Round up #247: Amazon announcement, win a book scanner

Round up #247: Amazon announcement, win a book scanner

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

Win an Xcanex book scanner

I’ve written about my

piQx Xcanex Portable Book and Document Scanner (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

It’s a remarkable device for digitizing your public domain books (and lots of other things.

Well, they are currently them away!

They are in Round 4 of what is basically an essay contest. You say why you want one, and they pick a winner (the current contest ends April 4th, but they may keep going after that. You enter here:

I paid over $250 for mine…I did enter the contest, but with the intent to donate it to a non-profit if I win.

Amazon announces…something to do with video

This coming Wednesday, April 2nd, at 11:00 AM Eastern, Amazon is going to announce something. According to the invitation, as shown in this

Droid Life post


That could be several things.

Amusingly, I see a lot of news reports referring to a “set-top box”.

I find that amusing not because I don’t think they will introduce video hardware, but because it is already an obsolete term.


Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player
(at AmazonSmile)

isn’t a set-top box…it doesn’t go on top of the set (there isn’t much of a top to many TV sets any more any…some of them just hang on the wall and are thin). It plugs into the HDMI port, typically on the side of it.

I know that being techie, but I always find it funny which words catch on and get used even when they don’t fit the situation.

I would expect them to introduce hardware here. I’m hoping for a Chromecast type stick (something small) that pairs super well with my

Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile: support a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

That would mean it would have Miracast capability, most likely. I actually don’t need that right now, since my only TV that has an HDMI already has a

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

which works well enough.

It would, though, give us more options in buying a future TV. Hm…I wonder if that might work for me at a hotel, as well? I’m guessing it would.

That would make enough news, especially if it was cheap enough to rival the $35 Chromecast.

Amazon is good at announcing more than what most people expect, though.

They may also announce something to do with video content.


The Wall Street Journal post by Greg Bensinger

created quite a buzz, suggesting Amazon might be doing a free (advertising supported) streaming music and video service.

Doink! Doink! Doink!

What’s that? The sounds of the jaws of cable operators hitting the floor. 😉

Amazon has denied that since the report came out.

However, I could see them doing a few interesting things.

One would be to give us in the USA a model like they recently did with LoveFilm in Europe.

In addition to Prime, give a possibility to subscribe to video only for a monthly fee.

I’d also love to see them crack the live TV thing, but I’m not quite sure how. I’d like to be able to see some shows live. They could partner with somebody to do exclusive video…maybe The Washington Post, which Jeff Bezos recently bought?

On my

I can see news stories for free. They come from web-type sources, and they aren’t as slick as cable, but I could see dropping cable and making do with them.

Another way to go would be to do something like Kindle FreeTime through it. Create “channels” of videos for a monthly fee, and use profiles…you could make it work with all ready created FreeTime profiles, for that matter.

I do expect strong integration with the Kindle Fires, whatever they do.

“You can’t buy that! The great e-book royalty war”


Salon post by Laura Miller

does a nice job explaining the difficulties in getting some older (but not public domain books) into e-book form. I’ve written about this before, but it’s a bit complicated.

Essentially, rights are considered to remain with the author in most cases, unless that author licenses them.

For books published prior to about 2005, contracts usually didn’t mention e-books…meaning that the e-book rights would stay with the author.

There has been a lot of debate about some clauses, and a judge recently (narrowly) ruled that Open Road did not have the right to procure e-book rights to

Julie of the Wolves (at AmazonSmile)

by Jean Craighead George.

That’s a little scary…I like there to be competition for e-book editions. However, it’s less scary than it used to be, because it used to be that large tradpubs (traditional publishers) didn’t have much interest in e-book editions. If they had the rights, we might not have the books.

That’s changed…the market value of e-books is much clearer than it was five years ago.

Still, the article points out that tradpubs are tending to stick to what can be seen as a somewhat low royalty rate…certainly, much lower than independently publishing through Amazon (where you can get 70%).

That may drive some authors away from them…they have to watch this carefully, or they could trip over their own feet.

Getting into a goodreads rhythm

Okay, I’m starting to use goodreads more effectively.

When I finish a book, I mark it as finished…and write a review.

For example, I just wrote this one


What Doctors Feel: How Emotions Affect the Practice of Medicine (at AmazonSmile)

by Danielle Ofri.

Polls of my readers here have shown me that reviews are not people’s favorite posts in ILMK…but I know people do like to read them at goodreads (that’s how they capitalize the site on the site, by the way).

I thought that review came out pretty well. 🙂

Several of you have become my “friends” there…I think you do that on my profile page:

I am finding it interesting to see what my “friends” are saying…what they are reading and such.

I’m still a goodreads novice, but I’m finding this level of involvement fun, and worth the time.

What do you think? Do you wish I would write reviews here? What would you do with an Xcanex if you won one? What do you think Amazon will announce on Thursday…and do you care? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.


Nominate a child to be given a free Kindle at Give a Kid a Kindle. (Last weekend before recommendations close!)


* 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.



2 Responses to “Round up #247: Amazon announcement, win a book scanner”

  1. Tom Semple Says:

    I’ve had my eye on this thing:

    I believe the software does auto-de-skew and thumb removal. 3 seconds per page.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Tom!

      Well, it’s quite a bit more money. It does look like it may have some more sophistication to the software…

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