Round up #233: isolated readers, Push2TV sale

Round up #233: isolated readers, Push2TV sale

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

Push2TV part of Gold Box deals for today

Amazon has deals every day. Some of them are specific to Kindles, some of them aren’t…and some of them sort of crossover. 🙂 Today there is a

That includes the Push2TV adapter, which, as I wrote about

A Miracast adapter that works with the Kindle Fire HDX

you can use with your Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile) to mirror the device on your TV. There’s a bit more to it than that (the TV needs to have an HDMI in, for example), but this is a good deal at $39.99. I paid $57.53 for mine (plus tax).

As always, check the price before you click the Buy button: it may not apply in your country, and it’s only good today.

This device will let you mirror your Fire: what that means is that whatever is on your Fire screen (a video, an app, a book, the Carousel) appears on your TV. That’s not the only way to go, though. You should think about why you want what is on your tablet to be on your TV. If it’s really just for, say, Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, then I would consider a Roku…or the Google Chromecast. The

which was introduced at $35 and became the #1 bestselling  electronic  at Amazon (outselling their own Kindles), is currently $29.99.

Note that the Amazon Appstore doesn’t have the necessary app, but you can get it at other places, like 1Mobile. I have heard from a very reliable person that they are using this with the Fire…but to be clear, it isn’t mirroring. It will show certain apps.

I haven’t tested it myself.

I do use (and just ordered another one) the

and recommend it for videos (Netflix, Amazon Instant…and others, including a nice public domain channel called Pub-D-Hub).

We had one for years, but after an upgraded modem from Xfinity, it wasn’t able to connect well. Roku’s Customer Service is remarkable, by the way. I chatted with them, using the Kindle Fire HDX’s dictation speech-to-text feature to do my typing (and the latter is quite good). We tried a lot of things, but it just wasn’t going to work reliably.

I got a gift of this newer generation at the holidays…and then bought a second one myself. 🙂

There are a lot of Roku “flavors”, and it can be a bit confusing. The one to which I’ve linked above is good both for an older standard defnition TV and an HDTV. It doesn’t have a motion sensitive remote,which some do (you can play Angry Birds with those by waving the remote), but it has a new feature I really, really like: you can plug a headphone right into the remote! Yep, wireless headphone, that easy. You can also use the Roku to show pictures from your SmartPhone.

For those of you without a Fire, I will point out that this Netgear sale includes a wi-fi extender, which can matter for your wi-fi enabled non-Fires. For those of you with an older, 3G only Kindle…more stories coming up! 🙂

‘The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader”

In this

New York Times op-ed by Colin Robinson

there is a very interesting look at the current state of publishing, and how it affects readers.

It’s largely gloom and doom, but unlike some Chicken Little posts, supports quite a bit of it with documentation.

However, this may be another case of confusing form with function (very common). When I look at processes for work, I’m always careful about that distinction.

Some people absolutely lamented the loss of page numbers when Kindle books first entered the market. My first thought in a case like that, and yes, you were clearly losing something, is, “What function did the lost object serve?” It’s not that you loved page numbers: it’s that you  loved what they did. They let you not only know where you were in the book, but let other people know as well (when you did citations, for example). Importantly, they let you satisfy the requirements of a professor when writing an article.

“Locations”, while unfamiliar, actually gave you a better idea where you were in the book: since the text size can be changed, the page number wasn’t particularly meaningful. A location is also typically a smaller unit than a page, so it is more precise.

However, it didn’t serve the purpose of satisfying the professor…or crossover to the large number of people still using paper.

For many books, we now have page numbers that reference a specific edition of the p-book (paperbook)…since page numbering isn’t the same in all p-book editions either.

In this case, one thing Robinson is concerned about is expert advice on which books to read. The writer specifically mentions book reviewers, but other things, too. It seems a bit odd to me to think that expertise is less available now than it was in the past! You have to get to it a different way, but that way (once you’ve evaluated the source) seems a lot easier to me.

I recommend the article: it talks about a lot of other things, too. 🙂

Better without Borders?

I recently wrote about Barnes & Noble closures (and since then, it has come out that the flagship store in New York has closed), and this

Chicago Tribune story by Wes Ventiecher

takes an interesting look at the impact on towns of the Borders stores closing following their bankruptcy.

Not surprisingly, like most things, it is both good and bad.

