Tag Archives: Kindle Daily Deals

Morning Links: Apple Music First Look. Kickstarter Setting Records

apple musicApple Music First Look: Rich, Robust — But Confusing (re/code)
I’ve been testing Apple Music on an iPhone 6 Plus, loaned to me by Apple for about a day. Because of the short testing time, this isn’t a full-on review but a first look. I set out to gather some initial impressions of how it feels to use the product. And to answer the question: Would I pay $10 a month — $120 a year — to use it?

TeleRead Take: It seemed like half my feed today was “Apple Music this” and “Apple Music that.” This was a good article asking the right questions and looking at it from a consumer-focused angle.

Kickstarter Still Setting Records Despite Everyone Wanting Everything For Free (Techdirt)
What’s remarkable about Kickstarter is that it’s over half a decade old and, despite some still embracing the old myths, it’s somehow still setting records in raising money for content producers.

TeleRead Take: I think we’re only going to see more crowdfunding because it gives people a chance to be involved with something they are interested in or passionate about. It just makes sense.

AppleCare Now Covers Worn-Out Batteries (Gizmodo)
Built-in batteries mean a built-in expiry date for gadgets: lithium-ion batteries slowly lose their ability to hold charge over time, eventually dying an ignominious death, and rendering your expensive gizmo useless — unless, that is, you’ve got AppleCare.

TeleRead Take: Reduced battery life is the main reason I replace my phones. I don’t think iPhones are covered under this, but boy, if they were…

Multi-touch iBooks on the iPhone: Like a PDF, Only From Apple (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
Pundits have been hoping for a couple years now that Apple would give the iPhone support for ebooks made with iBooks Author, and now that it has arrived I do not think it lives up to the anticipation.

TeleRead Take: Although many will disagree with me, I’m not a fan of fixed ebook layout, so I’m not surprised this round is underwhelming.

Kindle Daily Deals: Twisted (and others)

Morning Links: Comixology Subscription Plan? New Movie Anti-Piracy Ads Aimed at Moviegoers

comiXologyComixology to Launch “All You Can Read” Subscription Plan? (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
There’s an unsubstantiated, unverified, and unsupported (but almost certainly true) rumor going around today that Comixology is about to offer a Kindle Unlimited type of subscription service for digital comics.

TeleRead Take: Considering I am quite interested in reading the Civil War comics before next year’s movie, I’d be all over this.

MPAA Targets New Anti-Piracy Ads… At People Who Already Paid To Go See Movies (Techdirt)
Here, for example, is the MPAA, the guardian of Hollywood’s old way of doing business, launching a big new “anti-piracy ad campaign” by… advertising to the people who already paid to see movies in the theater:

TeleRead Take: This reminds me of all the times I got punished in school along with the entire class when it was like one person who actually misbehaved.

For Indie Writers: You have the control. Own it. (Elizabeth Hunter)
Whatever the reason you decided to self-publish, there you are. You’ve done it. Now please own it.

TeleRead Take: I know it’s not popular to remind authors that they need to treat their writing as a business, but, really, it needs to be treated like a business.

Years Of Pretending Netflix Cord Cutting Wasn’t Real Is Biting The Cable Industry In The Ass (Techdirt)
The analysts at FBR Capital Markets note that Netflix served 10 billion hours of internet video content in the first quarter of the year, roughly two hours per subscriber per day. By dividing this two-hour figure by 24 hours, then multiplying it by the number of U.S. Netflix subscribers as a percentage of households, the analysts estimate Netflix would see a Q1 ratings score of 2.6, on par with both ABC and NBC.

TeleRead Take: And with Netflix and Amazon producing their own shows, it’s getting harder and harder to tell who’s a network and who isn’t.

Kindle Daily Deals: The Eternal Wonder (and others)

Morning Links: B&N Revenues Down. Hoopla Adds Digital Comics

B&NB&N Reports Revenues Down Across the Board (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
According to the press release (which was also filed with the SEC as the 10-K report), the company saw a net loss was $19.4 million in the 4th quarter, compared to $36.7 million in the same period last year. For FY2015 B&N reported net earnings of $36.6 million, down from $47.3 million in the prior fiscal year.

TeleRead Take: Not a big surprise. I didn’t think the hardware deal with Samsung was the right way to go. Plus awesome innovations like preventing downloading of books file to computers. Going the way of Borders, guys.

Library Content Platform Hoopla Digital Adds DC Comics (Digital Book World)
hoopla digital, the digital library content distributor, expands its offering of digital comics in a deal with DC Entertainment

TeleRead Take: I would be lots more excited if my library were participating. Looks decent, though, if you’re fortunate enough to belong to one that does.

