Author James Patterson Reaches Kindle Milestone – Trading Markets (press release)

Oct 29, 2010 (Close-Up Media via COMTEX) —

Amazon.com, Inc., announced that James Patterson has become the second author to sell over 1 million Kindle books and is now a member of the “Kindle Million Club.”

In a release on October 27, the Company noted that James Patterson has sold 1,005,803 Kindle books. The Kindle Million Club recognizes authors whose books have sold over 1 million copies in the Kindle Store and refers to paid Kindle book sales. Stieg Larsson, author of the Millennium Trilogy, was the first author to hit the 1 million mark.

“Amazon customers have been James Patterson fans far longer than ‘Kindle’ was a word in our vernacular,” said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content. “We’re excited that his readers have embraced his many books on the Kindle platform, and we look forward to celebrating the 2 million mark in the future.”

APatterson is the author of more than 65 books that span the genres of suspense, fantasy, romance, historical fiction and children’s. His many books include Alex Cross, Women’s Murder Club and Maximum Ride series. His novels have won numerous awards, including the Edgar, the BCA Mystery Guild’s Thriller of the Year award, the International Thriller of the Year award, and the Reader’s Digest Reader’s Choice Award. One of Forbes magazine’s Celebrity 100, Patterson’s titles have been adapted into both feature film (“Along Came a Spider” and “Kiss the Girls,” starring Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman) and a television series (ABC’s “Women’s Murder Club” starring Angie Harmon).

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Amazon Kindle 3: better than the iPad? – DaniWeb (blog)

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Hardware and Software > Netbooks, Tablets and Mobile Devices > Amazon Kindle 3: better than the iPad? Netbooks, Tablets and Mobile Devices Product Review Ad: 1 Amazon Kindle 3: better than the iPad? by Davey Winder on Sep 30th, 2010 Manufacturer: Amazon Pros: Superb e-ink display, small and light, huge choice of books, excellent Kindle Store integration, incredible battery life Cons: Doesn’t handle PDF documents well, case is required but rather expensive Summary: The e-book reader has finally come of age. Apple has defined smartphones with the iPhone and the iPad defines tablet computing, but Amazon trumps everything else by defining the e-book reader with the stunning Kindle 3. It’s small enough, the display is breathtaking and the battery life great. But it’s the integration with the Kindle Store, the choice of books (including thousands of free ones) and the totally intuitive ease of use that makes the ‘All New Kindle’ truly shine. All that and the price of course, which places this particular gadget firmly on the must-have shelf. The Kindle 3 has become what the iPad could not as far as the e-book hardware market is concerned: a game changer! Overall Rating: 9 / 10 Price: $139 (WiFi) $189 (3G + WiFi) It has been a long time coming, but the e-book reader had finally arrived. Oh, I appreciate that there have been many stabs at e-book hardware including the Nook and the efforts from Sony, not to mention the claims of iPad fans and Apple with that iBooks app and iTunes App Store integration. Oh, and not forgetting Amazon’s own previous efforts with Kindles 1 and 2 of course. The trouble is, frankly, none of them have actually done the job well enough for me to take them seriously enough to consider replacing my paper book reading habit. Some have been too heavy, others strain the eyes too much or have text that disappears in sunlight, and that’s before I even get onto the subject of buying e-books and loading them onto your device. Yet here I am, the author of more than twenty published books of the printed variety, a self-confessed bibliophile and now the owner of an Amazon Kindle 3.

Click image for larger versionName:kindle001.jpgViews:154Size:52.2 KBID:17444The new Kindle has a lot going for it, from the 4GB of storage of which a little over 3GB is available to the user which equates to enough for storing some 3500 books, to the new e-ink ‘pearl’ display which is, quite simply, breathtaking. Not in a full colour, touch-screen swiping, video playing iPad kind of a way I grant you. But the Kindle has the advantage of not trying to be all things to all people, including an e-book reader, instead it concentrates everything on doing that one job superbly well. And for that job, reading book, the high contrast (around 50% better contrast than previous Kindle models) 6″ e-ink screen coupled with much crisper and darker and adjustable-size fonts does the trick very well indeed. Forget worrying about the lack of colour, start reading a book on the Kindle and I assure you it won’t even cross your mind. After all, how many ‘real’ books do you read that have coloured text? Unless you are into comic books and nothing else, in which case the iPad is for you.

