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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: $0.99 Kindle Romantic Thrillers and ColorUp Pro

Today Amazon offers the set of 5 Romantic Thrillers within Gold Box Daily Deal. Each books cost only $0.99 today only. Here is the list:

  1. Nerves of Steel (Hart and Drake #1) by CJ Lyons
  2. Sleight of Hand (Hart and Drake #2) by CJ Lyons
  3. Face to Face (Hart and Drake #3) by CJ Lyons
  4. Chasing Shadows: Shadow Ops Book #1 by CJ Lyons
  5. Lost in Shadows: Shadow Ops, Book #2 (Shadows Ops, Book #2) by CJ Lyons

Some words about the Author

As a pediatric ER doctor, New York Times Bestseller CJ Lyons has lived the life she writes about in her cutting edge Thrillers with Heart. CJ has been called a “master within the genre” (Pittsburgh Magazine) and her work has been praised as “breathtakingly fast-paced” and “riveting” (Publishers Weekly) with “characters with beating hearts and three dimensions” (Newsday). Her newest project is as co-author of a new suspense series with Erin Brockovich.

 

ColorUp ProColorUp Pro is an application which can help you to make your photo more attractive. It is for free today only.

Turn Up the Color!

Bring your photos to life with ColorUp, an image-editing app for your Android device. Add a splash of color or a touch of life, and let your inner artist shine!

Import your image and watch it fade to black-and-white. Then use your finger to reveal the color of the original image. With this technique, you can create stunning images that people will rave over.

ColorUp Pro brings you an advanced feature set–more powerful than other apps out there–but it’s designed to be simple and quick to use.

Features
  • 12 image filters (Sepia, Vintage, Low Saturation, and more)
  • 5 different types of brush types
  • Color enrichment
  • Color shifting
  • Edge softening to hide mistakes
  • Background blur (depth of field)
  • Background contrast
  • “Spy Mode” to reveal painted areas
  • Double-tap to pop in and out of full screen
  • Orientation lock when in full-screen mode, so you can easily flip and turn the image as you paint
  • Pinch to zoom for pixel-level accuracy
  • Import directly from camera
  • Import from image library (Pro version only)
  • Export HD quality images
  • Unlimited undo and redo

Kindle Fire 2 To Get July 31st Launch Event With Front-Lit Kindle eReader

Naturally, there is a new Kindle Fire on the way.  We are also expecting there to be a new E Ink Kindle eReader released alongside it.  The Kindle Fire 2, or whatever Amazon decides to label their new device, has aroused a lot of interest over the past few weeks and the release of a Kindle that matches or exceeds the capabilities of the Nook Simple Touch w/ GlowLight will be a big thing for the company.  Now, citing reliable sources rather than simply the less than reliable DigiTimes reports, CNET has come up with a July 31st launch event to introduce both of these products to potential customers.

Rumors have indicated that the Kindle Fire 2 will be improved in a number of ways.  It will have a higher resolution 1280 x 800 screen while maintaining the same 7” size, according to most of the rumors today.  This latest report indicates that it will also have a camera and physical volume control buttons.  Both of these features will be welcome additions for many Kindle Fire users.  One can only assume that with the addition of a camera Amazon will also have seen fit to include a mic to make their tablet into a viable communication tool.

The new Kindle eReader will also have minor improvements across the board.  The most important of these will obviously be the ability to light up the screen.  We saw several months ago that Amazon had bought a patent that would allow them to add a refraction layer for front-lighting their eReaders, but Barnes & Noble beat them to the punch.  Given how well B&N has done in making a great lit eReader, we have to hope that Amazon has used the intervening time to improve more than just the lighting.  Expect to at least see physical page turn buttons return to the Kindle Touch version of the next generation.

Amazon is expected to be selling these new devices for the same price as current models.  The new Kindle Fire 2 will be going for $199 while the basic model of the new Kindle eReader will be just $79.  While it is too early to say for sure, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to find out that Amazon was including lighting in all their eReaders at no extra charge, thereby undercutting Barnes & Noble’s prices yet again.  The Kindle Fire that we know today will continue to be available in its present form for the indefinite future, but it is believed that the price will drop to just $149 as the new version hits shelves.

