I recently got the opportunity to try out a ColcaSac sleeve for my Kindle Fire and thought that it might be useful to share my thoughts. It’s proven to be an interesting product.
The sleeve I ended up with was the $29.95 Uintah style for the Kindle Fire. A fairly minimal design made of undyed hemp canvas and lined with a surprisingly soft recycled polyester fleece. This fits together with the company’s environmental concerns without sacrificing quality. There is absolutely no question, holding the sleeve in my hands, that this is a durable product.
Getting the device into the sleeve for the first time was somewhat daunting. The packaging actually instructs you to brace the device against your body while pulling it on and the instructions mention that the fit should be tight fitting, but that doesn’t get the idea across well enough.
It is very clear that my Kindle will not just fall out of this sleeve even if I leave the flap at the top closed.
After some use
Ok, the horrible snugness that made me fear I might never be able to retrieve my tablet again has faded somewhat. Now that I’ve been using it for a couple days, things have stretched out enough that while there is still no danger of the Kindle falling out I will at least never have a problem sliding it in and out. It’s clearly a case that has to be broken in.
In terms of other performance, the Uintah sleeve has held up well. A spilled drink left no stain on the canvas, and it was thick enough to prevent quickly-cleaned liquid from making its way through. The fleece lining is thick enough and soft enough that there is no reason to suspect anything has a chance of scratching through it.
The stitching holds up quite well and nothing seems to be glued together. I tested a fair amount and honestly can’t tell whether the canvas itself wouldn’t give out before the seams. It’s a well put together product.
The one concern I have is with fall damage. As with most sleeves, the shock of an impact will translate directly through to the device. This one is better than most in that regard, but the edge with the closure flap is particularly vulnerable. You would have to be unlucky enough to drop it just right, but these things can happen.
I’m a fan of folio cases for eReaders and tablets. To me they offer the least inconvenience during frequent use while still providing protection. That said, if I were to switch to a sleeve for regular use I would definitely make it one of these.
The ColcaSac Uintah design is as utilitarian as I could hope for without being unattractive or bulky. While it’s true that there could be some damage during falls, that’s going to depend on the situation and the device you’re holding in one. The Kindle Fire has already proven itself fairly resistant to fall damage from under four feet or so. The Kindle eReaders weigh less and would get even more benefit from the use of a sleeve with this kind of padding. It seems like a pointless concern unless you’re really hard on your electronics.
Remember that it will take some time to break in. I’m not exaggerating the tightness of a freshly shipped Uintah sleeve. It took a good week and probably 20 insertions/removals before things finally stretched just enough to be comfortable. Definitely worth it to avoid stretching to the point of looseness later, but it’s worth keeping in mind.
In addition to sleeves for the Kindle Fire, Kindle Touch, and Kindle Paperwhite, ColcaSac makes sleeves for the iPad, iPad Mini, iPhone, and Macbook. I’m also told that a Kindle Fire HD design is on the way.
Check them out at http://www.colcasac.com/
I was recently offered the chance to try out a pair of Plantronics BackBeat 216 headphones and figured they were worth a shot. The Kindle Fire practically demanded good headphones to get good sound and while the Kindle Fire HD has more than made up for its predecessor’s shortcoming there are still plenty of times when you’re going to want to watch a movie on your portable device without filling a whole room, car, or train with the sound from it.
At a glance these seem to be a nice enough purchase. For $37.99 they’re not going to break the bank compared to high end options, but the build quality seems high and the cloth-covered wire makes a nice aesthetic touch. The silicone earbuds left me slightly nervous since those are not my preference, but it was worth a try.
Listening Sound Quality
As far as earbuds go, I’ve rarely found a set that offered better sound. They seemed quite tinny at first, but after changing to a slightly smaller set of silicon tips and seating them more firmly in place I found the experience excellent. My usual listening preference involves a fairly bulky set of Sennheisers, but these could easily stand in temporarily when more mobility is needed.
