Today Amazon offers The Physician (Cole) by Noah Gordon just for $1.99
In eleventh-century London, a child holds the hand of his dying mother and is terrified, aware something is taking her. Orphaned and given to an itinerant barber-surgeon, Rob Cole becomes a fast-talking swindler, peddling a worthless medicine. But as he matures, his strange gift—an acute sensitivity to impending death—never leaves him, and he yearns to become a healer.
Arab madrassas are the only authentic medical schools, and he makes his perilous way to Persia. Christians are barred from Muslim schools, but claiming he is a Jew, he studies under the world’s most renowned physician, Avicenna. How the woman who is his great love struggles against her only rival—medicine—makes a riveting modern classic.
Some words about the Author
Noah Gordon has won many awards, including the James Fenimore Cooper Prize; among his books are The Death Committee, Shaman, The Jerusalem Diamond, The Rabbi, The Last Jew, and Choices.
AppDads Coloring Expansion is ready for downloading for free today only from Amazon.
AppDads Coloring Expansion is an add-on package for the AppDads Coloring application (available in the Amazon Appstore). This expansion is installed as a standalone application giving you the standard free capabilities of the original app, but with an additional coloring package and enhanced drawing modes. The new picture package gives you more than 50 images of fun, colorable characters. Included in the cartoon package are animals, insects, boys, girls, school supplies, and professions.
AppDads Coloring Expansion is easy to learn. Use the color ribbon at the bottom of the view to select a color that suits your fancy. Then click on any white fillable region in the image to paint. It’s that simple! Use the zoom and pan feature to get those hard to reach coloring places. In addition, the expansion pack unlocks other extended features in the app, such as free hand painting, erase, and stamps.
Proud of your work? Save it to your Android device or share it with your friends. Backed by the power of Google, this app also adds the ability to download virtually limitless coloring pages all from within the app.
- Color more than 50 fun characters
- Express your creativity by free hand drawing
- Adjust the thickness of the brush or eraser
- Decorate with your favorite stamps and color them just as you would a normal coloring page
- Personalize the coloring pages with your own images
- Choose from more than 150 different colors
- Save your creations to the gallery
- Share and publish your work (Facebook, e-mail, Flickr, Google+, Twitter, Picasa, etc.)
Fans of ABC News can now get their content directly from the source using their Kindle Fire without the hassle of using the website. ABC decided it was time to optimize their Android application for the Kindle Fire in order to cater directly to owners of the most popular Android tablet to date.
What this means for users is that they can now get anything they want from ABC’s recent content in a format optimized for the Kindle Fire’s 7” screen. The wider reaching implication is the vote of confidence this represents. It might not be much of a stretch for ABC to decide that it’s worth their time to work with the most widely owned budget tablet on the market, but it does count for something that they did so at a time when many are declaring the end of the Kindle Fire thanks to Google’s Nexus 7 competitor.
The app itself is fairly nice. Users get browse their news under a number of headings. Each story is presented with both title and basic summary. There are even images on the selection screen in cases where the story includes either photos or video. It’s quite intuitive. These headings are presented on a looping ribbon at the top of the home screen. By sliding the ribbon, more options become available.
These headings do include local content, show-specific content, and video selections. That should make it easier for regular viewers to find what they need. The shows highlighted include Good Morning America, World News, Nightline, and 20/20, among others. Local news is available from Chicago, Fresno, Houston, LA, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Raleigh, San Francisco, and Sarasota. General video content appears to be drawn directly from the website.
While this is a very usable app, there are some small issues. The most significant is the lack of orientation control. All text and image-based news content is displayed in portrait mode, as are all menus. Video content, on the other hand, is displayed only in landscape mode. This can be jarring and really has no business being the case, given that the Kindle Fire’s screen is more than capable of displaying both types of content in either mode with no loss of quality or usability.
Some might also be put off by the advertising. While this is a free app, most videos and seemingly all photo slideshows include ads. Since most of these ads lack the user interface elements that are shown while browsing the content they appear amidst, it can be confusing to determine what exactly needs to be done to dismiss them.
