Archive for May, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (May 31) to…

May 31, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (May 31) to…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

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Happy bookish birthdays (May 30) to…

May 30, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (May 30) to…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

Happy bookish birthdays (May 29) to…

May 29, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (May 29) to…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

June 2018 Kindle book releases

May 29, 2018

June 2018 Kindle book releases

While I don’t generally pre-order Kindle store books myself, I know many of you do.

I understand the fun of just having the book show up, but I figure I’ll order when I want it…since I could have it within a minute, usually.…

However, it’s worth noting that pre-ordering at a low price will tend to preserve that price. Back when the Agency Model was solidly in place, Amazon couldn’t guarantee that books sold by the publishers using that structure wouldn’t go up in price after you pre-ordered them. It wasn’t likely, it was just that Amazon couldn’t control it. We have largely returned to the Agency Model, but Amazon is allowed to discount in some circumstances

These aren’t necessarily the most popular of the pre-orders…I’m just going to list ones that catch my eye. Since we might not agree on that, here’s a link to the “over 8000” (all numbers at time of writing) titles listed as being released in the USA Kindle Store in June 2018 (more than last month, but I can’t say exactly how much more):

June 2018 USA Kindle store releases (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Of those, by the way, “over 1,000” (don’t like these imprecise numbers…I ran them in two different browsers) are in

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

As usual, I won’t be deliberately linking to books which block text-to-speech access blocked…but I think that may have stopped, or at least substantially reduced from major publishers:

We’ve gone back and forth recently on whether the top four were

Kindle First (at AmazonSmile)

picks . Amazon doesn’t do these by popularity any more, they do them by featured…and this month, they are on top. I’ve alerted Amazon that people are confused: they think they are pre-ordering a KU borrow, when they are actually pre-ordering a purchase. In other words, they may be thinking they’ll get the book at no additional cost, and actually be charged for it. Amazon has confirmed for me: you can not pre-order a borrow from KU.

Okay, books!

  • The President Is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton
  • Mind to Matter: The Astonishing Science of How Your Brain Creates Material Reality by Dawson Church and Dr. Joe Dispenza
  • When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger
  • The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand
  • Heaven Adjacent by Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right: American Life in Columns by Michael A. Smerconish
  • Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton
  • Turbulence (A Stone Barrington Novel) by Stuart Woods
  • Dreams of Falling by Karen White
  • Brief Cases (Dresden Files) by Jim Butcher
  • Fade to Black (Krewe of Hunters) by Heather Graham
  • The Pharaoh Key (Gideon Crew series) by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
  • Nine Lives: My time as the West’s top spy inside al-Qaeda by Aimen Dean and Paul Cruickshank
  • A Steep Price (The Tracy Crosswhite Series Book 6) by Robert Dugoni
  • The Woman in the Woods: A Thriller (Charlie Parker Book 16) by John Connolly
  • A Merciful Silence (Mercy Kilpatrick Book 4) by Kendra Elliot
  • Tom Clancy Line of Sight (A Jack Ryan Jr. Novel) by Mike Maden
  • A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
  • Before the Storm (World of Warcraft) by Christie Golden
  • The Body by Stephen King
  • Truth or Dare (The Men Of The Sisterhood Book 4) by Fern Michaels
  • Florida by Lauren Groff
  • Island of the Mad: A novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes by Laurie R. King
  • Trump’s America: The Truth about Our Nation’s Great Comeback by Newt Gingrich
  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
  • The Skaar Invasion (The Fall of Shannara) by Terry Brooks
  • Liar, Liar by Lisa Jackson

That’s only a small fraction, and just ones that caught my eye. If you have other books being released to the USA Kindle store in June 2018 to suggest for me and my readers, you can do so by commenting on this post. If you are directly connected to the book (the author, the publisher) that’s okay…just identify yourself as such and make your comment in your own words (not as an ad).

Enjoy!

