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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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December 2014
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Daily Deals: My Mother Was Nuts, Three “Horrid Henry” Books and Velocispider

My Mother Was NutsToday Amazon offers My Mother Was Nuts by Penny Marshall just for $1.99

Most people know Penny Marshall as the director of Big and A League of Their Own. What they don’t know is her trailblazing career was a happy accident. In this funny and intimate memoir, Penny takes us from the stage of The Jackie Gleason Show in 1955 to Hollywood’s star-studded sets, offering up some hilarious detours along the way. My Mother Was Nuts is an intimate backstage pass to Penny’s personal life, her breakout role on The Odd Couple, her exploits with Cindy Williams and John Belushi, and her travels across Europe with Art Garfunkel on the back of a motorcycle. We see Penny get married. And divorced. And married again (the second time to Rob Reiner). We meet a young Carrie Fisher, whose close friendship with Penny has spanned decades. And we see Penny at work with Tom Hanks, Mark Wahlberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Robert De Niro, and Whitney Houston.Throughout it all, from her childhood spent tap dancing in the Bronx, to her rise as the star of Laverne & Shirley, Penny lived by simple rules: “try hard, help your friends, don’t get too crazy, and have fun.” With humor and heart, My Mother Was Nuts reveals there’s no one else quite like Penny Marshall.

Some words about the Author

Penny Marshall is an actress, producer, and director. From 1976 until 1983, she starred as Laverne DeFazio in the classic TV sitcom Laverne & Shirley. She went on to direct films such as Big (1988), the first movie directed by a woman to gross in excess of $100 million at the U.S. box office, Awakenings (1990), which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, and A League of Their Own (1992), which also made over $100 million in the U.S. More recently, she has directed episodes of United States of Tara (2009) and guest-starred on Portlandia (2011).

Horrid HenryAlso Amazon offers 3 books written by Francesca Simon, who is one of the world’s best-loved children’s authors and winner of the Galaxy Book Award in the United Kingdom. Each book in her best-selling Horrid Henry chapter book series contains four easy-to-read stories with hilarious illustrations by Tony Ross, and today only they’re just $0.99 each (80% off). Here is the list of the set:

1. Horrid Henry

2. Horrid Henry Rocks

3. Horrid Henry’s Underpants

Some words about the Author

Francesca Simon spent her childhood on the beach in California, and then went to Yale and Oxford Universities to study medieval history and literature. She now lives in London with her family.

 

 

VelocispiderVelocispider is a free game for 1 day only.

Part Spider, Part Velociraptor, it’s Velocispider!!! Take control of a heavily armed araknasaur in this retro arcade shoot-em-up.

Your delicious endangered eggs have attracted the taste buds of the evil CEO of the Robot Seafood Corporation. He will stop at nothing to feast on your eggs, defend them from his relentless army of aquatic robot beasts.

Protect your eggs through 20 levels of awesome retro arcade style action. Many different types of enemies will attack from many different patterns, keeping you on your toes the whole time. It is simple to pick it up and play for a few minutes, but so engaging that you’ll want to play the whole thing straight through!

Be careful: this game can take your real money from your pocket.

Windows 8 Kindle App Now Available

Wow, Amazon moved fast. Microsoft released it’s newest Windows OS, Windows 8, on Friday, and Amazon has already added a new Kindle app to go along with it.  It is currently available in the Kindle Store along with the other Kindle apps, including one for Windows 7.

Windows 8 features a new “metro” style operating system that is suitable for both tablet and PC use.  The traditional start button no longer exists.  The programs are displayed right on the screen and are called apps.  The design is geared towards touchscreens, but can be accessed with the keyboard and mouse.

Considering how much people don’t like change, it will be interesting to see how well this new OS fares in the market.  The 10″ inch Microsoft Surface tablet is one to watch as it enters the increasingly crowded tablet market.

Amazon says that the Windows 8 Kindle app is available on “any Windows 8 device.”  So I am assuming this means both the Surface Tablet and PC versions.

Kindle apps are available on for both PC and Mac, tablets such as the iPad and Android, and popular smartphones including the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone 7.

These apps are quite handy.  Even if you don’t own a physical Kindle, you can still download these apps for free and purchase Kindle books.  You take your reading from your Kindle to other devices without losing your place or bookmarks.  It saves having to lug several devices around while you travel.  It is quite convenient to sneak a chapter or two on my phone during lunch breaks.

Te only drawback I’ve seen is te Kindle Owner’s Lending Library books.  I can’t download these books to any other devices besides my actual Kindle.  I guess that isn’t surprising since it intended for Kindle owners only.

Well, there is definitely no shortage of reading options.  It will be interesting to see how the competition heats up this holiday season.

The Halloween Plan by Claire Saguy

It used to be that publishing a book was a feat only achieved by the select few, and it was restricted to major publishing houses.

Ebooks have completely shifted the way we think of publishing. Anyone who can write and has some technology knowledge can publish via Kindle Direct Publishing.

Now, we can take it even further, and open up the publishing process to children.  A child’s dream to be a writer can be a reality.

The Halloween Plan is a short story written by 10-year-old Claire Saguy, an avid Kindle reader and aspiring writer who is raising money for her school in Los Angeles.  Schools are facing funding cuts all over the country.  What a neat way to give back to her school and community.

The plot is a dilemma we all know well.  Sarah, a 5th grader, has to go to her younger sister’s Halloween show, but would much rather go to her friend’s birthday party instead.  Sarah and her friends team up to come up with a plan that will allow Sarah to come to the party without her mom knowing.  The plan takes some twists and turns that could go either way.

The Halloween Plan teaches a lesson on the importance of honesty and good communication.  It is a quick read, and the writing is quite good.

A great short story for all ages, and just in time for Halloween.  Hopefully Claire’s example will help encourage other kids hoping to become writers to publish their own ebooks as well.  The lure of technology could be a great boost for literacy.

This generation of children are pretty tech savvy. There are a number of children’s books on the Kindle, some with interactive content sure to make the story more fun and engaging.

 

 

 

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.

Kindle Paperwhite Getting Great Reviews So Far

The Kindle Paperwhite is reclaiming the top of the e-ink reader market with positive early reviews.

The Kindle Paperwhite is Amazon’s newest generation Kindle that includes front-lit lighting designed to enable readers to read at night, or in darker settings without eyestrain.

Notable improvements over predecessors

The e-ink quality is better, leading to sharper text and images.

