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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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Kindle Photo of the Day #19: Kindle On The Road

kindle photo of the day 19 kindle on the road

Photo by Rob Bushway.

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.

Kindle Photo of the Day #18: Bus Stop

kindle photo of the day 18 - bus stop

Photo by mydumbpics.

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.

Kindle Photo of the Day #17: Booklight

kindle photo of the day 17 - booklight

Photo by normstew.

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.

The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells – Free Kindle eBook

H G Wells - The Invisible ManThe Invisible Man is an 1897 science fiction novella by H.G. Wells. Wells’ novel was originally serialised in Pearson’s Magazine in 1897, and published as a novel the same year. The Invisible Man of the title is Griffin, a scientist who theorises that if a person’s refractive index is changed to exactly that of air and his body does not absorb or reflect light, then he will be invisible. He successfully carries out this procedure on himself, but cannot become visible again, becoming mentally unstable as a result.

Excerpt

The stranger came early in February, one wintry day, through a biting wind and a driving snow, the last snowfall of the year, over the down, walking as it seemed from Bramblehurst railway station, and carrying a little black portmanteau in his thickly gloved hand. He was wrapped up from head to foot, and the brim of his soft felt hat hid every inch of his face but the shiny tip of his nose; the snow had piled itself against his shoulders and chest, and added a white crest to the burden he carried. He staggered into the Coach and Horses, more dead than alive as it seemed, and flung his portmanteau down. “A fire,” he cried, “in the name of human charity! A room and a fire!” He stamped and shook the snow from off himself in the bar, and followed Mrs. Hall into her guest parlour to strike his bargain. And with that much introduction, that and a ready acquiescence to terms and a couple of sovereigns flung upon the table, he took up his quarters in the inn.

Mrs. Hall lit the fire and left him there while she went to prepare him a meal with her own hands. A guest to stop at Iping in the wintertime was an unheard-of piece of luck, let alone a guest who was no “haggler,” and she was resolved to show herself worthy of her good fortune. As soon as the bacon was well under way, and Millie, her lymphatic aid, had been brisked up a bit by a few deftly chosen expressions of contempt, she carried the cloth, plates, and glasses into the parlour and began to lay them with the utmost éclat. Although the fire was burning up briskly, she was surprised to see that her visitor still wore his hatand coat, standing with his back to her and staring out of the window at the falling snow in the yard. His gloved hands were clasped behind him, and he seemed to be lost in thought. She noticed that the melted snow that still sprinkled his shoulders dropped upon her carpet. “Can I take your hat and coat, sir,” shesaid, “and give them a good dry in the kitchen?”

“No,” he said without turning.

She was not sure she had heard him, and was about to repeat her question.

He turned his head and looked at her over his shoulder. “I prefer to keep them on,” he said with emphasis, and she noticed that he wore big blue spectacles with side-lights, and had a bushy side-whisker over his coatcollar that completely hid his cheeks and face.

“Very well, sir,” she said. “As you like. In a bit the room will be wanner.”

He made no answer, and had turned his face away from her again, and Mrs. Hall, feeling that her conversational advances were ill-timed, laid the rest of the table things in a quick staccato and whisked out of the room. When she returned he was still standing there, like a man of stone, his back hunched, his collar turned up, his dripping hat-brim turned down, hiding his face and ears completely. She put down the eggs and bacon with considerable emphasis, and called rather than said to him, “Your lunch is served, sir.”

“Thank you,” he said at the same time, and did not stir until she was closing the door. Then he swung round and approached the table with a certain eager quickness.

As she went behind the bar to the kitchen she heard a sound repeated at regular intervals. Chirk, chirk, chirk, it went, the sound of a spoon being rapidly whisked round a basin. “That girl!” she said. “There! I clean forgot it. It’s her being so long!” And while she herself finished mixing the mustard, she gave Millie a few verbal stabs for her excessive slowness. She had cooked the ham and eggs, laid the table, and done everything, while Millie (help indeed!) had only succeeded in delaying the mustard. And him a new guest and wanting to stay! Then she filled the mustard pot, and, putting it with a certain stateliness upon a gold and black tea-tray, carried it into the parlour.

She rapped and entered promptly. As she did so her visitor moved quickly, so that she got but a glimpse of a white object disappearing behind the table. It would seem he was picking something from the floor. She rapped down the mustard pot on the table, and then she noticed the overcoat and hat had been taken off and put over a chair in front of the fire, and a pair of wet boots threatened rust to her steel fender. She went to these things resolutely. “I suppose I may have them to dry now,” she said in a voice that brooked no denial.