Skype Sound Quality
My experience with the conversation applications of the BackBeats has not been so positive. As far as hearing a conversation goes, you get a mixed bag. The silicone earbuds cancel out a lot of the noise that otherwise interferes with calls, but the cloth wire transmits every bit of friction straight to your ears. Shifting slightly in your chair can result in enough wire on shirt contact to drown out the person you’re talking to. The mic is also less than impressive. Stick with the Kindle Fire HD’s built-in and you’ll get better recording.
As I mentioned, the comfort was better than expected. For people with particularly small ears they will likely be uncomfortable, but other than that I would expect no complaints. Using these for stretches of 3-4 hours at a time has caused no problems.
The in-line controls are useless. I tried to use them on multiple occasions and got nothing. Plugging in an iPhone, since that’s what Plantronics was designing for, didn’t improve things much. I got erratic volume changes and track skipping on music but no reliability. Overall it was actually better to use on anything but the iPhone it was designed for.
As far as listening to music or movies goes I don’t hesitate to recommend these headphones to any Kindle Fire user. The experience is more than worth the money and they will be kept with my tablet for as long as they last.
If you’re looking for a headset with in-line mic for Skype then these probably aren’t the best. There is too much noise transfer when listening to conversation and the mic is not very good. The noise from cable friction doesn’t come through except in such quiet situations, so I don’t think it’s a factor for other applications.
If you’re interested in these, the Plantronics BackBeat 216 Stereo Headphones w/ Inline Mic can be found with a large selection of other Kindle Fire HD Accessories at:
There is a cool new accessory for the Kindle Fire and other tablets called SlideFrame.
SlideFrame is handcrafted by the founders of SlideWare studios, which is based in California. The company was founded in January 2012 by two Stanford students who are veterans in the tech industry.
It looks a lot like those digital frames you slide your digital camera card into that creates a slideshow of pictures. Those frames don’t have much variety as far as frame style goes, however. The tablet uses its own memory while in the SlideFrame, so you aren’t limited to 2GB of memory that comes with many of the digital frames.
Technology overall has been designed for function, and form that fits the needs of the function. Most companies create gadgets that are sleek, but include features that enhance the device’s use. The case that surrounds the Kindle Fire is easy to grip, for example. So, aesthetics get thrown to the wayside, and it is up to accessories to make the devices “prettier.”
Tablets sales are catching up quickly with PC sales, but they have a few limitations still. Since tablets don’t include a slot to upload pictures, there’s not really a good way to showcase the pictures in a way that others can see them without actually emailing or sharing them via the internet.
The frames come in bamboo and wood, giving them a more homey feel than the aluminum or plastic that surrounds electronics. Just be careful about the battery life! The additional styles give the SlideFrame a leg up over the traditional digital frames.
SlideFrame comes in sizes that fit both 7″ and 10″ tablets, as well as other sizes, so it should still work with the new Kindle Fire regardless of the size .
So, overall, SlideFrame is a neat idea, and I hope more effort will be made to provide accessories that serve both aesthetic and functional purposes.
Today Amazon offers The Search for Major Plagge:The Nazi Who Saved Jews, Expanded Edition by Michael Good just for $1.99
When The Search for Major Plagge was published last spring, the world finally learned about a unique hero-and about one American doctor’s extraordinary journey to tell Karl Plagge’s story. Part detective story, part personal quest, Michael Good’s book is the story of the German commander of a Lithuanian work camp who saved hundreds of Jewish lives in the Vilna ghetto -including the life of Good’s mother, Pearl. Who was this enigmatic officer Pearl Good had spoken of so often? After five years of research-interviewing survivors, assembling a team that could work to open German files untouched for fifty years, following every lead he could, Good was able to uncover the amazing tale of one man’s remarkable courage. And in April 2005 Karl Plagge joined Oskar Schindler and 380 other Germans as a Righteous among Nations,honored by the State of Israel for protecting and saving Jewish lives during the Holocaust. This expanded edition features new photographs and a new epilogue on the impact of the discovery of Karl Plagge-especially the story of 83-year-old Alfons von Deschwanden, who, after fifty years of silence, came forward as a veteran of Plagge’s unit. His testimony is now part of this growing witness to truth.