How LG’s Garbage Phone Evolved Into My Favorite Ever (Gizmodo)
Two years ago I wrote one of the harshest reviews that has ever appeared on Gizmodo. It was for the LG G2, which was supposed to be the company’s flagship Android phone for the year, but it was just bad. I wasn’t shy about saying so. I was so unshy, in fact, that LG tried to get me fired for it.

But now here I sit, two years later, with LG’s G4 in my pocket. And guess what? It’s the best phone I’ve ever used.

TeleRead Take: Great story of an opinion turn around. Warning, though. Do not watch the video of the LG alarm tone. Ignore this at your peril.

Christ, Not Even Jurassic World’s Dinosaur Toys Are Allowed to Be Female (io9)
The omnipresent practice of denying girls action figures has somehow hit a new low. Remember how in the Jurassic World movie, most of the dinosaurs—especially Chris Pratt’s Raptor squad—were constantly referred to as girls? Well, as Jurassic World action figures, they’ve all been genderswapped into boys.

TeleRead Take: While an unfortunate decision, I think io9 is drawing a mistaken conclusion. This sounds to me like a clueless marketing department rather than gender bias. But I could be wrong. Hasbro has stumbled on this issue in the past.

Kindle Daily Deals: Four Books in the She Can Series (and others)

Morning Links: No Curfew For Adult eBooks. Cord Cutting On the Rise

cord cuttingeBooks Won’t Actually Be Getting a Curfew in Germany (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
Yes, that is as crazy as it sounds, but now it appears that German regulators recognize that fact as well. A new story crossed my desk this morning which suggests that the curfew might not be enforced after all.

TeleRead Take: So glad it appears sanity is prevailing here. With the global economy, restrictions like this make no sense anymore (assuming they ever did).

New Study Shows A Rise In Cord Cutting – 8.2 Percent Ditched Pay TV In 2014, Up 1.3% YoY (TechCrunch)
There’s been some debate about how many consumers are actually cutting ties with their pay TV providers and replacing them with over-the-top streaming media services – a trend generally referred to as “cord cutting.” But a recent study indicates that the number of cord cutters in North America is, in fact growing – in 2014, 8.2 percent of former pay TV subscribers surveyed by TiVo subsidiary Digitalsmiths said they ditched their service – an increase of 1.3 percent over the prior year. Meanwhile, a much larger 45.2 percent said they reduced their cable or satellite TV service during the same time frame.

TeleRead Take: We cut the cord many years ago (maybe even as long as a decade now). Honestly, never missed it. Okay, I miss BBC America when Doctor Who is on, but for that, there’s Amazon Instant Video.

Free Music Showdown: What $0 Gets You on the Best Streaming Services (Lifehacker)
Now that Google has joined the ranks of the free streaming services, we decided to take a look and see which ones offer the best features. Here are the key differences, and which service is best for which type of user.

TeleRead Take: Nice roundup of the major options.

Penguin Merges Berkley, NAL (Publisher’s Weekly)
As sales of mass market paperbacks continue to decline, the Penguin Publishing Group has combined its two divisions that house the format–Berkley and New American Library–into a single group called the Berkley Publishing Group. Among other things, the merger will result in the elimination of a currently unspecified number of positions.

TeleRead Take: Too bad for the people who are losing their positions, but the decline of the mass market paperback is probably going to lead to more division mergers like this in the future.

Kindle Daily Deals: Two Books in the Lomax and Biggs Mystery Series (and others)

Morning Links: Wendig on Fixing Kindle Unlimited. Real Price of Traditional Publishing

kindle unlimitedHere’s How Amazon Could Fix Kindle Unlimited (Terrible Minds)
So, Amazon — you and me, we’re pals. We’re cuddlebuddies, right?

I’m going to fix Kindle Unlimited for you.

I’m going to blow it open and make it awesome for authors.

TeleRead Take: I’m usually not a fan of Chuck Wendig (he’s often too extreme for me), but he make such good sense here that it’s worth sharing. Nothing exactly new but still good stuff, in Wendig’s unique style. 😉

The New World of Publishing: The Real Price of Traditional Publishing (Dean Wesley Smith)
Now I could go on and on about the illusionary “support” traditional publishers and agents say they give writers, but anyone who has dealt with that system for any length of time knows that’s just gotten worse as well in the last ten years. Far, far worse. So I’m going to skip that sink-hole for this blog and just talk about the real costs of selling a book to a traditional publisher.