Want to know how good the display really is? Well you know how when you take a new gadget out of the box there is often a fake display stuck to the screen telling you what to do first when it comes to setting the thing up? I opened the box and saw such a sticker, except it wouldn’t peel off as it wasn’t a sticker: it was the e-ink display informing me what to do and for all intents and purposes looking like printed text. I challenge anyone to look at this thing and not be impressed. Seriously. Seriously impressed that is. Talking of which, a lot of people have complained in the past about the page turning speed of the Kindle and Amazon appears to have taken note and fixed that. The new Kindle turns pages around 20% faster than before, with a click of the side mounted buttons that fall naturally enough to hand. The flicker-to-negative as the page changes is disconcerting at first, but it’s really no biggie and you soon get used to it. Oh, and the page click has been reduced to almost nothing so that doesn’t get in the way of the reading experience either.

Click image for larger versionName:kindle002.jpgViews:97Size:36.6 KBID:17445Sizewise, the Kindle is some 20% smaller than before and is just 8.5mm thick without a case (more of that later) and is no heavyweight (Apple take note) at just 241g for the WiFi model and 247g for the 3G model. That makes it lighter than your typical paperback book, and thinner than your typical glossy magazine. All of which makes it comfortable to hold for long periods. And you can read it for long periods as well. Not only, as I’ve mentioned, is there a lack of eye strain thanks to the great display but there’s thankfully no lack of battery life. The new Kindle will happily sit there for the best part of 2 weeks, even with the WiFi turned on to receive your newspaper or magazine subscriptions which can be pushed out to you on a daily, weekly or monthly basis depending upon the publication concerned. Turn the WiFi off and you can double the battery life to a month. When it does eventually need some juice, the Kindle 3 takes no more than an hour to fully charge from flat.

Click image for larger versionName:kindle003.jpgViews:85Size:8.4 KBID:17446An e-book reader is no good without books to read, and thankfully the Kindle 3 has access to more than 400,000 of them in the Amazon Kindle Store. As well as many thousands of classic free books, you’ll find the usual range of bestsellers and the back catalogues of many of your favourite authors. Well, I did, at least. The prices are reasonable as a rule, with most Kindle versions of books being much cheaper than the printed version. Best of all, though, you can browse for books directly from the Kindle itself via WiFi or the totally free 3G service connection if you’ve bought the more expensive model, and the average book is downloaded and ready to read in less than 60 seconds from start to finish.

So what’s not to like? Well I’m no great fan of the basic web browser built into the Kindle, I don’t want to do my web browsing on an e-book reader thanks, and that;s just as well as the browser client is pretty rubbish to be fair. Likewise, I don’t want a computer to read out loud to me through a couple of tinny sounding speakers, so the text-to-speech functionality is wasted on me as well. PDF handling is poor, unless you use a third party application such as the free and rather good Calibre to handle your conversions into the correct format for the Kindle.

And it does not come with a cover or case. Which is a problem, because you wouldn’t want to drop it on the street. Amazon will sell you a pretty good one, but it comes at a hefty price: $34.99 for the basic leather case and $59.99 for the same but with a concealed light for night reading. I bought the latter, and it’s a very high quality case with a very clever and very slim LED light that retracts entirely into the case itself, uses Kindle power and turns itself off if you stop reading your device when you fall asleep. The case is designed so that the front cover folds behind the Kindle, book-like, when reading and once again this adds to the whole ‘feels like a book’ concept. But oh boy, is it expensive.

Which just leaves me to answer and qualify the question posed in the title of this review: better than an iPad?



