Round up #243: under $50 Kindle, blogs on Fire
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
Mindle under $50, Paperwhite under $100
“Today only” per Amazon, two popular models of the Kindle are $20 off:
Kindle, 6″ E Ink Display, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (Black) (what I call the “Mindle” (at AmazonSmile: support a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
Kindle Paperwhite, 6″ High Resolution Display with Next-Gen Built-in Light, Wi-Fi – Includes Special Offers (at AmazonSmile)
That brings the least expensive version of the Kindle down to $49, and the least expensive Paperwhite down to $99.
The twenty dollar discount still applies if you decide not to let advertisers support your purchase (if you get it without Special Offers), it’s still $20 less than it would have been. For some people, this basically means that they’ll get the “ad-free” version for the price they would normally pay for the one with ads.
It does not apply to the Paperwhite 3G.
According to Amazon, this is to celebrate National Reading Month.
This offer may not apply in your country (I have readers around the world…which is so cool!), so check the price before you buy.
This is a good deal! Having a “guest room Kindle” worked out very well for us, and you might consider that.
Does this indicate new models are coming soon? Perhaps…there have been rumors of a new Paperwhite. However, unless they release a color version later this year (which I think is a possibility), I doubt the next generation would be so much better that you’d be sorry you got this. It could have some new features, and it could be cheaper…hm, a sound-equipped Paperwhite might make me back off that statement.
Regardless, right here, right now, this is a good price.
Are Kindle store blogs finally coming to the Kindle Fires?
This blog has typically been in the top ten in the USA Kindle store (thanks, subscribers!), although we do sometimes drop to still being in the top twenty.
However, the number of subscribers went down after the introduction of the Fire tablets.
Naturally, that could be because of some factor intrinsic to the blog, but I don’t think that’s the case…my ranking hasn’t changed considerably at the same time that the number of subscribers dropped, suggesting that everybody else at the top was dropping right along with me.
I think one main reason was because you haven’t been able to have your Kindle store blogs delivered to your tablet. If someone switched to mostly using a Fire for reading, I can understand them not wanting to pay for a blog which wasn’t being directly delivered (even if it is only ninety-nine cents a month).
I am sure that some readers have continued to subscribe just to support my efforts, for which I am truly grateful.
Now, a sharp-eyed reader alerted me to something in a private comment (thanks!) which strongly suggests that situation might change!
If you go to
http://www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle (at AmazonSmile)
and click or tap
you’ll see a column for “Deliver future editions to” for each of your subscriptions. There is an “Edit” link, that you can click to choose a device.
Checking those options, our Fires are now listed!
However, if I actually choose a Fire, it says:
“Upgrade Your Device
To start reading I Love My Kindle, you must first install the latest software update for HDXter. Once installed you may deliver this title to your Kindle. For detailed instructions on installing the free update please visit Kindle Support.”
My device is updated. :) It just recently updated to 188.8.131.52, which is the current version.
Since that message is there, that strongly suggests that having the Fires listed is not a mistake…just premature.
Now, it’s possible that they intended to implement it with the last update and didn’t manage it somehow, and that they could abandon it…but I’m going to hold out hope (virtual fingers crossed) that this is coming soon. I hope there is a new update that also addresses the wi-fi instability (I have that) and text-to-speech stopping at some images, both of which appears to have happened after a previous update. There are a lot of things I love about my Fire, but this wi-fi thing does give me friction every time I use the device.
Apple said that they were going to appeal the decision against them in the DoJ (Department of Justice) action that found them guilty of conspiring to fix e-book prices.
Regular reader and commenter Lady Galaxy gave me a link to an article with both a summary and the original filing:
Apple Insider post by Mikey Campbell
I waited to post about it (it was filed on February 25th) until I read at least a substantial portion of the filing…I don’t like to go just by what a summary says, and I didn’t think there was any real time pressure (or likely, surprise) here.
The filing says:
“Apple’s entry as an e-book retailer marked the
beginning, not the end, of competition.” [emphasis in the original]
Okay, that’s something you could try to argue. Were there more options from which people could buy e-books after the introduction of iBooks? Yes. Were there more price options? No.
