Tuesday, April 19, 2011

40 free tools for authors, by Piotr Kowalczyk | TeleRead: News and views on e-books, libraries, publishing and related topics

40 free tools for authors, by Piotr Kowalczyk | TeleRead: News and views on e-books, libraries, publishing and related topics:
"This post is designed to give you a concise, yet comprehensive preview of most important free tools you can pick up to publish and promote your e-books. I hope it will help you discover the ones, which in a best possible way fit your author profile and personal needs."

Good list.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Apps from Amazon routinely phone home and other interesting details - tip of the iceberg

Apps from Amazon routinely phone home and other interesting details | The Digital Reader

Read this. Besides the insidious methods Amazon uses with its Android app store there are two more problems I have had.
1. Amazon requires a credit card number even though you just want to download free apps.
2. Amazon app store is only legally available in the U.s. - there may be workarounds but this should not be an issue considering that they are fronting for the same apps that are internationally available through the Google Market.
3. Amazon wants your credit card number.

Its plain to me that Amazon wants to replicate the walled garden approach that Apple is famous for. Unfortunately Amazon has the money to make this work. I went for the limited-time-only free ezPDF reader but balked when it became obvious that "free" had strings attached.

From what I've read about the srongarm tactics Amazon is using on developers to price their apps under strict guidelines I think I will pass on Amazon until (and if) they change their Big Brother policy.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede - update on the movie - Boing Boing

Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede - update on the movie - Boing Boing:
"The paperback is long out of print (though there are many reasonably priced used copies on Amazon), but Denton was generous enough to Creative Commons license the text and stick it online."

I really enjoyed this book when I read it many many years ago. Just recently I donated the paperback (as well as several boxes of paperbacks and hardcovers) to my local public library. I wish I had kept it so I could compare the paperback to the released text. As I recall it did not have a great deal of complex formatting, but I wonder if it was all transferred to the released text.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

In search of an Android Firewall app | The Digital Reader

In search of an Android Firewall app | The Digital Reader:
"A friend recommended AndFire, which can be found for free on SlideMe. It seems to have a lot of options including blocking individual apps, phone numbers, SMS, etc. The project is also hosted on Code.Google.com, which does reassure me a little."

I may get around to trying AndFire but first I'm gonna look around SlideMe, which is my first foray outside the Google Android Market.

Kindle now available for $114—with on-screen ads

Kindle now available for $114—with on-screen ads:
"However, the device will still cost $114; the $25 savings may not be enough to convince some cheapskates. (Call us when the ad-supported Kindle costs $50, and we may be more impressed.) So, loving it might be hard, but liking it is a remote possibility."

10 eBook Readers Under $120 – Budget eReaders | The eBook Reader Blog - eReader and Tablet Reviews and News

10 eBook Readers Under $120 – Budget eReaders | The eBook Reader Blog - eReader and Tablet Reviews and News:
"Now there are several ebook readers priced under $120, even E Ink devices with paper-like screens. If you’ve been holding off getting an ebook reader, now is the time to get one for cheap."

RIP: Ebookwise-1150 - I'm not dead yet!

RIP: Ebookwise-1150 | The Digital Reader:
"Fictionwise quietly retired the world’s longest running e-reader some time in the last couple months. You can still buy ebooks, but the hardware is no longer listed. It’s a pity that they didn’t announce it because it truly deserved an obituary."

Mine still holds a very good charge. I'll be using it when the battery on my tablet dies out and I still want to read. Its a physical reminder of how far the tablet still has to go: instant on, visible in pitch black or a bright sunny day. Simple effective markup.
While it may be gone its still the yardstick that the "new" technology has yet to measure up.
Now excuse me while I go play Angry Birds on the toilet.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The essential guide to "Game of Thrones" - Game of Thrones - No Kevin Sorbo?

The essential guide to "Game of Thrones" - Game of Thrones - Salon.com:
"'A Song of Ice And Fire' is to normal fantasy what 'The Wire' was to typical cops-and-robbers drama, packed with grit, complexity and flawed human beings making their way through a corrupt and intimidating world. Heroes die, villains triumph, peasants and slaves suffer horribly and knights are as likely to be plate-metal-encased thugs and hoodlums as they are noble icons of chivalry."

I gotta go back and re-read this series all I can remember is understated magic, the Northern Ice Wall and some generic war-of-houses conflict. The last fantasy series I tried to follow was Legend of the Seeker and that had too much of a Xena Warrior Princess vibe to it. Fingers crossed.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Entourage Pocket Edge Now Ridiculously Cheap on Amazon.com - eBookNewser

Entourage Pocket Edge Now Ridiculously Cheap on Amazon.com - eBookNewser:
"Entourage’s second, smaller dual book is selling for $199 on Amazon right now. That’s literally half the original retail price.

