Archive for the ‘Bufo’s books’ Category

Round up #166: YouTube, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon device deals

December 6, 2017

Round up #166: YouTube, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon device deals

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

There are still great deals for the holidays at Amazon

I’m quite impressed with the deals this year at Amazon! It doesn’t feel like there is as much luck to it…while the “competition” is fun, it’s also good not to feel like you have to keep hovering over that Buy button. 😉

We are in Day 4 of

Amazon’s 12 Days of Deals (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

They do theme it (today is “For busy little elves of all ages”), but there are always deals in many categories. At time of writing, there are 167 pages of deals.

For Amazon devices, they are doing some interesting things with refurbs (you can get an Echo “tower”, the big tall one, for $69.99, which they say is 58% off). They are also doing bundles: today, you could do a basic Kindle and a Fire 7 for just $94.99! You can get a Fire TV Stick and an Echo Dot for $59.98 (33% off).

You can sort the deals, not only by price high to low or low to high, but by discount. The highest discount I’m seeing right now? 95%…

Toodle-loo, YouTube

Well, I’ll miss ya, YouTube.

It’s not that YouTube is going out of business, but Google is currently blocking YouTube viewing on the

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

(by the way, I was just speaking with someone at work yesterday, and we agree: the Show is our favorite Alexa device at this point), which they’ve done before. When I tried it just now, I got a message saying that YouTube was not available on that device…even though the Amazon piece of it seemed to launch.

While I did sometimes use the Show to watch YouTube, that’s still probably not that big a market for YouTube.

More important for me, and probably for many people, is that YouTube will not be available on the

Fire TV family (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

starting January 1st, 2018.

That means, pretty much, that I’ll never watch YouTube again…at least while this situation persists.

A Fire TV and a Fire TV Stick are our sources of TV…we have one in the family room, one in the bedroom, and that’s it.

I was watching YouTube quite often in the bedroom (getting ready in the morning), but that will be done.

Oh, wait! I need to rethink this a bit…there are (at this point) some YouTube videos I really want to watch. There are some great creators whose work is available on YouTube. For that matter, one of our dogs has a video on YouTube (“Treadmill, Elf!” at YouTube). I will still have a place I might watch YouTube: in virtual reality on my Samsung Gear. I usually watch Netflix or Hulu (I’m partway through season six catching up on The Walking Dead, for example), but if I heard about a YouTube video I really wanted to see, I could see it there. Random discovery, though? Done.

So, there’s a question here: will people not buy a Fire TV device because it doesn’t have YouTube, or will they stop watching YouTube because it isn’t on Fire TV?

The answer is probably neither.

People will watch YouTube on phones and tablets (hm…will YouTube continue to work on Fire tablets? Stopping that would be hard…the Fire TV needs an app, a tablet doesn’t), and they’ll still buy the relatively inexpensive Fire TVs.

That’s my opinion…here’s another take on it:

The Verge article by Chris Welch

Amazon is also “delisting” new Nest thermostats from Google, and they stopped carrying the Chromecast some time ago.

As some of my readers can guess from how I felt about brick-and-mortar bookstores (I’m a former manager of one) not carrying Amazon published books, I don’t think it’s a good play (on either of their parts). It’s worse on Google’s part, I think…they are choosing not to let their product be available to people, as opposed to Amazon making someone else’s product not available, but it all results in diminishing your customers’ (or potential customers’) experiences.

Barnes & Noble announces financials…and the stock market responds

According to this

Money.CNN.com graph

Barnes & Noble is down almost 14% in the past five days.

Not coincidentally, that’s since they released their second quarter financial results:

press release

Comparable store sales are down (which they blame in part on no Harry Potter book this year), but perhaps more troubling for their strategy is that non-book categories were also down.

Is this stock market drop a short-term response to a bad quarter because there wasn’t a Potter book?

Um…the stock is down more than 40% year to date, so that’s a no.

Alexa lists have really improved

We use the Alexa lists, and I was very pleased to see really significant improvements to them recently. In one case, they did what I asked (but I’m not saying they did it because I asked it). It’s a simple thing, but they moved the button that deletes all of your completed items. It used to be in the same place as the button that took you to your completed items (so you could, with one tap, put them on the active list again)…therefore, if you tapped twice because you didn’t think it responded the first time, you could accidentally wipe out your history (we did it a couple of times). The new arrangement is much better.

The other thing is that you can create your own lists! We used to just have a shopping list and a to-do list, but I added a separate pharmacy/vet(erinarian) list. My Significant Other really likes having an empty list, and when I put on there a pet med we didn’t need for a month, that wasn’t happening.

The other list we are using right now is a list of “giftees” for the holiday. While we don’t record in it what we got for whom (we do that in a Google doc), it lets us know for whom we still need to shop.

“How’s the book coming, Bufo?”

I am still working on “Because of the Kindle”, and I do intend to finish it…but I’m not quite sure when. I originally wanted it out by the 10th anniversary of the Kindle (back in November), and then I was thinking by December 25th, but it honestly will probably be into next year. It’s just a much bigger project than I originally envisioned…and I started doing some daily things which really take up some time.

I have the Bookish Birthdays, and it can take a half an hour easily to do one. Once I’ve been doing it for a year, that won’t be true, though. 😉 I do get positive response to them.

The other public one is “On this date in geeky history”. That’s tied into  The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip. It definitely is building that, which is good, but again, that takes some serious time.

I also have something I’m currently doing just for work (although I do it on my own time), and that may eventually become public, but that takes some time, too.

I totally understand how those have started taking up my time: I teach time management, I’ve taught project management, and I’ve completed my work for a certification as an “Associate Improvement Adviser”. I can objectively say I’m good at it: I can see the results I get when I train other people in it, and measurement is part of all this. However, it reminds me of a quote which is in my book

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

“Another romantic lunacy. We assume that a personality problem can be liquidated merely through an understanding of it–as though a man could lift a ,mountain once he admitted it was heavy.”
–Dr. Charles “Doc Bedside” Bedecker
Chthon
written by Piers Anthony

🙂

I’m not saying that this a problem. I suppose that’s one of the advantages of not having a traditional publisher: I’m not being pressured to meet a deadline, and therefore put out an dramatically incomplete work.

My apologies to those of you have wonderfully contributed thoughts for the book that it isn’t out as soon as you thought…and that does mean there is still time to share your thoughts with me for possible publication.

The book is in my plans, though!

Would you watch a video on Amazon for a discount?

This

Quartz article by Helen and Dave Edwards

talks about a new patent by Amazon.

The basic idea is that you get to an Amazon product page, and if you watch an advertising video, you get a discount on it.

I think that makes a lot of sense.

People do a form of that now with

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

One way you can do a giveaway is to have people watch a video (or at least part of it) before they can enter. I’ve done that one myself, so I can tell you for sure that people do it.

Of course, based on an earlier story in this round up, it might not be a YouTube video… 😉

 

I finally did it…

I’ve never cracked a smartphone screen before, but I finally did it with my Galaxy S7 Edge. We were at the dog park, I was wearing gloves, and I dropped it…face down on to rocks. I can still use it, but I do have hairline cracks when I’m watching VR. We’ll need to replace my SO’s phone soon, due to a life change, but we will instead be replacing two phones. 🙂 Fortunately, there are two for one deals around. It’s also possible I’ll try to replace the screen myself…there are kits for about $40, and while I’m better with software than hardware, I can do some of that. Just don’t ask me to put oil in your car…I literally put washer fluid in the oil once.

