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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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Daily Deals: I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can and Shopper’s Paradise HD

I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can

I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can by Barbara Gordon is today book within Daily Deals on Amazon. Today price is $0.99.

Barbara had it all: a successful career as an award-winning documentary film maker, a strong relationship, and plenty of friends. But a lingering problem with anxiety drew her into a dangerous Valium addiction. Her story is an honest, gripping look into addiction, her ill-advised cold-turkey withdrawal and the hospitalizations that followed, the worst the psychiatric field has to offer, and her painful yet persistent pathway back to functioning. Through it all, Gordon is a beacon of hope, actively choosing life over the alternative, even after journeying to the darkest depths of the human psyche.This beautifully written classic is a must read for anyone battling their own psychological demons, anyone in the mental health field, and everyone in need of an inspiring survivor story. Praise for I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can:Spellbinding seems too mild a word. -Detroit Free PressGordon’s story rings with authenticity. -Washington PostNot only a frightening account of the tortured journey of her mind and soul, but a beautiful story that is filled with life and hope. -Philadelphia Bulletin

Some words about the Author

Barbara Gordon is the author of the best-selling drug-addiction memoir, I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can. In addition to having been a writer for NBC’s The Today Show, Barbara is also a three time Emmy award winning film maker. She has written for Parade and numerous other magazines. She has given scores of lectures and speeches throughout the US.

 

Shopper's Paradise HD
For those who loves to play in financial games Amazon give good chance to get Shopper’s Paradise HD for free within Appstore Deals.

Become a retail tycoon and outsmart your competition before the last customer leaves town. In Shopper’s Paradise HD, it’s up to you to build a retail empire that will rule the business world.

Empire Builder

Build or buy stores, movie theaters, hotels, and warehouses. Hire and manage employees, and get the best locations. Keep tabs on specific employees such as cashiers, clerks, and managers. Schedule sales to get more customers in the doors. Watch your town grow as you grow a variety of businesses.

Homeland Security

Make sure you don’t suffer from “inventory shrinkage” from thieves. Hire police officers to keep your complex safe. Maintain your properties and catch shoplifters that cut into your profits.

Shopper’s Paradise HD features a variety of maps such as Easyville, Pharmacity, and Snake Road, among other scenic locales. Play at three different levels of difficulty. Can you build that Shopper’s Paradise that every retail maven dreams about?

Kindle vs Playbook: Is the BlackBerry Back in the Race?

While the big talk in tablets lately has been all about newly affordable Android based devices like the Kindle Fire and Nook Tablet, RIM has yet to drop entirely out of the race.  Their previous effort, the BlackBerry PlayBook, failed to excite as much interest as they had hoped (partly due to the lack of basic functionality like an email client).  This past week, however, brought us the new PlayBook 2.0.  It is a new and improved device on a completely upgraded operating system that packs possibly the most impressive performance available at the moment in the $200 area.  Will this be enough to propel the floundering RIM into the lead?

While the Nook Tablet has done a fairly good job of demonstrating that numerically superior hardware isn’t necessarily what you need to come out on top in the tablet market, the new PlayBook is a completely different experience.  In addition to addressing the problems that their original tablet OS offering had RIM has included support for Android app conversion by developers, a fully featured web browser at least the equal to anything else available on a mobile device today, and more.  The hardware includes everything one would expect based on similarly priced competition, along with Bluetooth support, GPS, microphone, dual HD cameras, HDMI 1080p output, and slightly better internal speakers than other offerings.  This isn’t an insignificant upgrade and the performance in a hands-on test backs it up quite well.

The only thing working against the BlackBerry comeback seems to be the lack of a competitive ecosystem.  While there are certainly apps available, many of those that you would expect to see, based on top sellers in Apple, Google, or Amazon’s App Stores, are simply absent.  Of those that do make an appearance, there are rarely free versions since RIM does not permit any sort integration with the company’s own advertising service and there are still questions among developers as to the long term viability of third party advertising integration based on early reports that such would not be supported on PlayBook OS 2.0.  For now you can get a great device with a fair number of apps, but the entire ecosystem is smaller than Amazon’s in-house Android App Store which is itself often complained about as being too sparsely populated.

