Thursday, July 29, 2010

How To Get a New Kindle3 for $109 | The eBook Reader Blog

How To Get a New Kindle for $109 | The eBook Reader Blog

If you get an Amazon VISA card at the same time you get $30 off your first purchase.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Augen Gentouch Tablet at K-Mart - Get your rain check!

Augen Gentouch reports:
The Augen Gentouch is mystery tablet that was recently appeared in a Kmart circular in the week of 7/25/10.Kmart LinkThe Gentouch specifications were kept secret until today(7/26/10) When the Augen official website became online. Gentouch Site. The device features a very thin tablet screen(thinner than Pandigital Noval) and 720P video playback. The device is not currently out but will soon appear in Kmart stores anytime between 7/26/10 to 8/5/10.

  • Edit(7/27/10) Augen has announced that these devices are starting to ship today. RainChecks are available at Kmart to reserve a unit unit they arrive.
  • Edit(7/27/10) Looks like people are starting to receive their tablets today.
  • Edit(7/28/10) No one in the Eastern US have gotten theirs yet due to delayed shipment.

Amazon to Unveil $139 Kindle Wi-Fi - eBookNewser

Amazon to Unveil $139 Kindle Wi-Fi - eBookNewser

Mike Cane extended the battlefield metaphors, calling the $139 eReader "Amazon's Scorched-Earth Win." Don Linn offered a similarly fiery prediction: "$139 will soon become $99 and Amazon has in all likelihood just burned this mutha down."

eBook Drinking Game - eBookNewser

eBook Drinking Game - eBookNewser

Fun post about the tired tropes that are falling out of the e-reader blogosphere.
Use the phrase: "smell of a real book," and watch out. This requires players to: "clean out the liquor cabinet, drink until you pass out, wake up next morning, puke, then continue drinking."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

iPad reading not ‘just like reading a book’—iPad users file lawsuit and should be shot

iPad reading not ‘just like reading a book’—iPad users file lawsuit | TeleRead: Bring the E-Books Home


Obviously fighting for truth in advertising is a waste of time. We need tort reform to make sure that corporate rights _always_ takes precedence to the rights of the individual.

If No electronic device is going to be “just like reading a book”, then why would _any_ device manufacturer make this claim? When were corporations given license to be liars?

GameStop Acquires Social Gaming Site Kongregate

GameStop Acquires Social Gaming Site Kongregate

Kongregate is probably the main reason I have a huge backlog of book reviews. I flip in to Cursed Treasure: Don't Touch My Gems and Azgard Defence whenever the procrastination bug bites.

Pat's Fantasy Hotlist: The Malazan Book of the Fallen is done!

Pat's Fantasy Hotlist: The Malazan Book of the Fallen is done!

Great new for me. I think that The Malazan Book of the Fallen is the best fantasy series of the decade. If you are looking for some summer reading you can't go wrong with this ten book series.

Now legal in the U.S.: 6 big changes to DMCA - still to be illegal in Canada?

Now legal in the U.S.: Jailbreaking your iPhone, ripping a DVD for educational purposes

The six “classes” now exempt from prosecution under the DMCA are:

1. Defeating a lawfully obtained DVD’s encryption
2. Jailbreaking for apps
3. Jailbreaking for services
4. Circumventing video game encryption (DRM)
5. Cracking computer programs protected by dongles
6. Having an ebook be read aloud"

Given that the Conservative government in Canada is eager to play monkey-see monkey-do with American policy, I wonder how this will affect the the current state of their new digital rights bill, Bill C-32. The conservatives have been holding firm to their belief that corporations should have the right to sue the pants off private citizens for exactly these reasons.

Michael Geist - The U.S. DMCA vs. Bill C-32: Comparing the Digital Lock Exceptions

eReaders Aren't The Big Deal They're Cracked Up To Be because I can't crack its spine

eReaders Aren't The Big Deal They're Cracked Up To Be:

"I flick through the pages with my thumb. I can smell the paper. I turn to page one. I crack the spine.

Try doing that with an eReader!"

I can remember so many time that I've lost my place in a novel and had to "flick through pages" incessantly to finally get back to where I left off. It is an annoying waste of time.

I dislike the smell of paper. From the moldy-oldy I pick up from a second hand book store (its mold!) to the fresh ink of a new book or newspaper. The smell is often strong enough to give me a headache.

