Author - David Stephan

Kindle Black Friday 2014 deals

This year Amazon come with attractive deals for Kindle, its ebook readers. So today we can get Kindle – with special offers version (New Touchscreen Display, Exclusive Kindle Software, Wi-Fi) at $49 down from its usual price of $79 ($30 off).

Kindle – witout special offers version (New Touchscreen Display, Exclusive Kindle Software, Wi-Fi) at $69 down from its usual price of $99 ($30 off).

kindle black friday

Display Amazon’s 6" display with Pearl e-paper technology, 167 ppi, optimized font technology, 16-level gray scale
Size 6.7" x 4.7" x 0.40" (169 mm x 119 mm x 10.2 mm)
Weight 6.7 ounces (191 grams)
Actual size and weight may vary by configuration and manufacturing process
System Requirements None; fully wireless and doesn’t require a computer to download content
On-Device Storage 4 GB; holds thousands of books
Cloud Storage Free cloud storage for all Amazon content
Battery Life A single charge lasts up to four weeks, based on a half hour of reading per day with wireless off. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage
Charge Time Fully charges in approximately 4 hours from a computer via USB cable
Wi-Fi Connectivity Supports public and private Wi-Fi networks or hotspots that use the 802.11b, 802.11g, or 802.11n standard with support for WEP, WPA and WPA2 security using password authentication or Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS)
Content Formats Supported Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; HTML, DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion
Documentation Quick Start Guide (included in box); Kindle User Guide (pre-installed on device) [PDF]. Additional information in multiple languages available online
Warranty and Service 1-year limited warranty and service included. Optional 1-year, 2-year, or 3-year Extended Warranty available for U.S. customers, sold separately.
Included in the Box Kindle, USB 2.0 charging cable and Quick Start Guide

eBooks can and should be less expensive

Just ahead of World War II, there was a radical invention that shook the foundations of book publishing. It was the paperback book. This was a time when movie tickets cost 10 or 20 cents, and books cost $2.50. The new paperback cost 25 cents – it was ten times cheaper. Readers loved the paperback and millions of copies were sold in just the first year.

With it being so inexpensive and with so many more people able to afford to buy and read books, you would think the literary establishment of the day would have celebrated the invention of the paperback, yes? Nope. Instead, they dug in and circled the wagons. They believed low cost paperbacks would destroy literary culture and harm the industry (not to mention their own bank accounts). Many bookstores refused to stock them, and the early paperback publishers had to use unconventional methods of distribution – places like newsstands and drugstores. The famous author George Orwell came out publicly and said about the new paperback format, if “publishers had any sense, they would combine against them and suppress them.” Yes, George Orwell was suggesting collusion.

Well… history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

Fast forward to today, and it’s the e-book’s turn to be opposed by the literary establishment. Amazon and Hachette – a big US publisher and part of a $10 billion media conglomerate – are in the middle of a business dispute about e-books. We want lower e-book prices. Hachette does not. Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99. That is unjustifiably high for an e-book. With an e-book, there’s no printing, no over-printing, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out of stock, no warehousing costs, no transportation costs, and there is no secondary market – e-books cannot be resold as used books. E-books can and should be less expensive.

Perhaps channeling Orwell’s decades old suggestion, Hachette has already been caught illegally colluding with its competitors to raise e-book prices. So far those parties have paid $166 million in penalties and restitution. Colluding with its competitors to raise prices wasn’t only illegal, it was also highly disrespectful to Hachette’s readers.

The fact is many established incumbents in the industry have taken the position that lower e-book prices will “devalue books” and hurt “Arts and Letters.” They’re wrong. Just as paperbacks did not destroy book culture despite being ten times cheaper, neither will e-books. On the contrary, paperbacks ended up rejuvenating the book industry and making it stronger. The same will happen with e-books.

Many inside the echo-chamber of the industry often draw the box too small. They think books only compete against books. But in reality, books compete against mobile games, television, movies, Facebook, blogs, free news sites and more. If we want a healthy reading culture, we have to work hard to be sure books actually are competitive against these other media types, and a big part of that is working hard to make books less expensive.

