Monthly Archives October 2009

TKC 67 Michael Koenig

News – Second looks at the Nook: Staci D. Kramer at PaidContent asks “what else do we need to know about the Nook?” Will publishers cripple the LendMe feature? Joe Wilcox cancels his Nook preorder after comparing eBook prices between Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Bill Keller, executive editor of The New York Times, lets slip a reference to the “Apple slate”. Click here for the “off the record” video obtained by Neiman Journalism Lab.

Tech Tip – My personal method for creating a To Do list within a book I’m reading on my Kindle.

Interview – Michael Koenig, director of MBA operations at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, has been a prime mover of Darden’s pilot program testing the Kindle DX in a test involving 60 MBA students. Click here for Darden’s very good BusinessCast, which interviewed Robert Carroway, associate dean for MBA education, in June after he and Koenig had attended the press conference unveiling the DX. Koenig makes clear that Amazon is serious about its test of the higher education market for Kindles, and that there are areas for improvement of the current design of the DX. Did anyone say “folders?”

Content – Stephen Windwalker notes that the new Barbara Kingsolver novel, The Lacuna, is available for pre-order for $9. And Karen Oland reports the same is true for Pirate Latitudes by Michael Chrichton, due for release in hardcover and Kindle on Nov. 24th, and Under the Dome by Stephen King, set for Kindle release on Dec. 24th – more than a month after the hardcover release on Nov. 10. Grrrr.

Comments – Craig Findlay from Scotland, Steve Gold relays Kindle news from Japan via the Mainichi Daily News, James Palmer and Rick Limpert note USA Today’s coverage of the Cushing Academy digital library, Linda Hopkins on the Nook, Allen MacDiarmid on the large-fonts hack for Kindle 2, Jesslyn Hendrix on the 2.0.4 firmware, Ann Miner on Bookmarks Magazine, Melissa Gann and John Halkias on Kindle for PC (and Mac and Blackberry).

TKC Extra Boston Book Festival 09

This recording is from a panel discussion titled “The Future of Reading” at the Boston Book Festival 2009 on October 25, 2009.   David Pogue, tech columnist for The New York Times, moderated the session and gave his engaging overview of eBooks at the beginning.  He was followed by Jon Orwant, engineering manager for Google Books, […]

TKC 66 Jim Jones

News – Barnes & Noble announces the Nook. Brent Evans of GeekTonic details its features. Abhi predicts a Kindle 3 within the next week or two and argues that B&N have played into the wily hands of Bezos and company.  Stephen Windwalker notes that the stock market seemed unimpressed with the Nook news. Also, Harvard […]

TKC 65 Stefaan van Gerven

News – Google Editions is coming to a cloud near you, by June 2010. Click here for Abhi’s analysis. A Kindle DX – International is also coming, sometime next year. Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney revises his Kindle sales estimates upward. Brett Arends of the Wall Street Journal, bucking the conventional wisdom, argues for a sell on Amazon and a buy on Barnes & Noble.

Tech Tip – Courtesy of Mike Detlefsen, you might try Bookit, a FireFox plug-in that enables you to create eBooks with Calibre. Not that I could get it to work, but you may be more successful.

Interview – Stefaan van Gerven is product manager for embedded speech at Nuance Communications, which provides the Text to Speech capability of the Kindle 2 and DX. I spoke with him in Belgium via Skype and phone on October 13, 2009 . He tells how embedded speech works. As a footnote, I discovered that my Kindle DX can pronounce Obama’s name correctly, but the Kindle 2 can’t.

Content – Check out Books on the Knob for bargain Kindle books and lots more.

Comments – Warwick Head on Oberon Design, James Garland, ProlificProgrammer, and Rick Askenase on Disney Digital Books.

TKC 64 Becca Smith

News – A brief interview with Ian Freed, Amazon’s Kindle VP, on G-Day, October 7, when news broke of the Kindle’s global availability–in more than 100 countries, and an immediate $40 price cut on the Kindle 2, to $259. I heard about it first from Andrys Basten. The new Kindle International edition ($279) will begin shipping on October 19, and you can preorder now. Also, a article proclaims “The Coming e-Book Boom.”

Tech Tip – Opportunities and frustrations with your My Clippings file.Oberon cover

Interview – Becca Smith of Oberon Design in Santa Rosa, California, tells the how the Kindle has helped an artful leather- and pewter-working studio continue to thrive with the creation of classic Kindle covers. She also offers intriguing insights into Kindle owners and how they differ from users of other eReaders.

Content – Stephen Windwalker dons his wizard’s hat to look deeply into recent search info at What he finds is a virtual ton of new, free public-domain books added to the Kindle Store.

Comments – Robi Drell, Esmeralda de Trafford, Pastor Mark Pierce, Rick Askenase, Jesslyn Hedrix with a “regular user’s” take on the Kindle International and Amazon’s cool “Kindle Love” sweepstakes contest, Dorian Nisinson, Werner Aguilar, Daniel Meyers with a link to Robin Young’s “Here and Now” interview with Dr. James Tracy, Peggy Poellot with first-hand evidence that Amazon is now doing it right when it discovers a book with copyright problems, Candy Yates, Len Charnoff, Marcy McKenzie, and an audio comment from Tom Lichty of Portland, Oregon.

TKC 63 Darlene – III

News – TechFlash brings word that Amazon has settled the “1984” lawsuit. Thoughts on settlement by Andrys Basten and Abhi. Kindle sales appear to be coming soon to the UK. The Daily Princetonian claims “many” of the 50 students using free Kindle DXs “were dissatisfied and uncomfortable with the devices.” But the article quotes only two students, and one of them has some good things to say about the DX. Ah, the media. Stephen Windwalker has his Fall 2009 Kindle Survey up till October 15. There’s even a question about The Kindle Chronicles!

Tech Tip – From Bret Ingerman at the Yahoo Kindle Korner group: move the 5-way controller to the left or right to skip behind or ahead by chapters.

Interview – My wife Darlene returns to the podcast on the occasion of her one-year anniversary as a Kindle reader. Includes snippets from Day 1 when her Kindle 1 was unboxed, and an interview after her first month. And now, she tells how the Kindle has completely changed the way she reads a series of books by the same author. She also has a good idea for a hybrid Kindle/audiobook product and a tip for an un-tech-savvy reader like herself who may be thinking about trying a Kindle.

Content – Abhi’s painstaking list of Kindle books by independent authors. Suzanne Levin makes her Chick with Books available for Kindle subscription.

Your Comments – Ron Molnar on refurbished Kindles, Rick Askenase’s idea for reviewing blogs available on Kindle, Al MacDiarmid on the Belmont Public Library. Audio comments from Clark Diamond and Jim Jones.