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On this blog we will track down the latest Amazon Kindle news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great Kindle3 tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest KindleDX accessories.

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Sunday Night Links #2: 30 December 2007

Welcome to the second instalment of Sunday Night Links! Every Sunday night we will bring you Kindle links from around the web. Compiled form blogs, magazines, main stream media and other sources, we hope this link list will give you a definitive overview of what’s new regarding Kindle and what the ever growing Kindle community is talking about.

Kindle Crashed, No One at Customer Support? – Amazon.com Kindle Customer Discussions Forum

Can e-books finally take over their printed counterparts? – Today Publishing

Andy Ihnatko is Amazon’s Worst Nightmare – David Dougan

Mitchell Unboxes the Kindle and Complains about it! – Youtube

Kindle Unboxing Gallery – Gearlive

Kindle Self-Publishing – zuleikhajami @ livejournal

Don’t let DRM get between you and a good book – semabooks

Anyone find an aftermarket case for the Kindle – Google Groups

Kindle: Those Ubiquitous Page Control Buttons – The Kindle Reader

Get Kindle format books by trading in Adobe titles? Or Mobi or others? – Teleread

Another Perspective on the Kindle – Law School Innovation

I, Robot – Free Kindle eBook

I, Robot eBookIn this collection, one of the great classics of science fiction, Isaac Asimov set out the principles of robot behaviour that we know as the Three Laws of Robotics. Here are stories of robots gone mad, mind-reading robots, robots with a sense of humour, robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world, all told with Asimov’s trademark dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction.

Synopsis:

The three laws of Robotics:

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm
2. A robot must obey orders givein to it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

With these three, simple directives, Isaac Asimov changed our perception of robots forever when he formulated the laws governing their behavior. In I, Robot, Asimov chronicles the development of the robot through a series of interlinked stories: from its primitive origins in the present to its ultimate perfection in the not-so-distant future—a future in which humanity itself may be rendered obsolete.

Here are stories of robots gone mad, of mind-read robots, and robots with a sense of humor. Of robot politicians, and robots who secretly run the world—all told with the dramatic blend of science fact and science fiction that has become Asmiov’s trademark.

Excerpt:

“Ninety-eight — ninety-nine — one hundred.” Gloria withdrew her chubby little forearm from before her eyes and stood for a moment, wrinkling her nose and blinking in the sunlight. Then, trying to watch in all directions at once, she withdrew a few cautious steps from the tree against which she had been leaning.

She craned her neck to investigate the possibilities of a clump of bushes to the right and then withdrew farther to obtain a better angle for viewing its dark recesses. The quiet was profound except for the incessant buzzing of insects and the occasional chirrup of some hardy bird, braving the midday sun.

Gloria pouted, “I bet he went inside the house, and I’ve told him a million times that that’s not fair.”

With tiny lips pressed together tightly and a severe frown crinkling her forehead, she moved determinedly toward the two-story building up past the driveway.

Too late she heard the rustling sound behind her, followed by the distinctive and rhythmic clump-clump of Robbie’s metal feet. She whirled about to see her triumphing companion emerge from hiding and make for the home-tree at full speed.

Gloria shrieked in dismay. “Wait, Robbie! That wasn’t fair, Robbie! You promised you wouldn’t run until I found you.” Her little feet could make no headway at all against Robbie’s giant strides. Then, within ten feet of the goal, Robbie’s pace slowed suddenly to the merest of crawls, and Gloria, with one final burst of wild speed, dashed pantingly past him to touch the welcome bark of home-tree first.

Gleefully, she turned on the faithful Robbie, and with the basest of ingratitude, rewarded him for his sacrifice by taunting him cruelly for a lack of running ability.

“Robbie can’t run,” she shouted at the top of her eight-year-old voice. “I can beat him any day. I can beat him any day.” She chanted the words in a shrill rhythm.

Robbie didn’t answer, of course — not in words. He pantomimed running instead, inching away until Gloria found herself running after him as he dodged her narrowly, forcing her to veer in helpless circles, little arms outstretched and fanning at the air.

“Robbie,” she squealed, “stand still!” — And the laughter was forced out of her in breathless jerks.

–Until he turned suddenly and caught her up, whirling her round, so that for her the world fell away for a moment with a blue emptiness beneath, and green trees stretching hungrily downward toward the void. Then she was down in the grass again, leaning against Robbie’s leg and still holding a hard, metal finger.

After a while, her breath returned. She pushed uselessly at her disheveled hair in vague imitation of one of her mother’s gestures and twisted to see if her dress were torn.

She slapped her hand against Robbie’s torso, “Bad boy! I’ll spank you!”

And Robbie cowered, holding his hands over his face so that she had to add, “No, I won’t, Robbie. I won’t spank you. But anyway, it’s my turn to hide now because you’ve got longer legs and you promised not to run till I found you.”

Robbie nodded his head — a small parallelepiped with rounded edges and corners attached to a similar but much larger parallelepiped that served as torso by means of a short, flexible stalk — and obediently faced the tree. A thin, metal film descended over his glowing eyes and from within his body came a steady, resonant ticking.

