Happy bookish birthdays (January 16) to…

January 16, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (January 16) to…


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

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Happy bookish birthdays (January 15) to…

January 15, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (January 15) to…

Ernest J. Gaines (A Lesson Before Dying) (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Martin Luther King Jr. (Why We Can’t Wait) (at AmazonSmile*)

Jose Y. Dalisay Jr. (Sarcophagus) (at AmazonSmile*)

John Aikin (Evenings at Home) (at AmazonSmile*)

Marjorie Fleming (Marjory’s Book) (at AmazonSmile*)

W.R. Mitchell (A Dalesman’s Diary) (at AmazonSmile*)

Jenny Nimmo (Charlie Bone series) (at AmazonSmile*)

Ben Shapiro (Brainwashed) (at AmazonSmile*)


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

Happy bookish birthdays (January 14) to…

January 14, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (January 14) to…


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

Round up #167: Barnes & Noble hitting new lows, Alexa when you have to go

January 14, 2018

Round up #167: Barnes & Noble hitting new lows, Alexa when you have to go

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

I brought my Echo Spot to work, and it’s…

When Amazon announced new hardware, I said about the Echo Spot (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping):

“Having a small, always available screen is going to make it a big part of people’s lives…”

It has 4.3 stars out of five right now, with 429 customer reviews.

It’s currently ranked #22 bestselling out of all electronics at Amazon.

I brought mine to work (we have an Echo Show (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) at home), and it’s…one of the coolest things ever! 🙂

I should describe my situation a bit.

I have my own office with a door which closes (and which I can lock). It is small, and the walls are thin enough that we can all hear each other.

I have the little “Magic 8-Ball” looking video screen sort of under my elevated monitor.

I’m able to put it on wi-fi at work (I could use a hotspot on my phone, but there is a public wi-fi network I can use. One thing I find particularly nice: when I log it into the wi-fi network, I have to check a box to acknowledge the terms. That page appears on my Echo Spot’s touchscreen! That means that I don’t need to use my phone at all to get on the network. Oh, by the way: swipe down from the top to find settings.

There is a 3.5mm (standard, like an a SmartPhone) audio jack, so I can just plug headphones in there. That way, I can listen quietly.

I can have it play music, podcasts, and so on.

However, I also do use the videoscreen. I can drop in on the Echo Show at home to check on the dogs. 🙂

When I ask for my Flash Briefing (“Alexa, what’s the news?”) some of it is actually video.

I also have watched videos: I’ve watched some of a Gene Roddenberry series, Andromeda. Now, I need to be clear: none of this interferes with my work. 🙂 For example, I might watch at lunch.

I highly recommend the Spot…and I would think there may be an opportunity to get it for under $100 within the next year (might be a special sale).

“Is this the end of Rico…er, Barnes & Noble?”

Investors weren’t happy with Barnes & Noble’s report of the financial covering the holidays…and while I’m sometimes baffled by the reaction to Amazon financials, this seems reasonable.

  • According to this CNN Money chart, the stock price is down more than 20% this year. I’ve also heard that it is at the lowest price this century…since the mid-1990s
  • Online sales reportedly dropped 4.5%…that’s a bucking a significant general trend of increasing online sales
  • Reportedly, holiday book sales overall grew…meaning that B&N also underperformed compared to that industry

A new CEO apparently hasn’t reassured investors…bottom line, I don’t see anything at this point which shows a path to overcoming these deficits. They may be a target for purchase this year…and I can possibly see foreign investors being interested.

Firefox on Fire TV…a great end around

I noted that having the Firefox browser available on the

Fire TV family (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

was a way to get around Google blocking YouTube, and it does that quite nicely. There is already a link to YouTube on the landing page, so it’s just a couple of “clicks”.

However, I just ran into another great use.

I use the Comedy Central app to watch a particular series. Well, I did…now, it asked me to sign into my TV provider. Unfortunately, my provider wasn’t listed, and they said they were trying to sign up more.

I thought I might end up watching clips on YouTube, but then it occurred to me that I could just browse to Comedy Central’s site, and they might have full episodes.

They did. 🙂

That means we can watch the full episode on our TV, just like we usually would. There is a risk that Comedy Central stops showing full episodes, but that would be a real paradigm shift….for them, and for other sites.

Indie authors: you can now do X-Ray for your books

X-Ray is a great feature, which looks you look up things (characters, for example) in a book. Not just find them, like an index, but you can see the density of references to that character.