None of this tells us anything about a new larger Kindle Fire model.  While reports still indicate that such a tablet is on the way, the rumor mills are surprisingly quiet about the details.  Presumably it will be more powerful and have features comparable to other large tablets, but things like price and release date are completely unknown and barely speculated on.  We’ll try to bring you more on this when the information becomes available.

Daily Deals: Where Are They Buried and LadyBug POP Puzzle Game

Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and NoteworthyToday Amazon offers Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy by Tod Benoit just for $1.99

Updated with dozens of entries of the newly dead and now in paperback, an irresistible and browsable guide to the lives, deaths, and final resting places of the world’s most influential figures.

This unparalleled compilation of profiles of the deceased—from Abbott and Costello to Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, from Arthur Ashe to Paul Newman, offers all the pertinent details on how they lived and died. It is also a detailed atlas of where they are buried.

Each entry in this fascinating book includes an entertaining capsule biography full of little-known facts, a detailed description of each subject’s death, and very specific directions to the location and site of the grave. Fifty photos and informative sidebars (on such topics as how to find anyone’s grave) round out this indispensable field guide to the “permanent addresses” of the world’s most significant late citizens.

New additions to the roster of final resting places include: • Tim Russert • Heath Ledger • Norman Mailer • Anna Nicole Smith • George Carlin • Rosa Parks • Hunter S. Thompson • Paul Newman • Katharine Hepburn … and many more

Some words about the Author

Tod Benoit is an entrepreneur who has logged more than 10,000 miles driving around the country in search of notable graves.

 

LadyBug POP Puzzle GameLadyBug POP Puzzle Game is a game. You can download it for free today only.

It’s not that we have anything against ladybugs, but they’re just so fun to pop in the LadyBug Pop Puzzle Game. Jump ladybugs in this beautiful puzzler for your Android device or Kindle Fire.

Happy Popping

The objective is simple: jump ladybugs until you have no more ladybugs to jump. Once a ladybug is jumped, it pops and disappears. The objective is to have only one ladybug left at the end of the game, but that’s not easily done. Plan your jumps and see how few you can leave on the board.

Challenge your friends and family with LadyBug Pop, and see who leaves fewer bugs on the board. It’s a fun challenge for all ages. LadyBug POP offers 15 unique puzzles, and simply mastering one is hard enough. In addition to cheerful graphics, view the ratio of jumped to un-jumped ladybugs to the left of the game board. And rest well, no ladybugs are harmed during gameplay.

Kindle Touch Hidden Gem

There is one issue with my Kindle that I wish Amazon would make more intuitive.  That issue is deleting books directly from my Kindle.  I understand that there is a lot of room for books on the device itself, but often, people would like to get rid of books that aren’t really serving any purpose anymore.

On my Kindle 2, I just slid the 5 way toggle button to the side and it gave me a menu option to remove a book or game from the e-reader.  I just figured out how to do this randomly when I was maneuvering around on it.

Figuring out how to delete books are little more difficult on the Kindle Touch, but once you know the trick, it is quite easy.  If you have an iPad or iPhone you have to press down the app for a few seconds, and an x will pop up and allow you to close or delete the app.

Using this same idea based on the iPhone delete commands, I pressed down on a book on my Kindle’s Home screen for a few seconds and sure enough, a dialog box popped up giving me an option to delete the book.

So why is this worth mentioning?  Now that you can check out Kindle Books from the library or Kindle Owner’s Lending Library, there are a lot of books coming and going.  When you return a book, the title still shows up in the list, and says “recently returned.”

Frankly, they are annoying, and can really clutter up the device’s library.  They also hide the books you actually need or want.

A friend asked me once how to do this, so I thought I’d pass it along in case you were wondering the same thing.

And don’t worry, even if you delete a book from your Kindle, it remains stored in your account on Amazon.  You can always re download it on any Kindle or Kindle app supported device at any time.

