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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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October 2012
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Daily Deals: All Cry Chaos, The Ghost of Crutchfield and It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown

All Cry Chaos (Henri Poincare)Today Amazon offers All Cry Chaos (Henri Poincare) by Leonard Rosen just for $1.99.

All Cry Chaos, a debut thriller by the immensely gifted Leonard Rosen, is a masterful and gripping tale that literally reaches for the heavens.

The action begins when mathematician James Fenster is assassinated on the eve of a long-scheduled speech at a World Trade Organization meeting. The hit is as elegant as it is bizarre. Fenster’s Amsterdam hotel room is incinerated, yet the rest of the building remains intact. The murder trail leads veteran Interpol agent Henri Poincaré on a high- stakes, world-crossing quest for answers.

Together with his chain-smoking, bon vivant colleague Serge Laurent, Poincaré pursues a long list of suspects: the Peruvian leader of the Indigenous Liberation Front, Rapture-crazed militants, a hedge fund director, Fenster’s elusive ex-fiancée, and a graduate student in mathematics. Poincaré begins to make progress in America, but there is a prodigious hatred trained on him—some unfinished business from a terrifying former genocide case—and he is called back to Europe to face the unfathomable. Stripped down and in despair, tested like Job, he realizes the two cases might be connected—and he might be the link.

This first installment in the Henri Poincaré series marries a sharp, smart mystery to deep religious themes that will keep both agnostics and believers turning pages until the shattering, revelatory end. Anyone who enjoys the work of John Le Carré, Scott Turow, Dan Brown, and Stieg Larsson will relish Rosen’s story telling and his resourceful, haunted protagonist. Others will appreciate his dazzling prose. Still others, the way he bends the thriller form in unconventional ways toward a higher cause, in the vein of Henning Mankell in The Man From Beijing. In short, All Cry Chaos promises to become a critical success that garners a broad readership throughout the nation and across the globe.

Some words about the Author

Leonard Rosen is a bestselling and widely respected nonfiction author among educational publishers. He has written radio essays broadcast by NPR’s Morning Edition, Only a Game, and All Things Considered, as well as op-eds published by the Boston Globe. He has taught writing at Bentley University and Harvard University. He lives in Brookline, Massachusetts.

The Ghost of Crutchfield HallIn the section for kids Amazon offers The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn.

When twelve-year-old Florence boards the crowded horse-drawn coach in London, she looks forward to a new life with her great uncle and aunt at Crutchfield Hall, an old manor house in the English countryside. Anything will be better, she thinks, than the grim London orphanage where she has lived since her parents’ death.

But Florence doesn’t expect the ghost of her cousin Sophia, who haunts the cavernous rooms and dimly lit hallways of Crutchfield and concocts a plan to use Florence to help her achieve her murderous goals. Will Florence be able to convince the others in the household of the imminent danger and stop Sophia before it’s too late?

Some words about the Author

Mary Downing Hahn is the award-winning author of many popular ghost stories and mysteries, including Deep and Dark and Dangerous, The Old Willis Place, and Closed for the Season, which won the 2010 Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery. A former librarian, an avid reader, traveler, and all-around arts lover, Ms. Hahn lives in Columbia, Maryland with her two cats, Oscar and Rufus.

 

It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie BrownIt’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown is an application which can hepl you to attract attention of your kids and free some time for you.

Oh, Great Pumpkin! Where are you? This Halloween, hang out with Charlie Brown and the entire Peanuts gang to find out for yourself!

While Linus and Sally wait for the Great Pumpkin, you can join Charlie Brown at his first-ever Halloween party! Trick-or-treat with Lucy, Pigpen and the rest of the gang. Play a little ditty on Schroeder’s piano and bob for apples with Snoopy — just watch out for dog germs, blech!

Narrated by Peter Robbins, the original voice of Charlie Brown, everyone’s favorite Halloween special is beautifully re-imagined in this interactive storybook designed for smartphones and tablets.

Digitally remastered illustrations are brought to life with the voices, dialog and music from the original 1966 animated TV special. Whether your family sings pumpkin carols and waits in pumpkin patches or you’re introducing It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown to your kids for the first time, everyone will love this magical interactive Halloween classic!

iPad Mini Details Provide Amazon With Kindle Fire Sales Boost

As the rumors grew more intense and details began to leak from production line sources about the reality of Apple’s new device, it became fairly common to see “hold off on any purchases until the iPad Mini is ready” posted as advice.  There is even reason to believe that many people took that advice, it turns out.  Amazon put out a statement recently indicating that the 24rd of October (One day after Apple’s iPad Mini launch event) was “the $199 Kindle Fire HD‘s biggest day of sales since launch”.

Some of the lack of interest in the iPad Mini has to come from its shockingly high price.  At $329 for the basic unit it is hard to compete with the $199 Kindle Fire HD in a market oriented toward people wanting to spend less for their tablet.  That extra $130 is a huge step above the prices of 7” tablets that Apple has openly shown they intend to compete with.

More importantly, the Kindle Fire HD has a superior display.  Now display isn’t everything, but it’s a lot.  Apple has largely maintained their advantage in tablets by offering some of the best visual performance money can buy.  A tablet, like a smartphone, is basically a handheld screen; nothing could be more apparent as a selling point.  Amazon and Google have had to price their tablets at cost in order to compete with the iPad up until now, but with better prices AND better visuals the competition is more than weighted against Apple for once.

The spec comparisons largely go in this direction.  Apple cut so much out of their device that just about all it has going for it is the slightly larger screen size (7.9” vs 7”) and the name “iPad”.

It’s possible that the iOS ecosystem will overcome these deficits.  It certainly will be the biggest factor in driving sales.  As more and more developers optimize their apps for the iPad 3’s A5X processor and the iPad 4’s A6X processor, however, people using the iPad Mini’s A5 processor might find their experience increasingly lacking.  Anecdotes of iPhone 4 owners unhappy with the problems created by iOS 6 performance are common enough to make this particularly important.  We’re talking about a device using roughly the same technology as the iPad 2 at a time when the iPad 4 is headlining.

There is still every reason for Amazon to be concerned about their chances in the larger tablet market.  The 4th Generation iPad was updated to compete with the sort of powerful Windows 8 tablets beginning to hit the market and it is hard to imagine that even the $200 price difference in favor of the Kindle Fire HD 8.9” will be enough to drive sales in the face of those competitors unless Amazon does some serious expansion of their content ecosystem before the November 20th release date.

In terms of smaller tablets, it’s fair to say that the big names to watch right now are Google, Amazon, and maybe Barnes & Noble.  Apple has priced their option right out of the running, given what it’s made of.  As much as I like the Kindle Fire, it would have been great to get some even more intense competition to push things forward.  It’s a disappointment that Apple didn’t come through here.

Daily Deals: The Pleasure of My Company, Three Halloween Picture Books and The Haunt

The Pleasure of My CompanyToday Amazon offers The Pleasure of My Company by Steve Martin just for $1.99.

Daniel resides in his Santa Monica apartment, living much of his life as a bystander: He watches from his window as the world goes by, and his only relationships seem to be with people who barely know he exists. He passes the time idly filling out contest applications, counting ceiling tiles, and estimating the wattage of light bulbs.

It is through Daniel’s growing attachment to Clarissa, and to Teddy, that he finally gains the courage to begin to engage the world outside, and in doing so, he discovers love, and life, in the most surprising places.

Filled with his trademark humor, tenderness, and out and out hilarious wordplay, The Pleasure of My Company is a tour de force sure to delight all of Steve Martin’s fans.

Some words about the Author

Steve Martin is a celebrated writer, actor, and performer. His film credits include Father of the Bride, Parenthood, and The Spanish Prisoner, as well as Roxanne, L.A. Story, and Bowfinger, for which he also wrote the screenplays. He’s won Emmys for his television writing and two Grammys for comedy albums. In addition to a play, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, he has written a bestselling collection of comic pieces, Pure Drivel, and a bestselling novella, Shopgirl. His work appears frequently in the New Yorker and the New York Times. He lives in New York City and Los Angeles.

Also Amazon offers Three Halloween Picture Books. Halloween is a perennial kid favorite, and these three picture books perfectly capture the fun and sweet spirit of the trick-or-treating season. All three books are just $1.99 each (up to 80% off), and each one features clever stories highlighted by spirited illustrations filled with fun details children will love.

1. By the Light of the Halloween Moon by Caroline Stutson

In this “catchy, lilting cumulative tale with glorious comical/scary illustrations” (Kirkus Reviews), a little girl’s toe taps a tune as her legs dangle from a footbridge that has all sorts of creatures hidden underneath. There are cats and witches, bats and ghosts. With lots of repetition, a rhythmic, bouncy text, and imaginative illustrations, this Halloween title is sure to tickle your bones—your funny bones, that is! And for the first time in over a decade, this Halloween gem is back in print.

2. We’re Going on a Ghost Hunt by Susan Pearson

Susan Pearson has written her own unique version of the popular song, “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt,” introducing four children who go out at night in search of a ghost. After squish-squash-squooshing through a swamp, rustle-rustle-rat-a-tattling through a cornfield, and overcoming all kinds of obstacles on their journey, they come face to face with a ghost in a graveyard. Then—RUN! RUN! RUN!—they race back to the safety of their warm, cozy house. S.D. Schindler’s spirited illustrations bring warmth and humor to this lively rhyming read-aloud.

3. Maddie’s Monster Dad by Scott Gibala-Broxholm

Maddie loves monsters. She loves watching monster movies, eating monster cereal, and drawing monster pictures. She also loves doing things with her dad. But lately her dad has been very busy with work, so Maddie decides to use her Build-a-Beast kit to create a Monster Dad that is never too busy to play. It turns out there are some things that monsters can’t do, and maybe a Monster Dad isn’t as special as the real thing. The illustrations in gouache and pencil contain clever, fun details that children (and adults) will love.

 

The HauntThe Haunt is today’s free game from Amazon.

The Haunt is a thrilling new point and tap adventure that is sure to make your toes curl and keep your device on edge! This stunningly beautiful and creepily crafted adventure takes you on an escape to a spooky and chilling estate full of curious plot twists and engaging and unique puzzles. Mini-games are scattered throughout the dark and mysterious farm and abandoned house. Ghosts and demons guard the many places of curiosity as you search for the clues and tools to unlock the mystery.

As the townfolk’s last hope, you are commissioned and charged with the task of ridding the house and farm from its dark and devilish ghouls and closing the ethereal portal hidden within. Many others have tried this but have never been heard from again. Can you put all the pieces together and restore peace to the homestead?

Rich and colorful, the photo-real graphics make this one of the most beautiful adventures on the appstore. Challenging puzzles and well hidden clues and objects provide a great deal of depth to the game and makes this a standout in the genre.

