Archive for the ‘e-books’ Category

Smart apps, smarter you | August 2011

Smart apps, smarter you
By Joe Hutsko

Smartphones are called “smart” because they do so much more than ordinary cellphones. Besides making and receiving calls and text messages, or snapping pictures and videos, smartphones let you do things you typically do on your computer—albeit on a Lilliputian scale. Pocketing either of the two most popular mainstream smartphone platforms—iPhone or Android—can often liberate you from having to haul a notebook computer to accomplish everyday tasks using your smartphone’s suite of built-in applications, or apps.

Continue reading: Smart apps, smarter you | August 2011.


Kindle Lighted Leather Cover sheds a few grams; non-lit cover causing crashes, discontinued

How much does the Kindle Lighted Leather Cover weigh? Depends on which revision you consider, as I discovered when I spotted two weight specs at Best Buy just after the holiday season.

The back of the Kindle Lighted Leather Cover box with an illuminated Kindle illustration on the front reads “Weighs less than 225g” (or about 8 oz; first pic below) while the back the Kindled Lighted Cover box with a closed cover illustration on the front reads “Weighs only 7.8 oz (221) grams” (second pic below).

While the difference is negligible, the ever so slightly lighter weight of the 221 gram model suggests a revision that may pack other overall design changes and/or improvements over the 225 model – of which I found only three boxes mingled with the dozen or more boxes of the 221 model on the display racks.

Buying online? Can’t help you there. Because the product barcode number is the same on the back of both boxes, it’s unclear how you’d go about ensuring a Kindle Lighted Leather Cover you order from Amazon is the newer, slightly lighter model, though considering the Kindle’s steller sales of late it’s my bet buying the lighted cover today would get you the very latest revision. (If anyone discovers an identifier to help online buyers choose the newer model, please post a comment.)

For whatever it’s worth: A search on Kindle Lighted Leather Cover turned up weights of 240 grams (8.5 oz), which suggests the 221 gram model model may be a third or possibly later revision of the original model. As for the Kindle Leather Cover (without light), a search turned up a weight of 170 grams (6 oz).

Also of note: Amazon has stopped selling the standard Kindle Leather Cover because it seems that model’s locking metal latch system was causing the Kindle to short out, then freeze, or crash and reboot – which is exactly what mine was doing, as others have also reported:

On December 16th, in the 302nd post to this board (near the bottom of page 12), someone from the Kindle Support team responded with this message:

  “There have been some forum discussions regarding the non-lighted Kindle cover, and our engineering team is looking into this. Regardless, if anyone is having any problem with an Amazon-manufactured Kindle cover, please call us at 877-453-4512 or 206-922-0844. We will be pleased to replace it for free with a different cover or accept a return for a full refund, no matter when the cover was purchased.”

When I called Amazon to ask for a replacement they offered to send me the lighted cover at no extra cost, but wouldn’t replace the non-lit cover with the same product. When I said I didn’t want the lighted cover, they said they’d refund the full price of the standard leather cover and also credit my account with $25 to apply toward my next purchase. In other words, it’s lights out for the standard Kindle leather cover for the latest-generation model (Kindle 3), as far as purchasing directly from Amazon. You can still find one listed as “used” from Amazon sellers, and from what I can tell, the standard leather cover is still available as a new item from Amazon for the second-generation Kindle (Kindle 2).

225 grams = about 8 ounces

221 grams = 7.8 ounces


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?.


Forceful Prediction: Apple Sunlight-Friendly Displays Would Scare The Daylights Out Of Competition

My first story for TechCrunch is up:

Forceful Prediction: Apple Sunlight-Friendly Displays Would Scare The Daylights Out Of Competition

With nary a peep on the possibility of Apple baking a seeable-in-sunlight transflective display into the rumored 11.6” MacBook Air that’s expected to come floating up from the Pulpit of Jobs at Apple’s “Back to the Mac” next week, I’d like to make a pretty safe prediction (read: offer unasked-for advice): An Apple-anything with such a display would make mobile-warriors’ and tree-huggers’ hearts flutter, and competitors’ hearts shudder…

Read the full story: TechCrunch | Forceful Prediction: Apple Sunlight-Friendly Displays Would Scare The Daylights Out Of Competition


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.


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.


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