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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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December 2011
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Daily Deals: The Basement and Kung Fu Panda Holiday

The BasementToday Kindle Daily Deal is The Basement by Stephen Leather. The price is $0.99 only for today.

This book is about detectives Turner and Marcinko. They live in New York. And none are harder to figure out than the serial killer on the loose torturing and killing young women for NYPD detectives. In fact, right now, somewhere in the city, a woman is being held captive in a basement and it is up to the detectives to find her and the killer—before it’s too late.

As pressure mounts on Turner and Marcinko, their prime suspect is screenwriter wannabe Marvin Waller. He is becoming increasingly frustrated by his lack of success and the cops think he might be channeling his anger into murder—but he doesn’t seem to be at all concerned that they are hot on his trail. As Turner and Marcinko close in on Waller they have to wonder: is he the killer? And if he isn’t—who is?

Fusing shifting viewpoints with a growing sense of dread and almost unbearable suspense, the UK’s thriller master Stephen Leather arrives on the shores of the United States with The Basement, his most terrifying work to date.

Some words about the Author.

Stephen Leather is one of the UK’s most successful thriller writers. He was a journalist for more than ten years on newspapers such as The Times, the Daily Mail and the South China Morning Post in Hong Kong. Before that, he was employed as a biochemist for ICI, shovelled limestone in a quarry, worked as a baker, a petrol pump attendant, a barman, and worked for the Inland Revenue. He began writing full time in 1992. His bestsellers have been translated into more than ten languages. He has also written for television shows such as London’s Burning, The Knock and the BBC’s Murder in Mind series. The Stretch and The Bombmaker were filmed by Sky One.

 

Kung Fu Panda Holiday

I do love Panda. And I like everything that connected to Panda. So I’m ready to give this game a positive review in advance.

What is this game about:

Young Po the Panda is very excited when Master Shifu chooses him to be the host of the Winter Feast–until he finds out that he can’t bring his father along. What should Po do? Kids are sure to be entertained by the beautiful imagery and funny story of “Kung Fu Panda Holiday,” an iStoryTime e-book based on the movie of the same name.

Children and adults alike will relate to Po’s situation as he deals with his dilemma. Po has always spent the holidays with his dad, but no outside guests are allowed at the Winter Festival. How Po handles this conflict contains a valuable lesson that kids can learn from.

Anyone who enjoyed the “Kung Fu Panda” movies by DreamWorks Animation will be delighted that this e-book features ccicis,olorful stills straight from the film. It also contains dialogue from the movie’s leading voices, kincluding Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, and Dustin Hoffman.

The app offers three ways for kids to enjoy the book. Confident readers can delve into the story themselves and change the scene with a single tap. Read to Me mode will read the story to the child but let them control the pace. In Auto Play mode, the app reads the story from start to finish–a great option for very young children.

Just like a sing-a-long song, the words in the story are highlighted as they are read, which helps children develop associations between written text, spoken dialogue, and visual images. Kids will be entertained as they improve their cognitive skills with this engaging app for Android.

 

Kindle Fire & Reading: Making The Transition From E Ink

Now that the Kindle Fire is out and making a splash on the tablet marketplace, a commonly heard description by people who aren’t trying to set it up as the next iPad is that it’s “Amazon’s newest, most advanced eReader”.  Now, in the interest of complete honesty from the start I will admit that nothing has managed to compare to the experience of E Ink Pearl for me when it comes to reading.  That doesn’t necessarily mean that the Kindle Fire is horrible for reading, just that for people who happen to have access to both technologies  it will likely remain preferable to use the dedicated eReader.

What if you only want, or can only afford, to have one device on hand?  The Kindle Fire will work just fine.  Thanks to some of the options for display, it is almost pleasant to read even though it’s an LCD and there are some features that work even better with the tablet than they would on the admittedly slower eReaders.  Moving from the Kindle 3, for example, to the Kindle Fire will require some adjustments, however, which it might help to be aware of.

Library

Your books are now arranged a bit differently.  Unlike on the other Kindles, which show you the books you actually have on your device unless you go out of your way to look at the “Archived Items” category, initially a Kindle Fire will display the Cloud view of your library.  What this means is that every book you currently own through Amazon will be displayed, regardless of whether or not they have been downloaded.  Kindle App users will likely be familiar with the concept.  To download a particular book, just tap it.  If you are interested in looking at only books that are already downloaded, though, such as in cases where WiFi is not available, there is a tab at the top of the screen called “Device”.  This will narrow it down for you.

Reading

The Kindle Fire’s reading app is pretty nice, all things considered.  Tapping the bottom of the screen will pull up a menu bar and slider.  The slider allows navigation by location or percentage.  The menu bar has the familiar “Aa” button that pulls up a Font Style tab to let you choose between all eight font sizes, three different options each for line spacing and margin width, and a few color schemes.  Those first two will mostly be a matter of preference while the latter contains the vital “white text on black screen” option that most people will prefer for extended reading.  This button will also pull up a tab for Typeface selection, of which the Kindle Fire has eight.

Interaction

Users of older Kindles will also be pleased to find how much easier it is to interact with the text.  Just hold down on a word to select it or drag across an area to make a larger selection.  The option will appear to highlight, annotate, or search based on that.  The search can take place through Google, Wikipedia, or within the text itself.

Overall it’s unlikely you will run into many problems adjusting to the Kindle Fire.  It might not be the perfect reading device, but it does the job better than most.  Feel free to leave a note if you have any questions about adjustment I haven’t touched on.  I’ll try to answer any questions that pop up.