The screen is designed to create a reading experience closer to that of reading print books.  This was the original goal when Amazon first developed the Kindle.  The touch screen isn’t as  sensitive.  The Kindle Touch would skip chapters or pages sometimes if I so much as breathed on it.

The device itself is smaller, more streamlined, and includes a grip back cover similar to the Kindle Fire.

Then, last but not least, there is the built in light, designed to spread evenly across the screen and give off a cool ambiance that does not hurt the eyes.

The Audio Controversy

Not including audio is mostly an author or publisher issue.  It knocks out consumers who rely on audio to read.  For example, readers who are blind, or others who just prefer audiobooks over text-based books.

While it isn’t an issue with the majority of readers, including audio is a good feature to work on for future software updates or Kindle generations if Amazon really wants to reach out to the broadest audience possible.

Here’s what reviewers are saying about the Kindle Paperwhite

C.E. McConnell

“I’ve been very impressed with my new Kindle. The screen and light are absolutely gorgeous and the page turns are much faster than my old Kindle Touch. Although I know that it isn’t heavier than the last version it someone feels more substantial and solid than the older version. I am a little disappointed1111111111111 that they took away audio capabilities, but I rarely used that anyway. Overall a fantastic upgrade that I know will keep me reading!”

 Vivek Chaudhary

“Its amazing. It actually looks like a real white paper with black ink text. I have used Sony eBook reader, nook touch and older kindles in the past, but the dull gray screen was something which always made eBooks inferior to a real paper book. No more. In my opinion, this is a quantum leap!”

 

 

Daily Deals: The Zurich Conspiracy and Master Gardener Pocket Guide

The Zurich ConspiracyToday Amazon offers The Zurich Conspiracy by Bernadette Calonego just for $1.99

Thirty-something Josefa Rehmer is as smart and ambitious as they come, qualities that have earned her the enviable position of events manager at Loyn, an exclusive Zurich leather accessories company. But when Werner Schulmann is appointed to be her new supervisor, Josefa’s professional ambitions are dealt a serious blow. After all, it was Schulmann’s sexual harassment that nearly derailed her career years earlier. Unable to stomach the thought of working for such a man, Josefa resigns, abandoning Loyn for another local firm. But when Schulmann is murdered and Loyn’s CEO commits suicide, Josefa begins to suspect that something other than sexual impropriety is plaguing her former company. She sets out to uncover the truth and soon realizes the two deaths are just the tip of the iceberg. As she digs deeper, Josefa finds herself caught in a complex and dangerous web of blackmail, corporate espionage, and murder. And if she’s not careful, she will be the next one to take the fall. This dramatic tale of corporate intrigue doubles as an intricately plotted thriller about the darkest side of office politics and the people who will do anything to come out on top.

Some words about the Author

Bernadette Calonego was born in Switzerland and grew up on the shores of Lake Lucerne. A voracious reader from an early age, she fed her imagination with stories such as The Leatherstocking Tales, Ivanhoe, Treasure Island, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. She was just 11 years old when she published her first story, a fairytale, in a Swiss newspaper. She went on to earn a teaching degree from the University of Fribourg, which she put to good use in England and Switzerland before switching gears to be a journalist. After several years working with the Reuters news agency and a series of German newspapers, she moved to Canada and began writing fiction. She has published stories in Vogue, GEO, and SZ Magazin and is the author of three novels. She lives near Vancouver.

Gerald Chapple is a prize-winning translator of German literature. He received his doctorate at Harvard and went on to teach German and comparative Llterature at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. He has been translating contemporary German-language authors for more than 35 years. His recent prose work includes two books by the Austrian writer Barbara Frischmuth, The Convent School and Chasing after the Wind, completed with co-translator James B. Lawson; Michael Mitterauer’s probing history of Europe from 600 to 1600, Why Europe? Medieval Origins of Its Special Path; and Anita Albus’s wonderfully idiosyncratic book On Rare Birds. Bernadette Calonego’s gripping thriller set in Zurich marks his return to longer works of prose fiction and his debut for AmazonCrossing. After choosing early retirement, he lives in Dundas, Ontario, with his wife, Nina, an architectural historian, and two labradors. When he’s not translating, he can usually be found studying birds, butterflies, and dragonflies, reading, or listening to classical music.

 

Master Gardener Pocket GuideMaster Gardener Pocket Guide is a application with can help you with your garden. It is free today only in the Amazon Appstore.  This app doesn’t have great reviews, but you can try it.

Master Gardener Pocket Guide, by SageMilk, is an Android app designed especially for gardeners who are enthusiastic about lawns, trees, shrubs, flowers, and gardens. With this handy tool you will learn more than 650 gardening and horticulture terms through quizzes, a dictionary, and flashcards. Hundreds of full color photos well help you to identify and classify plants and related diseases.

Features:
  • Create your own flashcards and multiple-choice questions
  • Customize a glossary of plant terms
  • Send multiple-choice quiz questions to friends
  • Post your scores online for global ranking
  • Keep up to date with recent news and articles with the gardening newsfeed

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Still Alice by Lisa Genova is a fictional account of a 50 year old Harvard psychology professor with early onset Alzheimer’s.  It is available in both Kindle and paperback editions.  This book has won numerous awards and had a long run on the New York Times Bestseller List.

I discovered this book while searching through Goodreads recommendations.  Goodreads has introduced me to a lot of different authors and genres I would never have heard of otherwise.

It is simple, yet poignant.  The book is written from the perspective of the Alzheimer’s patient as opposed to the more common caretaker viewpoint.  So, the reader gets a first hand glimpse into the daily tasks and emotions from the patient herself.

Most people think of Alzheimer’s as affecting only the elderly.  In a majority of cases those people are beyond retirement age.  Before Alzheimer’s struck, Alice held a jam packed schedule full of lectures, research, and teaching.  The aggressive disease took all of that away from her.  It not only takes a toll on her life, but on her family and friends as well.

The writing itself is really direct, with no frills.  Sometimes there is a bit of disorganization in the flow of the plot, but in a sense, it represents Alice’s train of thoughts.

Still Alice has glowing reviews.  Many of the reviewers suggest that everyone affected by Alzheimer’s in some way should read it.  I also saw multiple reviews saying how accurate Genova’s depiction of the disease is. The fictional account has a loose connection to the author because she is a Harvard educated neuroscientist herself.

Vicki Evans

“Wow! This book is so realistic and, for me, a real tear-jerking read. I teach high school and I have always told my students that if a book can draw you in, make you live vicariously through a character, and somehow help you with life experiences, then it’s a good book. This book did that for me and so much more.”

