News – 1) Via a clumsy email, Amazon bobbles a pilot launch for a new Kindle publication named Kindle Compass, irritating Amazon forum commenters and generating some unfavorable press coverage in All Things Digital and elsewhere. 2) Is Google readying a Kindle Fire Killer? DigiTimes has a widely noted report, citing the usual sources from upstream in the supply chain in Asia. If true, I wonder if a Google Tablet will make as much of a mark as this Google-inspired product did.
Tech Tip – How would you describe the right way to touch the screen of a Kindle Touch to a new user, over the phone? Using my BookGem Kindle holder, I made a discovery. Also, a tip for adjusting the Default Zoom setting on your Kindle Fire’s browser, for better viewing of web sites. And, why I might just need a solar-powered Kindle case for $79.99 that I saw profiled in Forbes.
Interview (starts at 12:50) – I spoke with Dr. Eric McLuhan on Wednesday, January 4th, reaching him at his home office near Kingston, Ontario. The author of The Human Equation: The Constant in Human Development from Pre-Literacy to Post-Literacy and other books, some co-authored with his father, the late Marshall McLuhan, Eric spoke of his own explorations of media and what his father might have made of the Kindle.
Content – After an enjoyable period of Kindle Fire frenzy, I have rediscovered the slow delights of reading a novel by Henry James on my Kindle Touch. It’s The Awkward Age, available for free at the Kindle Store with an intriguing and lengthy forward by the author. As for the Fire, I’ve discovered that it sits nicely on the cross trainer across the street during my 45-minute aerobic workouts, the better to admire the fierce beauty of Baltimore’s mean streets as rendered in Season One of The Wire. In music, check out Jon Cog’s fun appreciation of an Amazon mp3 sampler. In apps, when I use the Fire in bed, the screen is too bright even at the lowest brightness setting. Solution: Screen Filter, a third-party app not available in the Amazon Android Appstore – click here for discussion of it in the Amazon forums, as well as tips for installation.
Next Google Plus Video TKC Hangout: Wednesday, January 11 at 3 p.m. Mountain Time. Please e-mail me your G+ profile page URL, if you’d like to be added to the TKC Circle for invites. For help on how to do this, you can e-mail me at PodChronicles AT Gmail DOT com.