A commercial for the Kindle 3 actually demonstrates one reason why the new Amazon Kindle is better than the Apple iPad as an e-book reader. However, having used both devices for book reading I have to admit that there are many other reasons apart from just the being able to read in direct sunlight thing. There’s the sheer weight of the iPad for a start, which feels all of its three times the weight of the Kindle and then some after you’ve been trying to hold it for reading purposes after half an hour or so. Then there’s what I can only describe as the headache factor of the iPad, courtesy of the backlit screen. It’s the same reason I don’t try and read books on my netbook, desktop or any other computer as the eye strain is just too intense after a while. Conversely, there is no strain at all from the e-ink of the Kindle, no matter how long I keep reading. Which leads me nicely to the battery life of the Kindle when compared to the iPad, allowing me to read as many books as I like without having to worry where the nearest recharge point is. And, of course, I must come back to the direct sunlight issue as it’s something of a biggie I’m afraid. Not only does the sunlight wash out the text but the reflective glass screen of the iPad well, reflects. So while the iPad does many things, does them well and does them in a beautifully stylish way, reading books is just not amongst them.

Wind Of Change: Kindle Books Pricier Than Hardcovers – ConceivablyTech

This one may be a hard sell: As successful as the Kindle is, the decision of publishers to price a boatload of books above their hardcover versions has brought up the Amazon customer base in arms. Is there more value in an eBook than in a hardcover? It may come down to perception and our perception is changing.

Amazon's Wi-Fi Kindle Amazon’s Wi-Fi Kindle


Not too long ago, digital content was considered to be like shareware in nature, or even freeware. When Napster was around, the argument for the availability of free music was that it was of lower quality than what you would buy on a CD and therefore it did not have as much value. Today, you pay about a dollar or more for a song and we understand that there is value in a digital song, as opposed to the CD.


It loads right onto your PC and iPod, which is, conceivably, its final destination. A CD may still play in a CD player in your home or car, but those devices are on their way out. Soon, there will be no value in a CD anymore. An optical disc will be inconvenient to use, which increases the value of a digital download. Book publishers seem to be playing the same card, even more aggressively, and it is likely they will get away with it, as outrageous as it may sound right now.


There are new reports that highlight expensive eBooks, a trend that is spearheaded by Ken Follet’s Fall of Giants, which will cost you $20 as a download. Wait? $20?


Yes, twenty American dollars. The book carries lots of tags on Amazon.com – and not really positive ones. Publisher price rip-off. Outrageous Kindle Price. No sale. Boycott. You can read them here. There are currently 2387 books tagged with “outrageous Kindle price” alone. Many Kindle books go for $15, some for $13 and we already know that the general best sellers will cost you at least $10. I am relatively new to the Kindle community, but I have become an avid ebook reader within a short period of time and I somehow accepted the $10 Kindle books, even if I believe that this is a bit much for a downloaded version. At least that is my perception.


The general idea here is that a physical product has more value than a digital product. But what if we learn that the exact opposite is the case? What if you can have on your MP3 player thousands of songs instead of perhaps 12 on a CD player? What if your Kindle book fits on an electronic device that can hold your entire library? If it is more convenient for you to bring all your books along with you wherever you go and if the Kindle is the final destination of your book, it may create an entirely different value proposition and perception.


The Kindle book may even go further than a digital song. You can still burn your music on a CD, if you want to, but printing a Kindle book is not something we could or even want to do. Conceivably, the Kindle is becoming your library and Amazon as well as publishers have a lot of leverage. Amazon reported that it is already selling more Kindle books than hardcovers. It may be time to see if we are willing to pay more for ebooks as well.


It is a wind of change. It is what we ask for when we adopt devices such as the Kindle. It is up to the consumer to change that again by rejecting such devices. But I doubt that will happen.




Note: A previous version of this article stated that Amazon priced its Kindle books above hardcover price. This is incorrect. Publishers set the price on Kindle books. We apologize for this error.

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Man of few words poet Michael Klein to share several at Gallery Ehva in … – Wicked Local Orleans

Poet Michael Klein, who is coming to Gallery Ehva in Provincetown on Saturday to read his poetry, is used to trekking around the country. If he isn’t in his home in New York or at his place in Provincetown or out in Port Townsend, Wash., then he’s most likely either at his desk or in the car.


“I’m used to being in the car,” he says. “We go up to the Cape on weekends and it’s about four-and-a-half to five hours each way. We leave about 5 and get there around midnight. I get to wake up there,” he says over the phone from New York City. But during the summer Klein wakes up here more often than just weekends. He teaches poetry and memoir writing at the Fine Arts Work Center in the summer program.


“I was a fellow there in 1990,” he says. “It’s great to be up there. About four years ago I bought a cottage outside of town.”


