Round up #217: Kindle Fire HDX giveaway, Kindle First

Round up #217: Kindle Fire HDX giveaway, Kindle First

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

Prime members get another perk

Still not a Prime member? How about this one?

Kindle First

You can choose one of a select group (this first time, there are four) of books to own (not borrow) for free…the month before it is published! These are books being published by Amazon Publishing.

I fot one: sure, why not? All of these say that will be $4.99 when published, and there are interesting books here. For me, there is sort of no reason not to do that.

Why is Amazon giving Prime members free e-books?

To make more people want to be Prime members, and to retain the ones they have. This is in addition to the one book a month you can borrow at no additional cost.

It’s worth them spending quite a bit of money to get people to become and stay Prime members, because Prime members spend a lot more. Those Prime members also spend it on physical goods (what I shorthand as “diapers and windshield wipers”), where there is more profit typically than on digital goods.

Nothing very tricky about this (although it is only available to U.S. customers), but here is the

Kindle First help page

“Place your trays in the upright position…”

…and keep reading!

Yesterday, the Federal Aviation Administration put out this

press release

which announces that

“…Passengers will eventually be able to read e-books, play games, and watch videos on their devices during all phases of flight, with very limited exceptions.”

“Eventually” turned out to be today, at least for Delta.

Airlines need to get approved by the FAA to do this, and they don’t have to do it, but I expect most will.

It’s not quite “read any time you want”, but it does equalize e-books and p-books (paperbooks) for the most part. For example, there is this:

“7. During the safety briefing, put down electronic devices, books and newspapers and listen to the crewmember’s instructions.”

They aren’t separating what they call PEDs (Personal Electronic Devices…Kindles, tablets) from p-books.

This is great!

I don’t really like to buy paper content any more, I really prefer to have it electronically. One reason for that is the increasable text size, but I also don’t like to have it afterwards (how things change!). I also have some concerns about the ecological impact of manufacture and distribution of paper-based goods.

I have, though, bought paper magazines to read on flights, just during take-off and landing (yes, it would be hard for me to go that long without reading something on a plane).

Now, that’s not necessary.

As always, the flight crew can tell you to put it away, and the hard part for them may be enforcing that things are in “airplane mode”…but it will make their jobs otherwise somewhat easier.

I’ve mentioned before that I didn’t think there could be any significant risk to an aircraft with a device on in airplane mode (in the modern era), or they wouldn’t let them in the cabin. With this review, that’s been shown to be the case.

Amazon is giving away six Kindle Fire HDXs

In conjunction with the The Hunger Games: Catching Fire movie, Amazon is running a sweepstakes where there are three winners…each of which gets two Kindle Fire HDX 7″, HDX Display, Wi-Fi, 16 GB – Includes Special Offerss:

Kindle Fire HDX “Catching Fire” Sweepstakes Official Rules

The top two prizes also include going to the Premiere of the literary adaptation, which is poised to open very well…it’s possible it will be the second biggest US box office weekend of all time (although not necessarily in constant dollars).

Good luck!

Wow! Three good news stories…and the optimists smile and nod knowingly. 😉

Update: Miracast

I thought I’d update this, and just found something since I posted.

The new Kindle Fire HDX does not have an HDMI out, but it has Miracast  capability  (which is a way to wirelessly send what is on your tablet to your HDTV with an HDMI input).

I wrote recently about getting an iPush device to try (for $32.19). It hasn’t been satisfactory, due to a time lag between the audio and the video. You can hear the audio significantly before you see the video…talk about spoilers. 😉 You might hear the ending of the movie two minutes before you can see it.

It’s possible improved wi-fi would help, but I do have thirty days to return it and may do that.

The news is that Amazon is now recommending a specific device for this purpose (Miracast mirroring with your Kindle Fire HDX). They are recommending (on this help page: About Wireless Display Methods for Kindle Fire) this one:

NETGEAR Push2TV Wireless Display HDMI Adapter – Miracast and WiDi (PTV3000)

which is $57.53 at time of writing.

I’m going to try it: I should have it Tuesday.

I’ll let you know how it works. One thing: they are making a big point about doing the latest update, which I’ll do.

The reviews are not great at 2.9 out of 5 stars, but this is a good example of where digging a bit deeper into them can help.

My hypothesis was, if the update made a big difference, that the more recent reviews would tend to be better.

It was nice to see the Netgear team answering questions!

The most recent three reviews were a 5, a 4, and a 5.

However, they did go 1, 2, 3 after that, in that order.

Looking at the content, I’m not convinced that I’ll have the same issues as the 1-star…there could be a user factor there in the ability to set it up. That person also is quite negative, which always tends to make me think I won’t have the same experience as the reviewer.

The next thing was to search for reviews that mentioned the Kindle Fire. An October 27th review specifically said, “I don’t miss the HDMI port on my Kindle Fire HDX because the Push2TV works!” That was a 5-star review.

So, I’m not as concerned about the total review average, but again, I’ll be testing this and will report back.

Thanks to Colleen for the heads-up on this!

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

14 Responses to “Round up #217: Kindle Fire HDX giveaway, Kindle First”

  1. Judy Schechter Says:

    Hi Bufo! I hope you and your family are recovering from the break-in, you are taking it much better than I would have!
    Thanks so much for the information ‘re the sweepstakes, I just entered & my fingers are crossed! Since I already have a KFHDX, I would be happy to give you one if I win (I would be inconsolable if I had 8 Kindles stolen).
    And thanks for the Kindle First info. I just downloaded one of the free books!

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Judy!