What do you think? What is Barnes & Noble’s future? Does the YouTube thing matter to you? How long will it last? Can Amazon develop an alternative to YouTube…or would it be more like Amazon’s traditional publishing, where it has a market niche, but doesn’t threaten the tradpubs (traditional publishers)…or do you think Amazon publishing does threaten them? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


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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Decade 1: the first ten years of the Kindle

November 19, 2017

Decade 1: the first ten years of the Kindle

Amazon’s CEO (Chief Executive Officer), Jeff Bezos, has referred to the company still being on “Day 1”. In fact, in this year’s letter to stockholders, Bezos said

“Day 2 is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death. And that is why it is always Day 1.”
Amazon site with letter and video

Well, if Day 2 is stasis, that means Day 1 is change…and since Amazon first introduced the Kindle

Introducing Amazon Kindle (press release)

on November 19, 2007 (ten years ago), a lot has happened!

I’m working on a book, Because of the Kindle, which will cover the period (largely reproducing posts from this blog, but also including new material). It’s important to me that other people’s opinions also be included, and I’ve extended the amount of time that people can share them with me for possible inclusion at first publication through Monday November 27th. I had originally thought I would have the book out for today, but I had a big technical problem…and quite simply, the book is going to be much bigger than I originally thought. Thanks to everyone who has already given their opinions! Please consider adding your own (or more of your own…more than one is okay), and let other people know! I’m not reaching out to current Amazon employees, but I would love to include more authors, bookstore owners/managers (I’m a former brick-and-mortar bookstore manager myself), bloggers, podcasters, reporters, publishers, and of course…readers.

As I’ve been going back through the blog, and doing some other research, I’ve been reminded about some of those things and events. In this blog, I’ll hit some highlights, some things which may spark some memories for you, or illicit some curiosity. I’ll also give you some stats because, hey, who doesn’t like statistics? 😉

Let’s start with this easy one:

Amazon Devices

The Kindle was the first Amazon device. It was actually considered quite a risk: Amazon was a retailer, not a manufacturer. It’s safe to say that it was “Because of the Kindle” that Amazon was able to go on and try other devices. As of today, it stands at twenty. That’s also based on how Amazon displays them  when I click on the categories from the

Amazon Devices page (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

I could count them as a lot more if I broke it down to “flavors”…memory size, communication methods, and so on, but I think that works. The most recent Kindle EBR (E-Book Reader) is considered ninth generation…so they’ve introduced a new generation about once a year (and I’m actually writing this on November 18th…could be interesting things tomorrow).

Nostalgia break: do you remember…?

  • The scroll wheel? It was the first way we interacted with our Kindles. You turned a wheel to move the cursor only up and down on the “page”, then pushed it to select
  • The 5-way controller? It was the mighty follow up to the scroll wheel. It was like a little joystick
  • Now, we use touch screens…

Decade 1 titles in store

When the USA Kindle Store debuted, there were fewer than 100,000 titles…now there are about 5.8 million. That’s an average of about 1,500 titles added…per day! Note also that there are now fourteen Amazon country sites. There is significant title overlap between the stores, but I believe there are also titles unique to each store.

Nostalgia break: do you remember…?

  • Kindle NowNow? On the first generation Kindle, you could enter a question (about pretty much anything) and a paid human being would answer it. They also later tried live human Amazon device support with the original Mayday, which was highly promoted. Pretty quickly, the “face on the screen” went away
  • Playing Minesweeper? Alt+Shift+M started a Minesweeper game…and Gomoku was also available. Of course, we had “Active Content” in early models, and some of those were free and some you purchased. For a while, that was a big part of the Kindleer experience.  January 19, 2010: It’s the games Kindles play

EBR Price

With the Kindle 1, the most expensive price and the least expensive price were the same, since there was only one: $399. Currently (and everything I’m doing here is based on what is available new directly from Amazon), the least expensive one is $79.99 and the most expensive one (with all the options) is $349.99. There have been cheaper Kindles, too. You do get a lot more, including the front light. Memory is another obvious difference. The Kindle 1 had 250 MB of internal storage, which they said could hold about 200 books (non-illustrated, really). The version I listed as most expensive above had 32 GB…based on the same book calculation, it could hold 128 times as many, roughly.

Controversies and We Asked For It

  • We originally couldn’t gift books to people…we can now
  • The Kindle was originally only available in the USA…it’s now available in many countries
  • We couldn’t lend books…we can now (but I don’t think it happens very often)
  • Amazon added text-to-speech in the Kindle 2…and the publishers pushed back. There were actually demonstrations over it
  • Amazon removed an edition of 1984 from people’s Kindles…they later apologized
  • The Department of Justice and (separately) States Attorneys General took action against Apple and big publishers for pricing policies under something called the Agency Model. Customers eventually got settlements
  • Amazon removed the “Buy” buttons from Macmillan books in a dispute…it had to do in part with “windowing”, delaying the release of Kindle books after the hardback’s release
  • Publishers restricted public library e-book use…there was a lot of variability on that
  • Some authors resisted having their books in e-book form initially, notably J.K. Rowling (the Harry Potter books were later available through a special website), Audrey NIffenegger (available now), Harper Lee (books now available), and Ray Bradbury (who reportedly said that e-books “…smelled like burned fuel”…books are now available)

That’s a bit of a random summary of the first decade!

I want to really congratulate Amazon on the success of the Kindle, and thank them for everything it has done for me!

The book will go into a lot more depth…remember that you may be part of it if you complete the thought, “Because of the Kindle…”

Just for a fun finish: do you know what these mean? I’ll link to my posts with an explanation:


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


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 #166: signed books, Because of the Kindle pushed back

November 16, 2017

Round up #166: signed books, Because of the Kindle pushed back

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

National Book Award winners 2017

The National Book Foundation’s National Book Award winners were announced yesterday:

Official Site

Congratulations to the winners!

Because of the Kindle won’t be out on November 19th

In part because of our recent internet outage (but that’s not the only reason), my next book won’t be out on the 10th anniversary of the Kindle on November 19th. I will do a special post (a “First Decade Snapshot”?) which will commemorate it, and will perhaps serve as a preview of the book.

The good news is that means you can still get me your thoughts! My guess is I won’t publish it before December 1st, and it might be a week or so into that month.

I would have liked to have had it out on November 19th, but it is going to be much bigger than I thought originally. I like how it is shaping up…it was fun to think about “Topaz” files again. 😉

In fact, it’s likely to be so big (it could be perhaps, the equivalent of 1,000 pages) that I may price it at $2.99 rather than $0.99 (and I do intend it to be part of Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)).

I’m interested in your feedback on that, too, since I’m planning to put 20% of the gross royalties into giveaways on this blog. At $0.99, I get about 35 cents per sale. At $2.99, I get $2.09. I have to double-check that I check all the other boxes, but I think that’s right. So, I have to sell about six times as many at roughly a dollar than at roughly three dollars to have volume outweigh the price point. I’m ignoring, in this calculation, royalties from KU. Any thoughts?

It just simply wasn’t going to be ready. It’s not easy to make the decision to hold it back (I’ll potentially miss out on some publicity, and I’m likely to miss Black Friday interest), but I didn’t want to put out something that was clearly incomplete. It’s more important to me that people get value out of it than that it gets the maximum sales.

On the bad side: my Significant Other has to put up with my focus on the book for longer. 😉

Meanwhile, at Barnes & Noble…

On Thursday, November 30th (a week after Black Friday this year), at 10:00 AM Eastern, Barnes & Noble will announce their Second Quarter financials.

The morning timing is interesting…if companies expect to report bad numbers, they sometimes want to do it when the market is closed (to minimize the one day market stock impact). It’s possible that the numbers aren’t all bad…although I don’t expect the NOOK line to have recovered much.