When not teaching in Provincetown Klein teaches in a low-residency program for a satellite branch of Goddard College out in Washington state.


“I believe it was the site where ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’ was filmed,” he says. “It’s an old fort, the school rents out space, it’s a state park now and an arts center. They even have a football camp. I go out twice a year and stay on campus.”


With seven students to his charge, Klein says he is very busy.


“It’s a lot of work, very time-consuming,” he says. “I do a lot of e-mailing. I’ve been teaching at Goddard for 15 years. I’ve also taught at Sarah Lawrence and Binghamton College.” But it’s the writing that is his real passion.


“I wrote as a kid,” he says. “I always wanted to be a writer. I used to read poetry and plays because they are short and you can read a lot of them. Novels take too long,” he says and laughs. “I never really read novels ‘til I was an adult. I don’t like most of them, they’re not my favorite. I started writing when I was 12, I’m 55 now.” And, incidentally, he’s proud of being a triple fire Leo sign.


True to his short theme, Klein has two books of poetry out, “1990” and his most recent, “Then, We Were Still Living,” as well as two other books, one a collection of short essays, “The End of Being Known,” now available in digital form on Kindle, and the other a memoir, “Track Conditions.”


“The Kindle book didn’t sell very well as a book book,” says Klein. “I knew early on I wasn’t going to make much money. I knew my prose was not commercial prose. I write exactly what I want. If it’s published, fine. I’ve never done it for money. My approach to writing is something different.”


When Klein comes to town this weekend he will do a reading and book signing at Gallery Ehva, 74 Shank Painter Road, from 4 to 6 p.m. He may also share some of his writing secrets, such as this tip he gave us: “Write with a sense of urgency, make it interesting and strange, spare, to the bone. Try to make a book really, really spare. Write as if there is no language. Use only the most essential words. Waste not.” Enough said.


Michael Klein also will be reading at 8 p.m.  Monday, Oct. 18, at Blacksmith House with Peter Balakian, 56 Battle St. in Cambridge.

Amazon Launching Shorter Length “Singles” Kindle Books – Rillara News

By Tito II Pontilan, Oct 13 2010 Amazon Launching Shorter Length “Singles” Kindle Books (amazon.com)


In a recent announcement, Amazon stated it will be launching a new line of reading material called “Kindle Singles“. This new version of Kindle book is about 30 to 90 pages in length, or approximately 10,000 to 30,000 words. According to the developers, this is just about the right length to present an idea fully, in a soundly researched and skillfully crafted manner.


For a long time, writers had just two choices when determining the length of a particular work, either less than 10,000 words or more than 50,000. In other words, written matter had to either be short enough to be a magazine article or long enough so it could be sold as a book. “Kindle Singles” developers decided to provide a third option.


Vice President for Kindle Content, Russ Grandinetti, stated that, “Ideas and the words to deliver them should be crafted to their natural length, not to an artificial marketing length that justifies a particular price or a certain format.” He stated further that he is excited to see what publishers and proficient writers will make of this. Included in Amazon’s announcement is an appeal to people around the world with a passion for writing to make such literary work available for readers around the globe to enjoy.


Amazon will follow its policy of “Buy Once, Read Everywhere” for Kindle Singles but at a lower price than book length reading matter.


View the original article here

KATHY HUTSON: Sometimes, not sharing is a good thing – Royal Oak Daily Tribune

“What’s up?” asked Mary Beth. “You sound distracted.”


“I am,” I replied. “You called while I was waiting on the Kindle website.”


“Waiting, on the Kindle website? I thought you said that one of the reasons you like the Kindle so much is because you can download a book in a minute or two from almost anywhere.”


Mary Beth was right. One of the things I like best about my Kindle book reader is that I’m never without a book and that I can stockpile dozens of them when we travel. It’s one of those inventions I wish I’d had years ago when we took some of our longer trips. I remember being in Africa, finishing my last book, and hovering over my girlfriend, impatiently waiting for her to finish her book, so I could have it. I can’t tell you the number of books I’ve left in waiting rooms and on airplanes because I was done reading them, and I didn’t want to schlep them any farther.