Download for your Kindle: I, Robot eBook

Free $50 Credit at Sony Ebook Store

Sony eBook Reader

I know that many Kindle owners do own or have owned the Sony eBook reader so this coupon code will be useful and it comes just in time for the new year!

For those with an account in the eBook Store from Sony, do the following:

1) Log into your account
2) Click on ‘Account’ on the top right
3) Click on ‘Redeem A Code’
4) Enter code “HOLIDAYGIFT” (case sensitive)

Voila, $50 in your account for free books.

Note: This Gift Code will also work with a newly opened account. If you’ve never registered your Sony eBook reader, now is a great time to do it.

Source: SlickDeals.net

More Hacked Kindle Screenshots

Yesterday we posted a picture of a hacked Kindle with google maps running on it. Today we have 2 more shots to show you, these were taken with the newly discovered screen-grab utility. The first one is a screen-grab of a New York Times article, and the second one shows google maps running in more detail.

There probably wont be a post tomorrow since its new years eve and I will be out having fun! So enjoy these pictures, be safe and have a happy new year!

kindle screenshot

kindle screenshot

Source: Interface

Kindle has Minesweeper, Global Positioning System (GPS) and Maybe More

kindle gps

A few days ago we reported that the Kindle had been hacked to allow mobipocket eBooks to run on the device. The guy behind the hack was hacker Igor Skochinsky. It seems Igor has done it again, this time uncovering a handful of exciting hidden features.

The most exiting of which, as you can see from the image above, is a crude GPS system which uses Google’s experimental MyLocation service to pinpoint your approximate location. Google’s MyLocation also allows you to look for local gas stations, hotels and restaurants or whatever else you want to search. Interestingly though some of the commands such as “find nearest gas station,” are built into the Kindle, which suggests at one time this the feature was planned for release, but for whatever reason was scrapped. My feeling is that it was probably the extra bandwidth costs that made them scrap this feature since Amazon is paying Sprint for using the Whispernet service at no cost to Kindle owners.

For those of you who are concerned about your privacy, I dont think Amazon is using this hidden feature to track your location, like I said before, it was probably a planned feature which got scrapped, and somebody probably forgot to remove the code. Rest assured we’ll keep you up to date of any new information that comes out regarding this hidden feature which may effect your privacy.

Other hidden gems include a hidden picture viewer, slideshows, a screenshot utility, a clock, a diagnostic mode, quick-look, the classic Minesweeper game and many more. You can read up on all the new features by clicking the link below. We’ll try to get some snaps of these up on the blog as soon as we get them.

Getting these hidden features requires fiddling with the firmware, so in that sense you need to know what you are doing. If you dont know how to use the modification scripts, you stay well clear as they could damage your Kindle.

Source: Igor Skochinsky (via Interface)

Kindle Photo of the Day #1: Kindle in India

I thought it would be fun to start a new feature on this blog called Kindle Photo of the Day. The idea behind this feature is to show how you guys use the Kindle on a day to day basis, a snapshot of what it is like to live with a Kindle device.

kindle in india

The photo was taken by Rafat Ali, you can see his Flickr profile here

If you have an image that you would like to submit for Kindle Photo of the Day then please get in touch! you can send the image via email to email address – please make sure you include your name and a link to your site.

Skip Ahead More Than One Page on a Kindle

The folks at Kindlechat.com have discovered a neat trick where you can skip more than one page on a Kindle device. If your unlucky enough to be reading an eBook which does not have chapters it can be a pain getting to the page you want to read, or if you just want to skip ahead a couple of pages in a newspaper or blog article. This trick lets you skip ahead 5% of the books length.

I was wishing there was a feature that would allow you to jump ahead with more than just a single page. I just learned that you can jump 5% of the book forward or backward by pressing and holding the alt key and the next or previous page keys.

The trick is that you hold down the Alt key and press the next or previous page key, this should let you skip ahead 5% of the books length.

Props to Kindle Chat for the heads up.

Source: Kindle Chat – How to skip more than 1 page on a Kindle

Free Harlequin eBooks through to Jan 1, 2008

Harlequin
Do you like steamy “romance” genre books? Get a free Harlequin eBooks every day until Jan 1, 2008, so head on over to Harlequin.

I got my free eBook earlier today so the code’s do work, if your lucky the past days codes might still be working, there is only one way to find out :)

The site never asked for my credit card. As soon as I put in the rebate code, it took me to the download page.