TeleRead Take: Smith breaks down the numbers here, and they are eye-opening. He shows that to equal a typical traditional advance, a genre book needs to sell 35 copies a year. To put this in perspective, except for 2011 (when I published my first fiction book in December), I have consistently sold 35 copies a year of each of my fiction books. (In 2011, I sold 28 in that one month.) So I am making more from my books than the average traditionally published genre author, and I’m no where near quitting my various day jobs. Scary.

iOS 9 will automatically delete your apps to free space for updates (Cult of Mac)
Upgrading to a new version of iOS isn’t an easy task if you’ve got a device with 16GB or storage or less. Starting with iOS 9 though, Apple’s going to help you free up space by automatically deleting your apps. But don’t worry, it’ll put them right back after updates are done.

TeleRead Take: As long as my iPad puts them back, I’m okay with this. I’ve done the app delete dance for an upgrade before. I think I’d rather do the Gangnam Style…

6 Ways Evernote Embraces Handwriting (Evernote Blog)
Sometimes you’re out and about and there’s no better way to capture an idea than to write it down or sketch it out on your phone. With Evernote for Android, you’ve got handwriting built in.

TeleRead Take: For you, Paul. :)

Kindle Daily Deals: Cold Judgment

Morning Links: Typeface Mimics Dyslexia. Why Apple Might Become a Bank

dyslexic-font1-250x140This Typeface Simulates Reading with Dyslexia (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
Daniel Britton doesn’t have to wonder; he’s had the condition all his life, and now he’s found a way to communicate it to others.

TeleRead Take: I’ve always had sympathy for people with dyslexia, but it grew significantly after reading this article. I could read virtually none of the sample text. As much as I love reading, it’s painful to think of others doing with difficulty what I do with ease.

Opinion: Seven reasons I think Apple may become a bank within the next five years (9 to 5 Mac)
Now that Apple Pay has launched, and already proven a big success, I think the argument for Apple to make the move are even stronger. So here are seven reasons I think Apple may become a bank within the next five years …

TeleRead Take: While he makes some good points, I’m not sure I’d use Apple as a bank. I can’t even put my finger on why exactly. It just leaves an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. Which is interesting, because I like Apple and their products a lot.

Stowaway Cat Sneaks Into An Airplane And Rides The Wing Back To Earth (Flight Club)
Just another routine flight in this ultralight aircraft, ‘til a cat pops out of the port side wing and realizes why its sleeping spot got so noisy all of a sudden! Don’t worry, the plane and cat got down safely.

TeleRead Take: Yes, I do like cats, and, even though I knew the cat made it down safely, I was on the edge of my seat watching the video. I know it’s only marginally (if that) on topic, but it was too good a story not to share.

Supreme Court Quotes Spiderman’s ‘Great Power, Great Responsibility’ Line In Rejecting Royalties On Expired Patent (Techdirt)
The Supreme Court ruled on the case today and did, in fact, protect the public domain, saying that Marvel doesn’t need to pay. Specifically, the Court rejected a request to overturn a previous ruling (the “Brulotte” case) that said that you cannot charge royalties on an expired patent. The majority decision was written by Justice Kagan (who has shown, in the past, to understand these issues pretty clearly). It was a 6 to 3 ruling, with Alito, Roberts and Thomas dissenting.

TeleRead Take: Yes, I did select this one because of the Spiderman line. Best part? Justice Kagen quoted a comic book, not the movie. Nerd cred!!

Kindle Daily Deals: Wreckage (and others)

Morning Links: Apple Receives Helen Keller Award. 1990s Guide to the Web

appleApple receives Helen Keller Award for its pioneering VoiceOver feature (Cult of Mac)
Organized by the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), Apple was specifically praised for VoiceOver, the iOS feature which reads out descriptions of everything happening on a device’s display.

TeleRead Take: Go Apple. What’s not to like here?

This 1990s Guide to Using the Web Is Delightful (Gizmodo)
Once upon a time you didn’t just use the internet, you were a “nethead” who “surfed the web” and “sailed data streams.” This is how we talked about the internet.

TeleRead Take: Yes, there was a time when we needed paper books to tell us how to use the Internet. :)

Why the music industry is fighting the wrong copyright battle (The Guardian)
On Friday, the high court in London ruled that when you rip your lawfully owned CDs, transfer a DVD movie to a USB-only device, or backup your playlists, consumers are potentially “harming” rights holders.

TeleRead Take: This is silly and several steps backward. In no sane world am I harming anyone by ripping my purchased CDs. Heck, Amazon auto rips some of them for me when I buy the CD. Really, guys?