Moreover, e-books are highly price elastic. This means that when the price goes down, customers buy much more. We’ve quantified the price elasticity of e-books from repeated measurements across many titles. For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000. The important thing to note here is that the lower price is good for all parties involved: the customer is paying 33% less and the author is getting a royalty check 16% larger and being read by an audience that’s 74% larger. The pie is simply bigger.

But when a thing has been done a certain way for a long time, resisting change can be a reflexive instinct, and the powerful interests of the status quo are hard to move. It was never in George Orwell’s interest to suppress paperback books – he was wrong about that.

And despite what some would have you believe, authors are not united on this issue. When the Authors Guild recently wrote on this, they titled their post: “Amazon-Hachette Debate Yields Diverse Opinions Among Authors” (the comments to this post are worth a read). A petition started by another group of authors and aimed at Hachette, titled “Stop Fighting Low Prices and Fair Wages,” garnered over 7,600 signatures. And there are myriad articles and posts, by authors and readers alike, supporting us in our effort to keep prices low and build a healthy reading culture. Author David Gaughran’s recent interview is another piece worth reading.

We recognize that writers reasonably want to be left out of a dispute between large companies. Some have suggested that we “just talk.” We tried that. Hachette spent three months stonewalling and only grudgingly began to even acknowledge our concerns when we took action to reduce sales of their titles in our store. Since then Amazon has made three separate offers to Hachette to take authors out of the middle. We first suggested that we (Amazon and Hachette) jointly make author royalties whole during the term of the dispute. Then we suggested that authors receive 100% of all sales of their titles until this dispute is resolved. Then we suggested that we would return to normal business operations if Amazon and Hachette’s normal share of revenue went to a literacy charity. But Hachette, and their parent company Lagardere, have quickly and repeatedly dismissed these offers even though e-books represent 1% of their revenues and they could easily agree to do so. They believe they get leverage from keeping their authors in the middle.

source

Cyber Monday Kindle Fire

Amazon do today why it didn’t Black Friday! Amazon come with a very attractive promotion Cyber Monday Kindle Fire: Today only, Kindle Fire is available for just $129. Enter promotional code FIREDEAL at checkout; limit one discount per customer.

click for promotion

Black Friday 2012: NOOK Simple Touch only $59

The NOOK Simple Touch will be marked down from $99 to only $59 at local Barnes and Noble Stores. I cannot wait the answer from Amazon and I hope this year the Kindle will be at Black Friday deals in a enough stock for at least 2 minutes…

nook black friday

NOOK Simple Touch highlights:

• Best–Text, ultra-crisp, reads just like paper – even in bright sun
• Longest battery life – read for over 2 months based on a half hour of daily reading
• Over 3 million books, get them in seconds w/ built-in Wi-Fi
• No annoying ads
• Always free NOOK support in-store

Kindle books: How to convert pdf to Kindle format

If you ever try to read a pdf on Kindle you know that it is a unpleasant experience. You cannot re-size fonts, the text does not fit well on the page, etc. So you can take advantage of Kindle functionality such as variable font size, annotation, Text-to-Speech, Whispersync, etc., the only solution is to convert the pdf in Kindle format. You have two options to do that:

1. Use Amazon Kindle Personal Documents Service
2. Use a third party software like Calibre.

Amazon Kindle Personal Documents Service: Amazon provide a service to convert pdf in Kindle format: you should send your personal documents via e-mail as attachments to [name]@free.kindle.com. To have a document converted to Kindle format (.azw), the subject line should be “convert.” Kindle Personal Documents Service will attempt to deliver your personal documents to your Kindle device via Wi-Fi when connected, and to the e-mail address associated with the Amazon account to which the device is registered. You can use the e-mail to download the file to your computer and transfer it to your Kindle device using a USB connection.

