Archive for July, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (31 July) to…

July 31, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (31 July) 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 (30 July) to…

July 30, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (30 July) 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.

Round up #177: Project Vesta, Amazon financials

July 29, 2018

Round up #177: Project Vesta, Amazon financials

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

Amazon Financials for Q2 2018: more sales, more efficiently

This time, the investors liked the financials…understandably.

Net sales increased 39% (as I’ve pointed out before, that’s what you might see in a startup, not a mature company).

Net income? $2.5 billion in 2018 versus $197m in Q2 2017…yow!

That’s a lot better efficiency.

AWS did well, but sales also did well, and advertising is a big part of what’s happening now.

The Q&A is often the most interesting part of the call…you can read it here:

Seeking Alpha call transcript

In the Q&A, the transcriptions show “Alexa” showing up 17 times…and “Kindle” once, and the latterhat =was for

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

🙂

It’s a different story in the

Amazon’s press release

  • Alexa: 31 count
  • Kindle: 4 count
  • Fire TV: 5 count

I can (finally) watch Prime Video in VR

I know this probably doesn’t affect a lot of you, but it’s been frustrating for me!

Typically, at lunch at work, I do “floor work”…exercises on a yoga mat. I have a chronic condition, and that helps it. While I do it, I watch video…reading would be an option, but I can’t hold an e-book reader during most of the exercises (I do sometimes do it during part of it). Typically, I watch Netflix or Hulu: they both VR apps.

I would have been watching Amazon Prime Video…but no app and no way to watch. I watch it at home some; I’ve been rewatching the 1970s series, Kung Fu (which holds up surprisingly well). There was an interesting case of synchronicity recently: I was watching an episode where Caine is trapped with others underground. Caine gets them to basically meditate to reduce their use of oxygen, while a desperate rescue effort is happening. That is similar to what happened with the soccer team in Thailand…and I was watching the episode (I watch them in order) on the same day! But I digress… 😉

There still isn’t a Prime Video VR experience…but the Oculus browser was upgraded enough that it worked! That, by the way, gives me a “hit” on my predictions for the year. I said:

“I just can’t believe that there won’t be a way to watch Prime Video in VAM space before the end of 2018! That’s the prediction.It might be through an experience (which is what apps for VAM are called), or it might be through some sort of VAM browser system that lets us watch it like we would on a computer.
The Year Ahead 2018 (underling added for emphasis)

It’s not as good an experience as Hulu/Netflix which have custom designed experiences optimized for VR. The Prime Video experience…is more like watching on a TV versus watching in a movie theatre. Bottom line…it works. 🙂

“99 F-words appear in the book, 99 F-words appear!”

So, I read the sequel to

The Naturalist (Theo Cray #1) by Andrew Mayne (at AmazonSmile*)

It’s

Looking Glass by Andrew Mayne (at AmazonSmile*)

I enjoyed it…not as much as the first one, but I did enjoy it.

The number of times that the “F-word” appeared in the book stood out to me…I don’t mind that. I don’t use profanity in my personal life: I can quote it, but I don’t use is spontaneously.

In this case, it’s not used unreasonably…events in the first book changed the main character somewhat, which makes sense. I was curious as to how many there were, so I ran a search (not something you can do in a paperbook…and I don’t think they’d put it in most indexes).

It showed that there were 99 results…my guess is that’s as high as the counter would go, and it’s actually off the scale. 😉

It’s not bothering other readers, apparently: it has an average of 4.7 stars out of 5 with 497 reviews.

It was worth a borrow from

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

certainly.

Amazon’s next big thing…

What’s going to be Amazon’s biggest headline generator later this year?

I’d say the strongest rumor is a home robot…I find a lot of references to “Project Vesta”. Here’s a summary:

Bloomberg article by Mark Gurman and Brad Stone

My guess is that this “big thing” will be pretty small. 🙂 I would speculate that it won’t be like Rosie on The Jetsons: human-sized, and able to push a vacuum. I’m thinking they aren’t going to be able to grab something and manipulate much. I picture it more as a little Echo on wheels, which can follow you from room to room. It will talk to you using Alexa, and control home devices. It could have a little screen…that’s a great way for it so have a face with expressions, and to be able to show you useful information.

I would expect some spatial awareness…perhaps even being able to point to a lamp and say, “That one?”

I’m going to intuit a cost of at least $500…$1500 wouldn’t surprise me.

Timeline? I think we hear about it this year, maybe it will be in employees’ homes and some beta testers, but not released to the public until 2019.

Quick Notes

  • Rumor has it that Amazon is working on “shared gift lists”, where more than one person can put items on and off the list. That could be really useful: for someone’s birthday, for example, if you bought a gift, you could remove it from the list so other people didn’t also want to buy it…like a wedding registry
  • Alexa is getting equalizer controls, so you can change the sound profile (you can be “all about that bass, no treble” to quote Meghan Trainor). That can make a difference: I find that in some older recordings, you have to up the treble to be able to understand them properly
  • Alexa Cast lets you continue doing something you were doing in Music Unlimited (such as listening to a playlist) on an Echo. It’s pretty limited right now, but it’s a start
  • We still have a lot of problems with our Echoes not knowing which one we want to do something…and since they do different things, that matters. For example, in our family room, we have an Echo Show and a Fire TV Cube near each other. The Fire TV Cube (which we like) controls things on the TV that the Echo Show can’t. Quite often, the Echo Show tries to do something it can’t do, when we are speaking to the Fire TV Cube. Amazon supposedly is making this “Echo Spatial Perception” (ESP) better by moving it to the cloud…we’ll see 🙂
  • I sometimes chat with Alexa (“Alexa, let’s chat”) which is how you can test out chatbots which are in a competition to improve Alexa’s conversational skills. For the first time recently, I had one which actually offended me. It made an ethnic joke, for one thing…I let them know in the feedback
  • In case you were wondering, there are just over 300 posts in my Birthdays category…I’ll be quite happy when I’ve done the Bookish Birthdays for every day of the year! That doesn’t mean no more work on it, since new authors become famous enough to include, but it will mean a lot less work
  • I’m getting a lot more interaction on Twitter lately! Quite a few authors are following me, for one thing. For another, I’m having fun doing something I created: #1TweetExpert. I give a term (it’s been one a day), and ask if you could educate people on it in one tweet. They can cover all sorts of things, which includes books. Some of them feel random even to me, but I may also want to provide context for term I’m hearing used, perhaps on the news. If you’d like to answer one or more, I’d love that! If you want to suggest a term for me to do, feel free. Here’s a Twitter search for it: https://twitter.com/search?q=%231tweetexpert&src=typd
  • I was surprised in Amazon’s financials press release to see this: “… the ability for developers to turn text into lifelike speech using Amazon Polly, for free”
  • Another one of the named Amazon services (how many are there now?): “…Amazon Sumerian, a new managed service that allows developers to create and publish augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and 3D applications quickly and easily without requiring any specialized programming or 3D graphics expertise”

That’s a lot of topics! If you have questions or comments, feel free to let me and my readers know 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

 

Happy bookish birthdays (29 July) to…

July 29, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (29 July) 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 (28 July) to…

July 28, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (28 July) 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 (27 July) to…

July 27, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (27 July) 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 (26 July) to…

July 26, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (26 July) 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 (25 July) to…

July 25, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (25 July) 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 (24 July) to…

July 24, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (24 July) 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 (23 July) to…

July 23, 2018

Happy bookish birthdays (23 July) 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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