On a flight to Mexico a couple of years ago, a flight attendant told me about a movement where people would sign the inside page of a book, leave it somewhere so someone else could pick it up, read it, sign it, and leave it again. The object was to see how many people had read the book. The same idea of a chain letter, but without the guilt.


But I digress.


Right after the Kindle came out, I bought one. I loved it so much I suggested my cousin give one to his wife for Christmas. They live in Windsor, and at that time people in Canada couldn’t get Kindles because the service that downloads books wasn’t available in Canada. But that didn’t stop my cousin’s wife. She figured out that she could drive close to the river, get a signal and download as many books as she could afford. She has hundreds of them on her Kindle.


And that’s why I was on the Kindle site when Mary Beth called. No sooner had I bought my first Kindle, than Amazon came out with the next version. It was small, lighter, and did more stuff than mine. Then, the price started coming down. I can now get a newer version for $100 less than my older version. Ain’t that always the way?


So, when I opened my e-mail one morning and saw that I could win the newest iteration of the Kindle by becoming a “friend” on Facebook, I bit. Amazon was giving away five Kindles to folks who signed up on Facebook. So, I clicked on the link in my e-mail and was taken to the Amazon site. And there I sat, waiting for the section where I could register to load — 5 minutes, 10 minutes, call from Mary Beth minutes, conference call minutes, and still the page didn’t load. I kept getting blue bars telling me the system was working.


I finally gave up, shut the site down and tried again, thinking there was something the matter. Nope, blue bars again. While I was waiting, however, I had time to look at the list of Facebook friends. There were 159,208 at that point. Doing the math — please check me on this since I failed math — my chances as of Friday morning at about 9:30 were 31,942 (I rounded up) to 1 against winning one of those Kindles. With “them” odds, I wouldn’t bet on a horse race or undergo a new medical treatment.


However, what an inexpensive — make that downright cheap — way to advertise. Every time Kindle posts on my Facebook page, the info ends up on the Facebook pages of all my friends.


The more I thought of it, the happier I was that I never signed up. What a rotten thing to do to my friends! I know how it feels to get stuff I don’t want on Facebook. I get lots of it. I didn’t used to, but they changed Facebook, and it became a way to tell folks what was going on with you in real time.


Now, while I will rejoice with you at the birth of a child and love pictures of your kids and their kids, call me heartless, but I really don’t care that some jerk cut you off on the way to work or that you’re planning on washing your hair. I also don’t care that you have to harvest beets in Farmville or they’ll rot in the ground.


I think I’ll pass on the opportunity for a chance at a new Kindle. I enjoy my old one. Besides, I can read books from my Kindle library on my Droid phone, and I can download some of my books to my computer. I’ll survive. And hopefully, my Facebook friends will thank me for not sharing their information with the world.


Kathryn Hutson is a Troy resident and freelance writer. Her column appears in the Daily Tribune on Sunday. You can follow her every thought on Facebook. NOT! But you can read her old columns online at www.dailytribune.com.

Amazon spruces up Kindle Android app, but… – CNET

Amazon's new Kindle app for Android lets you highlight and annotate text. Amazon’s new Kindle app for Android lets you highlight and annotate text.

(Credit: Amazon)

Amazon upgraded its Kindle application for reading e-books on Android devices, filling in holes such as search and annotations to better match what other versions of the app can do. The release only partially assuaged my case of Kindle crabbiness, though.

I’ve spent some quality time with the reader application, and I’m happy to see those features, but the one that bothered me more directly was the previous version’s inability to lock the screen orientation. I read in bed sometimes, with my head on a pillow, and to avoid reading it sideways I had to disable automatic screen reorientation for everything on the phone.

With version 1.1, the orientation lock option appears when you rotate the phone; touching it locks it in one orientation or the other.

Also new is the ability to look up words in Wikipedia and integration with Shelfari to show the book-oriented social network’s information such as a plot synopsis and character description.

Sounds nice. So why am I still feeling cranky about Kindle right now?

It’s partly my own fault, but I was double-charged for the same book.

I have a soft spot for Napoleonic war novels, and am plowing gradually through the Sharpe books by Bernard Cornwell. They’re not up to the standard of Patrick O’Brian’s tales of the naval adventures of Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, but I still like them, and reading about the infantry is a refreshing change of pace.

