Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

GreenCitizen: Independent publishers ask – how green are e-books?

When Joe Hutsko of the New York Times tried to learn more about the Kindle, he reported, “Phone calls and e-mail messages to Amazon inquiring about the materials in the popular Kindle device have thus far gone unanswered.”

via GreenCitizen: Independent publishers ask-how green are e-books?.


One Minute Review: Verso Clip-On Reading Light

When it comes to reading in bed at night, I’d typically rest a Petzl LED headlamp on my chest and aim it at my Kindle or book to provide excellent illumination for comfortable reading in the dark. Designed mainly for cycling and other outdoor in-the-dark uses, the Petzl served me well as a faithful bedtime companion for many years.

However I’ve recently kicked the Petzl out of my bed in favor of another reading light: The Verso Clip-On Reading Light. It’s small and lightweight, has a single bright LED light, and its padded clip attaches easily and firmly to my Kindle 3′s leather case.

Some users have complained there’s only one brightness setting on/off), while other book lights offer two settings. The single setting works fine for me.

Two small quibbles:

  1. Although light spreads a nice and even swath of light on the Kindle screen without creating a glaring “hotspot” in the display itself, the “amazonkindle” logo does reflect some glare that’s a bit distracting to the point of I find myself holding my Kindle with my thumb over the logo to block the glare.
  2. Amazon sells the light in white, red or turquoise ($19.99), however I bought the black model ($14.99) to match my graphite Kindle 3 at a nearby Borders store rather than purchase the light from Amazon.

Neither gripe has anything to do with the light itself, which makes it easy for me to recommend the Verso Clip-On Reading Light for bedtime book reading of every shape and size and format (including good ol’ fashioned real books, too). Verso Clip-On Reading Light for Kindle.


Electronic House Interview: Green Gadgets Author’s Fave Green Tools

Green Gadgets Author’s Fave Green Tools


We need more sexy green products, says writer Joe Hutsko.

Apr. 14, 2010 - by Steven Castle

Joe Hutsko is a technology writer and the author of Green Gadgets for Dummies, which covers green and sustainable technologies from mobile gadgets to energy-efficient home systems. He is a veteran of Apple during the John Sculley reign, and is the author of the novel, The Deal, based on Steve Jobs-Sculley corporate fracas. We recently caught up with Hutsko and posed a few very jealous questions.

Read the full interview: Electronic House | Green Gadgets Author’s Fave Green Tools.

Green Gadgets Author’s Fave Green ToolsG


Interview - E-Readers: Are they greener than books? Radio Netherlands Worldwide | gGadget

From Radio Netherlands Worldwide:

With the future of digital reading undeniable, we decided to speak to someone who knows gadgets. Joe Hutsko joins Marnie to talk about e-readers vs. books, the advantages, disadvantages, and which of the two is greener.

Listen to interview via via Mud graffiti and book pulp | Radio Netherlands Worldwide.


Green Gadgets For Dummies: THE Book Every Tech Geek Should Own - The Fun Times Guide to Living Green

The Fun Times Guide to Living Green reviews my new book, Green Gadgets For Dummies:

Green Gadgets For Dummies: THE Book Every Tech Geek Should Own

Wake up! Your beloved electronics are sucking the life out of your budget…not to mention the enormous environmental impact they have!

Luckily Green Gadgets for Dummies is swooping in for the rescue!

Before we get in to a quick breakdown of the awesomeness that is Green Gadgets for Dummies, check out these statistics from Planet Green that show why we need greener gadgets:

15 percent: Percentage of money spent on powering your computer dedicated to computing, worldwide; the rest of the $250 billion is spent on energy wasted in idling.

70 percent: Percentage of waste composed of discarded electronics, out of all hazardous waste.

529 pounds: Amount of fossil fuels required to manufacture a 53-pound computer system (including the monitor), along with 49 pounds of chemicals and 1.5 tons of water.

15 billion: Batteries produced annually worldwide.

40 percent: Of the energy used for electronics in your home is used while these devices are turned off.

Author Joey Hutsko does an amazing job at helping us learn how to shop for greener gadgets, avoid “greenwashed” products, and get the electronics we currently own to run more efficiently…all in a super fun and witty manner.

Read the full review: Green Gadgets For Dummies: THE Book Every Tech Geek Should Own - The Fun Times Guide to Living Green.


Just released: Green Gadgets For Dummies, by Joe Hutsko

My new book, Green Gadgets For Dummies, is now available in paperback and Kindle editions.

Below is a brief description of the book, followed by the book’s foreword by Tom Zeller Jr.,  editor of the New York Times Green Inc. section.

Thanks to everyone who provided so much support and assistance throughout the writing of the book.

(Special thanks to Wiley project editor Nicole Sholly, who made the process a learning experience that set me up for my next book, Macs All-in-One For Dummies (2nd edition).)

Continue reading ‘Just released: Green Gadgets For Dummies, by Joe Hutsko’


eReader 1.1 update for iPhone widens your virtual bookshelf

In my post for Salon’s Machinist column I wrote that eReader for the iPhone (and iPod touch) is a dream-come-true for me.

I’m pleased to see that FictionWise is sticking to its words to offer frequent updates and improvements to the program.

The first update offers the following enhancements:

eReader for iPhone and iPod touch version 1.1 includes the following new features:

  • The ability to download eReader PDB files from web sites other than and, as well as personal content in eReader PDB format. For details see the Personal Content FAQ.
  • New options to: lock screen orientation, tap instead of swipe to turn pages, choose white text on black background, turn off page animation, and turn off full justification of text.
  • Ability to sort the on-device bookshelf by author, title, or download date.
  • Better error messages and several bug fixes.