“Leave the hat,” said her visitor, in a muffled voice, and turning she saw he had raised his head and was sitting and looking at her.

For a moment she stood gaping at him, too surprised to speak.

He held a white cloth—it was a serviette he had brought with him-over the lower part of his face, so that his mouth and jaws were completely hidden, and that was the reason for his muffled voice. But it was not that which startled Mrs. Hall. It was the fact that all his forehead above his blue glasses was covered by a white bandage, and that another covered his ears, leaving not a scrap of his face exposed excepting only his pink, peaked nose. It was bright, pink, and shiny just as it had been at first. He wore a dark-brown velvet jacket with a high, black, linen-lined collar turned up about his neck. The thick black hair, escaping as it could below and between the cross bandages, projected in curious tails and horns, giving him the strangest appearance conceivable. This muffled and bandaged head was so unlike what she had anticipated, that for a moment she was rigid.

He did not remove the serviette, but remained holding it, as she saw now, with a brown gloved hand, and regarding her with his inscrutable blue glasses. “Leave the hat,” he said, speaking very distinctly through the white cloth.

Her nerves began to recover from the shock they had received. She placed the hat on the chair again by the fire. “I didn’t know, sir,” she began, “that—” and she stopped embarrassed.
“Thank you,” he said drily, glancing from her to the door and then at her again.

“I’ll have them nicely dried, sir, at once,” she said, and carried his clothes out of the room. She glanced at his white-swathed head and blue goggles again as she was going out the door; but his napkin was still in front of his face. She shivered a little as she closed the door behind her, and her face was eloquent of her surprise and perplexity. “I never,” she whispered. “There!” She went quite softly to the kitchen, and was too preoccupied to ask Millie what she was messing about with now, when she got there.

The visitor sat and listened to her retreating feet. He glanced inquiringly at the window before he removed his serviette, and resumed his meal. He took a mouthful, glanced suspiciously at the window, took another mouthful, then rose and, taking the serviette in his hand, walked across the room and pulled the blind down to the top of the white muslin that obscured the lower panes. This left the room in a twilight. This done, he returned with an easier air to the table and his meal.

“The poor soul’s had an accident or an operation or something,” said Mrs. Hall. “What a turn them bandages did give me, to be sure!”

She put on some more coal, unfolded the clothes-horse, and extended the traveller’s coat upon this. “And they goggles! Why, he looked more like a divin’ -helmet than a human man!” She hung his muffler on a corner of the horse. “And holding that handkercher over his mouth all the time. Talkin through it!…Perhaps his mouth was hurt too—maybe.”

She turned round, as one who suddenly remembers. “Bless my soul alive!” she said, going off at a tangent; “ain’t you done them taters yet, Millie?”

When Mrs. Hall went to clear away the stranger’s lunch, her idea that his mouth must also have been cut or disfigured in the accident she supposed him to have suffered, was confirmed, for he was smoking a pipe, and all the time that she was in the room he never loosened the silk muffler he had wrapped round the lower part of his face to put the mouth-piece to his lips. Yet it was not forgetfulness, for she saw he glanced at it as it smouldered out. He sat in the corner with his back to the window-blind and spoke now, having eaten and drunk and beencomfortably warmed through, with less aggressive brevity than before. The reflection of the fire lent a kind of red animation to his big spectacles they had lacked hitherto.

“I have some luggage,” he said, “at Bramblehurst station,” and he asked her how he could have it sent. He bowed his bandaged head quite politely in acknowledgment of her explanation.

“To-morrow!” he said. “There is no speedier delivery?” and seemed quite disappointed when she answered, “No.” Was she quite sure? No man with a trap who would go over?

Mrs. Hall, nothing loath, answered his questions and developed a conversation. “It’s a steep road by the down, sir,” she said in answer to the question about a trap; and then, snatching at an opening, said, “It was there a carriage was up-settled, a year ago and more. A gentleman killed, besides his coachman. Accidents, sir, happens in a moment, don’t they?”

But the visitor was not to be drawn so easily. “They do,” he said through his muffler, eyeing her quietly through his impenetrable glasses.

“But they take long enough to get well, sir, don’t they?…There was my sister’s son, Tom, jest cut his arm with a scythe, tumbled on it in the ’ayfield, and, bless me! he was three months tied up, sir. You’d hardly believe it. It’s regular given me a dread of a scythe, sir.”

“I can quite understand that,” said the visitor.

“He was afraid, one time, that he’d have to have an op’ration—he was that bad, sir.”

The visitor laughed abruptly, a bark of a laugh that he seemed to bite and kill in his mouth.

Was he?” he said.