Overall ABC News has released a strong app that caters to existing fans. If you don’t already follow the network, there is little here that will persuade you to start. On the other hand, there is absolutely nothing to complain about when comparing the app to other similar offerings. We can hope that when the next generation of Kindle Fire is released, the ensuing popularity will encourage ABC to put some effort into making their program even better.
Today Amazon offers Cat’s Cradle (Kurt Vonnegut Series) by Kurt Vonnegut just for $1.99
Cat’s Cradle (1963) is Vonnegut’s most ambitious novel, which put into the language terms like “wampeter”, “kerass” and “granfalloon” as well as a structured religion, Boskonism and was submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for a Master’s Degree in anthropology, and in its sprawling compass and almost uncontrolled (and uncontrollable) invention, may be Vonnegut’s best novel.
Written contemporaneously with the Cuban missile crisis and countenancing a version of a world in the grasp of magnified human stupidity, the novel is centered on Felix Hoenikker, a chemical scientist reminiscent of Robert Oppenheimer… except that Oppenheimer was destroyed by his conscience and Hoenikker, delighting in the disastrous chemicals he has invented, has no conscience at all. Hoenikker’s “Ice 9” has the potential to convert all liquid to inert ice and thus destroy human existence; he is exiled to a remote island where Boskonism has enlisted all of its inhabitants and where religion and technology collaborate, with the help of a large cast of characters, to destroy civilization.
Vonnegut’s compassion and despair are expressed here through his grotesque elaboration of character and situation and also through his created religion which like Flannery O’Connor’s “Church Without Christ” (in Wise Blood) acts to serve its adherents by removing them from individual responsibility. Vonnegut had always been taken seriously by science fiction readers and critics (a reception which indeed made him uncomfortable) but it was with Cat’s Cradle that he began to be found and appreciated by a more general audience. His own ambivalence toward science, science fiction, religion and religious comfort comes through in every scene of this novel.
Some words about the Author
Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) is one of the most beloved American writers of the twentieth century. Vonnegut’s audience increased steadily since his first five pieces in the 1950s and grew from there. His 1968 novel Slaughterhouse-Five has become a canonic war novel with Joseph Heller’s Catch-22 to form the truest and darkest of what came from World War II.
Vonnegut began his career as a science fiction writer, and his early novels–Player Piano and The Sirens of Titan–were categorized as such even as they appealed to an audience far beyond the reach of the category. In the 1960s, Vonnegut became closely associated with the Baby Boomer generation, a writer on that side, so to speak.
Now that Vonnegut’s work has been studied as a large body of work, it has been more deeply understood and unified. There is a consistency to his satirical insight, humor and anger which makes his work so synergistic. It seems clear that the more of Vonnegut’s work you read, the more it resonates and the more you wish to read. Scholars believe that Vonnegut’s reputation (like Mark Twain’s) will grow steadily through the decades as his work continues to increase in relevance and new connections are formed, new insights made.
Gallop for Gold Slots is a game which can help you to kill some of your time. Today you can download it for free.
Beat the bookie and share the fun in Gallop for Gold Slots. Can your horse win all 48 trophies and become the super-champion? It’s possible with the Nudge Jackpot and six unique bookie bonuses in the feature bonus round.
During normal play, a fashionable hostess acts as a wildcard and substitutes for all symbols except the scattered horses. Three, four, or five scattered horses during normal play wins you free games and the Colt Cash Feature, where all payouts are doubled!
At the end of the free games, you play the Bookie’s Bonus round. After the first and last reel spin, a special bonus prize appears.
You also have the option to gamble at another casino table after you win some money. Choose to wager your winnings at a roulette table or a black and red card game. Gallop for Gold Slots is for entertainment purposes only. No real money can be won or lost.
- Play an exciting Vegas-style slot machine
- Enjoy real slot machine action with sharp graphics
- Gamble your winnings at a roulette or card table
The Daily Double Jackpot
A part of all wins during the free games are added to the Daily Double Jackpot. The longer it takes you to win the jackpot, the higher it can grow – up to 99 thousand virtual dollars. The jackpot can only be won during the free games.