Start your adventure today and get your creep on in the Haunt.

Product features:

  • Stunning Graphics
  • Tons of original puzzles and mini-games
  • Hidden clues, tools and objects
  • Excellent depth and length
  • Engaging storyline
  • Lots of spooks and ghosts
  • Original music score
  • Fun for all ages (spooky without the bloody gore)

Can the iPad Mini Give the Kindle Fire a Run for its Money?

In Steve Jobs’ biography, he repeatedly stressed the importance of creating fewer, top of the line products, rather than a slew of mediocre ones.  Apple has always thrived on branding and staying ahead of the game.

It surprised me that the iPad Mini is not only real, but it is named exactly what rumors called it.  Is Apple getting too predictable?  Now we have a big variety of sizes for tablets and smartphones in the Apple lineup.  Most people can reconcile having both an iPad and an iPhone, but can you do that for the iPad Mini and the iPhone?

I don’t see it taking the hold of the 7″ tablet market like the original 10″ iPad currently has on the larger tablet market.  Obviously, price is one factor.  The iPad mini is $329, whereas the Kindle Fire HD, Nook Tablet, and Nexus 7 are all $199.  So, they will attract different types of consumers.

For thee moment, I don’t think the Kindle Fire HD has too much to worry about from that end.  The Nexus 7 is proving to be a solid competitor, but competition is good because it make the devices strive to get better and better with each generation.

It used to be that the major tech giants excelled in different areas.  Google held the monopoly on search engines, Amazon was the pioneer for ebooks, Microsoft reigned over the PC market, and Apple took control over computers, and later music.

Now, they’re all trying to one up each other by creating competing products.  This can be quite overwhelming for the consumer!  Maybe it is best to just let them duul it out, and see what the winners are.

As far as choices go, longevity is a good thing to consider.  The Kindle Fire is in its second generation, and has ironed out some issues that the first generation had. The new Kindle Fire family includes better display, better designed hardware, and a camera.  Amazon also has a good sized marketplace with a free app every day.

For the 10″ inch tablets, the iPad still dominates that market, and has had a couple of years to improve.  Apple of course has a huge appstore, and includes a number of business apps.

Only time will tell what the winners will be in the tablet market.  It is sure to be a wild ride.

Daily Deals: Against His Will, Rise of the Wolf and Wonder Witches (Ad-Free)

Against His WillToday Amazon offers Against His Will by Trish Jensen just for $1.99.

They tried to resist each other, but it was impossible. Soon their passions were unleashed, and their self-control went to the dogs . . .FBI agent Jake Donnelly is not the kind of man who names a dog “Muffin.” Especially not a jowly bulldog. But now Jake’s Aunt Sophie has left him her beloved Muffin, along with a sizable inheritance that has some strings attached. Jake and Muffin have to attend a two-week therapy course designed to work out any bonding issues they may have.Enter Leanne Crosby, a pet shrink and owner of a luxury pet spa complete with private counseling sessions, a doggie dating service, and plenty of quirky advice on proper pet parenting.When the gorgeous and brilliant Dr. Crosby sets out to help Jake and Muffin become soulmates, it soon becomes obvious that she and Jake are falling in puppy love.

Some words about the Author

Trish Jensen never meant to become an author. Never aspired to it, in fact it wasn’t even in the top ten of jobs on her, “If you could do/be anything, what would it be?” list.

But after seven years in corporate America, she recognized climbing that particular ladder wasn’t what she wanted, either. So while she figured out what truly felt right, she decided to go back to school for her MBA. After one semester of THAT, she recognized it would still be the same ladder, just made of better wood, a better view from her office, and yet still a desk job.

So she made a leap to another, really rickety ladder, taking English and creative writing classes just to clear her head and make her brain work in a completely new way. When she tackled the final for her creative writing class, the first chapter of a novel, a crazed writer was born.

Rise of the Wolf: Book 1 (Wereworld)Also Amazon offers a book for kids. Today it is Rise of the Wolf: Book 1 (Wereworld) by Curtis Jobling for $2.99.

A thrilling new series for Ranger’s Apprentice fans!

Imagine a world ruled by Werelords–men and women who can shift at will into bears, lions, and serpents. When Drew suddenly discovers he’s not only a werewolf but the long-lost heir to the murdered Wolf King’s throne, he must use his wits and newfound powers to survive in a land suddenly full of enemies. Drew’s the only one who can unite the kingdom in a massive uprising against its tyrant ruler, Leopold the Lion. But the king is hot on Drew’s tail and won’t rest until he’s got the rebel wolf’s head.

Some words about the Author.

Curtis Jobling is best known as the designer of the BAFTA-winning BBC show Bob the Builder. He is also the creator/director/producer of Nickelodeon’s Curious Cow animated shorts and the author and illustrator of several picture books. He resides in Warrington, United Kingdom.

 

Wonder Witches (Ad-Free)Wonder Witches (Ad-Free) is a funny game for your Kindle Fire. Today it is free to download.

Woohoooo! Welcome to the world of Wonder Witches! This is the full version without advertisements. Collect magical potions, unlock witches with special broomsticks and enjoy the scenery. Watch out for those clouds in the sky and most important, have fun!

Product features:

  • Unlock additional witches;
  • Broomsticks with magical powers;
  • Changing backgrounds while you fly and progress through the world. Can you make it to the moon?
  • Collect potions to gain magical powers
  • Fun sound effects and graphics!

Enjoy the game and please provide feedback and if you like it, please tell your friends and family about it! Thank you very much and have fun playing!

 

First Japanese-Language Kindles Coming Next Month

The move away from physical keyboards gave Amazon an easy route into any number of non-Anglophone markets for the first time.  They’ve made good use of that since the Kindle Touch was first released.  In addition to being able to find a Kindle practically anywhere in the world, localized versions of the popular eReader can now be found for a number of language options.  Now, for the first time, Amazon is pushing their efforts into Asia with the first ever Japanese Kindle.

Amazon.co.jp will now have its own Kindle Store and will be offering the Kindle Paperwhite for sale.  Preordering is now open for both the WiFi and 3G versions of the device.  The prices are currently ¥8,480 and ¥12,980 respectively.  They will begin shipping on November 19th.

Japan has proven a hard market for Amazon to move the Kindle into so far.  Their site has been operating successfully there for twelve years now, but it has been reported that they had trouble getting Japanese publishers interested in doing business with them after all of the conflict between Amazon and the Big 6 publishing houses in US markets.  It seems that terms have now been reached that are considered satisfactory.  The press release for this announcement indicates that over 50,000 Japanese-language titles will be available at launch and that these will include the largest selection of Oricon best sellers anywhere.

Naturally all of these titles will be accessible through Amazon’s various distribution channels.  Kindle Paperwhite owners will be able to make use of the new store, but so will Kindle Fire owners, Kindle app users, and anybody with a web browser.

Introducing the Kindle line to Japan is a particularly important move for Amazon if they want to keep expanding the customer base.  While geographically small, Japan is home to one of the most literate cultures in the world.  It also enjoys the widest newspaper circulation anywhere and may prove a useful place to renew interest in digitally distributed newspapers and magazines.

There is also a large market for graphic literature to be exploited.  This launch will include over 15,000 manga selections.  Kindle Format 8’s Panel View will come in handy for this and the high contrast Kindle Paperwhite display could prove an ideal medium for these books.

The Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD are also now available in Japan and should be shipping on December 19th, one month after the Paperwhite goes out.  While this caters to a different market, having options is never a bad idea.  The Kindle Fire HD might not be quite as good for reading as its single-purpose eReader counterpart, but it does provide a greater versatility and convenience for the money.

Daily Deals: Blackberry Winter, Coraline and Face Frenzy

Blackberry Winter: A NovelToday Amazon offers Blackberry Winter: A Novel by Sarah Jio for $2.99.

From acclaimed novelist Sarah Jio, a new “mystery-slash-love story [that] will have you racing to the end”

Seattle, 1933. Vera Ray kisses her three-year-old son, Daniel, goodnight and reluctantly leaves for work. She hates the nightshift, but it’s the only way she can earn enough to keep destitution at bay. In the morning—even though it’s the second of May—a heavy snow is falling. Vera rushes to wake Daniel, but his bed is empty. His teddy bear lies outside in the snow.

Seattle, present day. On the second of May, Seattle Times reporter, Claire Hanson, awakens to another late-season snowstorm. Assigned to cover this “blackberry winter” and its predecessor decades earlier, Claire learns of Daniel’s unsolved abduction and vows to unearth the truth—only to discover that she and Vera are linked in unexpected ways.

Some words about the Author

Sarah Jio lives with her husband and three children in Seattle, Washington.

Coraline 10th Anniversary EditionCoraline 10th Anniversary Edition by Neil Gaiman costs just $1.99 today only.

Coraline lives with her preoccupied parents in part of a huge old house–a house so huge that other people live in it, too… round, old former actresses Miss Spink and Miss Forcible and their aging Highland terriers (“We trod the boards, luvvy”) and the mustachioed old man under the roof (“‘The reason you cannot see the mouse circus,’ said the man upstairs, ‘is that the mice are not yet ready and rehearsed.’”) Coraline contents herself for weeks with exploring the vast garden and grounds. But with a little rain she becomes bored–so bored that she begins to count everything blue (153), the windows (21), and the doors (14). And it is the 14th door that–sometimes blocked with a wall of bricks–opens up for Coraline into an entirely alternate universe. Now, if you’re thinking fondly of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe or Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, you’re on the wrong track. Neil Gaiman’s Coraline is far darker, far stranger, playing on our deepest fears. And, like Roald Dahl’s work, it is delicious.

What’s on the other side of the door? A distorted-mirror world, containing presumably everything Coraline has ever dreamed of… people who pronounce her name correctly (not “Caroline”), delicious meals (not like her father’s overblown “recipes”), an unusually pink and green bedroom (not like her dull one), and plenty of horrible (very un-boring) marvels, like a man made out of live rats. The creepiest part, however, is her mirrored parents, her “other mother” and her “other father”–people who look just like her own parents, but with big, shiny, black button eyes, paper-white skin… and a keen desire to keep her on their side of the door. To make creepy creepier, Coraline has been illustrated masterfully in scritchy, terrifying ink drawings by British mixed-media artist and Sandman cover illustrator Dave McKean. This delightful, funny, haunting, scary as heck, fairy-tale novel is about as fine as they come. Highly recommended. (Ages 11 and older) –Karin Snelson

Some words about the Author

Neil Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Neverwhere, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book, and Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett); the Sandman series of graphic novels; and the story collections Smoke and Mirrors andFragile Things. He is the winner of numerous literary honors, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy Awards, and the Newbery Medal. Originally from England, he now lives in America.