It will be webcast here:

http://investors.barnesandnobleinc.com/events.cfm

They are also repeating a really interesting holiday promotion…literally hundreds of thousands of autographed books:

Barnes & Noble Announces the Return of Over a Half-Million Autographed Books from Acclaimed Authors Just in Time for Black Friday press release

These are genuinely big name authors. They list all these for Black Friday:

 

Adult Fiction Signed Editions

  • In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende
  • The Christmas Room by Catherine Anderson
  • A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
  • End Game by David Baldacci
  • You Can’t Spell America Without Me: The Really Tremendous Inside Story of My Fantastic First Year as President Donald J. Trump (A So-Called Parody) by Alec Baldwin
  • The Midnight Line: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child
  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben
  • The Alchemist (25th Anniversary Edition) by Paulo Coelho
  • Two Kinds of Truth: A Bosch Novel by Michael Connelly
  • Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey
  • Enigma: An FBI Thriller by Catherine Coulter
  • Typhoon Fury: A Novel of the Oregon Files by Clive Cussler
  • The Cuban Affair by Nelson DeMille
  • The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz
  • Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
  • Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
  • Hardcore Twenty-Four: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich
  • Dark Legacy: A Carpathian Novel by Christine Feehan
  • Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
  • Vengeance by Newt Gingrich
  • Camino Island by John Grisham
  • The Saboteur by Andrew Gross
  • Uncommon Type: Some Stories by Tom Hanks
  • Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
  • Winter Solstice by Elin Hilderbrand
  • Strange Weather: Four Short Novels by Joe Hill
  • The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • To Be Where You Are: A Mitford Novel by Jan Karon
  • The Whispering Room: A Jane Hawk Novel by Dean Koontz
  • The Princess Saves Herself in This One (B&N Exclusive Edition) by Amanda Lovelace
  • Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber
  • Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker by Gregory Maguire
  • The Ninth Hour by Alice McDermott
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  • The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  • Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
  • Fletcher by Tom Perrotta
  • Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
  • Bonfire by Krysten Ritter
  • The Golden House by Salman Rushdie
  • Deep Freeze: A Virgil Flowers Novel by John Sandford
  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
  • Exposed by Lisa Scottoline
  • Rest in the Mourning by r.h. Sin
  • A Beautiful Composition of Broken (B&N Exclusive Edition) by r.h. Sin
  • Whiskey Words & a Shovel by r.h. Sin
  • A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
  • The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
  • Artemis by Andy Weir
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Adult Nonfiction Signed Editions

  • You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir by Sherman Alexie
  • Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam by Mark Bowden
  • F*ck, That’s Delicious by Action Bronson
  • Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life by Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush
  • Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York by Roz Chast
  • I’m Fine… and Other Lies by Whitney Cummings
  • What Does This Button Do?: An Autobiography by Bruce Dickinson
  • The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It!: Simple, Scrumptious Recipes for Crazy Busy Lives (B&N Exclusive Edition) by Ree Drummond
  • Unqualified by Anna Faris
  • Blessed Life: My Surprising Journey of Joy, Tears, and Tales from Harlem to Hollywood by Kim Fields
  • Growing Up Fisher: Musings, Memories, and Misadventures by Joely Fisher
  • Al Franken, Giant of the Senate by Al Franken
  • The Hollywood Commandments: A Spiritual Guide to Secular Success by DeVon Franklin
  • Note To Self by Connor Franta
  • What Is It All But Luminous: Notes from an Underground Man by Art Garfunkel
  • An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power by Al Gore
  • The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve by Stephen Greenblatt
  • I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart
  • Of Mess and Moxie: Wrangling Delight Out of This Wild and Glorious Life by Jen Hatmaker
  • Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches by John Hodgman
  • Pretty Fun: Creating and Celebrating a Lifetime of Tradition by Kate Hudson
  • Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
  • Soar! Build Your Vision from the Ground Up by T. D. Jakes
  • Endurance: A Year in Space, a Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly
  • Andrew Jackson and the Miracle of New Orleans by Brian Kilmeade
  • Why We Don’t Suck: And How All of Us Need to Stop Being Such Partisan Little B*tches by Dr. Denis Leary
  • The Autobiography of Gucci Mane by Gucci Mane
  • Rhett & Link’s Book of Mythicality: A Field Guide to Curiosity, Creativity, and Tomfoolery by Rhett McLaughlin and Link Neal
  • Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by Admiral William H. McRaven
  • Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
  • Everything All at Once: How to Unleash Your Inner Nerd, Tap Into Radical Curiosity, and Solve Any Problem by Bill Nye
  • Blessed in the Darkness: How All Things Are Working for Your Good by Joel Osteen
  • Sweet: Desserts from London’s Ottolenghi by Yotam Ottolenghi
  • Smitten Kitchen Every Day: Triumphant and Unfussy New Favorites by Deb Perelman
  • Unshakeable : Your Financial Freedom Playbook by Tony Robbins
  • It Takes Two: Our Story by Jonathan and Drew Scott
  • Basketball (and Other Things): A Collection of Questions Asked, Answered, Illustrated by Shea Serrano
  • Unstoppable: My Life So Far by Maria Sharapova
  • On Power: My Journey Through the Corridors of Power and How You Can Get More Power by Gene Simmons
  • You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
  • Two’s Company: A Fifty-Year Romance with Lessons Learned in Love, Life & Business by Suzanne Somers
  • Where the Past Begins: A Writer’s Memoir by Amy Tan
  • Raising Trump by Ivana Trump
  • Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History by Katy Tur
  • Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance
  • Liner Notes: On Parents & Children, Exes & Excess, Death & Decay & a Few of My Other Favorite Things by Loudon Wainwright III
  • The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
  • A Sick Life: TLC ‘n Me: Stories from On and Off the Stage by Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins
  • Soonish: Ten Emerging Technologies That’ll Improve and/or Ruin Everything by Kelly and Zach Weinersmith
  • Discipline Equals Freedom: Field Manual by Jocko Willink
  • The Seat of the Soul (25th Anniversary Edition with a Study Guide) by Gary Zukav

Signed Editions for Teens

  • Thirteen Reasons Why (10th Anniversary Edition) by Jay Asher
  • The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo
  • Girling Up by Mayim Bialik
  • One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake
  • The Twisted Ones (Five Nights at Freddy’s) by Scott Cawthon
  • Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
  • Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
  • Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
  • Renegades by Marissa Meyer
  • Eragon by Christopher Paolini
  • The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
  • Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
  • Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Mistress of All Evil: A Tale of the Dark Fairy by Serena Valentino
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
  • The Book Thief (Special Anniversary Edition) by Markus Zusak

Signed Editions for Young Readers

  • Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
  • Serafina and the Splintered Heart by Robert Beatty
  • Minecraft: The Island by Max Brooks
  • The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
  • The Land of Stories: Worlds Collide by Chris Colfer
  • Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina by Misty Copeland
  • Spy School Secret Service (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Spy School Series #5) by Stuart Gibbs
  • The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris
  • I Got This: To Gold and Beyond by Laurie Hernandez
  • The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • In the Deep Blue Sea: Jack and the Geniuses Book #2 by Bill Nye
  • Wonder B&N Exclusive Edition by R. J. Palacio
  • The Dark Prophecy (B&N Exclusive Edition) (The Trials of Apollo Series #2) by Rick Riordan
  • Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 3: The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan
  • The Bad Beginning: Book the First (A Series of Unfortunate Events) by Lemony Snicket
  • Little Bigfoot, Big City (B&N Exclusive Edition) by Jennifer Weiner
  • The Audition by Maddie Ziegler

Signed Editions for Kids

  • Gingerbread Christmas by Jan Brett
  • River Rose and the Magical Christmas by Kelly Clarkson
  • She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World by Chelsea Clinton
  • The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt
  • Pete the Cat and the Missing Cupcakes by Kimberly and James Dean
  • Through Your Eyes: My Child’s Gift to Me by Ainsley Earhardt
  • Princesses Wear Pants by Savannah Guthrie
  • My Journey to the Stars by Scott Kelly
  • Be Brave Little One by Marianne Richmond
  • Mighty, Mighty Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker
  • The Polar Express 30th Anniversary Edition by Chris Van Allsburg
  • The Thank You Book (An Elephant and Piggie Book) by Mo Willems

This is genuinely a reason to visit a Barnes & Noble.

