Round up #194: Detroit libraries, Kindle Fire updates now available from Amazon
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
Barbara Mertz (aka Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels) has died
The mystery novels under the name Elizabeth Peters (including the Amelia Peabody books) have been very popular…as have been the books of Barbara Michaels, including the Georgetown series. Those were both pennames for Barbara Mertz, who also wrote non-fiction about Egypt under her real name,
Barbara Mertz has reportedly died at the age of 85.
Update for Kindle Fires now available at Amazon
I updated that post when I had heard that 8.4.6 was out there, and that it didn’t have the same problem.
Well, my Kindle Fire did update last night…and I’m happy to report that Flash video is working fine in Maxthon (my preferred browser). In fact, it seems like it is working better, but it’s too soon to really tell that.
If your Kindle Fire hasn’t updated, it likely will soon now. You can also get the update from
and install it manually (they have instructions there on it).
Since it’s on that page, we also know what they tell us it does.
- You can now choose Brazilian Portuguese for your device language (Home – swipe down – More – Language & Keyboard – Language…that brings us to eleven languages and variants)
- You can download new keyboard languages (Home – swipe down – More – Language & Keyboard – Keyboard – Download Keyboard Languages). That’s a fascinating change! There are thirty-seven languages there, and even with a linguist in the family, I can’t tell you what they all are (since they are listed in their languages. They do include Russian and Tagalog, Hinglish and Magyar…quite a few choices. While this will greatly expand the usability of the Kindle Fire, this ability to download the languages is what’s intriguing me. That suggest to me that we could possibly get the same thing with accents and languages for text-to-speech…not that we don’t likeSeptember Day‘s Salli, of course, but more choices there could again expand the language accessibility. Could this also suggest a launch of a Fire in even more countries? Well, last I heard, it was already available for 170 countries, so maybe not
- Multicolor highlights (highlight something in a book with your finger or stylus, and you’ll now be given four different highlighting colors from which to choose)
- Share notes & highlights from a Print Replica textbook. The particularly interesting piece here is that you’ll be able to share them via e-mail…that could be the start of something big for Amazon. Not just e-mailing, of course, but texting (in the future). I frequently e-mail stories to family members from my morning Flipboard read. I know e-mail isn’t the choice method of communication for many New Millenials (which is why I’m also thinking texting, in the future), but tweeting and Facebook updates don’t work for everybody either
All in all, I’m happy Amazon fixed the problem with Flash before posting the updates.
Update: here are screenshots of the keyboard languages available for download, and some best guesses (not all mine…my adult kid who is a linguist helped, as did someone else) as to what they are. If you can correct any of them, I’d appreciate it:
Catala – Catalan
Cestina – Czech
Dansk – Danish
Eesti – Estonian
Euskara – Basque
Galego – Galician (spoken in Spain and some other countries)
Hinglish – Hindi/English hybrid (although I believe some other languages are involved)
Islanski – Icelandic
Latviesu – Latvian
Lietuviskai – Lithuanian
Magyar – Hungarian
Nederlands – Dutch
Norsk – Norwegian
Polski = Polish
Portugues europeu – European Portuguese
Pу́сски;й – Russian
Romana – Romanian
Shqipe – Albanian
Slovencina – Slovak
Slovenscina – Slovak
Suomi – Finnish
Svenska – Swedish
Tagalog – Phillipino
Tiếng Việt – Vietnamese
Türkçe – Turkish
ελληνικ;ά – Greek
Казаk – Kazak
Україн;ська – Ukranian
Белару;скі – Belorussina or White Russian
Summer Reading Snapshot: libraries and kids across the nation
This is a great
which talks with children’s librarians in
- New York
- St. Louis
- Kansas City, Mo
about their planned Summer events, and what the “Big Reads” are for the kids this Summer.
As we all know, Detroit has had a lot of issues lately. I liked this quotation from Lurine Carter, coordinator of children’s and teen service at the Detroit Public Library:
“Life is very serious, not only in Detroit but all over. We try to relieve their minds. We want the library and the reading to be a pleasant getaway.”
I recommend the article, particularly if you are looking for books for your own kids to read.
Google play making a big…er, play for textbooks
There are so many clear advantages to e-textbooks that it seems inevitable to be that they become the standard format.
- The weight of paper textbooks, especially when students can’t get to a locker between classes, is genuinely a health issue
- The increased ability to be accessible (text-to-speech, increasable text size) is important
- The ability of them to be updated easily over the years
- The fact that they don’t wear out…which makes renting a really viable option
- The relatively lower cost
- Annotation without degradation
- Sharing supplemental material
That doesn’t mean that getting them to be adopted is easy, but Google is likely to make it a bit more attractive:
I don’t see that they are bringing any stand-out features that aren’t available in
but just the fact that it is Google may influence some schools.
Hearing in the Apple “penalty phase” today
Judge Cote has been ruling incredibly quickly in the Apple e-book price fixing case. That doesn’t mean we will hear something today…but Judge Cote will.
There is a hearing today for the DoJ’s (Department of Justice’s) proposed penalties for Apple, according to this
The Verge article by Greg Sandoval
and other sources. I’ve written before about how far-reaching the DoJ proposal seems to be. The five Agency Model publishers think it’s too much…but they aren’t exactly uninvolved parties (they settled with the DoJ in the same case). Others think it’s appropriate.
It will be very interesting to see what Judge Cote does. I think it’s possible that part of it is approved and part of it isn’t, but we’ll see. I’m not sure if Judge Cote would then send them back to rethink it or what can happen.
Librarians in the Movies
This site was right up my alley!
It’s a pretty extensive list…given my love of books and movies, I did find it fascinating (and I had seen a number of them). It’s not being maintained anymore, but is still interesting. Let’s see…any movies this Summer with librarians in them? Hm…
Have any thoughts about these stories? 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.