Unlike the original PlayBook, this is not a device that is shipping with a large number of inherent flaws as best I can tell.  If it came down to choosing right this minute then the Kindle Fire is still probably the better choice based on useful apps, but that will not necessarily always be the case.  The biggest factor will be user adoption.  If enough BlackBerry tablets get sold, developers will start paying attention and the ecosystem will flourish.  RIM already claims that their developers make better returns than any other platform’s, which could be a big plus given a larger user base.  The trick will be getting the word out and keeping people interested in the near future.  At the same price as a PlayBook, customers can grab a $200 Kindle Fire and have most of what they want right this minute rather than having great hardware without the desired functionality.  We’ll have to keep an eye out to see how they choose to address this.

Daily Deals: Lament and My First Tangrams

Today Amazon advertises debut novel by Maggie Stiefvater “Lament: The Faerie Queen’s Deception (Gathering of Faerie)“. This book has many positive reviews (140) and average mark is 4.2 What is very good for Amazon. The price within Kindle Daily Deals is $0.99.

Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception (Gathering of Faerie)Sixteen-year-old Deirdre Monaghan, a gifted harpist who regularly plays for weddings and other events, has the kind of stage fright that makes her physically ill before a performance, which is an inauspicious way to start a romance; but while vomiting before a competition she meets a gorgeous boy who comes into the restroom to hold her hair. He is Luke Dillon, a flautist who proceeds to accompany her in a truly stellar performance. As four-leaf clovers start appearing everywhere, Deirdre develops telekinetic powers and encounters strange, unworldly people who seem to bear her ill will. Her best friend, James, also a talented musician; her beloved grandmother; and her mother all are in danger, as Deirdre is targeted by the queen of Faerie. Deirdre eventually discovers that she is a cloverhand, a person who can see the denizens of faerie, and Luke, not the only immortal who has her in his sights, is a gallowglass, an assassin assigned by the queen of Faerie to kill Deirdre but who falls in love with her instead. This beautiful and out-of-the-ordinary debut novel, with its authentic depiction of Celtic Faerie lore and dangerous forbidden love in a contemporary American setting, will appeal to readers of Nancy Werlin’s Impossible (2008) and Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. Illustrations by Jeffrey are fitting. Grades 9-12. –Diana Tixier Herald

Some words about the Author

Maggie Stiefvater’s life decisions have revolved around her inability to be gainfully employed. Talking to yourself, staring into space, and coming to work in your pajamas are frowned upon when you’re a waitress, calligraphy instructor, or technical writer (all of which she’s tried), but are highly prized traits in novelists and artists (she’s made her living as one or the other since she was twenty-two). Maggie now lives a surprisingly eccentric life in the middle of nowhere, Virginia, with her charmingly straight-laced husband, two kids, and neurotic dog.

If you are interested in this book click here to get to Amazon site.

 

My First Tangrams

Also you can download from Amazon site the following game My First Tangrams for free. This deals words only one day. Tomorrow Amazon will make new deal.

Smart Fun

My First Tangrams includes 36 Tangram-style puzzles that have been simplified for young children. Featuring vibrant colors, smooth animations, and a clean interface, this app helps kids recognize shapes and objects while improving spatial skills and having fun.

Bells and Whistles

Puzzles appear on a wooden backdrop, with the puzzle outlines on the left and colorful puzzle pieces randomly arranged on the right. The pieces are already properly oriented, so rotation is not required. Simply touch a puzzle piece and drag it to the appropriate space. If correctly placed, you’ll be rewarded with the sound of a bell.

Puzzle-Solving Star

My First Tangrams features kid-friendly objects including a boat, a fish, a house, a flower, and much more. You’ll also enjoy relaxing background music while you play. Best of all, you’ll feel like a puzzle-solving star when you hear the applause after successfully completing each puzzle. Have fun learning shapes and solving puzzles with My First Tangrams.

Amazon Kindle vs Acacia: Patent Troll Tries Again

By now Kindle users have become familiar with the idea of sponsored screen savers on their eReaders when the devices are on standby.  They are generally unobtrusive, don’t get in the way of the reading experience, and can even offer some decent deals from time to time when you get lucky.  Not many people argue against them anymore, especially since Amazon now allows users to pay the price difference between a Kindle with ads and a Kindle without ads to have the whole mechanism disabled entirely.  Unfortunately, the idle screen’s ads have opened Amazon up to a claim of patent infringement from one of the biggest “Patent Trolls” in operation.