 

 

Daily Deals: Devil Wind and HTR High Tech Racing

Devil Wind: A Sammy Greene ThrillerToday Amazon offers Devil Wind: A Sammy Greene Thriller by Deborah Shlian and Linda Reid just for $1.99

Outspoken, brash New Yorker Sammy Greene needs a second chance. Fired from her job as a Washington TV producer, her midnight to 3 am show Sammy Greene on the LA Scene at a small progressive radio station soon has Sammy ruffling the feathers of a popular Orange County Congressman. And everyone is listening. December, 1999. 10 days before the new millennium. Already on edge with Santa Ana devil wind fanning fires threatening to engulf the city and Y2K looming, Sammy’s callers imagine Armageddon – the perfect setting for a rogue CIA operative to manipulate fears as cover for his deadly plot. A young woman’s burned body identified as the wayward daughter of old friend, Gus Pappajohn spurs the ex- campus cop to join Sammy in what may be a murder investigation, along the way exposing the seamy underbelly of Tinseltown. If Sammy’s not careful this time, someone will make sure she’s off the air for good.

Some words about the Authors

Deborah is a physician, healthcare consultant, and author of five award winning medical mystery/thrillers, three co-authored with her husband, Joel. Linda is a physician-broadcaster-author and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at UCLA. Deborah Shlian and Linda Reid are also authors of Dead Air, which won top honors in the Thriller category of the National Indie Excellence 2010 Awards.

 

HTR High Tech RacingHTR High Tech Racing is a game for your Kindle Fire. Today only you can get this game for free.

The Need for Speed

High Tech Racing (HTR) is a slot car racing simulator; a virtual version of the classic toy from the 80s and 90s. HTR offers three different difficulty levels and 18 tracks, including several challenges such as loops, jumps, crossroads, narrows, and high speed curves. You can even build your own tracks with the highly intuitive Track Editor. Choose from three in-game visualization modes, from third-person perspective to in-car camera.

With realistic physics, HTR offers an adrenalin-packed racing simulation experience. With a single finger, you control the acceleration to keep your car on the track. There are tons of cool items to unlock including cars, electric engines, tires, and chassis to optimize your car. There are more than 440 possible configurations to test on each track.

Race freely on “Quickrace” mode and practice for the real challenge. Send your best race times and see your time in comparison to others players from around the world. Keep your records updated and prove you are the fastest on all tracks!

PLEASE NOTE: This app lets you purchase digital content using actual money. You can configure parental controls for in-app purchases, which will require your Amazon account password or a 4-digit PIN, by tapping the Menu icon and then Settings.

Google Unveils Nexus 7 Anti-Kindle

Amazon made a pretty huge impression on the Android tablet market when they announced the Kindle Fire.  Competitors had to either drop their prices or drop out of the competition.  Barely functional budget tablets were rushed out to compete unsuccessfully against the biggest thing Android had seen.  Worst of all, Google was completely cut out of the fun by a carefully customized OS fork that locked Kindle Fire users into the Amazon ecosystem and out of Google’s Android Marketplace.

Rumors started to surface almost immediately that Google had a tablet of their own on the way that would blow the Kindle Fire away.  Unfortunately, the complications resulting from the need to keep the price at $199 or below meant that the project was delayed for a while.  Finally, after months of waiting and hearing leaked details about the worst kept secret in Google’s arsenal, we have the big reveal.

Here’s the break-down on the Nexus 7 as per Google’s I/O Conference reveal:

  • Android 4.1 – Jelly Bean
  • 7” 1280 x 800 HD Display
  • Backlit IPS Display
  • Scratch-resistant Corning Glass
  • 1.2MP front-facing Camera
  • Microphone
  • 8GB internal storage
  • 1GB RAM
  • Quad-core Tegra 3 processor
  • Up to 8 Hours of battery life
  • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth
  • NFC (Android Beam)
  • GPS
  • Accelerometer
  • Magnetometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Weighs 340g
  • Measures 198.5 x 120 x 10.45mm

Basically we’re looking at a tablet that is more than a match for the Kindle Fire in terms of hardware.  It is faster, has more memory, can do things like video chat, has an HD display, and so on.  For the same price as the Kindle Fire, you get a huge upgrade.  Not only that, it looks great too.  While the base model will have 8GB of storage and cost $199, there is even a 16GB edition available for $249. Amazon couldn’t have asked for a worse comparison, in other words.