IMAX’s absurd attempt to censor Ars [Updated] (Ars Technica)
On June 16, Ars Technica was contacted by IMAX Corporation. The company said our story required a retraction because it included a brief reference to IMAX—included without IMAX’s permission. “Any unauthorized use of our trademark is expressly forbidden,” IMAX’s Deputy General Counsel G. Mary Ruby wrote in a letter.

TeleRead Take: IMAX subsequently apologized, as they should, but it’s still worth reading for the utter silliness of the attempt.

Kindle Daily Deals: A Swollen Red Sun (and others)

Morning Links: What Is a Book? Pebble Time Review

pebble tiimeA Book is a Book: What is a Book? (Dear Author)
When you hear the word book, what comes to mind?

TeleRead Take: It’s a fair question. eBooks have been challenging the question. I think about it when I “report” finished books to Goodreads. Most of the time, I don’t bother with “books” which are really short stories. I suppose it skews the numbers, but who really cares but me?

Pebble Time review (Android Central)
Can the Pebble Time stand against the likes of full-touchscreen Android-based watches from the big players who make our Android phones? That was my question going into things. In some ways, it can (and actually does some things better) — and in other ways it can’t.

TeleRead Take: I’ve thought for a while now that if I were going to get a smartwatch, I’d go for a Pebble. I do like that eInk screen and the ability to use it on both iOS and Android.

My Smartphone Doesn’t Need to Be Revolutionary (Lifehacker)
In the last month, both Apple and Google had press conferences showing off their new operating systems. Both were met with a resounding “meh” followed by outcries that Apple’s just an imitator these days. Here’s an unpopular opinion: I don’t care.

TeleRead Take: It’s a fair point, I think. Those of us who love tech want the latest, greatest and coolest but the average user probably feels the same way as the author.

Bring a New Dimension to the Classroom – Verso for iPad (iPad Insight)
There are so many educational apps for iPad out there, many are total rubbish, some fall into the category of “Cool, but not quite good enough to give me a tangible educational benefit”. A select few though are real bankers and very occasionally, an app comes along which enables me to change something for the better in my classroom. Verso is one such app. The central premise of Verso is that it will collect responses, or answers to a stimulus and allows other people in the group or class to see them anonymously, which takes the worry out of who is saying what. The teacher, or group creator can see individual names of respondents so can see who as or hasn’t responded.

TeleRead Take: This looks like it has real potential. My teachers probably wish they’d had something like it when I was in school because, yes, I was one of those obnoxious students who knew all the answers and raised her hand constantly.

Kindle Daily Deal: The 5 Greatest Warriors (and others)

Morning Links: Reports of iOS Ad Blocking May Be Premature. Fix or Replace?

ios 9iOS 9 content blocking extensions are not a mobile advertising armageddon (Baldur Bjarnason)
Over the past couple of days I sat down and did what most tech columnists seem unwilling to do: I actually looked into what an announced API is capable of. Namely, the upcoming iOS 9 Safari content blocking extensions.

TeleRead Take: I had thought all the hoopla last week about “no more ads on iOS browsers” might have been overblown. Looks like I might have been correct. We’ll see as the API goes into wider use.

Should You Fix That Broken Gadget or Just Buy a New One? (Lifehacker)
Sometimes fixing a dying laptop, cracked screen, busted motherboard, or blinky game console is almost as pricey as buying a new one. When that happens, you have a pretty tough decision to make: Do you stick with what you’ve been using and love, or get something shiny and new? Here’s what you should consider before making the choice.

TeleRead Take: I usually opt for replacing because nothing says happiness better than a shiny new gadget. At least for me.

‘The Overselling Of Self-Publishing': New Perspective (Thought Catalog)
Here in New York City where BookExpo America (BEA) is holding the focus of many in the traditional publishing establishment, a friend and I were finishing lunch at Café Luxembourg when the waiter approached.

“I overheard you guys talking about publishing,” he said. “I wondered if you could give me any advice about self-publishing versus the regular way. What I really want to know is can I just go ahead and self-publish first?”

TeleRead Take: Folks on Twitter were pretty down on this article, but I’m not sure I agree. The main thrust of the article seems to be that choice is good, which echoes Kris Rusch. It also discusses how some authors rush too soon to self-publishing. While I’m not a fan of jumping through all the traditional hoops, I can’t say it’s entirely wrong about that either.

iOS 9’s Split View for iPad is everything you hoped it would be (Cult of Mac)
When iOS 9 rolls out to the public this fall, it’ll be iPad users that appreciate it most, thanks to the many improvements Apple has made to multitasking. One of the biggest is Split View, a feature that’s exclusive to the iPad Air 2, which lets you run two apps side-by-side — just like you would on your Mac.