“He was, sir. And no laughing matter to them as had the doing for him, as I had—my sister being took up with her little ones so much. There was bandages to do, sir, and bandages to undo. So that if I may make so bold as to say it, sir—”

“Will you get me some matches?” said the visitor, quite abruptly. “My pipe is out.”

Mrs. Hall was pulled up suddenly. It was certainly rude of him, after telling him all she had done. She gasped at him for a moment, and remembered the two sovereigns. She went for the matches.

“Thanks,” he said concisely, as she put them down, and turned his shoulder upon her and stared out of the window again. It was altogether too discouraging. Evidently he was sensitive on the topic of operations and bandages. She did not “make so bold as to say,” however, after all. But his snubbing way had irritated her, and Millie had a hot time of it that afternoon.

The visitor remained in the parlour until four o’clock, without giving the ghost of an excuse for an intrusion. For the most part he was quite still during that time; it would seem he sat in the growing darkness smoking in the firelight, perhaps dozing.

Once or twice a curious listener might have heard him at the coals, and for the space of five minutes he was audible pacing the room. He seemed to be talking to himself. Then the armchair creaked as he sat down again.

Download The Invisible Man for your Kindle: The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells

Sunday Night Links #6: 16 March 2008

sunday night linksEvery Sunday night we will bring you our selection of Kindle and Amazon links from around the web. Compiled from blogs, magazines, main stream media and other sources, we hope these links will give you a definitive overview of what’s happening regarding the Kindle and what the Kindle community is talking about.

Short Kindle supply is keeping e-book fans waiting – USA Today

5 Reasons Why Amazon Is Calling Audible – The Motley Fool

About those Kindle numbers – Teleread

Windows CE-based e-reader has 9.7-inch display – Windows for Devices

4 Case studies for Amazon Kindle – zdnet

Kindle Irony – Fotomancie

Kindle Photo of the Day #16: Still Life

kindle photo of the day 15 on blogkindle.com

Photo by louv.

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.

Sunday Night Links #5: 9 March 2008

sunday night linksEvery Sunday night we will bring you our selection of Kindle and Amazon links from around the web. Compiled from blogs, magazines, main stream media and other sources, we hope these links will give you a definitive overview of what’s happening regarding the Kindle and what the Kindle community is talking about.

Publishers Phase Out Piracy Protection on Audio Books – New York Times

Put Not Your Faith In Ebook Readers – Locus Online

Electronic Book Reader: Amazon Kindle – Illinois Institute of Technology

eBook, But Done Right – Dead Ink Vinyl

New York Times Speculates on Apple’s “Safari Pad” – Kindleville

The Apple iReader – Reading Ahead

In-depth review: can Amazon’s Kindle light a fire under eBooks? – Apple Insider

Reading Steve Jobs – Bits Blog, New York Times

Amazon Kindle – Scott Hanselman’s ComputerZen.com

Amazon Appears Reasonably Priced, Amazon Re-evaluates its Unbox Movie Service – Seeking Alpha

He loves his Kindle, she loves her Sony: Will this marriage last? – TeleRead

Apple working on OS X-based multi-touch Kindle killer? – Mac Daily News

New York Times Speculates Apple eBook Reader on the Horizon (Kindle Killer) – Schwankenstein’s Monster

War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells – Free Kindle eBook

war of the world by h. g. wellsThe War of the Worlds (1898), by H. G. Wells, is an early science fiction novel which describes an invasion of England by aliens from Mars. It is one of the earliest and best-known depictions of an alien invasion of Earth, and has influenced many others, as well as spawning several films, a radio drama and a television series based on the story. The 1938 radio broadcast caused public outcry against the episode, as many listeners believed that an actual Martian invasion was in progress. Approx. 60,425 words.

Excerpt

1 – The Eve of the War

No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. It is possible that the infusoria under the microscope do the same. No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger, or thought of them only to dismiss the idea of life upon them as impossible or improbable. It is curious to recall some of the mental habits of those departed days. At most terrestrial men fancied there might be other men upon Mars, perhaps inferior to themselves and ready to welcome a missionary enterprise. Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us. And early in the twentieth century came the great disillusionment.

The planet Mars, I scarcely need remind the reader, revolves about the sun at a mean distance of 140,000,000 miles, and the light and heat it receives from the sun is barely half of that received by this world. It must be, if the nebular hypothesis has any truth, older than our world; and long before this earth ceased to be molten, life upon its surface must have begun its course. The fact that it is scarcely one seventh of the volume of the earth must have accelerated its cooling to the temperature at which life could begin. It has air and water and all that is necessary for the support of animated existence.

