Archive for August, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (31 August) to…

August 31, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (31 August) 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!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

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Happy bookish birthdays (30 August) to…

August 30, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (30 August) 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!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

Happy bookish birthdays (29 August) to…

August 29, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (29 August) 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!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

Happy bookish birthdays (28 August) to…

August 28, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (28 August) 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!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

10 years of ILMK! Free books! Amazon gift certificate giveaway! All to thank you!

August 28, 2019

10 years of ILMK! Free books! Amazon gift certificate giveaway! All to thank you!

August 28, 2009…the first post in this blog.

August 28, 2019: today!

It’s been quite a journey…I may have been the driver, but you’ve been the engine. 🙂

I want to thank you…and I’ve got some gifts lined up to do just that.

First, three of my books are free on Amazon.com…please make sure you check that they are free. I’ve asked Amazon to make them free today (and I’ve extended that period through the weekend), but you never know. They also may not be free in your market.

The Collected I Love My Kindle Blog Volume 1 (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

This is the first 101 posts in this blog. 🙂 I did 101 posts so I wouldn’t cut off Doctor Watson’s Blog: A Kindle Abandoned (which is a four-part story).

The Mind Boggles: A Unique Book of Quotations (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

When it was first published back in 2012, I believe it was the most popular book of quotations in any format at Amazon…for a really, really short time. 😉 The focus is on geeky books/movie/TV and I know they aren’t the most profound quotations for everybody, but I really enjoyed doing this.

The Kindle Kollection: Three Early Books about the Kindle

This one combines the three below into one volume:

* ILMK! (I Love My Kindle): Being an Appreciation of Amazon’s E-Book Reader, with Tips, Explanations, and Humor
* Free Books for Your Kindle
* Frequently Asked Kindle Questions

Regular readers, though, now I’ve given those away before. 😉

I’ll only have a first decade celebration in this blog once, and this is sort of a last hurrah from the paid subscriptions…so I’m going to give away 10 $10 Amazon gift cards!

I thought I could do that through an Amazon giveaway (I love doing those), but gift cards aren’t eligible.

If you want to be in the running for one, please comment on this post saying that’s the case. Do not include your contact information in your comment! I’ll see the e-mail address you use to post. I will only use that to send you the gift card (it would just be electronic) if you are picked.

I’ll give people until noon Pacific time this Sunday, September 1st, 2019, to comment. Then, I’ll randomly select ten winners from those comments that say they are interested. Each person can only win once, unless there are fewer than ten comments (in which case, I’ll randomly select again for who gets the ones exceeding ten…I think that’s unlikely, though). I will not publish the e-mail addresses or names of the winners, although you can mention you won in a comment, if you like. I’d love to have some idea what you plan to spend it on, as long as it isn’t too personal!

Good luck!

In no particular order, here are ten of my favorite posts from ILMK’s first decade. Is that egotistical? I don’t think so…I think it would be unhealthy if you didn’t like and take pride in what you do.

Okay, that was 11…one to grow on. 🙂

I didn’t pick any of my analysis posts…those were actually some of my favorites to do, but they’d be really obsolete at this point.

I have, of course, loved comments from my readers, but there isn’t a good way to recognize those here.

I certainly want to recognize my fellow bloggers: we formed a very loose community, but would discuss things in e-mail sometimes.

I want to thank all the authors! Whether they were already famous or not, I’m always honored when an author “stops by” to contribute. I’m still honored that Anne Rice gave me permission to reproduce a quote

Anne Rice asks: should major authors consider going straight to Kindle?

That permission came from the Kindle Forums, where I was super active for some time, and which in a way, led to the genesis of this blog.

I want to particularly thank Len Edgerly on his podcast several times:

The Kindle Chronicles

Thanks also to Amazon! None of this would have happened without them, and I’ve appreciated my interactions with them. I’ve never gotten to interview Jeff Bezos…but maybe some day in the future, because I’m not planning to stop. 🙂

Finally, and specifically, I want to thank all my readers and especially my paid subscribers. Without your interest, I would never have kept ILMK going this long.

Thank you.