Cracking the spine? That is just book sadism.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Augen Gentouch78 – 7″ Android tablet now at Kmart for $149US

Augen Gentouch78 – 7″ Android tablet now at Kmart | The Digital Reader

As Nate noted, this is the first tablet actually on the shelf at a big box store. I think this is the beginning of the glut of tablets soon to be available in North America.

These inexpensive Android tablets will be a strong competitor to the Apple iPad and the e-ink readers. Since the Wylie deal it looks like if you want to read a particular author you'll have to have the right software and a generic tablet will make more sense than a format-specific device.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Top Film Criticism Sites - When IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes isn't enough

Film Society of Lincoln Center: IT’S ALIVE!: The Top Film Criticism Sites: An Annotated Blog Roll

Compiled by Paul Brunick
There’s one word that sums up the World Wide Web: huge. Faced with the Internet’s exponentially expansive growth and sprawling heterogeneity, every other generalization comes up short. Though the all-too-familiar “death of film criticism” polemics prefer to frame the current era in terms of (degraded) quality, the truly epochal shift in digital-age criticism is a function of quantity: total media saturation and head-spinning content overload.
For years now, Internet film critics have been relentlessly dumped on by many (but by no means all) in the legacy media. Though they’ve gotten little in the way of social recognition or financial compensation, cinephile bloggers have filled in the gaps of mainstream review coverage, corralled hard-to-find source materials, enriched cinema’s theoretical vocabularies and historical narratives, and shared their personal obsessions in often fascinating, hilarious, and deeply affecting ways. I feel personally privileged and just really fucking happy to shine a light on their work—all of them life-affirming examples of democratic participation and humanizing cultural exchange.—Paul Brunick

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Indian Government Unveils Powerful $10 Tablet - Believe it when we see it

The Indian government held a press conference to show off the prototype(s) of a new tablet that they claim will be available for students in 2011. The base price of $35 and subsidized for as low as $10 for students in India would make this an amazing breakthrough that would put the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) project to shame.

A superficial analysis (given the dearth of details provided) so far indicates that the necessary hardware can be sourced for under $35, and an open source Linux platform with government/university subsidized software development makes it look like a feasible project.

Its more likely, however, that some politicians are trying to score some points with the announcement of a project that will never bear fruit. According to the Wired article "In February 2009, Indian government officials announced a $10 laptop that ultimately proved to be vaporware."

The best case scenario is that the project is real and, ultimately, the technology shows up in Walmart for $19.99 in the near future. A more likely scenario is that the project reinvigorates multiple OLPC-type projects.

Why India’s $35 Tablet May Be Just a Dream | Gadget Lab |
Here’s a tablet from India that costs just $35 | Good E-Reader Blog - Electronic Reader and Slate PC News
Indian Government Unveils Quite Powerful $10 Tablet - Device dubbed Sakshat, developed by IIT students - Softpedia
Indian $35 tablet treated with some skepticism in India itself | TeleRead: Bring the E-Books Home

Friday, July 23, 2010

The internet needs mor editors

Real Editors Ship (

Interesting blog post about how the internet needs more editors and why its unlikely we'll see more of them in the future.
First, editors and journalists are mostly luddites, as already noted, and they don't really hang out in places where you might think to hire them.
Second problem: most editors want to be editing for print or broadcast, not for the web,
Third problem: I've worked on various big content engagements, and I've talked to a number of people with more big-content experience than me. And people agree that big orgs, even if they now have content problems, won't hire editors, or enough editors, to manage their content.

See also:
What It's Really Like To Be A Copy Editor - The Awl
Why Editing Could Make a Comeback - Science and Tech - The Atlantic

Thursday, July 22, 2010

eReader Comparison Tables - 5", 6" and larger eReaders

eReader Comparison Table - all eReaders Compared

Nathan has a great set of comparison tables that he has recently updated. There are three tables: one for 5", one for 6", and one for 7" & larger sizes. I am impressed by the thoroughness above and beyond how freakin' many e-readers are out there!

The metrics he keeps track of are:
  • Wireless
  • Touch Screen
  • Memory
  • Notes/ Highlight
  • Formats
  • Audio/ TTS
  • Battery
  • Dictionary
  • Pros
  • Cons
  • Est. Price
  • Where To Buy Online

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Will eBooks Make Hardcovers Collectible? - eBookNewser

Will eBooks Make Hardcovers Collectible? - eBookNewser

Interesting that a storage-unit web site has come up with this prediction (ie put your books in long term storage: they will be valuable in twenty years).

