Round up #141: Goodreads Deals on Neil Gaiman and Stephen King, Jeff says…
The ILMK Round ups are short pieces which may or may not be expanded later.
Quick round-up on Alexa
Most of my Alexa/Echo coverage has moved to my
(although I do alert people here when I post something there), but there are enough developments that I’m just going to mention a couple of things here.
First, for those of you with the
there is an update coming which will finally give us some Alexa playback control. It will open apps (like Hulu) or play Amazon Video content (including Amazon add-ons, like Showtime). That doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to ask your Echo (or Tap or Dot…we use all three) to do it…but you can ask your Fire TV. You could do that with a voice remote, or through the free Fire TV app on your Smartphone.
Another thing is that Google yesterday announced “Google Home”, which is a direct Echo competitor.
It’s supposed to come out later this year, but no pricing yet.
As a daily Echo/Alexa user, I think this is a good thing. Competition drives innovation, right?
It will apparently have pluses and minuses compared to the Echo. It will likely handle multiple speakers better, and it is supposed to communicate with your Chromecast (Echo does not communicate with your Fire TV, as I noted above…although I can control mine by having our Echo communicate through IFTTT (If This Then That) to our Harmony remote). The multiple speaker thing can be funny…I have our Echo set to use Celsius (which I use) and our Echo Dot (in a different room) set to Fahrenheit (which my Significant Other prefers). It can be amusing when they both hear me when I ask what the weather is, so we get competing units of measure.😉 On the other hand, Google is choosing not to open development easily to third-parties (which Amazon has done)…so you probably won’t be able to call an Uber, order Domino’s, do your Capital One banking (all of which you can do with the Echo), or control as many different brands of home automation. That may drive Amazon to encourage even more third-party apps…and I’m happy with that!
Jeff Bezos speaks
Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, (Chief Executive Officer), has had some things to say in public lately.
“We’re definitely going to open additional stores, how many we don’t know yet….”
According to this
and other sources, Amazon plans to open more brick-and-mortar locations.
I’m reluctant to call them “stores”, although Bezos does.
I’m a former retail manager…a bookstore, a game store, and a “nature” store.
As a simple definition, most people would say that a store is “a place that sells you stuff”.
Amazon does have a bookstore in Seattle which sells you books…I consider that one a store. However, their college locations are more like showrooms (with Wi-Fi).
I don’t think it’s going to be that common that people walk into an Amazon store (especially without already knowing what they want), pay for something, and walk out with it.
This is exciting, though! When they open a San Francisco “pop up store” (not a permanent location), I’d be interested in seeing it…we live not too far away.
Also, Jeff Bezos said:
“…a company like Amazon deserves to be scrutinized and criticized. I have no worries about that.”
There is also a seven minute video there.
You might be wondering what might have Jeff Bezos worried, because that’s sort of implicit in the statement.
I flip the stories into the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard, and you can read the article to which I’ve linked, but I think I won’t name which Presidential candidate here right now. Quite simply, one of the two frontrunners has explicitly expressed concerns about Amazon (and about Jeff Bezos’ ownership of the Washington Post). Interestingly, Bezos has made the decision to respond publicly.
Current Goodreads Deals
Yesterday, I wrote a piece
These seem to me like great deals! I’ve included all the options I could, so I should be seeing everything available to the general public (but individuals may see additional deals, based on what is on their shelves at Goodreads and which authors they follow.
I may be conditioned by the Kindle Daily Deal (at AmazonSmile…benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*), but I was thinking these deals would only last a day…they are lasting longer than that. On reflection, that makes sense…a publisher might have a sale for a week, and it could show up here.
These are the books (in order of most customer ratings first) they’ve told me about at time of writing. The prices could change any time, and they may not apply in your country, so check the price before click or tap that Buy button. If you can buy the at these prices, remember that you can also give them as gifts! You could buy it today, and specify delivery on the appropriate gift giving occasion. Some of these are quite well-known, and would likely be well-received. If someone getting an e-book gift already has it as a Kindle book, they can get store credit.
- Angels and Demons by Dan Brown | 3.83 stars out of 5 with 1,752,960 customer ratings at the time they sent me the e-mail | $1.99
- The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold | 3.75 stars | 1,484,094 customer ratings | $2.99
- Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell | 4.14 stars with 430,134 customer ratings | $1.99
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman | 4.1 stars with 409,503 customer ratings | $2.99
- Misery by Stephen King | 4.07 stars with 300,372 customer ratings | $1.99
- Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver | 3.92 stars | 188,519 ratings | $2.99
- Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout | 4.25 stars | 149,651 ratings | $0.99
- Life After Life by Kate Atkinson | 3.73 stars | 136,311 ratings | $2.99
- The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver | 4.17 stars with a 109,586 customer ratings | $1.99
- The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter | 3.84 stars with 42,435 ratings | $0.99
- The Pact by Karina Halle | 3.94 stars | 15,583 ratings| $0.99
- Beacon 23 by Hugh Howey | 3.9 stars | 4,743 ratings| $0.99
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*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.