Genova has another bestselling novel: Left Neglected out, and will release Love Anthony on September 25th.

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

I’ve been on a reading binge lately, both print and on my Kindle.  The latest book I read was called Sisterhood Everlasting.  It is the fifth installment of the bestselling Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series.

Sisterhood Everlasting will appeal to those who grew up along with the previous books.  The first four are more for the young adult audience, and the series finishes when the friends are still in college.  I actually didn’t discover them until I was already in college myself.  That was when the original movie first came out.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series consists of four friends, Carmen, Tibby, Bridget, and Lena, who all grew up in the same town.  They all have very different personalities.  They find a pair of pants that carry special meaning. It goes wherever they go, kind of like a Flat Stanley type of thing.

Sisterhood Everlasting is set ten years later.  The author took a break to write other books and explore other things, then came back to revisit her characters in this series.  The four teenagers are now almost 30, and are each finding their way in the life of being an adult.  Work, marriage, children, etc.  I could really relate to the post college craziness of trying to find my way in the “real world.”  This book is emotional to say the least, and the author does a good job of getting into the heads of her characters to capture what they were thinking.  Especially how they each handled grief in their own way.

This book has goes a lot deeper than your typical beach read.  I highly recommend it.  After shopping around, the Kindle and paperbacks are about comparable in price.  The handy part about the Kindle edition was that I could sneak a few pages during breaks at work on my phone’s Kindle app.

The following reviewer sums up Sisterhood Everlasting quite well.

Laura OC

“While I like most readers enjoyed growing up with Lena, Carmen, Bridget, and Tibby throughout the first four sisterhood books, the fifth addition to the series makes the story real and even more relatable for me. Sisterhood Everlasting shows us the consequences and joys of life decisions and that while a friendship between girls may be undeniably strong, it cannot fix all problems.”

 

The Tablet Divide

When I got my iPad, I also got an external keyboard.  It worked okay, but since it wasn’t directly integrated with the tablet, it did have some lag time.  My biggest hope is for the tablet to merge with the laptop.

I was unsure of how long it would take for this to happen until the release of the Microsoft Surface tablet.  It has a keyboard built into its cover.  This is the catalyst that will nudge tablets towards a hybrid laptop/tablet deal.  I’m really excited about this new development because it eliminates the need for both a computer and tablet, adds portability, and increases accessibility.

Now, to my point.  Rumors are indicating that Amazon is set to release a 10.1 inch Kindle Fire.  How much of this is just wishful thinking, it is hard to tell.  I have no doubt that the online retail giant can create a competitive larger tablet, but will they lose their original focus?

The competition gap and functionality of large and small tablets is widening.  Larger tablets more computer like in terms of power, whereas smaller tablets such as the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet are more for gaming, reading, and internet browsing.

I would love to see Amazon create a Kindle Fire that would provide both an optimal reading experience and serve as a multi purpose device.  There really aren’t that many major adjustments for e-ink Kindles left, at least not any that we know of at this point.  We’ll get a glowlight version this year, and maybe color next year.

Maybe a few years from now, the technology will be there to do a hybrid e-reader and tablet.  But, considering how quickly technology changes, there may be something completely different hitting the big market by then.

So, basically, I think Amazon definitely has the resources to build a larger tablet that will sell well.  But, I would like to see them hang on to their core mission: a better reading experience. Better to excel at one or a couple of products than to make a slew of mediocre ones.

 

Lower Kindle Book Prices are Inevitable

When the publishers jacked up the prices a couple years ago on bestsellers and other popular e-books for the Kindle, they suddenly lost some appeal.  $9.99 or less for New York Times bestsellers sounded like a deal.  $11.99-14.99?  Not so much.

However, the rising prices have opened up several other free and inexpensive alternatives.  There are a ton of low priced Kindle books out there.  There are also free Kindle book lists and Kindle Library lending.  If you have time to sort through the lists, you will find some good stories mixed in.

The high prices on the big names also gave self published authors a boost.  Kindle Direct Publishing allows anyone to publish a book.  Some very successful independent authors have rivaled the big name authors with numbers of books sold. I remember the days when getting published was a feat accomplished only by a select few who had what it takes to get the attention of the major publishing houses.

There are still a lot of people who weigh the ability to share print editions, and are more willing to pay a higher cost for them.  There’s something about being able to pass a book around between friends and family members that can’t be recreated with a Kindle.  Now that the Kindle is in the hands of mainstream consumers, there is a much bigger group to share books with via the Kindle lending program. So, I can definitely see a future of e-book sharing that can rival the print book sharing idea.

So, I think it is only a matter of time before we start seeing lower prices on even the huge bestsellers.  In the end, it really is a consumer’s market.  In this economy, consumers are looking for the best bargains.

They won’t be able to compete otherwise.  Will all of these independent authors who got the chance to shine lose their visibility if this occurs?  That will be an interesting trend to watch.

 

 

Kindle To See Competition From Windows 8 Readers

Say what you will about Windows 8 and the Metro style it introduces as a general computing option, it is amazing on a touch screen.  I’ve had a chance to play around with it more than a bit since the Consumer Preview build was released to the public a few weeks ago and after a short adjustment period I have had nearly no complaints.  There are obvious potential complications for the Kindle world, though since we can’t guess yet how inexpensive it will be possible for a full Windows 8 tablet to be, at best it is possible to make educated guesses about how portable device development changes in months to come.  What might surprise many people, though, is that just as Android has been used effectively to power E Ink reading devices like the Barnes & Noble Nook, Windows 8 has been mentioned as a possible operating system for future Kindle competitors.

The goal has always been to create a consistent experience between every device that runs a version of the operating system.  If you’re using Windows then it doesn’t matter if you’re on a tablet, a desktop, or a smartphone, because they will all function effectively the same way.  Traditionally Windows has been seen as far too slow and overly large to be considered a cost effective way to handle a dedicated eReader, but this may be changing.  Since Windows 8 emphasizes speed, efficiency, and power consumption, it may well work perfectly to bring that distinct touch-centric Metro style to the reading world.

This wouldn’t be bad news for the Kindle platform, of course.  While Microsoft Is developing their own in-house app store to compete with that of Apple, there is already a Kindle for PC app to play with.  It seems fairly safe to assume that since Microsoft will not be allowing highly customized or restricted copies of their software to be shipped (unlike with Google’s Android), the Kindle app will remain open to anybody using these new tablets and eReaders.