This makes sense to me. Paperbacks made with low-quality paper will not be mass-produced and established publishing houses will focus on high end hardcovers while new publishing streams will focus on e-books.

30 Million People In U.S. Will Own eReaders By 2015 - eBookNewser

30 Million People In U.S. Will Own eReaders By 2015 - eBookNewser

Prediction is based on the assumption that there will be basic e-readers for $50 available.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sharp proprietary XMDF cellphone format to be the new standard for e-readers?

Sharp looking to push oddball XMDF format on new LCD readers - MobileRead Forums
The big news is that both will use an xml-based format called XMDF ("ever-eXtending Mobile Document Format"), which is supposedly widely used in Japan for text/graphics composites. The launch video (see below) shows both in action. From what I can glean from the video, this format allows allowed embedded video and animation, pop-up windows and text-specific zooming (we'll nimbly gloss over the ugly fake page-turns).

The question is who owns XMDF. The last thing we need is another proprietary media format. It doesn;t do anything that HTML5 and Javascript can do, unless there is some DRM-related stuff associated with it. You have to wonder what to think about a new format where the full spec is not freely available.

Sharp is also working on e-Books tech Akihabara News
Sharp is developing a multimedia eBook format|
Sharp to Release an E-Reader and New Ebook Service | Good E-Reader Blog - Electronic Reader and Slate PC News

Thoughts on the Kindle and libraries | The Digital Reader

Thoughts on the Kindle and libraries | The Digital Reader:
"came across an interesting story yesterday about the West Vancouver Memorial Library and how they now have 6 Kindles on hand that can be checked out to library patrons. I was sitting here and pondering the cost benefit analysis of a Kindle ebooks when I realized there was an opportunity here.

I wonder how long it will be before Amazon announce a new ability for the Kindle: support for Overdrive library system? It wouldn’t take all that much work to accomplish. The Kindle is already running a modified version of Mobipocket Reader, so the technical work would be doable."
There may be legal issues with lending out Kindles with DRM crippled e-books installed on them. While it is unlikely that Amazon would go out of its way to sue a library, the legal mumbo-jumbo attached to the book gives them the legal right. The DRM language prevents the transfer of ownership (even temporarily).

LibraryLaw Blog: May a library lend e-book readers?
West Vancouver library puts Kindle e-book readers on shelves | Vancouver, Canada |
West Vancouver Memorial Library to lend Kindles | TeleRead: Bring the E-Books Home

Monday, July 19, 2010

Amazon Sells more e-books than hardcovers for first time

The press release from Amazon is a little light on the hard data, but indications are that the e-book market is strong and getting stronger.

Besides e-books outpacing hardcovers the other thing that caught my eye was that five authors (Charlaine Harris, Stieg Larsson, Stephenie Meyer, James Patterson, and Nora Roberts) have sold more than 500,000 Kindle books. Something for the up-and-coming authors to aim for.

Amazon: Paper Books Are Dead, Or Something | Gizmodo
Amazon Sells More E-Books Than Hardcovers | Epicenter|
Amazon's E-book Sales Tripled in First Half of 2010 | Publishers Weekly
Kindle Sales Triple; Amazon Selling More Kindle Books Than Hardcovers | The eBook Reader Blog

Augen The Book e-Reader Video Review, First Impressions | The eBook Reader Blog

Augen The Book e-Reader Video Review, First Impressions | The eBook Reader Blog

A good video review of the "Augen The Book" e-Reader. It covers pretty much everything except wi-fi web browsing; the reviewer had messed up the wi-fi password when he was ready to do the review but had it working and confirmed that it worked OK.

I was underwhelmed by the overall speed of device, but for the (K-Mart) price it would certainly be a viable choice as a first time Android device. If I had to choose between the Augen and the Eken M001 I'd probably take this one.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Augen The Book e-Reader - 7" Color LCD for $89

Nathan at The e-book Reader Blog picked one up at K-Mart for only $89US. Its being sold online (for pre-order in some cases) for $129. While it doesn't have a touchscreen it does have a full QWERTY keyboard.

7" Color Screen / 2GB Internal Memory / SD Slot / WiFi capable / Built-in Speaker / MP3 and Video Player / CPU: Ingenic 4755, Arm9 400 MHz / OS: Linux 2.6.24

I hope the K-Mart price drop leads to a quick drop on the gadget websites out there. With the Wi-fi web surfing this could be a great dual e-reader/web surfer.