Some words about the Author
Michael Good has appeared on C-SPAN, as a speaker in Israel and Germany, and in schools,libraries, churches, and synagogues across the United States. Plagge’s story was tracked by media around the world. Good, a physician, continues to follow and develop the Plagge story from his home in Durham, CT.
Rocket Weasel is a game for your Kindle Fire which you can obtain just for free.
Weasel school isn’t just fun and games; it’s the training ground for future expert chicken hunters. It’s where weasels enter as little weasels and leave as warrior weasels. And they must learn from no other weasel than the Dojo of all weasels–Mr. Weasel, himself.
But, as young weasels do, this bunch got into a little trouble in the hen house. Prepare to incite some serious rodent wreckage in this physics-based puzzler for the whole family.
It Ain’t Easy Weaselin’
Mr. Weasel was guiding his students on a midnight coop raid, Operation Chicken Dinner, when things went horribly wrong. The crotchety old farmer was waiting with cages and treacherous traps. Now these amateurs are all locked up–with the exception of their sly mentor.
Operation Chicken Dinner
Playing as Mr. Weasel, you must harness your inner-rodent to outsmart the ruthless farmer and free your little weasels from their confines. As you may have expected, Mr. Weasel doesn’t mess around. Strap on a rocket and put chicken back on the menu. Smash crates, blow stuff up, and eat as many chickens as possible for more points while you free the other weasels.
A Helping Hoof
While the farm is in a frenzy, other animals try to help Mr. Weasel free the little critters. All 64 levels are full of colorful characters and spectacular graphics. Farm animals unite! (Except the chickens. No one cares about the chickens unless they’re served with a side of mashed potatoes.)
Grace Digital Inc, a company many will likely know for their internet radio players, has announced in a recent press release that they will be offering their own Kindle Fire Speaker & Charging Dock. The concept is sound, the design is attractive, and the price is high. Most of those things are exactly what most of us are likely to be looking for in a product like this. At $129.99, the dock will cost nearly as much as the $199 Kindle Fire itself though. Can they really expect to attract much interest at that point?
In this particular case, I would give that question a solid “maybe” answer. The Grace FireDock, as it is known, will definitely address some very real shortcomings of the device and offers more than just the bare essentials for doing so. It is one of those cases where sometimes the features being provided are worth the money depending on how applicable they are to your habits, at least until competition drives down the price a bit.
The most important thing is probably that this is an accessory designed specifically for the Kindle Fire. Let’s face it; if there is anything the Fire needs, it is surely better speakers. The cradle will seat the device perfectly, connecting both power and audio as it does so, without any hassles. Once docked, the Kindle Fire can be viewed from two different angles and turned to be used in either portrait or landscape orientation. While plugged in, the dock with charge the Kindle as you use it. When disconnected from the wall, it has access to an optional 6 hour battery that will keep the speakers running as long as the Kindle’s own battery holds out in most cases.
Much of why this is such a seemingly great option is that it accounts for the Kindle Fire’s capabilities. The cradle does not interfere with use of the touchscreen. There are different options for screen orientation, but not an overly complex and breakable system for them. The wide viewing angle of the Kindle Fire’s screen allows for somewhat more simplicity there than might otherwise be the case. The dock doesn’t even have its own internal radio option, since the Kindle Fire will generally have access to far higher quality than you can get over the airwaves anyway.
At the moment, we can expect the Grace FireDock to be available as of July 2nd this year. As mentioned previously, the price is a little high for something meant to accommodate a $199 tablet. This seems to reflect its usefulness, though. We can’t know how it will perform for sure until the docks hit shelves, but if the promo page is even mostly correct this could easily become a standard accessory for people who love their Kindle Fire.
Today Amazon offers 3 books and a puzzle game: Chaos Walking Trilogy written by Patrick Ness and Lights Off . The price for each of the books is $0.99 and the game you can download for free today only.
