Archive for the ‘Flash posts’ Category

Judge Cote rules: Apple loses Agency Model case

July 10, 2013

Judge Cote rules: Apple loses Agency Model case

“…the Plaintiffs have shown that Apple conspired to raise the retail price of e-books and that they are entitled to injunctive relief. A trial on damages will follow.”
–Judge Denise Cote, decision in Apple Agency Model case (quotation added in update to post)

This is the breaking news, and I haven’t yet read the decision, but I thought you’d want to know right away.

I’ve praised Judge Denise Cote before on how quickly decisions come down, and this one seems fast to me.

According to this

Reuters article

and others, Judge Cote has found Apple guilty of conspiring to raise e-book prices.

What does this mean?

It likely means Apple will appeal. ;)

That would be my guess, but I need to look more into what was said and exactly what happened. I’ll expect to update this post when I have more data.

Update: here’s the decision:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/152915071/United-States-v-Apple-Inc

Update: more quotations from the decision:

“Apple seized the moment and brilliantly played its hand.”

“It [Apple] provided the Publisher Defendants with the vision, the format, the timetable, and the coordination that they needed to raise e-book prices.”

“…the prices in the nascent e-book industry shifted upward, in some cases 50% or more for an individual title.”

“…removed Amazon’s ability to price their e-books at $9.99.”

“…many publishers set a wholesale price for e-books at a 20% discount from the equivalent physical book wholesale price to reflect the many cost savings associated with the distribution and sale of e-books. For instance, there is no cost for the printing, storage, packaging, shipping, or return of e-books.”

“This Opinion has already described several instances in which testimony given by Cue and Sargent was unreliable. Other witnesses who were noteworthy for their lack of credibility included Moerer, Saul, and Reidy. Their demeanor changed dramatically depending on whether Apple or the Plaintiffs were questioning them; they were adamant in denials until confronted with documents or their prior deposition testimony; instead of answering questions in a straightforward manner, they would pick apart the question and answer it narrowly or avoid answering i taltogether. Thus, the findings in this Opinion are informed bythe documentary record, the circumstantial evidence, including an understanding of the competitive landscape in which these events were unfolding, and that portion of each witness’testimony that appeared reliable and credible.”

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

Flash! About to end…$129 for Kindle Fire 2nd Generation Standard Definition

November 13, 2012

Flash! About to end…$129 for Kindle Fire 2nd Generation Standard Definition

This deal is about to end. Amazon has a Gold Box deal right now on the Kindle Fire 2nd Generation (not the HD):

Gold Box deal on KFSD

Don’t wait…this is literally ending shortly!

My apologies if you don’t see this in time.

It’s thirty dollars off, $129 instead of $159.

You must order it from the Gold Box deals page above…if you don’t see the deal, it’s over (or you might be in a country where it doesn’t apply).

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

New update available for the Kindle Fire 6.3.1: some people reporting being locked out of the internet

May 3, 2012

New update available for the Kindle Fire 6.3.1: some people reporting being locked out of the internet

This was just announced by Amazon, and I’m not in a place I can test it right now. Update: I have tested it…see below.

Note: there are quite a few reports of the update locking people out of the internet (and possibly out of other functions on the Kindle Fire). Please see the end of this post. If it’s happened to you, please indicate the factors in the second poll…that may help identify what is causing the problem.

They have a new software update available for the Kindle Fire.

Kindle Fire Software Update 6.3.1

This is just since the last major update on March 29th:

http://ilmk.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/kindle-fire-update-6-3/

Typically, a major update will change the second number, a minor update will tack on to that…so you would think this would be minor.

However,  this description on the page intrigues me:

“We have a new, free software update available for Kindle Fire.  This update brings additional parental controls to Kindle Fire, including the ability to password-protect purchases, disable access to specific content libraries, and block access to the Silk web browser. As with all software updates, these new features will be delivered automatically to your Kindle Fire.”