Augen The Book e-Reader Video Review, First Impressions | The eBook Reader Blog

Kindle-Like LCD eReader: Augen “The Book” Available for Pre-Order | e-Bookvine

Friday, July 16, 2010

Scenes From A Multiverse - Securing The Funding

Scenes From A Multiverse - Securing The Funding

Selling off parts your collection can be a real pain for two reasons: 1) You value your books much more than anyone else; and 2) its always a pain to schlep boxes of books around to sell them.

Hopefully if DRM gets its act straight then buying and selling e-books will avoid all the inconvenience and concentrate on keeping books in circulation.

Clay Shirky - The Barnes & Noble Review

Clay Shirky - The Barnes & Noble Review:

According to media columnist Michael Wolff, the name Clay Shirky is “now uttered in technology circles with the kind of reverence with which left-wingers used to say, ‘Herbert Marcuse’.”Wolff is right. Shirky has emerged as a luminary of the new digital intelligentsia, a daringly eclectic thinker as comfortable discussing 15th-century publishing technology as he is making political sense of 21st-century social media.

In his 2008 book, Here Comes Everybody,, Shirky imagined a world without traditional economic or political organizations. Two years later and Shirky has a new book, Cognitive Surplus, which imagines something even more daring—a world without television. To celebrate the appearance of the revered futurist’s latest volume, we’re delighted to share a February discussion between Shirky, Barnes & Noble Review Editor-in-Chief James Mustich, and BNR contributor Andrew Keen. What follows is an edited transcript of their conversation about the future of the book, of the reader and the writer, and, most intriguingly, the future of intimacy.

Pandas and Lobsters: Why Google Cannot Build Social Applications... - ...ifindkarma...

Pandas and Lobsters: Why Google Cannot Build Social Applications... - ...ifindkarma...

A fun article that gets to the heart of the essential nature of Google, Facebook, Quora, Foursquare, Twitter, etc. with novel analogies.

Well worth the read.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Locus Online News: James Hogan, 1941-2010

Locus Online News James Hogan, 1941-2010:
British author James P. Hogan, 69, died in his home in the Republic of Ireland on July 12, 2010. The cause of death has not yet been determined. Hogan, a hard SF writer, won three Seiun Awards and two Prometheus Awards. Hogan is best known for the Minervan Experiment or Giants series, beginning with debut novel Inherit the Stars (1977) and continuing with The Gentle Giants of Ganymede (1978), Giants’ Star (1981), and Entoverse (1991).

A great writer. If you enjoy SF then the Giants series is required reading.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How to Get Kindle, Nook, Sony e-Subscriptions for Free | The eBook Reader Blog

How to Get Kindle, Nook, Sony e-Subscriptions for Free | The eBook Reader Blog

Before you buy a newspaper or magazine subscription for your Kindle, Nook, Sony, or other ebook reader, you should try using Calibre’s news fetch feature first.

This is a great feature of Calibre. I tested it out with the Globe and Mail and the daily news package it produced was fantastic. You can fine-tune the content and presentation of the subscription to your heart's content. Of course it works with any e-reader, not just the Nook, Kindle and Sony.

A sub-set of the huge list of news-feeds available:

  • Wired Magazine

  • The Economist – Free Edition

  • Spiegel Online (German)

  • The Guardian

  • Engadget

  • Newsweek

  • Time

  • CNN

  • El Pais

  • USA Today

  • CNET News

  • Dilbert

  • Die Zeit Nachrichten

  • The New Yorker

  • heise

  • The BBC

  • The Onion

  • BBC News (fast)

  • Scientific American

  • New York Times Top Stories

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Refurbished (US only) Kindle 2 Costs Just $110

Refurbished Kindle 2 Costs Just $110

Maybe they're clearing inventory for the new DX, but more likely they're trying to win the "price war" with the last best price cut.