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!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

 

Happy bookish birthdays (27 August) to…

August 27, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (27 August) 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!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

Happy bookish birthdays (26 August) to…

August 26, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (26 August) 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!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

Happy bookish birthdays (25 August) to…

August 25, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (25 August) 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!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

Big 5 publishers sue Amazon’s Audible over AI speech to text

August 25, 2019

Big 5 publishers sue Amazon’s Audible over AI speech to text

Back when Amazon added text-to-speech (with the Kindle 2), they seemed surprised that the publishers objected.

That was software which read the book aloud. I still use a version of it just about every workday, to listen to books in the car.

The publishers claimed that it infringed on their audiobooks. I didn’t buy that then: it’s not just that the experience of the two was very different, but it was that TTS doesn’t create a recorded version of it. It’s streaming, just another way to access the text, like making the font bigger.

I wrote this about that issue, just about 10 years ago:

The Disabled Deserve to Read

What eventually happened was that publishers were allowed to insert code into an e-book to block text-to-speech, although they were required to have an accessible version which was available to people who could certify disabilities (and not necessarily, and this is important, to the general public).

I thought blocking TTS was ill-advised from a business standpoint: for one thing, I consume books much more quickly when I have a TTS option, meaning I need more books.

Now, ten years later, almost none of them do block text-to-speech…so I guess I turned out to be right. 😉

That and yes, I thought it was inherently unfair.

Now, all five of the big publishers:

  • Hachette
  • Harper Collins
  • Macmillan
  • Penguin Random House
  • Simon & Schuster

along with two other big publishers

  • Chronicle Books
  • Scholastic (they have Harry Potter in the USA)

are jointly filing against a new feature.

It does the opposite of text-to-speech.

While you are listening to an Audible audiobook, the software can show you, in your app, the words which are being said aloud.

This technology has improved remarkably, just over the past few years. Speech recognition, of course, enables Amazon’s Alexa, but also Google Assistant, Siri, Cortana, and so on.

I’m surprised at how good the free transcription app

Otter AI

is.

I’ve used it at work (with everybody’s permission). Just set my phone on the desk between us in a meeting, start it recording…and the transcription is probably 90% accurate or so (mostly messing up names), and can be exported.

Similarly, Microsoft Stream can automatically produce a transcript of a video…and viewers can use that to search for where a specific word appears, then jump right to that part of the video: super useful!

Here is Amazon’s demonstration of “Audible Captions”:

Audible Captions

Amazon again professes surprise, but I think the publishers may have more of an argument this time.

Certainly, accessible versions need to be available, and there is something called the

Chafee amendment

which allows authorized entities to make versions available for people with disabilities without first obtaining permission from the rightsholder.

Amazon is not that kind of authorized entity (I assume), and they aren’t marketing this for people with disabilities (they are pushing its use in schools, but aren’t limiting it to that).

It seems to me that the situations where someone has an Audible book (those are relatively expensive, compared to print books) and doesn’t have access to being able to sight read the book but needs to do that…well, that seems less likely to me than having someone with a print challenge in the house. Also, someone who sight reads is not, by definition, in the population of people with disabilities, while someone who can’t sight read due to a diagnosable condition is.

If the process does not create a “fixed version”, but is only visible while the book is being read, Amazon has more of an argument.

This

NPR article by Colin Dwyer

gives you a way to read what was filed, which was done in part to prevent Amazon from releasing it next month (in conjunction with the new school year).

My guess?

Amazon has to withdraw the feature, at least from general use. I don’t think they’ll work out a deal to actually pay the publishers for the rights, and I think a court would consider this to be an unauthorized distribution of a written text.

New technology will continue to push us into new legal quandaries.

There are virtual reality experiences now where you can read books…but those are typically public domain (not under copyright protection).

Suppose Amazon makes a VR experience to read Kindle books (I really hope they do).

Suppose further, which is the case with some apps, you can simultaneously share that experience with someone else.

Would that qualify as a public performance? Is the VR experience of reading it like a movie adaptation?

Interesting times…

What do you think? Does this infringe? Should Amazon have anticipated the objection (apparently, publishers sent notifications before the filing)? If they did, what’s the motivation in releasing it anyway? If this feature is legitimized, do you think you would use it…sight read along with a book in your Audible app? 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!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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

Happy bookish birthdays (24 August) to…

August 24, 2019

Happy bookish birthdays (24 August) 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!

Bufo’s Alexa Skills

* 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


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