Now that Amazon has physical bookstores, I’ve wondered if they’ll start doing book signings…I’ve seen (and been impressed by) the new one in Broadway Plaza in Walnut Creek (across the Bay from San Francisco), California:

The new Amazon Books opened in Walnut Creek California today…and I was there!

They had a number of things that people have come to associate with bookstores…coffee and comfy chairs, for two. Book signings could make sense…

What do you think? Are Amazon bookstores too small for book signings? Are signed books exciting for you personally? As gifts? What do you think will come out of Barnes & Noble’s financial report? $0.99 or $2.99 for Because of the Kindle? What do you think has happened (for you and for the world) Because of the Kindle? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


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!

** 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.

Share your opinion: one week to go!

November 6, 2017

Share your opinion: one week to go!

What do you think has happened (to you and the world) “Because of the Kindle”? Let me know by Sunday, November 12th, and you may be in my next book, “Because of the Kindle” when I publish it for the November 19th tenth anniversary of the Kindle. I’ve written about it before, and I’ve gotten some great thoughts from readers (thanks, readers!):

I’d definitely like more, though, and your opinions and insights may be different from everybody else’s. Even if they aren’t it’s not bad if two or more people reinforce the same thought.

I’m making progress, although there is a long way to go. I’ve been deferring some other things until I get it done…and that has to be in the next two weeks. 🙂

I have Monday, November 13th off from my “day job” (because I’m working on Saturday the 18th). That’s the day I’ll get it ready for publication, so I’ll insert the BotK comments I’ve gotten from other people then.

I decided to do the book largely chronologically, so it’s going to include the ILMK E-Books timeline, and then I’m inserting articles from the blog where they go chronologically. Not all of them: just ones that…tie into the impact of the Kindle, or that mark Kindle changes, at least in my opinion. I had been working on a “best of the first five years” of this blog that I never got done, and this will replace that.

I’m also writing new opinion pieces, now that I have hindsight. 😉

I don’t quite know what that mix will be, how much will be old, and how much will be new. It depends on how wordy I get on the new stuff…

I sort of randomly figured I’d like about 20 percent of the book to be other people’s ideas. Despite the fact that I’ve started almost every paragraph in this post with “I” 😉 , I really don’t think I have all the answers. This blog is so much stronger because of all the great commenters I have, and that would also be true of the book.

I don’t expect this to be a big hit book or anything…it’ll be a ninety-nine center, and I do think it will get read. It wouldn’t surprise me if it’s read by some “influencers”. What you say could make a difference in how things go from here…

Share a memory, or think about what will get people thinking…make predictions, or reflect on the past, up to you. Just complete the thought, “Because of the Kindle…” Make it a one-liner or a treatise. Give me several, of you like.

You’ll continue to have all rights to use what you’ve written wherever you want. I’ll have the right to publish it in the book, and in other ILMK (I Love My Kindle) collections and writings. We won’t have to ask each other permission ahead of time. 🙂

It will be done without compensation, but I’m happy to link to a website that is yours and related in some way…either entirely a personal site, or one that covers related topics. I’ll have to make the call about whether to do the link or not…I just don’t want it to be used for, say, political purposes.

I plan to use 20% of any royalties I earn to do giveaways on ILMK. 🙂 Might not be much, but you never know.

So, what do you think? “Because of the Kindle…”

You can comment on this post, if you like…that will work.


You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!


 

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.

 

 

 

You can be part of my new book, “Because of the Kindle”

October 9, 2017

You can be part of my new book, “Because of the Kindle”

I’ve been mentioning that I’m working on something to mark the 10th anniversary of the announcement of the Kindle (on November 19th).

I’m going to do a ninety-nine cent (that’s the current plan) “book” called, “Because of the Kindle”.

My plan isn’t to write a hundred pages of new material. I’ll summarize each of the years, with the main events and probably what some of the discussions were.

I’ll reproduce some of the articles from this blog.

However, I’m most interested in what the impact of the Kindle has been. There was a lot of speculation at the time…how much of that has come true, and what was unexpected?

As always, I don’t think I have the only valid perspective, or the only interesting one. 🙂 I want to hear from you, and, if you want, include what you say in the book. That will be up to you, though, and you’d retain the rights to publish what you said elsewhere without asking my permission first.

You can contribute by commenting on this ILMK page:

Because of the Kindle

That has more of the logistics. The main things are that, if I want to use what you say in the book, I’ll contact you using the e-mail address that shows to me (not to my readers) when you post and ask permission. There won’t be any financial compensation…that really complicates things, and I don’t expect to make much on this book, anyway. 🙂 My plan is to use 20% of any royalties I get on this to do giveaways on ILMK. I really enjoy doing that, but we are having a financial change in the family so I’ve been limiting that a bit.

The idea is that you’ll complete the thought, “Because of the Kindle…” What changes have happened? That could be for you personally (Do you read more? Do you read less? Do you read different things?), for publishing, for bookstores, for Amazon, for society generally…

Why ask “regular readers”, not celebrities and pundits? Well, I’d love to have the “experts”‘s perspectives also, but I care about what you think, and I believe other people will, too. I’m sure Amazon will do something themselves (they haven’t asked me for anything, but I’ve heard rumors about them asking other people). I think they’ll introduce some new hardware: it might be that they do a special 10th anniversary Kindle EBR (EBR)…water-resistant would be nice, but there may be more than that. I suppose they could follow some other companies and release a mini version of the original…just kidding. 😉  This might also be time for another revolution, such as Amazon auggies (augmented/virtual reality hardware).

Oh, what more thing: I’m using a hashtag I’ve created, #BecauseOfTheKindle. If people tweet interesting things with that, I may not be able to get them into the book, just because of how that will complicate getting permission…but I’m more about the conversation than the book (although I would, of course, like the book to be good and do well).

So…what do you think? 🙂


My current Amazon giveaway:

Beyond Curie: Four women in physics and their remarkable discoveries 1903 to 1963 (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

Giveaway:

https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/b139e577ee333624

  • Winner:Randomly selected after Giveaway has ended, up to 1 winners.
    Requirements for participation:
  • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
  • 18+ years of age (or legal age)
  • Follow Scott Calvin on Amazon

Start:Sep 25, 2017 5:46 AM PDT

End:Oct 25, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

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.

Amazon: “We are facing some technical issues from our end which prevents publishing blogs. “

January 17, 2017

Amazon: “We are facing some technical issues from our end which prevents publishing blogs”

Some of my readers reported to me that two of my blogs had not been delivered to their Kindles in some time.

That’s happened to me before, and it’s quite frustrating, as you can imagine.

I’ve been publishing my blogs the same way for years now, starting with this one in August of 2009. When it fails to deliver to my paid subscribers, I can honestly say it isn’t because of something I’ve done.

When I get alerted to it happening, I let Amazon know…and usually, it’s a pretty good fix.

I do subscribe to my own blogs, but I feel a bit bad in this case that I hadn’t checked the delivery for months on my Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers). If I had, I would have noticed.

At any rate, it appears to be something different this time, more widespread than the past.

I said:


I have been informed by my readers, and have confirmed on my own device, that two of my Kindle store blogs have not been delivering to paid subscribers, despite posts being published. My publishing method has not changed, and my third blog is publishing properly.

The two blogs in question, along with their last delivered post date are:

221B Blog Street (ASIN: B0031ERD9S) (last delivered date: November 2, 2016) (posts have been published typically every day during that period)

The Measured Circle (ASIN: B0038JEN4Y) (last delivered date: September 21, 2016) (approximately 15 posts have been published since then).

I have appreciated when this has happened in the past and Amazon has been able to investigate and resolve the situation.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Bufo Calvin


This was Amazon’s response:


Hi Bufo,

Sorry to hear about this.