CouponCode: Book

FREEDEC25: The Italian Billionaire’s Christmas Miracle – Catherine Spencer
FREEDEC26: What She Really Wants for Christmas – Debbi Rawlins
FREEDEC27: The Tycoon Meets His Match – Barbara Benedict
FREEDEC28: Her Rebel Lord — Georgina Devon
FREEDEC29: The Executive’s Surprise Baby- Catherine Mann
FREEDEC30: Snowbound with Mr. Right – Judy Christenberry
FREEDEC31: Holiday with a Vampire – Maureen Child
FREEJAN1: Classified Christmas – B.J. Daniels

New York Times Best Sellers: 28 December 2007

Each week we bring to you the New York Times best sellers list. We go through the list and give you our top 3 picks so to give you an an idea of what to download for your Kindle or just to buy for your bookshelf. You can browse through The New York Times best sellers list on Amazon.com. Here are the Top 5 books in each category;

Hardcover Fiction
Top 5 at a Glance
1. T IS FOR TRESPASS, by Sue Grafton
2. DOUBLE CROSS, by James Patterson
3. A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS, by Khaled Hosseini
4. THE DARKEST EVENING OF THE YEAR, by Dean Koontz
5. FOR ONE MORE DAY, by Mitch Albom

Hardcover Nonfiction
Top 5 at a Glance
1. I AM AMERICA (AND SO CAN YOU!), by Stephen Colbert, Richard Dahm, Paul Dinello, Allison Silverman et al.
2. BOOM!, by Tom Brokaw
3. AN INCONVENIENT BOOK, by Glenn Beck and Kevin Balfe
4. QUIET STRENGTH, by Tony Dungy with Nathan Whitaker
5. A FAMILY CHRISTMAS, edited by Caroline Kennedy

Hardcover Advice
Top 5 at a Glance
1. THE DANGEROUS BOOK FOR BOYS, by Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden
2. THE DARING BOOK FOR GIRLS, by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz
3. YOU: STAYING YOUNG, by Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz et al.
4. DECEPTIVELY DELICIOUS, by Jessica Seinfeld
5. JIM CRAMER’S STAY MAD FOR LIFE, by James J. Cramer with Cliff Mason

Children’ Books
Top 5 at a Glance
1. STAR WARS POP-UP GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, by Matthew Reinhart
2. THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, by Clement C. Moore. Various illustrators.
3. GALLOP!, written and illustrated by Rufus Butler Seder
4. HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL: ALL ACCESS, by N. B. Grace. Various illustrators.
5. ON THE NIGHT YOU WERE BORN, written and illustrated by Nancy Tillman

Paperback Trade Fiction
Top 5 at a Glance
1. THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH, by Ken Follett
2. THE KITE RUNNER, by Khaled Hosseini
3. ATONEMENT, by Ian McEwan
4. WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, by Sara Gruen
5. LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA, by Gabriel García Márquez

Paperback Mass-Market Fiction
Top 5 at a Glance
1. BLOOD BROTHERS, by Nora Roberts
2. I AM LEGEND, by Richard Matheson
3. NEXT, by Michael Crichton
4. CROSS, by James Patterson
5. THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH, by Ken Follett

Paperback Nonfiction
Top 5 at a Glance
1. EAT, PRAY, LOVE, by Elizabeth Gilbert
2. THE INNOCENT MAN, by John Grisham
3. THREE CUPS OF TEA, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
4. INTO THE WILD, by Jon Krakauer
5. 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN, by Don Piper with Cecil Murphey

Paperback Advice
Top 5 at a Glance
1. RACHAEL RAY: JUST IN TIME, by Rachael Ray
2. THE WORLD ALMANAC AND BOOK OF FACTS 2008, edited by C. Alan Joyce
3. SKINNY BITCH, by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin
4. 1,000 PLACES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE, by Patricia Schultz
5. 1,000 PLACES TO SEE IN THE U.S.A. AND CANADA BEFORE YOU DIE, by Patricia Schultz

Our Picks

Jim Cramer’s Stay Mad for Life: Number 5 in Hardcover Advice

Jim Cramer’s Stay Mad for Life: Get Rich, Stay Rich (Make Your Kids Even Richer) (Hardcover)In Stay Mad for Life, Jim Cramer addresses a whole range of financial issues that he hasn’t dealt with on his Mad Money TV show and in his prior books. He takes a step back from his primary focus of teaching his viewers and readers how to select individual stocks and presents his approach to broader issues of personal financial management that one deals with from cradle to grave. In this sense the book deals with quite basic topics such as avoiding or getting out of credit card debt (about nine pages), creating and following a budget (about twelve pages) and obtaining health and disability insurance. These topics may seem elementary, even boring compared to the topics of Jim’s earlier books, but are issues that people of limited financial experience need to learn about.

On the topic of retirement planning he talks about the advantages and disadvantages of 401(k) plans and of traditional and Roth IRAs. He likes 401(k) plans for their employer-dollar-matching feature but dislikes their limited choice of offered funds and their associated expenses. He advocates funding your 401(k) only up to the point where you’ve reached the maximum employer match. Beyond that he strongly advocates putting additional retirement dollars into an IRA where the range of choices of investments is so much broader.

In the category of family finance he advocates getting your children interested in investing as young as possible and lists six stocks that you might want to buy just one share of for your child that might pique their interest. That same chapter covers college and home financing.

