Round up #208: AZTV, books on a plane?

Round up #208: AZTV, books on a plane?

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

Committee reportedly recommends lifting restrictions on some electronic device use on planes

I reported about this recently, and the story has now come down

AP story by Joan Lowy

that a committee put together by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is going to recommend easing restrictions on, for example, reading on an EBR (E-Book Reader) during take-offs and landing.

The FAA will likely get the report on Monday, and could act swiftly enough to have it mean that we could enjoy downloaded content on our devices by 2014.

Fortunately, I don’t think it needs Congressional approval… 😉

“…outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances”

Speaking of Congress…

I’ve written before about the issue of “public performance” and copyright. For example, I don’t demonstrate text-to-speech to a group of people with a copyrighted work, since that would be a public performance…and that’s a right controlled by the rightsholder (with certain Fair Use exemptions).

Recently, a Congressperson read an entire copyrighted work on the floor, as part of a filibuster (I’d rather leave the specifics out of it…this isn’t about the politics).

In my house, we immediately questioned the legality of that. Assuming (which I think is safe) that the rightsholder didn’t authorize the performance, wasn’t that infringement?

The Congressperson clearly was performing it for the public…television cameras were part of it.

Is the entire text now entered into the Congressional record…and is that record in the public domain?

Would C-SPAN be in trouble for broadcasting it?

It seemed like a likely infringement to me, potentially punishable by a fine, but these issues can be complex.

Some of the copyright elements are addressed in this

techdirt article by Mike Masnick

My phone was listening to my car yesterday

Okay, this definitely falls in the category of FWP (First World Problems), but my  Significant  Other and I were quite amused. 🙂

I was going to Whole Foods, and my SO texted a shopping list.

We’re vegetarians, and that list probably wasn’t like most of yours. 😉 One of the things was “Fakin Bacon”, a vegetarian protein product.

I got everything else, but didn’t see that.

I used voice recognition on my Galaxy S4 to send a text to say that I hadn’t gotten it. I didn’t figure it would recognize “Fakin”, so I just said “bacon”. My SO got this text:

“I did not get bacon and I do feel her presence.”

Needless to say, those last six words provoked a puzzled response.

What had happened was that I had text-to-speech going in the car (I wasn’t driving yet, by the way), and I was listening to Ghosts: True Encounters with the World Beyond by Hans Holzer (which I’m enjoying very much…Holzer has a dry wit I like).

The Galaxy picked up part of a sentence out of the book read by my Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 4G, being relayed by Bluetooth through my car’s sound system.

I’m actually very impressed by that! Remember that the phone’s microphone was facing the other way (towards me). It shows you how far TTS has come!
September Day, the voice of the Kindle Fire HD (who I interviewed) can be proud of the clarity of the delivery! 😉

KFHDX: my readers speak

I’m always grateful for my intelligent and thoughtful readers who comment on my posts!

Sometimes, it gets me thinking, and sometimes it crystallizes questions for me that many people might have.

I’ve had good comments on two posts I’ve written recently about the new Kindle Fire HDX line and the live onscreen tech support available for them called Mayday:

I thought it was worth a quick summary of some of the points.

Doris asked about Miracast, which is how you’ll wirelessly put video from your Kindle Fire HDX on to a TV. It’s worth noting that the KFHDX does not have the HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) out that the Kindle Fire HDs had (and have…the 8.9″ will continue to be available).

Some TVs have the capability, but many don’t.

Roku set-top boxes are supposed to be getting it in the future, but don’t have it now (I verified that with Roku).

Google’s Chromecast stick (which, as I recently wrote, has been outselling Kindles…at Amazon) doesn’t do it.

What does?

I’ve looked a bit, and haven’t seen a solution I would like.

However, one of my most insightful commenters, Edward Boyhan, suggested that Amazon could introduce their own Miracast stick…by this holiday season.

Brilliant!

Amazon creates the demand for Miracast with the KFHDX, then fills it themselves.

If they could do a $35 stick that you plugged into the HDMI port and allowed full mirroring of your KFHDX…Chromecast would be walloped, and Roku would have issues.

They’d get a big advantage out of announcing it before people spend $75 on a Miracast router or something within a month of the KFHDX deliveries.

cardinalrobbins asked about a possible fee for Mayday. I don’t think that’s going to happen, although they might eventually limit it to Prime members (remember, everybody who buys a new KFHDX can be a Prime member for free for a month).

It’s got to cost money, but it also may both save money (by having faster resolutions) and inspire enough sales to make up for it and then some. For me, the Fire is largely about getting you hooked on Prime. Mayday means you’ll buy a Fire HDX which means you’ll become a Prime member which means you’ll buy “diapers and windshield wipers” (as I like to say)…which is where the real money is.

Google, by the way, is now doing same-day delivery…and it’s six months free:

https://www.google.com/shopping/express/

You have to be in certain areas, because they will be picking up the items at local stores.

This can only push Amazon to even faster delivery options…no doubt, through Prime.

Another comment a couple of people have had, including jjhitt, is about the demographics of the Mayday reps shown in the commrecials:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_profilepage&v=PFYHF1w8w3g

I’ve commented before about how the demographics of the people in Kindle commercials don’t necessarily align with the demographics of the customer base (particularly in terms of age in the beginning).

This may be a bit more of a concern, though.

Imagine you are currently the greatest Customer Service Kindle rep Amazon has ever seen. Customers love you, and you are super-knowledgeable and empathetic.

The Mayday program opens up, and it would be a considerable raise.

You don’t get it, though, because of your appearance.

You have a Mohawk, face piercings, a neck tattoo, are overweight, or regularly wear a religious icon.

Is that possible?

I hope not…but the people in the commercials so far don’t exhibit characteristics like that, and I would bet that some of the current phone reps do…

GOOD E READER: “Sony Abandons the eReader Market in the United States”

While the headline for this

GOOD E READER article by Michael Kozlowski

is an exaggeration (and refuted in the article itself…that happens a lot, sometimes because the headline writer is not the post author), it is interesting that Sony is not going to sell its new PRS T-3 EBR (E-Book Reader) in the USA due to “…the region’s market changes”.

Sony was the first major player here with a non-backlit EBR…and they are moving away from that.

That doesn’t mean they will necessarily be the lead in abandoning EBRs here…but it is intriguing.

What do you think? Will personal appearance factor into who becomes a Mayday rep? Should it? Will Amazon introduce a TV interface this year? Would you pay for Mayday? Would it encourage you to get Prime if that was a requirement for Mayday? If you had same-day delivery from Amazon and it included everything you usually buy, what would make you go to a brick-and-mortar store? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.

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

One Response to “Round up #208: AZTV, books on a plane?”

  1. picm Says:

    Personally … I don’t care if a tech rep has a pumpkin for a head. If he/she can help me, It’s fine with me.

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