While we’re still a long way from anything certain, especially since the launch of Microsoft’s new operating system is expected no earlier than October, we do know that representatives of the company have hinted at an interest in joining the eReader market.  They don’t build the hardware, so it might be quite a while before anything affordable comes along to demonstrate the potential of the Windows 8 option, but if a barebones copy of the software can be had cheaply enough to match existing prices then it might really shake things up.

Right now the Kindle is dominating the reading world.  None of the Kindle eReaders make use of Android, but the Kindle Fire and any number of competing eReaders do.  Microsoft would have to set prices so low as to shock many people if they really wanted to hope to compete with established products, but that doesn’t mean they won’t do so.  They are butting up head to head with Apple and are clearly trying to establish a competing ecosystem.  I don’t see them teaming up with Amazon to offer a dedicated Kindle Store option as an official counter to iBooks, but it’s inevitable that something is brought up to match practically every facet of iOS.  The Kindle might well be caught in the crossfire.

Big Sale on Kindle Games Going on Now

The Kindle Fire tends to be more well known for its games because it has a lot of the really popular ones.  Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja are the first to come to mind.  But, the e-ink Kindles also have a huge selection of games to choose from.  They may not be as vibrant as the tablet counterparts, but they’re designed to fit into the look and feel of the monochrome display.  Different ones usually go on sale each month.

For March, many of the most popular games are on sale for 50% off or more.  They’re already quite cheap anyway.  Gone are the days of $50 video games.  Now we often complain when a game hits the $5 mark!

I see some of my favorites on the list: Mahjong Solitaire and Jewels.  There are also a couple of newer ones: Lingo and Jungle King.  Aside from those games, there is a game suitable for everyone: cards, puzzles, interactive fiction, and more.

It has been interesting to observe what game developers have come up with for the limited e-ink platform.  I have been surprised at how many different style games have been adapted for the platform.

The Kindle Touch has eliminated the need for the 5-way controller.  Games like Bubble Pop and Gem Falls work much better with the touchscreen user interface than with the toggle and keyboard.  I had a lot of fun playing Bubble Pop on my Kindle Touch.

I’ve noticed more and more interactive fiction available in the Kindle games list.  This is a fun and engaging way to get people more engaged in reading.  You pick your own characters and control the direction of the story.  So, you have to be actively involved with the story as a whole.

So take a look at the games on the sales list.  In addition to the games on this list, there are hundreds of free and very inexpensive apps available for the e-ink Kindle.

Is the Kindle Fire Hurting E-Ink Kindle Sales?

I recently read a couple of articles discussing the idea that the Kindle Fire has dipped into the sales of its e-ink counterparts, the Kindle and Kindle Touch. more

Well sure, this shouldn’t be too surprising, but there are other factors to consider as well.

First off, e-book prices have gone way up in the past year.  Bestsellers used to be capped at $9.99.  At that price, they were well below hardcovers, so I bought them all the time.  Now they can be as high as $14.99.  You can have a cheap e-reader to boot, but e-books with that high of a price makes the e-reader’s cheap price (almost) useless.  I say almost because there are other options such as library lending, free or reduced priced books, or Kindle Daily Deals.

With the Kindle Fire, there are so many other options to choose from, which makes reading just one small component of what the device can do.  You can surf the web, play games, watch videos, and the list goes on…

Another thing is that we’re in that usual slow first quarter sales slump that is sandwiched between the holiday rush and the slew of new product releases that start showing up in the spring.

Speaking of new product releases in relation to the e-ink Kindle.  I will be interested to see if the rumored color e-ink is in the cards for the next e-ink Kindle refresh.  If this does come to be, then it will give the e-ink models a much needed jump start.

I love my Kindle Touch.  It is extremely portable, and allows me to enlarge the font to a comfortable size.  But I have been using it less and less because of the rising e-book prices.  I hope that one day soon, my local library will carry more bestsellers for the Kindle, and I also hope that a deal can be worked out to make e-book prices more reasonable.

By producing the Kindle Fire, Amazon has shown that it is willing to move out of the realm of traditional e-readers to compete in the tablet market.  This ability to innovate will be key to their success in the long run in terms of future e-readers and tablets.

 

 

Last Minute iPad 3 vs Kindle Fire Thoughts

I am writing this on the eve of the launch of the next generation iPad. So speculations on what new features the iPad 3 will offer  and what it means for tablet competition is definitely on my mind.  As anyone who keeps up with tech news knows, the rumors get pretty wild in the days leading up to big announcements like these.

Aside from the new launch, there are two speculations that might have a more direct implication for the Kindle Fire.  The first is the possibility of a 7.85 inch iPad Mini.  Honestly, I can’t really see this fitting into the scope of Apple’s products.  I could be wrong, but right now, there is a big enough gulf between the iPad 2 and the iPhone that consumers can reconcile having both.  They serve different functions.

An iPad Mini would blur the lines a bit and give consumers less of a reason to have both.  So it would cause internal competition for Apple.  However, it would add some worthy competition to the smaller tablet market.

The other option is a budget version of the iPad 2.  This assumption seems more viable because Apple has done this in the past with the iPhone, and has had good success with it.  This would be an 8GB version as opposed to 16 or 32GB.

It depends on how much cheaper the iPad 2  is, but this is what could really give the Kindle Fire a run for its money.  Right now, Amazon’s bestselling tablet’s biggest asset is that it packs a lot of features for a rock bottom price.  Competitors certainly recognize that.  Just look at the recent price drop on the Nook Tablet.

In the next few years, I would love to see a tablet emerge that has computing power comparable to the PC.  Apple has that ability to to that with the iPad, but isn’t quite there yet.  That leaves room for the smaller tablets to serve consumers who want something more portable, inexpensive and multipurpose without too much processing power.

So, I don’t really think the iPad 3 will have too much effect on the Kindle Fire competition wise.  It serves a different market.  The thing to watch will be the introduction of either a budget iPad or a less probable iPad Mini.  So, all we can do at this point is sit back and see what happens.

 

 

Kindle Owner’s Lending Library Adds More Titles

The Kindle Owner’s Lending Library is a service for Amazon Prime members that lets you download a book a month for free.  There is no due date for the book once you check it out. For $79 a year, you can get free two day shipping, access to unlimited movie streaming, and the ability to check out a book each month.

At the launch I wasn’t totally thrilled with the selection available, but now, it has grown to over 100,000! titles.  The collection includes books from both large publishing houses and independent authors.  Independent authors have really made a name for themselves with Kindle Direct Publishing.