TeleRead Take: Could my iPad 4 just break already? I’ve said for the last couple of years that I will keep using it until it breaks or an awesome new iOS feature comes out that it can’t run. This might be it.

Kindle Daily Deal: Elizabeth Street (and others)

Morning Links: No Graphic Novels in English Course? Android Apps with TTS Support

graphic novelsStudent Calls For Eradication Of Graphic Novels From English Course (io9)
A student enrolled at Crafton Hills College has protested the inclusion of a number of graphic novels in the curriculum for her English 250 course. Tara Shultz, along with her parents and friends have called for the “eradic[ation] [of the books] from the system,” and have complained to the College’s administrators over their inclusion.

TeleRead Take: I found Lolita to be pretty offensive in my English Lit course, but it never occurred to me to protest and ask to have it removed from the curriculum. Doubt anyone would have listened to me anyway. Times have changed.

List of Android Apps with Text-to-Speech Support (the eBook Reader)
A few days ago I posted about the various Kindle devices and apps that support text-to-speech. That got me thinking it would be a good idea to put together a list of Android ereading apps that also support text-to-speech (TTS for short).

TeleRead Take: For those of you who want/need TTS, it’s not a bad list.

Update: Nate from Ink, Bits & Pixels reminded me that he created a more comprehensive list a few months back.

How Le Guin (Accidentally) Got It Right: Amazon is Manipulating the eBook Market (Ink, Bits & Pixels)
And then Amazon launched KU, and by manipulating the monthly pool of funding they let the payment drop to the point that novels were no longer profitable. Amazon also let KU subscribers read as much as they want, thus encouraging snacking on short works.

TeleRead Take: Guess who is planning some short stories to offer in KU. I don’t plan to stay exclusive forever, but for 90 days to try it out? Not much to lose.

French Regulators: Google Must Apply ‘Right to Be Forgotten’ Globally (eWeek)
France’s main data protection authority, CNIL (Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés, has given Google 15 days to start applying EU’s “right to be forgotten” (RTBF) mandate on search results worldwide, or face potential sanctions.

TeleRead Take: I think we’re going to see lots more of the Streisand Effect around this law.

Kindle Daily Deals: The Sister’s Brother (and others)

Morning Links: New Kobo Firmware Update. Getting Reviewed by the NYT

koboFirmware Update 3.16 Released for Kobo Glo HD and Kobo Touch (The eBook Reader)
Kobo has started rolling out a new software update, version 3.16.0. Unlike most updates, this one is only being issued to a couple of models, the new Glo HD and the old Kobo Touch.

TeleRead Take: A new Kobo Glo HD just arrived at my house (thanks to the kind benefactor who gifted it to me), so we’ll see more Kobo coverage soon. If you want to sideload the update, here’s some instructions from MobileRead.

How To Get Reviewed By The New York Times (BookMarketingBuzzBlog)
Okay, every author would love to say they were on Oprah, Today Show, and reviewed in The New York Times. Well, maybe an author from 2005. Oprah’s show is gone, Today Show has slipped in the ratings, and The New York Times, well, is still the most respected newspaper in the world. So how do you get your book reviewed by the globe’s most prestigious publication?

TeleRead Take: I think his last point, Luck, is unfortunately the one that’s most relevant, though they are all important.

First look: iOS 9’s new cursor-controlling gesture keyboard on iPad (Apple Insider)
One of the headline features in Apple’s next-generation mobile operating system is the ability to turn the iPad’s on-screen keyboard into an ersatz trackpad, an extremely useful addition that power users will love.

TeleRead Take: I love the concept, but anyone who has ever seen me try to use a Mac knows that I’m hopeless at mastering the multi-touch trackpad gestures and incantations. On the bright side, if I can master it on my iPad, Mac users in the DC Metro area might stop laughing at me.

The OverDrive Summer Read program for young readers is live (Overdrive Blogs)
Yesterday we launched the most recent edition of our Big Library Read program on public library OverDrive websites across the world. Today we are proud to announce that our OverDrive Summer Read program is live for our school partners around the globe as well as public libraries with eReading Rooms for young readers.

TeleRead Take: Is anyone else taking advantage of Overdrive’s Big Library Read? The current title, Eyes on You by Kate White looks pretty good. Scribd has the audio version, if you prefer to listen to your books.

Kindle Daily Deals: Take Me With You (and others)