Normally this would be where I once again talk about Amazon having the advantage thanks to their integration with their internal Appstore for Android and other assorted forms of digital media.  In this case, Google knows what they are doing and seems to have developed a similar level of access to their various media options through the Google Play store.  Not many companies could compete near Amazon’s level in this respect, but Google is definitely one of them.

The big hope that Amazon has to turn this around will obviously be the upcoming Kindle Fire 2.  This tablet, expected to be announced as early as the end of July, will bring additional power and improved resolution to the Fire.  We don’t know much more than that, but some people are even predicting similar camera and mic options.  The existing Kindle Fire will then supposedly drop to $149.  While it would remain less useful than the Nexus 7 in that case, reducing the price by another 25% would almost certainly be enough to keep things competitive.

For now, Google’s Nexus 7 is on top.  It will be shipping in 2-3 weeks, according to the preorder page, and at the moment comes with $25 in store credit on Google Play.  Whether it can gain enough of a following to offset the likely surge of interest in the new Kindle Fire 2 following only a month or so behind will be interesting to discover.

Daily Deals: Soldier’s Joy and Cheese Crawl

Soldier's Joy (Contemporary American Fiction)Today Amazon offers Soldier’s Joy (Contemporary American Fiction) by Madison Smartt Bell just for $1.99

Two Southern soldiers, recently back from Vietnam, struggle to resume their lives amid dangerous and deep-rooted prejudice

Thomas Laidlaw returns home from Vietnam with nothing much in mind but to tend his acreage, live apart, and get lost in the roots music he grew up with. Laidlaw’s childhood friend Rodney Redmon is doubly burdened: Not only is he scarred from the war, he is also a black man living in a prejudiced area of Tennessee. Redmon’s homecoming from the war included time in jail—the result of his being framed for real estate fraud by racist forces within the local establishment. Once released, he and Laidlaw rekindle their friendship and both veterans try to put the war behind them. But when a group of local Klansman emerges, the violence that haunts them may prove impossible to escape.

Masterful in its execution and stunning in its emotional resonance, Soldier’s Joy is a riveting portrait of two damaged souls struggling to achieve solace despite the demons of their past.

 

Cheese CrawlCheese Crawl is a funny game for your Kindle Fire. Today only you can get it for free.

Adventure Just Got Cheesy!

You’ve been invited to a reception at the new facility of GeneCorp, ZLC (a Zero Liability Corporation). But when you get there, you find that the new facility looks more like a dungeon, and the reception doesn’t seem very festive.

Cheese Crawl is a first-person adventure RPG in the style of a classic dungeon crawl…with a twist. Welcome to the world’s first wine-and-cheese-themed dungeon crawl. Battle your way through six huge levels crawling with hostile genetically-enhanced dairy products. Gather useful and unique items, weapons, and armor. Find gold and other treasures. Trade equipment at the company vending machine. Solve challenges and puzzles to help you progress towards your one and only goal: getting out alive!

This is the perfect game if you enjoy solving puzzles and mazes, amassing treasure, leveling up your character with unusual equipment, combat with hors d’oeuvres, or simply defeating an evil corporation bent on cheese-related world domination.

The Kindle and Tracking: Why Owners Aren’t Outraged

It is practically a given to many people that some amount of what you do on the internet is being tracked.  There is occasional outrage over this, such as when even their less tech savvy subscribers began to catch on to the fact that they were Facebook’s salable resource more than its target audience, but that is just going to be the case when you’re talking about “free” services.  Consumers are usually even less forgiving when they pay full price for something and get their activity tracked anyway.  Why is the Kindle so amazingly popular despite being fairly open in demonstrating that at least some tracking is obviously going on, then?

