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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.

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November 2011
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Meet the DecalGirl Artists Pt 2

I have to start with sad news our the 6-th post in  the series of weekly giveaways sponsored by DecalGirl.com here on BlogKindle – There is no winner at all. Just imagine – you were out of the only one click to get the prize – a free Kindle skin of your choice. Just to remember for our regular readers and new visitors: to be in the game you need to do the following: click on the twitter button on the left to retweet this post and follow @BlogKindle so that I can send you a personal message on twitter with redemption code in case you win. A winner will be randomly chosen next Friday and announced in the next post. Be with us on twitter.




Before getting into a few more bios of DecalGirl artists, I have some big news to announce:  DecalGirl has skins for the Kindle Fire and Kindle Touch available for pre-order now!  Just click here to go to our main Kindle page, and from there you are just a click away from seeing the skins that are available for the newest Kindles.  (Don’t forget:  If you don’t see something you like there, go to the menu and select “shop by design” and choose from any of over 2000 designs for your new Kindle.)

Now, back to the artists….

(Remember, you can click on any image in this post to go to the gallery page for that artist at DecalGirl.com, where you can see all of his or her available works.)

Dan Morris grew up in Carmel, New York.  He began studying art at age 11 under the tutelage of German sculptor Paul Rudin.  Dan continued his study of art in high school and later attended Temple University in Philadelphia, where he studied architecture.

Dan’s art is featured on fabrics, ceramics, greeting cards, calendars, and other products.  He has created designs for rock artists such as Blues Traveler, The Grateful Dead, The Band, and Bob Marley.  Among his work that is available at DecalGirl you will find animals, beach and seashore images, patriotic works, and 60’s inspired images reminiscent of pop art icon Peter Max.  Since this is being posted on Veterans’ Day I have chosen “Air Force Jets” to share here as an example of Dan’s work.

Speaking of 60’s inspired pop art, our next featured artist is the California surf culture inspired Chuck Trunks.  Chuck is originally from Philadelphia, where he studied fine art and art appreciation at the Barnes Foundation.  He later moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, receiving a B.S. in biochemistry and doing graduate work in molecular biology at North Carolina State University.  From there he moved to California where he spent most of his professional career at Amgen.

After 20 years in the biotech industry, Chuck left his job to concentrate on producing art and expanding his portfolio.  Bright colors and busy, movement filled themes are the hallmarks of much of his work.  “Sunset Break” is one of the newest of Chuck’s designs available on DecalGirl skins.

“Lollipop Labs” is the brand name of Shannon Rene “Shaz” Justice.  Shannon’s art career began early in her life when she won three art contests in elementary school.  She became a full time designer and illustrator in 2007 after a 10 year break from the art world.  She was chosen by Sony to help launch their “Sony/ATV Lyrical Inspirations Official Collection.”  For this she created illustrations inspired by five different songs, each by a famous Sony recording artist.

Shannon is working on a Gothic children’s book series, “The Ghoulie Scouts.”  She lists Tim Burton as one of her influences, and I think you can probably see that influence in her work “Christmas Box” featured here.

Lani Imre is one of the newest artists in the DecalGirl collection.  She has exhibited in many cities in Canada, Mexico, and the United States.  She has a diploma from the Kootenay School of the Arts in Nelson, British Columbia and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia School of Art and Design in Halifax.  In addition she has studied at Concordia University in Montreal and completed a semester of independent study in Berkeley, California.

Lani’s work focuses on large scale mixed media paintings, depicting a variety of female characters.  “Two Betties” is a great example of Lani’s art.

Until next week….

Kindle Fire Rooting Likely To Come Quickly

So, Amazon knows that some of you will be rooting the Kindle Fire by now.  It’s hard to imagine otherwise at this point, given the state of the competition and the community of Android enthusiasts who love to unlock the full functionality of the OS.  What’s fairly unusual about Amazon’s approach to this, though, is that they don’t really seem to care and won’t be making any major moves to prevent it.

For those unfamiliar with the term, “rooting” a device means gaining unrestricted access to the device’s software in order to, among other things, install a fresh or custom version of the operating system that is more in line with what you are personally interested in.  The Nook Color, for example, was widely regarded to be an impressive budget tablet after rooting despite its less than impressive default feature set at release.  Rooting is common practice on Android devices, especially when by default these devices prevent users from accessing the Android Marketplace or when manufacturers stop supporting software updates for older devices.  This is essentially the same process as Jailbreaking your iOS devices and the results are comparable.

Amazon representative Jon Jenkins, director of the Silk browser project for the Kindle Fire, admitted “It’s going to get rooted, and what you do after you root it is up to you.”  In the same interview he admitted to not even being sure if the bootloader was locked, which is just one of the many ways that Android is closed off to potential hackers.  This doesn’t mean that Amazon will offer any special support for such endeavors, and indeed it will still most likely result in a breach of warranty for anybody who chooses to go this route, but they don’t seem to see much profit in staying on top of any potential exploits and holes in the security.

It’s a novel approach for a major developer.  For the most part companies tend to overreact to what they view as a threat, often to the point of forcing normal users into less enjoyable experiences as a result.  It also implies a certain level of confidence in the experience being delivered.

Amazon is essentially gambling on the idea that the Kindle Fire’s unique interface and distinctness from the generic Android experience will be enough to keep users locked in.  They have spent a great deal of time and effort, by most accounts, in creating something distinct that customers will feel worth investing in.  Of course it will probably help that without the Kindle Fire‘s OS it will likely be difficult to make use of Amazon’s cloud services.  If the Silk Browser is genuinely faster than the competition as it claims to be then that alone would be enough to make you hesitate to switch.

Basically, if all you want is the hardware then you’re in luck.  Grab it, root it, play with normal Android all you want.  It provides a decent amount of power for the $199 price.  What many of us are hoping for though, and what I think Amazon is banking on, is that they have done a good enough job to make it not even worth the effort.