I’m champing at the bit to get more information on this! Can you block Silk without blocking downloading from the archives? What does “specific content libraries” mean here?

As soon as I can give you more information, I will, but I thought you’d want to know. If you do the update, I’d appreciate you letting me and my readers know what you see.

Update: Old Rocker in the

Amazon Kindle community announcement thread

has done the update, and nicely checked a couple of things at my request. I will confirm it as soon as I can.

The choices under Parental Controls were reported to be:

  • Web Browser – Blocked/Unblocked
  • Password Protect Purchases On/Off
  • Password Protect Video Playback On/Off
  • Block and Unblock Content Types Newstand/Books/Music/Video/Docs/Apps
  • Password Protect WiFi On/Off

I asked if when you clicked on Block and Unblock Content Types if you could block a specific book title, and Old Rocker said no.

If this is accurate, it’s still a big step forward. One issue people have had is young kids watching R-rated free Prime streaming video. This apparently allows you to block video playback, so it would solve that issue.

The Web Browser and Wi-Fi are listed separately…which may mean you can allow download from the archives (the “Cloud”) while blocking going to websites.

Update: okay, I got over to public wi-fi and did the update…it was raining, and I went uphill…both ways. Just kidding, but it was raining on the way over. ;)

I used just my Fire. The trick to that for me has been to use the free ES File Explorer app to put it in my kindleupdates folder on my Fire.

Once done, and the update was complete…I think this is a great enhancement!

First, let me say…I had parental controls on my wi-fi before the update…I wanted to see if the update accidentally wiped that out, and it didn’t. It was still in place when I was updated.

What I’ve seen so far is the changes in the parental controls:

Settings Gear – More – Parental Controls

You now have:

  • Parental Controls On/Off
  • Web Browser Blocked/Unblocked
  • Password Protect Purchases On/Off
  • Password Protect Video Playback On/Of
  • Block and Unblock Content Types (Newsstand, Books, Music, Video, Docs, Apps)
  • Password Protect Wi-Fi
  • Change Password
So, for example, you could block the Apps. When your kid finished their homework, you could turn the apps on for half an hour before bed. :) There’s no timer, although that might be a nice touch for the future. :)
I tested a few things.
With the web browser blocked, I could still download books from the Cloud…and use the bookstream (the live chat). I wanted to test wikipedia lookup (which I suspect will work), but didn’t get a chance yet. Update: I’ve tested it: yes, you still have Wikipedia and even the Book Extras with the browser blocked.
When the web browser is blocked, you can’t even click on the Web tab. That means that other people couldn’t see where you had been going on the web…unless the pages were on the Carousel on the homescreen. You can remove them from the Carousel by “long pressing” (hold your finger or stylus on it for about a second)
With the Books blocked, you also couldn’t go to the books section. However, you could, just like webpages above, see book titles that were on the Carousel. The books would not launch from there, though. To be clear: whether the book is downloaded to the Fire or not, you can not open it.
You may be wondering why you can both lock the video “specific content library” for video and block video playback. Blocking video playback will also work on the web. So, you could allow the web, but block video playback on the web.
Later on I’ll test it, but I would think that by blocking the music content type, that would not stop a website from playing an MP3.
Oh, and interestingly: when I go to put in the parental control password, it has a link where I can reset the Kindle Fire to factory defaults…which will wipe out the password, but also remove a lot of other things from your Kindle (including your downloaded copies of Kindle store books, although you can download them again).
Fascinating stuff! I might have called this 6.4, because I think it’s significant. Makes a big difference for Kindle Fires in the classroom, for example. Regardless, thanks again to Amazon for always innovating!
If  you have questions or have found other things, feel free to let me know.
Update: there appears to be at least one new application: Amazon Device Client Platform. Hm…there may be more new applications than that.
Update: I would recommend that you block Docs. I just feel like there is too much of a chance that there is personal information there you wouldn’t want somebody to get if your Kindle Fire was stolen…
Update: I’m seeing some reports from people who say that their Kindle asked them for a parental controls password after the update, when they’d never set one. If that happened to you, I’d be interested to hear about it. An inelegant fix at that point is that you can do a factory reset, but that will remove Kindle store books you’ve downloaded to your Fire, along with lots of other things (pretty much everything you’ve done to it…except software updates).
Note: you may be able to back-up things to your computer before you do a Factory Reset, and then copying those files back on to your Kindle Fire to save time (and locally stored data, like high scores). I have not tested this yet, and you would have to make sure you got them back into the right folders. They would also only work on the same device, typically (that would not be true for sideloaded text documents, for example).
Settings Gear – More – Device
Update: I’m seeing this concern from quite a few people now. The Kindle Fire updates automatically…and then won’t let them on the internet without entering a parental control password which they haven’t set and don’t know.
It’s certainly not consistent, but a significant number of people on the forums.
Please spread the word (if you feel comfortable) on these polls to places where people are raising the concern. I think it could help resolve the issue.

