Archive for the ‘Echo Show/Spot’ Category

Round up #176: buy a delivery business from Amazon, Prime Day 2018

July 4, 2018

Round up #176: buy a delivery business from Amazon, Prime Day 2018

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

Hold on to your money: Prime Day starts July 16

Amazon has made the official announcement that this year’s
Prime Day (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

will start at noon Pacific Time (3:00 PM Eastern) on July 16th and run through midnight Pacific July 17th…36 hours. That’s why they keep saying it is “Prime Day (and a half)”. 36 hours is 1.5 days.

However, as pointed out in this

press release

sales have actually started today!

For example, the

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

is $100 off (making it $129.99 instead of $229.99) through Prime Day…with an important caveat.

You need to be an

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

member (but you can get a free trial membership).

We’ve gotten great deals in the past (especially on Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)), but this year does really look it will be significantly bigger and better. A few highlights:

  • This year’s sweepstakes (at AmazonSmile*) (which started July 3rd) is amazing, with prizes including $50,000, an Alexa-equipped Lexus, and a SmartHome makeover. There are lots of ways to enter, detailed here (at AmazonSmile*). One way is to visit the Prime Day page when logged into your account and stay there for a minute…I’m not sure how many people realize that they are timing you like that…
  • Giant (really giant) Smile boxes are visiting a few cities, and you can watch online (at AmazonSmile*). My guess? At least one of these will open up to reveal a concert by a top music act which is featured on Prime Music.
  • Free PC games from Twitch…every day through Prime Day
  • Try Kindle Unlimited for three months for $0.99
  • Buy your first Kindle book (there are people who haven’t bought Kindle books? 😉 ) and get a $10 credit for e-books, p-books (paperbooks) and Audible audiobooks on Prime Day

I have an Amazon gift card to spend…but I’m going to wait until Prime Day. 🙂

Did a judge just really expand Fair Use?

I’m not an intellectual property lawyer, but I do follow copyright pretty closely. My natural tendency is to reserve rights for the creator, rather than giving the work to society.

About eight years ago, I explored the idea of making copyright permanent in exchange for much broader Fair Use rights:

Should copyright be permanent?

However, I’m cautious about expanding Fair Use without something in exchange.

Judge Claude Hilton of the Eastern District of Virginia in a recent

ruling

decided that a site which used part of a photograph that it had found on the internet did not infringe upon the photographer’s rights.

Fair Use has a number of factors which makes a ruling a bit complicated in terms of setting precedent, but this one does concern me. I need to look at it more closely…

Wanna buy a business?

There are a lot of ways to make money with Amazon…you can get royalties as an author, you can be a third party seller, you do tasks through Amazon Mechanical Turk, you can be an Amazon Flex driver…and now, if you invest $10,000, Amazon will help set you up with a delivery business!

Amazon says you could make up to $300,000…but of course, you could also lose money.

Even with help, running a business isn’t easy. The old saying goes that when you own a business, the business owns you. Even just as a manager (not owner) of a bookstore, I worked…a lot.

I absolutely think this is a good opportunity for the right people! However, unless Amazon does screen very carefully (and they certainly might), a much bigger number of people will fail than succeed…just like in most businesses.

Little House in the Phantom Zone

There have been a lot of stories and opinions published

news search

about the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), which is part of the American Library Association, renaming the Laura Ingall Wilder Award to the Children’s Literature Legacy Award.

They explain the decision in this

statement

For me, the key statement is this:


“Wilder’s books are a product of her life experiences and perspective as a settler in America’s 1800s. Her works reflect dated cultural attitudes toward Indigenous people and people of color that contradict modern acceptance, celebration, and understanding of diverse communities.”


This ties directly into an issue I examined in another article from 2010:

The Chronological Cultural Context Conundrum

I think they probably are doing a safe thing, renaming the award so that it doesn’t tie into a specific person. I would challenge you to name any fiction author who was widely popular at least fifty years ago who didn’t write anything that could be seen as offensive today…

Some Fire Tablets can work like Echo Show devices

The

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

is one of my favorite non-reading Amazon devices…it’s an Echo, but with a screen. Yes, it can show me some commercial videos (movie trailers and such), but I really like how it shows information…and how I can make “videocalls”.

I also like the Echo Spot: I keep one at work.

My Echo Spot is here: it’s cute!

Now, some of the newer Fire Tablets are going to have “Show Mode”, which lets them work like an Echo Show. That includes the videocalls.

Those functions certainly would drain the battery, so Amazon has also introduced the

Show Mode Charging Dock (at AmazonSmile*)

You don’t need that, but it’s going to make things better.

