visit Kindle Support.”

My device is updated. :) It just recently updated to 13.3.2.1, which is the current version.

Since that message is there, that strongly suggests that having the Fires listed is not a mistake…just premature.

Now, it’s possible that they intended to implement it with the last update and didn’t manage it somehow, and that they could abandon it…but I’m going to hold out hope (virtual fingers crossed) that this is coming soon. I hope there is a new update that also addresses the wi-fi instability (I have that) and text-to-speech stopping at some images, both of which appears to have happened after a previous update. There are a lot of things I love about my Fire, but this wi-fi thing does give me friction every time I use the device.

Apple appeals

Apple said that they were going to appeal the decision against them in the DoJ (Department of Justice) action that found them guilty of conspiring to fix e-book prices.

Regular reader and commenter Lady Galaxy gave me a link to an article with both a summary and the original filing:

Apple Insider post by Mikey Campbell

I waited to post about it (it was filed on February 25th) until I read at least a substantial portion of the filing…I don’t like to go just by what a summary says, and I didn’t think there was any real time pressure (or likely, surprise) here.

The filing says:

“Apple’s entry as an e-book retailer marked the
beginning, not the end, of competition.” [emphasis in the original]

Okay, that’s something you could try to argue. Were there more options from which people could buy e-books after the introduction of iBooks? Yes. Were there more price options? No.

That, for me, is key.

The Agency Model, which came into play at the same time (and the DoJ argues was…led, at least, by Apple) homogenized the prices at the existing retailers, largely eliminating price competition (which has returned, as I showed in a recent post, since the accused publishers all settled with the DoJ).

I’m often surprised by the…pugnacious language in legal filings. I always expect them to be polite and in carefully restrained language. That’s just not the case, often, and shows my own prejudices, rather than the reality. So, I’m not going to claim that this is unusual when Apple says:

“The court repeatedly applied the wrong legal standards, which led it to jump to the false conclusion of a price-fixing conspiracy from Apple’s lawful, unilateral, and procompetitive business activities.”

This next one is an important claim. The accusations included conspiracy. If Apple independently offered the same deal to multiple publishers, and if the publishers independently decided it was a good deal, that’s not a conspiracy. The issue becomes if they worked as a group to set the price the same, as I understand it:

“Apple never met or spoke with more than one publisher at a time.”

Here’s where Apple has an interesting argument:

“At those very first meetings, the court found, Apple “willingly joined” a pre-existing publisher conspiracy. Dkt326.113;
see also

Dkt326.129 (“Apple made a conscious commitment to join a scheme with the Publisher Defendants”).

This finding forms the bedrock of the court’s entire decision, and is demonstrably wrong. The undisputed record reflects that Apple had no prior dealings in the publishing industry and that everything it knew it had gleaned from public sources
— like reports inThe New York Times and The Wall Street Journal
— none of which reported on a conspiracy”

In other words, Apple is arguing that if there was a conspiracy between the publishers, they weren’t part of it.

That is actually a hypothetical possibility.

Apple could have “unilaterally” suggested a deal to each of the publishers.

The publishers could then have consulted with each other (hypothetically conspiring) to take the deal…and even suggested similar terms to Apple.

Could Judge Cote’s decision be overturned on that basis (and on their suggestions of improper use of inadmissibility, and possible prejudice)?

I think that is a possibility.

Would that bring back the Agency Model?

I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t think so. The publishers settled, and took deals. I believe they’d be bound by the deals, even if Apple successfully got their verdict overturned. The publishers dropped out of the case before the verdict.

I’m not 100% on that, though: if you are a lawyer, I’d be interested to hear what you think on that score.

I also think that the response to the appeal may be strong and definitive, refuting Apple’s allegations.

The beat goes on…

Amazon workers will be heard by Supreme Court

In this

Salon.com article by Andrew Leonard

it is reported that a case brought by Amazon workers is going to be heard by the Supreme Court.

The basic argument is that Amazon warehouse workers have to spend a long time going through Security, and aren’t compensated for that time.

While it might seem obvious (let’s say you have to spend three hours a week at work doing something that your employer requires you to do to have the job) that workers should be paid for that time, it doesn’t work out that way.

Suppose you are required by your employer to park in a certain lot. That lot is fifteen minutes away from your place of employment. When you get there, you clock in…they aren’t going to pay you for your time from the parking lot to the door, even though you basically have no choice.

Whether they should (in an ethical sense) pay you for that time is not the specific legal issue: it’s whether they have to do it.

The article suggests that this Court will not be likely to rule against Amazon.

If they did, I think it would just accelerate Amazon’s use of robots (they own a robot company that does this sort of thing) in the warehouses.

They might have to (in the worst case for them scenario) pay back wages to a lot of people…and then they might just say, “Fine, people are too expensive,” and get rid of a lot of staff.

Amazon has been touting the number of jobs they’ve been creating, but there is a real debate about the quality of those jobs.