Pandigital Novel back again. As low as $114

Pandigital Novel now in stock at BBB w loor model | The Digital Reader

The Pandigital Novel has had some problems in the past month or so with poor reviews, a product recall, and botched firmware updates, but looks like its back to test out the market again. Retailing at Bed Bath and Beyond may be another of a series of mistakes, but the loew price of $114, as reported at slatedroid, may keep the e-reader afloat

Monday, July 12, 2010

Knowledge@Wharton predicts eventual demise of e-Readers

Will Tablets Close the Book on e-Readers? - Knowledge@Wharton

This is a very good in-depth article on the future of the e-ink e-reader and the Kindle in particular. I agree with the conclusions, for the most part, but some of the arguments are based on opinion and not research. The statement that people do not want single-use devices and the implication that there is no difference between reading a passive e-ink screen and reading a glowing LCD screen are two "facts" that are pulled out of thin air.

I remember when the e-ink technology first came out much of the talk was about semi-disposable e-paper. With the great price drops we've ween this summer I think we may be returning to this idea. The marketing principle of giving away the razor to sell razor blades is already a staple of the e-book world. Eventually we will have sub-$50 e-readers that come pre-installed with an ebookstore account and a store credit to get you started.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rudy Rucker's 4 book "Ware" Series Available for free

The Ware TetralogyRudy’s Blog - Ware Tetralogy Online Now
From Mr. Rucker's site:
The Prime Books paperback is available in stores and from online booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powell’s Books, and others.
Soon we’ll be offering commercial ebook versions for purchase as well. But for now, go ahead and check out the free ebook version, maybe buy the paperback, and leave a comment below.

You can get PDF or RTF from his site or get converted versions from a number of ebookstores.

This is first-class sci-fi and well worth reading (I plan to in the near future). The first two books, Software, and Wetware, won the Philip K. Dick Award.

Besides the obvious generosity of the author, theres something to be said to putting the back catalog out there for free to drum up some free advertising and get some new readers hooked on the read of catalogue.

Rudy Rucker’s Ware Tetralogy available for free | TeleRead: Bring the E-Books Home

Friday, July 9, 2010

E-book Rights Wrestling - Mall of Cthulhu by Seamus Cooper

E-book Rights Wrestling - Mall of Cthulhu by Seamus Cooper
The Mall of Cthulhu
Night Shade has stolen the ebook rights to The Mall of Cthulhu. They do not own them and are offering an electronic edition for sale through, which is affiliated with Baen Books, a real publisher who should know better. Nine months ago, Night Shade made a verbal offer to pay me a small sum for the rights. I agreed. They’ve never paid me. They claimed their unauthorized edition was an oversight, and that was somewhat credible at the time. Nine months later, it’s clear that this is not an oversight. It’s a theft of my intellectual property.

I’ve given away the ebook of Mall of Cthulhu in hopes of cutting the legs out from Night Shade and webscription’s piracy of my work. (Guess what, Cory Doctorow? My problem is piracy and obscurity!) If you’d like a free electronic copy, scroll down here, or go to scribd. If you like it, please consider buying the Kindle edition, published by me and sold by Amazon, who pay me regularly for the copies I sell through them. (It’s only 3 bucks! Less than a latte!)

I find it interesting how empowering the new e-book market is for authors. If a print publisher screwed an author over on royalties and printed 100,000 books do you think that the author would go ahead and print and distribute the book on their own and give it away for free to "cut the legs out" from the publisher?

Apparently Night Shade and Cooper have reached an understanding and the royalty check is literally in the mail. The fact that Seamus Cooper (Brendan Halpin) can play hardball with the publisher in the marketplace, as well as getting public support and visibility from bloggers and fellow authors is indicative of the kind of publishing environment we'll see in the future.

Besides, a little controversy on the internets is never a bad thing. I've put the book on my reading list (I figure I'll have a little Cthulhu month-- read China Mieville's Kraken, and maybe re-read some H.P. Lovecraft.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

7 Free Audiobooks from | The eBook Reader Blog

7 Free Audiobooks from | The eBook Reader Blog

I don't usually bite when I see these lists of free audio or e-books available from various sources, but there were 2 in the list I wanted to read (A Study in Emerald by Neil Gaiman and FREE: The Future of a Radical Price by Chris Anderson) and a few I wouln't mind taking a look at.

You have to register at audible before you can start downloading, but its not too onerous a process and they don't harass you with e-mail and whatnot.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

YouTube - Opposing Voices in Digital Publishing

YouTube - Opposing Voices in Digital Publishing

TyndaleHP April 30, 2010
A perspective on all the emotion in the eBook industry by the digital publishing team at Tyndale House Publishers

If you haven't seen this yet then its about time!