In his prior books Jim has created lists of rules for investing and he does so again in this book. These twenty rules came from distilling his experience with the investments he makes for his charitable trust that he often mentions on Mad Money. For example one of these new rules that I’ve found myself prone to violating is “Don’t quit when you get back to even”. If you’ve taken on a position in a stock and if the price then drops significantly, it’s easy to feel so grateful if/when it comes back up to your break even point, you bail out with a small profit. Jim contends that if the fundamentals of the stock are still good, hang in there with it for additional upside.

In the next to last chapter, Jim really hangs himself out on a limb by selecting five sectors that he thinks will be strong for the next five years and climbs even further out on that limb by naming twenty stocks that he thinks will do well over that time frame. I’m a subscriber to his Action Alerts e-newsletter where Jim announces the buys and sells that he plans to make for his charitable trust. At the time of this review, 16 of the 20 stocks are presently held by the trust and the other four are stocks that Jim has mentioned many times on Mad Money.

In the final chapter Jim makes what must be a major concession for him since he’s such a strong advocate of selecting and holding individual stocks. At several places in the book he recommends that if you really aren’t willing or able to devote the time and effort to individual stock selections (remember – his tough homework rule is one hour per stock per week!) your next best choice is a low cost passive index mutual fund such as the Vanguard VFINX. However if you REALLY want to invest in an actively managed mutual fund, Jim has conducted research and come up with a list of 13 recommended funds. In doing this research he looked at historical fund performance for the seven-year period 2000-2006. He gives especially heavy weight to fund performance in the three down-market years 2000-2002. He also emphasizes the importance of the fund manager and considers only funds where one manager ran the fund.

I recommend the book for those wanting a good (strongly opinionated) survey of the major issues of personal finance. For those not so interested in basic personal finance, just skip the first five chapters and read the final four chapters which stand on their own and will be of interest to the regular followers of Jim’s books and TV.

Source: Amazon Customer Review*

The Innocent Man: Number 2 in Paperback Nonfiction

The Innocent Man - John GrishamAmbivalence really sums up my feelings toward Mr. Grisham’s latest book. Depressing is another. I applaud Mr. Grisham in his attempt to analyze the hows and whys of just what happened to Ron Williamson during his hectic, confusing, and sometimes just unlucky life. From outstanding major league baseball prospect, to drug and alcohol abuser, to mentally unstable convict, to exonerated felon, Ron Williamson never really knew any peace off the baseball diamond. His dream of a major league career shattered he simply withdrew into his own private hell of dope, booze, loose women, honky tonks, and insanity.

Sometimes a difficult book to follow, the darkness that Mr. Grisham maintains throughout the book is at times oppressive. How many times must Ron Williamson have to exhibit mental instability before someone, anyone, gets him real help and not just temporary “band-aid” his CHRONIC mental problems. It is a wonder that he didn’t harm someone during his drunken, drug induced haze. Finally convicted of a murder he never committed, the complex judicial process to free him was very well told by Mr. Grisham. Ron’s years spent on “death row” were both illuminating, sad, and frightening all at the same time. His eventual release and exoneration was the ONLY happy point in an otherwise sad biography of a profoundly unhappy life.

Again, I was ambivalent about this book. I can not say I enjoyed it but I did learn from it. This is not your typical light Grisham reading so be very careful. Be ready for a heavy, dark, oppressive book that while educating about the legal system, at the same time leaves one empty about the sad state of this nation’s mental health programs. This up close and personal view of America’s seamy underbelly will stay with you for quite awhile.

Source: Amazon Customer Review*

Double Cross: Number 2 in Hardcover Fiction

Double Cross- Alex CrossI have always been a big fan of the Alex Cross Novels (With the exception of London Bridges (Alex Cross Novels) and I don’t care for his other books written by other authors with his named stamped on top), so I was excited to receive and advance readers copy of Double Cross (Alex Cross)! I waited for a slow day a the Marina before cracking it open and was soon lost in the world of Cross. Alex has become like a old friend, having read so many of his trails, adventures, and tragedies.

Alex’s life has become more settled since we last saw hin in Cross. He is back at work tending to his patients and living a normal life with his girlfriend Brianna Stone–detective Stone that is. But of course this cannot last. Washington DC and the east cost are a jitter because of a number of elaborate murders, these are not just murders but spectacles. This guy is a grisly showman. A murderer who wants fame—and to scare the pants off the entire DC metro area. Of course it is up Alex and Brianna to bring this guy down…but at what cost?

Patterson’s master plotting, lightening fast chapters that keep you turning the pages are again on display and make for a great beach read! For Patterson like pacing I have to recommend the cult classic “A Tourist In The Yucatan” ripping good thriller!

Source: Amazon Customer Review*

* – These reviews are taken from Amazon.com and do not reflect the views or opinions blogkindle.com

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Free Kindle eBook

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a classic science fiction novel by French writer Jules Verne (1828–1905), published in 1870 under the title Vingt mille lieues sous les mers. The original edition, published by Hetzel, contains a number of illustrations by Alphonse de Neuville and Edouard Riou. The novel is about the fictional Captain Nemo and his submarine, Nautilus, as seen by one of his passengers, Professor Pierre Aronnax.