 

Face Frenzy: Monster EditionFace Frenzy: Monster Edition is a game which you can download free of charge.

Use your creative makeover skills to pretty up gory ghouls in Face Frenzy: Monster Edition. If you thought getting ready for a night out on the town was tough, imagine how hard it must be for Frankenstein. These faces don’t just stich themselves! Help a monster out.

All of these monsters are in a frenzy to get their faces ready for a night out on the town. Stitches need sewing and fangs need sharpening. Use a variety of tools to remedy everything from unique monster ailments to typical annoyances, like pimples and runny noses.

While you work your magic, do your best to keep them in a good mood before it’s time to go. Nobody wants to leave grumpy; it will ruin the night. Keep track of your high scores, which depend on how quickly you work–so work fast. These are three monsters you definitely don’t want to disappoint.

Use a variety of tools and vibrant colors to fix these scary monster faces. Get creative and have fun. Choose from three classic characters and move through various difficulty levels.

Amazon Launches Kindle App for Windows 8

Bringing Windows 8 into the Kindle App family didn’t take long.  Amazon has already got a polished version of the reading software in the Windows Store and ready to use.  As always, it’s free of charge.  Those familiar with the workings of Kindle apps, including the Kindle Cloud Reader, will find themselves right at home here.  There are, however, some peculiarities that make the Windows 8 offering stand out.

All of the standard features are present here.  The app can open any document associated with your Amazon account in either Cloud view or locally once you’ve downloaded it.  Whispersync takes care of updating your notes and maintaining your position in the document.  There are a number of options to customize parts of the display including the margins, font size, and color scheme.  A selection of fonts would have been nice, but that’s my only major complaint.

Basically you can assume that this app is a portal for the Kindle Cloud Reader without being too far off.  The visual style of the library is more in line with the Windows 8 aesthetic and some of the capabilities the app offers are specific to Windows 8, but once you are reading a book all of that falls away and it’s the same familiar experience.

The Windows 8-specific features are worth bring aware of, though.  Amazon has done a good job of integrating the hooks that make Microsoft’s new interface distinct.

The Charm Bar, largely the way you handle searching, sharing, and settings in any Windows 8 app, is the first thing to be aware of.  Searching the Kindle App will first pull up your library, making it handy for anybody with a large selection on hand, but will also show the top twenty search results from the Kindle Store.  Clicking on any of these will open a browser for shopping.  This searching is available even if the app itself isn’t currently open thanks to the way the Charm Bar works, taking a step out of the process of opening or shopping for a book.

Since Charms are the way that all sharing is handled, this is also where you go for that. My first attempt allowed me to share the title of the book I was reading, a note to go with that title, and a link to the book in the store.  This function will probably get more robust once Amazon figures out how to handle the even-handed treatment of all social sharing options in Windows 8.

It is also possible, and quite obvious, to “pin” a title to your Start Screen.  Any time you select a book or open the app bar while reading, this option is presented.  What this means is that the book will show up as a tile in the Start Screen, allowing you to jump directly into your book without worrying about navigating the library.  It’s a handy way to keep your current books readily at hand.

Basically, while the Kindle for Windows 8 app doesn’t accomplish anything revolutionary it also doesn’t have any obvious problems.  For a launch app, you’re not going to find many better implementations.  Check out win8review.com for more information.

Amazon Whispercast Makes Organized Kindle Management Possible

Amazon has now introduced the Whispercast service, which allows for organizational management of Kindle devices.  This includes both Kindle eReaders and the Kindle Fire tablet series.  Using this service it is possible to distribute content, manage available functions, and generally maintain control over your organization’s device even when it is in the hands of an authorized user.

One of the main markets that Amazon initially tried to target with the Kindle was education.  The fact that it is difficult to manage these devices is one of the major factors that has held up institutional adoption.  Parents have reason to be uncomfortable with the idea of their children being handed anything with unrestricted internet access, teachers have plenty of reason to wonder if that same internet access would be abused during school hours while also having doubts that it would be possible to ensure uniform content across entire classes, and the issue of potential theft is an ever-present concern in as poorly funded an organization as your average public school.

Business customers, meanwhile, have largely had better options than the Kindle Fire when it comes to device management for employees.  The alternatives on the market today make it possible to run a sophisticated Bring Your Own Device(BYOD) program in a way that Amazon has until now failed to match.  This is a big step forward.

Right now the benefits seem to be restricted to company/school owned Kindles.  There are plans for further features that make Whispercast more versatile for BYOD programs, but that’s still listed as “Coming Soon”.

The available management features are fairly straightforward and fall into two categories: Access and Distribution.

Access controls cover anything having to do with user privileges.  Through Whispercast it is possible to determine whether a device is able to connect to the internet, how much access they have to things like Facebook and Twitter integration, and if they are allowed to make purchases through the Kindle Store.  Blocking the ability to deregister or reset to factory settings is of course part of the package.  All of this is managed from a central control screen and it removes the need to individually configure every Kindle.  It is even possible to send WiFi details directly through the cellular signal of compatible devices so that users are able to connect with no trouble when in range of your home network.

Distribution is fairly obvious.  You can distribute content to all devices on your account or break them down into subgroups in order to get people exactly what they need.  This could mean sending one class or grade level only their own content for the school year or keeping each department of your business supplied with the latest relevant documents.  Eventually apps will be included in this control scheme, though at present they are not.

Basically, if there is any intention of turning the Kindle eReader or Kindle Fire tablet into a regularly used part of your organization, things just got a lot easier.  Schools and libraries will definitely find this handy, but it certainly won’t hurt business management.

What Happened To The Kindle DX?

With the emphasis on portable electronics always tending toward smaller and/or thinner it isn’t surprising that the Kindle DX was never quite as popular as its smaller counterparts.  The extent of its failure is a little strange, though.  The 9.7” version of Amazon’s Kindle eReader now seems to have been quietly pulled from the virtual shelves and left without a successor.  Why did it fail to catch on and is there even a market for a device like this?

As has been demonstrated in both tablets and eReaders, bigger doesn’t always mean better.  There have been many eReaders attempted with larger screens and the variety of Android tablets is quite a bit more impressive.  The iPad is still going to be the bestselling tablet in the world for years to come, however, and it is quite a bit larger than many options.  One would think that screen size would be a valuable enough asset in the reading experience to make something similar possible for the Kindle DX.

There are plenty of reasons why that comparison is lacking.  Mostly it comes down to the fact that Apple put out a well-designed product and Amazon screwed up a bit.  What did they need to do better to keep the DX a viable option for customers?

Price

When it was released, the Kindle DX cost just about 30% more than the Kindle 2.  That made it $489.  While I remember spending $300+ on an eReader and being satisfied with each one, whether it was the Sony PRS-500, the Nook, or the Kindle 2, that wasn’t a sustainable sales strategy.  The Kindle is now under $70 per unit.  The Kindle DX at its lowest never got below $299 new.

Function

The fact that the Kindle DX only had navigation buttons on one side was a major shortcoming.  It hampered one-handed reading and landscape-orientation reading in general.  The keyboard, while nice to have, was also less usable than it needed to be.  The larger screen would have benefitted more from a touchscreen than any current Kindle does by far.

Durability

E Ink screens aren’t known for being the most durable things in the world.  The Kindle DX, however, used the only one that I have ever had break on its first fall.  Twice.  I understand that a combination of the larger size and higher device weight make it more likely to have problems, but this is a big issue in light of the tendency for people to read one-handed.

Software

The Kindle DX never really saw much attention in terms of software updates.  It needed to.  Many of the issues that users reported, especially with regard to PDF viewing, could have been addressed.  Amazon gave the impression of having given up on the device within months of its release.

All told, it’s safe to say that this doesn’t really prove anything about the niche.  Yes, the Kindle DX is gone.  That could be because customers just don’t like large eReaders, sure.  It could also be because customers aren’t interested in incredibly expensive eReaders with design flaws and a lack of software updates.

Don’t misunderstand, I love the Kindle DX.  Until giving mine away to a friend, it was used on a regular basis.  It just happened to give the impression of being a product that still needed work.  A larger version of the Kindle Paperwhite priced at $179 would fly off shelves, in my opinion.  As much as I wish that would happen it seems to be time to give up on the idea.  The Kindle DX is no longer relevant.

Daily Deals: A Life in Stitches, Unglued, Monster and Witches’ Brew – Halloween potion making fun!

A Life in Stitches: Knitting My Way Through Love, Loss, and LaughterToday Amazon offers A Life in Stitches: Knitting My Way Through Love, Loss, and Laughter by Rachael Herron just for $1.99

In these 20 heartfelt essays, Rachael Herron celebrated romance novelist by day, 911 dispatcher by night, shows how when life unravels there is always a way to knit it back together again, many times into something even better. Honest, funny, and full of warmth, Herron s tales, each inspired by something she knit or something knit for her, will speak to anyone who has ever picked up a pair of needles. From her very first sweater (a hilarious disaster, to say the least) to the yellow afghan that caused a breakup (and, ultimately, a breakthrough), every piece has a moving story behind it. This beautifully crafted and candid collection is perfect for the knitter who loves to read and the reader who loves to knit.

Some words about the Author

Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw EmotionsRachael Herron is the creator of Yarnagogo.com, which receives over 90,000 hits a month, and the author of the novel How to Knit a Love Song. She lives with her better half in Oakland, California.

Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions by Lysa TerKeurst is the second book in today’s deal pack. It costs $1.99.

Lysa TerKeurst admits that she, like most women, has experiences where others bump into her happy and she comes emotionally unglued. We stuff, we explode, or react somewhere in between. What do we do with these raw emotions? Is it really possible to make emotions work for us instead of against us? Yes, and in her usual inspiring and practical way, Lysa will show you how. Filled with gut-honest personal examples and Biblical teaching, Unglued will equip you to: * Know with confidence how to resolve conflict in your important relationships. * Find peace in your most difficult relationships as you learn to be honest but kind when offended. * Identify what type of reactor you are and how to significantly improve your communication. * Respond with no regrets by managing your tendencies to stuff, explode or react somewhere in between. * Gain a deep sense of calm by responding to situations out of your control without acting out of control. Sessions include: Session 1: Grace for the Unglued Session 2: Freedom for the Unglued Session 3: Four Kinds of Unglued Session 4: A Procedure Manual for the Unglued Session 5: Lingering Words for the Unglued Session 6: Imperfect Progress for the Unglued

Some words about the Author

Lysa TerKeurst is a New York Times bestselling author and national speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith. She is the president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, author of 15 books, and encourages nearly 500,000 women worldwide through a daily online devotional. Her remarkable life story has captured audiences across America, including appearances on Oprah and Good Morning America. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and five children. SPANISH BIO: Lysa Terkeurst es autora de doce libros (incluyendo la Medalla de Oro como finalista y el premio People Choice Award) asi como numerosos articulos en revistas. Ella ha contado la extraordinaria historia de su vida en television y radio nacionalmente, incluyendo el show de Oprah y Good Morning America. Reside en Carolina del Norte con su esposo y cinco hijos.