Yet so vain is man, and so blinded by his vanity, that no writer, up to the very end of the nineteenth century, expressed any idea that intelligent life might have developed there far, or indeed at all, beyond its earthly level. Nor was it generally understood that since Mars is older than our earth, with scarcely a quarter of the superficial area and remoter from the sun, it necessarily follows that it is not only more distant from time’s beginning but nearer its end.

The secular cooling that must someday overtake our planet has already gone far indeed with our neighbour. Its physical condition is still largely a mystery, but we know now that even in its equatorial region the midday temperature barely approaches that of our coldest winter. Its air is much more attenuated than ours, its oceans have shrunk until they cover but a third of its surface, and as its slow seasons change huge snowcaps gather and melt about either pole and periodically inundate its temperate zones. That last stage of exhaustion, which to us is still incredibly remote, has become a present-day problem for the inhabitants of Mars. The immediate pressure of necessity has brightened their intellects, enlarged their powers, and hardened their hearts. And looking across space with instruments, and intelligences such as we have scarcely dreamed of, they see, at its nearest distance only 35,000,000 of miles sunward of them, a morning star of hope, our own warmer planet, green with vegetation and grey with water, with a cloudy atmosphere eloquent of fertility, with glimpses through its drifting cloud wisps of broad stretches of populous country and narrow, navy-crowded seas.

And we men, the creatures who inhabit this earth, must be to them at least as alien and lowly as are the monkeys and lemurs to us. The intellectual side of man already admits that life is an incessant struggle for existence, and it would seem that this too is the belief of the minds upon Mars. Their world is far gone in its cooling and this world is still crowded with life, but crowded only with what they regard as inferior animals. To carry warfare sunward is, indeed, their only escape from the destruction that, generation after generation, creeps upon them.

And before we judge of them too harshly we must remember what ruthless and utter destruction our own species has wrought, not only upon animals, such as the vanished bison and the dodo, but upon its inferior races. The Tasmanians, in spite of their human likeness, were entirely swept out of existence in a war of extermination waged by European immigrants, in the space of fifty years. Are we such apostles of mercy as to complain if the Martians warred in the same spirit?

The Martians seem to have calculated their descent with amazing subtlety – their mathematical learning is evidently far in excess of ours – and to have carried out their preparations with a well-nigh perfect unanimity. Had our instruments permitted it, we might have seen the gathering trouble far back in the nineteenth century. Men like Schiaparelli watched the red planet – it is odd, by-the-bye, that for countless centuries Mars has been the star of war – but failed to interpret the fluctuating appearances of the markings they mapped so well. All that time the Martians must have been getting ready.

During the opposition of 1894 a great light was seen on the illuminated part of the disk, first at the Lick Observatory, then by Perrotin of Nice, and then by other observers. English readers heard of it first in the issue of Nature dated August 2. I am inclined to think that this blaze may have been the casting of the huge gun, in the vast pit sunk into their planet, from which their shots were fired at us. Peculiar markings, as yet unexplained, were seen near the site of that outbreak during the next two oppositions.

The storm burst upon us six years ago now. As Mars approached opposition, Lavelle of Java set the wires of the astronomical exchange palpitating with the amazing intelligence of a huge outbreak of incandescent gas upon the planet. It had occurred towards midnight of the twelfth; and the spectroscope, to which he had at once resorted, indicated a mass of flaming gas, chiefly hydrogen, moving with an enormous velocity towards this earth. This jet of fire had become invisible about a quarter past twelve. He compared it to a colossal puff of flame suddenly and violently squirted out of the planet, “as flaming gases rushed out of a gun.”

A singularly appropriate phrase it proved. Yet the next day there was nothing of this in the papers except a little note in the Daily Telegraph, and the world went in ignorance of one of the gravest dangers that ever threatened the human race. I might not have heard of the eruption at all had I not met Ogilvy, the well-known astronomer, at Ottershaw. He was immensely excited at the news, and in the excess of his feelings invited me up to take a turn with him that night in a scrutiny of the red planet.

In spite of all that has happened since, I still remember that vigil very distinctly: the black and silent observatory, the shadowed lantern throwing a feeble glow upon the floor in the corner, the steady ticking of the clockwork of the telescope, the little slit in the roof – an oblong profundity with the stardust streaked across it. Ogilvy moved about, invisible but audible. Looking through the telescope, one saw a circle of deep blue and the little round planet swimming in the field. It seemed such a little thing, so bright and small and still, faintly marked with transverse stripes, and slightly flattened from the perfect round. But so little it was, so silvery warm – a pin’s-head of light! It was as if it quivered, but really this was the telescope vibrating with the activity of the clockwork that kept the planet in view.