You will also find a number of bestsellers on the list.  Although, I have yet to see the bestsellers that are at the very top.  There are still some bestselling books that I have been eyeing for months, but they are still in high demand at the library, and are still expensive by e-book standards.

Amazon has the clout to make a “Netflix for books” of sorts.  Netflix offers all of the popular movies, so I don’t see why this can’t be done for Kindle e-books.  That service would probably have to come at a higher cost eventually to appease publishers.

The Kindle Owner’s Lending Library and Kindle Library Lending go a long way to help ease the burden of skyrocketing prices that are showing up for e-books.  They also reach out to readers who can’t get to a brick and mortar library or bookstore.  I hope that these services can work together to provide a delightful reading experience for everyone who reads e-books.

So, just keep an eye out on the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library’s book list.  It is growing constantly, so if you hold out for awhile, the top bestsellers will most likely eventually show up on there.

There is one thing I wish that Amazon would do.  The page for the service could showcase the genres a little better.  The Kindle Store does a good job of this.  The Lending Library could do the same.  Otherwise, it has a lot of potential, and can only get better.

Sony to Launch a Foldable Tablet Later this Year

The Sony Reader was the first to get touch screen technology.  It set off a big touch screen craze that included all of the major e-readers: Kindle, Nook, and Kobo.  The Kindle Touch in turn became Amazon’s bestselling e-ink Kindle.

So, Sony has a some good ideas going as far as e-readers go. I happened upon an article about a foldable tablet that the company is currently preparing for release next week.

The new tablet, called the Tablet P, will have dual screens, one on each side of the foldable hinges.  My biggest question in regards to the screens is how they will mesh together for the display.  Will they show separate content?  Do they somehow come together to create a larger display?

The odd thing is that the Tablet P will feature last year’s Android operating system, Honeycomb.  That will be a big drawback right there.

By making this table foldable, it is protecting the screen from scratches and dings, so that is a big plus.   Although Apple was onto something when it created a smart cover to protect the iPad’s screen .  Sony’s new tablet also includes a camera, which is not currently available on the Kindle Fire.

Obviously, there are some real winners in the e-reader and tablet market, most notably,  the Kindle and iPad, but is still fun to explore the other ideas are floating around.  Despite the Tablet P’s lack of computing power and poor sales outlook, it sparks an idea that can be developed further to grab the attention of consumers.

I would really like to see the major players in the tablet and e-reader world become powerful enough to handle heavier computing.  It would be nice to have the benefits of both in one device.  The foldable tablet could emerge as a hybrid laptop/tablet device.  The tablet would be hinged to a keyboard, but also removable.

So, we’ll see what happens.  It is always fun to speculate on the future of technology.

 

Daily Deals: Slumberland and Radiant HD

Slumberland: A Novel

Today Amazon unveils a new Kindle book deal: Slumberland: A Novel by Paul Beatty just for $1.99.

Critical darling Paul Beatty’s highly original, widely praised novel of race, identity, and underground music. After creating the perfect beat, DJ Darky goes in search of Charles Stone, a little know avant-garde jazzman, to play over his sonic masterpiece. His quest brings him to a recently unified Berlin, where he stumbles through the city’s dreamy streets ruminating about race, sex, love, Teutonic gods , the prevent defense, and Wynton Marsalis in search of his artistic-and spiritual-other.

Ferocious, bombastic, and laugh-out-loud funny, Slumberland is vintage Paul Beatty and belongs on the shelf next to Jonathan Lethem, Colson Whitehead, and Junot Diaz.

Some words about the Author

Paul Beatty is the author of two novels, Tuff and The White Boy Shuffle, and two books of poetry, Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce. He is the editor of Hokum: An Anthology of African- American Humor. He lives in New York City.

 

Radiant HD

Today only you can get the following game for free: Radiant HD

Radiant HD gives you arcade shoot ‘em up goodness the way you like it, blending retro tropes like limited movement (right and left only) with modern takes on the genre such as upgradeable weapons and on-screen power-ups.

Battle on one of three difficulty settings through a three-part story with over 100 levels. Collect power-ups, upgrade an impressive arsenal, and dodge your foes to stay alive. Destroy over 10 huge bosses like the Planet Cruncher, the Hunters, and the Supervisor. The challenges may be steep, but the power at your disposal is staggering.

Blasting asteroids, groups of baddies, and larger enemies can reveal credits in 25, 50, and 100 increments. Collect these and every few stages you’ll get a chance to spend them on upgrades to your guns. Each weapon can go up to level 10, and the rate of fire and number of rounds fired with each shot will improve as you buy upgrades. Invest wisely in each of these interchangeable extensions like you would in a role-playing game to smooth out your weaknesses and prepare for any challenge that may come your way.

Radiant HD doesn’t just ask you to dodge rocks and return enemy fire; it rewards you for your destruction and smooth moves with helpful power-ups. Like collecting credits, other power-ups may appear when you destroy your enemies. Unlike credits, though, these goodies will sate your need for instant gratification.

This HD version of Radiant is optimized for tablets and high-end handsets (Galaxy Tab, Galaxy S, DROID, Desire, Incredible, myTouch 4G, G2, EVO, Nexus One, Nexus S, etc.). Try the non-HD version if you have a lower-spec device.

Color E-Ink Kindle on the Horizon?

Don’t give up on e-ink Kindles yet.  After the success of the Kindle Fire and the tablet boom, I was beginning to think that e-ink was on its way out.  However, there are new speculations floating around in the tech world about Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) supposed order of color e-ink  screens.

If that is so, we might be seeing a color e-ink version of the Kindle sometime next summer or early fall.  The timing is based on the past yearly refresh of the Kindle lineup.

I think this would give e-ink a much needed jump start to reclaim its place in the electronic sales market.  Tablets are showing unprecedented success, and are threatening to leave the e-ink devices behind to become a niche market unless they don’t do something about it.

The biggest advantages of a color e-ink Kindle over an LCD tablet are that it doesn’t cause eye strain and suck up battery life.  I love my iPad, but I can’t sit and read it for longer periods of time.  My Kindle’s battery lasts for a couple of months, whereas my iPad’s battery lasts about 10 hours or less depending on use.

Looking at it from an accessibility standpoint, there are certain vision conditions that cause the user to be sensitive to bright lights.  E-ink is obviously a lot friendlier to that type of condition.

The e-ink Kindle began as a single service device designed for reading.  The electronic paper style that the Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and other e-ink readers use is designed to simulate the experience of reading a real book.  Adding color would provide better graphics for comics, newspapers and magazines.  To me, comics are a better fit for paper rather than LCD.