20,000 Leagues Under the SeaSynopsis:

Sent to investigate mysterious encounters that are disrupting international shipping, Professor Aronnax, his servant Conseil, and disgruntled harpooner Ned Land are captured when their frigate is sunk during an encounter with the “monster.” The submarine Nautilus and its eccentric Captain Nemo afford the professor and his companions endless fascination and danger as they’re swept along on a yearlong undersea voyage.

Approx. 99,566 words.

Excerpt:

hout apparent damage. Had it struck on a submerged rock, or on an enormous wreck? They could not tell; but, on examination of the ship’s bottom when undergoing repairs, it was found that part of her keel was broken.

This fact, so grave in itself, might perhaps have been forgotten like many others if, three weeks after, it had not been re-enacted under similar circumstances. But, thanks to the nationality of the victim of the shock, thanks to the reputation of the company to which the vessel belonged, the circumstance became extensively circulated.

The 13th of April, 1867, the sea being beautiful, the breeze favourable, the Scotia, of the Cunard Company’s line, found herself in 15@ 12′ long. and 45@ 37′ lat. She was going at the speed of thirteen knots and a half.

At seventeen minutes past four in the afternoon, whilst the passengers were assembled at lunch in the great saloon, a slight shock was felt on the hull of the Scotia, on her quarter, a little aft of the port-paddle.

The Scotia had not

Download for your Kindle: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea eBook

UPDATE – Kindle Stripped Naked: Lets See What’s Inside

Yesterday I blogged about the Kindle being opened up. Not satisfied with just pictures, I opened up Google in search of something more detailed. I struck gold! I found this article on Dr. Blip’s PC-Doctor’s blog (awesome name and blog btw! you should check out the rest of the blog), its a detailed dissection of the Kindle and shows each component and what it does. It is quite technical and it’s a fascinating read.

The comments at the bottom of the article make for an interesting read as-well, some of the commenter’s speculate that Amazon are selling the device at a loss, although that is purely speculative since we don’t know how much it cost to manufacturer the Kindle or the R&D costs.

Source: Dr Blip PC Doctor – Inside the Amazon Kindle

Kindle DRM Hacked – Allows Mobipocket eBooks

kindle hackedKindle only allows you to read DRM protected eBooks, so how would you can you read other eBooks on the Kindle? one way would be to add the Kindle DRM to your eBook!

Hacker Igor Skochinsky who hacked open the Sony e-reader has done it again, this time he has hacked open the Kindle to allow you to read mobipocket eBooks on the Kindle, its a novel solution, by using a couple of Python scripts, you can convert an eBook into Amazon’s AZW format, the scripts add a serial number DRM, unique to an individuals Kindle, which allows you to read them on the Kindle device.

Now there is a chance that it Amazon can ‘fix’ the hack, since Amazon owns Mobipocket, however I don’t think this is the path that Amazon will take. Aarjav Trivedi over at Kindle Hacks has blogged today about how the ‘Director of Kindle’ over at Amazon has no problem with the Kindle being hacked.

CAUTION: USE THESE SCRIPTS AT YOUR OWN RISK! WE CAN NOT ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY DAMAGE CAUSED AS A RESULT OF THEIR USE.

Source: Igor Skochinsky
Python Script Download: Kindle Mobipocket tools 0.1
Python Script Download: Mirror
Source: Kindle Hacks

The Future of Reading (A Play in Six Acts)

A wonderful post by Diveintomark.org… here is a tease, you can read the rest of the post on his site.

Act I: The act of buying

When someone buys a book, they are also buying the right to resell that book, to loan it out, or to even give it away if they want. Everyone understands this.

Jeff Bezos, Open letter to Author’s Guild, 2002

You may not sell, rent, lease, distribute, broadcast, sublicense or otherwise assign any rights to the Digital Content or any portion of it to any third party, and you may not remove any proprietary notices or labels on the Digital Content. In addition, you may not, and you will not encourage, assist or authorize any other person to, bypass, modify, defeat or circumvent security features that protect the Digital Content.

Amazon, Kindle Terms of Service, 2007

The main reason I linked to this post is because not only is it a brilliant post, but there is a lively discussion going on in the comments at the bottom of the page, 250 comments strong! So head on over and join the discussion!

Source : The Future of Reading (A Play in Six Acts)

Who wants a Kindle? Merry Christmas

Ok so its Christmas day and we should all be spending time with our loved ones, but your not! seeing as your here reading this blog on Christmas day!

So Merry Christmas to you and here is something fun for you to watch!

Source: Cracked.com

Amazon’s Digital Text Platform: Why You Should Sign-up NOW!

amazon logoAmazon’s Digital Text Platform (DTP) allows you, yes YOU!, to publish anything you want and put it up for sale in the Kindle Store. How cool is that?

Do you have an old novel that you wrote in college? or are you trying to find a publisher for your next best seller? Then Amazon’s Digital Text Platform is for you. So what is Digital Text Platform I hear you ask;

Digital Text Platform is a fast and easy self-publishing tool that lets you upload and format your books for sale in the Kindle Store.

