Round up #309: cool reading, peripheral problems
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
An author on the cover of People
I do think that in the past, oh, ten years or so, authors have become a bit more cool.
Generally, when people think pop culture, it’s movies, TV, and music. Videogames, while sometimes the biggest revenue generators, are too introspective for a ton of coverage…and they don’t feature human beings about which magazines can gossip. ;)
That last point might, I suppose, help to explain why books are less likely to be featured in pop culture coverage.
Oh, all the popcul mags do it some. The book coverage may be my favorite part of Entertainment Weekly, and regular readers know I use the term “People Magazine books” for the very popular mainstream titles.
That’s why I was honestly a bit surprised to see
get the full cover of the October 5th issue of
Certainly, Collins was a (very) popular author, and does have a Hollywood tie-in (with sibling Joan and some minor acting experience)…that might have had some influence.
However, there was a special circumstance: they had an exclusive interview from just a few days pre-mortem.
Still, they obviously thought readers would be familiar with Collins.
People Magazine readers would also know Stephen King, John Green, J.K. Rowling, and perhaps another ten or so authors (excluding authors who are well-known from other fields, including movies, TV, music, and politics).
Now, that’s not to say that they wouldn’t have known some authors in the past: Edgar Allan Poe, Ernest Hemingway…but I do think there has been a shift. I’d like to say that the impact of the Kindle on the e-book market since its release in 2007 may have impacted the “cool ratio” of reading…but that’s just speculation. ;)
The problem with peripherals
I think it’s understandable that companies producing gadgets focus on the gadgets themselves. I recently wrote about
There wasn’t a lot of talk about the peripherals: power supplies, remotes (although I was pleased to see that the game controller for the Amazon Fire TV Gaming Edition ((at AmazonSmile*)) has a headphone jack ((Dolby enabled)), one of my favorite features of some models of Roku).
I do think that matters…it’s been perhaps my biggest frustration with some gadgets which I otherwise like very much.
I really like the inexpensive
that I use with our Fire TV, and at work with my Kindle Fire HDX, my laptop, and my phone at times.
That’s the alternative to the headphones that plug into the remote that I mentioned above.
The sound is good, the microphone works…the only negative to the device itself, really, is that the battery seems to discharge pretty quickly even when I’m not using it. If I don’t use it for a couple of days, I still need to plug it in to charge before I use it again.
I can live with that, though.
The weird thing is that it came with a simple carrying case. The headphones fold, and fit into something…oh, about the dimensions of an old audiocassette, except as thick as about four of them.
Shortly after I had the headphones, the zipper broke on the carrying case.
I can still use the case…it goes in my laptop case with me to work, so that pretty much keeps it closed.
It is, though, disappointing: I paid for the case (not much, certainly), and it doesn’t do what it was supposed to do.
How about Amazon hardware?
Amazon did a great job with the headphones for the Fire Phone…I use mine a lot (the Fire Phone is still my daily use SmartPhone). Since that device is now not in their current line-up, though, it’s hard to count tht as a win. ;) There may be people at Amazon who said, “You know, if we hadn’t spent that much development money making good headphones, the Fire Phone would have been a hit.” ;)
I’ve never really been impressed with the chargers for the Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers) and Fire tablets. The EBR chargers notoriously end up having the coating peel away from the raw wires…I’ve had that happen many times, and I need to replace them.
I don’t find that they fit very well, and they don’t charge very quickly.
That’s why I use the third party
It’s $14.90 right now…a reasonable price, as far as I’m concerned. Amazon’s PowerFast charger is $19.99…and seems much slower.
The Pwr+ works great…until it doesn’t work at all. ;)
I went back and looked: they seem to last me a few months, and then they just die. That’s not Amazon’s fault, of course.
Then, there are the remotes for the Fire TV.
I just had (another) one die.
That’s happened at least twice now. The first time, it was at under warranty.
This last one was a voice remote which I got when the Fire TV was first released…in April of 2014.
Amazon wouldn’t replace it, which is fine…they did give me a $5 credit towards some other things.
I could replace it for $30…but I have the 2nd generation
on order now, and that will have a voice remote.
Is it a big deal that the remote stops working?
You can’t tell the box what to do without communicating with it, of course…its just a paperweight without some sort of control.
Fortunately, I have the free
on both my Fire Phone and my Kindle Fire HDX tablet.
It works pretty well…even does voice search. That should be how people can pay $40 for the
new generation, and get the Alexa Voice Service (like we have on the Amazon Echo ((at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)).
Still, I’m often charging my phone or tablet when I would be watching that Fire TV Stick, so it’s a bit inconvenient. Naturally, when we have true wireless device charging (which I believe is coming) so we don’t need to plug in the devices at all, that would solve that problem, but that’s in the future).
Tom Clancy quotation via Kindle Nation Daily
I liked this one:
What do you think? How important are peripherals to your feeling about a device? Is reading cooler because of e-books? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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