I am excited about this new development.  I think in the long run there will be hybrid e-ink and LCD tablets out there on the market.  I don’t know about you, but it can get cumbersome toting around several different gadgets that each fulfill a different purpose.   By adding color, e-ink is a step closer towards making a device like that a reality.

 

Amazon Adds More Big Networks to it’s Prime Instant Video Collection

Amazon introduced a couple of big perks to the Prime membership in the past year.  For $79 a year, you can get free two day shipping along with free book and movie rentals with Kindle Owner’s Lending Library and Prime Instant Video.

The Kindle Owner’s Lending Library allows one book checkout a month, and includes a fairly good sized collection of books.  I’ve checked out a couple of them so far and have enjoyed having this option.

The latest news involves the Prime Instant Video collection. Amazon just announced that they sealed a deal with Viacom, which means that they now offer TV shows from hit networks such as Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TV Land, MTV, and VH1.

When Prime Instant Video first started, there wasn’t much of a selection, but it now offers around 15,000 titles and is well on the way to giving Netflix a run for its money.

There are shows for kids like Spongebob and iCarly, as well as Dora the Explorer. Adults can check out Glee, Lost, 24, or The Wonder Years.  Newer shows still have to be purchased or rented, but aren’t limited to Prime members.

Prime Instant Video can be accessed on a Mac or PC, an internet enabled TV, or on the Kindle Fire.  With the videos on the Kindle Fire, you have a lot more portability as long as you have access to wi-fi.  Amazon includes step by step instructions on how to access and download movies and TV shows here.

Amazon’s streaming video collection is growing rapidly.  Netflix is still ahead since it includes unlimited DVD by mail, but I don’t think it will be long before the two are in fierce competition with each other.

So, keep tabs on Prime Instant Video.  Amazon is constantly adding new titles, and working out deals with major production companies.

 

 

Daily Deals: Four Romance Novels by Shannon McKenna and Humans vs Aliens

Today only, Amazon unveil four romance novels by Shannon McKenna–a sultry selection of stories about the intense and rugged McCloud Brothers–are just $0.99 each.

Out of Control

Out of Control

In Behind Closed Doors and Standing in the Shadows, Shannon McKenna introduced the McCloud Brothers: intense, rugged, and super-sexy. Now, Davy McCloud is about to meet a woman he can’t trust-or live without… Disillusioned P.I. Davy McCloud has an ironclad rule: never follow blind impulse when it comes to women. But he breaks it the instant gorgeous Margo Vetter shows up to teach at the gym next door. The sexual hunger-and the instinctual protectiveness-that she awakens is much too strong to resist. Broke and on the run, framed for a murder she didn’t commit, Margot has no one to turn to but Davy McCloud. But the closer he comes, the more Margot discovers that holding back-or hiding-from this enigmatic, powerful man is impossible. In every way… Then passion flares with unexpected intensity. But Margot’s past has finally caught up with her, and life is about to get more than complicated. It’s turning deadly…

 

 

 

Standing In The Shadows

Standing In The Shadows

Ex-FBI agent Connor McCloud can never forget the day he was set up to die at the hands of trusted friend and fellow agent Ed Riggs. Hard justice and loyalty to his badge have cost Connor what he wants most–Ed’s shy, studious daughter Erin. He can never have her now, but her beauty still haunts and torments his every waking hour and his most fevered erotic dreams. But now that his old enemy Kurt Novak has returned, Connor is prepared to do anything to protect the vulnerable young woman from a killer who has vowed a brutal payback. . .a killer with a predator’s lethal patience.
Erin has been harboring secret fantasies about Connor McCloud since she first laid eyes on him–but that was before his testimony sent her father to jail. Her world is falling apart and it’s all she can do to hold her family together. But now Connor is knocking on her door, telling her she needs his protection, whether she wants it or not. He won’t give up and he won’t stay away. He’s sworn to guard her life with his own and his fierce protectiveness awakens long-buried feelings–and a fiery sexuality deep within her sou. . .

 

Edge Of Midnight Edge Of Midnight

Wild boy Sean McCloud takes center stage in McKenna’s over-the-top fourth entry in her romantic suspense series (Behind Closed Doors, etc.) featuring Sean and his brothers Davy and Connor, who specialize in security, catching villains and keeping their women very happy. Sean is still dealing with the death of his brainy twin, Kevin, one of many victims of the covert Midnight Project directed by the sadistic Dr. Christopher Osterman. When Sean’s lost love, Olivia Liv Endicott, returns to Endicott Falls, Wash., to open a bookstore, Sean is both thrilled and terrified. And when the store is torched by Dr. O’s pet assassin and Liv is almost killed by the relentless goon (whom she dubs T-Rex), Sean vows he won’t lose her again. Sean swings into full-frontal heroics, battling T-Rex and working to reclaim Liv’s trust. Full of the author’s trademark turbocharged sex scenes, this action-packed novel is sure to be a crowd pleaser. (Aug.)  Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

 

 

Fade To Midnight

Fade To Midnight

Kevin McCloud, believed dead for 18 years, resurfaces in fantastic fashion in McKenna’s latest red-hot McCloud sizzler (Edge of Midnight; etc.). After recovering from an injury suffered while trying to prevent a drowning, Kev, now 40-ish, begins remembering what happened leading up to the traumatic events that left him an amnesiac and is lured back into the dark web cast by the evil scientists intent on completing the now-dead psycho scientist Christopher Osterman’s devious mind-control invention. When Kev meets graphic novelist Edie Parrish at a book signing, they forge a connection that’s deeper than romantic; as it turns out, Edie has psychic powers, a history with Osterman, and believes Kev may have inspired the hero of her graphic novel. McKenna’s steamy style, sci-fi twists, and possible family reunion makes this the best McCloud update yet, but readers who aren’t already well versed in the series will want to start with the earlier volumes. (June)  Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

 

 

Humans vs Aliens

Humans vs Aliens

The fate of planet Earth lies within the hands of leagions of well-trained, multidisciplinary soldiers and one pitchfork-wielding hillbilly. Encroaching aliens must be slaughtered before they reach the villages in this tower-defense style game for your Android device.

Grunts vs. Hillbillies
Aliens creep onto the screen, slowly progressing forward. You must stop them before they reach your village border. Place an equally-matched human in its destructive path and watch as the battle ensues. Each soldier has a skill or weapon, from flamethrowers and pitchforks to attack helicopters. Use your most powerful humans only when you need them; they require the most energy.