The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking)
Todd Hewitt is the only boy in a town of men. Ever since the settlers were infected with the Noise germ, Todd can hear everything the men think, and they hear everything he thinks. Todd is just a month away from becoming a man, but in the midst of the cacophony, he knows that the town is hiding something from him — something so awful Todd is forced to flee with only his dog, whose simple, loyal voice he hears too. With hostile men from the town in pursuit, the two stumble upon a strange and eerily silent creature: a girl. Who is she? Why wasn’t she killed by the germ like all the females on New World? Propelled by Todd’s gritty narration, readers are in for a white-knuckle journey in which a boy on the cusp of manhood must unlearn everything he knows in order to figure out who he truly is.
The Ask and the Answer (Chaos Walking)
Part two of the literary sci-fi thriller follows a boy and a girl who are caught in a warring town where thoughts can be heard – and secrets are never safe. Reaching the end of their flight in THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO, Todd and Viola did not find healing and hope in Haven. They found instead their worst enemy, Mayor Prentiss, waiting to welcome them to New Prentisstown. There they are forced into separate lives: Todd to prison, and Viola to a house of healing where her wounds are treated. Soon Viola is swept into the ruthless activities of the Answer, while Todd faces impossible choices when forced to join the mayor’s oppressive new regime. In alternating narratives the two struggle to reconcile their own dubious actions with their deepest beliefs. Torn by confusion and compromise, suspicion and betrayal, can their trust in each other possibly survive?
Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking)
In the riveting conclusion to the acclaimed dystopian series, a boy and girl caught in the chaos of war face devastating choices that will decide the fate of a world. As a world-ending war surges around them, Todd and Viola face monstrous decisions. The indigenous Spackle, thinking and acting as one, have mobilized to avenge their murdered people. Ruthless human leaders prepare to defend their factions at all costs, even as a convoy of new settlers approaches. And as the ceaseless Noise lays all thoughts bare, the projected will of the few threatens to overwhelm the desperate desire of the many. The consequences of each action, each word, are unspeakably vast: To follow a tyrant or a terrorist? To save the life of the one you love most, or thousands of strangers? To believe in redemption, or assume it is lost? Becoming adults amid the turmoil, Todd and Viola question all they have known, racing through horror and outrage toward a shocking finale.
Who Turned Off the Lights?
Lights Off is a deceptively simple game that will test the limits of your logic and puzzle-solving skills. The goal is straightforward: turn off all the lights to progress to next level. But as you go up the levels, this task gets harder and harder.
Light Switch Labyrinth
There’s one little catch to turning off the lights. When you turn a light off or on, it toggles all the lights next to it. So, if you tap a light off, all the lights next to it will turn on. Conversely, if you tap a light on, all the lights next to it turn off.
You’ll soon be juggling increasingly difficult light combinations to turn off those lights. To solve each board, you must think ahead three or four steps (or more) into your choices. Turning the lights off has never been this challenging!
Tap the LCD area to select a level. Lights Off also keeps track of the number of moves you make to solve each board. Reset the board you’re on at any time if you want to start that level over. Featuring smooth animations, subtle sound effects, and beautiful artwork, Lights Off is the perfect way to kill some time and give your brain a workout.
Today Amazon makes a great deal for thous who loves spend a lot of time on kitchen 77 cookbooks with prices from $0.99 up to $1.99. It is huge number of books for describing everyone but every one could choose good books for himself. Shake up the new season with some fresh ideas for the kitchen. Whether you’re an omnivore or a vegan, today’s wide-ranging variety of cookbooks is sure to satisfy all culinary needs and desires.
You can see all cookbooks on this link. Do not loose this chance!
Also Amazon offers for free downloading Yoga Guru Pro – application for your Kindle Fire or any other Android gadgets today only.
If you’re looking to make yoga a part of your life, Yoga Guru is for you. This Android app acts as a personal yoga trainer, guiding you to practice yoga with well-organized regimens, step-by-step instructions, and videos.