Update: regular reader, commenter, and Kindle Forum pro tuxgirl posted this

Amazon Kindle community thread

It suggests that some people have been able to reset the parental control password without resetting to factory defaults. That would be by going to

Settings Gear – More – Parental Controls

I don’t have that confirmed as working yet, though.

Perhaps more importantly, tuxgirl also posted this

Amazon Kindle community thread

about what to do before resetting to factory defaults.

Julie Mattson in the Amazon Kindle community made a good point.

If you are locked out of the Silk browser, but not out of the web (it’s unclear as to who is being locked out of what at this point), you could use a different browser.

There is this one in the Amazon Appstore:

Maxthon Mobile Web Browser

I had downloaded it previously, but I haven’t tried it…I’ve heard good things about it.

Update: here’s a possibility. So far, the poll overwhelmingly indicates that the problem is with people whose Kindle automatically updated, not with people who did manual updates.

If you are having the password prompt problem, you could try going to

Kindle Fire Software Update 6.3.1

and doing the manual update…even if you already updated automatically. I don’t know if that would work, but the update package does appear to disappear after the update has been completed, so it might.

If that works for you (removes the password prompt after the update), please let me know…thanks! :)

Update: I just let my Significant Other’s update automatically. No problem…and there wasn’t a parental control password on it before.

Update: In this

Amazon Kindle Help forum thread

*~*Pineapple*~* reports that Will K., the forum moderator has a possible fix for the “unknown password lockout” problem. They are recommending deregistering the Kindle Fire and then registering it from

http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle

That supposedly removes the password requirement.

It’s unclear if it would work if you did deregister/register from the device.  If you have to do it from MYK, you’ll need the serial number, which you can get from

Settings Gear – More – Device

This would be a better solution than resetting to factory defaults (also done in the same place as the serial number), but it still means you’d have to re-do some things.  This is what I had happen when I deregistered a Fire before:

* The Kindle store books were gone, but could be redownloaded
* My reading preferences (text size, color mode) were gone
* My music stayed on the device…even if I had purchased it from Amazon
* Videos that I had downloaded from Amazon were gone
* My personal documents were still there (that can be a really significant difference with resetting)
* My apps were still there (and presumably, my game progress and such, but I didn’t check that)
* My web bookmarks were wiped out

Update:

Okay, let me clarify my comment a bit, because I see they are doing a particular sequence.

It sounds like they don’t want your Kindle to know it has been deregistered and reregistered, so they have you do that process while the Kindle is turned off. That might mean you don’t have to redownload the things I said in upthread post.

I’m not quite sure how that affects the password, then…I wouldn’t have thought it was stored on the server, or they likely could have reset it.

So, here’s the sequence as I understand it:

Turn your Kindle Fire off (hold the power button in for a few seconds until it asks you if you want to Shut Down the Kindle, and tap that option.