Luckily, your booze-fueled hillbilly doesn’t require any energy. He doesn’t put up much of a fight either, but against an alien grunt–he’ll get ‘er done.

Blue energy orbs appear sporadically. As you collect them, your humans will become energized and ready for battle. Oil wells allow for more frequent power-ups but you must protect your wells.

No Land is Sacred
As you progress through five beautifully rendered U.S.-based locations, unlock more powerful humans and more threatening aliens. Tirelessly battle your way through aliens that do everything from cloak themselves to spit fire.

With OpenFeint, unlock 18 achievements and compare your scores with friends as well as the rest of the world. So, go save the world–and let everyone know about it.

Charles Dickens Bicentennial Celebration

This week, there are celebrations around the world to commemorate the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, one of the most notable authors in literary history.  Most, if not all of Dickens’ novels are available on the Kindle for free.

A Christmas Carol is probably the most well known Dickens masterpiece because it is often read at Christmas and is a popular play.  It has also been adapted for film multiple times over the past 50 years.  All of his other works have also have been adapted for theatre productions.

I had to read Hard Times and Great Expectations in high school and college, but I never really got to know the background behind the writing.  If I ever do decide to tackle them again, I want to explore the inspiration that contributed to the development of the characters.  When you are in high school, reading classics always seems like such a chore.

Dickens faced a lot of adversity in his younger years.  His father spent time in prison because of debt.  Dickens had to quit school and work in a shoe factory.  The hardships that Dickens experienced were manifested in his writing.  Many of his characters are children who face some sort of obstacle.

Think of Oliver Twist, who begged for more food and got reprimanded for asking.  Food that was barely more than slop at that.  There are so many important lessons woven through each story.  Hard Times reveals a world based only on facts.  Also notice the irony of the names in the book.  The characters’ names are often the opposite of their personalities.  Anything outside linear thinking is unaccepted.  Ebenezer Scrooge gets visits from the supernatural who remind him the true meaning of Christmas and the spirit of giving.

Charles Dickens made a profound effect on the literary world during his short life.  He died of a stroke at the age of 58.  Even if you hated his novels during school, you might find that you get a lot more out of them as an adult.  Charles Dickens’ books, as well as many other classics, are all free on the Kindle and Kindle supported devices.

Meanwhile, I need to go tackle A Tale of Two Cities and David Copperfield.  Surprisingly enough, I never had to read them in school.  It is always good to at least have some knowledge of the major classics because it is rare for literature to stand the test of time like his novels have.

 

 

Kindle Touch 5.0.3 Update Available for Automatic Download

Just wanted to let you know that you should be able to download the latest update: 5.0.3, for the Kindle Touch via Wi-Fi.

Here’s how to do it:

While in your Kindle Touch’s home screen, tap “Menu”, then “Settings.”

Once you are on the Settings page, tap “Menu” again, and go to “Update Your Kindle”.

Your Kindle will take it from there.  Just make sure that it remains turned on so that the update can be fully implemented.  The whole process only takes a couple of minutes.

Prior to the update, my Kindle was running really slow.  I had a difficult time trying to get to the different menu options.  There have been reports of page turn lagging slow navigation to the home screen.  Now that the update is complete, it does seem to run faster.  The real verdict will come once I get the chance to use it for a longer period of time.

Overall, this update is minor but it makes some much needed adjustments that will make your navigation and reading experience better.  Generally speaking, it is always good to keep the software up to date for top performance and security.

Suggestions for future updates.

Eliminate the shadowing that appears when transitioning between pages and the home screen.

Provide clearer navigation commands.  Sometimes I try to move to the next page in my list of books on the home screen, and it clicks into the book itself.

Lastly, page turns for lefties.  That is the one thing I miss about my older generation Kindle.  It had page turn buttons on both sides.

iPad 3 Release Date Rumors Flying, What will this mean for the Kindle Fire?

If you are familiar with Apple’s PR strategy, you’ll recognize the hype that goes along with each potential new product release.  Speculations fly while Apple stays tight lipped until the product is launched.

That trend continues with the much anticipated release of the next generation iPad. March 29 seems to be the latest “magic date” for the release of the iPad 3.  This goes along with the usual spring release date of the highly sought after tablet.  So I wouldn’t be surprised if this release date was at least close to the actual one.

So, what will this mean for the Kindle Fire?  In the beginning, I don’t see it being affected too much because it seems to appeal to a different market than the iPad.  A big reason for that is the price.  The iPad is also geared more towards heavy duty computing, and includes a camera and bluetooth compatibility.  The Kindle Fire is great for browsing the internet, videos, reading and games.  It is just a matter of determining what you will use the tablet for and what you want it to do.

Apple has been known for top quality devices without too much cap on price.  Despite the $500 price tag on the iPad, consumers know they are going to get a top notch product.  Amazon designs the cheapest device they can that is still functional so that it can reach out to the biggest number of users possible.  I don’t see the price of the iPad 3 dropping a whole lot, at least not anywhere near the price of the Fire.

The Kindle Fire is the second best selling tablet after the iPad, and has been the only tablet to show a margin of success comparable to the Apple tablet, but the iPad’s sales hit record numbers in recent months.  So that just proves the point that both can exist and do extremely well.

Let’s take a look at a longer term effects. Now that so many consumers own a tablet, they will want to move up in features and quality.  Amazon will need to continue to try to integrate more features at the lowest cost for the Kindle Fire to show strong sales figures.  Another key factor is maintaining a strong Android Marketplace.  So, once Amazon achieves that, then they can release a second generation Kindle Fire.

This is all speculation base on the 10″ iPad.  If the rumored iPad Mini shows up, then Amazon will really need to get into gear to present a Kindle Fire version that can compete with it.

Until I see what the new iPad will look like and the price, it is hard to tell exactly how it will affect the status of the Kindle Fire.  So, more concrete observations to come after March 29, or whenever the official release date is.  Stay tuned.

 

Daily Deals: The Siege of Washington and Flick Kick Field Goal

The Siege of Washington : The Untold Story of the Twelve Days That Shook the Union

Today Amazon offer to enrich your e-books collection by The Siege of Washington: The Untold Story of the Twelve Days That Shook the Union written by John Lockwood and Charles Lockwood just for $1.99.