Yoga Guru offers a platform for you to attain physical discipline, self awareness, and mental peace. Its content has been developed by expert yoga practitioners, with the intent of making it easy for you to realize yoga’s many benefits.
Take the Yoga Path
The app features exercise regimens that can be customized easily to your preferences. Choose a regimen based on your experience level; you can choose from Beginner, Default (for mid-level yoga skills), and Advanced. Add or remove exercises to make any regimen fit your needs.
You can also select from three separate types of yoga exercise. For moves that focus on a healthy body, choose the Physical Yoga Exercises category. For a healthy mind, choose the Meditation category. If you’re looking for exercises that help common ailments, choose the Medical category.
Within each regimen is a series of yoga exercises that have been prepared by expert yoga trainers. You’ll see simple, step-by-step instructions for each move, as well as a video that clearly demonstrates the correct form.
Today Amazon offer to enrich your e-books collection by The Siege of Washington: The Untold Story of the Twelve Days That Shook the Union written by John Lockwood and Charles Lockwood just for $1.99.
On April 14, 1861, following the surrender of Fort Sumter, Washington was “put into the condition of a siege,” declared Abraham Lincoln. Located sixty miles south of the Mason-Dixon Line, the nation’s capital was surrounded by the slave states of Maryland and Virginia. With no fortifications and only a handful of trained soldiers, Washington was an ideal target for the Confederacy. The South echoed with cries of “On to Washington!” and Jefferson Davis’s wife sent out cards inviting her friends to a reception at the White House on May 1.
Lincoln issued an emergency proclamation on April 15, calling for 75,000 troops to suppress the rebellion and protect the capital. One question now transfixed the nation: Whose forces would reach Washington first: Northern defenders or Southern attackers?
For 12 days, the city’s fate hung in the balance. Washington was entirely isolated from the North–without trains, telegraph, or mail. Sandbags were stacked around major landmarks, and the unfinished Capitol was transformed into a barracks, with volunteer troops camping out in the House and Senate chambers. Meanwhile, Maryland secessionists blocked the passage of Union reinforcements trying to reach Washington, and a rumored force of 20,000 Confederate soldiers lay in wait just across the Potomac River.
Drawing on firsthand accounts, The Siege of Washington tells this story from the perspective of leading officials, residents trapped inside the city, Confederates plotting to seize it, and Union troops racing to save it, capturing with brilliance and immediacy the precarious first days of the Civil War.
Flick Kick Field Goal is a game for your Kindle Fire which could attract your kids and free your time for a while. One of advantages of this game is that you can get it free. But only today. Tomorrow it’s price will be different. So, do not lose your opportunity – click here.
Bring the fun and accessibility of flick football to your Android device with this casual sports title from PikPok Games. Try to make kicks from different angles and distances, and even take into account shifting wind speeds and directions. Choose from Sudden Death, Arcade, Time Attack, and Practice modes, then use the intuitive flick controls to begin playing right away. Easy to pick up but hard to put down, this classic time-killer is sure to appeal to casual gamers and die-hard football fans alike.
In Flick Kick Field Goal, players take on the role of a field goal kicker on a football team as they try to make kicks of varying difficulty through the goalposts at the end of the field. Pick one of four different game modes: Practice, Sudden Death, Arcade, or Time Attack, and try out Flick Kick Field Goal‘s intuitive control system to begin making kicks like a pro.
To make a kick, simply line your finger up with the football and flick the touchscreen in the direction of the goalposts. Not every kick is straightforward though: experiment with curving left or right in your followthrough, or give a longer swipe to kick the ball further. Find the technique that works for you, then adjust each kick to account for changing windspeeds and angles.
To add to the difficulty, factor in winds that can come from any angle or change severity with each kick. Anything from a light breeze to gale force winds must be taken into account if you want to succeed.
Online Scores and Achievements
Flick Kick Field Goal features online leaderboards and achievements with OpenFeint support. Rack up the points and then post your newest scores to Flick Kick’s global leaderboards. Think you’re good? Show off your skills online as you compete against others for the top spot!