We are facing some technical issues from our end which prevents publishing blogs. Our technical team is working on it with high priority and we will keep you posted once the blog is published.

I appreciate your patience.


I edited it very slightly to fix a typo. 🙂

This seems to suggest that it is all blogs…but I think ILMK has been delivering (although there was a period not too long ago when it didn’t).

I wanted to share this with you, although it may seem like one of my favorite Ashleigh Brilliant lines: “Inform all troops! Communications have completely broken down” (I’m not sure about the punctuation). 😉

People who pay to subscribe do sometimes read the blog other ways, so they’ll see this. If this blog is delivering, they may see it as well.

I’ll keep you informed…

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

All aboard our new The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project! Join the TMCGTT Timeblazers!

* 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 The Measured Circle 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.

Update on my free Flipboard magazines: more than 10,000 ILMK viewers

August 16, 2015

Update on my free Flipboard magazines: more than 10,000 ILMK viewers

It’s rare that I think of something as really a new type of content.

Twitter was that, certainly. Those 140 (or fewer) character tweets created a different medium, and that shapes what’s in it.

I also feel like Flipboard magazines are a new way to express yourself…and I’m surprised at the success mine are having!

The main idea is that you can use the

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

app, which I read every morning anyway on my

Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile*)

to “flip” articles into a magazine of yours, which you make available to other people for free.

They’ve recently really improved the experience of reading it in a web browser:

https://flipboard.com/

You can also get an extension for Chrome which allows you to flip article with websites (most of my flips come from things I read in the Flipboard app…except in the case of one my magazines, which I’ll explain below).

It’s really about your curation…your taste and editing skills.

You put in what you think is interesting, or what you think other people will think is interesting.

You generally don’t write anything additional about it, unless you are using the browser extension. In that case, you can add a short caption about it (which you can not edit later, by the way).

I thought I’d give you a rundown on my magazines and how they are doing (at time of writing…it changes rapidly).

First, though, let me cite a couple of overall statistics for my four magazines…

I’ve flipped 60,806 articles!

I have 929 followers…closing on on 1,000.

Okay, on to each of the magazines:

I’m going to do this in order from the biggest number of readers to the smallest number.

ILMK (I Love My Kindle)

“The long-running blog about the world of e-books and publishing, which is one of the most popular blogs of any kind in the Kindle store, brings you related news stories”

ILMK magazine at Flipboard

  • 12,088 viewers (this has close to tripled since the last time I did an update on these…which was just in April!)
  • 185,200 page flips (that’s approximate: they say 182.5k)
  • 16,299  articles (I’d have so say my curation is better here, or at least, more focused)
  • 645 followers (since this was a new measurement recently, I looked up what it meant at Flipboard: they explain the new stats here. I had misunderstood page flips before…I thought it was when people flipped an article I picked into their own magazine, but it turns out it is “the number of items viewed in the magazine. Readers visit the mag: page flips are the number of items viewed…I think that means they click on it in the magazine to go to the original article. The number of articles are the ones I put into it, and followers are the actual subscribers. This number has tripled since the last time)
  • Engagement: 1,136% (flips/articles: this has gone up since last time)

This one is based on my blog, ILMK (I Love My Kindle). They aren’t the same, though. I write original material in the blog itself. I told myself that I’d average 1,000 words a day, and I do. I write a lot of different things, often providing analysis and opinion.

For the Flipboard magazine, none of that happens…you just get articles from other people (except when I flip one of my own in there).

It does allow me to do some different things.

For example, I can more easily flip ten different articles on a new piece of Amazon hardware into the magazine than I can link to them in the blog. Linking in the blog takes some work: it’s simple to flip (just a couple of clicks or taps).

There are also times when something is too short to warrant a full post in the blog. Those types of things go into my Round-ups, but I don’t do those every day.

Another thing? I do a lot more images in the magazine: it’s just more compatible with it. My blog is read on non-Fire Kindles, and images are tougher there.

Here are some recent articles as examples:

  1. Ten Fantasy/Sci-Fi Books/Series to Feed Your Love of Reading – Or: Some girl in library school tries to tell you what to read (The Mary Sue)
  2. A New Approach to Jonathan Franzen (Book Riot)
  3. Macmillan’s Novel Approach to Combating Childhood Hunger (Publishers Weekly)
  4. The Rise of Phone Reading (The Wall Street Journal)
  5. Anne Rice, Christian Publisher Defend Nazi Romance as Outcry Intensifies (Flavorwire)
  6. Hummingbird Offering E-Book Retailing Option (Publishers Weekly)
  7. Barber Offers Free Haircuts to Kids Who Read to Him (Neatorama)
  8. 15 Diagrams that Show How a Book Is Made (EBOOK FRIENDLY)
  9. Publishing Industry’s ‘Super Thursday’ to See More than 500 Books Friendly (The Guardian)
  10. Why Do We Always Proclaim That the Novel Is Dead? (New York Times)

The Measured Circle

“A geeky mix of pop culture, tech, and the weird world”

The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard

  • 2,973 readers (which they now call “viewers”…that actually makes more sense, since you can put links to videos in these)
  • 17,318 page flips
  • 43,926 articles
  • 51 followers
  • Engagement (flips/articles): 39.4% (Hm…this has gone down 5% since last time ((again))…have to think about what that means for which articles I flip)

This one is inspired by my blog, The Measured Circle. The blog has never been very popular, and unlike this one, I don’t write in it (on average) every day (I sometimes go a week).

It is eclectic, but you’ll see a lot of things on geek topics, tech, and “weird world” (“Bufo’s Weird World” was my first e-zine, back before we called them blogs).

I’d say its primary purpose is…fun!

Recently, I’ve mostly moved coverage of the

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

to The Measured Circle…it’s a better fit there, I think, than in ILMK (although I still link to the articles in ILMK. It’s too soon for that to have impacted the actual blog or the Flipboard magazine much…but I think it will.

To give you a sense of it, here are ten recent articles and their sources. Earlier, I did the most recent ten in order, but that’s not really representative, since I may read a number from the same source at the same time

  1. Elementary John Noble debuts as  Sherlock’s father – Exclusive First Look (John Noble)
  2. Catching up with Robert Vaughn, the original man from Uncle (Entertainment Weekly)
  3. The Ravenna, The Manticora, and 11 Somewhat Lesser-Known Monsters (Fate)
  4. I Spoke To The Woman Who Filmed A Haunted Puppet Moving In Her Basement (The Anomalist)
  5. NBC Greenlights Pilot for a Sitcom Set in the DC Universe (Topless Robot)
  6. Alexa Skills come to the Echo, plus more home automation (me) 😉
  7. Fear the Walking Dead: Alycia Denham-Carey hopes people will be ‘confronted’ by the new take (FearTWD)
  8. Another Skunk Ape Spotted in Florida (Mysterious Universe)
  9. Apple car clues emerge from letter to test facility
  10. Astronomers discover the smallest known supermassive black hole

Doc Savage Fanflip

“Doc Savage, the forerunner of Superman and Batman, has been one of my fictional heroes for a very long time. Thanks in part to Doc, I try to better myself to help others, and to do so with “…no regard for anything but justice.” A “fanflip” is my new term for a Flipboard magazine by a fan, dedicated to one topic. I will bring you not only Doc Savage news, but Doc stories and resources from around the web. Think of it as a scrapbook with news.”

http://flip.it/HJShc

  • 451 viewers
  • 4,724 page flips
  • 101 articles
  • 195 followers
  • Engagement: 4677%

I look for interesting things on the web about Doc. If Shane Black ever gets out the Doc Savage movie, this may get more popular, but I’m happy to ferret out the oddball bits and pieces. This is the hardest one to which to add things…content jc Sust doesn’t change as often on the web.

