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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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February 2012
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Daily Deals: The Shop and Dominoes

The ShopFor those, who love thrillers, Amazon offers The Shop by J. Carson Black just for $0.99

In Aspen, Colorado, a pop star and her entourage are brutally murdered in their luxury chalet. The lead assassin, ex-Navy SEAL Cyril Landry, has no qualms about carrying out his mission until the instant before he kills the young star—an intense, shared moment that will ultimately drive him to find out why these people had to die. Landry transforms from mercenary to hunter as he delves into the depths of The Shop, the shadowy organization that has hired him to execute people across the country.

Thousands of miles away, in a seedy motel in Gardenia, Florida, a local police chief is found shot to death. The scene has all the signs of a romantic rendezvous gone wrong, but Detective Jolie Burke isn’t so sure. As she digs for clues, the tangled threads of evidence lead to a disturbing place: Indigo, the lush tropical estate of the powerful Haddox clan and home of US Attorney General Franklin Haddox. As Jolie continues to pursue the truth, she quickly discovers that Haddox will do anything to protect his country’s ugly secrets—even kill.

Landry’s quest to uncover The Shop’s motives throws him into the dark currents of Jolie’s investigation, and they find themselves working together as an unlikely duo: a cop and a killer, joining forces to expose a shocking conspiracy that ascends to the highest offices in the land.

Intricate and fast-paced, The Shop is a breathtaking thriller in the vein of Nelson DeMille and David Baldacci.

 

DominoesThe game of Dominoes has been around for thousands of years. Historically carved from ivory or animal bone, the oldest known domino set was found in Tutankhamen’s tomb. Dominoes games have been played by kings and presidents, and now Dominoes the app, from Polyclef Software, brings this ancient game to your Android device.

Straight Dominoes, AKA Muggins

Dominoes keeps things simple with one basic domino game. Known as Straight Dominoes, Fives Up, All Fives, or Muggins, it is the most common variation of the game and is relatively easy to learn. Each player starts with seven dominoes from a 28-tile double six set. Players take turns laying down tiles, making sure that each tile has a value that matches the tile they are laying it next to, and scoring points whenever the total of the open ends adds up to a multiple of five. The game ends when one of the players reaches 250 points.

You Against the Computer

Dominoes features a computer AI opponent that will help you hone your skills for the next time you’re playing against a real person. The interface is intuitive–simply drag dominoes on to the playing area just like you would in real life. Point totals are calculated automatically. In order to make the best use of limited screen real estate, some of the inner dominoes may become hidden as play progresses, but there is an option to show all played dominoes at any time.

A Few Simple Options

Keeping with the simple theme, Dominoes has only a few options to choose from. You can select one of four different board colors, and can play with or without sound. Players can alternate turns, or the first player out can go first each round. Lastly, games can be re-set at any time if things aren’t going well.

Amazon on Netflix: No Monthly Instant Video Service Planned For Immediate Future

Since just before the official announcement of the Kindle Fire, and clearly in preparation for the anticipated release, Amazon has been making efforts to beef up their Amazon Instant Video selection.  Many of these new acquisitions have even been made part of the Prime Instant Videos library, which allows customers subscribing annually to the Amazon Prime service to stream available content to any compatible device whenever they want with no additional purchase necessary.  More than anything, this is the reason that new Kindle Fire owners find themselves enjoying a month of free Amazon Prime membership.  It works well to get potential subscribers hooked.  More and more, however, people have been viewing the ever-expanding collection of titles as a direct assault on Netflix.

As the most popular video streaming service on the internet today, Netflix caters to over 24 million subscribers and accounted for about a third of all internet bandwidth being used as of last fall.  They have had some issues recently after mishandling the publicizing of rate hikes necessitated by expiring streaming rights deals as well as a poorly thought out attempt to split the company into two separate entities specializing in only one aspect of the physical media and digital video combination that customers have come to expect, but subscriptions have since rebounded and there is little sign that they are in immediate danger.

When Netflix CEO Reed Hastings mentioned in a letter to shareholders that he is expecting Amazon to start breaking the Instant Video service away from Amazon Prime in favor of a monthly model more analogous to what Netflix is known for, it was finally enough to elicit comment from Amazon.  Brad Beale, the Head of Video Acquisition for Amazon, made clear in a recent interview that it is not the intent of the company to change the way they’re handling things in the near future.  He seems to have avoided implying that this was something that would never happen, but at least for the moment Netflix is safe.

The logic behind the decision is sound.  Amazon Prime is already less expensive than even the cheapest Netflix subscription.  The video content you get with it is not nearly as extensive at this point as what Netflix offers, but nobody claims that it is.  By subscribing to Amazon’s service though, even if your goal is just to take advantage of the Kindle Fire’s integration with Amazon services, customers also get free 2-day shipping on anything Amazon sells.  The video streaming might not be the biggest money maker in the world, but the associated shipping benefit has a tendency to make impulse purchasing far more appealing.  This translates into more regular profits as well as customer loyalty.

Compared to that, it is hard to imagine a huge desire on Amazon’s part to start attacking Netflix on their own terms.  For the moment, at least, video distribution appears to remain a relatively small part of the company.  The Kindle Fire is obviously meant to change that and it does a good job of showing off the content, but the day when physical goods are less important to the company than digital sales has yet to arrive.