TKC 103 Lawrence Schwartz

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 Spring Design. 3. James Patterson reportedly becomes the first author to sell a million e-books.

Tech Tip – Tom Semple helps me improve my earlier idea for Darlene, on how she could e-mail a list of recommended titles to her sister and friend.  Here are the steps Tom outlines for e-mailing the screen shots as a PDF directly to their Kindles instead of to their personal e-mail addresses:

1. connect Kindle via USB
2. navigate with Finder to /Volumes/Kindle/documents
3. select screen_shot*.gif files and Open with Preview (Mac only; PC would require another program)
4. if there’s more than one .gif file to send, Preview opens a sidebar with thumbnails of each. Select all items in the sidebar by clicking in it and choosing ‘Select All’ from the Edit menu (or use Command+A)
5. from File menu, choose ‘Print selected images’
6. ideally, set up a custom Paper Size the size of Kindle’s screen (3.5″ x 4.75″) and select that as the Paper Size (results in smaller file)
7. click PDF dropdown and choose ‘Mail PDF’. this will launch the mail client and attach the PDF to a new email
8. address the email to the Kindles (you could set up an email address Group for this) and send
9. (cleanup) close Preview and delete the .gif files from the Kindle.

Content – A favorite author of mine, Lewis Hyde, has a new book available for pre-order in Kindle edition, Common as Air: Revolution, Art, and Ownership. Whispernet delivery is scheduled for August 17. Click here to watch Hyde’s presentation at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

Interview – Lawrence Schwartz, Marketing Director at E Ink Holdings, Inc., in Cambridge, Mass., explains how come the new Pearl E Ink screen looks so good on the Kindle DX Graphite which arrived here in Ocean Park, Maine, this week.

Comments – Rebecca, Loren Casuto, and Jean Remple weigh in on last week’s provocative comments by my 14-year-old nephew visiting from Nebraska. Tom Semple announces his new website on digital publishing. Marie Sotiriou links to a great “On the Media” episode about the future of the book, featuring comments by Bob Stein, founder of the Institute for the Future of the Book.

Click here to download this episode.

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Comments 5

  1. Marie Sotiriou wrote:


    I received my DX on Thursday night and here are a few comments based on the last couple of days.

    – Much better contrast than my old K1. The text appears black versus the dark grey on the original Kindle.

    – The screen actually seems to have even better contrast in the bright sun than indoors.

    – Rich black inks, the Kindle screen savers really do look great.

    – I know that you mentioned on the podcast that you felt the refresh rate was slower than your K2, but I have an original K1 and found the DX much faster. It also seems that the web pages load a lot quicker as well.

    – The device is definitely heavier, but I do like the size of the E-Ink screen. I take the train to work, so the DX will still fit comfortably in my briefcase. Many of the articles that I have read on the E-Ink technology predict that the next generation of E-Readers will use a lighter weight material (with a plastic substrate instead of the glass), so the next version of the DX will probably be even lighter than the current K2.

    – There are many reviews starting to crop up on the web, but it’s difficult to see the higher contrast in a photograph (for those of you who are interested in the advances of the new pearl screen). I found that the video review posted on the Mobile Tech site did a good job of showing the screen (especially if you change the settings to HD on the tool bar below the video).

    Link to Mobile Tech Review Video:

    Thanks for the podcast!

    Marie Sotiriou

    Posted 10 Jul 2010 at 6:01 am
  2. Peggy Poellot wrote:

    Hi Len, As always, thanks for the podcast. However the inverview today with Lawrence Schwartz was a little frustrating. He did a lot of salesman-speak and frequently did not directly answer your questions. For instance, when you asked him about the whiteness of the Kindle background and if that could be improved upon in the future or if it was inherent in the E Ink technology, he responded that E Ink’s background was the best out there right now instead of answering the question. I suppose though, as marketing director, selling his product is his top concern. That said, thanks a lot for a wonderful podcast. I also appreciate your videos. The surfing with your Kindle was great fun!

    Posted 10 Jul 2010 at 8:54 am
  3. Peggy Poellot wrote:

    Okay, to comment on my own previous comment, I should have listened to the end of the interview before jumping online to comment. Len, you did acknowledge that Mr. Schartz would not spill the beans on future plans. Sorry for jumping the gun.

    Posted 10 Jul 2010 at 9:08 am
  4. Chris Martin wrote:


    First, thanks a lot for the quick interview with Mr. Schwartz. When I saw your unboxing video my first impulse was to run and buy a DX immediately. I’m still mulling over the purchase, but I’m not sure I’d enjoy reading on a larger device as much as I enjoy reading on the smaller Kindle.

    Second, the comment you read from a listener named Lauren about your nephew Stephen got me thinking more about the “problem” of kids, especially boys, not reading at his age, and specifically my own childhood. I’d like to say I was “always” a reader, but thinking about it now I don’t think that’s true. I don’t think I really became a reader until I found an author that really appealed to me. That author is Tom Clancy, whom I “discovered” in the late 1980s just before the movie version of Hunt for Red October was released. The genre was perfect for me, and I still enjoy military or political thrillers. I’ve since branched out in to other genres, but without Clancy I don’t think I’d ever be as much of a reader as I am now.

    Because your nephew likes video games (as do I) perhaps novels based on video games would interest him. If he likes Halo, one of the most popular video game franchises of all time, there is an entire 13 volume series of Halo novels. They aren’t necessarily based on the video games, but they do include the main character, Master Chief. Here’s a link to a list of all of the Halo books:

    There’s also a series of books based on the video game Splinter Cell and one based on another Tom Clancy video game, Ghost Recon. If Stephen likes those games perhaps he’d like the books too.

    I also think that based on his comments in the interview perhaps Stephen would definitely like an iPad more than a Kindle because he could read graphic novels on an iPad in color. My brother reads graphic novels, I think on a pretty regular basis, in addition to historical fiction and other genres. If he had a Kindle he could read some of his books but graphic novels are pretty much out of the question until the color e-ink technology becomes a consumer reality, hopefully like Mr. Schwartz said at the end of this year.

    Lauren’s point that the key is finding a genre or author he likes is absolutely correct I think. Because he already is in to video games perhaps that’s a way to “hook” him in to reading and creating your own pictures can be just as much fun as video games.

    Posted 13 Jul 2010 at 4:32 pm
  5. Matt wrote:

    I agree with Chris that an iPad may be a more exciting way of encouraging Stephen to read. My daughter, who is 10, reads a lot but has no interest in our Kindle at all but will happily read books on her iPod Touch.

    Posted 15 Dec 2010 at 8:24 am