A few really short notes:

I’ve had the Fire TV Cube for about a week:

Fire TV Cube: 1st impressions and menu map

I really like it! It’s not perfect, but it is a whole new class of device. You might think you have enough Echo/Alexa devices, but you might consider swapping out one of your old devices for this one. Look for a bargain (although it may be a bundle) on Prime Day.

My Significant Other and I have both really liked

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Robert Dugoni (at AmazonSmile*)

It’s not common that we both like the same book this much.

I’d say the last time that happened was with

Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim (at AmazonSmile*)

Both books are available through Kindle Unlimited…

Not lost in translation…

I haven’t always been pleased with the translations from Amazon’s AmazonCrossing imprint. They’ve often seemed…stilted.

That’s not the case with

A River in Darkness by Masaji Ishikawa, translated by Risa Koboyashi and Martin Brown (at AmazonSmile*)

I have read many translated books in my time, and assuming that this accurately reflects what the author intended (and my intuition is that it does), it reads as very natural English. Not just in the words, but in the use of idiom…”as the crow flies”, for example. I doubt that the Japanese equivalent term has anything to do with crows. 😉

That one is also available through Kindle Unlimited at time of writing.

Have an opinion on any of these stories? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post. My “day job” activities have started to slow down a bit after being super busy…that will help my responsiveness. Oh, and some of you know about our dogs: Elf got bitten by another dog at the dog park recently. Elf will be okay, but it may be a couple of weeks of recovery (and it’s a difficult time for us…by the way, Elf was literally just sitting there and it was unprovoked). That means no trips to the dog park…which gives me back literally a few hours on both Saturday and Sunday. Definitely not worth it, but it is a reality…


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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My Echo Spot is here: it’s cute!

December 24, 2017

My Echo Spot is here: it’s cute!

Well, it looked like it wouldn’t be here by the 25th but my

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

arrived at the Amazon Locker today!

Regular readers may notice I said “my” rather than “our”; my Significant Other is not really a fan of Alexa, and this one will end up going to my office. 🙂

First impressions:

It is far more elegant looking than the original

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

While the Echo Show is my favorite Echo device currently, it is kind of clunky…reminiscent in that way of the first generation Kindle, even having somewhat of a wedge shape.

I traveled with the Show to a family wedding so one of my relatives with a mobility issue could “attend”, but it wasn’t that easy.

How the Echo Show kept our family together at a wedding

The new one is about the size of a Magic 8 Ball, I think, and my black one (they also come in white) sort of looks like one…although I believe it is lighter than that liquid-filled toy/oracle. 😉

Yes, the screen is much smaller than the Show, and the sound is not as good to my ear (but it does do Bluetooth and line out).

Picture showing relative sizes of the Echo Spot and the Echo Show

The biggest thing I had to change on it was to make it brighter. The screen is a touchscreen, and you can swipe down from the top to get to settings. There are quite a few settings:

  • Bluetooth
  • Wi-Fi
  • Home & Clock (I changed it to a digital style clock from the analog default style…you know, one with hands)
  • Display
  • Sounds
  • Do Not Disturb
  • Device Options (this is where I changed it to my preferred Celsius for temperature)
  • Restrict Access (you can block Prime Photos and/or Movie Trailers)
  • Things to Try
  • Help
  • Accessibility
  • Legal & Compliance

There are also more settings in the Alexa App (on your phone).

You can do everything you can do with Alexa devices generally.

Watching a video on it is…like watching a video on a phone. It’s doable, just depends on your taste for that.

Where I expect it to perhaps shine at work is bringing it to meetings so a remote person can attend on it. It will fit in my laptop case (although it’s fair to say that I do use a relatively large one).

Set up was easy, but updating took more than ten minutes.

One thing is that it didn’t know my wi-fi password: that seems pretty random to me as to when a new device knows the one I’ve stored with Amazon and when it doesn’t.

There are three physical buttons on the top: volume down, deafen (turn off the microphone), and volume up.

At $129, there may not be massive adoption. However, if it got down to $50, I think we’d see homes with several of these as a video intercom system, and more commercial uses as well. There might be one in each hospital room, for example…allowing guests to visit remotely.

I’ll let you know more after I’ve had it for awhile…family stuff the next few days, so it may be after I have it at work next week (although feel free to ask questions in-between). I’d learn more at more before that, but our now adult kid is visiting…and doesn’t like Alexa listening, so we deafen them all. Makes things a lot harder for me…but I won’t say that my SO isn’t happier that way. 😉

Bottom line: my feeling is that it will become a daily part of my life at work, but that at this price, it won’t be a big hit right away. It’s certainly possible that it will take some market share away from the Show.

One other interesting thing that happened recently: I went to send something to the Amazon Locker we usually use…and got a message that the locker was full! That’s never happened before.


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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