Archive for the 'Books' Category

Tech Gear to Avoid

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

GadgetThe linked article gives a breakdown on tech gear that may seem like a good deal but which should probably be avoided. In many cases it’s possible to get a much better item for just a little more money.

Here’s the short version of what not to buy:

  • Budget Android gadgets
  • 17-inch laptops
  • Bridge cameras
  • Entry-level e-readers
  • Budget LCD TVs


Encyclopædia Britannica Goes Paperless

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

EncyclopediaIn a sign of the times, Encyclopædia Britannica will no longer be available in printed volumes, after the 2010 print run sells out. The company will still publish a digital encyclopedia, but even that will only account for about 15% of their revenue, with education products bringing in the other 85%. I guess encyclopedias still have their place, but, in a world with Wikipedia and Google, they’re becoming less relevant.

Thanks to Josh for this link.

Update: Now that Britannica has made this announcement, there’s been a huge surge in sales of the remaining print versions, from collectors hoping to make an investment and from people seeing a last chance to purchase a keepsake.


Why a 99-Cent E-book Can Make Financial Sense

Monday, December 19th, 2011

KindleThere’s just something magical about buying a product for 99¢. And in the digital world, where the cost of producing another copy is essentially zero, you can make serious money from a quality item that’s priced at 99¢. Steve Jobs figured this out, and it’s part of what made the iTunes Store so popular. Later, when the music labels wanted to raise the price slightly on newer songs, he fought them tooth and nail, saying that even a small price increase would ruin things. The labels won that battle, but that doesn’t have to be the case with self-published books on Amazon. The profit on a 99¢ book is 35¢, and it really adds up if you sell a few hundred thousand copies. The linked article is a bit old, but it reinforces the benefits of this sales model where you sell many, many digital copies of an item for a low price. The author of the article, for instance, saw his sales of The List go up by a factor of 20 (to 800 per day) when he dropped the price from $2.99 to 99¢. (I do find it funny, however, that the price is now back to $2.99.)

(via Slashdot)

The Amazon Kindle Fire

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Tablet ComputerHere at the Chad’s News network command center, we were the surprised recipient of an Amazon Kindle Fire—Amazon’s entry into the tablet market. After using it for a few weeks and reading some of the reviews, here are some comments:

The Kindle Fire is NOT an iPad. You won’t see all the features that you get in an iPad. But at something like 40 percent of the cost, this is to be expected.

The Kindle Fire is tightly integrated with the Amazon store. It doesn’t support the EPUB format, so forget about getting books through any venue other than Amazon. And even though it’s an Android device, you can’t purchase apps from the Android Market; instead, you have to use the Amazon App Store which contains a subset of the apps found elsewhere. (This is because the Kindle Fire, while based on Android, is not a fully-compatible Android device. So some apps won’t work on it.)

Storage space is limited, and you can’t attach an SD card to increase it. So storing videos or large music libraries on the device isn’t really an option. Most videos will need to be streamed.

All this being said, the Kindle Fire is a great device if you want an e-book reader with internet, multimedia, and apps. I’ve been having a ball with the Scrabble app. And while one reviewer thinks it will take over the entire low-end and middle of the tablet market, I think it may see some competition from the Nook Tablet.

One thing I really like is that the Denver Public Library has Kindle books that I can check out and read on my device. Way cool!

Link #1 (Review):…

Link #2 (Review):…

Link #3 (Negative Stuff):…
(via Kim Komando)

Link #4 (Comparison to Nook Tablet):…

Link #5 (Comparison to Nook Tablet):…

Amazon Sells More E-books Than Print Books

Sunday, August 21st, 2011

KindleRemember a few years ago when e-book readers started to hit the mainstream? Well, they’ve definitely arrived. Last May, Amazon announced that it was selling more e-books than printed books.

(via Slashdot)

Can Piracy Actually Boost Sales?

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

BooksAuthor Steve Lieber discovered that bootleg copies of his graphic novel, Underground, caused a huge boost in sales of the print version.

(via Lifehacker)

eReaders Boost Book Reading

Monday, October 11th, 2010

eReaderA recent survey shows that 40% of eReader users are reading more than they did with printed books, and only 2% are reading less. The linked article has that and other interesting trends in eReading.

(via Kim Komando)

Reading E-books Takes Longer

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

E-book ReaderAccording to a recent study, reading an e-book is about 5 to 10 percent slower than a paper book. The study also reported that paper books were found to be more relaxing.

(via Slashdot)

Geek Reading List

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Geek InsideTechRepublic has posted a list of 75 must-read books for geeks. I’ve read slightly more than half (43 total) and 7 out of the top 10. There are a few I completely disagree with, including Steve Wozniak’s iWoz (long-winded and boring) and Neal Stephenson’s Anathem (overcomplicated and boring). I started both of these books but eventually gave up reading them.


Save Wet Books By Freezing Them

Monday, April 5th, 2010

BooksIt’s possible to fix water-damaged books, photos, and documents by putting them in the freezer while they’re still wet. They’re essentially freeze-dried by the dehydrating effect of the frost-free freezer. Note that even though the Lifehacker article says to place the book in a plastic bag, you should not seal the bag—the sublimated water vapor has to have somewhere to go.

Link #1:…

Link #2 (PDF):…
(via Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts)

Say Hello To The Barnes & Noble Nook

Saturday, November 28th, 2009

E-book ReaderBarnes & Noble has made a dramatic entrance into the e-book arena with a new reader called the Nook. The cost is $259. It’ll be available in stores sometime during the week of December 7th and is already so popular that pre-orders have exceeded the expected supply for the rest of the year. I had the opportunity to view a mock-up, and they’re pretty small. You can increase the font size, but I’m not sure this would be a good purchase for people with bad eyesight.

An advantage of the Nook is that it supports a variety of e-book formats, including ePub. This means books can be purchased from a wide variety of sources, most notably Google’s huge catalog of 400,000+ titles, and that these purchases will work on devices other than the Nook. Contrast this to the Amazon store which uses a proprietary format that locks the buyer into the Kindle. Also the Nook has more options for connecting to the Internet and a battery that can last up to 10 days on a single charge. To see how the Nook stacks up against the Amazon Kindle 2, here’s an admittedly biased comparison chart.


An Alternative to the Amazon Kindle

Monday, August 24th, 2009

KindleSony is offering up some serious competition to the Amazon Kindle. The end result is that we may see a lessening of proprietary e-book formats. But I’m not sure how Sony will be able to match Amazon’s extensive catalog of books.

Link #1:…

Link #2:…
(via Kim Komando)