The lack of intricate parental control options has been a popular complaint about the Kindle Fire since about the time it was released. Amazon has made some moves to address the most pressing issues. We haven’t heard any horror stories about people going into debt over Smurfberry purchases, for example. Still, until Amazon comes up with more options that allow parents to manage how these devices are used, there is going to be a steady stream of complaints. Funamo has stepped up to handle that need in the meantime, for a small fee.
At $20, this is not a cheap application. Not only that, Funamo is not yet available in the Amazon Appstore for Android. This means that it needs to be purchased through the developer’s website. The hassle and expense may be worth it considering what can be accomplished by having it around.
The default settings are fairly straightforward. You install Funamo and log in, after which the device settings will be completely locked out. It comes with its own web browser, which has all the usual things one would expect parents to want to keep blocked already cut off, and encourages users to put the Silk browser onto the “Protected Apps” list. Besides that, everything else is up to the user.
This isn’t just a matter of locking out certain content, either. Yes, it is likely that many parents would approve of the ability to block porn viewing from their child’s tablet. Using Funamo, it is also possible to say that the same child’s favorite games will only be available between 9am and 11am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Parents can set limits on everything from media viewing time to reading. Many will even be quite encouraged to note that it is possible to block the Kindle Fire’s access to the Appstore entirely when desired.
Any of these settings can, of course, be overridden with a password. You never know when exceptions to the normal rules might be in order. They can also be changed on short notice as well, and not only from the Kindle Fire itself. Nightly syncing allows parents to maintain control through any internet-connected browser.
Through this web interface, it is possible to add, change, or remove access restrictions. It is also possible to view a detailed history of everything that has been done on the tablet recently. If a child does something unexpected that the parent never thought would come up, it is a simple matter to adapt the rules to cover the new situation. While the Kindle Fire does not support Push updates, Funamo is set to sync up nightly by default.
At a glance, this seems to be slightly overprotective. Users are encouraged to take control of literally every aspect of their kid’s tablet experience. That sort of control is precisely what many parents are looking for, however, and if this allows the child to enjoy ownership of their own Kindle Fire where it would otherwise not be allowed, it is probably worth the hassle for everybody involved.
Today only, the Kindle editions of Oliver Pötzsch’s internationally best-selling “Hangman’s Daughter” historical thriller series are just $0.99 each, and the deluxe, hardcover version of “The Hangman’s Daughter” is 60% off. The price is $0.99 for each books.
1. The Hangman’s Daughter
Germany, 1660: When a dying boy is pulled from the river with a mark crudely tattooed on his shoulder, hangman Jakob Kuisl is called upon to investigate whether witchcraft is at play. So begins The Hangman’s Daughter–the chillingly detailed, fast-paced historical thriller from German television screenwriter, Oliver Pötzsch–a descendent of the Kuisls, a famous Bavarian executioner clan.
2. The Dark Monk: A Hangman’s Daughter Tale (US Edition)
1660: Winter has settled thick over a sleepy village in the Bavarian Alps, ensuring every farmer and servant is indoors on the night a parish priest discovers he’s been poisoned. As numbness creeps up his body, he summons the last of his strength to scratch a cryptic sign in the frost.
Following a trail of riddles, hangman Jakob Kuisl; his headstrong daughter, Magdalena; and the town physician’s son team up with the priest’s aristocratic sister to investigate. What they uncover will lead them back to the Crusades, unlocking a troubled history of internal church politics and sending them on a chase for a treasure of the Knights Templar.
But they’re not the only ones after the legendary fortune. A team of dangerous and mysterious monks is always close behind, tracking their every move, speaking Latin in the shadows, giving off a strange, intoxicating scent. And to throw the hangman off their trail, they have ensured he is tasked with capturing a band of thieves roving the countryside attacking solitary travelers and spreading panic.