This puts the Kindle out of communication with the Amazon servers. It would seem that turning off the wi-fi would do the same thing, but the restart might have been part of the process.

Go to

http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle

and click or tap on

Manage Your Devices

Copy your Kindle Fire’s serial number. You can highlight it, do CTRL+C. If you want it for later as well, you could paste it (CTRL+V) into something like Notepad.

Click or tap on Deregister for your Fire.

Click or tap on Register a Kindle (at the top of the list on your right).

Register your Kindle Fire (you should be able to paste the serial number here).

When that’s complete, start your Kindle Fire again using the power button.

It may take a minute to start up.

From what I’m hearing, you won’t need to register it again. You may need to do

Settings Gear – Sync

Supposedly, that will have removed the parental control password.

It sounds like it will have left all of your content on the device as well.

If this works the way I think it does, following the sequence above would be important. If you turned your Kindle on while the server thought the device was deregistered, that might cause you to have your content removed from the device.

Comment this post if you have tried this and it has or has not worked for you.

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

Today only: Amazon selling refurbed Fires for $139!

May 2, 2012

Today only: Amazon selling refurbed Fires for $139!

Don’t wait on this one!

Amazon has been selling refurbished Kindle Fires for $169, but today, they are selling them for $139!

They have put a limit of five per customer, and they are going to need that…and there are limited supplies.

Refurbished Kindle Fires

If you want a Fire (great gifts, by the way…Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, graduation), I expect they may run out of this quickly.

Refurbished means that Amazon has brought a used one up to standard…which I think makes for a reliable device. It’s probably been more thoroughly examined than a new one, for one thing.

It’s possible that more Android tablets are coming out soon from Amazon, but that doesn’t reduce the value of these at this price.

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

Barnes & Noble teams up with Microsoft, splits off NOOK & College

April 30, 2012

Barnes & Noble teams up with Microsoft, splits off NOOK & College

Is this the end of the chain bookstore as we know it?

Quite possibly (sorry, Books-A-Million…I’m not ignoring you but you do feel different than a Borders, Barnes & Noble, Waldenbooks, Crown Books).

Since this story is (largely) about books, it may take an hour or two before you see it on the news, but this really is a big story.

I don’t see the press release on the Barnes & Noble website yet…I’ll link it when it shows up there. I’ve only gotten it as an e-mail.

Here is the key thing:

“The new subsidiary, referred to in this release as Newco, will bring together the digital and College businesses of Barnes & Noble.  Microsoft will make a $300 million investment in Newco at a post-money valuation of $1.7 billion in exchange for an approximately 17.6% equity stake. Barnes & Noble will own approximately 82.4% of the new subsidiary, which will have an ongoing relationship with the company’s retail stores. Barnes & Noble has not yet decided on the name of Newco.”

Boom! Microsoft pumps a bunch of cash into Barnes & Noble.

One of the very interesting parts will be what that “ongoing relationship” with the retail stores will be.

Sure, NOOK software will be quickly available for Windows 8. That opens up many more users for B&N (although Windows users generally may already be using the Kindle app and the B&N reader app).

This may worry some of you:

Andy Lees, President of Microsoft said:

“Our complementary assets will accelerate e-reading innovation across a broad range of Windows devices, enabling people to not just read stories, but to be part of them. We’re on the cusp of a revolution in reading.”

If you don’t want your reading revolutionized, sorry. ;)

I want to get this out to you right away, but I do expect the story to develop a great deal over the course of the day. What is it going to mean for Amazon and Apple? For Book-A-Million? For independent bookstores? It will be intriguing to watch stock movements today.

The news will solidify when B&N and Microsoft host a webcast at 8:30 AM Eastern Time this morning (about 45 minutes away as I write this).

www.barnesandnobleinc.com/webcasts

That’s probably when it will break.