  1. Who is Doc Savage (A Doc Savage Primer) (sfsignal)
  2. Writer’s Commentary – David Avallone On Altered States Doc Savage Part 1 (Dan Wickline)
  3. Doc Savage’s oft-misunderstood “Crime College”
  4. A Book Review by Mark Squired: Doc Savage: Death’s Dark Domain
  5. Characters You Won’t See in the Doc Savage Movie

The Weird Old Days

“Has the world always been weird? These news stories from the 19th and early 20th centuries bring you tales of lake monsters, the Hollow Earth, ghosts, and more! Edited by Bufo Calvin, of The Measured Circle blog. Note: these articles reflect the culture of their times. As such, they may use terms and concepts which some modern readers will find offensive”

 http://flip.it/ZtmYw

  • 223 viewers
  • 1,214 page flips
  • 310 articles
  • 66 followers
  • Engagement: 391%

My original idea on this was that I was writing a book made up in large part of public domain newspaper articles. I was writing pieces to provide context, both because I wanted to do that, and because it would enable me to sell it in the Kindle store (they require original material…nothing purely public domain…that was a policy which evolved over time).

It’s a labor of love, for sure!

I find it fascinating. I’m very interested in how people think about things, and how that has changed over time.

At this point, I’ve been using the Library of Congress’ fabulous “Chronicling America” resource. The negative to that one is that the pages don’t display very well on smaller screens. However, you can click to display the page as a PDF, and that can work quite well.

You also do have to read through the newspaper page to find the article…I also think that’s fun. 😉

I do feel like I’ve made some real discoveries: I posted one that is about an apparently hoaxed photograph of a UFO (airship)…in 1897! I’ve found that my pace has slowed considerably, though…it’s tougher to find ones than it was, since I’ve already looked at some of the more obvious search terms.

  1. A STRANGE MONSTER: Mountain People Alarmed and Fortifying (Knoxville Weekly Chronicle, February 19 1873) [This one was interesting…”a huge black bear with mane and head like a lion, but had horns like an elk upon it…”]
  2. THE WEREWOLF: A Human Monster In Which the Ancients Firmly Believed (Daily Press, Newport News, Virginia, October 7 1905)
  3. A PESSIMISTIC PHILOSOPHER: Interesting Talks on the Stories of the Werewolf (Evening Star, Washington D.C., December 27 1893)
  4. Skeleton of Indian Giant (The Broad Ax, Salt Lake City Utah, December 23 1916
  5. OUIJA BOARD AGAIN BRINGS MARVELOUS MYSTERIOUS MESSAGES (The Ogden Standard, December 11 1915)

Again, this one can go in “flaps” of one topic, because my search sometimes leads me to related articles. I think this gives you some idea, though.

These are not hard to do, and they aren’t taking significant time or creative energy away from my other creative work. I don’t get any money directly from them, although they might lead to more discovery of other things where I do.

I do want to say that ILMK has made a big move in catching up to and then surpassing The Measured Circle in readers. I’m still impressed with just how quickly these are growing.

Enjoy!

Do you have a Flipboard magazine about which you want to tell me and my readers? Feel free to comment on this post.

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

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.

10 quotations from The Mind Boggles

June 29, 2015

10 quotations from The Mind Boggles

It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned one of my books

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

which, when it came out in 2012, was (very briefly) the bestselling book of quotations in any format on Amazon.

I don’t think it’s sold much since. 🙂

That’s okay…I love quotations, and these are all ones I personally collected.

I thought I’d share a few, somewhat randomly selected, with you today.

I also want to do one more thing…I’ll tell you after the quotations. 😉

“I know who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.”
–Alice
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (aka Alice in Wonderland)
written by Lewis Carroll
category:literature
decade: 1860s

“His singular failing was his inability to distinguish between a practical possibility and an outlandish fantasy.”
–Meranda Austvro
Tiger, Burning
written by Alastair Reynolds
category:literature
decade: 2000s

“Supermen are superthinkers; anything else is a side issue. I’ll allow for the possibility of super-somethings which might exterminate or dominate mankind other than by outsmarting him in his own racket–thought. But I deny that it is possible for a man to conceive in discrete terms what such a super-something would be or how this something would win out. New Man will beat out homo sap at homo sap’s own specialty–rational thought, the ability to recognize data, store them, integrate them, and arrive at a correct decision. That’s how man got to be champion; the creature who can do it better is the coming champion. Sure there are other survival factors, good health, good sense organs, fast reflexes, but they aren’t even comparable, as the long, rough history of mankind has proved over and over–Marat in his bath, Roosevelt in his wheelchair, Caesar with his epilepsy and his bad stomach, Nelson with one eye and one arm, blind Milton; when the chips are down it’s brain that wins, not the body’s tools.”
–Gregory “Kettle Belly” Baldwin
Gulf
written by Robert A. Heinlein
category:literature
decade: 1940s

“Wendy knew that she must grew up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end.”
–Sir James Barrie
writing in Peter and Wendy (aka Peter Pan)
category:literature
decade: 1910s

“Violence is universally evil unless the evil it ousts is more violent; that’s rule of them but it’s practical and nearly always right.”
–Bert
Cycle of Nemesis
written by Kenneth Bulmer
category:literature
decade: 1960s

“I’m as human as the next man, and I have just as many emotions. I know how those people out there feel, because I hear the same little lost simian screaming in my own heart. But what do we have intelligence for if we can’t use it to control or guide our emotions?”
–Dr. Sam Bertolli
Plague from Space
written by Harry Harrison
category:literature
decade: 1960s

“Mister, you’re just talkin’ words.”
–Joe Caswell (played by Albert Salmi)
Execution
episode of The Twilight Zone
screenplay by
Rod Serling story by George Clayton Johnson
category:TV
decade: 1960s

“He was only one of those young men who cannot support the burden of consciousness unless they are doing something, and whose conceptions of doing something are limited to a game of some kind.”
–G.K. Chesterton
writing in The Man Who Knew Too Much
category:literature
decade: 1920s

“Reality’s for machines. We’re just coming to realize that now. Humans were never happy there. They just had to live there because we had no alternatives.”
–Catherine Cleeve
The Aperture Moment
written by Brian W. Aldiss
category:literature
decade: 1970s

“… it’s easy to bond over hating something together. The internet is total proof of that.”
–Codex (Cyd Sherman), played by Felicia Day
The Guild
screenplay by Felicia Day
category:TV
decade: 2000s

Okay, here’s the last thing. I’ll gift a Kindle version of this to the 9th person who comments on this post saying they want me to do one. Note: you have to be in a country that can get a Kindle store gift from Amazon.com in the USA.

Update: I’ve changed my mind…I’ll gift the Kindle book to the first ten comments who request one, not just to the ninth person. 🙂

Hope you enjoyed this small selection from the book!

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

*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.

Update on my free Flipboard magazines: over 100,000 page flips!

April 3, 2015

Update on my free Flipboard magazines: over 100,000 page flips!

Holy Moley*!  100,000 of anything is a lot to me, and I’m really shocked to have just one of my Flipboard magazines (the one connected to this blog, ILMK) with over 100,000 page flips! It looked like I was on my way there for a while, but it’s still a little mind blowing. 😉

It’s rare that I think of something as really a new type of content.

Twitter was that, certainly. Those 140 (or fewer) character tweets created a different medium, and that shapes what’s in it.

I also feel like Flipboard magazines are a new way to express yourself…and I’m surprised at the success mine are having!

The main idea is that you can use the

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

app, which I read every morning anyway on my

Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile*)

to “flip” articles into a magazine of yours, which you make available to other people for free.

They’ve recently really improved the experience of reading it in a web browser:

https://flipboard.com/

You can also get an extension for Chrome which allows you to flip article with websites (most of my flips come from things I read in the Flipboard app…except in the case of one my magazines, which I’ll explain below).

It’s really about your curation…your taste and editing skills.

You put in what you think is interesting, or what you think other people will think is interesting.