But should you get it? That’s another matter.

This isn’t your normal eReader. It has 2 screens, a 7″ LCD and a 6″ E-ink. The LCD screen has a resistive touchscreen and the E-ink screen has a Wacom sensor. There’s a webcam above the E-ink screen, and 2 speakers and a mike in the spine. There’s a microSD card slot and a USB Host port."

The screens should attach and detach at will and maintain the same connectiveness, possibly wi-fi connection when they are not connected.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Moving Soon - Paperbacks for sale: Pratchett, Asprin, Asimov, Goulart, Simak

I am moving soon and I've decided to sell off some of my favourite paperbacks. Many of the Asimov/Goulart/Simak printings are from the late sixties/early seventies so they have some collectible value.

You can check out my offerings on Kijiji at


If you live in or near the Toronto area you can contact me for a pick-up cash deal. Prices are negotiable and I'd like complete any transactions by moving day (May 1). I'm willing to deal with Canada Post as long as there is a fair and equitable way of completing the deal.

The 50 books every child should read - News, Books - The Independent

The 50 books every child should read - News, Books - The Independent:
"We asked three of Britain's leading children's authors and two of our in-house book experts to each pick 10 books, suitable for Year 7 students."

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wi-fi blogging using tablet

I came across the Blogger app today and installed it right away. I've been slacking off a bit lately playing with the new tablet. I originally started the blog partly to keep track of info that would inform my choice for my next e-reader.
My Ebookwise 1150 is still going strong, but a few boot problems and frustration with converting ePubs to IMP format made getting a "modern" reader a priority.
Now instead of looking at e-readers and tablets I'm looking at Froyo apps and games. I'm also reading more.
I hope the tablet will help writing better book reviews. Reading on the tablet is a pleasure but setting up the tools to capture notes and book quotes while reading is proving to be problematic. So far I've set up Aldiko, Dropbox, and (almost) MobileOrg. And now Blogger mobile.
If anyone has any advice I'm all ears.

Real Grammar - Barrie England's Blog on contemporary grammar

Real Grammar - Barrie England's Blog on contemporary grammar:
"'A Grammar book does not attempt to teach people how they ought to speak, but on the contrary, unless it is a very bad or a very old work, it merely states how, as a matter of fact, certain people do speak at the time at which it is written.' H C Wyld, Elementary Lessons in English Grammar, 1925"

Cool blog to follow if you enjoy sharpening your grammar skills. Contemporary grammar is different from textbook grammar (as the quote from 1925 explains).

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Calibre OPDS server fantastic companion to wi-fi tablet

I finally got the Calibre OPDS server working. I had been using the external IP number and some port forwarding at the router, as well as a username/password. I switched to the internal IP number ( and now Aldiko displays the OPDS list and downloads books just fine.

Now I have to seriously look at putting all of my e-books into Calibre.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

e-Reader apps for Android 2.2 tablet - Aldiko wins so far

https://market.android.com/details?id=com.flyersoft.moonreaderSo far my uPad zt180 7" tablet running Froyo Android (2.2) has been a whole lot of fun. The resistive touchscreen is not particularly responsive and the battery life is disappointing (2-3 hours with wi-fi turned on). I've tried out most all of the default apps and tweaked the interface a bit (Better Keyboard 8 made typing much easier)

I'm now concentrating on making the tablet the best e-reader possible. There are three aspects of reading on the tablet that I am working on: reading the book, getting books from my desktop, and getting books from the internet. For now I am focusing on ePub ignoring DRM and purchasing e-books.

So far I have installed and tested the free versions of Aldiko and Moon+ Reader. While Moon+ has tons of fun features like themes, textured "paper" backgrounds, and autoscrolling, I prefer Aldiko right now because it fully supports the CSS stylesheet. The pages are rendered with all of the intended formatting.

So far both apps have failed to connect to the Calibre OPDS server. Aldiko calls up the browser and shows the list of books, but when I click on a link to download I get a download unsuccessful message. Moon+ accepts the IP address to the Caliber server, I enter the username and password, but then nothing happens.

I will continue to tinker with the Calibre server/e-reader connection but I will also look at setting up a FTP server on the tablet so I can x-fer books and other files back and forth without having to use a USB cable or popping out the SD card.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Android Malware Outs App Pirates With Text Messages - Techland - TIME.com

Android Malware Outs App Pirates With Text Messages - Techland - TIME.com:
"Georgi Tanmazov, developer of Walk and Text, wrote on his website that he had nothing to do with the malware app. The reports by anti-virus software makers Symantec and Avast, he said, are meant to spread fear in order to promote mobile anti-virus products."