Update: the press release is on the B&N site now:

Press Release

The same press release is on the Microsoft site:

Press Release

Update: Yes, the story has broken:

Wall Street Journal article

CNBC article

AP via Seattle PI

Update: I thought I’d give you a little background on two parts of this.

First, something that’s involved is Microsoft having sued Barnes & Noble. That was announced on March 21 of 2011:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/news/press/2011/mar11/03-21corpnewspr.aspx

The basics of the claims have to do with the Android system allegedly infringing on Microsoft’s patents.

This

Foss Patents blogpost

gives you a pretty good overview.

Those suits can go on for a very long time, and this was still progressing.

This deal settles the legal situation between the two of them. It might seem odd that Microsoft is paying the money if it was the one suing. B&N may be paying them money for using the patents, which may make the amount that Microsoft pays effectively less.

The other thing is that Microsoft used to sell e-books.

They had a .lit (short for literature) format, which they introduced in the year 2000, and which they were phasing out. I wrote about it in this

earlier post

Microsoft may have just been too far ahead of the game. In 2000, e-books were obviously used mostly on computers…we didn’t have tablets and EBRs (E-Book Readers).

They still have an active website

http://www.microsoft.com/reader/

Microsoft was allowing people to download the application until August 30th of this year, although materials basically had stopped being sold on November 8th of 2011.

That’s both good and bad, in my mind. It shows that Microsoft was interested in books a long time ago (in tech years), and may still have people with experience (even though it may be largely run by B&N).

The bad news shows a willingness to abandon a format in the commercial market…

As always, I’m interested in your opinions on this.  Feel free to comment on this post.

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

Bloomberg: “U.S. files antitrust suit against Apple, publishers”

April 11, 2012

Bloomberg: “U.S. files antitrust suit against Apple, publishers”

More on this later, but according to this

Washington Post article

the Department of Justice has filed suit against Apple and the “Agency 5″ publishers (Hachette, Penguin, HarperCollins, Sinon & Schuster, and Macmillan) over the Agency Model.

We’ll probably see the filing shortly, and I’ll update this later today.

Update: here is a

Wall Street Journal article

with more good information. According to the article, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, and HarperCollins

“…agreed to terminate their agreements with Apple regarding e-books and refrain from limiting any retailer’s ability to set e-book prices for two years. That could help Amazon.com Inc. AMZN +0.93% resume deep discounts on new e-books.”

We may see the “This price set by the publisher” warnings go away very quickly.

I don’t think we’ll see a dramatic quick lowering of the New York Times bestseller hardback equivalents across the board to $9.99. I do think we’ll see those former Agency Model publishers’ books included in sales, and prominently.

Could this be a negative impact for independently published books? Perhaps…price might be less of an advantage for them, and if the Big Six has books in the promotions in the same way the indies do, that muddies the water.

The WSJ also nicely provided this

pdf of the filing

I’m looking forward to reading it. :)

Update: here are some sections that are catching my eye in the government filing:

“Publishers saw the rise in e-books, and particularly Ama zon’ s price discounting,
as a substantial challenge to their traditional business model. The Publisher Defendants feared
that lower retail prices for e-books might lead eventually to lower wholesale prices for e-books,
lower prices for print books, or other consequences the publishers hoped to avoid. Each
Publisher Defendant desired higher retail e-book prices across the industry before “$9.99″
became an entrenched consumer expectation. By the end of 2009, however, the Publisher
Defendants had concluded that unilateral efforts to move Ama zon away from its practice of
offering low retail prices would not work, and they thereafter conspired to raise retail e-book
prices and to otherwise limit competition in the sale of e-books. To effectuate their conspiracy,the Publisher Defendants teamed up with Defendant Apple, whichshared the same goal of restraining retail price competition in the sale of e-books.”

“As Apple CEO Steve Jobs described his company’sstrategy for negotiating with the Publisher Defendants, “We’ll go to [an] agency model, where you set the price, and we get our 30%, and yes, the customer pays a little more, but that’s what you want anyway.””