That, for me, is key.
The Agency Model, which came into play at the same time (and the DoJ argues was…led, at least, by Apple) homogenized the prices at the existing retailers, largely eliminating price competition (which has returned, as I showed in a recent post, since the accused publishers all settled with the DoJ).
I’m often surprised by the…pugnacious language in legal filings. I always expect them to be polite and in carefully restrained language. That’s just not the case, often, and shows my own prejudices, rather than the reality. So, I’m not going to claim that this is unusual when Apple says:
“The court repeatedly applied the wrong legal standards, which led it to jump to the false conclusion of a price-fixing conspiracy from Apple’s lawful, unilateral, and procompetitive business activities.”
This next one is an important claim. The accusations included conspiracy. If Apple independently offered the same deal to multiple publishers, and if the publishers independently decided it was a good deal, that’s not a conspiracy. The issue becomes if they worked as a group to set the price the same, as I understand it:
“Apple never met or spoke with more than one publisher at a time.”
Here’s where Apple has an interesting argument:
“At those very first meetings, the court found, Apple “willingly joined” a pre-existing publisher conspiracy. Dkt326.113;
Dkt326.129 (“Apple made a conscious commitment to join a scheme with the Publisher Defendants”).
This finding forms the bedrock of the court’s entire decision, and is demonstrably wrong. The undisputed record reflects that Apple had no prior dealings in the publishing industry and that everything it knew it had gleaned from public sources
— like reports inThe New York Times and The Wall Street Journal
— none of which reported on a conspiracy”
In other words, Apple is arguing that if there was a conspiracy between the publishers, they weren’t part of it.
That is actually a hypothetical possibility.
Apple could have “unilaterally” suggested a deal to each of the publishers.
The publishers could then have consulted with each other (hypothetically conspiring) to take the deal…and even suggested similar terms to Apple.
Could Judge Cote’s decision be overturned on that basis (and on their suggestions of improper use of inadmissibility, and possible prejudice)?
I think that is a possibility.
Would that bring back the Agency Model?
I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t think so. The publishers settled, and took deals. I believe they’d be bound by the deals, even if Apple successfully got their verdict overturned. The publishers dropped out of the case before the verdict.
I’m not 100% on that, though: if you are a lawyer, I’d be interested to hear what you think on that score.
I also think that the response to the appeal may be strong and definitive, refuting Apple’s allegations.
The beat goes on…
Amazon workers will be heard by Supreme Court
Salon.com article by Andrew Leonard
it is reported that a case brought by Amazon workers is going to be heard by the Supreme Court.
The basic argument is that Amazon warehouse workers have to spend a long time going through Security, and aren’t compensated for that time.
While it might seem obvious (let’s say you have to spend three hours a week at work doing something that your employer requires you to do to have the job) that workers should be paid for that time, it doesn’t work out that way.
Suppose you are required by your employer to park in a certain lot. That lot is fifteen minutes away from your place of employment. When you get there, you clock in…they aren’t going to pay you for your time from the parking lot to the door, even though you basically have no choice.
Whether they should (in an ethical sense) pay you for that time is not the specific legal issue: it’s whether they have to do it.
The article suggests that this Court will not be likely to rule against Amazon.
If they did, I think it would just accelerate Amazon’s use of robots (they own a robot company that does this sort of thing) in the warehouses.
They might have to (in the worst case for them scenario) pay back wages to a lot of people…and then they might just say, “Fine, people are too expensive,” and get rid of a lot of staff.
Amazon has been touting the number of jobs they’ve been creating, but there is a real debate about the quality of those jobs.
What do you think? If Amazon is proven to be treating their employees unfairly at some point, and if they don’t rectify it, would that affect your shopping? Will Apple win on appeal? Would you subscribe through the Kindle store to blogs on your Fire? Would you switch the delivery of a current subscription? What new feature could Amazon release on a non-Fire Kindle that would make you want to upgrade? 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. You can also now recommend a child to be the recipient.
* 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! By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.
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.