Delivering on the promise of his international best seller The Hangman’s Daughter, Oliver Pötzsch takes us on a whirlwind tour–once again based on prodigious historical research into his own family tree–through the occult hiding places of Bavaria’s ancient monasteries, bringing to life an unforgettable hangman and his tenacious daughter, painting a robust tableau of 17th-century Bavaria as it navigates the lasting impacts of war, and quickening our pulses with a gripping, mesmerizing mystery.
“So You Think You Know Words Pro” – is the name of an application for your Kindle Fire. You can download it for free today only.
If you like word games, you’re gonna love So You Think You Know Words! It’s the great new word game that’s truly all about words. Puzzles made by a New York Times Crossword Puzzle builder.
Playing is simple: find three answers for each clue. Take all the time you need – there’s no timer, no scorecard, and no penalty for wrong guesses. Sounds easy, right? Think again! There are some real zingers in there! A little like crossword puzzles, but without those fussy grids.
400 puzzles included in SYTYKW PRO!
While the Kindle Fire’s interface is one of its biggest selling points, there are a number of things that might be done to improve the user experience further. It would be silly to make things more like the stock Android environment given the extent of Amazon’s breaking away from Google’s ecosystem, but there are still other directions that things could easily go.
The things that would be nice to see in Amazon’s new Kindle Fire tablet are plentiful, but here are a few that would be especially nice on the software side of things:
Better Appstore Integration
Overall the experience of shopping for and downloading apps is quite nice. What would be nicer is the ability to install an app you own without being redirected to the Store Page. In the Apps tab’s Cloud display, installable apps have the option to “Install” right in their context menu. Unfortunately, selecting this does nothing more than selecting the icon does. There is no need for the extra step.
Expanded Codec Selection
The Kindle Fire is a video consumption device, at its core. While there is little local storage compared to some tablets, there is more than enough available to carry around several movies at a time. Finding video that will play on the tablet is more problematic, thanks to the currently limited selection of video codecs. This was likely an attempt by Amazon to get customers used to using the Instant Video service, but if somebody is going to the effort of side-loading their own videos then it’s not really worth the inconvenience caused by preventing the viewing.
Menu Bar Controls
It’s often a gamble as to whether the thin black options menu at the bottom of the Kindle Fire’s screen will disappear when I want something to be full screen. While it is understandable that Amazon feels the need to keep this available on a device that lacks physical controls of any sort, the option to completely hide it rather than simply minimizing it would be more than welcome.
Expanded Parental Controls
The more recent firmware updates have added in a fair number of parental control options. It’s a good start. There are still cases, however, where more could be done. It would be great to see Amazon put some more effort into this and release a set of more intricate settings. This is especially important now that we’re finally seeing in-app purchasing, social gaming, and other such features that will appeal to younger users.
The Kindle Fire 2 is going to be a strong product. We know that Amazon has put some real work into the redesign and can hope that the software side received similar attention. With the competition breathing down their neck, now is the time to really impress potential customers.
Are there any features that you would like to see added or improved for the upcoming release?
Today Amazon offers Death of a Cozy Writer (A St. Just Mystery) by G.M. Malliet just for $1.99
From deep in the heart of his eighteenth century English manor, millionaire Sir Adrian Beauclerk-Fisk writes mystery novels and torments his four spoiled children with threats of disinheritance. Tiring of this device, the portly patriarch decides to weave a malicious twist into his well-worn plot. Gathering them all together for a family dinner, he announces his latest blow – a secret elopement with the beautiful Violet… who was once suspected of murdering her husband.
Within hours, eldest son and appointed heir Ruthven is found cleaved to death by a medieval mace. Since Ruthven is generally hated, no one seems too surprised or upset – least of all his cold-blooded wife Lillian. When Detective Chief Inspector St. Just is brought in to investigate, he meets with a deadly calm that goes beyond the usual English reserve. And soon Sir Adrian himself is found slumped over his writing desk – an ornate knife thrust into his heart. Trapped amid leering gargoyles and stone walls, every member of the family is a likely suspect. Using a little Cornish brusqueness and brawn, can St. Just find the killer before the next-in-line to the family fortune ends up dead?
