TKC 174 Russ Grandinetti

News – 1) Amazon reports record Kindle sales on Black Friday. Laura Hazard Owen has details on estimates of the Kindle Fire’s market share compared with Apple’s iPad 2. At Best Buy, the Fire bests the iPad 2, but you need to read the fine print on that one.  Amazon posts a point-by-point comparison of the two tablets.  2) Amazon announces new Kindle Stores for Spain and Italy.

Tech TipFire: Reports surface of WiFi connection problems with the Kindle Fire. Bruce Beris posts an overview and troubleshooting suggestions. Also, how to get some hot orange color into the name of your Fire. E-Ink: How to make screenshots with your basic Kindle (hold down the menu and keyboard buttons at the same time, then release) and Kindle Touch. Also, how to tell your Kindle with Special Offers which city you want to see offers in.

Interview (Starts at 16:03) – Russ Grandinetti, Amazon’s Vice President for Kindle Content, gives details of the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library for Amazon Prime members and describes the similar mentality of the Kindle Fire and the e-ink Kindles. He doesn’t sound worried about the Nook Tablet or Big Six publishers’ lack of enthusiasm for the Lending Library. I spoke with Russ by phone and Skype on November 28.

Content – Jean Remple shares content possibilities for the Fire, including two blockbuster comic books by Alan Moore and Co., Watchmen and V for Vendetta. Also, Jean’s favorite music station and his wife Laila’s recommendation of handsome art books by the Ankele husband and wife team showcasing the art of  Rembrandt, Jean-François Millet, and Honoré Daumier. Garrett Riley recommends a great web tool for seeing the order of books in a series. The Wall Street Journal is now available as an app on the Fire.

Other links mentioned“After the Wedding” on Amazon Prime instant video.

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Comments 5

  1. Steve Gold wrote:

    Aloha Len,

    Jean Remple recommended Temple Grandin lectures for the Fire and you noted that she lives near Denver suggesting to me that you may want to interview her.
    As a movie buff I can also suggest to you that you may wish to see her inspiring movie biography, “Temple Grandin”, starring Claire Danes in an excellent performance which was on HBO in February. It is available on DVD from Netflix or to buy or rent from Amazon (but apparently not on the Prime instant video playlist.)



    Posted 03 Dec 2011 at 1:19 pm
  2. Bob Lee wrote:

    Since you mentioned music/radio on the Fire, Amazon has a new free Christmas song every day available for download. You can find them here->

    Posted 03 Dec 2011 at 3:55 pm
  3. Bob Lee wrote:

    I had a hard time finding books for the Touch with the X-ray feature. If you want to see what that is about, here is a free sci-fi e-book from Kurt Vonnegut that has X-ray.

    (To invoke X-ray, open the book, tap at the top to get the menu, and then there will be an X-ray button at the bottom right, replacing the SYNC button normally there)

    Posted 03 Dec 2011 at 4:02 pm
  4. jmkizer wrote:

    “We didn’t want to bug folks” about the lending library. Have they seen the number of emails Amazon sends me each day?!

    Posted 05 Dec 2011 at 11:01 am
  5. Frank Jay Gruber wrote:

    Hi Len and fellow Kindle Chronicles listeners.

    I discovered the podcast a month ago and find myself looking forward to it each week.

    As an instructor of literature and composition at the college level, I do a vast amount of reading each day. For me, the large screen E-ink Kindle DX has been my model of choice for years, and I even recently picked up a second unit during Amazon’s $120 off Black Friday Weekend Sale. Intrigued by the launch event (your e-book account is excellent, by the way), I also purchased a Fire, my first foray into the tablet computing world.

    So far my experience with the new device is mostly a pleasant one, but I did encounter one colossal frustration that I thought I might share with you and your audience:

    To date I have purchased 528 Kindle titles, while I only chose to download a small fraction to my Fire. As I am sure you know, under the Books menu there are options to view both your Cloud and Device collections. For some still unknown reason, the other night my Fire displayed only the same already downloaded titles under both the Cloud and Device views. In other words, I had no access to more than 450 of my purchases stored in the Cloud. I tried all of the usual computer remedies involving rebooting the device and reestablishing the wi-fi connection and nothing helped. I finally contacted Amazon Tech Support.

    To my surprise, not only did the first representative not understand the nature of the problem, she did not even understand the functionality of the device. She suggested I not even try tapping on titles on the Fire to download them, but rather do so on the site under Manage Your Kindle. She finally put me on with her supervisor, who was only marginally more familiar with the Fire.

    His initial advice was to restore the Fire to its initial settings using the command in the Settings menu. Since I had spent the better part of two weeks customizing my bookmarks and content, I asked if there was an alternative. After repeatedly promising me that I would lose none of my 4 gigs of downloaded TV episodes, movies and books, he instructed me to deregister the device and reregister it. From all that I had read about Kindles, this seemed incorrect. Once the device was deregistered, all of my personally purchased content should not be there. He assured me this was not the case with the Fire model. Reluctantly, I did as I was told.

    As I feared, although my imported documents remained, I lost all 4 gigs of purchased device content, including downloaded apps, videos and books. Hours of downloading wasted! When I informed the supervisor of this, he said something about our connection being bad and that he would have to put me on hold. He then broke the connection and the line went dead. Not only that, but he did not send me the usual Amazon “Did I solve your problem?” e-mail with links for Yes and No.

    I realize the Fire is a new device, but it’s hard to reconcile Amazon’s stated commitment to customer service with the way I was treated. Other than this frustration, my Fire experience is a pleasant one (although, even at the lowest brightness setting, I still find reading on the device problematic for any but the shortest duration). Like you, I am particularly enjoying the streaming Prime videos.

    Although I am glad the Fire is a major success for Amazon, I hope it will not undermine their long term commitment to the E-ink readers. Although most readers clearly covet the smaller device size, my DX is my most loved electronic companion. I hope I can someday look forward to new iterations.

    Keep up the excellent work with the podcast. I will be listening!

    Posted 06 Dec 2011 at 1:32 pm