The company making the accusation, Network Presentations Solutions, is a shell company operated by Acacia Research Group.  Acacia Research Group, as some might remember from last October, has taken on Amazon before with regard to Kindle devices.  Last time it was a variety of issues regarding the Kindle Fire.  This time around, they have acquired the rights to a patent for any personal computing device that shows ads on a screen after a certain designated period of idling.  Naturally this would include all recent Kindle offerings, in addition to other companies such as Kobo that have followed in Amazon’s footsteps, one would think.

What are they hoping to accomplish with this suit?  The requested ruling would require Amazon to pay a substantial penalty, recall and destroy every Kindle device ever sold with the Special Offers screen savers, issue a copy of the court ruling along with an admission of wrongdoing to everybody who has ever owned a Kindle, and generally appear contrite and humbled.  More realistically, Acacia is hoping for a substantial payday when Amazon settles to avoid the potentially huge ramifications of losing.  Patent Trolls are not held in particularly high regard at the moment, but that doesn’t mean they always lose in court.  Amazon isn’t exactly the most beloved company around at the moment either, after all.

While there seems to have been no word as to what, if any, progress has been made on the last Acacia vs Amazon lawsuit, it is a fair assumption that Amazon is not in the habit of quietly accepting this sort of thing.  They have placed a great deal of faith in the Kindle line, both eReader and Tablet offerings, and such vaguely applicable patents have questionable standing when held up to scrutiny.  Remember that a software patent holder needs to be able to prove that its patent involves a non-obvious solution to a problem.  It is hard to say whether or not advertisements in place of screen savers would really qualify in the eyes of the court.

Chances are good that this is not the last time we’ll be seeing Amazon hit with patent litigation.  Patent Trolling is huge money and there is a lot of profit to be made in anything somebody can make stick to the Kindle.  With the next generation of Kindle Fire just around the corner and the possibility of a Kindle Phone being whispered about in vague rumors about the distant future, Amazon is just going to be even more open to these things.  Hopefully the added expense of an occasional settlement or legal dispute won’t be enough to scare them off of ongoing hardware development.

Daily Deals: A Noble Cause and Whiteboard Pro

A Noble Cause

For thrillers lovers Amazon offers a good chance to get the following book: A Noble Cause by J. Gregory Smith just for $0.99.

Mark Noble plans a surprise proposal to his beautiful girlfriend during a romantic Caribbean vacation. But before he can pop the question, his girlfriend disappears, and his father–a world famous celebrity doctor who seems to have perfected mind-control–is killed in a mysterious fire back home in Pennsylvania.

When Mark investigates both his girlfriend’s disappearance and his father’s death, he realizes that the two events are connected. He attempts to unravel the mystery with the help of his eccentric grandmother and the courageous crew–one a former Navy SEAL–of her luxury yacht, putting all of their lives in danger as Mark faces a rich and powerful foe determined to pry from Mark a secret he doesn’t even know he possesses.

Breakneck pacing and taut plotting mark Greg Smith’s sophomore effort, a top-notch thriller with keen intelligence and shocking twists that create a brooding, vice-like compression that leaves little room to breathe.

 

Whiteboard Pro

Jot down ideas, sketch plans, or just doodle with Whiteboard Pro, an Android app that offers a simple way to let your creativity roam. Draw shapes and erase them, just like on a real whiteboard. Choose from a variety of easy ways to fine-tune your drawings, and share your creations with your friends.

The Board That’s Never Boring

Whiteboard Pro is all about simplicity. The toolbar interface is a snap to use, and it makes creating a drawing quick and intuitive. Whether you want to express your inner creative self or just play a quick game of tic-tac-toe, you’ll find it easy to get started.

Don’t be fooled by the app’s ease of use, however; there are still plenty of opportunities to customize your work. Choose from four instant shapes (line, rectangle, circle, and freehand), four colors (black, red, blue, and green), and three line widths. It’s easy to set these features and create one-of-a-kind images with very little legwork.