Monster by Walter Dean Myers is book for young readers with special price $1.99.

MonsterMonster” is what the prosecutor called 16-year-old Steve Harmon for his supposed role in the fatal shooting of a convenience-store owner. But was Steve really the lookout who gave the “all clear” to the murderer, or was he just in the wrong place at the wrong time? In this innovative novel by Walter Dean Myers, the reader becomes both juror and witness during the trial of Steve’s life. To calm his nerves as he sits in the courtroom, aspiring filmmaker Steve chronicles the proceedings in movie script format. Interspersed throughout his screenplay are journal writings that provide insight into Steve’s life before the murder and his feelings about being held in prison during the trial. “They take away your shoelaces and your belt so you can’t kill yourself no matter how bad it is. I guess making you live is part of the punishment.”

Myers, known for the inner-city classic Motown and Didi (first published in 1984), proves with Monster that he has kept up with both the struggles and the lingo of today’s teens. Steve is an adolescent caught up in the violent circumstances of an adult world–a situation most teens can relate to on some level. Readers will no doubt be attracted to the novel’s handwriting-style typeface, emphasis on dialogue, and fast-paced courtroom action. By weaving together Steve’s journal entries and his script, Myers has given the first-person voice a new twist and added yet another worthy volume to his already admirable body of work. (Ages 12 and older) –Jennifer Hubert

Some words about the Author

Walter Dean Myers is the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, New York Times bestselling author of Monster, and winner of the first Michael L. Printz Award. The critically acclaimed author of KickLockdownDope SickGameStreet LoveThe Autobiography of My Dead BrotherHandbook for Boys, and Bad Boy, he is considered one of the preeminent writers for children. Walter’s novel shooter is the inspiration for the film Case 219.

His latest picture-book collaboration with his son, Christopher Myers, We Are America: A Tribute from the Heart, is a love letter to the United States that reimagines what it means to be an American. Visit www.who-is-america.com to find out more!

Walter lives in Jersey City, New Jersey, with his family.

Witches' Brew - Halloween potion making fun!Witches’ Brew – Halloween potion making fun! is a small game which is free today only.

Witches’ Brew offers action-packed Halloween fun for the whole family. In this game, you’ll help the funniest witch you have ever seen collect the correct ingredients for her spells. But make sure you avoid touching the mushroom and the voodoo doll while you master all the potions. Witches’ Brew includes a physics-enabled collision system, a cinematic soundtrack, funny animations, HD graphics, easy tilt control gameplay, two difficulty settings, 100 levels….that’s one witchin’ app!

Product features:

  • This app does not collect any personal information
  • Test your skill through 100 levels
  • Play with a physics-enabled collision system
  • Easy one-handed tilt control gameplay
  • Choose from 2 difficulty settings suitable for players of all ages

Daily Deals: The Great Crash of 1929, Six Maisy the Mouse Picture Books and Ghost Radar

The Great Crash of 1929Today Amazon offers The Great Crash of 1929 by John Kenneth Galbraith. It costs only $1.99.

Rampant speculation. Record trading volumes. Assets bought not because of their value but because the buyer believes he can sell them for more in a day or two, or an hour or two. Welcome to the late 1920s. There are obvious and absolute parallels to the great bull market of the late 1990s, writes Galbraith in a new introduction dated 1997. Of course, Galbraith notes, every financial bubble since 1929 has been compared to the Great Crash, which is why this book has never been out of print since it became a bestseller in 1955.

Galbraith writes with great wit and erudition about the perilous actions of investors, and the curious inaction of the government. He notes that the problem wasn’t a scarcity of securities to buy and sell; “the ingenuity and zeal with which companies were devised in which securities might be sold was as remarkable as anything.” Those words become strikingly relevant in light of revenue-negative start-up companies coming into the market each week in the 1990s, along with fragmented pieces of established companies, like real estate and bottling plants. Of course, the 1920s were different from the 1990s. There was no safety net below citizens, no unemployment insurance or Social Security. And today we don’t have the creepy investment trusts–in which shares of companies that held some stocks and bonds were sold for several times the assets’ market value. But, boy, are the similarities spooky, particularly the prevailing trend at the time toward corporate mergers and industry consolidations–not to mention all the partially informed people who imagined themselves to be financial geniuses because the shares of stock they bought kept going up. –Lou Schuler

Some words about the Author

John Kenneth Galbraith wrote more than 30 books, spanning four decades. He was awarded honorary degrees from Harvard, Oxford, the University of Paris and Moscow University. He was the Paul M Warburg Professor of Economics Emeritus at Harvard University. He died in 2006.

For young reader Amazon makes a good deal: today only, six of Lucy Cousins’s award-winning Maisy the Mouse picture books are just $1.99 each (up to 85% off). Featuring a sweet cast of characters and bright illustrations, these endearing books are popular around the world. (Available on Kindle Fire, Kindle Cloud Reader, Kindle for iPad, and Kindle for Android). Here the list of these books with direct links to them:

Maisy Goes to Preschool1. Maisy Goes to Preschool

Preschool for Maisy means a day filled with friends and things to do, from the time she hangs her coat on a special peg to the time she says good-bye. There’s painting and snack time, stories and nap time (and a bathroom break in between). Soon everyone’s ready to haul out the instruments and make some noise, then head outside for a turn at the sandbox or slide. In a bright, full-size storybook full of familiar scenes, this child-friendly look at a day in the life of a preschooler is one that newcomers and seasoned pros alike will be happy to share.

2. Maisy Goes Camping

When Maisy sets off to go camping in the country, it’s only natural that all her friends come along, too. But they soon find that pitching a tent is not an easy thing to do. Even if they do manage to keep the tent up, there’s the matter of fitting them all in — Maisy, Charley, Cyril, Tallulah, and finally, the huge elephant, Eddie. What a squeezy squish-squash! Good night, campers! Uh-oh-what’s that popping sound?

3. Maisy Goes to the Library

Maisy likes going to the library. She loves to read a book in a nice, quiet place. Today, Maisy wants to read a book about fish, but she can only find books about birds or tigers. So she explores some of the other things to do in the library, like using the computer, making copies, listening to music, or looking at fish in the aquarium. Aha! Finally Maisy finds a sparkly book all about fish. But just as she settles into a corner to read, along come Cyril, Tallulah, Eddie, and Ostrich — and they all have noisier activities on their minds!

Maisy Goes on Vacation4. Maisy Goes on Vacation

How exciting! Maisy has put her sun hat, pajamas, toothbrush, and camera into a bag, and she’s off to the train station with Panda and Cyril. They’re headed for the seashore, but getting there is only half the fun. Coloring and snacks help pass the time on the ride to the beach, where Maisy can’t wait to swim, collect seashells, build sandcastles, and lots more. At nighttime it feels special to go to bed in a hotel—knowing that tomorrow another vacation day awaits!

5. Maisy, Charley, and the Wobbly Tooth

Maisy’s friend Charley has a wobbly tooth! He’s going to the dentist for the first time, and he’s a little nervous. Luckily, Maisy, Tallulah, Eddie, and Cyril are happy to accompany their toothy friend to the dentist’s office, where they make some fun discoveries: a twirly chair that goes up and down, a special cup to spit in, and a proper tooth-brushing demonstration. Charley gets an x-ray, a smiley button, and a book to take home, but what will happen with his wobbly tooth?

6. Maisy Goes to the City

Broom, vroom, beep! Maisy and Charley are in the city visiting their friend Dotty, and there are many things to get used to – noisy traffic, enormous buildings, and sidewalks so crowded they have to walk very slowly (all the better for looking in store windows). Riding the escalator and elevator – and hanging on tight in the subway – are almost as much fun as exploring the giant toy store and eating pizza in a cafe. Even the playground is busy in the city!

 

Ghost Radar®: LEGACYGhost Radar®: LEGACY is a game just for fun. It is free today only.

Ghost Radar attempts to detect paranormal activity. Working on the same principle as traditional paranormal detection equipment, the app employs your mobile device’s sensors to measure electromagnetic fields, sounds, and vibrations. But while traditional tools are easily fooled by bursts of normal electromagnetic energy, stray vibrations, and background sounds, Ghost Radar sets itself apart by analyzing its readings and indicating hits only for interesting patterns.

Detecting and Recording Activity

To improve your chances of finding paranormal signatures, the app enables you to easily adjust its sensitivity to control for noise. Collected information can be displayed either numerically or graphically, appearing similar to a radar display. Any interesting words it detects are repeated by a recorded voice and logged for future reference. Directions and an FAQ can be found in the Menu.

Please note that there is no guarantee of Ghost Radar’s accuracy since results cannot be verified scientifically. The app should be used for entertainment purposes only.

Product Features:

  • Detect and track nearby paranormal activity
  • Measure local electromagnetic energies, sounds, and vibrations
  • Record and log phantom words
  • Adjust sensitivity to account for background noise
  • Toggle between numerical and graphical interface

iPad Mini Not a Myth! Surprisingly, Also Not Competition For Kindle Fire HD?

Well, I’ve been proven wrong before and it’s happened again.  Contrary to my previous expectations, Apple has finally come out with an iPad Mini to exploit the market for 7” tablets currently occupied almost entirely by the Kindle Fire and Nexus 7.  Apparently they were willing to swallow their pride and cut costs and profits to the point where it’s hard not to consider an iPad instead for all your budget tablet needs!  Ok…not so much.

Apple made the dubious decision to price the iPad Mini starting at $329.  This means that the basic model will be $170 more than the Kindle Fire and $130 more than the Kindle Fire HD and Nexus 7.  When we’re talking about devices that are popular at least in part due to their affordability, it’s insane to think that the iPad Mini can compete with comparably performing products running from 48-60% its price.

This is, of course, an iPad we’re talking about.  It will do well.  Part of that is due to the overwhelming weight that Apple’s reputation with consumers carries.  An Apple product will meet with a disproportionately high number of people willing to give it the benefit of the doubt.  More importantly, it is an iPad and therefore connected to the established iOS ecosystem.

Even if the hardware is inferior (and it is, which we’ll get to in a moment), having the ability to pull from the 250,000+ iPad apps currently in circulation is a big advantage.  Realistically Android has comparable selections available, and nobody is ever going to find themselves wondering “would be life be complete if there were only 1,200 more tablet-optimized apps I could buy today”, but the side by side comparison of app ecosystems is still unequivocally in Apple’s favor.