Bookstores were really seen as “anchor stores” in malls. People would make a trip specifically to go to the bookstore…and might do more shopping at the same time. How often did you buy a book, and then start reading it at a nearby restaurant? I’m sure many of you have had the experience I have: I would go to the bookstore, while somebody I was with would shop somewhere else…often several somewhere elses. 😉 We were specifically spurred to go to the store by my desire to go the bookstore. That doesn’t mean the other person didn’t want to go to mall equally strongly, but this was a way we would go together, which might make the difference.

HuffPo: “Here’s What Your Favorite Children’s Book Series Says About You”

This is a fun

Huffington Post article

At least, it’s a fun idea. 🙂 It is supposed to be a personality indicator based on your favorite kids’ book series.

It doesn’t really offer any unexpected insights, though. It seems to mostly describe the main characters in the books, rather than the reader. Wouldn’t it have been cool to find out that you are, oh, gregarious based on you reading The Jungle Book? That wouldn’t have been obvious.

By the way, we knew we might have some challenges when our now adult kid watched the Disney version of The Jungle Book over and over again. Mowgli is quite independent…and at probably under three, I believe our kid said, “Don’t worry about me…” 😉 Independent is good, and things have been great…but I wouldn’t say it is always easier for the guardians. 😉

Any list like this will be notable for its omissions (no Oz?), and the comments show that many people don’t quite get the idea that it is about series, but I still think you’ll be amused by it.

What do you think? What was your favorite children’s book series…and do you think that says something about you? Will towns be better without a Barnes & Noble? Do you feel you are now  more or less isolated as a reader from society…and does that make your reading life better or worse? Feel free to let me and my readers know what you think by commenting on this post.

* 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.


6 Responses to “Round up #233: isolated readers, Push2TV sale”

  1. Phink Says:

    The Boarders section made me think about my trips to the book store when the Kindle first came out and 98% of the world had never heard of one. My wife was a “I like the smell and feel of a book” person for a couple years but now she loves her kindle.

    Anyway, she loved Books a Million and I loved going in there. Sadly it’s closed now. I would love to look at the books even though there was no way I’d buy one. I would take my kindle and look at the kindle price of a book I found interesting and sometimes purchase it right in the store. I felt kind of bad about it but my wife always left with books so we were contributing to their bottom line. I miss the book stores and wish they could stay around but they soon will be a thing of the past. It’s sad but in a free market system there truly is Darwinism, as it should be. That’s why the stage coach company is no longer around. Evolution took them out just like technology evolution took out the jobs scroll writers had way back when.

  2. Lady Galaxy Says:

    One of the former Borders stores here is now a national chain discount shoe warehouse. The other was taken over by one of the large, national pet store chains. The Books a Million is a national chain office supply store. The local, independent shoe stores, pet stores, and office supply stores are empty now.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Lady!

      Our closest Borders became a Golfsmith. The Barnes & Noble is supposed to become a Home Goods.

  3. Carolyn perreau Says:

    my kindle fire will hook directly to the tv with a hdmi cord and mirror the kindle on the tv

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Carolyn!

      That means you have an older model Kindle Fire. The newer ones do not have that HDMI port. However, you will likely find (I did) that some things on your Fire won’t let you play them on your TV with your HDMI cable. That was true for me with the Xfinity app: it would detect the HDMI cable, and block it playing. That same barrier doesn’t exist with the Push2TV.

  4. Edward Boyhan Says:

    Just a couple of comments. Both Borders & BN stores that I patronized in NYC, NH, and FL were not generally associated with malls, but were mostly “big box” stores separate from the malls. At one point earlier stores such as Waldenbooks and Brentanos did have a significant mall presence.

    I was saddened to see your mention of the closing of BN’s “flagship” store — although properly it would be better characterized as their “former” flagship store (many years ago). The current “flagship” is a humongous 6-story edifice on the north side of Union Square (still open) — just a few blocks from the store at 18th and fifth that just closed. At one point that store was the ONLY BN store in existence. It was a great place to buy technical and professional books as well as college textbooks for virtually every course offered by every college/university in the lower half of Manhattan.

    Across the street from the original store they had a 2-story even bigger store that dealt in remainders and used books, which in its heyday could give the Strand a run for its money. Gradually, they added children s books, and more mass market stuff. It became the prototype in a sense for the bookstores that BN began to open all over the country. At some point it was closed, and now the original store is gone as well.

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