As you draw, use the pan and zoom features to add details. Saving, opening, and deleting files is a breeze, and the “infinite undo” feature means you can modify your work at any step along the way.

When you’ve completed your masterpiece, you can share it via e-mail, picture message, Bluetooth, Evernote, Catch, and more. You can also export any drawing to PNG, JPG, or SVG formats.

Amazon Kindle Loses Access to 5,000 Titles in IPG Dispute

In response to some arm twisting by Amazon, the Independent Publishers Group has decided to take a stand and pull all of their titles from the Kindle Store.  While the Kindle is a great device and the Kindle platform is possibly the best on the market for the consumer right now, this is a move that both makes sense and needed to happen.  The only question now is whether or not either side will be willing to explore the options presented by the situation rather than simply holding their ground and waiting to see who blinks first.

Basically, the problem is over pricing.  The Big 6 Publishers have enough clout to force Amazon to accept the Agency Model price scheme with all of their titles.  I’ve gone into why this is not a good thing plenty of times before and will do so again in the future, so it isn’t really worth indulging in today.  Smaller publishers, including the IPG, sell their content to Amazon wholesale.  This means smaller profits on each individual sale and it allows Amazon to exercise more control over the prices offered to readers.  This is also not necessarily a good thing, as in this case when Amazon is using their position as the main supplier of eBooks in the world to force their suppliers to offer more favorable terms than they can afford.

So we have Amazon wanting to lower prices on Kindle Editions and the IPG wanting to maintain their profits at a level roughly similar to what is made off of print books (based on statements taken from the IPG’s main site).  What we really need is not for one side to win over the other so much as a more adaptive model to emerge.  It makes sense for new releases of Kindle books to be priced similarly to their printed counterparts.  There should always be a premium on new media like that, although the savings inherent in using the eBook format should still be reflected in the price for readers.  When it comes to older titles, though, something else needs to be done.  Unlike physical reprinting, there is no ongoing cost of production.  Aside from the author royalties, they are pretty much pure profit for publishers and distributors.  Perhaps a tiered system would make more sense?

Regardless of any proposals for revamping the system, this is probably going to end messily somehow.  While the loss of a mere 5,000 eBooks won’t make a huge dent in the Kindle’s selection, the press surrounding the drama taking place won’t help Amazon any.  They are as likely to be persuaded to offer somewhat better terms just for the PR boost as to ignore the problem entirely.  On the other hand, the IPG is going to be hurting fairly quickly from the lack of Amazon as a channel.  They can’t last forever.  Where this goes will be based on the support they receive and the pressure that can be brought to bear on Amazon.  If you get the chance, lend your support in some way.  They’re going to need it, and Amazon is going to need an overhaul of some sort sooner or later to keep quality content coming in for their Kindle customers.

Daily Deals: Slumberland and Radiant HD

Slumberland: A Novel

Today Amazon unveils a new Kindle book deal: Slumberland: A Novel by Paul Beatty just for $1.99.

Critical darling Paul Beatty’s highly original, widely praised novel of race, identity, and underground music. After creating the perfect beat, DJ Darky goes in search of Charles Stone, a little know avant-garde jazzman, to play over his sonic masterpiece. His quest brings him to a recently unified Berlin, where he stumbles through the city’s dreamy streets ruminating about race, sex, love, Teutonic gods , the prevent defense, and Wynton Marsalis in search of his artistic-and spiritual-other.

Ferocious, bombastic, and laugh-out-loud funny, Slumberland is vintage Paul Beatty and belongs on the shelf next to Jonathan Lethem, Colson Whitehead, and Junot Diaz.

Some words about the Author

Paul Beatty is the author of two novels, Tuff and The White Boy Shuffle, and two books of poetry, Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce. He is the editor of Hokum: An Anthology of African- American Humor. He lives in New York City.

 

Radiant HD

Today only you can get the following game for free: Radiant HD

Radiant HD gives you arcade shoot ’em up goodness the way you like it, blending retro tropes like limited movement (right and left only) with modern takes on the genre such as upgradeable weapons and on-screen power-ups.

Battle on one of three difficulty settings through a three-part story with over 100 levels. Collect power-ups, upgrade an impressive arsenal, and dodge your foes to stay alive. Destroy over 10 huge bosses like the Planet Cruncher, the Hunters, and the Supervisor. The challenges may be steep, but the power at your disposal is staggering.