“Plaintiff United States ofAmerica brings this action pursuant to Section 4 ofthe
Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 4, to obtain equitable r e l i e f and other r e l i e fto prevent and restrain
De f endant s ‘ viol a t ions of Se c t ion 1 ofthe She rman Act, 15 U.S.C § 1.
19. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this action under Section 4 ofthe
Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 4, and 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331,1337( a ) , and 1345.”

“Beginning no later than September 2008, the Publisher Defendants’ senior executives engaged in a series ofmeetings, telephone conversations and other communications in which they jointly acknowledged to each other the threat posed by Amazon’s pricing strategy and the need to work collectively to end that strategy. By the end ofthe summer of2009, the  Publisher Defendants had agreed to act collectively to force up Amazon’s retail prices and thereafter considered and implemented various means to accomplish that goal, including moving under the guise of a joint venture.”

“In September 2008, Penguin Group CEO John Makinson was joined by Macmillan CEO John Sargent and the CEOs ofthe other four large publishers at a dinner meeting in “The Che f s Wine Cellar,” a private room at Picholene. One ofthe CEOs reported
that business matters were discussed.”

“All five Publisher Defendants agreed in 2009 at the latest to act collectively to raise retail prices for the most popular e-books above $9.99. One CEO of a Publisher Defendant’s parent company explained to his corporate superior in a July 29, 2009 e-mail message that “[i]n the USA and the UK, but also in Spain and France to a lesser degree, the ‘top publishers’ are in discussions to create an alternative platform to Amazon for e-books.”

“The executive in charge ofApple’s inchoate e-books business, Eddy Cue, telephoned each Publisher Defendant and Random House on or around December 8, 2009 to schedule exploratory meetings in New York City on December 15 and December 16.”

As I would expect with the DoJ filing suit, it sounds like they have evidence of a collusion. They probably have call logs and such.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.

All seven Harry Potter books can now be purchased for the Kindle

March 27, 2012

All seven Harry Potter books can now be purchased for the Kindle

They’re here!

Well, they are there…on Pottermore, but you can order them through the Kindle store.

Here are the seven books:

and here is the “landing page” that gets you started:

Harry Potter on Kindle
The first three books are $7.99 each, the second four are $9.99 each.

No omnibus at this point. UPDATE: thanks to reader Katie McQuage for pointing out that there is an omnibus available at Pottermore for $57.54…that’s about a 10% discount. I’m not quite sure that it works the same way since I’m not seeing that at the Kindle store…it may, and at Pottermore it does say the omnibus is available in Kindle format. Thanks, Katie!

You will have the typical abilities that you have with other Kindle books.

No samples are available. UPDATE: You can download a sample to your computer from the Pottermore site. I did that, and it came as an EPUB.

Text-to-speech access is not blocked.

Here is the Amazon help page on it: Harry Potter on Kindle help page

The process is more complicated than just buying a book from the Kindle store: you need to set up a Pottermore account. I’m going to do this later, and I’ll update this post. I wanted to let you know about the ability to buy them right away, though…I know a lot of you have felt like it was “Harry Potter and the Endless Wait”. ;)

I’m really excited about this! It makes the books so much more available to people with certain challenges. I had a relative who had one of the books torn into pieces (despite the cringeworthiness of that) because it was just too heavy to hold, due to physical conditions.

UPDATE: The process for Pottermore

1. Go to one of the books above and click the “Buy at Pottermore” button

2. The Welcome to the Pottermore shop screen appears. You may need want to click a redirect link at the bottom of the screen, or just give it a few seconds.