We can’t say that it is the result of Kindle owners being complacent.  Glance at the reviews of the Free App of the Day in Amazon’s Appstore for Android and you’re likely to see Kindle Fire owners outright attacking app developers for including anything that tracks or otherwise exploits users in what is supposedly the fully paid version of their application.  This is not a shy or understated bunch of people we are talking about, when the situation calls for more forceful reactions.

Where these app developers are chastised for sneaking in tracking, however, Amazon is openly displaying the fruits of their analysis.  This is one part of why they are able to get away with it.  They never deny that user data is being tracked and analyzed.  It is something that people know when they buy into the line.  Amazon is going to keep a list of what you buy, sometimes even what you consider buying, and they will draw conclusions from that.

There is more to it than that, though.  Amazon might be collecting this data for any number of purposes that work for the benefit of the company, but they are offering a clear service to their customers by offering the tailored suggestions that come standard in any Amazon account’s home page.  The popular theory that I have heard voiced is that this alone accounts for the general complacency with which Kindle users in particular take this situation.  At least there is a visible tradeoff here.

I would say that the real explanation is slightly different, although that is a part of it.  Amazon has done a lot to make itself a very customer-friendly company.  More often than anything else, their customer service receives glowing praise.  They not only brought us eBooks in a major way for the first time but actively got into disagreements with suppliers to try to bring them to us at reasonable prices.  Amazon really seems to be one of the few companies left that puts customer satisfaction first.  That makes it easy to trust that they will use any information they collect in a responsible manner.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that there is an unconditional trust here.  We all remember the congressional inquiry into the Silk Browser’s privacy features around the time of the Kindle Fire launch.  If there are concerns, they should and do get brought up.  I just find it fascinating that the sort of behavior that causes outrage in other areas gets more or less ignored here.  Maybe Kindle owners are really satisfied enough to feel that Amazon deserves some trust?

Daily Deals: How to Hepburn and Body & Weight Monitor

How to Hepburn: Lessons on Living from Kate the GreatToday Amazon offers How to Hepburn: Lessons on Living from Kate the Great by Karen Karbo just for $1.99

How to Hepburn, Karen Karbo’s sleek, contemporary reassessment of one of America’s greatest icons, takes us on a spin through the great Kate’s long, eventful life, with an aim toward seeing what we can glean from the First Lady of Cinema. One part How Proust Can Change Your Life and one part Why Sinatra Matters, How to Hepburn teases some unexpected lessons from the life of a woman whose freewheeling, pants-wearing determination redefined the image of the independent woman while eventually endearing her to the world.
This witty, provocative gem is full of no-nonsense Hepburn-style commentary on subjects such as: making denial work for you; the importance of being brash, facing fear, and always having an aviator in your life; learning why and how to lie; the benefits of discretion; making the most of a dysfunctional relationship; and the power of forgiving your parents. Thrilling fans of the notoriously independent actress, award-winner Karen Karbo presents a gusty guidebook to harnessing your inner Hepburn, and living life on your own terms.

Some words about the Author

Karen Karbo is the author of three novels, two works of nonfiction, and a memoir, all of which were named New York Times Notable Books. The Stuff of Life was a People Critic’s Choice, a selection of the Satellite Sisters Radio Book Club, and winner of the Oregon Book Award for Creative Nonfiction. A past winner of the General Electric Young Writer Award, Karen is in addition the recipient of an NEA grant. Her essays, reviews, and articles have appeared in the New York Times, Redbook, Elle, Vogue, Esquire, the New Republic, and Self. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

 

Body & Weight MonitorBody & Weight Monitor is an application which Amazon makes free for today only.

Track your body’s changes over time with Body & Weight Monitor, an app for your Android device and Kindle Fire. Whether you want to follow the effects of a diet or workout regimen, a developing baby bump, or a child’s growth, Body & Weight Monitor offers a simple, intuitive system for tracking bodily changes over time.