Blasting asteroids, groups of baddies, and larger enemies can reveal credits in 25, 50, and 100 increments. Collect these and every few stages you’ll get a chance to spend them on upgrades to your guns. Each weapon can go up to level 10, and the rate of fire and number of rounds fired with each shot will improve as you buy upgrades. Invest wisely in each of these interchangeable extensions like you would in a role-playing game to smooth out your weaknesses and prepare for any challenge that may come your way.

Radiant HD doesn’t just ask you to dodge rocks and return enemy fire; it rewards you for your destruction and smooth moves with helpful power-ups. Like collecting credits, other power-ups may appear when you destroy your enemies. Unlike credits, though, these goodies will sate your need for instant gratification.

This HD version of Radiant is optimized for tablets and high-end handsets (Galaxy Tab, Galaxy S, DROID, Desire, Incredible, myTouch 4G, G2, EVO, Nexus One, Nexus S, etc.). Try the non-HD version if you have a lower-spec device.

Amazon Kindle Borrowing Scares Penguin Away From Helping Libraries

Obviously there has often been a bit of strain in the relationship between publishers and libraries, much of the time with arguments along the same lines as those currently used against media piracy, but eBooks have been an especially touchy issue.  To illustrate how serious they are about disliking eBooks in general and the Kindle in particular, with regard to lending at least, Penguin has chosen to abandon eBook availability in libraries entirely for the time being.  This is hardly the first time a major publisher or even Penguin in particular has reacted publicly against eBook lending, but it could be the first time there was anything resembling a sane rationale behind it.

At the moment, the vast majority of libraries in the US offer any eBooks they have available to borrow using the OverDrive service.  As essentially the only major platform that libraries have the option of using, pulling out of OverDrive means pulling out of libraries.  Unfortunately, publishers see the partnership that this service has developed with Amazon to provide Kindle compatibility as being damaging.  Currently when a Kindle owner wants to borrow a library book, they pass through Amazon’s web page.  This allows the retailer an opportunity to offer suggestions or advertisements and thereby potentially monetize library lending.  There is ample evidence that publishers really dislike Amazon and the Kindle platform in general already, and this extra bit of opportunity is even more of a problem than the already distasteful fact that libraries let people read without spending money.

Sadly, this could spur some of the competition for OverDrive into a more prominent position.  3M, for example, is working on ways to take a part of that market for themselves with a new service by giving publishers more of what they want in terms of control.  What do publishers want?  Mostly they want things complicated.  An oft-expressed complaint about eBook lending is that it is too fluid.  Borrowers should be required, they maintain, to be at the library when they borrow at the very least and even that is a minimum standard.  As much friction as possible is desired so that eBooks do not become more convenient than paper books.  The 3M example is particularly relevant since they are discussing offering kiosks that users would be required to use any time they want to borrow an eBook.  While it defeats the point for many people, these publishers would generally prefer them not to borrow in the first place anyway.

Now, pulling out of OverDrive over Amazon’s sales opportunities makes sense in a few ways given the concern about the company’s increasing influence and the fact that other OverDrive partners don’t have similar options.  By offering no alternatives and openly embracing a philosophy of obstruction regarding eReading as a whole, however, Penguin is sending a message to their customers that they just don’t care who gets hurt by their sluggish reaction to new media.  They want to drive people away from the Kindle by making life harder for Kindle users, but really this just damages their own position.  Making a move like this without offering libraries other options was at best premature.

Daily Deals: Gold Box Deal of the Day: “Best American” Series 2011 and Aces Traffic Puzzle Pack

The Best American Short Stories 2011: The Best American Series

Today Amazon shares with set of books – “Best American” Series 2011. The “Best American” series is the premier annual showcase for the country’s finest short fiction and nonfiction. Today only, the 2011 anthologies of short stories, science & nature writing, essays, “nonrequired reading,” mystery stories, travel writing, and sports writing are just $1.99 each. Here are short description of each book in the collection with some reviews on them.

The Best American Short Stories 2011 includes:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Megan Mayhew Bergman, Jennifer Egan, Nathan Englander, Allegra Goodman, Ehud Havazelet, Rebecca Makkai, Steven Millhauser, George Saunders, Mark Slouka, and others.

