About

On e-Reader Tech News we track down the latest e-Reader 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 e-reader tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest devices and accessories.

Recent Comments

May 2010
M T W T F S S
« Apr   Jun »
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31  

Forbes for Kindle

Forbes Magazine is a bi-weekly publication that is available for $2.49 on the Kindle.  Overall, the reviews of the Kindle edition are good, but suggest that Amazon insert better tables and graphics.

Forbes was founded in 1917 by B.C. Forbes, a Scottish immigrant who lived and worked in South Africa and New York City prior to starting the magazine.  The original title was said to be Doers and Doings, but this phrase ended up as part of the official title: Forbes: Devoted to Doers and Doings.

Forbes was to be a magazine about doers and doings, “faithful to the facts and fair to the man whom it writes about” and written, as a blurb on the back cover promised, in a way “that does not necessitate the laymen engaging an interpreter.” more

Some of the topics covered every issue of Forbes include articles on the worlds of industry, finance, international business, marketing, law, taxes, science, technology, communications, investments, entrepreneurships, etc. This publication boasts more than 5 million readers in the business world on a global scale, including seven foreign language editions.

The Forbes Empire remains one of the largest and most successful family businesses of its kind in the world. Steve Forbes, once a political candidate for President of the United States of America, is the magazine’s Editor-in-Chief and has a column in every issue called “Fact and Comment” which is popular with Forbes readers.

Every year, Forbes publishes its very popular list of the richest people and the biggest companies on Earth. The magazine and the stories in each issue focus on the movers and shakers of the financial and business arena. Forbes is also the best of the business periodicals that are published today for discovering new investment ideas and is more investor focused than other business magazines. Today’s market is incredibly volatile and rapidly changing so Forbes is a great resource to keep abreast of the trends and issues concerning the market.

B&N for the iPad

This Thursday, perhaps a little behind the crowd but better late than never, Barnes & Noble(NYSE:BKS) put out their very own eBook Reader application optimized for the iPad.  The impact has the potential to be greater than one might expect at first glance, especially given the unexpected success the chain has had in marketing their nook eReader device against the more established Kindle.

The big selling point, from my point of view, is the extensive customization of the reading experience available to the user.  There are several premade themes for you to choose from, including fairly ideal settings for nighttime reading.  You can also make your own reusable themes by adjusting font size(10 available), font style(5 available), background and foreground colors, margin sizes, text justifications, and link coloring. Dictionary integration isalso  mentioned, which is fairly useful sounding.  The LendMe feature that B&N is becoming known for is intact in this reading application and users will be able to lend books directly from the iPad.  Page turning should be intuitive for most users, with simply a tap or swipe doing the job. In general, all the features we’ve come to expect and desire out of software like this and a few nice little additions.

While I would ideally like to see integration with the nook device, at least to the point of syncing up the last-read page in a given book, that’s still not to be found so far.  You do, however get integration with the PC app that will allow notes and progress to be saved between devices.  Overall, I’d say it’s a great offering and worth checking out if you happen to have an iPad that you like to read on.

Bezos Comments on Kindle’s Future

Tuesday, at the annual Amazon(NASDAQ: AMZN) shareholders meeting, Jeff Bezos made some comments about the state of the Kindle and what we can expect for the future.  While it may come as a surprise for some, the goal is consistency and refinement rather than revolution.  Many feel that the Kindle should be making every effort to become some sort of eInk iPad in order to survive, but Bezos emphasized the presence of the Kindle as a device for “serious readers” and insisted that this is not meant to be a multipurpose device so much as a specialty tool with a distinct purpose.  Future plans for Kindle development may include the color screen that some have been pushing for, but certainly not the next model, to judge from his comments about what a complicated technology it is to get right.  While it would, of course, be simple to make a device with a color LCD display, it would run counter to the purpose of the device; namely to create a reading device for those who love reading.

So what can we expect from the new Kindle?  It’s pure speculation, but I’d say we can look forward to a more refined UI, faster refresh rates, a lighter form, and a better screen-to-frame ratio.  Let’s not dwell on what gimmicks and alternate purposes we might want to add in and focus on what matters.  Namely, that the reading experience be as clean, immersive, and enjoyable as possible.

The Natural Page

Everybody has their little pet peeves when it comes to their favorite eReader.  Nobody ever has every feature quite the way we want it and nothing will ever be quite perfect.  One of the complaints I’ve heard surprisingly often with the Kindle has been its lack of normal page numbering.  While this seems like a simple sort of thing to deal with, since we are given a progress counter of sorts anyway, I can certainly understand it getting on the nerves of some.