The Digital Reader
Fake muppets talk DRM

Christopher Moore - A Love Story 3 - Bite Me

Book Review - Christopher Moore - Love Story 3: Bite Me

First off, you really need to read the first two books of the trilogy to enjoy this book. While enough backstory is given in the story that everything makes sense, the book is too short to do justice to the character depth developed in the first two books. This is especially true for Jody and Tommy, the two main vampire protagonists. They play a relatively minor role to Abby Normal, their punk/goth minion/Renfield, who is the main narrator.

Abby is the new Valley girl. She is shallow, self-centered, petty, appearance-obsessed--and an innocent, confused young girl growing up in strange times. Her teen-slang language is a hilarious mix of innocent teenager and dark goth with computer-nerd slang thrown in. Her awkward romance with her boyfriend Foo Dog is great fun. Her second-hand description of her vampire-related interaction with her little sister was the highlight of the book for me. It shows the skill whioth which Moore can juxtapose the fantastical with the mundane with sublime comedic effect.

Along with Abby we have the Emperor of San Francisco, his dogs Bummer and Lazarus; the Animals; the detectives Cavuto and Rivera, and even Chet the shaved vampire cat.

The new character, Okata, is an elderly Japanese man with mad Ninja vampire-cat killing skills. Okata is easily the most compelling character in the book. This character is a great example of how pathos a comedy are combined to create a compelling story.

The greatest flaw of the book was that it was too short. The ending was satisfying and appropriate for the characters, but it was rushed. The plot carried so many (good) threads that none of the threads, save perhaps the Okata thread, received the attention it deserved. While the book was a bit darker than the previous two books, it was a load of laughs.

Remember: 1) when saying OMFG never pronounce the letters. and 2) Vampire pigeons will never be a serious problem.

Monday, July 5, 2010

eBookwise-1150 eBook READER DEVICE - eBay $88

eBookwise-1150 eBook READER DEVICE - eBay (item 150463209379 end time Jul-09-10 15:06:45 PDT)

With news of all the price cutting news going on in the e-reader market I thought you might be interested to know that my e-reader has finally seen a price cut. The link above is for the e-bay seller I bought my eBookwise 1150 from for $120 US.

He is now selling it for $88.

Its still a pretty good reader (for the new price). It doesn't support epub, or calibre, but the conversion software it comes with is still pretty good and there is even some open source software out there. Check out kascarlett's advertising copy--its a bit over the top in terms of how wonderful the reader is, but everything he says is accurate

I bought the thing almost 3 years ago, us it every day, and its still going strong.

Sunday, July 4, 2010 Electronics Store - Cheap Electronics Gadgets Retailer

China Electronics Store - Cheap Electronics Gadgets Retailer - Discount Consumer Electronics Distributors

Often when I go to the mall for groceries or whatnot I drop into the dollar store to see what I can get for .99. I'm always surprised. Just yesterday I picked up a pair of full-sized needle-nose pliers for .99. They have a good heft to them so time will tell if they turn out to be a wise purchase. For $1, if I use them effectively a half-dozen times then I've got my money's worth.

Shopping online can be just as fun and you can find some good bargains. it a site where you can pursue the same bargain-hunting urge, or just pick up something for the fun of it. Check out the range of stuff from what I picked up today.
CA051R ATA SATA Serial Data Hard Drive HD Cable (Red) $ 1.24
DI459B 62mm 62 mm Macro Close-Up +1 +2 +4 Close Up Filter Kit (Black) $ 18.08
EP024X EP630 In-Ear Noise Reduction EP-630 Earphone $ 4.51
LX019S 4 LED Solar Lamp Flashlight (Silver) $ 9.43

Nielsen’s Kindle reading speeds study was flawed need subject who haven't cracked a book.

Nielsen’s Kindle reading speeds study was flawed | The Digital Reader

I agree completely that this study is flawed:
He answered the question: How much of a speed loss will you see when you pick up an e-reader for the first time?

Ideally the study should compare people who have neither read a paper book or used an e-book. I suspect I would have been more slowed by being worried about tearing thin sheets of paper than being distracted by pushing all the funny buttons.

There are studies to be done in this area. They just need to be better thought out.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Amazon fail, we worry about ebooks in the “cloud” | Bookbee Ebooks

Amazon fail, we worry about ebooks in the “cloud” | Bookbee Ebooks:
"If a giant snafu can delete Amazon web pages and data, who’s to say it couldn’t happen with customers’ books?