“I am a big fan of short fiction, and I am always looking for opportunities to read a good short story or two. In the years gone by, when I was not as busy with my work, I’d probably read a story or two a week, mostly in the New Yorker or some similar magazine with a literary bend. Recently, though, I’ve drifted away from those publications and don’t get a chance to read short stories as often as usual. I still make a point of going through the “Best American Short Stories” collections at the end of each year. They keep me abreast of what has been written lately, but each year’s edition can swing widely in terms of the quality of writing. I felt that in recent years stories, incredibly literary and well-written as they were, have become stale and too workshop-like. Fortunately, after reading this year’s collection I have a renewed sense of optimism about American short story. In my opinion, this is perhaps the best collection in three to four years and well worth reading.

The first few stories in this collection did not really impress me all that much. The American authors still seem to be more obsessed with the inner states of the protagonists minds, interpersonal relationships, and overall moods and sentiments than they are with the plot development and a delivery of just good old storytelling. However, the quality of the stories picked up and soon enough I was reading stories that had a lot of emotional impact and had you thinking and coming back to them for days after I finished reading them. A few of the stories that stood out for me were Nathan Englander’s “Free Fruits for Young Widows,” Ricardo Nuila’s “Dog Bites,” and George Sunders’ “Escape From Spiderhead.” Many others took chances with the narrative style, plot twists, and the points of view. They were as interesting and provocative as they were well written. Overall, I am really happy with this year’s choices and hope to see many such good stories in the upcoming edition of this collection.” –Dr. Bojan Tunguz

The Best American Mystery Stories 2011: The Best American SeriesThe Best American Mystery Stories 2011 includes:
Lawrence Block, Brendan DuBois, Loren D. Estleman, Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin, Ed Gorman, Richard Lange, S. J. Rozan, Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins, and others

“Ranging from homespun to lush and tropical, this year’s crop of 20 stories offers a variety of tastes and textures.

But exotic doesn’t always mean compelling. Charles McCarry’s “The End of the String,” set in Africa, lumbers like an elephant toward a conclusion as momentous as a mouse. “Diamond Alley,” Dennis McFadden’s quiet tale of small-town teens confronting the murder of a popular classmate, packs a far greater punch. Family stories are equally powerful. In Christopher Merkner’s chilling “Last Cottage,” a young couple tries to outlast a neighbor determined to oust them from their waterfront home. Across cultures, mothers protect. In Richard Lange’s “Baby Killer,” Blanca struggles with an acting-out granddaughter. And although embarrassed by her profession, a Chinese mother helps her detective daughter in S.J. Rozan’s “Chin Yong-Yun Takes a Case.” An absentee father’s return challenges a wife who’s moved on in Joe R. Lansdale’s “The Stars Are Falling.” But Chris F. Holm shows in “The Hitter” that sometimes the greatest threat is to the dads themselves. Families don’t always grow through birth or marriage, as Beth Ann Fennelly and Tom Franklin reveal in “What His Hands Had Been Waiting For.” And of course, some families are just plain toxic, as Lawrence Block’s “Clean Slate” and Loren D. Estleman’s “Sometimes a Hyena” aptly demonstrate. But nasty behavior isn’t just a family affair. Eric Barnes shows teenagers wreaking havoc for no particular reason in his slow-moving “Something Pretty, Something Beautiful.” And in “A Long Time Dead,” Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins show that evil can turn up where it’s least expected.

It has its highs and lows, but the best of Coben’s Best is really first-rate.” — Kirkus

 

The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011: The Best American Series The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2011 includes:
Atul Gawande, Jonathan Franzen, Deborah Blum, Malcolm Gladwell, Oliver Sacks, Jon Mooallem, Jon Cohen, Luke Dittrich, and others

“I’ve been reading this series for more than ten years. It has consistently been the single best way for the harried resident of the 21st century to come up to speed on what is going on in the crazy, achingly beautiful, wonderful world of well done science. This issue….it is simply the best ever. You want thrills and chills? Occasionally like to read something scary enough to give you a tingling spine and goosebumps? Do you enjoy having your mind subjected to a scientifc Shock and Awe campaign from time to time? Are you the type that has been known to lapse into a nirvana like state when exposed to repeated “Eureka!” moments, pummeled into bliss by overdoses of intoxicating insights? Well, then. If your answer is yes to any or all of the above questions, drop that trashy beach novel, toss that overly serious mono-topic non-fiction tome that you’re dutifully, with all the determination of a nuclear powered icebreaker, forging through, and buy this book. Buy it yesterday, and enjoy it for many tomorrows.

