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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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January 2012
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Daily Deals: His Last Duchess and What’s Different

His Last Duchess

Amazon offer today only His Last Duchess by Gabrielle Kimm by $0.99

The chilling story of Lucrezia de Medici, duchess to Alfonso d’Este, His Last Duchess paints a portrait of a lonely young girl and her marriage to an inscrutable duke. Lucrezia longs for love, Alfonso desperately needs an heir, and in a true story of lust and dark decadence, the dramatic fireworks the marriage kindles threaten to destroy the duke’s entire inheritance–and Lucrezia’s future. His Last Duchess gorgeously brings to life the passions and people of sixteenth-century Tuscany and Ferrara.

Here is a review on this book:

I have read other books about the Medicis. Many of them irk me just a bit with their concentration on sex and depravity. Yes, we all have noted that the Medici family was prone to some perversity but that is rally only a small part of the story of this truly amazing Renaissance family. The history of Florence and the Medici family is, perhaps, not complete without some portrayal of their odd familial sexual perversion but it need not be the focus of a book to be interesting. At least on my opinion – and although I don’t consider myself a libertine by any stretch of the imagination- neither am I prude.
This book was a happy exception to the rule about fiction based on the Medici family. My favorite thing about the book is that it poignantly depicts the beauty that was Florence during the Renaissance. As a reader I can almost smell the air, breath in the scents of cooking and flowers, walk through sun warmed porticos and wander through darkened, shuttered room where anything might – and sometimes does -happen. This is a well researched book that shines with the basis of fact that makes reading good historical fiction so enjoyable and satisfying.
The story takes the reader through 16 year old Lucrezia de Medici’s ill fated marriage to the wealthy & handsome Duke of Ferrara, Alphonso D’Este. Yes, there is some sex – but it a part of the story – not the story itself. That makes all of the difference for me as a reader.
The book is well researched, well written with subtlety blended plot lines that will have you routing for Lucrezia as the book nears the end. It’s a compelling read that I certainly think can’t fail to please. I thoroughly recommend this as a very readable, enjoyable, and illustrative book about this famous family.  —-Marie “ZQuilts” (Friday Harbor, WA, United States)

 

What's Different

What’s Different is a fun educational game for young children (ages 3 and up). Join the adorable ladybug guide on a learning adventure that will keep your little ones thinking and guessing.

One of These Things Is Not Like the Others
When you begin playing, you’ll see four objects, three of which are the same in some way and one that is different. There may be three birds and one dog, for example, or three people smiling and one frowning. Tap the image you think is different and, if you’re correct, the ladybug will fly in celebration of your success and you’ll pass to the next set.

If you’re not quite sure which image is different from the others, tap the hint button. Hints are available in five languages. Meanwhile, enjoy fun, vibrant graphics full of flowers, leaves, and landscapes, as well as amusing sound effects. Track your score as you play through 125 sets and have fun!

Keep Kids Engaged and Thinking
Even very young children can learn and have fun with this app. They can view a wide assortment of colorful images in the gallery section including musical instruments, tools, furniture, animals and birds, fruits and other foods, clothing, and much more. These images are a great way to teach your children object names. Kids can also pinch and drag images for zoom and bounce effects. Featuring high-end graphics and animations and a friendly interface, What’s Different is a great app for kids.

SolarFocus Kindle Cover Revealed

Recently revealed at CES and available for sale on the 14th of January, the new SolarFocus Kindle cover seems to be an interesting solution to a problem that few, if any, people have run into.  This doesn’t mean that it will fail to impress as a gadget or that it is in any way useless, but one has to wonder how big the market will be for something like the SolarKindle cover.

Essentially this cover is meant to serve as recharging station, backup battery, and book light all in addition to the normal screen protection function.  Certainly not a bad thing.  The case’s internal battery carries a charge sufficient to add an additional three months of battery life to the Kindle 4 and can be recharged over the course of eight hours of direct sunlight exposure if you don’t have access to a powered USB port or adapter.  Even one hour is supposedly sufficient for as much as three days worth of reading time.

Sadly, there are any number of drawbacks.  In terms of basic use, there are a few obvious problems.  The addition of this cover more than doubles the weight of your Kindle, along with doubling its thickness and increasing the size of its footprint to slightly larger than the Kindle Keyboard.  The added size and weight remove a great deal of the appeal that the $79 Kindle carries.  The SolarKindle case itself also appears fairly unappealing, though some might disagree with me if they find solar panels and white plastic pleasant.  Perhaps the most striking thing about this case, however, is the pricing.  At $79 itself, it will double the cost of owning a Kindle.

I have nothing against a desire to be environmentally friendly, but this doesn’t make sense to me.  Given the fact that the Kindle 4 already runs for a minimum of three weeks at a time between charges (based on regular personal use on my part), how could it possibly be worth the inconvenience of the bulk and weight just to avoid having it find a wall outlet?

As of the Kindle 2, we already have analysis indicating that eReaders become environmentally friendlier than buying new books as of the 50th title or so.  Probably safe to assume that things have gotten even better by now, but even ignoring that entirely we have to assume that the impact of manufacturing these covers will be sufficient to increase the numbers.  How quickly can saving $0.25 or less per month in electricity help this case start to pay for itself under any metric?

Despite the hype surrounding the CES reveal, it seems unlikely that the SolarKindle will take off.  The price is too high and the benefits too few.  It isn’t as if you were adding months of battery life to a tablet or smartphone.  If you spend months at a time without access to power, this might be the case for you.  For anybody else it is not much better than an ostentatious nod toward “Going Green” that the Kindle, despite having numbers to support such a claim, fails to advertise on its own.