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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! :) 

** A Kindle with text-to-speech can read any text downloaded to it…unless that access is blocked by the publisher inserting code into the file to prevent it. That’s why you can have the device read personal documents to you (I’ve done that). I believe that this sort of access blocking disproportionately disadvantages the disabled, although I also believe it is legal (provided that there is at least one accessible version of each e-book available, however, that one can require a certification of disability). For that reason, I don’t deliberately link to books which block TTS access here (although it may happen accidentally, particularly if the access is blocked after I’ve linked it). I do believe this is a personal decision, and there  are legitimate arguments for purchasing those books.

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.

Happy bookish birthdays (May 28) to..

May 28, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (May 28) to…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

Happy bookish birthdays (May 27) to…

May 27, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (May 27) to…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

Happy bookish birthdays (May 26) to…

May 26, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (May 26) to…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

Happy bookish birthdays (May 25) to…

May 25, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (May 25) to…


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

Happy bookish birthdays (May 24) to…

May 24, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (May 24) to…

Thank you to regular reader and commenter Joe Bowers whose comment helped improve this post.


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.

“The face is familiar”: Amazon’s Rekognition software…boon or bane?

May 24, 2018

“The face is familiar”: Amazon’s Rekognition software…boon or bane?

Remember back when Amazon was an internet bookstore?

Things have certainly changed!

Readers of this blog are no doubt aware of many, many things that Amazon does now that have little to do with that original mission. That’s not just selling things: it’s making TV shows, providing web services, streaming games…so much!

Even so, I’m guessing a lot of you are not aware of

Rekognition

What does it do?

It’s software that recognizes stuff.

That seems inevitable to me.

It’s really necessary for many artificial intelligence-based applications which will change our lives.

Clearly, self-driving cars need to be able to determine what objects they are “seeing”.

It will be even more important when we are wearing what I call “auggies” (VAM…virtuall/augmented/mixed/merged reality “glasses”). If you are in Virtual Reality, you can’t see what’s going on around you (which you can do when you using Augmented Reality). So, you want software that can recognize a police car or somebody giving away free samples. 😉

This goes back to when Amazon introduced the Fire Phone (I was one of the few who had one). When tech writers thought that the Fire Phone had a chance to succeed, they touted the “Firefly” feature, which in part was object recognition:

CNET article: “Firefly is the Amazon Fire Phone’s Secret Weapon” by Nick Statt (June 18, 2014)

It wasn’t enough to save the Fire Phone, which I felt was introduced as too much of a “luxury” model…Amazon has done better with lower-priced items, when there are clearcut, pre-established competitors.

You would think that Amazon improving a basic function like object recognition would be welcomed by everybody. If we agree that it is something that our technology is going to have to do, don’t we want it to do it as well as it can?

Well, there was recently an

open letter to Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos

signed by many organizations (notably, different ACLU…American Civil Liberties Union…groups).

It “demands” that Amazon stop selling Rekognition to government entities.

You see, Rekognition is already being used by groups such as the Orlando Police Department.

It can do facial recognition…look at video, and identify who is in it.

It can also do person tracking…identify where an individual goes as they pass from camera to camera.

This is not, by the way, an unintended consequence for Amazon…it’s part of what they advertise that it can do.

Here’s the question:

Let’s say you are walking down the street in your hometown. Is it wrong for people on the street to recognize you? Would it be wrong for a human police officer to recognize you? If those two are okay, what makes it wrong for software to recognize you?

This, by the way, is just the beginning. Rekognition can also identify expressions, for one thing.

Now, I love a free app from Microsoft called

Seeing AI

I’ve had a lot of fun with it. It’s designed for people with visual challenges, although it also works for people with autism, since it can (like Rekognition) identify some emotions (and how old people are, pretty accurately).

Amazon is going to pioneer, so Amazon is going to face these sorts of challenges. As another example, Alexa can now (well, it’s rolling out) identify different voices from different people…and it does it automatically, rather than training a voice profile, which was the previous situation.

Update: I probably should have included a link to my review

The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us To Choose Between Privacy And Freedom? (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

by David Brin. The 1999 book is still completely relevant, and especially applicable here. My review (from about five years ago):

Review: The Transparent Society

What do you think? Did you know Amazon was selling this software? Do you have a problem with it being used to identify people in public places? What if Amazon software predicted that someone might commit violence (a la Minority Report) based on their expressions and movements? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.


Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* 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.


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