As I watched, the planet seemed to grow larger and smaller and to advance and recede, but that was simply that my eye was tired. Forty millions of miles it was from us – more than forty millions of miles of void. Few people realise the immensity of vacancy in which the dust of the material universe swims.

Near it in the field, I remember, were three faint points of light, three telescopic stars infinitely remote, and all around it was the unfathomable darkness of empty space. You know how that blackness looks on a frosty starlight night. In a telescope it seems far profounder. And invisible to me because it was so remote and small, flying swiftly and steadily towards me across that incredible distance, drawing nearer every minute by so many thousands of miles, came the Thing they were sending us, the Thing that was to bring so much struggle and calamity and death to the earth. I never dreamed of it then as I watched; no one on earth dreamed of that unerring missile.

That night, too, there was another jetting out of gas from the distant planet. I saw it. A reddish flash at the edge, the slightest projection of the outline just as the chronometer struck midnight; and at that I told Ogilvy and he took my place. The night was warm and I was thirsty, and I went stretching my legs clumsily and feeling my way in the darkness, to the little table where the siphon stood, while Ogilvy exclaimed at the streamer of gas that came out towards us.

That night another invisible missile started on its way to the earth from Mars, just a second or so under twenty-four hours after the first one. I remember how I sat on the table there in the blackness, with patches of green and crimson swimming before my eyes. I wished I had a light to smoke by, little suspecting the meaning of the minute gleam I had seen and all that it would presently bring me. Ogilvy watched till one, and then gave it up; and we lit the lantern and walked over to his house. Down below in the darkness were Ottershaw and Chertsey and all their hundreds of people, sleeping in peace.

He was full of speculation that night about the condition of Mars, and scoffed at the vulgar idea of its having inhabitants who were signalling us. His idea was that meteorites might be falling in a heavy shower upon the planet, or that a huge volcanic explosion was in progress. He pointed out to me how unlikely it was that organic evolution had taken the same direction in the two adjacent planets.

“The chances against anything manlike on Mars are a million to one,” he said.

Hundreds of observers saw the flame that night and the night after about midnight, and again the night after; and so for ten nights, a flame each night. Why the shots ceased after the tenth no one on earth has attempted to explain. It may be the gases of the firing caused the Martians inconvenience. Dense clouds of smoke or dust, visible through a powerful telescope on earth as little grey, fluctuating patches, spread through the clearness of the planet’s atmosphere and obscured its more familiar features.

Even the daily papers woke up to the disturbances at last, and popular notes appeared here, there, and everywhere concerning the volcanoes upon Mars. The seriocomic periodical Punch, I remember, made a happy use of it in the political cartoon. And, all unsuspected, those missiles the Martians had fired at us drew earthward, rushing now at a pace of many miles a second through the empty gulf of space, hour by hour and day by day, nearer and nearer. It seems to me now almost incredibly wonderful that, with that swift fate hanging over us, men could go about their petty concerns as they did. I remember how jubilant Markham was at securing a new photograph of the planet for the illustrated paper he edited in those days. People in these latter times scarcely realise the abundance and enterprise of our nineteenth-century papers. For my own part, I was much occupied in learning to ride the bicycle, and busy upon a series of papers discussing the probable developments of moral ideas as civilisation progressed.

One night (the first missile then could scarcely have been 10,000,000 miles away) I went for a walk with my wife. It was starlight and I explained the Signs of the Zodiac to her, and pointed out Mars, a bright dot of light creeping zenithward, towards which so many telescopes were pointed. It was a warm night. Coming home, a party of excursionists from Chertsey or Isleworth passed us singing and playing music. There were lights in the upper windows of the houses as the people went to bed. From the railway station in the distance came the sound of shunting trains, ringing and rumbling, softened almost into melody by the distance. My wife pointed out to me the brightness of the red, green, and yellow signal lights hanging in a framework against the sky. It seemed so safe and tranquil.

Download War of the Worlds for your Kindle: War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells

Livre – eBook Concept

livre ebook concept

Last month Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos said “the Kindle, in terms of demand, is outpacing our expectations.” Now with that kind of success it is probably reasonable to assume that Amazon is already hard at work on Kindle v2 and that competitors are also hard at work on their own Kindle-like devices. One aspect of the Kindle that many have criticized is that it lacks a stylish design, and I mostly agree.