3. If you’d rather have the original British version rather than the American version, switch the book language in the dropdown to English (GB) (for Great Britain)

4. Click the blue Add to Basket button. If you are quick, you may be able to click a Go to Basket link. Otherwise, click the Basket button in your top right corner of the screen (that’s like your Cart at Amazon)

5. Click Proceed to Checkout

6. You’ll now either create a Pottermore store account, or sign into your existing one (if necessary). You’ll be asked for

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • E-mail
  • Password (at least six characters with both letters and numbers)
  • A security question choice
  • The answer for the security question
  • Your country of residence
  • Your preferred language (they only currently give you US or GB English)
  • Whether or not you want to get promo offers

You’ll need to type enCaptcha words that you see.  You’ll also need to agree to the Terms & Conditions and the Privacy Policy.

I’ll say that it was pretty irritating that it rejected my password because it thought it was weak, and I had to do a different choice.

The next screen asked you for payment information. It let you use Mastercard, Visa, or Maestro.

The third screen is order confirmation.

Then, click a link that says, “Proceed to download”.

You’ll then select the book you purchased.

You can then choose:

  • Sony
  • Google
  • Amazon
  • Barnes & Noble (for the nook)
  • Direct download (it says that’s for Apple iBooks, Adobe, Kobo, and many others)

I chose Amazon.

It then asked me if I wanted to link to my account. I said yes. It also told me that I could remove this account later.

When I clicked on it, I was asked to log into my Amazon account. I did.

It returned me to Pottermore, where it told me I was successful. Pottermore asked me to name the account.

Then, there was a link to send to my account. I did.

There was a link to Go to Amazon. I did. :)

It took me to the Manage Your Kindle page.

From there, I could click

Actions…

and choose to send it to any of the devices (Kindles or reader apps) on my account).

This decremented my eight personal downloads by one. Note that the one allows me (apparently) to send it to each of the Kindles/devices on my account. My guess is that it has the normal six simultaneous device limits.

The download to Amazon only counts for one, even though I could use it on several devices.

I sent it from MYK to my Fire, and it looks great there…even has a “drop cap” (a capital letter the size of more than one line, usually bolded, sometimes illustrated), and the original illutrations.

I went to my Touch, and got it from the archives there. It looked good (no drop cap, though). I tested the text-to-speech…no problem.

I checked, and it doesn’t appear to allow me to connect the book to two Amazon accounts, which makes sense.

So, it looks to me like I could pay for it once, and read it on both a Kindle (several Kindles) and a nook…cool!

UPDATE: Here’s the

press release

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

Flash! Amazon has refurbed Kindle Fires for $169…save $30

March 13, 2012

Flash! Amazon has refurbed Kindle Fires for $169…save $30

Been wanting a Kindle Fire, but felt $199 was just too much?

Really? ;)

Well, if you go to the Kindle Fire product page, there’s a box there right now with a link to a refurb version that’s $169 (yes, directly from Amazon).

It says:

“Save $30 with a Certified Refurbished Kindle Fire

Each Certified Refurbished Kindle Fire is tested, certified, and repackaged like new. Comes with the same one-year limited warranty as a brand-new Kindle Fire.”

If you speak with people who have gotten refurbed (refurbished) Kindles from Amazon before, I think you’ll find that the response is overwhelmingly positive.

Maybe this is the time to get a second one for that jealous family member. ;)

I don’t know how long it will last.

This doesn’t say anything special about the product to me…it doesn’t mean there is an impending new release, or that there have been an inordinate number of returns. Amazon has done this with other models before.

Enjoy!

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

Flash! You can now reset your “furthest page read” yourself

March 7, 2012

Flash! You can now reset your “furthest page read” yourself

Thanks to *~*Pineapple*~* in the Amazon Kindle forum for the heads-up on this!

Part of the Kindle Service is something called “Whispersync”. It allows you to be reading a book on one device, and then pick up in the same spot where you left off on another device.

That works very well if one person is reading the same book on multiple devices (a Kindle and a SmartPhone, for example…I’ve done it with a Kindle Fire and a Kindle Touch).