You can read the FAQ which will guide you through setting up an account, formatting your document and how to uploading your content to the Kindle store. There is also a very active user forum for Kindle publishers to discuss the platform.

Now I think this is a very smart move by Amazon to offer this service even though we know there are a limited number of Kindles out there. Amazon is keeping tight lipped about the number of devices it has sold.

As more people get the Kindle in 2008, I think we are going to see an increase in the number of people, and companies, who decide to publish content through DTP. I don’t think its going to be just authors who use this service, its only a matter of time before blogs and print media truly jump onto the Kindle bandwagon and offer Kindle exclusive content, which I think is what Amazon wants them to do instead of just re-publishing their content in Kindle format. Think about it, soon we will be begin to see Kindle exclusive newsletters , novels, blogs entries and newspaper articles. DTP for me is what Kindle is all about, its going to give the power back to the writers. No longer is the publishing house going to decide whether you’re good enough to get published.

What do you think?

Kindle Makes Top 10 Gadgets of the Year 2007

wired logoKindle has made it as one of the Top 10 Gadgets of the Year according to Wired.com. It makes it to Number 7 on the list, not bad for a gadget that was released just last month!

Other gadgets that make it on the list include the Optimus Maximus Keyboard, the HP Blackbird 002, Microsoft Zune 2 and the Apple iPhone. It’s nice to see that Kindle is getting the recognition it deserves for being one of the best gadgets in 2007.

Interestingly enough, the Kindle also makes it into Wired.com Top 10 Heartbreaking Gadgets of 2007 stating;

No native PDF support. Costs as much as a low-end laptop. “Klugey” keyboard. Clumsy, extortionate e-mail conversion process for adding your own files. And the web browser? Crippled.

I think you either love Kindle or you hate it and in Wired’s place, you love and hate it at the same time!

Link: Wired Top 10 Gadgets of they Year
Link: Wired Top 10 Heartbreaking Gadgets of 2007

Macworld.com Review Kindle: A Shocking Verdict!

shockedThe guys over at Macworld.com have reviewed the Kindle and they deliver a shocking verdict… it is revolutionary!

For those out there who are lucky enough to own a Kindle, it’s not really that surprising of a conclusion. It has literally changed the way we will consume our content in the future. All you have to do is read the many hundreds of blog posts about Kindle praising it and commenting on how it is the future, yet it has consistently been shunned by the main stream media as a gimmick or just an expensive toy. That is until someone actually goes out and review the thing and find out it is pretty darn good!

So lets just skim over some of the points made in the Macworld article on why Amazon’s Kindle will be a success.

1. Some Kindle owners will buy one to replace their paper books and magazines.
2. Fast, free broadly distributed wireless.
3. No PC required.
4. Option to sync up to a PC and manage your books from anywhere in the world.
5. $9.99 price tag for e-books which means you can buy more books.
6. Access Amazon.com and the Web to search Wikipedia via it’s free wireless connection.
7. Access to an experimental and free service called Kindle NowNow
8. Subscribe to RSS feeds.
9. Morning papers delivered before to your Kindle you wake up
10. Free PDF-to-Word converter.

If you want to read the full article then you can head over to Macworld.com and have a read.

Kindle Stripped Naked: Lets See What’s Inside

Amazon Kindle opened up see whats inside

Lets face it, we all want to see what this little baby look like on the inside. Rapidrepair.com were one of the lucky few who were able to get their paws on a Kindle before it sold out. Being the geeks that they are, they decided to dissect it.

I must warn you that its not pretty! She may look sleek, slender and understated on the outside, she is anything but that on the inside.

I’m no hardware engineer, so I can not tell you exactly what each component does or how it was assembled, but it looks like there are an awful lot of gadgets in there, Kindle is essentially a mobile phone/PDA with a fancy e-ink screen, the thing that makes Kindle unique is the software. So if there is anyone out there who knows what each component does then don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

Enjoy!

Source: Rapid Repair – Amazon Kindle Take-Apart

Video Review of Amazon Kindle

Whilst browsing around the net looking for Kindle related news to bring to you guys I stumbled upon Pocketnow.com. The guys over there have uploaded a very good, in-depth video review of the Kindle, I thought I would share it with you guys on this blog. Now the videos are quite in-depth, and they are spread out over 4 video each one covering a different aspect of the Kindle device. The videos go into a lot of detail on how the device works and what it is like to use every day. So if you are interested in buying a Kindle in the near future I would highly recommend these videos as they will give you a flavour of what you can expect when you own a Kindle device.

Part 1

Talks about the carrying case of the Kindle, then give a tour of the hardware features of the device.

Part 2

Talks about the reading experience of the Kindle, and show off the electrophoretic display (aka E-Ink).

Part 3

Go over using the Kindle store and viewing Wikipedia.

Part 4

Covers viewing a newspaper with the Kindle, and go over a few experimental features that you can use on the device.

