image via 9to5Mac The latest update for the Kindle iOS app is going to make David Rothman of Teleread very happy. Amazon released a new version of the Kindle app today. New features include Arabic dictionaries, split view (but only on the larger iThings), and an option to scroll your way through an ebook rather than turn the page. Yes, Amazon has finally taken the same scrolling feature found in all web browsers and added it to the Kindle app for iOS. While this might not seem important, there have been times where I have had a diagram and its explanation show up on two different pages. If I had had the option to scroll the page, I could have had all the info on the screen at once. This will prove to be a useful feature, although I do wonder how it will work on the iPad in landscape mode with the two columns. Alas, I don't have an iPad to test this on, so I'm going to have to wait for you to test it and report back. You can find the app in iTunes. Changelog Split view on iPad is here! Resize the app to multi-task while [...]
You just finished reading Kindle App for iOS Gains Support for Infinite Scrolling, Split View on iPad, and More which was published on The Digital Reader.
Shark repellent can be a useful product if you are near or in the ocean and have reason to be afraid of sharks. But if you live in Arizona, where sharks can only be found in aquariums, shark repellent is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine. It's 2018, and the internet is a dangerous and scary place full of villains out to take control your computer, online identity, or even your website. Everyone knows this, which is why hosting companies sometimes use that fear to sell services that solve problems you don't actually have. Years of experience has convinced me that website security is the shark repellent of the internet; it's a product that hosting companies will try to sell to everyone - even that metaphorical resident of Arizona - no matter whether the customer needs it or not. I have just spent an hour explaining to an author that their hosting company may have convinced them their site was hacked and required a $60 a year security upcharge, but two different website security scanners disagreed, independently reporting that the client's site was just fine. To put it colorfully, my client's hosting company was selling them [...]
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Amazon is reviving their old hardware plus Audible subscription bundles this week with a new offer on the Echo. New Audible subscribers can save $50 on an annual Audible membership and receive an additional $50 off any of Amazon's Echo smart speakers. The offer is good until next Sunday, 25 March, 2018, and customers will have to redeem their Echo credit within a couple weeks of the day they purchase their Audible membership. You can find out more on the Audible website. This offers comes just one week after Amazon started letting new Audible subscribers listen to their first Audible audiobook for free on their Amazon Echo. Naturally, Amazon is hoping you'll be so enamored that you sign up on the spot -- if you aren't, though, you can at least say that it didn't take much effort to get that free book in the first place.
Here are a few stories to read this Monday morning. Holtzbrinck has attacked Project Gutenberg in a new front in the War of Copyright Maximization (Go To Hellman) YouTube’s Wikipedia Partnership Doesn’t Solve Either Site’s Fact Checking Issues (Observer) American Publishers, Libraries Cheer Marrakesh Treaty’s US Congressional Introduction (PP) Revealed: 50 million Facebook profiles harvested for Cambridge Analytica in major data breach (Guardian)
One of the surprising details about the second Kindle Oasis is how it doesn’t have a frontlight where you can adjust the color temperature. Like my counterpart, before Amazon released the 7" Oasis, I was expecting that their next Kindle would feature an integrated color-changing frontlight. Amazon, Apple, and Google had all added a a similar feature to their reading apps, and Kobo had even released a couple ereaders where you could adjust the color of the frontlight. Kobo was the first to release an ereader with an adjustable frontlight color, the Kobo Aura One, in late 2016, and then they followed that up with the second-gen Kobo Aura H2O, in the summer of 2017. And now even the Nook Glowlight 3, and the Tolino Epic, have frontlights where you can adjust the color temperature. So why not the Kindle? I myself have never found much use for the feature; yes, changing the light emitted from a screen so it has an orange or reddish tint has been proven to actually help make it easier to get to sleep, but I have found it is just as effective to simply put down the gadget at some point in the evening and then [...]
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Audible Romance is causing chaos in the audiobook market, but KU's impact on the ebook market is another story. Amazon announced on Thursday that Kindle Unlimited's funding pool shrank in February (just like it does most years). Amazon will pay out $20 million for pages read by KU subscribers in February, plus bonuses. That is a decrease of just under a million dollars from the funding pool for January 2018, but it's still good news for authors. Chriss McMullen notes that the KU per-page rate rose to $0.00466 in February 2018 from $0.00448 for January. From KBoards: US: $0.0047 (USD) Germany: €0.0032 (EUR) UK: £0.0036 (GBP) Netherlands, France, Spain, Italy: €0.0046 (EUR) Canada: $0.0046 (CAD) Brazil: R$ 0.0112 (BRL) Japan: 0.5776 (JPY) India: 0.0906 (INR) Australia: $0.0040 (AUD) Mexico: unknown P.S. Here's a list of the monthly funding pools. It does not include the bonuses paid out each month. July 2014: $2.5 million (Kindle Unlimited launches early in the month) August 2014: $4.7 million September 2014: $5 million October 2014: $5.5 million November 2014: $6.5 million December 2014: $7.25 million January 2015 - $8.5 million February 2015: $8 million March 2015: $9.3 million April 2015: $9.8 million May 2015: $10.8 million June 2015: $11.3 million July [...]