Calibre, the ebook convert third party software:

Step 1: Download Calibre for you OS
Step 2: Install the software using the wizards and start the sofware.
Step 3: Click on the “Add books” red button.
Step 4: Locate the pdf file on your computer hard drive and click “Open”
Step 5: Edit metadata (like author, rating, etc.) – optional
Step 6: Click on “Convert books” button and choose “Convert individually”.
Step 7: Select the “Output format”: MOBI.
Step 8: After the task is over (look in bottom right at Jobs to be 0) click on to MOBI word (right in the middle).
Step 9: Now you should be able to see your new file in mobi format.
Step 10: Transfer the file into your Kindle into documents folder.

The new Kindle Fire HD

After less than one year Amazon launch today two new versions of Kindle Fire: Kindle Fire HD 8.9 (with Fire HD 8.9″ 4G LTE Wireless sub-version) and Kindle Fire HD 7. We will come with a review of Kindle Fire HD very soon. Till then let’s see what improvements of Kindle Fire and I’ll start with Kindle Fire HD 8.9.

Kindle-Fire-HD-8-9

The 8.9” display on Kindle Fire HD features an incredible 254 pixels per inch with a resolution of 1920×1200, with pixels that are indistinguishable to the human eye.

The first difference is clear: the screen is bigger now. The 8.9 inch screen come for all users that think that a 7 inch display is too small and 10 inch display is too big. So, now they are happy to get 8.9 inch display Gorilla Glass with 254 pixels per inch and a resolution of 1920×1200.

And because I talk about screen you should be interested to find that most tablet displays are made up of two pieces of glass—an LCD on the bottom and a touch sensor on the top, separated by an air gap. This air gap allows light to come through the touch sensor and reflect off the LCD, which causes added glare for the user. Fire HD solves this air gap problem by laminating the touch sensor and the LCD together into a single layer of glass, creating a display that is easy to view even in overhead light, and reducing glare by 25% relative to the latest generation iPad.

Kindle Fire HD 8.9” weighs only 20 ounces and is just 8.8 mm thin. Also Kindle Fire HD supports Bluetooth and features a front-facing HD camera

CPU is important for tablets, so the 8.9” Kindle Fire HD is powered by the latest generation OMAP4 4470 processor and Imagination SGX544 graphics engine capable of over 12 billion floating point operations per second—50 percent more than Tegra 3, and both Kindle Fire HD 7” and 8.9” come with higher memory bandwidth than Tegra 3.

The 3G is available for Kindle Fire HD but is not free like we use to get from Kindle Keyboard 3G. Customers will have access to a 12-month data plan with 250MB per month, 20GB of Amazon Cloud storage, and a $10 credit in the Amazon Appstore for a one-time cost of $49.99.

All versions of Kindle Fire HD are available for Pre-order at Amazon (LINK).

Kindle Fire HD 7 16 GB – $199
Kindle Fire HD 7 32 GB – $249
Kindle Fire HD 8.9 16 GB – $299
Kindle Fire HD 8.9 32 GB – $369
Fire HD 8.9″ 4G LTE Wireless 32 GB – $499
Fire HD 8.9″ 4G LTE Wireless 64 GB – $599

Handwriting recognition for ebook readers

Handwriting for tablets and cell phones wasn’t too popular as it require some trainings to use properly so today’s devices doesn’t come with this feature. But the battle is not complete lost: Puzzle technology startup Puzzazz is giving handwriting recognition to any touch ebook readers (including Kindle Touch).

TouchWrite technology recognizes your handwriting, so you can write in numbers on the screen. Just use your finger -like you were writing in the sand -and your number will appear in the square. You can also tap in a square to enter notes.

The first ebook to incorporate TouchWrite technology is Sudoku Unbound Volume 3 by our own Scott Blomquist. It’s the third ebook in our top-rated and best-selling Sudoku Unbound series of Sudoku ActiveBooks. The ebook features 100 carefully crafted puzzles sure to delight solvers. In addition to Kindle Touch, Sudoku Unbound Volume 3 is also available for all other E Ink Kindle models, including the current-generation Kindle and the Kindle Keyboard (though handwriting recognition is only supported on the Kindle Touch).