In response, we have The Natural Page(TM) from Forbidden Stitch Press.  Their first book, Spirit in The Sky, is now available for download from the Kindle store for $9.99.  The basic premise is that by setting a page length at right around 400 words, it is possible to put a page number, formatted as (Page 12), at the bottom of each screen as the reader moves through their book.  It’s a novel concept, if you’ll pardon the pun.  While there’s little chance that this will work out as a long term solution, being rather un-dynamic and therefore breaking any time the reader changes font size or a Kindle DX, it’s a good thing to have around, most likely.  If nothing else, the reader response could point out to Amazon(NASDAQ:AMZN)  that this is a desired, and quite possibly easy to include, feature for a future patch.  The best way to get your point across about a product has always been to vote with your wallet, after all.

Foreign Affairs for Kindle

Foreign AffairsThe Foreign Affairs bimonthly magazine is available for Kindle for a monthly subscription of $1.99.  The reviews for the Kindle version of this journal are the best I’ve seen so far.  Foreign Affairs is a 200 page journal/magazine, and is text and content based, which makes it a good fit for the Kindle.

The Council on Foreign Relations set the idea in motion to start a quarterly magazine that would become what is now called Foreign Affairs. The first issue of Foreign Affairs was published in September, 1922.  Foreign Affairs includes expert analysis and serious discussion on international relations.  Some major international subjects throughout history include: World War II, U.S relations with China, the Vietnam War, the Cold War and more recently the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

In the beginning, there were two editors: Archibald Cary Coolidge of Harvard and Hamilton (Ham) Fish Armstrong.  Coolidge was near retirement age at 57, and Armstrong was just his late twenties.

Coolidge remained in Boston, loosely handling the magazine while still teaching at Harvard and managing his scholarly work. Armstrong ran the magazine’s New York office and handled all of the day to day issues and problems. He was also responsible for the magazine’s distinctive format, the choice of a very special light blue paper cover (from a remarkable Italian papermaker), the logo of a man on a horse. It was typical of the sense of style that Armstrong, son of a painter, Old New York and Hudson Valley to his fingertips, brought to this and all else throughout his life. More

The initial issue of Foreign Affairs included 12 point Caslon font, which was more legible than many other font types of the time.  The current editor, James Hoge, brought a more modern version of this font back in 1993.

Foreign Affairs has a reputation of recruiting authors who are not mainstream. One particular example involves W.E.B DuBois, a distinguished African American author who wrote five articles for the magazine.  His first article in 1925 helped define “the Color Line” as a major issue of the twentieth century.

Currently, Foreign Affairs is owned by the Council on Foreign Relations and their stock information is private.

A not-so-Novel Device from Pandigital

Pandigital, a company until now known for their digital photo frames, has entered the eReader market with their new device: the Novel.  This 7-inch tablet device features what is described as a responsive touchscreen, 1GB of internal storage, a 6-hour battery, a full web browser, and the ability to store and view both pictures and video, among other things.  At first glance, it’s honestly kinda cool.  Almost like getting an iPad without all the extra expense, maybe. Given the price, however, and the emphasis on it’s status as an eReading device, we find some shortcomings by comparison.

A $199.99 MSRP is a good start, however it hardly makes this a revolutionary introduction to the marketplace with the Kobo coming in at $149.99 and the anticipated nook Lite matching the $199.99 asking price.  Oddly enough, what is said to make the nook price drop so much in the move to the Lite model is the lack of 3G wireless support, which the Novel lacks in the first place.  Makes some sense.

Also, not to belabor a point that most people have probably realized on their own by now, it is an LCD display.  This means that while it’s likely to be pleasant to look at and great for displaying full-color texts(especially magazines and such that rely on this), it is going to be harder on the eyes than something like the Kindle.  No, I haven’t held one in my hands yet, but with LCDs it’s the nature of the beast.  Some are better than others, but for reading eInk puts them all to shame.

The thing that stands out the most for me, however, is the battery life.  One of the most pleasant parts of owning an eBook Reader is the fact that you can treat it just like a book for the most part.  My Kindle comes out once a week for charging, if that, and otherwise sits in my bag or on the bookshelf, always ready to go.  I don’t have to come home and worry about plugging things in.

Needless to say, I’m unimpressed by what’s being presented here so far.  It’s a neat little device, but it’s too late to make a splash.  There are better eReaders out there for the same price, better multi-purpose tablets for just a bit more.  Unless you spend extremely long periods of time with books or magazines that require color displays, this will probably be something you pass on.

Business Week for Kindle

The monthly price for the Kindle edition of Business Week is $2.49.  The magazine is delivered weekly and the plus side of the Kindle edition is that according to one Amazon reviewer, you get it every Friday.  The print edition hits newsstands on Monday.

The Kindle edition of Business Week does not have images and this is a drawback based on what is reflected in the reviews, however, the articles read much faster.

Business Week, now owned by Bloomberg, began publication on September 7, 1929.  Note that this date is less than two months before the stock market crash of 1929.  The stock market crash signaled the beginning of the Great Depression that plagued most of the 1930’s.

Business Week is known for reporting the latest business and economic trends.  The magazine is also known for predicting the trends of the future.  Business Week reported on women in the war work force during World War II, which was a revolutionary concept because before the war, it was virtually unheard of for women to work outside of the home.  Business Week covered the successes of Katharine Graham, CEO of Washington Post Company.  She was the pioneer of female CEO’s.

