Tag Archives | Kindle

Amazon Patents Strange New Lightweight, Transparent Kindle

Picture: Leonard Low (CC) (For illustration purposes only)

Amazon’s just filed a patent describing a new form of lightweight, transparent Kindle technology that can be embedded in your eyeglasses or your car windshield and never needs to be recharged.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is listed on the patent as a co-inventor of the technology, which converts the handheld Kindle devices into simplified display mechanisms receiving data and electricity from a larger, more powerful central station. This would allow Amazon to create much lighter and cheaper devices, notes one Kindle blog, speculating that Kindles could become not just lighter than paper, but disappear altogether into other devices, “leaving nothing behind but the words from your ebooks.”

 

 

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eBook Readers Live in a Different Universe of Books

Bezos Kindle TouchAmazon’s released their list of 2011’s best-selling books, revealing that 40% of the best-selling ebooks didn’t even make it onto their list of the best-selling print books!

The #1 and #2 best-selling ebooks of the year weren’t even available in print editions, while four of the top 10 best-selling print books didn’t make it into the top 100 best-selling ebooks. “It couldn’t be more clear that Kindle owners are choosing their material from an entirely different universe of books,” notes one Kindle site, which points out that five of the best-selling ebooks came from two million-selling ebook authors — Amanda Hocking and John Locke — who are still awaiting the release of their books in print. And five of Amazon’s best-selling ebooks were Kindle-only “Singles,” including a Stephen King short story which actually outsold another King novel that he’d released in both ebook and print formats. And Neal Stephenson’s “Reamde” was Amazon’s #99 best-selling print book of 2011, though it didn’t even make it onto their list of the 100 best-selling ebooks of the year.… Read the rest

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Will Librarians Revolt Over Amazon’s Kindle Lending Program?

Amazon Kindle FamilyA California librarian is urging librarians to complain to Amazon over issues with privacy and advertising in Amazon’s new Kindle ebook lending program for libraries. “In our greedy attempt to get content into our users’ hands, we have failed to uphold the highest principle of our profession, which is intellectual freedom,” she argues in a 10-minute video. (Read the transcript here):

Kindle has allowed Amazon to harvest all of this borrowing data, so it’s an instant violation of all of our privacy policies … [I]f they’re using a Kindle, Amazon’s keeping friggin’ everything. And we haven’t told people that, and we need to tell people that.

She argues Amazon’s retention of your reading history may violate, for example, California’s Reader Privacy Act, and she also complains that the check-out and renewal process include unacceptable promotional content about Amazon’s for-sale ebooks. Though she owns a Kindle and loves ebooks, she’s urging librarians to speak up.… Read the rest

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The Newest Kindle Has Mandatory Ads

KindleIs this the free market at work – or a horrible preview of things to come?

Amazon just announced a new $114 Kindle Wireless Reading Device — $25 cheaper than any other model — but it comes with a big catch.

It’s the Kindle “with special offers,” showing sophisticated advertisements in the screensavers, along with shopping discounts which display at the bottom of the screen.

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Will Amazon Push Ads into eBooks?

Kindle 2. Photo: Jon 'ShakataGaNai' Davis (CC)

Kindle 2. Photo: Jon 'ShakataGaNai' Davis (CC)

A book editor at Houghton Mifflin argues ebook advertising is “coming soon to a book near you.” Report in the Wall Street Journal:

Amazon has filed a patent for advertisements on the Kindle, and the book editor joins with a business professor in today’s Wall Street Journal to make the case for advertisements in ebooks. Book sales haven’t increased over the last decade, and profits are being squeezed even lower by ebooks. According to another industry analyst, Amazon is being pressured to make ebook sales more profitable for publishers, party because Apple offers them more lucrative terms in Apple’s iBookstore. One technology site notes that Amazon’s preference seems to be keeping book prices low, and wonders whether consumers would accept advertising if it meant that new ebooks were then free?

Meanwhile, Ralph Lauren has confused the issue even more by publishing a “shoppable” children’s storybook online – narrated by Harry Connick, Jr.

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Can The Kindle Bypass Chinese Government Censorship?

Kindle 2. Photo: Jon 'ShakataGaNai' Davis (CC)

Photo: Jon 'ShakataGaNai' Davis (CC)

Here’s some fun “real-life favorite stories” from Kindle users. (My favorite one was the 5-year-old’s “iPad” comment.)

But one Kindle user also reports on a startling development from her recent trip to China.

Amazon’s Whispernet network was able to bypass official news censorship from the Chinese government, and beam down “uncensored English magazines like Newsweek, The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The Atlantic Monthly!”

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“Jungle Book” Typo Spreads To 2,500 Web Sites

There's a glaring but very funny mistake in Amazon's free digital edition of Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book. The first paragraph adds the word "tush" (instead of "tusk") to the poem "Night song of the Jungle." In the poem "tush" now becomes part of the "hour of pride and power." More than four years later, Google now finds over 2,500 sites quoting the "tush" version of Kipling's poem, including several universities and even the Encyclopedia Britannica! A misguided human resources document even quoted the "tush" version of the poem - then added it "could very well be a guide in defining and understanding organizations." Tush-friendly organizations are described by the HR document as places that include "unwritten codes and culture," and adhering to them "determines one's chances of survival..." But the typo ultimately proves the value of "crowdsourcing," since the free etext has recently become one of Amazon's best-selling ebooks, which is what led to the discovery of the typo, in a kind of "spontaneous collaboration" which will help preserve a story that was written more than 100 years ago.
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Why Beatrix Potter Would Love The Kindle

Kindle 2. Photo: Jon 'ShakataGaNai' Davis (CC)

Kindle 2. Photo: Jon 'ShakataGaNai' Davis (CC)

Here’s an interesting blog post about why Beatrix Potter “would love the Kindle”. In 1906 she’d actually tried creating her own, new non-book format for delivering her famous fairy tales.

“Intended for babies and tots, the story was originally published on a strip of paper that was folded into a wallet, closed with a flap, and tied with a ribbon. The format was unpopular with booksellers and within a few years of the book’s release it was reprinted in the standard small book format of the Peter Rabbit library…”

This article includes a link to actual images from one of Potter’s strange wallet-sized stories – “The Story of A Fierce, Bad Rabbit” – plus an image showing you exactly what Beatrix Potter thinks “a fierce, bad rabbit” would look like! And there’s also a celebration of the fact that there’s now finally illustrated versions for the Kindle of both Beatrix Potter’s stories and A.… Read the rest

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The Novelist You Can’t Read On Your Kindle

Kindle 2. Photo: Jon 'ShakataGaNai' Davis (CC)

Kindle 2. Photo: Jon 'ShakataGaNai' Davis (CC)

A new blog about the Kindle Wireless Reading Device posts an appreciation for one of the great 1940s novelists whose works you can’t read on your Kindle.

And there’s a fascinating secret second story about his life. The same year he won a Pulitzer Prize — which he declined — he was writing these lyrics with the man who created “Alvin and the Chipmunks.”

“Come on-a my house, my house a come on
Come on-a my house, my house a come on
Come on-a my house, my house I’m gonna give a you
Peach and pear and I love your hair ah
Come on-a my house, my house a come on
Come on-a my house, my house a come on
Come on-a my house, my house, I’m gonna give you Easta-egg”

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