A couple of weeks ago, I dipped back into the series. I tried to pick up where I left off, which is more complicated than it sounds given that there are 21 books, they weren’t written in the chronological order of the protagonist’s life, they have very similar titles, and I took a year or so off from reading them. My error was repurchasing a book that it turns out I’d already read more than a year ago.

After I started reading and realized my error, I was annoyed to discover that Amazon’s ever-so-clever technology was unable to inform me the book was already in my library. It can remember my bookmarks, but not my collection. Although this probably isn’t a big problem overall today, the more people move to digital collections of books, video, magazines, and music, the more it will become a problem.

My annoyance was aggravated when I discovered that I paid more the second go around–$7.17 instead of $6.39. As far as I can tell, the bytes I downloaded aren’t 12.2 percent better.

I’m already testy enough that, unlike with a physical book, I can’t lend, give, or sell a Kindle book. Maybe it’s time to go back to reading free public-domain books with the Aldiko reader for a while.

Update 12:36 a.m. PDT September 23: Happily, it turns out double-charging for the same book isn’t supposed to happen, Amazon told me.

“That’s not the normal experience,” spokeswoman Kinley Campbell said. “Typically customers get a note that reminds them they already purchased the book.”

I’ll update this further if Amazon figures out what went wrong in my case.

Update 1:13 p.m. PDT September 24: I still haven’t heard anything further from Amazon’s representatives, but my customer support request for a refund went through–alas, not in a way I’d have expected.

Amazon refunded me the $6.39 initial purchase, not the $7.17 second order that shouldn’t have gone through and the one I specifically requested be refunded. I can bear the loss of 78 cents, but Amazon just irritated me more instead of smoothing my ruffled feathers.

View the original article here

5 Reasons You Need an Ereader – GeekSugar.com

I’m officially a Kindle addict. Although I’ve enjoyed my Kindle 2 for quite some time now, I couldn’t help but get a taste of the latest Kindle, which just so happens to be smaller and lighter than the previous model. It’s an amazing little gadget, and one that I keep in my bag at all times thanks to the simple and chic Amazon cases that turn my ereader into a Moleskin look-alike.


But you don’t have to get behind a Kindle in order to spring for an ereader — I have pals who own Nooks and Sony Readers, too, who have fallen equally in love. Why do you need to get one right now? I’ve got five reasons to start you off right here.


You’ll read more — In just the first week of carrying around the new, smaller Kindle, I’ve blown through two whole books, most of which I read during my commute.


Lots of freebies — There are tons of free titles in the Kindle book store, as well as the Barnes & Noble Nook store, for you to browse and download. Buying virtual books has never been cheaper!


See the rest of my reasons to grab an ereader after the break.

You’ll expand your horizons — I’m reading books I never thought I’d get a chance to read thanks to the previously mentioned points, but also because I’m able to choose a title and download in a snap. No trips to the bookstore required.They’re ultra portable — Like I said, I carry this thing everywhere, so I’m always able to whip it out and pick up where I last left off. Which means I . . . Never get bored — Those long commutes and flight delays are no longer tear-your-hair-out boring thanks to your ereader. Plus, downtime at home can be spent working through a new novel, instead of rotting your brain during reality TV marathons.

View the original article here

September 22nd, 2010 by Alisha Kinman – New Voices (blog)

Compiled of 304,805 letters, 42 lines on each page, and parchment sewn together, a Torah is born (Chabad). But what if that Torah could be created and shipped to you in a matter of minutes. Enter the Kindle.


With four weeks into school, I’ve seen JanSport backpacks look lighter, and paperbacks become obsolete. Inevitably, Amazon’s wireless Kindle has become every bookstore’s worst nightmare. For a grand total of $139, the new Kindle offers books, magazines, newspapers and blogs to buy, and save directly to the lean and sexy portable device.


After marveling at how people can switch from decades of physically holding a hardback to then switching to an eBook, I wondered if any sacred Jewish texts could be found for the Kindle.


Curious and impatient, I rushed to my laptop to search for my synagogue’s prayer book on Amazon’s website. Sure enough, I was given the option to tell the publisher that I would like “Siddur Sim Shalom” to be available on the Kindle. What was my next search item? You guessed it. But to my surprise, I didn’t find the Torah as a Kindle book option.


