TKC 179 Dr. Eric McLuhan

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.

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Comments 7

  1. Stephen wrote:

    Len, you mentioned Screen Filter this week. Might want to check out Screen Dim instead. Lots of the folks at the MobileRead forums like it better.
    They have the full version for 99 cents and a free trial version as well to check it out before buying it.

    Posted 07 Jan 2012 at 3:14 am
  2. Stephen wrote:

    Len, lots of Kindle Fire owners hate that it doesn’t have physical volume buttons.

    Here’s a great virtual solution to put an always active but hidden volume slider anywhere you want on your Fire:

    Volume Control app

    Must be sideloaded of course.

    Try it out.

    Posted 07 Jan 2012 at 3:21 am
  3. Len Edgerly wrote:

    Stephen, I just installed the Volume Control app, and it works great! I chose a very transparent volume-bar for the bottom center of the Fire’s screen. So I can always see it, but it doesn’t distract much from whatever’s on the screen. Thanks very much for leaving this good tip!

    Posted 07 Jan 2012 at 10:26 am
  4. David Doyle wrote:

    I wanted to second the recommendation for ScreenDim. It’s easy to install and invaluable.

    Posted 07 Jan 2012 at 11:27 am
  5. Hattie wrote:

    Thanks for all these tips from you and your readers.

    Posted 09 Jan 2012 at 3:35 pm
  6. Julie wrote:

    It’s clear Dr. Eric McLuhan has never seen or touched or attempted to read on a Kindle. I lose myself in a book all the time. You only have to look around at the mess in my house to realize that. 😉

    Posted 12 Jan 2012 at 8:02 pm
  7. Pat Montgomery wrote:

    For a moment I thought that I was misunderstanding Dr. McLuhan and his ideas about electronic reading devices. After I realized he had not actually used one, I skipped the rest of the interview. Sorry, I usually listen to the whole broadcast.

    The recommendations for ScreenDim and Volume Control sound like good solutions to help fix the problems for the Kindle Fire.

    Posted 16 Jan 2012 at 10:01 pm