Now enter student Designer Nedzad Mujcinovic from Monash University who has come up with a beautifully designed e-book for the Dyson Australian International Design Awards which could give Amazon some food for thought. His design would use the now familiar e-ink technology, but unlike the Kindle would feature a touch screen component. This would remove the need for a keyboard instead relying on a gesture based input system. Pages can be turned by sliding your finger from one corner to the other corner and double or even triple-finger gestures will advance the book by ten and 50 pages respectively. One aspect of the Livre e-book concept I find intriguing is listed in its description – ‘The silicon body adds flexibility to excite the feel of soft cover books.‘ I love the idea of having a ‘bendy e-book’!

I like the design and the idea of a multi-touch surface which would increase the reading area by removing the need for a tactile keyboard, however the design is a bit too bulky and would look a lot better if it lost half an inch in width. Overall the Livre does a better job of mimicking a book than the Kindle and the multi-touch would allow for a better user experience so it gets a thumbs up from us.

livre ebook concept

livre ebook concept

livre ebook concept

The product description:

Product Description and Principal Function(s)
As high density living puts a strain on private space, storage space tends to suffer the most. One of the items people find hard to let go of are books. To those who own a lot of books, books are much more than what meets the eye. Collections of books tend to be ones’ pride and memory on certain moments in life. When taking a dusty book of the shelf one may remember the state of mind on the first read years ago… LIVRE is a new age book, a product that addresses all of these aspects of book reading!

Why does the product represent design excellence and why do you believe it deserves an Australian Design Award?
This project represents excellence in design due to the fact that it fully addresses all that was set out to be achieved. The resulting product is an electronic device that is innovative in every way. It succeeds where all competitors’ products fail. It is not an electronic book reader as we know it. LIVRE is a product that takes books to the next level. LIVRE is the book of the future. LIVRE feels, looks and functions like a traditional paper book, yet it presents an evolved version using modern day electronics to further improve the experience and functionality!

The traditional stitched leather cover brings the feel, tactility and smell of old style books to LIVRE. The cover dsign allows the user to make DIY covers from any material or by covers to suit a particular collection of books, ie “Harry Potter” series. The silicon body adds flexibility to excite the feel of soft cover books.

Interaction happens via a thin capacitive touch screen mounted on top of an electronic paper screen (‘eINK’). Browsing pages happens by striking the screen from right bottom corner towards the centre of page to go forward or from the left hand corner to go backwards. Doing that using one finger will browse one page, two will browse ten pages and three will browse fifty pages at a time.

Charging and file transfer happens via USB typeB mini port. Wireless file transfer via Bluetooth is also available.

Options like changing font size and status overview are not ‘in your face’, they are rather hidden, yet accessible at user’s discretion.

The aesthetic of the LIVRE was inspired by old style disintegrated books and modern sculptural movements. The general shape of the LIVRE is one that most readers of traditional books wish their books were by trying to fold and bend them for easy one handed holding.

LIVRE is the book of the future!

Source: Dyson Student Design Awards, Engadget,

Open Letter to Steve Jobs: In Support of an iPod Reader

Yesterday on this website we posted the New York Times article which speculated on how Apple is developing a Kindle-like device, well today I came across a wonderful open letter addressed to Steve Jobs (from TidBITS). It address’s precisely the reasons why Steve Job’s is wrong in his statements and why Apple should proceed with the ‘Safari Pad’.

I tend to agree with most of what is said, I also think that competition from Apple will force Amazon to become more creative and innovative, which is something they have been lacking in recently. Ultimately a war between Amazon and Apple will benefit the consumer the most.

Have a read;

Dear Steve,

Back in January, while talking with John Markoff and David Pogue of the New York Times after your Macworld Expo keynote, you expressed skepticism about the Amazon Kindle ebook reader. John Markoff quoted you as saying, “It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore. Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.”

That seems an odd thing to say to a pair of writers whose work is read by millions of people in newspaper and book form. I don’t know where you got that 40 percent number, but other statistics would seem to disagree. For instance, the Book Industry Study Group, which has been tracking the U.S. publishing industry for 30 years, estimates that U.S. book sales in 2006 exceeded 3.1 billion copies, generating net revenues for U.S. publishers in excess of $35 billion. That’s a 3.2 percent increase in revenues over 2005. The book industry is growing, not shrinking. And if 40 percent of the people in the U.S. are reading one book or less per year, the other 182 million of us must be averaging over 16 books per year.

Reading habits have undoubtedly changed, since we have more entertainment and research options available to us than ever before. Some of those come thanks to Apple products like the iPod and Apple TV, and Apple services like the iTunes Store. But the prime mover, according to an IDC study of consumer online behavior, is that Americans are now spending 32.7 hours per week online, almost twice as much as they spend watching TV (16.4 hours per week) and more than eight times as much as they spend reading newspapers and magazines (3.9 hours). If you want to point to an industry in trouble, look no further than newspapers, where circulation is in a steep decline.