Guest Spot on Computer America with Craig Crossman

Had a great conversation with Craig Crossman on his show Computer America. Tune in by clicking on Craig’s pic and logo. Thanks, Craig!


On Fox Business News: New iPhone, Big Deal?

On Fox Business News: New iPhone, Big Deal? (July 11, 2008)

Joe Hutsko, Courtney Friel and Aline Yu talk about the new iPhone.


An Interview with Matt Richtel, author of HOOKED

I became acquainted with Matt Richtel several years ago by way of the New York Times, where he’s a reporter and I’m a freelance contributor (which is to say he makes more money and enjoys health care benefits).

Matt was enthused about my first novel and did his best to get it covered in the Times, however the editor at the time took a pass to Matt’s pitch. I always appreciated the effort.

Now that Matt has published his own first novel it’s my turn to return the favor, giving Matt a little electronic ink here on JOEyGADGET.

The novel is the well received high-tech thriller Hooked, and here are Matt’s answers to my couple of questions about the writing life, the married life, and whether Hooked is a once-in-a-lifetime effort or will we see more fiction by Matt Richtel in the future.

JG: Rather than raised by wolves as I was, you were raised by readers. Have you always been a reader of fiction yourself, or more a non-fiction man, on account of your career as a journalist?

MR: Fiction Man (sounds like an ad for a cologne, or the name of a superhero who confuses people into submission by reading to them from James Joyce). I love getting swept up and lifted away by great fiction. Non-fiction, when I connect to it, is a great experience too. That usually entails very accessible writing and a compelling narrative. Also, I have to have enough brain space to permit engagement. But those are high hurdles in my book, and I don’t get over them as often in non-fiction.

JG: Were any particular novelists influential as far as style or voice
or in any other way?

MR (a.k.a. The “Fiction Man” cologne man): At this point, I don’t think I draw from others’ voices or styles but there are things I hope to accomplish - that I’ve particularly appreciated in other books:

- stories based on emotion and character
- fast, compelling reads
- a satisfying, even surprise, ending
- that sheds light on the rest of the book and even makes you see the book differently

These are basic tenets I hold to. I’ve loved a lot of books that I’m sure have influenced me in some way:

As a kid, I read Robert Ludlum and imagined myself a spy. And tried to read non-fiction history, and imagined myself as serious and scholarly as my father. I once was influenced by Douglas Adams and Rick Reilly (from Sports Illustrated) but have long since seen the limitations of my sense of humor and the fact they can’t be mimicked. Favorite fiction works over the years that have stuck with me include Confederacy of Dunces, Lolita, Catch 22, The Magus (John Fowles), Catcher in the Rye, various things by Kurt Vonnegut, and a ton of other books I can’t seem to recall at the moment…

Non-fiction: In Cold Blood, Into Thin Air, The Executioner’s Song (transcendent), and some anthropology, The Third Chimpanzee and The Selfish Gene. My tastes lately are varied and voracious In the last year or so, I’ve particularly enjoyed: Cormac McCarthy (the road, no country for old men, blood meridian), David Mitchell (Cloud Atlas); Jonathan Lethem (motherless brooklyn, guns with occasional music); Jonathan Safran Foer (everthing is illuminated, exremely loud and incredibly close); Jeannette Walls (The Glass Castle - GREAT non-fiction), Walter Mosely (the only writer whose books I collect; otherwise, our house is a library where you don’t have to return what you check out). Recent thriller/mystery reads: Lee Child, David Liss, Dennis Lehane, T. Jefferson Parker.

JG: Phew, that’s quite a list. Let’s take a breather from fiction for a moment and change the subject to tech. You’re a tech-savvy guy, so what do you think of the iPhone?

MR: Neat. Cool. Futuristic. Wouldn’t spend the $600.

JG: You know Madonna was pissed when Kevin Costner said her concert was “neat” in her film Truth or Dare. I wonder if Steve Jobs is touchy that way too. Anyway, speaking of movies, any chance we’ll see a movie adaptation of Hooked?

MR (a.k.a. Kevin Costner impersonator): Always a chance, but so far no one have stepped up to buy the movie rights and the chance to make zillions of dollars on what clearly is a zillion-dollar project just waiting to be made (perhaps we should upgrade our “make a zillion dollars” marketing pitch.

J.G. Your editor is the esteemed Jonathan Karp, who is also publisher of Twelve - an innovative press that which aims to fully focus all energies on one book per month. You were June’s pinup boy. Did the Twelve come through as promised?

MR: Karp. The Twelve. It was like having a Porsche for my first car. First class all the way. Attentive editing, a strong publicity and marketing effort, easy back-and-forth with Karp. I’d recommend it for anyone. From that perspective, I feel blessed by my association with the Twelve. The book has had a solid commercial run but has not been a national bestseller. Does that mean that things could have been done better? I tell you in all candor that I have no idea. I would imagine, given Karp’s track record, that he second guesses himself at times. I do not know for a fact. I think the reality is that it is not possible to will or create a bestseller, particularly something perceived as mystery/thriller genre. If that sounds passive/aggressive, I don’t mean it to. I have been incredibly fortunate.

Continue reading ‘An Interview with Matt Richtel, author of HOOKED’


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