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Other posts by David Rothman

ePub and other sacrileges on the Voyage and Paperwhite: Easy jail-breaks ahead?
June 27, 2015 | 2:51 am

VoyageRootNathan ran a great write-up on the challenges of rooting the Kindle Voyage, the Paperwhite and other recent Kindles. He was following up on a how-to video on taking the Voyage apart. Meanwhile, at MobileRead, buzz persists about hacking the recent-model Kindles. Remember, Kindles are little linux beasts. Amazon has tried to turn them into corporate creatures. Now the open source community wants Paperwhites and the rest to be free again to run such applications as Cool Reader without hassles for even the knowledgeable. Among other things, Cool Reader can display ePub, the nonproprietary standard. Jail-breaking, aka letting you modify the equipment you paid for, isn't for wimpy, of course. You don't...

TeleRead’s Chris Meadows hospitalized following accident
June 27, 2015 | 2:35 am

chriscatphone.jpgChris Meadows, podcast host and long-time TeleRead writer, was hospitalized following an accident on the way to the doctor. I don't have many details beyond word of a broken rib, a black eye and a blackout, but wish Chris a fast recovery at his brother's place. Publisher's orders are for Chris not to do Sunday's scheduled podcast unless he feels absolutely up to it....

BookDrop: Email ebooks to your Kindle from Dropbox—even ePubs and other formats not normally supported
June 26, 2015 | 1:54 pm

BookDropBookDrop lets you copy ebooks from your Dropbox cloud to your Kindle gadget or app via email. That includes even ePub books and those in other formats that normally won't fly. How-tos and more details are here. No magic, just a Web-browser tweak and a related service. BookDrop adds a browser bookmark and creates its own subdirectory within Dropbox. Into it you can import ebooks from other regions of your drive. Or you can do the reverse and use Dropbox commands to export to the book-drop subdirectory within /Apps. BookDrop works with "any .epub, .mobi, .pdf, .azw, .cbr, .cbz, .txt, .rif, .doc, .docx, .htm, .html, .gif, .png, .bmp, .jpg" or .jpeg...

A dirty secret of big publishing: More fact-checking needed. Fixes on the way?
June 24, 2015 | 1:10 pm

SiliconJungleWhen I worked on The Silicon Jungle, I didn’t just benefit from a keen-eyed copy editor at Ballantine Books. Sentence by sentence, a computer consultant vetted me. A few years later I published another popular-level technical book at another big house. The amount spent on professional fact-checking? $0, despite the intricacies of the topic. Had I written that Marconi invented integrated circuits, it just might have shown up in the book despite the literary talents of the brilliant development editor. Yes, I’m indulging in hyperbole. But you get the idea. Unfortunately, the second house is far more typical of publishing these days, with book...

Smart phones : The dating and reading angles
June 22, 2015 | 11:14 am

cellphonesAtlantic2 This  Atlantic video delves into the pros and cons of smart phones for daters and others. But what about phones for reading? Have smart phones in the end done more harm than good, through distractions such as Facebook and other social media? Is your iPhone really “saving literature”? Few are keener on smart phones as reading platforms than I am---complete with my advocacy of cell phone book clubs. But for me the answer isn’t as clear-cut as you might think. It isn’t enough just to own a smart phone. You also...

Wanted: Your constructive feedback for TeleRead’s podcasters—and some graphics talent for this site
June 20, 2015 | 5:45 am

chriscatphone.jpg The first TeleRead Podcast got off to a good start---stream or download the show here or on the TalkShoe site. As already noted, the debut podcast “touched upon various stories including the Amazon/Penguin Random House contract deal, the recent change in Amazon Kindle Unlimited compensation terms, the Authors Guild fair contract initiative, the new Kindle Paperwhite, and more.” The second show will happen June 28 at 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, probably with listener call-ins. Now---how to make the podcast even better? Share constructive feedback below with host Chris Meadows (first photo), Editor-in-Chief Juli Monroe (second)  and Senior Writer Joanna Cabot (third). You...

‘Must’ for next librarian of Congress: A love of reading—including the ebook variety
June 17, 2015 | 8:34 pm

James_H._Billington_8971James Billington, 86, departing January 1 as librarian of Congress, excelled in certain areas such as Russian history. But he was not a librarian by background, and many of the real McCoys hated him. No small number of the library’s techies might have felt the same way. This Reagan-era appointee shunned e-mail and rarely picked up a cell phone. And e-books? Forget it. “Search techniques are embedded in e-books that invite people to dabble rather than follow  a full train of thought,” he said in 2011. Yes, you can dabble. But Billington zeroed in...

Books in Browsers conference on pause. Up with dedicated e-reading apps for now!
June 15, 2015 | 5:29 am

moonI’m not surprised to see the Books in Browsers conference go on pause. For me, most browser-based books are letdowns compared to e-books as read with the better apps, such as Moon+ Reader Pro (screenshot). Moon and the like let you tweak the typography precisely and do other customization. I truly, truly hate the ergonomic disasters that books in browsers can be at their worst. Somehow you can’t get the type size right. Or maybe the content just disappears and you can’t do anything since you exercise so little control. No, I’m won’t necessarily be as hard on b-in-b in the future. The tech is...