Death of a Cozy Writer was chosen by Kirkus Reviews as a Best Book of 2008, nominated for a Left Coast Crime award (the Hawaii Five-O for best police procedural), short-listed for the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery, nominated for the Anthony Award for Best First Novel and was a finalist for the David G. Sasher, Sr. Award for Best Mystery Novel.
G.M. Malliet’s Death of a Cozy Writer won the 2008 Agatha Award for Best First Novel and a silver medal for the IPPY awards in the category of Mystery/Suspense/Thriller.
Some words about the Author
G. M. Malliet worked as a journalist and copywriter for national and international news publications and public broadcasters. Winner of the Malice Domestic Grant (Death of a Cozy Writer), Malliet attended Oxford University and holds a graduate degree from the University of Cambridge.
Malliet’s first novel Death of a Cozy Writer was chosen by Kirkus Reviews as a Best Book of 2008, nominated for a Left Coast Crime award (the Hawaii Five-O for best police procedural), short-listed for the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery, nominated for the Anthony Award for Best First Novel and was a finalist for the David G. Sasher, Sr. Award for Best Mystery Novel.
Butter Fingers is a game for your Kindle Fire which you can obtain today for free.
Watch for Falling Objects
Are your fingers fast enough to save the world? Find out in Butter Fingers, a simple yet exhilarating game of skill and dexterity.
Your robot friend needs help! Be a pal and give him a hand: you’ll be tapping objects to stop them from falling. Butter Fingers features more than 45 levels of fast-finger action, with lots of different objects to juggle.
Juggling with Fate
The concept of Butter Fingers is simple: on each level, objects will drop from the top of the screen. Your job is to tap them to juggle them back up. If you can keep them up until the timer runs out, you’ll move on to the next level!
Sounds easy, right? Well, it gets harder. Some objects have sharp edges, and you definitely want to avoid those if you know what’s good for you. But don’t worry–there are also Power Ups to help you along on your mission.
Butter Fingers is fast paced and fun–a great game to play when you’ve got just a couple of minutes to spare. Good luck! The fate of the world rests on your fingers.
The Kindle Keyboard has been the overall recommendation of this site, and myself in particular, since it was first introduced. It stands out from the current generation for a couple reasons, but mostly due to its unrestricted internet access. The Kindle Touch 3G has its cellular connectivity restricted. Apparently that sort of freedom was costing Amazon a bit more than they liked. Users will now find their internet usage capped to a mere 50mb each month.
For the most part this will prove little problem. The Kindle’s screen, while amazing for reading, is not well suited for most of the bandwidth-intensive tasks that people generally put their portable devices to. You’re not going to have the option of watching a movie on your Kindle eReader, which is part of the reason the Kindle Fire was made. Even music downloads, which make sense knowing that the Kindle has the ability to play MP3s, are largely difficult to manage except through storefronts and social media pages that the Kindle’s Experimental Browser is less than suited for.
The most likely explanation for this change to the service agreement is that too many people have caught on to the possibility of using the Kindle’s 3G access on another mobile device. This hack was widely publicized when a reliable method developed and seemed likely to end up little more than a bit of trivia in the days that followed. Yes it is possible to enable wireless tethering of a sort, but it is obviously against the terms of service and the practice is far from anonymous.
Apparently people have been doing it anyway. Amazon has been cracking down on these Kindle abusers individually, limiting their device’s access to the Kindle Store and Amazon.com, but that takes manpower and there is almost certainly a waiting list as each abuser is warned. Adding the 50mb per month cap prevents outright abuse in the meantime.
Given what we know about software changes from model to model, this may be the start of something more significant for the Kindle line in general. By limiting the usefulness of the Kindle Keyboard, Amazon is setting things up to remove the device entirely. This allows them to save on everything from firmware updates to 3G charges as customers move into the hardware we’re expecting to see in the next few months. They clearly want to make some of the new features like X-Ray into Kindle brand selling points, but that’s not going to happen while so many users are still happy with their older model.
