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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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September 2016
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Are Airport Scanners Making Kindle Carrying Risky?

This time of year travel is anything but rare and chances are good that at some point a delay will have you sitting in an airport with nothing to do.  The obvious solution is to bring your Kindle along for the ride.  Reading is always a pleasant way to kill time, of course.  The problem comes in deciding whether or not this is safe to do.

There have been numerous reports of airport security causing Kindle screen failure in the past and it continues to be an issue.  Amazon denies that the usual sort of security scanners employed in airports have any chance of harming their eReaders.  Even leaving aside my own personal anecdotes involving extensive holiday travel having failed to do anything to a Kindle, they’re obviously correct.  The radiation being used in these scanners is simply far too weak to manage to do any real harm to E INK displays, even over the course of repeated scane.

Where it gets tricky is in the associated mechanisms.  Naturally, to speed up the processing, belts are employed to feed baggage through scanners.  We’ve all seen or used them from time to time.  These long rubber belts, constantly in motion, have the potential to build up a significant charge.  Some estimates have indicated it could easily reach or exceed 100 volts.  In instances where this discharges through a Kindle, of course it is going to freeze the E INK permanently in place.  Of course, that sort of thing isn’t particularly good for just about any piece of electronics.

While it seems unlikely that this phenomenon alone is sufficient to account for all of the reports of travel damage, keep in mind that it is travel damage.  Tight bags, rough handling, and not infrequent jostling in crowds and tightly packed planes inevitably takes its toll.  Given that the Kindle line makes use of display technology that is notoriously brittle, it is to be expected to some extent.

In order to ensure safety for your favorite Kindle, especially the eReader models since the Kindle Fire has proven extremely resilient, there are a few things you can do.  The simplest is packing carefully.  Make sure that your Kindle is in a good protective case or at least not in a position to be supporting any weight or accepting any major pressure.  This won’t be particularly helpful if you are one of the rare cases of airport scanner damage, but for general hits it makes all the difference.

If you are particularly concerned about the scanner, keep in mind that the damage likely to be the result of static discharge.  They make cheap protective products for help with that.  Many people employ antistatic bags to protect data storage devices in transit and they should work just as well for the Kindle.

The overwhelming majority of the time, you have nothing to be worried about.  What people remember are the rare exceptions and that tends to make for some rumors being blown out of proportion.  Fortunately, even if you should end up with problems all reports indicate that Amazon has an unofficial policy of replacing airport-damaged eReaders.  Enjoy your travel, bring your Kindle, and good luck with your travel this holiday season.

Kindle in the Airports

HMSHost, the company that runs any number of airport shops you might encounter as you travel the country, has just acquired exclusive rights to sell the Kindle in the aforementioned airports!  So, what does that mean for you?  So far, they have announced that Kindle devices will be sold in a number of stores to begin with.  Specifically, the Simply Books and Authors Bookstores in Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, John Wayne in Orange County, Charlotte/Douglas in Charlotte, Salt Lake City, Dallas Fort Worth, San Diego, George Bush in Houston, Miami, Tampa, and Minneapolis-St. Paul.  These stores will be selling pre-charged Kindles ready to go on a moment’s notice for anybody who desires one.

Let’s face it, an eReader is practically a vital accessory for any regular traveler these days.  The ability to keep a variety of entertainment material on a 10.8 ounce package with only very infrequent charging needs is a perk that simply cannot be beaten on the long flights and even longer layovers that plague the lives of many.  Now that the Kindle can be found in the middle of travel without the hassle or delay of ordering and shipping, there’s simply no downside or hassle remaining.  The HMSHost Slogan says it all in this case: Making the Traveler’s Day Better.

This is a great step for Amazon that should have been done long time ago. More than a year ago I blogged about my Kindle being bricked on an airplane. I was in the middle of long transatlantic journey with multiple connections. All I could find in terms of eReaders back then were Sony PRS readers which were of little use to me since I didn’t have my notebook with me to create an account and buy books. Being able to but a eReader and start using it right away is a great perk.

Unfortunately I don’t plan to visit any of the mentioned airports any time soon. However if you do, please drop me an email or a comment. I’m very interested what Kindle airport buying experience is like. Specifically it’s interesting how would they handle buyers who don’t have Amazon.com account yet.

Kindle DX broken by air-travel

Broken Kindle DX

Broken Kindle DX

Almost a year ago I posted about Kindle 2 being broken by air-travel. Well this time if was Kindle DX that got it… I was returning from a vacation with my parents and since there were many of us travelling and all of us love reading, Kindle DX that was usually stay-at-home kind was taken along for a want for more portable e-Readers. Once the plane was in the air my Mom tried to power it on and instead of Walter Scott novel saw some horizontal lines that I was all too familiar with. This time around they were accompanied by some vertical lines.

Since this time around I didn’t power the Kindle on after I’ve cleared security I can’t tell for sure where it was ruined by X-ray machine (which I still consider unlikely but not impossible) or by slight decease in cabin pressure that accompanies the take-off.

As usual Amazon customer service was top notch. Within 24 hours of a phone call there was a new Kindle DX on my porch. I secretly hoped that Amazon wouldn’t have any CMDA B004 Kindle DX left and that the replacement would be a newer GSM B005 Kindle DX with better battery life but unfortunately it wasn’t so. Even so I can’t really complain.