There’s a lot to be said for actually handing files over to people. Then the onus is on them to keep them safe, and the bonus is that they feel a sense of ownership."

Bookbee has the right of it. The 'cloud' is supposed to be robust because it is distributed. The fact of the matter is that corporations will never give up central control and when that central control fails the cloud disappears.

The paying public must be much more demanding in terms of their ownership rights when purchasing e-books.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Android 3.0 (Gingerbread): leaked details hint at tablet optimization

Android 3.0: leaked details hint at tablet potential
"According to the newly leaked information about Gingerbread, Google plans to keep Android 2.2 around for the foreseeable future and will maintain it in parallel with 3.0. The purpose of maintaining both is to ensure that 2.2 is still available for lower-end devices that don't match the high minimum specifications for 3.0."

The minimum hardware requirements (like 1GHz CPU) for 3.0 may be too high for the bottom end Shanzai tablets coming to North America this year. Froyo 2.2 will be around for a long time, though. A generic Android tablet running Kindle, Nook, Kobo, et al, software will likely be the up-and-coming competitor to these major e-Reader. All the major players (Apple included) know that the big money is made selling books, not the reader. Prices should continue to drop.

Ereader economics: buying a reading device is economical | TeleRead: Bring the E-Books Home

Ereader economics: buying a reading device is economical | TeleRead: Bring the E-Books Home

Rich Adin does the math based on his own personal reading habits and is happy with the results. He observations on the current e-book market are right on the mark. If you are only reading best-sellers then don't expect any savings. If you are reading public domain and chasing bargain books and self-published or indie authors then e-books are the way to go - Aluratek Libre eBook Reader Pro White PDF EPUB TXT FB2 RTF with MP3 Playback - $79.87 CAD - Buy Aluratek Libre eBook Reader Pro White PDF EPUB TXT FB2 RTF with MP3 Playback - AEBK01WF In Canada.: "Savings Code 49695-1078. SAVE $90.12 off our regular price of $169.99 if you buy today! Special price ends 7/6/2010. Limit 1 per customer."

The 5-inch "e-paper" LCD screen is pretty good. There have been issues with the software not being particularly user-friendly or fast, but at the price its a fantastic entry-level reader.

Comprehensive review:  The Aluratek Libre Pro E-Reader | Good E-Reader Blog - Electronic Reader and Slate PC News

Amazon buys then Sells 4,968 $149-Kindles in 9 Hours ($259 two weeks ago!)

Amazon Sells 4,968 Kindles in 9 Hours on Woot - eBookNewser:
"Amazon has sold out of Kindles on Woot!

This morning we reported that yesterday Amazon acquired Woot, an online vendor that only sells one item per day and along with it the company began offering a $149 Kindle--a dramatic drop from the already dramatically dropped price $189.

In nine hours, Amazon sold 4,968 Kindles. It's not surprising, when you consider that two weeks ago they cost $259 each. Wonder what Barnes & Noble plans to do about this. Check out all the stats below..."

I hope that the purchase of Woot by Amazon means that Woot will start accepting orders from Canada. Even though they do not ship to Canada I have gone back to the site again and again just to read the advertising copy. Its some of the funniest stuff out there. For example, today's Kindle sale was described thusly:

Step Into The Trunk Of My Car
Yeah, yeah, that’s the real price for a real Kindle. It’s not a typo or a knockoff or some Russian credit-card scam – just a Woot exclusive deal. But, y’know, hurry it up, willya?

We’re kind of, shall we say, operating in a grey area here so the quicker we get this deal done, the better for everybody, OK? No muss, no fuss, that’s what we always say. Well, when we’re not saying “What seems to be the trouble, officer?”

So yeah, a bonafide Amazon Kindle at a Woot-exclusive price, the iconic device that wrote the next chapter in the publishing story – listen, you want cheap puns or a cheap Kindle? We ain’t got all day here and we don’t like the look of that guy over there. How long has he been standing there? Is he watching us? OK, time to decide, pal.

Besides, there’s this bar we really need to get to. I don’t know about the drinks but they’ve got the best lost-and-found in town.

... and the sale of Woot to Amazon:

Amazon Buys World's Biggest Bag O' Crap, And It's Called Woot

Batten down your hatches and stock up on bottled water, because we're about to hit you with a category-5 newsicane: Woot has been acquired by Amazon! This partnership with the 800-lb. gorilla of ecommerce is huge news for us, but probably won't change