Indies (independent authors), certainly in the beginning, didn’t know how to get it for their books.

Kindle Direct Publishing

now lets you do it, and while I haven’t tried it yet, it looks like a pretty easy process.

It can be done automatically for your book, using content from Wikipedia.

However, you can also make your own custom content!

I expect we’ll get some clever things that way.

The Circus of Dr. Lao by Charles G. Finney (at AmazonSmile*)

has a wonderfully sardonic “Catalog”, for example, which is a sort of glossary of items in the book, somewhat like X-Ray without locations. One of the entries:

“COCKROACH: La Cucaracha, the kitchendweller. Decently dressed in brown or black, discreet and humble, he lives in hovels as readily as in grand hotels. He has been with us a long time. He crawled about the middenheaps of the Neanderthal just as well as he now crawls about the middenheaps of the Parisian. He is fit and he survives. He watched the dinosaur and the pterodactyl die, and he saw Babylon flourish.”

It’s important to note that the cockroaches aren’t anthropomorphized or significant at all in the actual main text.

Alexa at CES

The Consumer Electronics Show just ended, and there are always all sorts of strange things there. This year, Alexa was definitely a star.

One major announcement was Alexa Onboard. While the headliner on this is that it will bring Alexa into cars, it has other important implications, as mentioned in this

Voicebot.AI article by Bret Kinsella

Alexa will, for the first time, be able to function significantly without an internet connection. It sounds to me like it may mean that Alexa could still turn my lights on and off if wi-fi was working, even if the internet was down. That would be a giant improvement, and make Alexa much more reliable and therefore perhaps get it into even more places.

Speaking of places…Kohler showed a toilet with Alexa built-in…so you can flush with voice control. My Significant Other doesn’t like using Alexa to turn on and off the lights, as opposed to a light switch. While I get that it’s more hygienic, but I would feel uncomfortable saying, “Alexa, flush.” 🙂 The toilet also plays music, though, so Alexa could help with that…and it’s heated, and it has lights which can change color, and it opens automatically…and it’s only $7,500.

I’ll be fine when I have Alexa in my auggies (augmented/virtual reality glasses, or other perceptive device), so I can talk to Alexa at any time anywhere. 🙂 Sound ridiculous? Vuzix introduced just that at CES:

psfk article by Zack Palm

What do you think? Do you see a path to continued viability for Barnes & Noble? Do you see any reason Amazon would want to buy them…or someone else who might? Would you talk to your toilet? Do you use X-Ray in books? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

Happy bookish birthdays (January 13) to…

January 13, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (January 13) to…


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

Happy bookish birthdays (January 12) to…

January 12, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (January 12) to…


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

Happy bookish birthdays (January 11) to…

January 11, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (January 11) to…


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

Happy bookish birthdays (January 10) to…

January 10, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (January 10) to…


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

Happy bookish birthdays (January 9) to…

January 9, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (January 9) to…


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

Pay $50 for a hardback and get it in a week…or $14.99 for the e-book and get it in seconds

January 9, 2018

Pay $50 for a hardback and get it in a week…or $14.99 for the e-book and get it in seconds

It’s unusual that a book gets the amount of public attention that

Fire and Fury by Michael Wolff (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

is getting.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about the content of the book or why it’s the #1 bestseller at Amazon right now. 😉

My point is this: one of the stories I’ve seen repeatedly is how the book is “sold out”.

Well, yes: if you want the hardback.

If you buy it from Amazon, it’s currently listed at $18.00…with delivery in 2 to 4 weeks.

Other sellers have listed from $65 (arriving as early as January 16) to $12 (arriving as early as February 2nd), plus shipping ($3.99 on the non-Amazon vendors).

On the other hand, you could get the Kindle version right now…and for less money.

You don’t need a Kindle: you could read it on a phone, a tablet, a desktop…

Amazon does prominently put that on the book’s product page: “Usually ships within 2 to 4 weeks. 
Why wait? Try the Kindle Edition instead and start reading now.”

This is somewhat similar to what happened with 1984 last year, although that one was available to Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*) members at no additional cost:

1984 is sold out in hardback & paperback at Amazon…but Kindleers can read it for free

There are already 1,407 customer reviews at time of writing (with an average of 4.6 stars out of 5). The listed release date was January 5th…so that would be close to 500 reviews a day. A lot of people are going to try to sway what you’ll think of the book, and in different ways…if you are going to read it at all, that week or more could make a difference in how you approach the book.

I wonder if scarcity events like this will convert more people to reading e-books more often…


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.


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