What do you think? If Amazon is proven to be treating their employees unfairly at some point, and if they don’t rectify it, would that affect your shopping? Will Apple win on appeal? Would you subscribe through the Kindle store to blogs on your Fire? Would you switch the delivery of a current subscription? What new feature could Amazon release on a non-Fire Kindle that would make you want to upgrade? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

Nominate a child to be given a free Kindle at Give a Kid a Kindle. You can also now recommend a child to be the recipient.

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

Today only: Kindle for less than $50

December 17, 2013

Today only: Kindle for less than $50

Has this been the season of deals from Amazon, or what?

This is only while supplies last (and may not be long), but you can get a Mindle (that’s what I call the lowest priced Kindle) with Special Offers for $49…today only!

It’s interesting, because the lower price ($20 lower) isn’t impacting the non-ad supported one…making a $40 discrepancy between getting one where agreeing to ads on the “screensaver” (and a small one at the bottom of your list of books, but not in the books themselves) means that you get a discount, and one without that support.

This one doesn’t have a touchscreen, and doesn’t have a built-in light…but I do use one of them every day.

It certainly c0uld be a good gift, and it might be a good choice for

A Kindle for the guest room

This price may not apply in your country: as always, check the price before hitting the Buy button.

Oh, and “…while supplies last” doesn’t have to mean “every last Mindle in the fulfillment centers.” It’s okay for them to have set aside a certain number for promotion, and when they run out of those, stop the promotion, even though they still have Mindles at the regular price…that’s my understanding of it, at any rate.

Does this mean they are going to discontinue this model? Probably not…they’ve been doing lots of deals this year. However, it’s possible that they will. Outside of the price, I’m not sure that there are a lot of people who prefer the specifics of this device…it has the least handy interface, for example…entering a search word is like entering it on your Tivo, sort of.  It is nice to have a non-Fire hardware deal to promote. :)

One interesting thing: on some of these deals (including this one), Amazon treats them differently for their Associates. They may not allow Associates (who earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon products) to directly link to one of the short-time sale versions. That does save Amazon a small amount of money, and they probably aren’t really looking to  push the sale outside of the Amazon site itself (where it is on the front page).

That’s what Associates do, to some extent: create sales for Amazon offsite. This is probably more of a way to get people to the website during the last week or so of really big shopping this year (until people have those gift cards and you have the money from returns…). If you do want to support a site (like a blog), you could buy a gift card through them, and then use that to buy the Mindle…that works.

I did double-check: it is still eligible for that half a percent of the purchase price donation from Amazon to a non-profit of your choice on AmazonSmile.

Enjoy!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

1 day Kindle deal: 20% off (includes Mindle, HDX7)

December 9, 2013

1 day Kindle deal: 20% off (includes Mindle, HDX7)

How about a Kindle for $55.20?

It’s been amazing this year, how many discounts Amazon has given on Kindle hardware!

That hasn’t been typical in the past…discounting the frontlist (new and bestselling) Kindles, repeatedly, during the holiday season.

Clearly, success is not being measured on the profit from the devices themselves, but the profit that comes from their use (which is what Jeff Bezos has said). There may be no profit on the devices, even at full price.

It’s important to note that the profit doesn’t just come from buying content for the devices, but from get you firmly settled into Amazon…and hopefully, getting you to be a Prime member. That’s where you are most valuable: Prime members buy a lot more, and they buy physical goods (“diapers and windshield wipers”, as I like to say)…where there can be a better margin. If it gets you to buy third party good through Amazon, even better for the Smilin’ A. ;)

Today, they have 20% off three models (and it may be more than one “flavor” of those models…with or without Special Offers, for example):

That brings the Mindle price down to $55.20! For some reason, they are rounding up in the banner ad…they say it’s $56, but it shows as $55.20.

It also means you can get a Kindle Fire for $136, and the one I got for myself, the Kindle Fire HDX, for $184 (a $45 savings!).

This is a one-day sale (and it may not be available in your country…check the price before you click the Buy button), and I’d normally tell you that this is probably the lowest price that we’ll get for the rest of the season…but they have been surprising on pricing strategies this year. ;)

Should you spend the extra $50 to add that X to the HD on the Kindle Fire? That’s up to you and your use cases, but there are some reasons I’d recommend it, if you can afford it. The biggest one for me is Mayday, the live, onscreen tech help. Also, the HDX has a camera…and a way (using a Miracast enabled TV, or a Miracast adapter, like the one I use) to watch what is on your tablet on your TV. That last one will becoming increasing important in the next couple of years, although you might have an alternative way to “mirror” to your TV.

As to the Mindle, it’s a great price for

A Kindle for the guest room

Enjoy!

Update: what about content?

The Big Deal
at AmazonSmile

is back, with more than 500 Kindle books up to 80% off through December 22nd. I’d expect another big sweeping deal on the 25th, by the way, but we’ll see.