Source : Pocketnow.com Amazon Kindle Video Review

Sunday Night Links #1: 23 December 2007

Welcome to the first instalment of Sunday Night Links! As the week draws to a close, every Sunday night we will bring you Kindle links from around the web. Compiled form blogs, magazines, main stream media and other sources, we hope this link list will give you a definitive overview of what’s new regarding Kindle and what the community is talking about.

15 Things I Just Learned About the Amazon Kindle – BoingBoing

The PR Revolution Amazon’s Kindle May Be Bringing – Influential Marketing Blog

Kindle Gaming? The Hidden Game – Kindle Reader

Amazon Kindle Real-Life Review (Verdict: Lightweight, Long Lasting and Easy to Grip… In Bed) – Gizmodo

Which eBook Reader is the Best?
– Slashdot

10 Lessons in Innovation from Amazon’s Kindle – onmoneymaking.com

Kindle can light up your life – Chicago Sun Times

And finally on a more festive note, Merry Christmas to all our readers! So here is an amusing video for you to watch…

Why Kindle Will Change the World

revolutionDoes it seem that far fetched? Rick Aristotle Munarriz over at The Motley Fool doesn’t seem to think so. Munarriz says that Amazon’s Kindle probably won’t change the world but what it will do is rock the publishing world to its core. Kindle will do this by offering an avenue for aspiring authors a way to get published, and Munarriz seems to think that not only will authors benefit, but bloggers as-well. Perhaps he’s right… maybe the old ways of doing things are ending and Kindle is ushering in a new era.

I’ve been one of Kindle’s biggest critics. When Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN) rolled out its electronic reader last week, I described it as a $399 paperweight.

Who would pay up for a juice-sapping device that’s too chunky to pocket and too tempting to steal to leave out in the open? I let my cynicism rip even deeper, suggesting that the company was trying to orchestrate demand in an attempt to turn its Kindle into the next Wii or Tickle Me Elmo.

Then I saw the light.

Read the full story on The Motley Fool…

I would love to hear your thoughts, feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

New York Times Best Sellers: 22 December 2007

Each week we bring to you the New York Times best sellers list. We go through the list and give you our top 3 picks so to give you an an idea of what to download for your Kindle or just to buy for your bookshelf. You can browse through The New York Times best sellers list on Amazon.com. Here are the Top 5 books in each category;

Hardcover Fiction
Top 5 at a Glance
1. T IS FOR TRESPASS, by Sue Grafton
2. DOUBLE CROSS, by James Patterson
3. A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS, by Khaled Hosseini
4. THE DARKEST EVENING OF THE YEAR, by Dean Koontz
5. FOR ONE MORE DAY, by Mitch Albom

Hardcover Nonfiction
Top 5 at a Glance
1. I AM AMERICA (AND SO CAN YOU!), by Stephen Colbert, Richard Dahm, Paul Dinello, Allison Silverman et al.
2. BOOM!, by Tom Brokaw
3. AN INCONVENIENT BOOK, by Glenn Beck and Kevin Balfe
4. QUIET STRENGTH, by Tony Dungy with Nathan Whitaker
5. A FAMILY CHRISTMAS, edited by Caroline Kennedy

Hardcover Advice
Top 5 at a Glance
1. THE DANGEROUS BOOK FOR BOYS, by Conn Iggulden and Hal Iggulden
2. THE DARING BOOK FOR GIRLS, by Andrea J. Buchanan and Miriam Peskowitz
3. YOU: STAYING YOUNG, by Michael F. Roizen and Mehmet C. Oz et al.
4. DECEPTIVELY DELICIOUS, by Jessica Seinfeld
5. JIM CRAMER’S STAY MAD FOR LIFE, by James J. Cramer with Cliff Mason

Children’ Books
Top 5 at a Glance
1. STAR WARS POP-UP GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, by Matthew Reinhart
2. THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, by Clement C. Moore. Various illustrators.
3. GALLOP!, written and illustrated by Rufus Butler Seder
4. HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL: ALL ACCESS, by N. B. Grace. Various illustrators.
5. ON THE NIGHT YOU WERE BORN, written and illustrated by Nancy Tillman

Paperback Trade Fiction
Top 5 at a Glance
1. THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH, by Ken Follett
2. THE KITE RUNNER, by Khaled Hosseini
3. ATONEMENT, by Ian McEwan
4. WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, by Sara Gruen
5. LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA, by Gabriel García Márquez

Paperback Mass-Market Fiction
Top 5 at a Glance
1. BLOOD BROTHERS, by Nora Roberts
2. I AM LEGEND, by Richard Matheson
3. NEXT, by Michael Crichton
4. CROSS, by James Patterson
5. THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH, by Ken Follett

Paperback Nonfiction
Top 5 at a Glance
1. EAT, PRAY, LOVE, by Elizabeth Gilbert
2. THE INNOCENT MAN, by John Grisham
3. THREE CUPS OF TEA, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
4. INTO THE WILD, by Jon Krakauer
5. 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN, by Don Piper with Cecil Murphey