You just finished reading Kindle Unlimited Funding Pool Dips in February 2018 as the Per-Page Rate Rises which was published on The Digital Reader.
Here are a few stories to read this Friday morning. Alas, Digg Reader is shutting down at the end of March (TechCrunch) 5 iOS apps for creative mobile storytelling (Journalism.co.uk) Google Will Prioritize Stories for Paying News Subscribers (Bloomberg) S&S Shuts Crimson Romance (PW)
There is an unconfirmed report coming out of the Netherlands today that Amazon is shutting down its screen tech subsidiary. Citing unnamed sources, tech blog Bits &Chips claims that Amazon decided last year that it would close Liquavista. Amazon is reportedly busy dismantling the startup, and plans to phase out the staff in the course of the coming year. Amazon was asked to comment on this story about 3 hours before it was published, but has not responded. For the past decade or so Liquavista has been developing a low-powered screen tech to replace LCD screens. Their designs were based on electrowetting technology, which is a fancy way of saying that each pixel in a Liquavista screen contained 3 liquids (red, green, blue), and that the color shown by a pixel depended on the amount of power fed into each liquid. The tech was originally developed at Philips, before Liquavista was spun out in 2006. Over the following decade the startup showed off demo screens on several occasions, but it never put the screen into production, and it was never closer than a perpetual two years away from releasing a screen unit to market. And now it looks like it never will be releasing that first screen. [...]
Amazon, Google, and a couple other companies give you free online storage for your personal ebooks and let you read the ebooks in their apps/ereaders. (Another, Libreture, charges 3 pounds per month.) Another competing service just crossed my desk. BookFusion is a 3-year-old ebook startup, and one of the things it does is enable organizations and institutions to host and maintain private ebook and document libraries (Bluefire has a similar service). There is also a consumer option which is free at this time. The neat thing about BookFusion is that you can upload DRM-free Epub ebooks, store them in a personal library, and then use its Android, iOS, and browser app to read them. I'm still testing the system, but it looks nice so far: With Amazon dominating the ebook market, there will never be a huge market for this idea in the US, although other markets centered on DRM-free or watermarked ebooks (Netherlands, Poland, etc) could use this type of service. And frankly, so long as Amazon continues to neglect their version of this personal ebook library idea, there will be a market for this. The thing is, Amazon has been hosting ebooks uploaded by its customers since 2011, but [...]
Update: This post was originally published in November 2017, and was updated in March 2018 to reflect S&S's ongoing exploitation of authors. Of all the major publishers, Simon & Schuster is uniquely exploitative. They had previously revived the Star Trek Writing Contest to use it as a feeder pool for their vanity press, Archway Publishing, complete with cold calls where authors were pitched overpriced services, and now S&S has found a new way to gather in the lambs to be fleeced. They are using the cover of NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month, to launch a writing contest, and they even roped in the S&S writing community XOXO After Dark to lend an air of legitimacy to the contest. XOXO After Dark, a community site offering the best in romance, urban fantasy, and women’s fiction supported by Pocket Books and Simon & Schuster, is teaming up with Archway Publishing to launch the Hot Books, Cold Nights Romance Novel Writing Contest. Abby Zidle, Editor-in-Chief at XOXO After Dark and Associate Director of Marketing and Senior Editor at Pocket and Gallery Books announced the news today. “XOXO is excited to find great new talent in romance writing,” said Zidle. “Some of the most popular [...]
You just finished reading Updated: Simon & Schuster’s Vanity Press Launches Writing Contest to Exploit More Authors which was published on The Digital Reader.
Here are a few stories to read this Thursday morning. Amazon Echo now reads your first Audible book for free (Engadget) Why Young Readers Need Real Books (Passive Voice) January Bookstore Sales Fell 9.1% (PW) For Decades, Our Coverage Was Racist. To Rise Above Our Past, We Must Acknowledge It (National Geographic)