You generally don’t write anything additional about it, unless you are using the browser extension. In that case, you can add a short caption about it (which you can not edit later, by the way).

I thought I’d give you a rundown on my magazines and how they are doing (at time of writing…it changes rapidly).

I’m going to do this in order from the biggest number of readers to the smallest number.

ILMK (I Love My Kindle)

“The long-running blog about the world of e-books and publishing, which is one of the most popular blogs of any kind in the Kindle store, brings you related news stories”

ILMK magazine at Flipboard

  • 4,464 viewers (this has doubled since the last time I did an update on these)
  • 100,149 page flips
  • 10,918  articles (I’d have so say my curation is better here, or at least, more focused)
  • 217 followers (since this was a new measurement last time, I looked up what it meant at Flipboard: they explain the new stats here. I had misunderstood page flips before…I thought it was when people flipped an article I picked into their own magazine, but it turns out it is “the number of items viewed in the magazine. Readers visit the mag: page flips are the number of items viewed…I think that means they click on it in the magazine to go to the original article). The number of articles are the ones I put into it, and followers are the actual subscribers)
  • Engagement: 917% (flips/articles: this has gone up since last time)

This one is based on my blog, ILMK (I Love My Kindle). They aren’t the same, though. I write original material in the blog itself. I told myself that I’d average 1,000 words a day, and I do. I write a lot of different things, often providing analysis and opinion.

For the Flipboard magazine, none of that happens…you just get articles from other people (unless I flip one of my own in there).

It does allow me to do some different things.

For example, I can more easily flip ten different articles on a new piece of Amazon hardware into the magazine than I can link to them in the blog. Linking in the blog takes some work: it’s simple to flip (just a couple of clicks or taps).

There are also times when something is too short to warrant a full post in the blog. Those types of things go into my Round-ups, but I don’t do those every day.

Another thing? I do a lot more images in the magazine: it’s just more compatible with it. My blog is read on non-Fire Kindles, and images are tougher there.

Here are some recent articles as examples:

  1. Shakespeare: Can you match the quote to the play? Try our quiz! (CS Monitor)
  2. Amazon/Harper Talks Take a Turn (Publishers Weekly)
  3. Indies Choice nominees (Publishers Marketplace)
  4. 11 Sports Books Better than Ken Burns’ Baseball (Feed Your Need to Read)
  5. Avenge and Revenge (Kindle Direct Publishing)
  6. What’s Your Reading Habit? (Twitter)
  7. Jesse Kornbluth says his book’s threesome tale is just that (Page Six)
  8. The Girl on the Train racks up express sales of 2m in three months (The Guardian)
  9. Amanda Hocking (Hocking Books)
  10. George R.R. Martin releases Sansa-fueled excerpt from The Winds of Winter (EW)

The Measured Circle

“A geeky mix of pop culture, tech, and the weird world”

The Measured Circle magazine at Flipboard

  • 2,662 readers (which they now call “viewers”…that actually makes more sense, since you can put links to videos in these)
  • 12,191 page flips
  • 26,848 articles
  • 40 followers
  • Engagement (flips/articles): 45.4% (Hm…this has gone down 5% since last time…have to think about what that means for which articles I flip)

This one is inspired by my blog, The Measured Circle. The blog has never been very popular, and unlike this one, I don’t write in it (on average) every day (I sometimes go a week).

It is eclectic, but you’ll see a lot of things on geek topics, tech, and “weird world” (“Bufo’s Weird World” was my first e-zine, back before we called them blogs).

I’d say its primary purpose is…fun!

To give you a sense of it, here are ten recent articles and their sources. Earlier, I did the most recent ten in order, but that’s not really representative, since I may read a number from the same source at the same time

  1. Orson Welles documentary celebrates centennial of the filmmaker’s birth (The Washington Post)
  2. Voices heard (and writhing figures seen) on Planet Mercury (ufocon)
  3. Why Jane Goodall Believe in Bigfoot (Blank on Blank via the Anomalist)
  4. Play DuckTales: Remastered on iOS, Android, Windows phones today (Entertainment Weekly)
  5. Smashing! Large Hadron Collider Gets Set for Weekend Restart (NBC News)
  6. Marvel’s Daredevil, on Netflix, Plods Promisingly Toward Comic-Book Glory (The Village Voice)
  7. April Fool’s Roundup Open Thread (Topless Robot)
  8. Air Shepherd Drones Stop Elephant & Rhino Poaching (IndieGoGo)
  9. More Mad Max on the Way: Tom Hrdy is Signed on for THREE More (The Mary Sue)
  10. Ankle exoskeleton harnesses bodypower to aid mobility (Wired UK)

Doc Savage Fanflip

“Doc Savage, the forerunner of Superman and Batman, has been one of my fictional heroes for a very long time. Thanks in part to Doc, I try to better myself to help others, and to do so with “…no regard for anything but justice.” A “fanflip” is my new term for a Flipboard magazine by a fan, dedicated to one topic. I will bring you not only Doc Savage news, but Doc stories and resources from around the web. Think of it as a scrapbook with news.”

http://flip.it/HJShc

  • 266 viewers
  • 1,838 page flips
  • 95 articles
  • 72 followers
  • Engagement: 1135%

I look for interesting things on the web about Doc. If Shane Black ever gets out the Doc Savage movie, this may get more popular, but I’m happy to ferret out the oddball bits and pieces. This is the hardest one to which to add things…content just doesn’t change as often on the web.

  1. Matt Hiebert (Columbia Tribune)
  2. Doc Savage: The Lost Radio Scripts of Lester Dent (ceideretisommorephicent)
  3. Writer’s Commentary: David Avalloone On Altered States Doc Savage Part I (Bleeding Cool)
  4. DOC SAVAGE: L’HOMME DE BRONZE (Imaginaire.CA)
  5. What Doc Savage Can Teach Us About World War I (The Spectator)

The Weird Old Days

“Has the world always been weird? These news stories from the 19th and early 20th centuries bring you tales of lake monsters, the Hollow Earth, ghosts, and more! Edited by Bufo Calvin, of The Measured Circle blog. Note: these articles reflect the culture of their times. As such, they may use terms and concepts which some modern readers will find offensive”

 http://flip.it/ZtmYw

  • 185 viewers
  • 866 page flips
  • 306 articles
  • 82 followers
  • Engagement: 283%

My original idea on this was that I was writing a book made up in large part of public domain newspaper articles. I was writing pieces to provide context, both because I wanted to do that, and because it would enable me to sell it in the Kindle store (they require original material…nothing purely public domain…that was a policy which evolved over time).

It’s a labor of love, for sure!

I find it fascinating. I’m very interested in how people think about things, and how that has changed over time.

At this point, I’ve been using the Library of Congress’ fabulous “Chronicling America” resource. The negative to that one is that the pages don’t display very well on smaller screens. However, you can click to display the page as a PDF, and that can work quite well.

You also do have to read through the newspaper page to find the article…I also think that’s fun. 😉

I do feel like I’ve made some real discoveries: I posted one that is about an apparently hoaxed photograph of a UFO (airship)…in 1897! I’ve found that my pace has slowed considerably, though…it’s tougher to find ones than it was, since I’ve already looked at some of the more obvious search terms.

  1. A STRANGE MONSTER: Mountain People Alarmed and Fortifying (Knoxville Weekly Chronicle, February 19 1873) [This one was interesting…”a huge black bear with mane and head like a lion, but had horns like an elk upon it…”]
  2. THE WEREWOLF: A Human Monster In Which the Ancients Firmly Believed (Daily Press, Newport News, Virginia, October 7 1905)
  3. A PESSIMISTIC PHILOSOPHER: Interesting Talks on the Stories of the Werewolf (Evening Star, Washington D.C., December 27 1893)
  4. Skeleton of Indian Giant (The Broad Ax, Salt Lake City Utah, December 23 1916
  5. OUIJA BOARD AGAIN BRINGS MARVELOUS MYSTERIOUS MESSAGES (The Ogden Standard, December 11 1915)

Again, this one can go in “flaps” of one topic, because my search sometimes leads me to related articles. I think this gives you some idea, though.