Paperback Advice
Top 5 at a Glance
1. RACHAEL RAY: JUST IN TIME, by Rachael Ray
2. THE WORLD ALMANAC AND BOOK OF FACTS 2008, edited by C. Alan Joyce
3. SKINNY BITCH, by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin
4. 1,000 PLACES TO SEE BEFORE YOU DIE, by Patricia Schultz
5. 1,000 PLACES TO SEE IN THE U.S.A. AND CANADA BEFORE YOU DIE, by Patricia Schultz

Our Picks

T is for Trespass: Number 1 in Hardcover Fiction

T is for Trespass - Kinsey Millhone MysteriesThe 20th novel in Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone series is one of the best. In her last outing, “S” IS FOR SILENCE, Grafton altered her style a bit, actually entering other characters’ points of view to tell parts of the story so that they shared the narrating duties with Kinsey herself. With this new novel, that device is used to chilling effect–between reports from Kinsey, we enter the mind of a woman who is possibly her most twisted adversary to date.

Solana Rojas is a caregiver, a home-help nurse’s aide much like the thousands you’ll find all over America. But the woman assigned to care for Kinsey’s elderly friend is not your usual “angel of mercy.” For one thing, she is not the real Solana Rojas–she has stolen that woman’s identity. And she has plans. To tell you more of the plot would be–well, criminal.

The best aspect of Grafton’s excellent series is her ability to keep up with current social and legal problems, despite the fact that Kinsey’s stories are set somewhere in the 1980s. In this novel we have identity theft, the inherent problems of home care, and–perhaps most disturbing–the tendency of society in general to ignore and/or mistreat our most vulnerable citizens. At least this elderly victim has Kinsey Millhone as a champion. And what a champion she is! “T” IS FOR TRESPASS will captivate longtime Grafton fans, and it should make her a lot of new fans as well. Highly recommended.

Source: Amazon Customer Review

Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy: Number 1 in Children’ Books

Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy - Matthew ReinhartThis book is a strange and wonderful surprise. Easily the best Star Wars classic sage tie-in of the 30th anniversary year, 2007. This is a unique labour of love to be sure, and perhaps the most inspiring and creative piece about the Holy Trilogy that I have ever seen in a book form. In fact, I would even go so far as to say perhaps the best book that I have ever read. Seriously, I read this book with my 4-year old son together, and we savoured every page, every fold-out, and every flap. If you do read this book with a child, read it slowly and enjoy the one-of-a-kind surprises that are waiting behind every hand-crafted door. For collectors, I would buy an extra copy or two because this is also a beautiful collector’s item. Save one for later, you never know when you might want an extra copy as an incredibly special gift. I expect to be reading this book many, many more times.

Source: Amazon Customer Review

1,000 Places to See in the U.S.A. & Canada Before You Die: Number 5 in Paperback Advice

1,000 Places to See in the U.S.A. & Canada Before You Die - Patricia SchultzI loved Patricia Schultz’s 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, and gave away copies to friends who loved travelling. This second follow-up, 1,000 Places to See in the USA and Canada Before You Die is another winner. Though Canada is not as comprehensively covered as the USA, the book serves its purpose – to entertain and inspire, even armchair travellers like me. There are enough nuggets of information in here, and a treasure trove of ideas that can keep most aspiring/keen travellers happy, content, and entertained.

Source: Amazon Customer Review

Kindle Source Code

kindle source codeFor those more tech savvy Kindle readers out there Amazon has provided the source code for Kindle to be freely downloaded. I cant wait to see what developers will do with this information.

Amazon Kindle Source Code

Kindle on eBay Madness

sold out kindle
After selling out in just 5.5 hours, prospective Kindle buyers are turning their attention to eBay where the price of an average Kindle is $864.04, that’s more then double the retail price of $399.00, one desperate bidder paid $1500 for theirs! Prices on eBay.com range from $600 to $1500.

Dont you wish you had ordered a couple of Kindles on launch day, you could have sold one of them on eBay which would have easily paid for the other one. With the remaining cash you could have downloaded a couple of titles from the Amazon store as-well.

Aside from limited availability, buyers from outside the United States are likely driving the Kindle’s price up, as they are not able to buy it directly from Amazon. However, prices will surely fall once more Kindle owners try to make a quick buck selling their device, just as many did with the Apple iPhone over the summer.

You can keep up to date with the latest Kindle auctions by heading over to Terapeak

Kindle Sold Out in 5.5hrs! No Word on When New Units Will Be Available

Kindle Sold Out in 5.5hrsYeah it’s old news from November, but I still think it needs to be mentioned on this blog. It’s still amazing to me that Kindle sold out in just 5.5 hours.

However this was over a month ago and Amazon.com still says that Kindle is out of stock, and there is still no word on when new units will be available. With Christmas just one week away many people will not be able get one in time, so what do you guys think? is Amazon purposefully holding onto new units in order to build up buzz about the device ?

We will let you know the minute that Kindle is back in stock.