Archive for the ‘Because of the Kindle’ 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.

 

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.


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