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

“Thank you, FAA” 15% off Kindle, Kindle Fire today only

November 4, 2013

“Thank  you, FAA” 15% off Kindle, Kindle Fire today only

Cute!

Not only cute, but a significant cash savings.

On the front page of Amazon, they have a nice cartoon of a Kindle Paperwhite 2, and a couple of Kindle Fires (although these are not the Kindles listed in the same splash with a discount…the illustration doesn’t match the actual discounted models), sitting on a plane.

Today only, to celebrate the FAA’s recent ruling allowing the use of PEDs (Personal Electronic Devices) basically throughout the flight, Amazon is offering a 15% discount with a special code (ThnksFAA…note that there is no “a” in the first part).

The splash has:

Those are great deals!

Remember, this is today only, you must enter the code (so don’t use 1-click), and I would guess this only applies in the USA.

I would not sit on this waiting for a better discount before the end of the year, at least on the Fires (which are new models).

Enjoy!

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them

I try my Mindle

October 14, 2011

I try my Mindle

I got my Mindle (that’s my term for the $79 Kindle 4) today.

First impression?

Even the box was smaller. :) The first Kindle had a big box, but the K2 and K3 had the same size box, I think…close, anyway. The box also had a wedge-shape on the end…it might do well on BattleBots. ;)

Once I pulled the zip strip and opened the box, it was pretty much like other Kindles…it had a film to peel off the front. There wasn’t a wall plug, but there was a USB cable. The “quick start” guide was just a single card in a pocket in the top…it reminded me of the things we used to have in some books in school where we wrote down our name on a line when we checked it out.

The screen showed how to connect it to a computer’s USB port.

Then, it took me through a very simple three-step process. I did need the password for my wi-fi network, but I had that handy. Entering it, by the way, without a physical keyboard, was easier than I expected. They cleverly provided me with a keyboard where everything was capitals and one where everything was in lower case. Each keyboard also had numbers. That made the “hunt and click” method of selecting the characters for my password not too onerous. That hunt and click is what I call what we do on a Tivo…you move to a letter on a board, then click.

I will say that it took quite a while for it to detect my wi-fi router…I think that was longer than it had been on my K3, but it’s hard to compare those on that. Once it detected it, setting up was simple. I was guided through three steps, which resulted in my Kindle being registered, knowing it was registered, and connected to my wi-fi. I was ready to go.

I’ve heard people say their Mindles had less contrast than their K3s…not in my case. It looks the same…if anything, I’d say the Mindle seems to have better contrast. However, I do have some color vision deficiency, so you can’t figure that the way I see things is the way everybody sees them.

There was also a thread in the Amazon Kindle community forum that said the browser on the K4 wasn’t as good as the browser on the K2 (the person who posted had skipped the K3). That wasn’t my experience…I tested it, and it seems as fast to me as the K3. It could be that the person who posted had a faster 3G connection than wi-fi…that’s unusual, I believe, but it happens.

Otherwise, it’s all been pretty good. I had to realize I wasn’t setting up a replacement Kindle, so I didn’t go through those steps.

I was able to download a personal document through the archives right away.

It has an e-mail address of its own (at least at Home-Menu-Settings). I haven’t checked my Manage Your Kindle page yet* to see what’s there.

The other thing that threw me a bit was when I wanted to try changing the text size…and there was no Aa button. Fortunately, I simply followed the advice I give you: when in doubt, hit the Menu button. :)  That gave me a choice to change the font size, which brought up the same choices as the Aa button (except for text-to-speech, of course).

Overall? I think it’s a decent EBR (E-Book Reader) so far. It’s worth the $79. I wouldn’t have it as my main EBR, since it doesn’t have text-to-speech. I thought my Significant Other might want to switch to it (smaller might be better), but it won’t play SCRABBLE. I’m not quite sure why that is, but that’s the case. It will play Every Word.

I like the arrangements of the buttons…I’m finding it very easy (even after only a few minutes) to invoke the keyboard when I want, go home, go back, and open the menu. The next and previous page buttons are easy as well. I think it would be too small and precise for people with tactile issues.

I like the color and the design (the way the Kindle logo looks on both sides), but don’t go by me on that. :)

One more thing: it was strange going to the Experimental part of the menu, and only seeing one choice (for the browser).

* Okay, I’ve checked my

http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle

page.

This Kindle did not come set up with the “Send All” address. According to MYK, I’d have to deregister it and reregister it. I may play more with that later. I do still have a “send all’ address available, though.

Update: I forgot to mention this, but I thought my Significant Other had a great observation, saying the Mindle looked like a greeting card. :) If you think about those cards with a speaker inside them (like the ones with Hoops and Yoyo), that’s close to the size of the Mindle…if the whole card was as thick as the thickest point.

If you have questions or comments about the Mindle, feel free to let me know.

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


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