 

These are not hard to do, and they aren’t taking significant time or creative energy away from my other creative work. I don’t get any money directly from them, although they might lead to more discovery of other things where I do.

I do want to say that ILMK has made a big move in catching up to and then surpassing The Measured Circle in readers. I’m still impressed with just how quickly these are growing.

Enjoy!

Do you have a Flipboard magazine about which you want to tell me and my readers? Feel free to comment on this post.

* The exclamation “Holy Moley” (spelled that way) was popularized by Captain Marvel (the SHAZAM hero…there have been others). It’s actually quite the erudite expression, contrary to what you might think. You see, Billy Batson is transformed into Captain Marvel by saying SHAZAM (it’s an initialism, so it should all be in capitals…it denotes the Big Red Cheese’s powers: wisdom of Solomon, strength of Hercules, stamina of Atlas, power of Zeus, invulnerability of Achilles ((well, I think they originally said “courage”, but you can be pretty courageous when you can’t be hurt)), speed of Mercury). Moly (without the “e”, but it’s a transliteration any way) is the (holy) herb that Odysseus uses to protect against Circe’s magic…which includes transformation. So, “Holy Moley” is a very appropriate response to being transformed…comics and the classics may have more in common than you think. 😉

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

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 #286: new Dr. Seuss, kindlereunion

February 20, 2015

Round up #286: new Dr. Seuss, kindlereunion

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

Mayday saves the day!

I have said many times that I consider Amazon’s nearly instant onscreen tech help for some Fire devices to be one of the greatest Customer Service innovations in years.

It was proven for me again yesterday.

Two “third party” apps on my

Kindle Fire HDX (at AmazonSmile*)

wanted updates, and I did it.

You can install apps from places outside Amazon…contrary to what you might hear, Amazon is quite open to you using “competitors'” products. It’s a simple settings change, to allow installation of apps from “unknown sources”.

Naturally, you assume the risk for doing that…the apps will not have been vetted by Amazon to make sure they work and won’t damage your tablet.

I only do it with very few apps, where I trust the studios.

In this case, it was Zinio, which I use to read Fortean Times (which Amazon does not carry), and Maxthon, which is my browser of choice.

Well, after the updates, neither of them would launch!

They appeared to be on the device, but when I would try to open them, they just wouldn’t.

I tried a few troubleshooting things on my own:

  • I tried restarting the device
  • I tried opening them both from the Carousel and from the Apps tab
  • I tried clearing the cache and force stopping them
  • I tried uninstalling and reinstalling Maxthon
  • I finally cleared the data on Maxthon…that’s not too bad with that program, since my “favorites” are all stored on their server. The only thing I lost was my “Quick Access” choices…that’s not hard to fix
  • I downloaded Maxthon fresh from their website

Since none of that worked, I called Mayday.

At first, it was clearly baffling.

Some things would indicate it was on the device, some wouldn’t. For example, there was an icon on the Carousel (with an exclamation point on it…a trouble indicator). It showed on the Cloud tab, not on the device tab. Now, an item can be on the Carousel and not be downloaded, but things were just weird.

Finally, the Mayday rep suggesting syncing with Amazon. I hadn’t thought of that…since Zinio isn’t stored in Amazon’s Cloud. I did get Maxthon from there at some point, when it was available.

That did it!

Don’t ask me why, but after a simple sync, they were both fine.

I’m going to go with what’s called the Engineer’s Law or the Law of Pragmatism: “If it works, it’s true.” 😉

I think Mayday is great for people who are not techies, but even for someone who is quite knowledgeable like me, it can be terrific.

KindleReunion.com

Sometimes, I get comments on very old posts…so most people will never see them.

In most cases, they are fake comments…what I call Eddiecoms.

I got one recently on one of my most popular posts

What to do if your Kindle is lost or stolen

It recommended the use of a site called KindleReunion.com.

I thought it was worth sharing my response with a wider audience:

“I appreciate the suggestion, and I checked out the site.

That seems unsafe to me.

One of the main reasons someone steals something like a Kindle is to get personal information and in other ways take advantage of the person who lost it.

kindlereunion arranges a connection between a Kindle loser and an apparent finder…and it seems to me they share your e-mail address.

You put in your serial number and an e-mail address as a loser. Another person, who is a finder, puts in a serial number and their e-mail address. The site says

“Once the system finds a match, both parties will receive an e-mail so they can arrange the exchange of the Kindle.”

So, here’s the scenario:

You are at the airport, and someone steals your Kindle while you are going through Security.

Naturally, you have it password protected and you deregister it and have it blacklisted (as indicated in the post on which you commented).

They enter the serial number as a finder.

kindlereunion (and my intuition is that their heart is in the right place) e-mails you both (after you enter as a finder), and connects you two.

The thief then has a number of ways to go.

“I’m on the other side of the country. Why don’t I just mail it to you? What’s your address?”

“Let’s meet and I can give it to you.”

“I’d send it to you, but I don’t have the cash to mail it. See, I put in an airport locker, but I lost the key. They want $40 to replace the key before they’ll give it to me.”

You can probably imagine a lot of other scenarios…

That’s why a recovery service like ReturnMe maybe worth it…it protects your personal information. TrackItBack, unfortunately, is out of business at this point (it’s been about five years since I wrote that post).”

A new Dr. Seuss

Following on the heels of the announcement of a never before published Harper Lee novel (written before To Kill A Mockingbird…I would consider it an early draft which was massively revised, based on what I’ve heard):

Go Set a Watchman (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

comes the news that we are going to get a new Dr. Seuss picturebook!

It’s coming in August, and while a Kindle edition is not yet available for pre-order, my guess is that one will show up soon. I’ll link to the page for one you can pre-order, and eventually, a Kindle edition is likely to be linked on that page:

What Pet Should I Get? (at AmazonSmile*)

I’m not hearing a lot of controversy about this one, like there has been about Go Set a Watchman (some people worry that Harper Lee doesn’t fully understand or approve of what is happening…my guess at this point is that is unlikely), but the provenance on this one is very different as laid out in this

USA Today story by Maria Puente

ILMK Flipboard Magazine passes The Measured Circle

Just since my most recent

Update on my free Flipboard magazines: 1000s of ILMK readers!

the free ILMK Flipboard magazine has caught up to and passed the The Measured Circle Flipboard magazine!

ILMK has 2800 viewers and The Measured Circle has 2621.

I would guess that by the next time I give an update, there will also have been 100,000 “flips” in ILMK.

I don’t know that the recent update to the Flipboard PC browser version mattered to that…but I suspect it will help with getting readers.

Recently, one of my relatives wanted to start getting ILMK on a tablet, but didn’t want to get other news stories (as you do with Flipboard). I installed the free

gReader app (at AmazonSmile*)

I also tested it out myself…seems to work fine for the simple purpose of reading blogs.

Adding subscriptions was a snap, and you download for offline reading, share, and use a white on black viewing mode, if you want.

Now, I’m always very grateful to people who subscribe to this blog through the Kindle store. That ninety-nine cents a month (well, my cut is about thirty cents) is honestly one of the things which makes the blog possible…thanks, subscribers!

However, Amazon still doesn’t make the blogs available to tablet users. I’m sure some of my readers are still paying the ninety-nine cents a month just to support me, and reading the blog on a Fire.

If they do that, I want to give them a good experience.

I do love Flipboard, but if all you want to do is read blogs, well, gReader seems like a good way to go.

What do you think? Are you excited for a new Dr. Seuss? Have you had a great Mayday story? Did you lose a Kindle…and then have the finder return it? 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!

* 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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