The key point is that time spent online is largely time spent reading (and writing), whether email (57 billion messages sent in 2007 by IDC’s estimate), blogs (over 70 million, with 1.5 million posts per day, according to Technorati), or more traditional online news and entertainment sources. People read more than they ever have, thanks to the Internet, and new forms of reading are appearing all the time. Witness the Japanese “cell phone novel,” meant to be read in serialized form on the ubiquitous mobile phone. The Economist reports that since appearing in 2001, the genre has grown to become an $82 million business in 2006, with some ebooks receiving over a hundred thousand downloads per day.

I’ve called out all these numbers in order to encourage Apple to acknowledge that people read vast quantities of text and to focus hardware and software design efforts on making it easier to read on the iPod, iPhone, and future devices. The iPod and iPhone can be used to read some online content now, along with small bits of text synced from a Mac, but the experience could be significantly improved with native support for PDF, better user interface support for stored text documents, and more.

But I, speaking as a reader and a publisher, would really like to see Apple create a larger version of the iPod touch optimized not just for a better video experience, but also for a best-of-breed reading experience. Apple has the hardware design and user interface chops that Amazon lacked when creating the Kindle, plus the knowledge gleaned from the iPhone and the iPod touch in terms of underlying operating system, physical design, and wireless capabilities. Equally important is the iTunes Store, which offers an unparalleled browsing and shopping experience for digital media – it could be extended to support commercial ebooks and free blogs in exactly the way it currently supports audiobooks and podcasts.

Such a device would make good business sense for Apple too. iPod sales posted their slowest ever year-over-year growth rate, at only 5 percent, causing some analysts to opine that Apple has saturated the market. Even committed iPod users will purchase replacement iPods only so often. Like the iPhone, a new “iPod reader” in a larger form factor would open up a new market for Apple, but unlike the iPhone, it would be purchased in addition to an iPod nano or iPod shuffle.

John Markoff has speculated that your dismissal of American reading habits is actually a calculated setting of the stage for just such a device. You didn’t have kind words for cell phones or the MP3 players that predated the iPod, with justification – they were (and for the most part remain) utterly awful.

So Steve, here’s hoping that an upcoming special event will feature an iPod reader, designed to do all the great things we’ve become accustomed to from an iPod, but with the addition of native support for downloading, managing, and displaying textual documents of all sorts, whether in plain text, PDF, Microsoft Word’s .doc, or XML format.

The iPod already gives us access to Beethoven and Bob Dylan, to snapshots of our children, and to The Incredibles and episodes of Lost. Let’s add to that Harry Potter and The Hobbit, 1984 and Catch-22, and the complete works of Dr. Seuss. Book publishers have been waiting for a mass-market ebook reader for years, the newspaper companies are dying for a new online business model, and normal people just want to read on the train to work. And of course, I’ll be happy to upload to the iTunes Store an entire library of Take Control ebooks that are already popular with tens of thousands of Mac users.

–Adam Engst, TidBITS Publishing Inc.

Source: TidBITS

Apple Preparing A Kindle Like Device? iReader

Apple ebookA New York Times articleby John Markoff this past week made an interesting case that Apple is working on a Kindle-like device called ‘Safari Pad’. Whilst there is no concrete evidence that Apple is working on – or even planning such a device, John Markoff seems to think that something is definitely up.

Steve Jobs does have a history of rubbishing an industry before launching a product, he famously criticised the music and cellphone industries before launching the iPod and iPhone. Apple has confirmed that the iPod Touch is a platform and not a single product, and Intel’s new Atom processor would seem like an ideal chip for a Kindle-like device and certainly Apple’s design department can come up with something which looks better than the Kindle.

Like most discussions on this subject, this article references a comment made by Steve Jobs when the Kindle was announced “Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.” could this just be another of Steve Jobs diversion tactic – say one thing, and do another?

If Apple does come out with ‘Safari Pad’ we can safely assume that it will be a full-colour device which will sync to Apple’s other services like iTunes, AppleTV and OSX, which means it would offer video and music content, one thing the Kindle has going for it is that its designed for reading and reading alone which might just give it the upper hand when it comes to e-books.

The article ends with an interesting question – Wouldn’t it be ironic if Mr. Jobs could ultimately claim to have saved reading books in the digital age?

Could Apple do to books what the iPod did for music?