I’m not going to list each story’s theme. But here’s what you can expect: the best contemporary science and nature writers of 2011 allow you to see outward into the universe with the power of the Hubble Space Telescope, look inward with the detail of tunneling electron microscopy, and most importantly of all, allow you to look into an extremely highly polished mirror. And you’ll see in this mirror, in exquisite detail, how we humans react when confronted with birth, life, sex. How we act when our desire for gastronomic delicacies threatens the existence of a non-human species. What we do when long held assumptions shatter into a bazillion little bits, like the safety glass in car windows, when new evidence explodes, or implodes, a more comfortable and more familiar way of looking at life. Does this all sound too melodramatic, too grandiose? Well then. You’ll also found out why eating slightly ripe, or very ripe, food out of dumpsters might actually be good for you. And cheap, to boot.

Sometimes, just once in a while, artists (in this case, writers), lift science out of the dry text book pages, out of the logical march of mathematical equations, and hold the nature of this world that we live in up for inspection with such clarity, such luminescence, that awe is the only response one feels capable of. Which this book does, 25 different times in a row.” –Daniel Murphy “Dan Murphy” (Redmond, OR USA)

 

The Best American Essays 2011: The Best American SeriesThe Best American Essays 2011 includes:
Hilton Als, Katy Butler, Toi Derricotte, Christopher Hitchens, Pico Iyer, Charlie LeDuff, Chang-Rae Lee, Lia Purpura, Zadie Smith, Reshma Memon Yaqub, and others

“Best of Anthologies often catch a lot of flak on Amazon, but this year’s Best American Essays is superb. I’ve loved each piece I’ve read. Individual pieces cover a variety of topics, styles, and backgrounds. Two of my favorites so far are Pico Iyer’s “Chapels” which is a meditative piece about finding quiet, and Madge McKeithen’s “What Really Happened,” which I can’t even describe here because I would mess it up.

The pieces in this anthology will expand your worldview and deepen your understanding of all the ways we are alive and human.” — Happy Epsilon

 

 

 

The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2011: The Best American SeriesThe Best American Nonrequired Reading 2011 includes:
Daniel Alarcón, Clare Beams, Sloane Crosley, Anthony Doerr, Neil Gaiman, Mohammed Hanif, Mac McClelland, Michael Paterniti, Olivier Schrauwen, Gary Shteyngart, and others.

“The BANR 2011, besides having the most interesting and fun short fiction, non-fiction and assorted other offerings, is unique in its creation, being the product of lots of time and effort by high school students. They have chosen a little something for everyone: a wonderful essay about Roger Ebert, two funky and interesting story length cartoons, many short stories that make you think, and, of course, the best “wikileaks revelations” of 2011!! Based on your personal taste, you may not like everything in this book, but I know you will like a lot of it. Let’s hear it for non-required and fun reading!!” — L. Jackson

 

 

 

The Best American Travel Writing 2011: The Best American SeriesThe Best American Travel Writing 2011 includes:
André Aciman, Christopher Buckley, Maureen Dowd, Verlyn Klinkenborg, Ariel Levy, Téa Obreht, Annie Proulx, Gary Shteyngart, William T. Vollmann, Emily Witt, and others

“The criteria for selecting the pieces that make up this collection are stated in the Forward and in the Introduction to this collection of essays. Travel writing isn’t guidebook information and a series of lists. Rather it is storytelling and approaching a place or certain locale from a different perspective that illuminates the subject matter by storytelling. It is a window into life as we don’t know it. It presents the unexpected.

The travel writing in this anthology does just that. Each author presents life in a new and different light that makes the reader pause and think. We are given insight into the culture, geography, and history of a certain place or people through another’s observation, description, analysis or comment.