      That’s really nice of you, but we did already buy a replacement for the Kindle Fire: there are other people who need one more than I do. If you win, I can recommend some places, if you like.

      I’m glad you got the free book!

  2. Zebras Says:

    Oh “Facecult.” Can’t enter the competition without Facebook! I’m not a technophobe, but that’s where I draw the line. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for all the ILMKeers out there to win!

    I picked up my first Kindle First book. A good addition to our Prime Benefits.

  3. Lady Galaxy Says:

    Thanks for the heads up on the Kindle First books. I picked one up. It will be interesting to see how these books appear. Appear isn’t exactly the word I’m looking for, but I’ve found in that past that free books are often treated differently by the Kindle than books one pays for. I first noticed it when I discovered that when ordered alphabetical by author, some books were alphabetizing by author’s first name instead of last name. The one thing all these outliers had in common was that they had originally been free books. When I checked “book information,” I noticed that it stated that the book was no longer available. Yet, when I would search for the book in the Kindle store by title, a book by the same title and author would be listed. However, the currently available book did not contain the “you purchased this book on dd/mm/yy.” information. That means if I happened to forget that I had previously gotten one of those books for free and later clicked on a buy option, I would not have been saved by the “you own this book” backup. This hasn’t been true of all free books. It tends to apply to the free books with funky, hard to read fonts.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady!

      Since these are from Amazon Publishing, I don’t think you’ll have those problems. For what you describe in terms of it not knowing you already bought it to happen, there have to be different ASINs (Amazon Standard Identification Numbers), I believe. That’s not happening here, because you can pre-order or get it now for free from the same page.

      • Lady Galaxy Says:

        You don’t need to print these links, but since I probably didn’t explain myself well, I’m showing you what I was talking about. This is the link to the free book. Even though it tells me the book is no longer available, it tells me the date I purchased it, and gives me the option to loan it:

        Here’s the link to the book currently available under the same title by the same writer. It lists the current price and gives me the option to buy. It doesn’t recognize I previously downloaded the same book for free.

        This doesn’t happen with all free books, just some of them, and I can’t figure out why. And when I can’t figure out why about things, that bugs me. (I don’t know why it bugs me.) In my alphabetical list by author on my Kindle, this one is alphabetized by the “G” for Ginny instead of A for Aiken.

        And I will totally understand if you answer me with a simple, “BECAUSE AMAZON SAYS SO!” 😉

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Lady!

        I think I can give a somewhat more palatable answer. 😉

        As I suspected, the two editions have different ASINs (Amazon Standard Identification Numbers), so Amazon sees them as two different books. That’s why it isn’t warning you if you bought it earlier.

        They may, in fact, actually be different in some way.

        For me, it’s reminiscent of the “galley” preview copies we would get when I managed a brick-and-mortar bookstore. We got those for free, but people buying them later would pay for them. Were they the same? Not exactly: not only might a hardback be in a trade paperback form as a galley, they might still be proofing it…even editing it.

        In this case the publisher (which might be just the author) puts out the book for free. Then, they remove that book from sale in the Kindle store, and issue the book in a different edition…and charge for that one.

        One logical reason to do that? They might take the reviews as guidance to make changes to the book. By using a different ASIN, the reviews won’t carry over. Let’s say a review talked about how awful one scene was, and the author re-edited it so it was great. Using two ASINs will make that work, so people don’t see the bad review on the good version.

        As to the alphabetization…that depends on how the book is entered into the system by the publisher. I suppose they might deliberately enter it differently, again to dissociate the “galley” from the final (so they don’t show up in searches together, which could be confusing), but I would guess most of the time it’s just a mistake.

        Hope that helps…

  4. Elaine Glogau Jordan Says:

    i already mentioned the netgear the other day as an option for the kindle fire and am getting mine hopefully this weekend- i will let you know how it works with my galaxy 3S- i wont be getting my kindle fire HDX until the holidays- am kind of waiting to see how the download and watch later feature works on amazon instant video works- will let you know
    i really feel miracast is the way things are going- i think it is the video answer to what bluetooth did for audio years ago

    am going to enter teh sweepstakes and see if i can get one sooner though- thanks

  5. Lady Galaxy Says:


  6. “Thank you, FAA” 15% off Kindle, Kindle Fire today only | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] only, to celebrate the FAA’s recent ruling allowing the use of PEDs (Personal Electronic Devices) basically throughout the flight, Amazon is […]

  7. Elaine Glogau Jordan Says:

    got my netgear push 2 tv- easy set up if you follow directions exactly and give time for everything to hook up- a little slow to start with movie- jumpy but no lag time in the talking part but a little more streaming effect than i like- i did have to turn my tv up all the way- need to hook up tv sound to sound receiver if i can rather than go thru tv- only used my phone not my tablet nor my laptop- havent figured out to use laptop widget yet

    hope they get bugs worked out by updating firmware but i like the no wires
    once i update my sound receiver to have more HDMI cable hookups will be much happier

    cant wait to get my fire hdx

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Elaine!

      I got mine today, too!

      Unfortunately (and weirdly) I didn’t realize that it would need an HDMI to HDMI cable…which wasn’t included. I’ve ordered that now, and should be able to test it on Thursday.

      The cable I had for my 8.9″ Kindle Fire was for a micro-HDMI to HDMI cable…won’t work for this.

  8. The Year in E-Books 2013 | I Love My Kindle Says:

    […] Kindle First (at AmazonSmile): Amazon Prime members can select one of a small set (it’s been four each month so far) of upcoming books…for free. This is yet another perk for Prime members. No way to judge the success of this, really, but why not? More information: Round up #217: Kindle Fire HDX giveaway, Kindle First […]

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