Kindle Touch sudoku

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JWF eReaderPRO

Are you looking for an alternative to Kindle or Nook? Here it is what you need: JWF eReaderPRO. The JWF eReaderPRO is a 6″ E Ink (800×600 resolution) e-reader and the overall aim of the eReaderPRO is to make the whole experience as simple as possible – for all users.

JWF eReaderPRO is due for release Feb 25th in the UK and it will be available at a later date in the US (it will be primarily be available on Amazon).

JWF eReaderPRO photos

 

JWF eReaderPRO specs

6″ e-ink 16 level gray scale display (800×600 resolution)
180g in weight
10mm thick
128mb built-in memory (with SD card slot to support up to 8gb – an SD card may be part of a bundle package with the eReaderPRO)
Charges through Micro USB (via PC or USB wall charger (UK charger included))
eBook support: PDF,TXT,EPUB,FB2 and more
Image support: Most formats
Audio support: Most formats
A soft-touch rubber outer coating – making the eReaderPRO both comfortable to hold and durable
A 4-way D-pad with central select button
5 physical function buttons
11 vertical buttons, allowing fast navigation through menus, chapters, and games (#0-9 and a ‘Trash’ button allowing file organisation on the device)
Headphone jack
A graphical menu for quick and easy navigation
Book cover preview on your reading list
Favourites list
In-book options including: bookmarks, font size, contents, jump to etc.
Games – including Sudoku and Othello with fast navigation and use of number keys
Applications – including Calculator and Calendar

JWF eReaderPRO photos

 

JWF eReaderPRO

 

Solar cover for Kindle 4

One good feature of Kindle is E Ink Pearl display as you can easy read in bright sunlight and let your eyes rest with no strain. In the same time as the E Ink Pearl is like normal paper you cannot read in the dark so you will need a source of light. As you will need a cover to protect your ebook reader why not buy a lighted cover? And better buy a solar lighted cover like this one from SolarFocus.

Solar for Kindle 4

Solar cover for Kindle 4 by SolarFocus features a built-in solar panel that charges the reserve battery for the LED reading light while also providing extra power to the Kindle. Moreover the reading light draws power from the reserve battery, not the Kindle, so you won’t have to worry about draining your Kindle’s battery.

Solar lighted cover for Kindle 4

You can even charge your Kindle using the cover’s built-in reserve battery. Press the power button once and the LED indicator first shows the reserve battery’s remaining power level for about five seconds. After that it’ll blink red while the Kindle is being charged. To turn off charging, press the power button again and the LED indicator shows the reserve battery’s remaining power level before turning off.

Solar leather lighted cover

A fully charged reserve battery requires only eight hours of direct sunlight and provides up to 80% of backup power to the Kindle.

Solar leather lighted cover for Kindle 4

Solar leather lighted cover for Kindle

You can buy it from Amazon US for $79.99

Kindle Fire Review

I think that Kindle Fire is the best 2011 gift for yourself. It is affordable and it is a pleasure to play with it. I’m against LCD ebook reader device and I ignore iPad but Amazon do a great job with Kindle Fire so if you like to read magazines or comics books this 7 inch tablet can be your dream ereader.

What are Kindle Fire greatest strengths as a ebook reader? It is color, touchscreen, offer a lot of content and has a crazy price: only $199. Isn’t any wonder that Amazon sold a lot of Kindle Fire on Black Friday and Cyber Monday even without any discount, coupons or bundle promotion!

In terms of design Kindle Fire is not innovative. In fact we can see a crystal clear similarities between the Kindle Fire and Blackberry Playbook.

To close the discussions i can tell you the Playbook price: 259.99 cut down from $499.00 (16GB), $299.00 cut down from $599.00 (32GB). Also, the content is the king and Kindle Fire has a lot of it…

kindle fire vs PlayBook

Kindle Fire vs PlayBook: similar looks but different price and content available

Kindle Fire run on Android, but Amazon has completely changed the user interface so you will think is a new OS. Amazon did a great work with the interface so all items all well organized and can be easily accessed. If you open an item or app the icon of it will be arrange into a carousel. The problem is that you cannot delete any item from this carousel so you should be carefully if you barrow the tablet to someone else.