Source: Bits Blog – New York Times

Top Marks to Amazon Customer Support

Kindle owner John Federico recently had some trouble with his Kindle after it developed a crack on the bottom of the device, this is what he had to say about Amazon’s customer support;

I love my Kindle and I’m a big fan of Amazon – even more now after dealing with their Kindle Customer Support folks.

My Kindle developed a strange crack on the bottom of the unit where the ports and volume control are located. I called Amazon support to explain the situation and they immediately shipped a new Kindle (so I wouldn’t be without mine while they replaced it.)

When the new one arrived, the process for deactivating the original Kindle and activating the replacement was fast and flawless.

I packed up my original unit into the replacement’s box, slapped on the return shipping label that Amazon sent me and off it went, back to Kindle-land.

Nice job, guys.

Nice job indeed – it seems like the Amazon customer service guys did a great job in dealing with John’s problems, I am a bit surprised that they shipped out a replacement before requesting John’s Kindle back. However, this is a really good sign that Amazon are looking after their Kindle customers, which is impressive after you read about all the Amazon horror stories out there.

Source: brandbrains.net

Hand Made Kindle Case Mod Made to Look Like a Book

Hand made Kindle case designed to look like a book

Believe it or not the above picture is not that of a fine old book, but rather a modified case cover for the Kindle! This beautiful piece was made by a user on the mobileread Kindle forum, it features a hand made leather book case, marbleized paper for the end papers, gold leaf to give the impression of gilded pages and a felt-lined holder which keeps the Kindle securely in place. You still don’t believe me do you? in that case I suggest you scroll down the page and have a look at other the images.

Whilst it does look pretty, a few readers on the forums have pointed out that there seem to be some usability issues. For instance on this particular case-mod the cover does not fold back upon itself which may cause readers to use both hands whilst reading content, however the creator of the case mod assured them that it is not a big issue. I guess the only way of telling if it affects usability is by actually using it.

This case-mod simply blows the standard case you get with the Kindle out of the water, or for that matter any other case out there. I think a commercial venture which would offer this to Kindle owners would be an excellent idea, apparently this case-mod it has already fooled some people into thinking that it is a real book!

Now here are some more picture for you to drool over:

Hand made Kindle case designed to look like a book

Hand made Kindle case designed to look like a book

Hand made Kindle case designed to look like a book

Source: user artsci on mobileread Kindle forums

Kindle Photo of the Day #15: Under the Microscope

kindle photo of the day 15 on blogkindle.com

Photo by lostcosmos.

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.

Publisher “Stunned” By Kindle Sales

Kindle with newspaperSilicon Alley Insider had reported on Evan Schnittman’s – of Oxford University Press – response to unexpectedly strong sales via Kindle:

That prompted Schnittman to look at his royalty statements, which he said “stunned” him: He had expected to sell up to 200 Kindle titles in December, but says the real numbers were “an order of magnitude” more than that.

Schnittman says that a buddy from ‘one of the biggest trade publishers in the world’ called him this week and explained to him how well the Kindle formatted eBooks were selling. In light of this news Evan Schnittman went to look at his royalty statements which “stunned” him. Schnittman says he has no idea if these kinds of sales will continue, but says that this has turned him from a digital skeptic into a digital believer and with sales figures like that it’s no wonder he’s a believer now!

With all this success, it raises the bigger question – How many eBooks does Amazon sell each month?

Please leave a comment if you have any questions or thoughts.

Source: Silicon Alley Insider

Sunday Night Links #4: 2 March 2008

sunday night linksEvery Sunday night we will bring you our selection of Kindle links from around the web. Compiled from blogs, magazines, main stream media and other sources, we hope this list will give you a definitive overview of what’s new regarding Kindle and what the growing Kindle community is talking about.

Book Lust – New York Times

Amazon to Buy Audiobook Seller for $300 Million – New York Times

Ah no; “Kindle” isn’t mobile outside the US – Dirty Bytes

more thoughts on kindle; missing the point – John’s Blog

Stephen King: Books With Batteries — Why Not? – ew.com

The Kindle in Church – TeleRead

Online Print On Demand Space Heats Up – Read/Write Web

Does the Amazon Kindle violate network neutrality principles? – IT Knowledge Exchange

Kindle Full Review – Chaos in Motion

Kindle is My Co-Pilot – Amazon Kindle’s Blog

Top authors to go digital with ebooks – Times Online

Scott Hanselman Loves His Kindle – Kindleville

The future of reading? – durham21

DS Downloads Redux: Kindling It – n-slider

Another nail in the coffin of print and yellow page advertising – 258marketing

E-Ink, E-Readers and E-Books! – SURiMOUNT