Simple, Easy Body Tracking

Body & Weight Monitor is easy to use. Start by opening the app and setting up a user profile and password. Choose a user to display, then return to the home screen and install the app’s desktop widget. Click on the widget to access your Body & Weight Monitor screen.

The screen displays an illustrated daily calendar and data entry buttons. Enter daily weight, height, and other specified measurements in the provided fields. (The app supports both US/Imperial and metric units.) Spaces are also provided for you to enter related goals and/or notes.

You can get daily BMI and body fat figures from the app’s built-in calculators, or enter them yourself if you know them. Body & Weight Monitor plots changes in these values over time in graphic and other formats, and measures them against any goals that you have set.

You can export your Body & Weight Monitor data to other media at any time in spreadsheet form, or save pictures of your graphs to your phone’s SD Card to be shared like you would any other photo.

Body & Weight Monitor supports multiple, password-protected user profiles, so it can be shared by family or friends who using the same phone.

Features
  • Tracking, monitoring, and goal setting
  • Weight in stones, pounds, or kilograms
  • Height in feet and inches or CMS
  • Body fat percentage: calculated from entered details or manually entered
  • Track your waist, hips, chest, calves, thigh, neck, forearms, upperarms, wrist, and baby bump measurements in centimeters or inches

Kindle Touch Travel Review

While I’m mostly a fan of the Kindle Touch, I’ve largely seen little reason to upgrade from the Kindle Keyboard in day to day use.  The darker frame is nice, the keyboard works well for any shopping I have to do, and it has generally proven reliable for quite some time now.  Since I knew I would be on the road for about a week recently, however, I decided I would give the Kindle Touch a thorough test.  You never know what you might learn by trying, right?

Connectivity

One thing that surprised me was that I was generally able to get a better 3G signal through the Kindle Touch than through my Kindle Keyboard.  The Keyboard model is definitely far more broken in, so I can’t necessarily count this as a side by side comparison of new devices, but I was able to get more reliable, faster connections at nearly every stage of a 3,500 mile trip with the Kindle Touch.

Screen Quality

I expected that the lighter case on the new Kindle Touch would be a pain compared to what I was used to.  This was somewhat accurate.  While reading in the majority of indoor lighting situations was fine with either eReader, I noticed that it was much easier to use my Kindle Keyboard in bright sunlight.  I’m sure this was an optical illusion rather than actual quality differences, but the lighter frame around the screen left the Kindle Touch looking washed out in truly bright light.

Reading Experience

Quite frankly, I love the physical page turn buttons.  I still get annoyed at Amazon for removing them.  That is literally my only complaint about the general reading experience on the Kindle Touch, though.  It is quick, light, easier to hold, and generally everything you want in a reading device.  The preference for physical buttons aside, I will admit that after a few page turns I stopped noticing that I was having to touch the screen and things moved quite naturally.  This could be a matter of my own preconceptions as much as anything.

Navigation

The place where I really appreciated having a touch screen was in PDF navigation.  Things went much more smoothly than I’m used to.  The same is true of in-line annotation in Kindle documents.  While it is slightly faster to type on the physical keyboard, that advantage is negated by the fact that the Kindle Touch allows for quick placement of your cursor rather than a slow movement via 5-way control pad.  The point here has to go to the Kindle Touch on both issues.

Battery Life

You can’t really complain about the battery life on any Kindle product.  I used each of my Kindles for about 4 hours per day across a seven day period.  They both still had just under half their batteries left when my drive was over.  The charger that was packed could have easily been left at home.

Conclusion

My Kindle Touch is going to be seeing a lot more use.  The lighter weight and smaller form made it stand out in a lot of ways and the fact that note taking was so much faster than I expected has persuaded me to make this my daily eReader.  There are still many reasons to prefer the Kindle Keyboard, the keyboard among them, but it is not as clear a choice as I had expected.  I will try to follow up on this in a few weeks to see if extended use is still preferable when both are available.