Amazon make a lot of noise with Silk Web browser but it looks slow to me. Maybe the software is fast but the hardware cannot run it and the overall experience with Internet browsing is not one of the best on a tablet.

Kindle Fire display
Kindle Fire Storage
Kindle Fire Content
Kindle Fire portability
Kindle Fire autonomy
Conclusion
Where to buy Kindle Fire

kindle fire

Kindle Fire vs Kindle Touch vs Kindle Keyboard

Kindle Fire display
Kindle Fire feature a 7″ multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and anti-reflective treatment. Even with this anti-reflective treatment is not OK to read outdoor. When I trying to read outdoor I imediatlly miss my old Kindle… But this is a common issue of all tablets not Kindle Fire in special.
The resolution is 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi, 16 million colors.

Kindle Fire Storage
The weak point of Kindle Fire is storage. Amazon choose only 8GB internal (6GB available for user content, 2GB for operating system). Amazon try to solve this issue caused by targeted price of $199 by including of free cloud storage for all Amazon content. Is it OK in theory but I don’t want to search for Internet WiFi every time when I want to access my files stored on Amazon servers. Moreover, Kindle Fire is lack of 3G so you will need WiFi connection.

The problem can be solve with a 3G Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot GSM but do you really want to have another device with you?

Kindle Fire Content
The content is the strong point of Kindle Fire: ebooks, magazines, video, apps… So many, so easy to download them. It is a haven for any devouring information…

Kindle Fire portability

Kindle Fire is smaller that iPad 2 and it is easy to carry around.

Height: 7.5 inches (190.5 millimeters)
Width: 4.7 inches (119 millimeters)
Depth: 0.45 inches (11.43 millimeters)
Weight: 14.6 ounces (413.9 grams)

Kindle Fire autonomy

Battery life is good but not exceptionally good: 8 hours of continuous reading or 7.5 hours of video playback, with wireless off. Also a fully charges takes 4 hours via power adapter.

Conclusion

To be all clear I separate my conclusions in pro and con.

Kindle Fire Con:
– no cameras
– no GPS
– no microphone
– no 3G

Kindle Fire Pro:
+ very attractive price
+ easy to use
+ lot of content

Overall I highly recommend the Kindle Fire.

Where to buy it

The best place to buy Kindle Fire is Amazon:

Amazon US
Amazon UK – not yet available
Amazon De- not yet available

Cyber Monday Nook

Today Barnes & Noble announce the Cyber Monday Nook sales: receive a $25 gift card when you purchase any NOOK Online.

Also, I found a lot of other interesting Cyber Monday deals on Barnes & Noble website:

Cyber Monday Sale! 50% Off Kids NY Times Bestsellers at BN.com!

cybermonday Barnes Noble nook

Cyber Monday Sale! Save up to 50% off 1 Item on Home & Gift collection at BN.com – Use coupon code D7E4M3E at Checkout!

Cyber Monday Sale! Up to 50% off Electronics at BN.com!

Add 3G to your WiFi ebook reader

Do you have a ebook reader or a tablet with WiFi only and you dream to 3G connection? Is not a big problem!

With Novatel Wireless MiFi 2372 3G Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot GSM (Unlocked) you will be able to connect up to 5 WiFI devices to 3G network (requires a SIM card with activated data plan).

It is compatible with AT&T, Bell, Rogers, Telus, Movistar, Telcel, etc. If you have Verizon you should try Novatel Wireless MiFi 2200 3G.

3g modem to wifi

Connect up to 5 Wi-Fi enabled devices

It is highly recommended if you frequently travel and need instant net access for your ebook reader or for your no 3G tablet like Kindle Fire.

Link to buy (List Price: $379.99 Deal Price: $129.00)