Courtesy of CNET

We have to wonder if this will be enough to push the product this time around.  Consider the specs to the right, courtesy of CNET’s Jessica Dolcourt.  The practically iconic point of superiority for iPads, the high quality display, is missing.  In this case we get a larger 7.9” screen at a lower resolution than either of its two main competitors.  The lower weight is nice, though not a huge difference.  The A5 processor is quite outdated by comparison at this point.  Even the onboard storage presents a problem since Apple is charging a $100 fee for each level of upgrade compared to Google and Amazon’s $50 (Google is rumored to be refreshing the Nexus 7 shortly to use 16GB as the baseline for their $199 model as well).

I’m going to have to call this a failed effort on Apple’s part.  They will get their piece of the 7” tablet market, I’m sure, but they won’t be able to dominate it like the larger playing field.  The only really appealing aspect of the iPad Mini is the cellular connectivity and even that adds another 30+% to the base price.  The Kindle Fire HD is in no danger here, at least until the 8.9” model is released and we can start drawing comparisons with the real iPad.

Daily Deals: To Marry an English Lord, Tuesdays at the Castle, Zombie Smasher

To Marry an English LordToday Amazon offers To Marry an English Lord by Gail MacColl, Carol McD. Wallace just for $1.99.

From the Gilded Age until 1914, more than 100 American heiresses invaded Britannia and swapped dollars for titles–just like Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham, the first of the Downton Abbey characters Julian Fellowes was inspired to create after reading To Marry An English Lord. Filled with vivid personalities, gossipy anecdotes, grand houses, and a wealth of period details–plus photographs, illustrations, quotes, and the finer points of Victorian and Edwardian etiquette–To Marry An English Lord is social history at its liveliest and most accessible.

Some words about the Author.

Gail MacColl Jarrett is a writer who lives in England.

Carol Wallace, co-author of “To Marry an English Lord,” has written 21 books, including most recently her historical novel “Leaving Van Gogh.” Previous titles have included humor, parenting, and social history. In 2006 Wallace received a M.A. in art history from Columbia University. The research for her M.A. thesis provided the foundation for “Leaving van Gogh.” A 1977 graduate of Princeton University, Wallace lives in New York.

Tuesdays at the CastleFor Kids Amazon offers to buy Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George for $1.99.

Tuesdays at Castle Glower are Princess Celia’s favorite days. That’s because on Tuesdays the castle adds a new room, a turret, or sometimes even an entire wing to itself. No one ever knows what the castle will do next, and no one – other than Celia, that is – takes time to map out the new additions. But when King and Queen Glower are ambushed and reportedly killed, it’s up to Celia with her secret knowledge of the Castle’s many twists and turns, to protect their home and save their kingdom.

Some words about the Author

Jessica Day George is the author of Princess of Glass and Princess of the Midnight Ball as well as three novels in the Dragon Slippers series. Originally from Idaho, she studied at Brigham Young University and was a movie store clerk, a bookseller, and a school office lady before becoming a writer. Jessica lives with her husband, their two young children, and a five-pound Maltese named Pippin, who often makes cameo appearances in her books.

 

Zombie SmasherZombie Smasher is a game. From the title you should have an idea what this game is about.

Killing Zombies – now that should have been an Olympic Sport!!!

Wave of zombies are trying to break through your village! What are you going to do about it?! What every good citizen would have done:
Cut them, shoot them, blow them , smash them against each other and throw them on bricks wall until they’ll know that eating brain is WRONG.

Defend your town against waves of zombies, gain points and spend them to arm yourself with unique arsenal of weaponry and find new ways to kill zombies.

Product Features:

  • Defend your town against waves of zombie
  • Use variety of weapons and obstacles stop the zombies
  • Smash the zombies against the wall for maximum score
  • Global high-score

Live blog from Todays Apple Event

… Can be followed here – http://win8review.com/2012/10/october-23rd-apple-event-live-blog/

Daily Deals: The Fall, Gooney Bird Greene and Bridge Constructor

The FallToday Amazon offers The Fall by Ryan Quinn just for $1.99. This book was warmly received by readers and has high replies.

The new school year at Florence University, nestled in the Pennsylvania countryside, dawns bright with the possibilities that only a fresh start can bring. For three students in particular, it will be a year unlike any other, one that will alter the courses of their lives forever. There is Ian, the film buff trying to figure out his life—and how to catch the eye of the football player he can’t stop fantasizing about; Casey, the local football star whose future off the field is frustratingly uncertain; and Haile, the classical-music prodigy seeking refuge from a past life so that she may start anew as a singer-songwriter. Together the trio will form a fateful friendship, recounted through alternating first-person narratives. Sexy, fast-paced, and layered with intimate insight about life’s most formative years, The Fall is a compelling and contemporary coming-of-age story about what happens when we are forced for the first time to really confront who we are and who we want to become.

Some words about the Author

Ryan Quinn grew up in Alaska. After graduating from the University of Utah, where he was an NCAA Champion and All-American college athlete, he worked in book publishing for five years in New York City. He now lives in Los Angeles. The Fall is his first novel.

Gooney Bird GreeneGooney Bird Greene is a book for kids from 7 years old and up. It was written by Lois Lowry and cost only $1.99.

From the moment Gooney Bird Greene arrives at Watertower Elementary School, her fellow second-graders are intrigued by her unique sense of style and her unusual lunches. So when story time arrives, the choice is unanimous: they want to hear about Gooney Bird Greene. And that suits her just fine, because, as it turns out, Gooney Bird has quite a few interesting and “absolutely true” stories to tell.
Through Gooney Bird and her tales, acclaimed author Lois Lowry introduces young readers to the concepts and elements of storytelling. By demonstrating some of the simple techniques that reveal the extraordinary in everyday events, this book will encourage the storyteller in everyone.

Some words about the Author.

Lois Lowry is known for her versatility and invention as a writer. She was born in Hawaii and grew up in New York, Pennsylvania, and Japan. After several years at Brown University, she turned to her family and to writing. She is the author of more than thirty books for young adults, including the popular Anastasia Krupnik series. She has received countless honors, among them the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award, the California Young Reader’s Medal, and the Mark Twain Award. She received Newbery Medals for two of her novels, NUMBER THE STARS and THE GIVER. Her first novel, A SUMMER TO DIE, was awarded the International Reading Association’s Children’s Book Award. Ms. Lowry now divides her time between Cambridge and an 1840s farmhouse in Maine.

 

Bridge ConstructorBridge Constructor is a free game for one day.

The #1 puzzle and simulation game now on Android!

Construct a bridge with different materials, put it to the test using cars and trucks, and unlock the next brain-teasing level!

Explore the beautiful island nation of Camatuga and build bridges over deep valleys, canals, or rivers. Stress tests reveal whether the bridges you construct can withstand the daily stress of continual use from cars and trucks.

You can choose between a range of materials for each individual bridge, such as wood, steel, cables, or concrete pillars. Use the appropriate materials and stay within budget to construct the perfect bridge. Thanks to the choice of materials, you can build each bridge in any number of ways – your budget is the only limit. Set your imagination and creativity free in this fun physics puzzle and simulation game!

Also, please, take into account: The current version has not been optimized for Kindle Fire. There might occur problems on this device.

Daily Deals: City of Women, “Brain Quest” Educational Books and Word Link – Fun and Fast Word Association

City of WomenToday Amazon offers City of Women by David R. Gillham for $2.99.

Whom do you trust, whom do you love, and who can be saved?

It is 1943—the height of the Second World War—and Berlin has essentially become a city of women.
Sigrid Schröder is, for all intents and purposes, the model German soldier’s wife: She goes to work every day, does as much with her rations as she can, and dutifully cares for her meddling mother-in-law, all the while ignoring the horrific immoralities of the regime. But behind this façade is an entirely different Sigrid, a woman who dreams of her former lover, now lost in the chaos of the war. Her lover is a Jew.

But Sigrid is not the only one with secrets.

A high ranking SS officer and his family move down the hall and Sigrid finds herself pulled into their orbit.  A young woman doing her duty-year is out of excuses before Sigrid can even ask her any questions.  And then there’s the blind man selling pencils on the corner, whose eyes Sigrid can feel following her from behind the darkness of his goggles.

Soon Sigrid is embroiled in a world she knew nothing about, and as her eyes open to the reality around her, the carefully constructed fortress of solitude she has built over the years begins to collapse. She must choose to act on what is right and what is wrong, and what falls somewhere in the shadows between the two.  In this page-turning novel, David Gillham explores what happens to ordinary people thrust into extraordinary times, and how the choices they make can be the difference between life and death.

Some words about the Author

David R. Gillham spent more than a decade in the book business. He lives with his family in western Massachusetts.

Also Amazon offers deal for kids: the first four volumes of the popular “Brain Quest” educational series for just $1.99 each (83% off). Beloved by kids and trusted by parents and teachers, the series uses fun, question-and-answer games to challenge kids on the stuff they need to know, when they need to know it. All books were written by Chris Welles Feder, Susan Bishay. Here is the list of these books:

1. Brain Quest Preschool, revised 4th edition: 300 Questions and Answers to Get a Smart Start

2. Brain Quest Kindergarten, revised 4th edition: 300 Questions and Answers to Get a Smart Start

3. Brain Quest Grade 1, revised 4th edition: 750 Questions and Answers to Challenge the Mind

4. Brain Quest Grade 2, revised 4th edition: 1,000 Questions and Answers to Challenge the Mind

 

Word Link - Fun and Fast Word AssociationWord Link – Fun and Fast Word Association is a game which is free today only. This game has very positive customers replies.

Keep your brain sharp and active with this fun, fast and addictive word association game.

If you love crossword, word search, or hangman, you will love Word Link.

Dog… Cat.
Cold… Hot.
Tasty… Delicious.
Fire… Truck.
Sugar… Coffee.

Select and match 5 pairs to complete each puzzle. The faster you go, the more stars you’ll get!

Words can be synonyms.
Words can be antonyms.
Words can be compound.
Words just have to be related.

Word Link comes with 10 packs. That’s 500 levels with more coming this year!

Enjoy!

