In this abbreviated episode, I share impressions of the new Kindle with the only other person I know who saw one during previews conducted in Boston by Amazon. Stephen Windwalker, creator of the Kindle Nation blog, took time out from his on-deadline authoring to explain why he believes Amazon has once again managed to hit “the sweet spot” with a host of new features and design improvements to the six-inch Kindle, available now for pre-order, with deliveries beginning August 27.
Monthly Archives July 2010
Aboard Amtrak’s Downeaster to See the New Kindle
I had a chance to check out the brand-new Kindle six-inch on Monday, July 26, 2010, which happened to be the two-year anniversary of the first episode of the podcast. So it was a good day to take the Amtrak Downeaster from Old Orchard Beach to North Station for a rendezvous at the Fifteen Beacon Hotel with Jay Marine, Director of Product Development for the Kindle, and Stephanie Mantello, Senior PR Manager for the Kindle.
This episode comprises my first impressions of the new Kindle, recorded on Beacon Street immediately after the preview, as well as some added details from the press release, recorded on July 27, 2010.
Photograph copyright James Duncan Davidson
News – 1: Amazon announces stunning new data showing the Kindle has done quite nicely during the first three months of the iPad Era. Mike Kane says Kindle is now the new standard for eBook formats. Also weighing in on the news are Stephen Windwalker, Andrys Basten, Bufo Calvin, and Abhi. 2: Literary Agent Andrew “The Jackal” Wylie makes good on his threat to create his own publishing arm, which makes an exclusive deal with Amazon for 20 $9.99 Kindle titles by modern literary giants. Random House is not amused. Mike Kane says get over it, Amazon has won. Here’s a good Guardian piece on the row and Harvard Magazine’s profile tells how The Jackal got his name. Andrys Basten suggests you back up these titles if you buy them, in case Random House succeeds in rolling this deal back somehow. 3: Amazon’s stock price recovers after opening sharply lower as a result of great earnings in the second quarter. Huh? 4: My video take on the new Borders e-reader, Aluratek’s Libre.
Tech Tip – With help from Joshua Tallent, listener Alan Morris completes his labor of love, turning a memoir by an RAF pilot, The Last Enemy by Richard Hillary, into a high-quality e-book. He’s offering the e-book at no charge to publishers who own the rights to the book, in hopes it will survive into the digital age. You can help by clicking here and then clicking on the “I’d Like to Read this Book on Kindle” button. Alan gives a very thorough account of how he did it in this blog post, which you might want to check out if you have a similar e-book project you’d like to undertake.
Interview – Bob Stein, founder of the Institute for the Future of the Book, spoke with me from Portugal on July 13, 2010, about his vision of the book. Also mentioned in our conversation: Craig Mod’s “Embracing the Digital Book,” Sophie, Commentpress, Eucalyptus reader, and Eastgate Systems. Click here for the “On the Media” NPR program on which Bob appeared on July 2, 2010. If his plans for a new publishing venture materialize, you’ll see information about it here.
Comments – From John C. Adamson, Mary Hundley, and Rick Askenase.
Next Week – To celebrate the second anniversary of the Kindle Chronicles, I plan to interview my very first guest, Baratunde Thurston, who appeared on TKC 1 on July 26, 2008.
Click here to download this episode.
Adam Weiss and I are working on the back end of the podcast, to fix some glitches that crept in with WordPress 3.0 and the Podcasting plug-in. Click here to download this episode.
News – 1: As reported by TechFlash and elsewhere, Amazon flirts with the $100 price point by offering, as available, refurbished Kindle six-inch US-only models for $109.99. Try here or here to see if they’re back in stock. 2: FastCompany and The Guardian report the demise of a would-be Kindle Killer, Interead, the UK-maker of […]
In this video I review three covers designed to protect Kindles at the beach and elsewhere this summer. You’ll see the Guardian ($79.99) by M-Edge Accessories, the KlearKase for Kindle 2 (intro price of $39.99) by KlearKase and the Waterguard case for Kindle ($14.49 + $5.75 shipping) by TrendyDigital. I filmed this review today at […]
News – 1. A study by Jakob Nielsen finds that participants read more slowly on a Kindle or an iPad than on a traditional book. Abhi raises some reasonable questions about the findings. 2. A 2006 Amazon patent comes to light and may cause problems for the Barnes & Noble nook and the Alex by […]
The FedEx guy was headed past the cottage when I flagged him down for delivery of a new Kindle DX Graphite this morning. This unboxing video provides a peek at the new E Ink Pearl screen, which truly does have noticeably better contrast than existing E Ink screens. I’ll have an interview this week with […]
I have three new Kindle covers with me in Ocean Park, Maine, all of them helpful to protect a Kindle at the beach or other summer destinations. In this video, I loaded my Kindle 6-inch US-only wireless into a waterproof Guardian cover sold by M-Edge Accessories for $79.99. Case and Kindle survived the ride in fine style.
News – 1. Amazon announces a new Kindle DX. 2. The new Digital Text Platform (DTP) 70-percent royalty option goes into effect. Stephen Windwalker’s comments here. 3. Kindle for Android launches, and Len Charnoff provides a minireview. 4. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos tells Fortune he has already seen a significant market-share shift away from high-priced e-book publishers toward those who are being aggressive on prices.
Tech Tip – Courtesy of Joel Anderson, a way to send periodicals content from Calibre to your Kindle via AOL’s free e-mail. The following is a condensed print version of the steps I discuss in the audio:
* If you are new to Calibre, run the Welcome Wizard, which you’ll find by clicking an icon at the upper right named preferences. This gives you a place to enter your AOL email address and to click on whichever e-reader device you’re using. For Amazon, you can choose to optimize content for either Kindle 1 and 2, or DX.
Next click on the Fetch News icon on the top menu bar. This will bring you to sources for news and features. Some require username and password for subscription content, but many of them are free. When you find a periodical you want, you can click on “Download Now” and it will take a while for Calibre to fetch the content and convert it to .mobi format for the Kindle, if that’s what you specified in the Welcome Wizard. Once it’s finished, you’ll see the publication name on your main library list. From there, right click on the name of the periodical, choose “Send to Device” and roll the cursor right to “email to” and you should see your AOL address.
Go to your Kindle and from the Menu button, choose Experimental and then “launch browser” next to Basic Web. Navigate to AOL, move the 5-way down till the “Get Free Mail” box is highlighted. Near the top of the page that appears next you’ll see Already have a username? Move the 5-way to highlight login and enter your username and password. When your inbox of mail appears you should see a message titled E-Book: and the name of the publication. Highlight and choose that message and then move the cursor down to “View Header (1 attachment)” and select it. On the next screen you’ll see the name of the attachment. Select and activate that link and you’ll see a message titled “Download file,” stating that the file will appear on your Kindle home screen and are you sure you want to proceed?” Click OK. You’ll know it’s working if you see percentage numbers near the top of the screen, making their way to 100 percent and Done. Once you see that, click on the Home button, and you’ll see the item ready for reading.
Interview – With three young teens (ages 13, 14, and 15) visiting us in Ocean Park, Maine, this week, I did a joint interview with them to talk about the Kindle and reading.
Content – Amazon this week launched Kindle Editions with Audio/Video and one of the first titles with the enhanced content is Together We Cannot Fail: FDR and the American Presidency in Years of Crisis by Terry Golway. I reached Golway for an interview on June 30th, shortly after he himself had heard about his previously published book’s enhancement with audio for Kindle on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch.
Comments – Jack Greene on Apple products and Tom Semple on the Russ Grandinetti interview.