If you like to have your laptop hooked to a Kindle Keyboard for free 3G access, you’re probably going to be very unhappy in the days and weeks to come. Amazon hasn’t commented, but this crackdown is likely to get bigger and stick around. If you’re a normal user who just grabs the occasional eBook or website then you’ll likely never run into this new limitation. Either way, keep an eye out for the hardware upgrade that’s around the corner. Amazon is likely to be pushing upgrader incentives to build interest.
Today Amazon offers On Bear Mountain by Deborah Smith just for $1.99
Dirt-poor, sensitive as poets, and proud as kings, the Powell family has lived on a Georgia mountain top for generations. Then, during the 1960’s, young Ursula Powell’s father convinces the Tiber family, owners everything in nearby Tiberville, to commission a huge iron sculpture of a bear for the town. Decades later the strange sculpture – rejected by the townspeople and left to rust on the Powell farm – symbolizes a family’s failure and thwarted dreams. But, unknown to Ursula, it is now worth such a huge fortune that the artist’s embittered son, Quentin Ricconni, is coming to reclaim it . . . and to change everything Ursula believes about the past, the choices that break a heart, and the redeeming powers of art and love.
Some words about the Author
Deborah Smith, a sixth-generation Georgia native, is a former newspaper reporter and editor. She has more than 1.5 million copies in print of her previous novels, including the bestselling A Place to Call Home. Deborah is married and lives in the mountains of North Georgia.
Shape Safari Pro is a puzzle which you can get today just for free.
Shape Safari Pro is a puzzle game using shapes to challenge your visuospatial cognition. This is the very adult way of saying, “you get to play with shapes!”
The objective is to re-create the shape that’s provided by first, choosing the correct shape, and second, manipulating it properly to make the perfect match. After you choose the shape, the manipulator options will automatically appear. The manipulators depict how the image will be affected using a constant sample image. If you need to smash your image, choose the manipulator that appears smashed.
Initially, this may seem like a simple task, however with each successful match, the puzzle’s difficulty increases.
Puzzles increase in difficulty based on level and number of steps until completion. These are added along the bottom of the screen and provide additional points once you complete a puzzle. The more difficult the level and more steps involved, the higher the point value.
A Little Android Helper
If you make a mistake, use the undo button. If you are totally stuck, use the hint button. A miraculous little green Android will appear to save the day. It will undo your mistakes and point to the next correct move, but the rest is up to you.
Play an endless amount of puzzles and become a visuospatial genius. You can do it, and the miraculous little Android can help!
Kindle Library Lending debuted last year, and has shown modest growth, but has a ways to go before it really takes off. The number of libraries that offer the service has grown tremendously, but the selection of books offered has not.
My local library offers access to e-books for the Kindle, Nook, and other electronic devices. But, I rarely find anything I like. If I do, it already has a waiting list a mile long.
One of the biggest barriers to the program is reaction from publishers. The Big 6 are having a hard time relinquishing their books for borrowing because they’re afraid that it will make a big dent in sales.
I read an article earlier today that got me thinking more about this dilemma, and I began to mull over ideas suggested in the article that might help them get over their fears.
E-books are easier to get and transport than regular books. So publishers are afraid that book sales will go the way of music sales did about 10 years ago.
I think with careful handling through licensing, a compromise can be reached. The result would be a benefit for both libraries and publishers. By adding e-books to their collection, libraries can shake their old stereotypes and offer something that is new and exciting.
For publishers, the benefit is the exposure to books that can lead to a purchase. There are people who borrow books from a library, like them a lot, then purchase them to read again.
Another option is to join Amazon Prime and use the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library. It has a much broader selection, but you can only check out one a month. I have checked out a lot more books from there than from my library. I am currently waiting very impatiently until the next month to download the third book in the Hunger Games Series on my Kindle.
I think it is important to still get the word out about e-book borrowing in libraries. Increasing the demand for books can’t hurt. Just remember, it is the publishers not the libraries themselves, that are setting the book limits. I hope to see a future where both print and e-books will be readily available to library patrons globally.