On April 14, 1861, following the surrender of Fort Sumter, Washington was “put into the condition of a siege,” declared Abraham Lincoln. Located sixty miles south of the Mason-Dixon Line, the nation’s capital was surrounded by the slave states of Maryland and Virginia. With no fortifications and only a handful of trained soldiers, Washington was an ideal target for the Confederacy. The South echoed with cries of “On to Washington!” and Jefferson Davis’s wife sent out cards inviting her friends to a reception at the White House on May 1.

Lincoln issued an emergency proclamation on April 15, calling for 75,000 troops to suppress the rebellion and protect the capital. One question now transfixed the nation: Whose forces would reach Washington first: Northern defenders or Southern attackers?

For 12 days, the city’s fate hung in the balance. Washington was entirely isolated from the North–without trains, telegraph, or mail. Sandbags were stacked around major landmarks, and the unfinished Capitol was transformed into a barracks, with volunteer troops camping out in the House and Senate chambers. Meanwhile, Maryland secessionists blocked the passage of Union reinforcements trying to reach Washington, and a rumored force of 20,000 Confederate soldiers lay in wait just across the Potomac River.

Drawing on firsthand accounts, The Siege of Washington tells this story from the perspective of leading officials, residents trapped inside the city, Confederates plotting to seize it, and Union troops racing to save it, capturing with brilliance and immediacy the precarious first days of the Civil War.

Flick Kick Field Goal

 

Flick Kick Field Goal is a game for your Kindle Fire which could attract your kids and free your time for a while. One of advantages of this game is that you can get it free. But only today. Tomorrow it’s price will be different. So, do not lose your opportunity – click here.

Bring the fun and accessibility of flick football to your Android device with this casual sports title from PikPok Games. Try to make kicks from different angles and distances, and even take into account shifting wind speeds and directions. Choose from Sudden Death, Arcade, Time Attack, and Practice modes, then use the intuitive flick controls to begin playing right away. Easy to pick up but hard to put down, this classic time-killer is sure to appeal to casual gamers and die-hard football fans alike.

Gameplay

In Flick Kick Field Goal, players take on the role of a field goal kicker on a football team as they try to make kicks of varying difficulty through the goalposts at the end of the field. Pick one of four different game modes: Practice, Sudden Death, Arcade, or Time Attack, and try out Flick Kick Field Goal‘s intuitive control system to begin making kicks like a pro.

To make a kick, simply line your finger up with the football and flick the touchscreen in the direction of the goalposts. Not every kick is straightforward though: experiment with curving left or right in your followthrough, or give a longer swipe to kick the ball further. Find the technique that works for you, then adjust each kick to account for changing windspeeds and angles.

Challenging Conditions

To add to the difficulty, factor in winds that can come from any angle or change severity with each kick. Anything from a light breeze to gale force winds must be taken into account if you want to succeed.

Online Scores and Achievements

Flick Kick Field Goal features online leaderboards and achievements with OpenFeint support. Rack up the points and then post your newest scores to Flick Kick’s global leaderboards. Think you’re good? Show off your skills online as you compete against others for the top spot!

Key Features
  • Simple and intuitive flick controls make it easy to pick up and begin play
  • Challenging gameplay with shifting windspeeds and target distances
  • Loading screens with famous football quotes and trivia
  • Roaring crowds and full 3D graphics bring a new level of realism to flick football
  • Compete against others through OpenFeint online scoring and achievements

Daily Deal: One More River and Gravilux

One More RiverToday Amazon offer to buy  a very good book with great discount: “One More River” written by Mary Glickman just for $1.99 (instead of $11.69 yesterday). This book is the sweeping story of a father and son, and of the loves that transform them amid the turbulence of the American South.

Bernard Levy was always a mystery to the community of Guilford, Mississippi. He was even more of a mystery to his son, Mickey Moe, who was just four years old when his father died in World War II. Now it’s 1962 and Mickey Moe is a grown man, who must prove his pedigree to the disapproving parents of his girlfriend, Laura Anne Needleman, to win her hand in marriage. With only a few decades-old leads to go on, Mickey Moe sets out to uncover his father’s murky past, from his travels up and down the length of the Mississippi River to his heartrending adventures during the Great Flood of 1927. Mickey Moe’s journey, taken at the dawn of the civil rights era, leads him deep into the backwoods of Mississippi and Tennessee, where he meets with danger and unexpected revelations at every turn. As the greatest challenge of his life unfolds, he will finally discover the gripping details of his father’s life—one filled with loyalty, tragedy, and heroism in the face of great cruelty from man and nature alike.

A captivating follow-up to Mary Glickman’s bestselling Home in the Morning, One More River tells the epic tale of ordinary men caught in the grip of calamity, and inspired to extraordinary acts in the name of love.

 

Gravilux

Feeling a tad stressed? Need a little more artistic beauty in your life? Gravilux is a gorgeous, very Zen-like app for Android that will both entertain and soothe you whenever you use it.

Reach for the Stars

Gravilux lets you touch a universe of simulated stars beneath your fingertips, exerting a gravitation-like force to twist them into an infinite variety of colorful new galactic forms. Just launch the app and start moving your finger across the screen. The stars will react, moving in slow waves and forming amazing shapes and fascinating effects. As these pinpoints of light float across the screen of your smartphone or Kindle Fire, you’ll be overcome with sense of peace and serenity.

Interactive Art Comes to Your Android

Gravilux combines elements of painting, animation, art, science, and gaming. Before it became a mobile app, this kind of interactive art was only found in galleries and museums. Now it’s right on your Android, available to you anytime and anywhere.

Control the Universe

The app gives you many options to tune to your liking. Start out by selecting classic black and white or vibrant color. In the color setting, you have a veritable rainbow of shades from which to choose.

Hit the Settings button and you can choose an attract or repel effect, adjust the brightness, determine the spacing of the stars, and more. You can also touch the Optimize option and Gravilux will adjust itself to your particular device. The app is specifically designed for your Amazon Kindle Fire, so you’ll enjoy an incredible experience with Gravilux on that device.

Hugely popular as an iPad app, Gravilux was created by Scott Snibbe Studio, a leader in the development of digital applications. You’ll want to reserve a prominent space on your home screen for this enchanting work of art for your Android.

What They’re Saying About Gravilux

“Apps like Gravilux awaken an ‘Avatar’-like sensitivity to electricity in the body, power in the palms, and general connectedness.” – New York Times

“Every once in a while, an app will come along that has no practical application whatsoever but is just SO COOL that you have to have it! Gravilux is that sort of app.” – iphoneapplicationlist.com

“Of the millions of apps out there, none quite capitalize on the sheer fun and beauty of interactivity the way that Scott Snibbe’s do.” – Cool Hunting