Daily Deals: Eight Inspiring Books, Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul and Nuke Your Neighbor

Today’s deal features a best-selling selection of memoirs and motivational books for just $1.99 each (up to 91% off). From Professor Randy Pausch’s “The Last Lecture,” to Michael J. Fox’s “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future,” these books are filled with insightful, humorous, and helpful observations. Here is the full list of this book:

1. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow

2. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Future: Twists and Turns and Lessons Learned by Michael J. Fox

3. From The Heart: Seven Rules To Live By by Robin Roberts

4. Just Who Will You Be?: Big Question. Little Book. Answer Within. by Maria Shriver

5. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff and It’s All Small Stuff: Simple Ways To Keep The Little Things From Taking Over Your Life by Richard Carlson

6. Burnt Toast: And Other Philosophies Of Life by Teri Hatcher

7. Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation In Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn

8. Hope’s Boy by Andrew Bridge

Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: Stories of Life, Love and Learning (Chicken Soup for the Soul)Also you can buy a book for your kids: Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: Stories of Life, Love and Learning (Chicken Soup for the Soul) by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Kimberly Kirberger just for $1.99

This book, the latest in the hugely popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series, contains stories, poems, and cartoons relating to the specific troubles that traumatize teenagers everywhere. There are plenty of stories about dating (“HE KISSED MY TEETH!”), friendships (don’t gossip), and school. But Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul doesn’t shy away from the big issues either, with essays on suicide, dying young, and drunk driving. This book stems from the knowledge that teens know their own concerns best—thus, much of the book is written by teens themselves, which gives the book a very accessible, informal tone. Also, the authors had each piece evaluated by as many teenagers as possible. The care shows. Teenage Soul is always respectful, and doesn’t minimize any of the dramas of adolescence. It does, however, mete out plenty of perspective. This wise, tender, funny book is filled with wisdom useful to teens (and everybody else, too).

Some words about the Author

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, the #1 New York Times and USA Today best-selling co-authors, are professional speakers who have dedicated their lives to enhancing the personal and professional development of others.

Kimberly Kirberger is president of Inspiration and Motivation for Teens, Inc. (I.A.M. for Teens) and speaks at high schools and to youth organizations. Jack, Mark and Kimberly have formed The Teen Letter Project, a foundation dedicated to encouraging troubled teens to reach out for help and guidance.

 

Nuke Your NeighborFor those who wants to spend some time Amazon offer a free game:  Nuke Your Neighbor. This game is free today only.

Nuke Your Neighbor puts both your strategic skills and reflexes to the test like no other card game out there. Compete against three other players to see who can get rid of all their cards first! Earn all 15 Awards and build your player record for endless hours of exciting gameplay.

No Ads is one of great advantage of this game.

Product features:

  • global online leaderboard
  • fast paced uno-like game play

Kindle Fire HD Sold At Cost – Jeff Bezos

People have generally assumed that Amazon was subsidizing the Kindle Fire to some degree.  Analysts have estimated that the cost of materials and manufacturing was roughly equal to the asking price and when the first Kindle Fire was launched it was suspected that Amazon could be losing as much as $15 per device to keep the costs down.

When the first Kindle eReader was released, Amazon’s position was that the hardware had to justify its existence by providing profits separate from the digital content sales it encouraged.  With the frequent price drops that have occurred in the past few years, that’s obviously harder to stick to.  The Kindle was first priced at $399 and sold out in a matter of hours.  Now you can get a basic Kindle for just $69, so it’s hard to imagine the money coming in at the same rate.

The new position makes more sense given Amazon’s digital content ecosystem.  Bezos has come out and said, for the first time, “We sell the hardware at our cost, so it is break-even on the hardware.”  It isn’t a surprise and it certainly isn’t going to upset the status quo, but the confirmation of even fairly obvious suppositions breaks the secretive pattern that generally surrounds Amazon’s hardware business.

This is a convenient way to highlight the differences in sales philosophy between major competitors at a time when Android tablets are drawing roughly equivalent in both price and performance while Apple is rumored to be releasing a smaller version of the iPad before the holidays.

Apple, for example, is not known for releasing any hardware they can’t make at least a 40% profit from.  This is the biggest point against the constant rumors of iPad Mini development.  The only reason it’s becoming likely that Apple will release a smaller iPad at this point is the possibility of being shut out of a growing market.  Even then we can expect them to be getting significant return on each sale.  They’re not a company that’s willing to settle for the 30% cut they get from every sale of associated content.

Google, on the other hand, sells their Nexus 7 at cost with the expectation of a different return.  Yes they have a return from their Google Play sales, but the real money is in information acquisition.  Android is available for free to anybody who wants to use it because unless significant effort is made to avoid it, Android ties people into the Google system.  That means more marketing data and more potential for advertising revenue.

Amazon’s course, hoping that cheap devices will result in such a significant increase in sales that it will be worth the initial investment so long as no money is actually being lost on the hardware itself, may be the least obviously profitable of these.  Their experience and expertise when it comes to suggested sales and media serving make it totally believable that the Kindle encourages people to read four times as much as they normally would, but it’s not something that many other companies could hope to pull off.

Daily Deals: Miracle Boy Grows Up, Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep! and The Mordis – Ad-free

Miracle Boy Grows UpToday Amazon offers Miracle Boy Grows Up by Ben Mattlin just for $1.99.

Ben Mattlin lives a normal, independent life. Why is that interesting? Because Mattlin was born with spinal muscular atrophy, a congenital weakness from which he was expected to die in childhood. Not only did Mattlin live through childhood, he became one of the first students in a wheelchair to attend Harvard, from which he graduated and became a professional writer. His advantage? Mattlin’s life happened to parallel the growth of the disability rights movement, so that in many ways he did not feel that he was disadvantaged at all, merely different. Miracle Boy Grows Up is a witty, unsentimental memoir that you won’t forget, told with engrossing intelligence and a unique perspective on living with a disability in the United States.

Some words about the Author

Ben Mattlin was born in New York in 1962 with spinal muscular atrophy, a congenital muscle-wasting disease. He graduated from Harvard in 1984 and is an NPR commentator and frequent contributor to financial magazines. He has written on disability and other topics for The New York Times, Self magazine, USA Today, the Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune. He has also appeared on CNN, ABC’s Prime Time Live, and the E!Entertainment Network, among other venues, to discuss his disability-related writings. He currently lives in Los Angeles, California.

Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep!Sleep, Big Bear, Sleep! by Maureen Wright, Will Hillenbrand is book for kids (3 and up) with price $1.99 today only.

It’s time for Big Bear to hibernate, so Old Man Winter keeps telling him: “Sleep, Big Bear, sleep.” But Big Bear doesn’t hear very well. He thinks Old Man Winter has told him to drive a jeep, to sweep, and to leap. Big Bear just can t seem to hear what Old Man Winter is saying. Finally, Old Man Winter finds a noisy way to get Big Bear’s attention. Cozy illustrations rendered in pencil and mixed media by Will Hillenbrand bring this bedtime story to a fitting conclusion.

Some words about the Auhtor

Maureen Wright lives in Athens, Pennsylvania.

 

 

 

 

The Mordis - Ad-freeThe Mordis – Ad-free is a game which you can obtain for free today only.

Once upon a time there were some cute little creatures living in peace and joy. They were sweeter than candy and therefore beloved to all. One day, evil Mr. Sugar caught them all and brought them to his hideout, his mind thinking sinister thoughts as he hummed “Cotton candy, cotton candy…” But four of the little creatures managed to
escape by hiding in the depths of the forest. Now they want to save their friends, and this is where they need your help.

Help four courageous Mordis find their way back to their captured friends and bring them to safety!

The Mordis” is a puzzle game where you overcome obstacles and solve tests that pop up in a fun and intuitive way. Use your wit to make your own path with the tools available. Use fewer tools, save time, and avoid getting killed to score more points!

Daily Deals: Heart of Ice, Shifting and Kids Animal Piano Pro

Heart of Ice (A Triple Threat Novel)Today Amazon offers Heart of Ice (A Triple Threat Novel) by Lis Wiehl and April Henry just for $1.99.

Elizabeth Avery could easily be the girl next door. But what she has planned will make your blood run cold.

At first glance, the crimes appear random. Arson. Theft. Fraud. Murder. But these are more than random crimes. They’re moves in an increasingly deadly game. And the one element they have in common: a woman who is gorgeous, clever . . . and lethal.

Elizabeth Avery has a winsome smile and flawless figure, but underneath is a heart of ice. She’s a master manipulator, convincing strangers to do the unthinkable. And she orchestrates it all without getting too close. Until now.

When Elizabeth ruthlessly disposes of an inquisitive young reporter, her crime catches the attention of Federal Prosecutor Allison Pierce, FBI Special Agent Nicole Hedges, and crime reporter Cassidy Shaw. They know they’re dealing with a cold-blooded murderer who could strike at any time. What they don’t know is that they’re already on a first-name basis with the killer.

And one of them may be next on her list.

 

ShiftingShifting by Bethany Wiggins is a second book sold by Amazon within today’s daily deal. The price of the book is $1.99.

After bouncing from foster home to foster home, Magdalene Mae is transferred to what should be her last foster home in the tiny town of Silver City, New Mexico. Now that she’s eighteen and has only a year left in high school, she’s determined to stay out of trouble and just be normal. Agreeing to go to the prom with Bridger O’Connell is a good first step. Fitting in has never been her strong suit, but it’s not for the reasons most people would expect-it all has to do with the deep secret that she is a shape shifter. But even in her new home danger lurks, waiting in the shadows to pounce. They are the Skinwalkers of Navajo legend, who have traded their souls to become the animal whose skin they wear-and Maggie is their next target.

Full of romance, mysticism, and intrigue, this dark take on Navajo legend will haunt readers to the final page.

Some words about the Author

Bethany Wiggins started writing on a dare and dove headfirst into the world of writerly madness. She enjoys getting her hands dirty in her garden, baking anything with copious amounts of chocolate, and watching lightning storms from her front porch. She lives in the desert with her husband, three quirky kids, and two very fluffy cats.

Kids Animal Piano Pro

 

Kids Animal Piano Pro is a game for your Kindle Fire. Today it is free.

Edutainment with a large serving of fun! Ever want to hear a cat meow “Black Sheep”? Now you can!

Your little one will love this piano. It allows free play of a variety of animal sounds and also comes preloaded with a lot of popular child songs.

• Colorful 9 tone piano
• A variety of “instruments” like: cat, dog, rubber duck, frog, chick, pig, sheep, donkey, monkey, horse, lamb, cowbell, piano, violin and cymbal
• Lots of songs like: BINGO, Black Sheep, Brother John, Happy Birthday, This Old Man, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Five Little Monkey, Hush Little Baby, Alphabet Song

Basics Info About the Kindle Paperwhite Display & Why It’s Useful

One of the questions I’ve been asked frequently lately is what the point of a Kindle eReader could possibly be now that it’s lit up.  Obviously this has been addressed before, but maybe it’s worth going over again now that the Kindle Paperwhite finally pulls off a positive reading experience that includes a light.

