Round up #86: Closed captioning, Aztec Mummies, Japan

Round up #86: Closed captioning, Aztec Mummies, Japan

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

Note; a power outage slowed me down a bit today. 🙂 Power’s back on now, but yes, that was a bit disconcerting. My Kindle Fire  had about a 40% charge, but without power, no wi-fi in my house. My Samsung Captivate also usually doesn’t connect in my home without wi-fi…so I was web-blind! 😉

Santo and eReaderIQ

I’ve written about

many times, and I consider it one of the best Kindle resources anywhere.

Well, they really came through for me yesterday!

On August 22 of 2010 (!) I listed some books with their free “tell me when it is Kindleized” service.

As promised, they sent me a free e-mail when

Mexploitation Cinema

was finally available! That book isn’t going to appeal to everybody, but if you’ve watched a movie with Santo or some other lucha libre wrestler fighting a vampire, you know what we are discussing. 🙂 This is a fairly serious look…and I’m always fascinated by what non-art factors affect the creation of any kind of art (even cheap exploitation movies). In this case, I’ve already learned some things. One issue: the government had banned professional wrestling on television, so making these movies was a way for these very popular entertainers to keep doing their jobs.

The book was also much less expensive than the hardback had been (that was $35). I paid $14.99 for this…I know some people never want to pay more than $9.99, but this isn’t a novel, it’s something I would expect to be more expensive.

Bottom line: eReaderIQ made me very happy, at no cost to me. 🙂 I highly recommend them.

Closed captioning coming on July 15

This may not affect you personally, but I think you’ll still be excited about it.

Currently, Amazon Instant video does not have closed captioning available.

What is closed captioning?

Some people use the terms differently, but my understanding of it is that “closed captioning” is text that shows you the dialogue (and some other sounds) that are happening in a movie or TV show…but only appear when requested. That’s why they are called “closed”…you have to choose to open them.

You may also see the term “subtitles” used for this, but again, my understanding is that subtitles are always visible (like when you are watching a movie in a foreign language with subtitles) and closed captioning is not.

Essentially, what happened was that the studios thought it was too expensive or complicated to include closed captioning on streaming video, and it wasn’t illegal not to include it, so they didn’t.

Back in 2010 (there’s that year again), a law was passed that would change that.

Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA)

Studios have been given time to implement it, and July 15th marks when it begins to have an impact.

At that point, video which has been previously broadcast (TV shows, movies that have been on TV) starts including closed captioning when it is streamed.

That’s a huge improvement for the deaf and hard of hearing*!

There’s more to come, and this doesn’t cover movies that have never been broadcast or video that is strictly web video, but it’s a big plus.

The Act has a lot of provisions, but as regular readers know, I’m interested in equal access for the disabled, so this is nice to see. article

Konnichiwa, Kindle?

There have been a lot of rumors about Amazon selling the Kindle in Japan, and my sense is that we are getting closer. It may happen at the same time that the release new hardware models, but that’s not necessarily the case.

Japan is, not surprisingly, an interesting market for electronics. In this case, it’s the home turf for Sony…which preceded the Kindle into the EBR (E-Book Reader) market, and continues to be active in it today. They didn’t exactly set the world on Fire (so to speak)…it took the Kindle to that in the US.

It will be really fascinating to see how the Kindle does in Japan, if it does launch there soon. Is it just another kid on the block? Do they undersell Sony? How will they handle the language in the menus? Will this mean more books in Japanese for the USA Kindle store? I’ll be watching…

Electronista article

Reuters article

Atari on the Fire

This is a little dangerous, but yes, it’s fun. 🙂

I’ve been playing

Atari’s Greatest Hits (Missile Command Free)

As you can see, you get the original Missile Command (ported to the Fire). However, what was cool was that you could pay $9.99 and get a whole bunch of games. Sure, there are adjustments when you don’t have a physical trackball (these are the arcade games, by the way, not the 2600 games). I’ve been playing Asteroids, although it is taking some doing to get used to the controls. I’ve also played Centipede, and one at which I used to be really good…Tempest.

The interface isn’t the most intuitive to get into the games or to purchase them, but outside of that, I thought it was well worth the money. As an ambidexter, I did appreciate that you could choose different configurations…button on the left, button on the right, and so on. You wouldn’t think that wouldn’t matter to me, but I do like the variety of being able to switch which hand does what in games.

Oh, and there is something charmingly retro about playing Pong on a Kindle Fire. 😉

* I had originally used a different term for this group who don’t perceive audible input in the way that most people do. One of my readers, Joseph, pointed out that the term I used might be culturally insensitive, and I think Joseph for alerting me to that

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


4 Responses to “Round up #86: Closed captioning, Aztec Mummies, Japan”

  1. mel Says:

    That is good news about the closed captioning, I had forgotten all about that. I’m looking forward to being able to watch more stuff on the internet than I did before.

  2. Joseph Says:

    I am sure you mean well…and I had been one of your loyal readers for years…but as a culturally deaf person, I do find the term “hearing impaired” to be offending since there is nothing impaired about me as a whole person. There are thousands and thousands of deaf people sharing this feeling as well. The better terminology would be “deaf and hard of hearing”. Consider that a piece of free advice. 🙂

    About the closed-captioning, that would be huge news! However one would think that Amazon would issue an announcement on that and to my best knowledge, the company hadn’t done so yet? If there is enough movies and shows with closed-captioning, it would be worth it that I join the Prime Member program. I had been a Kindle Fire owner since it was out and is disappointed with how Amazon had disregarded us the deaf and hard of hearing people numbered around 25 million(many with various degrees of hearing losses in this population but all would have liked closed-captioning).

    I, for one, am hoping that Amazon would not face a lawsuit similar to the one that National Association of the Deaf had for Netflix which led to many captioning shows and movies in the Netflix inventory. I would prefer that Amazon do this of its free will and to show its support for us. (

    Thought I would share my perspective here. Keep the good work!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Joseph!

      Absolutely right! It was a culturally insensitive term, and I apologize. I was writing right after having read something (it may have been government) that used it, and I should have been more aware. I’ll look at altering the article.

      That gets complicated. For example, I have used “differently abled”, but the laws are likely to specifically say “disabled”. That makes it tough to refer to the specifics of the law.

      As an outsider on this one, even “hard of hearing” sounds a bit judgmental. I’ll think about how I make the reference…unfortunately, the best choice may be to make it clear that I am quoting a law or another source.

      As I noted, this isn’t happening quite yet, and it’s possible Amazon will make an announcement…but it wouldn’t be something they are doing that other people aren’t. It’s going to affect all internet streaming video which has formerly broadcast in certain media. Amazon claiming credit for it would be inappropriate if everybody has to do it.

      Similarly, it might not be appropriate to blame Amazon for the lack of closed captioning to date. I don’t know for sure (I know more about the issues for what are called the “print disabled” and “print challenged”, but I would presume that it would be the studios that would do the closed captioning in the files they give Amazon. Yes, Amazon would need to have software on their own Fire that could display the closed captioning, and I don’t know if that’s there (it may be). Do you know if there is something like the Chafee Amendment that would make it legal for a third party group to add closed captioning to a video without the explicit permission of the rightholder?

      Thank you for sharing your perspective! I really appreciate that. The issues of the differently abled are important to me, and I was happy to be able to report something that makes a different for so many people.

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