Business Week also stays on top of the Information Technology arena, which is a vibrant, constantly changing one.  When the magazine was first published, typewriters began to come and become an integral part of businesses.  During the 1960’s, the first computers started to appear, but only in a few places.  As time progressed, Business Week followed Bill Gates and his PC software endeavors in the 1980s and the Internet boom of the 1990’s.  During the 2000’s, Business Week has covered Facebook, Google, smartphones and all of the other latest gadgets we use today.

In 2009, Bloomberg LP, a company owned by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, bought Newsweek from its parent company McGraw-Hill for $5 million.  The official name for Business Week is now Bloomberg Business Week. more

The Nation for Kindle

The Nation is available on the Kindle for a good deal at $1.49 a month.  It is a weekly, mostly text based magazine.  The reviews are favorable and say that the Kindle version is easy to navigate.

The Nation will not be the organ of any party, sect, or body. It will, on the contrary, make an earnest effort to bring to the discussion of political and social questions a really critical spirit, and to wage war upon the vices of violence, exaggeration, and misrepresentation by which so much of the political writing of the day is marred. more

— from The Nation‘s founding prospectus, 1865

The Nation is a self described left leaning publication that was founded on July 6, 1865 by abolitionists, and is the oldest running weekly magazine in the US.  It covers topics such as Art, Politics, Music, Legal Affairs, Environmental Issues, Peace, and many others.  The magazine is primarily funded by donors called The Nation Associates whose names are listed in the end of the year issue.

The current editor of The Nation is Katrina vanden Heuvel.  She has been the editor, publisher and part owner since 1995. Notable contributors to The Nation include: Albert Einstein, John Steinbeck, who wrote the well known novels, The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, Martin Luther King Jr., poet Langston Hughes, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Kurt Vonnegut, author of Slaughter House Five, and many others.

The Nation runs a selection of regular columns with contributors who have been writing for over 20 years.  These columns include: Diary of a Mad Law Professor, Beneath the Radar, Deadline Poet, The Nation: a cryptic crossword and others.

Some of the major topics that are being covered in The Nation today are the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the plight of welfare mothers and the effects of the recent wars on the economy.  So, if you want a leftist view of current events, The Nation is the magazine to check out.

Science News for Kindle

Science News is a  biweekly publication and it is available for Kindle for $2.25 a month.  Considering that cost includes two issues a month, that is a really good deal.  The reviews are excellent. The pictures are included and can even be enlarged to be viewed in full screen mode. The reviewers also pointed out that the Kindle edition was very easy to navigate.

Science News was first published since 1922 under the name The Science News Letter by the nonprofit group, Society for Science & the Public in Washington DC. In 1966, the SS&P decided to change The Science News Letter to The Science News.

This award-winning biweekly news magazine covers important and emerging research in all fields of science. It publishes concise, accurate, timely articles that appeal to both general readers and scientists, reaching nearly 130,000 subscribers and more than one million readers.

Audible.com distributes an audio edition of Science News.  Having an audio edition is a great idea for the blind and for anyone who prefers audio over reading text.  The Kindle has a text to speech feature as well.  It is in the experimental stages and is up to the publisher as to whether to enable it.  At least the idea is out there. The online component of the magazine was introduced in 1996. More news from the Science News reporting team also appears at the www.sciencenews.org. Updated daily, this site covers all areas of science. more

Science News includes topics that are up and coming in the science world.  Some of the topics include the status of planets and moons in our solar system and others around us, genes, science and society, science and kids, science and young professionals. One particular topic of interest is the controversy about cell phones causing cancer.  So, the magazine covers a great deal of interesting stuff.

The Society for Science & the Public is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the public engagement in scientific research and education.

Amazon and ASUS Team Up

A while back, as some of you may remember, we mentioned the news that Barnes & Noble(NYSE: BKS) and HP(NYSE: HPQ) were teaming up to offer the B&N reader software as a prepackaged tool in many new HP computers.  Well, it looks like Amazon(NASDAQ: AMZN) has taken the cue and moved with it.  Today we got a press release announcing that, in the near future, Kindle software will come pre-installed on many ASUS models including the 1005PE line of Eee PC Netbooks and their UL Series of notebooks.

This isn’t necessarily quite as pointless as it seems at first glance.  While there is no doubt that preloaded software isn’t a new concept, the implied partnership in this area bodes well for upcoming months; rumors that the upcoming Eee Pad tablet device will be unveiled by the end of this month lend some weight to this development.  In spite of the shortcomings compared to an e-Ink display, these devices are useful and well-regarded as reading tools. Having an existing partnership for users’ ebook consumption needs addresses a key point in the obviously inevitable comparisons to the iPad that consumers will have to be making.  There is some hope, it can be hoped, that a valid competitor is about to enter the market.