How much to price an ebook? An old debate revisited
June 15, 2015 | 4:49 am

alisonperryLower pricing definitely doesn't always mean more sales or borrows is a new thread at Kindle Boards. “So I dropped the price on my book for the weekend to 99 cents,” writes Alison Perry, the South Carolina-based author of Hell’s Belles. “I also have a promo on Tuesday and (being new) I wasn't sure how long it would take for the price to update. Well, I went from 3-4 sales and a couple borrows a day to nothing." Significantly, Kindle Direct Publishing offers 70 percent royalties on books priced between $2.99 and $9.99. OK,...

Podcast, RSS and email list updates—plus a collection of Joanna Cabot’s provocative essays on e-reading
June 14, 2015 | 7:13 pm

chriscatphoneChris Meadows has already broken word of the forthcoming TeleRead podcast. Pass on your ideas within the comments area for his post. How important is it to you that we do listener call-ins? We may start out without call-ins to keep down the complexities.  Any thoughts on show topics? As for a title, I’m personally thinking of “Ebook Talk, with Chris and Juli”---in homage to Car Talk. Love it? Hate it? Ebook Talk is just a working title. I can see the show as a mix of news, views and practical Car Talk-style tips, with Chris and...

Voice Dream text-to-speech reader to appear for Android in August
June 11, 2015 | 1:32 pm

ipad_middleI’ve praised the Voice Dream e-reader as a stellar way to enjoy text to speech of files in ePub, HTML, plain text, Word and other formats. Other apps offer TTS. But Voice Dream Reader also comes with wonderful navigational and annotative capabilities as well as a rich assortment of voices. It’s integrated with DropBox, Google Drive and EverNotes, and you can even download to it directly from Project Gutenberg Now---some great news: Voice Dream Reader for Android will enter Beta in a few days and should be in the Apple Store at the start of August....

E-books vs. paper: Psychologist Krystine Batcho is more open minded than many academics
June 7, 2015 | 11:21 am

KRYSTINE BATCHOYes, toddlers fare better with paper books, which they can feel. But don’t knock e-books. Skeptics would do well to spend a week on E before giving up on it. Even older people can make the leap. Their brains are still plastic enough to adjust. That’s the word from Krystine Batcho, a professor of psychology at Le Moyne college and a contributor to such publications as Psychology Today. You can hear more from her via Len Edgerly’s must-listen podcast, The Kindle Chronicles. Click here and scroll down to the audio player. The interview begins 17 minutes into...

‘On loving books I can’t remember’
June 7, 2015 | 10:48 am

Natalia_Sylvester_“I’ve struggled with this realization for a while now. I tell myself I’ll go back and reread them, but there’s always some shiny new book I’m dying to read instead, and endless piles on my shelves I still must get to. When I consider how many books I consume each year, I suppose it’s not so bad. Books are like people, I often think: full of depth and character, interesting to some of us but not others. Like the many people I encounter in my daily life, I can’t remember everything about them.” – Latina novelist Natalia Sylvester, author of...

What? Robots threaten ME? Here’s how I’d use one to write TeleRead posts
June 7, 2015 | 10:06 am

NAO-RobotNate got it right when he said journalists should spend less time worrying about robots and more time figuring out how to befriend the silicon. Human/bot collaborations, anyone? He mentioned the use of robots to write up the basics when earthquakes struck L.A.---followed by in-depth reporting by human. And now here’s my own example. The Marvin e-book reader, among TeleRead Editor-in-Chief Juli Monroe’s favorites, doesn’t churn out news stories. But it can help sum up the essence of a book. Same for Amazon’s X-ray feature. Now imagine newsbots that would do this in a more sophisticated way---not...

50 latest TeleRead posts: Just scroll down and see the links in the right sidebar (Updated)
June 7, 2015 | 9:15 am

100latestTeleReadPostsTeleRead community member Lee Fyock, one of the pioneers of the e-book business, as a software guy at Palm, made a first-class suggestion the other day. "It’d be great,” Lee wrote of TeleRead, “if the articles 'stuck around' on the site, perhaps on a sidebar, rather than immediately scrolling off, never to be seen if I don’t visit the site thrice a day." Done, Lee. Scroll down, and in the right sidebar you’ll be able to see links to the 50 most recent TeleRead posts.  Just click on the word “Latest.” Suddenly the whole list will...

Our anti-spam Dobes: Please e-mail us if they delete your valuable comments
June 6, 2015 | 2:34 pm

Doberman_Pinschers_black_and_blue (1)Is LSD in the virtual dog food of our anti-spam Dobermans---well, actually the Akismet service? The Dobes have killed valuable comments from veteran TeleRead community members such as Frank Lowney and Michael W. Perry. Anyone know of some Dobe trainers out there? We’ll investigate the possibility of white-listing. This is an old problem. It was there when I owned TeleRead before. And, while filtering tech is better, it’s still there now. Meanwhile please e-mail Editor-in-Chief Juli Monroe and cc me if the Dobes eat up your comments. Often a Lazarus act within WordPress can retrieve your killed comments from our anti-spam Dobes’ stomachs and...

E-book-lovers vs. proprietary formats (yes, P is still evil)
June 6, 2015 | 11:28 am

Cumbres_&_Toltec_trainTeleRead writers traditionally have been strong supporters of e-book standards. No blinking. No hesitation. ePub is the way to go in most cases. The majority of us have just hated proprietary formats even though companies like Amazon make them hard to avoid. Proprietary formats remind us of the time when trains commonly ran on tracks of different gauges. But as TeleRead’s owner, I've made it clear we don't have party lines.  And today’s beautifully written essay from Chris Meadows, my friend and much-appreciated colleague, illustrates this. Mind you, Chris isn't directly cheering proprietary formats. He...

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