First off, the main attraction of the Paperwhite is that it retains the E Ink display’s advantages while still allowing the user to read in the dark.  Unlike the LCD you’re likely to find on a tablet, including the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HD, the lighting used in the new eReader is not coming from behind the screen.  Instead it is reflected through a layer on top of the print which spreads illumination evenly from the lights on the bottom of the screen.  Many people, perhaps even most, find that this causes significantly less eye strain during extended periods of reading because the light is not being directed outward at the eyes.

The E Ink screen underlying this lighting layer is not your typical display either.  E Ink has been around for a while, but since I still get some questions it is worth explaining.

The premise is simple enough.  Each pixel on your Kindle’s monochrome screen has two settings.  It can be either dark or light.  This state is only changed when there is reason to change it.  This means that unlike constantly refreshing displays like the monitor you are likely reading this on, the Kindle’s E Ink uses practically no power.  It also reflects light much like paper does, which helps provide a pleasant reading experience.

There are downsides to just about anything, of course.  E Ink eReaders in general are known for showing a flicker each time a page is turned.  This relates to the same behavior that provides these devices with such amazing battery life.

Remember that the screen only refreshed when needed, so it clears the current selection this way before putting up the next page.  The flicker has gone from a 1-2 second annoyance in early eReaders to a barely noticeable flicker that takes a fraction of the time turning a physical page would on the Kindle Paperwhite, but it does still exist.

Specific to the Kindle Paperwhite and Nook Simple Touch w/ Glowlight is the problem of uneven lighting.  While not nearly as obvious as the Nook’s, the Kindle Paperwhite’s lights are visible at the bottom of the display in some situations.  This is especially easy to spot when holding the Kindle at extreme angles or when reading with the light turned up particularly high in a poorly lit room.  Few people seem to be troubled enough for this to be a major problem, but it is common enough to be worth noting.  In certain situations the lighting will not be 100% evenly distributed.

Overall, the advantages of the Kindle Paperwhite are basically the same as those the Kindle has enjoyed over tablets all along.  It costs less than a tablet, doesn’t use a light source that is hard on the eyes, runs for weeks at a time without charging even when being used regularly, and provides a better overall reading experience.  While it isn’t nearly as bad to read on a tablet as it used to be, the Kindle Paperwhite is highly recommended for anybody who reads frequently or for extended periods of time.

Daily Deals: Six Days of War, Little Hoot and Total Pool

Six Days of WarToday Amazon offers Six Days of War by Michael B. Oren just for $1.99.

This is the most complete history to date of the Six Day War of 1967, in which Israel entered and began its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. While no account can be definitive until Arab archives open, Oren, a Princeton-trained senior fellow at Jerusalem’s Shalem Center who has served as director of Israel’s department of inter-religious affairs and as an adviser to Israel’s U.N. delegation, utilizes newly available archival sources and a spectrum of interviews with participants, including many Arabs, to fill gaps and correct misconceptions. Further, Six Days of War is an attack on “post-Zionism”: the school of politics and history that casts Israel as the author of policies that intentionally promote the destuction of Palestine as a separate entity and of Palestinians as a people, not least through the occupation that began with the 1967 War. By contrast, Oren convincingly establishes in an often engrossing narrative the reactive, contingent nature of Israeli policy during both the crisis preceding the conflict and the war itself. As Prime Minister Levi Eshkol held the Israeli Defense Forces in check that May, Operation Dawn, an Egyptian plan for a preemptive strike against Israel, came within hours of implementation. It was canceled only because Egypt’s President Gamal Abdel Nasser feared it had been compromised. Israel’s decision to seek its own security in arms was finally triggered, Oren shows, by Jordan’s late accession to the hostile coalition dominated by Egypt and Syria. Geographically, the West Bank, then under Jordanian rule and occupation, cut Israel nearly in half. The military risk to Israel was unacceptable, Oren makes clear, in the context of a U.S. enmeshed in Vietnam and a West unwilling to act even in support of the status quo. Far from being a product of strategic calculation, Oren further argues, occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip was also contingent: the consequence of a victory so rapid and one-sided that even Israel’s generals found it difficult to believe it was happening. Israel, having proved it could not be defeated militarily and now possessing something to trade, hoped for comprehensive peace negotiations in a rational-actor model. Oren notes that some initiatives for peace did in fact develop. He seems, however, trying to convince himself along with his readers. Oren puts what he sees as Israel’s enduring weaknesses in relief: not arrogance, but self-doubt, self-analysis and self-criticism, all carried to near-suicidal degrees in 1967. Arab policy, by contrast, featured a confident commitment to erasing Israel from the map. The Six Day War shook that confidence, he finds, but did not alter the commitment. About the nature of Israeli policy since the war, the book says little, but finds that “for all its military conquests, Israel was still incapable of imposing the peace it craved.”

Some words about the Author

Michael B. Oren is the author of The Origins of the Second Arab-Israeli War, and has written extensively on Middle Eastern history and diplomatic affairs. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University in Middle East studies. He has served as Director of Israel’s Department of Inter-Religious Affairs in the government of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and as an adviser to the Israeli delegation to the United Nations. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.

Little HootLittle Hoot by Amy Krouse, Jen Corace is a small book for young readers. It costs only $1.99.

It’s not fair! All Little Owl wants is to go to bed at a reasonable hour, like his friends do. But no . . . Mama and Papa say little owls have to stay up late and play. So Little Owl spends all night jumping on his bed, playing on the jungle gym, and doing tricks on his skateboardGÇöbut he’s hooting mad about it ! Children who have a hard time going to bed will love this fun twist on the universal dilemma.

Some words about the Authors

Amy Krouse Rosenthal is a Chicago-based writer. She is the author of Little Pea, Cookies, and The OK Book.

Jen Corace graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in Illustration. A New Jersey native, she now lives in Seattle.

 

 

Total PoolTotal Pool is a small game which is free today only.

Pool on your Android device. Compete against friends, the computer, or master the challenges. Simply the best touchscreen pool game in the world.

Product features:

  • Realistic ball physics
  • 4 levels of difficulty against which to play
  • Intuitive touch controls; apply spin and swerve with ease
  • 80 challenges to beat, with more coming soon
  • World Rules, Black Ball, Eight Ball, Nine Ball, Ten Ball, Straight Pool and One Pocket accurate rule sets
  • True-to-life American and British style tables
  • 30 unlockable alternate tables and balls to play with

Daily Deals: 13 Compelling Nonfiction Singles by TED Books, Larklight and Manic Math

Today Amazon offers 13 Compelling Nonfiction Singles by TED Books. From Gever Tulley’s insightful “Beware Dangerism!” to Nic Marks’s uplifting essay “The Happiness Manifesto,” this collection of essays is designed to deliver powerful narratives perfect for reading in one sitting. Lively, informative, and meant to persuade, all 12 of these nonfiction singles are only $0.99 each (67% off). Here is the list of them:

1. Beware Dangerism! (Kindle Single) (TED Books) by Gever Tulley

If you’re over 30, you probably walked to school, played on the monkeybars, learned to high-dive at the public pool. If you’re younger, it’s unlikely you did any of these things. Has the world become that much more dangerous? Statistically, not at all. But our society has created pervasive fears around letting kids be independent and take risks — and the consequences for our kids are serious. Gever Tulley, the co-author of “50 Dangerous Things You Should Let Your Kids Do,” takes on these media-inflated fears — which he calls “dangerism” — with surprising statistics and insights into the nature of fear and risk.

2. The Happiness Manifesto (Kindle Single) (TED Books) by Nic Marks

Much of modern life is based upon the assumption that happiness and well-being come from economic prosperity. Many – politicians and media and citizens alike – seem to assume that the main goal of government is to ensure that the economy is forever moving forward. It is now overwhelmingly clear however, says Nic Marks in this essay, that the blind pursuit of economic growth has created a whole set of social and environmental issues that are rapidly undermining the potential happiness and well-being of current and future generations. He convincingly posits and argues that it’s time to imagine a different future, one where the desired outcome of policies and governance is the quality of people’s experience of life.

The founder of the Centre for Well-Being, an independent think tank at the new economics foundation (nep) in London, Marks has written here a powerful story about how, by measuring the wrong things, such as GDP, we have headed in the wrong direction, and offers strong suggestions on how nations and people can return to a shared common purpose: nurturing well-being. Though it does suggest a radical new approach to policymaking and a set of specific and positive actions, this is not a traditional political manifesto. Marks’ argument is steeped in rigorous statistical methods to measure happiness, analyzing and interpreting the evidence so that it can be applied to such policy fields as education, sustainable development, healthcare, and economics.

3. Why School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information Are Everywhere (Kindle Single) by Will Richardson

Traditional educators, classrooms, and brick-and-mortar schools are no longer necessary to access information. Instead, things like blogs and wikis, as well as remote collaborations and an emphasis on ‘critical thinking’ skills are the coins of the realm in this new kingdom. Yet the national dialogue on education reform focuses on using technology to update the traditional education model, failing to reassess the fundamental design on which it is built.

In ‘Why School?,’ educator, author, parent and blogger Will Richardson challenges traditional thinking about education — questioning whether it still holds value in its current form. How can schools adjust to this new age? Or students? Or parents? In this provocative read, Richardson provides an in-depth look at how connected educators are beginning to change their classroom practice. Ultimately, ‘Why School?’ serves as a starting point for the important conversations around real school reforms that must ensue, offering a bold plan for rethinking how we teach our kids, and the consequences if we don’t.

4. Smile: The Astonishing Powers of a Simple Act (Kindle Single) (TED Books) by Ron Gutman

How can something as simple as a smile be so deceptively complex? That’s the mystery and magic explored in Smile: The Astonishing Powers of a Simple Act. From the broad beaming grin of a toddler to the oily smirk of a used car salesman, smiles convey an enormous range of emotions, from joyously happy to nervous or sad. Grins also have radically varied meanings in different cultures, as the author learned during his worldwide trips to explore the complicated, but ubiquitous, act of smiling.

5. Homo Evolutis (Kindle Single) (TED Books) by Steve Gullans and Juan Enriquez

There have been at least 25 prototype humans. We are but one more model, and there is no evidence evolution has stopped. So unless you think Rush Limbaugh and Howard Stern are the be all and end all of creation, and it just does not get any better, then one has to ask what is next? Juan Enriquez and Steve Gullans, two of the world’s most eminent science authors, researchers, and entrepreneurs, answer this by taking you into a world where humans increasingly shape their environment, their own selves, and other species. It is a world where our bodies harbor 100 times more microbial cells than human cells, a place where a gene cocktail may allow many more to climb an 8,000 meter peak without oxygen, and where, given the right drug, one could have a 77 percent chance of becoming a centenarian. By the end you will see a broad, and sometimes scary, map of life science driven change. Not just our bodies will be altered but our core religious, government, and social structures as humankind makes the transition to a new species, a Homo evolutis, which directly and deliberately controls its own evolution and that of many other species.