It then started to make me question, well, a lot of things. On Chabad’s website, it says that, on average, it takes a year to write an entire Torah scroll. Keeping in mind that this is dependent on every letter being written without error.


I started to think whether having a siddur or the Torah on the Kindle would be a bad idea. On one hand, everyone could own an electronic version of the Torah. One click, and virtual scrolls of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy could pop up on a screen. It would cut synagogue costs of having to purchase the scrolls and would save Rabbi’s the hassle of searching for each Torah portion. On the other hand, would anyone come to Shul to kiss the Torah? More importantly, would the Sefer Torah remain as sacred as it is now?


With unanswered questions, I left it with these thoughts:


At 6:30 p.m. every Friday, students at the University of Florida Hillel go to the second floor for Shabbat services. Almost subconsciously, each student grabs a siddur from a rolling cart and flips to the appropriate page. But that tiny, insignificant action is what Judaism continues to thrive on.


Tradition.


Regardless as to whether the Torah becomes the next iPad app or Kindle sensation, there is no substitution for the two heavy scrolls that we read, lift, carry and kiss every week.



View the original article here

Five reasons why the Wink will NOT beat the Kindle – OnlyGeek

EC Media recently unveiled the Wink e-book reader, the Wink XTS,  at an event in Delhi. Notwithstanding all the brave talk and aggro in the press booklet (“So, if some Californian tries to sell you a pad that you can read on, just Wink at him” it says at one place) and the fact that it seems undoubtedly superior to the Infibeam Pi (better build quality, a linked bookstore and Wi-Fi connectivity), we think it is nowhere near toppling the Kindle from its roost, notwithstanding all the urging of our patriotic hearts. No, this is not just a random appraisal. We managed to spend some time with the device and spotted five clear reasons why India’s latest e-book reader will come a cropper against the might of Amazon’s gadget.


1. Price and costs: The Wink XTS comes with Wi-Fi connectivity and costs Rs 11, 490. The Kindle 3 Wi-Fi + 3G comes for around Rs 12,000 in all, with free lifetime Internet access and is delivered to your doorstep. Yes, a Wink with 3G connectivity is also expected to be available shortly, but you will have to go and find a 3G connection yourself and cough up the costs for the connection and using it. Quite simply, the Kindle 3G+Wi-Fi seems much better value for money as you can access a bookstore at any time and buy books as long as there is network connectivity, without paying a penny for being online.


2. Library: We were told in the Wink brochure that “with millions of titles at your fingertips, you’re doing much more than self-service with Your Wink.” But a visit to the Wink Bookstore (www.thewinkstore.com) today showed 1,97, 244 titles – not just a far cry from the “millions of titles” but also well short of the 4,49,383 titles offered on the Kindle book store. Yes, the Wink does support more formats than the Kindle and also has support for Indian fonts (although it has only an English keyboard and supports voice to text only in English), but honestly, there are not enough Indian language books out there at the moment to make a difference . We also could not see any established magazines or newspapers on the Wink Store, although we are keeping our fingers crossed that they will appear at some stage. We also need to make a point about the bizarre classification of books in the Wink Store – “Plumbing: Instant Answers” and “The Interior Design Business Handbook” were the first two titles to show up in the “Sports and Adventure” category!


3. Speed: We do not care how fast the processor in the Wink XTS is – the stark fact is that the XTS is much slower than the Kindle 3. Books take longer to open and even page turns seem slower.


4. Battery life: The Wink XTS claims to go up to 300 hours of usage without wireless connectivity, the Kindle 3 (3G +WiFi model)claims to go for one month without wireless connectivity and ten days with wireless on. Even if these are exaggerated (and they normally are) figures, the difference is staggering.


5. Interface: The Kindle’s user interface seems a lot more intuitive than the Wink’s, which begins with icons but then leads up to folder icons that look right out of a computer. We also like the fact that the Kindle has navigation buttons on both sides, while the Wink has them only on the left, necessitating that it is best used when held in the left hand.


It is not that we think that the Wink is a poor product – it is by far the best e-book reader produced by an Indian company – but a Kindle killer, it ain’t. Not yet, anyway. We are rooting for you, fellas, but right now, we are sticking with the Kindle when it comes to reading books.


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