- Simple and intuitive flick controls make it easy to pick up and begin play
- Challenging gameplay with shifting windspeeds and target distances
- Loading screens with famous football quotes and trivia
- Roaring crowds and full 3D graphics bring a new level of realism to flick football
- Compete against others through OpenFeint online scoring and achievements
On January 14th, SolarFocus releases the first ever solar powered Kindle cover. It is a form fitting cover with a solar panel included for charging. It also comes with a built in LED reading light that charges from the cover’s reserve battery.
The e-ink Kindles already have an impressive battery life that holds charge for up to two months. Battery life depends on several factors though. First off, avid readers will obviously use up battery more quickly than those who don’t read as often. Kindle games also take up a chunk of battery life, and so does browsing the Kindle Store.
The reserve battery that is built into the cover charges in sunlight. The amount of time it takes to charge depends on the strength of the sunlight that it catches. It reaches full charge after 8 hours, and provides up to three days of reading per hour of charge according to the product’s website.
The protective nature of the cover and the built in light are what wins me over. I travel a lot at night, and would like to find a cover the includes as much functionality as possible for the most reasonable price. The Solar powered Kindle cover is $79. As far as cases go, it is on the higher side, but I think it is a really good value for what it does.
This is the first portable solar powered charging device that I’ve seen hit the major tech news. I hope that the future will bring more solar powered and other energy friendly charging options. It would be cool to have a multipurpose docking station to charge all of my gadgets. What a great way to save money and help the environment at the same time.
Thinking even further ahead, electronic devices will most likely include their own solar panels so that they can charge themselves. Because of cost, this is still a few years off at least.
From what it looks like now, the SolarKindle Cover is only available on the SolarFocus website. I’m sure it will be offered on Amazon at some point soon.
Recently revealed at CES and available for sale on the 14th of January, the new SolarFocus Kindle cover seems to be an interesting solution to a problem that few, if any, people have run into. This doesn’t mean that it will fail to impress as a gadget or that it is in any way useless, but one has to wonder how big the market will be for something like the SolarKindle cover.
Essentially this cover is meant to serve as recharging station, backup battery, and book light all in addition to the normal screen protection function. Certainly not a bad thing. The case’s internal battery carries a charge sufficient to add an additional three months of battery life to the Kindle 4 and can be recharged over the course of eight hours of direct sunlight exposure if you don’t have access to a powered USB port or adapter. Even one hour is supposedly sufficient for as much as three days worth of reading time.
Sadly, there are any number of drawbacks. In terms of basic use, there are a few obvious problems. The addition of this cover more than doubles the weight of your Kindle, along with doubling its thickness and increasing the size of its footprint to slightly larger than the Kindle Keyboard. The added size and weight remove a great deal of the appeal that the $79 Kindle carries. The SolarKindle case itself also appears fairly unappealing, though some might disagree with me if they find solar panels and white plastic pleasant. Perhaps the most striking thing about this case, however, is the pricing. At $79 itself, it will double the cost of owning a Kindle.
I have nothing against a desire to be environmentally friendly, but this doesn’t make sense to me. Given the fact that the Kindle 4 already runs for a minimum of three weeks at a time between charges (based on regular personal use on my part), how could it possibly be worth the inconvenience of the bulk and weight just to avoid having it find a wall outlet?
As of the Kindle 2, we already have analysis indicating that eReaders become environmentally friendlier than buying new books as of the 50th title or so. Probably safe to assume that things have gotten even better by now, but even ignoring that entirely we have to assume that the impact of manufacturing these covers will be sufficient to increase the numbers. How quickly can saving $0.25 or less per month in electricity help this case start to pay for itself under any metric?
Despite the hype surrounding the CES reveal, it seems unlikely that the SolarKindle will take off. The price is too high and the benefits too few. It isn’t as if you were adding months of battery life to a tablet or smartphone. If you spend months at a time without access to power, this might be the case for you. For anybody else it is not much better than an ostentatious nod toward “Going Green” that the Kindle, despite having numbers to support such a claim, fails to advertise on its own.