The beauty of this collection is in the variety of places in the individual pieces and the particular voice of each author. Some essays are light and playful while others are quite serious. Ben Austen’s “Southern Culture on the Skids” is a far cry from William Vollmann’s “A Head for the Emir.” Annie Proulx’s “A Year of Birds” could also be described as excellent nature writing. “Miami Party Boom” by Emily Witt displays an edgy youth culture totally unfamiliar to suburbanites.

I’m not sure the articles in this volume are the very best of travel writing today since there is so much published in print and online, but each of these articles did provide the unexpected in an entertaining manner. Each essay presented a new experience for the reader, giving meaning to present life in an engaging manner that was fresh, original and creative. That’s what I like.” —  Anne Burnik

 

The Best American Sports Writing 2011: The Best American SeriesThe Best American Sports Writing 2011 includes:
Paul Solotaroff, Sally Jenkins, Wells Tower, John McPhee, David Dobbs, Wright Thompson, P. J. O’Rourke, Selena Roberts, and others

“I buy this book every year for my brother at Christmas. He looks forward to it and he expects it! He likes the variety of stories written by excellent journalists and authors.” — C. Register “Rubeslippr”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aces Traffic Puzzle Pack

Also, today Amazon offers to download a game for your Kindle Fire for free – Aces Traffic Puzzle Pack

Parking Lot Blues

Honk! Honk! You’re trapped! You’re stuck in a crowded parking lot, so you must use masterful strategy to maneuver the cars and clear a path for your grand escape. With 480 different puzzles, Aces Traffic Pack is a challenge for even the most sophisticated drivers. This puzzler offers 80 puzzles per level from Novice, Amateur, Rookie, Pro, All Star, and finally Ace. You’ll always have to come up with a new escape plan.

Get those limos out of the way
The bird’s-eye view of each parking disaster provides a clear field of vision and perspective. For further ease of use, apply the gridlines to help visualize your next move.

King of the Road
You can’t be a road king if you don’t keep track of your stats. Aces Traffic Pack keeps a variety of records. Keep tabs on your overall stats, level stats, and even stats for specific puzzles. The online high scores and statistic tracking adds a competitive element, so you can compete against yourself or challenge a friend to beat your best time or lowest move count. See which puzzles you’ve easily escaped, which are giving you traffic nightmares, and which ones you’ve haven’t solved yet.

Aces Traffic Pack features colorful backdrops of cityscapes with open starry skies and the rumbling of car engines. The racecar-themed interface is intuitive and easy to navigate, but there’s nothing easy about figuring out your escape route.

Color E-Ink Kindle on the Horizon?

Don’t give up on e-ink Kindles yet.  After the success of the Kindle Fire and the tablet boom, I was beginning to think that e-ink was on its way out.  However, there are new speculations floating around in the tech world about Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) supposed order of color e-ink  screens.

If that is so, we might be seeing a color e-ink version of the Kindle sometime next summer or early fall.  The timing is based on the past yearly refresh of the Kindle lineup.

I think this would give e-ink a much needed jump start to reclaim its place in the electronic sales market.  Tablets are showing unprecedented success, and are threatening to leave the e-ink devices behind to become a niche market unless they don’t do something about it.

The biggest advantages of a color e-ink Kindle over an LCD tablet are that it doesn’t cause eye strain and suck up battery life.  I love my iPad, but I can’t sit and read it for longer periods of time.  My Kindle’s battery lasts for a couple of months, whereas my iPad’s battery lasts about 10 hours or less depending on use.

Looking at it from an accessibility standpoint, there are certain vision conditions that cause the user to be sensitive to bright lights.  E-ink is obviously a lot friendlier to that type of condition.

The e-ink Kindle began as a single service device designed for reading.  The electronic paper style that the Kindle, Nook, Kobo, and other e-ink readers use is designed to simulate the experience of reading a real book.  Adding color would provide better graphics for comics, newspapers and magazines.  To me, comics are a better fit for paper rather than LCD.

I am excited about this new development.  I think in the long run there will be hybrid e-ink and LCD tablets out there on the market.  I don’t know about you, but it can get cumbersome toting around several different gadgets that each fulfill a different purpose.   By adding color, e-ink is a step closer towards making a device like that a reality.