One negative is if two different people on the account are going to read the same book on different devices at the same time.

Another problem is when you finish a book, and you’d like to re-read it. We’ve always been able to go back to the beginning, but Whispersync might want to synchronize it to the end before we finished the re-read.

A third issue is when someone clicks or taps an endnote, jumps to the end of the book…and then goes Home before going Back to where they were. This will set the “last page read” to the end of the book.

What we’ve had to do in the past was contact Kindle Support

http://www.amazon.com/kindlesupport

and ask them to reset it.

Now, we can do it ourselves!

If you go to

http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle

there are all sorts of magical things there. :)

Find a title there, and click or tap the

Actions…

button.

There is a new option to

Reset Furthest* Page Read

If you select that, it sort of explains it. If you choose to do it, it will reset the page for you.

The help says;

“To reset your furthest page read in Manage Your Kindle, click the Actions button next to the title and choose “Reset furthest page read” from the dropdown menu. The next time you open that title on a device, the page where it opens will become the new furthest page read that syncs across all your devices and apps.”

Amazon help page

That language suggests to me that it would not just reset it to the first page, but to wherever you happened to be when you went to MYK.

That doesn’t quite make sense to me. Two people could have the book on different devices and be in different places…how would it know which page to use?

I’m not in a place where I can test this right now, but I’ll try it later.

Once again, Amazon makes things easier for their customers! I thought it was really terrific when they let us “return” books from MYK within seven days of purchase…this is also nice. :)

* “Furthest” should really be “Farthest”, of course…and there aren’t any pages in e-books. :) That’s just a pedantic quibble, though

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

Amazon’s sales up 35% for 2011 Fourth Quarter

January 31, 2012

Amazon’s sales up 35% for 2011 Fourth Quarter

Thirty-five percent! That’s a huge number, as reported in this

Press Release

That’s not something you’d expect in a company that has been around  for more than fifteen years…and has already been successful.

Clearly, in terms of sales, the Kindle Fire had a big impact.

  • The number of Amazon Instant videos rented or purchased (these are not the Prime free streaming ones) more than doubled…presumably, a lot of those went to Kindle Fire owners
  • Amazon Appstore purchases nearly tripled in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter (it hasn’t been around long enough for a year-to-year comparison). While an increase would be expected in the holiday season, this seems like a lot
  • Kindle sales (counting the Fire and the RSKs…Reflective Screen Kindles) were up 177%

It’s not just the Fire, though. The $79/$109 model, which I call the Mindle, was the number one selling product on five of the Kindle sites (Amazon.it, Amazon.es, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.fr, and Amazon.de).

Now, that doesn’t mean that net income was up 35%…far from it. It was down 58%.

Why?

Well, one reason is that Amazon is spending a lot of money increasing the content available to Prime members. That certainly sells Fires, but it also sells “diapers and windshield wipers”, as I like to say. That’s where the money is, I think. There is a huge potential for growth for Amazon in the physical goods market.  Amazon licensed more videos. They paid half a million dollars in December alone to increase the number of books in the KOLL (Kindle Owners’ Lending Library)…and it definitely worked.

I never quite know how investors will react, but I think the headline will more be the 58% drop than the 35% increase.

I also think that’s short-sighted…and the market will know that.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Amazon’s shares dropped initially, and recovered by Friday.

I’m just guessing on that part, though…I’m not a stock guru by any means. :)

What do you think? Is Amazon over investing in getting people to be Prime members? If there are a lot of Kindle Fire returns, does this make that a bad strategy? How likely is it that somebody who bought a Fire and returned it would renew Prime? How is the market going to react to this report? Feel free to comment on this post and let me know…

Update: as I expected, the stock dropped the next day and has been recovering pretty quickly. It may not get back to where it was by the end of Friday, but you can see the progress here:

http://money.cnn.com/quote/quote.html?symb=AMZN&iid=HP_Last5

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


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