6. Weekday Vegetarian: Finally, a Palatable Solution (Kindle Single) (TED Books) by Alex Estes and Graham Hill

A vegetarian diet can markedly improve your health and fitness, but what if you still love munching into a juicy burger every now and again? Graham Hill has a powerful and simple solution: become a weekday vegetarian. Eat no meat from Monday through Friday. During the weekends, you’re back to being a carnivore. Hill, who founded the eco-blog treehugger.com, has expanded the popular short talk he gave at TED 2010 with a life-changing digital book that explores the personal, economic, and societal benefits of moving meat out of your diet. Don’t fear that vegetarian dishes all taste like sawdust. Hill includes great-tasting veggie recipes to get you started.

7. Beyond the Hole in the Wall: Discover the Power of Self-Organized Learning (Kindle Single) (TED Books) by Sugata Mitra

Ten years ago, educator Sugata Mitra and his colleagues cracked open a hole in a wall bordering an urban slum in New Delhi, installed a networked PC, and left it there for the local children to freely explore. What they quickly saw in their ‘Hole in the Wall’ experiment was that kids from one of the most desperately poor areas of the world could, without instruction, quickly learn how the PC operated. The children also freely collaborated with each other, exploring the world of high-tech online connectivity with ease. It was the dawning of Mitra’s introduction to self-organized learning, and it would shape the next decade of his research. This important update on Mitra’s groundbreaking work (which provided the inspiration for the Oscar-winning film ‘Slumdog Millionaire’) offers new research and ideas that show how self-directed learning can make kids smarter and more creative. He also provides step-by-step instruction on how to integrate it into any classroom. It’s an important lesson that could reshape our schools and reinvigorate our educational system. With a foreword by Nicholas Negroponte, founder of both MIT’s Media Lab and the One Laptop per Child Association.

8. Hybrid Reality: Thriving in the Emerging Human-Technology Civilization (TED Books) by Parag Khanna, Ayesha Khanna

Technology futurists Ayesha and Parag Khanna (whom Esquire magazine calls one of the 75 people who will influence the 21st century) declare that we are rapidly moving from a point of co-existence with technology to a phase of co-evolution with it. In the Hybrid Age, technology is ubiquitous (with trillions of sensors coating our environment), intelligent (devices communicating with each other as well as with us), and social (encouraging us to develop emotional relationships with it). Technology no longer just processes our instruction; it has its own agency, and we respond to it as much as it responds to us. What this means for societies and individuals, as well as communities and nations, is truly world changing. How will we respond and adapt?

9. Cheating The Impossible: Ideas and Recipes from a Rebellious High-Wire Artist (Kindle Single) by Philippe Petit

Philippe Petit startled the world when he walked on a taut cable between the soaring twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City in 1974. But even a death-defying high-wire artist has to start somewhere. In ‘Cheating the Impossible: Ideas and Recipes from a Rebellious High-Wire Artist,’ Petit takes you on a highly personal, entertaining and exciting journey from his first card trick at age 6 to his now-legendary walk through the skies of lower Manhattan, offering inspiring advice guaranteed to make your own life’s balancing act go a little smoother.

10. Deep Water: As Polar Ice Melts, Scientists Debate How High Our Oceans Will Rise (Kindle Single) by Daniel Grossman

Rivers of defrosting ice are flowing off polar glaciers and surging into the sea. As the flow becomes a deluge, the livelihoods — and very lives — of tens of millions of people living near coastlines will soon be in jeopardy.

Dan Grossman – veteran science journalist and regular contributor to public radio, and National Geographic blogger – joined a colorful team of climate researchers in the Australian outback studying how high and how quickly the oceans might rise.

In ‘Deep Water,’ Grossman brings us along on this quirky crew’s adventures, while at the same time filling us in on the intriguing science of sea-level research. We witness discoveries of physical evidence, and learn about the theories of leading scientists who believe we must drastically reduce the tonnage of carbon dioxide we spew into the air.

11. When I’m 164: The New Science of Radical Life Extension, and What Happens If It Succeeds (Kindle Single) (TED Books) by David Ewing Duncan

How long do you want to live, and why? These are the questions that bestselling author (‘Experimental Man’) and science writer David Ewing Duncan explores, with surprising results. ‘When I’m 164′ surveys the increasingly legitimate science of radical life extension — from genetics and regeneration to machine solutions — and considers the pluses and minuses of living to age 164, or beyond: everything from the impact on population and the cost of living to what happens to love, curiosity, and health. Concluding that anti-aging technologies will probably succeed in the next 30 to 50 years, Duncan brings us back to the age-old question posed by the Beatles in their classic song: “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m … ”

12. Mind Amplifier: Can Our Digital Tools Make Us Smarter? (Kindle Single) by Howard Rheingold

Instead of asking whether the Web is making us stupid, Howard Rheingold turns that question around and asks how designing and using digital media mindfully could make us smarter. What if humans could build tools that leverage our ability to think, communicate, and cooperate? We invented social learning, speech, writing, alphabets, printing, computers, and the Internet, which means we should be systematically directing the evolution of intellectual augmentation. ‘Mind Amplifier: Can Our Digital Tools Make Us Smarter?’ examines the origins of digital mind-extending tools, and then lays out the foundations for their future. Rheingold proposes an applied, interdisciplinary science of mind amplification. He also unveils a new protocol for developing techno-cognitive-social technologies that embrace empathy, mindfulness, and compassion — elements lacking from existing digital mind-tools.

LarklightLarklight is a book for an young readers. It was written by DAVID WYATT (Author), Philip Reeve (Author), David Wyatt (Illustrator).

Arthur (Art) Mumby and his irritating sister Myrtle live with their father in the huge and rambling house, Larklight, travelling through space on a remote orbit far beyond the Moon. One ordinary sort of morning they receive a correspondence informing them that a gentleman is on his way to visit, a Mr Webster. Visitors to Larklight are rare if not unique, and a frenzy of preparation ensues. But it is entirely the wrong sort of preparation, as they discover when their guest arrives, and a Dreadful and Terrifying (and Marvellous) adventure begins. It takes them to the furthest reaches of Known Space, where they must battle the evil First Ones in a desperate attempt to save each other – and the Universe.

Recounted through the eyes of Art himself, Larklight is sumptuously designed and illustrated throughout.

Some words about the Author

Philip Reeve was born and grew up in Brighton. He worked in a bookshop there and on various other projects before starting a career as an illustrator. Although he has been writing stories since he was very young, Mortal Engines was the first to be published – and to incredible critical acclaim. It was shortlisted for The Whitbread Children’s Book Award and was awarded the GOLD Nestle Smarties Book Prize as well as being named The Blue Peter Book of the Year 2003. Philip lives in Devon with this wife and son. Illustrated throughout by David Wyatt, who has worked on many beautiful covers for authors including Terry Pratchett, Philip Pullman, Diana Wynne-Jones, Alan Garner and JRR Tolkien. He lives in an ancient house in a graveyard in Devon, and is a keen Lutist, cyclist, and wanderer of the moors.

 

Manic MathManic Math is a game for kids. Today only it is free.

Top n.1 – Educational Game in Portugal (in Apple App Store). Listed in several other App Stores. Amazing app to improve your math skills. This game is recommended as a winning choice for parents and a educational/fun activity for children. The game logic is incredible simple! Just combine two numbers and one math operation to match the proposed objective. Manic Math is one fantastic application designed to keep your mind in shape. This healthy addictive game boost your mental arithmetic ability as well as your concentration, focus and memory.

Product features:

  • Inspired in Tetris
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Performance graphs and statistics (global and per arithmetic operation). Useful for detecting which operations and combinations of numbers need more practice.
  • The set of arithmetic operations – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division can be activated/deactivated for each user
  • Improve your memory (using Ice blocks)
  • Boost your mental arithmetic ability.
  • HD graphics.
  • High score table

 

Nook HD Profile Feature Capitalizes on Common Kindle Fire Privacy Complaints

There were few things about the Kindle Fire’s release that sparked more attention than the Carrousel home screen.  This approach set the Kindle Fire apart from other Android tablets by creating a simpler, more intuitive user experience.  Naturally that, alongside Amazon’s locking users into their ecosystem, drew fire from critics who prefer a more configurable, personalizable interface and a device that can tap into Google’s large app selection.  The real problem it caused, however, was less bound to a particular view of how the Android experience should be presented and more in its complete lack of user controls.

For the most part, this boiled down to privacy.  The Kindle Fire, when it was released, could not reasonably be considered a family-friendly device.  In many cases it couldn’t even be comfortably used as a multi-user device.  The Carrousel displayed everything that was accessed, in the order it was accessed, along with every piece of media attached to the user’s account.  It’s hard enough to overlook the potential for embarrassment in that arrangement among adults, but this made it more or less impossible for parents to use their Kindle Fire while moderating the content that children might be exposed to.

This has since been fixed, of course.  The Carrousel offers deletion, parents are able to control more aspects of their child’s access (with even more coming soon thanks to Kindle FreeTime), and privacy is restored.  Barnes & Noble, possibly in response to precisely this debacle, has come up with what is probably an even better set of user-profile features than the Kindle Fire HD now offers or can be expected to offer with the release of Kindle FreeTime.

The details are understandably vague at this point.  The Nook HD is not out until November 1st and some of the software is clearly still being fine-tuned, making over-promising a real possibility if they aren’t careful.  Still, what we know now is enough to declare this a highly family-friendly feature.

Each Nook HD owner will be able to create up to six Nook Profiles.  These will be theoretically autonomous, including their accessible content.  Each profile will have its own private library, though clearly the owner will have override control to a large extent that should allow simple sharing between these.  In addition to personalized content collections, users will be able to tailor all personalization options independently.  The Nook Tablet doesn’t offer much in the way of visual customization, but it doesn’t offer as little as the Kindle Fire either so this could be quite handy.

This makes the situation for parents a bit better as well.  Barnes & Noble is pushing the children’s eBook market fairly hard still and the Nook HD is no exception.  Using Nook Profiles, parents will be able to separate their kids’ books from the main library so that they won’t have to worry about them while looking through more adult-friendly content.  The parental controls will still apply to a child’s profile, of course, but should be able to be bound specifically to that profile.  If you password protect your personal profile, this means that it’s reasonable to use the Nook HD normally without entering in a PIN constantly.

The Kindle Fire HD now has some great parental control options, soon including a finer level of control than anything offered by the competition right now if the FreeTime claims are to be believed, but this is a case where the Nook HD is noticeably superior.  Barnes & Noble really wants the family-oriented customers and it shows.