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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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May 2018
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Are Airport Scanners Making Kindle Carrying Risky?

This time of year travel is anything but rare and chances are good that at some point a delay will have you sitting in an airport with nothing to do.  The obvious solution is to bring your Kindle along for the ride.  Reading is always a pleasant way to kill time, of course.  The problem comes in deciding whether or not this is safe to do.

There have been numerous reports of airport security causing Kindle screen failure in the past and it continues to be an issue.  Amazon denies that the usual sort of security scanners employed in airports have any chance of harming their eReaders.  Even leaving aside my own personal anecdotes involving extensive holiday travel having failed to do anything to a Kindle, they’re obviously correct.  The radiation being used in these scanners is simply far too weak to manage to do any real harm to E INK displays, even over the course of repeated scane.

Where it gets tricky is in the associated mechanisms.  Naturally, to speed up the processing, belts are employed to feed baggage through scanners.  We’ve all seen or used them from time to time.  These long rubber belts, constantly in motion, have the potential to build up a significant charge.  Some estimates have indicated it could easily reach or exceed 100 volts.  In instances where this discharges through a Kindle, of course it is going to freeze the E INK permanently in place.  Of course, that sort of thing isn’t particularly good for just about any piece of electronics.

While it seems unlikely that this phenomenon alone is sufficient to account for all of the reports of travel damage, keep in mind that it is travel damage.  Tight bags, rough handling, and not infrequent jostling in crowds and tightly packed planes inevitably takes its toll.  Given that the Kindle line makes use of display technology that is notoriously brittle, it is to be expected to some extent.

In order to ensure safety for your favorite Kindle, especially the eReader models since the Kindle Fire has proven extremely resilient, there are a few things you can do.  The simplest is packing carefully.  Make sure that your Kindle is in a good protective case or at least not in a position to be supporting any weight or accepting any major pressure.  This won’t be particularly helpful if you are one of the rare cases of airport scanner damage, but for general hits it makes all the difference.

If you are particularly concerned about the scanner, keep in mind that the damage likely to be the result of static discharge.  They make cheap protective products for help with that.  Many people employ antistatic bags to protect data storage devices in transit and they should work just as well for the Kindle.

The overwhelming majority of the time, you have nothing to be worried about.  What people remember are the rare exceptions and that tends to make for some rumors being blown out of proportion.  Fortunately, even if you should end up with problems all reports indicate that Amazon has an unofficial policy of replacing airport-damaged eReaders.  Enjoy your travel, bring your Kindle, and good luck with your travel this holiday season.

CES 2011 Goodies for Kindle Fans

This year’s CES selection has been really interesting to follow for me.  Everything from Three Dimensional Printers to Smart Grid Homes has come up.  It’s loads of fun.  A couple things in particular popped up that I thought might be interesting to highlight here though, as relates to all us fans of Kindles and Nooks and such!

M-Edge Customized eReader Covers

Going with the name “MyEdge” for the product line, M-Edge is getting set to open up a service allowing customers to have their Kindle, Nook, or iPad cover personalized with whatever photo they want right on the front.  The idea is, you choose a basic cover color, along with any text you want on it, then add in photos, pictures, graphics, etc in whatever pattern works for you.  They are aiming to have these personalized cases printed and shipped in 10-14 days.  The pricing I’ve heard about is surprisingly affordable, with the Kindle cover being just $40, the Nook cover matching that, and the iPad cover costing only $50.  While the service is not quite open yet, if you’re interested you can head to their website and be notified when ordering opens up.

Ion Book Saver Scanner

One of the biggest impediments for many newcomers to the eBook phenomenon has often been that book lovers are very attached to their libraries.  Personally, I’ve come to dread moving for no other reason than that books are heavy when you get a couple thousand together all in one place.  Anyway, when you already own all your favorites, it really doesn’t make much sense to go out and buy them all again just so that they can fit on your Kindle.  This isn’t a move from VHS to DVD where the quality is suddenly going to excite you, they’re books!  The solution that Ion(a company probably best known for their audio converter hardware) has come up with is an interesting looking scanner made specifically for books.

The device as a whole is a little bit bulky, and far from automated.  It’s not going to look at your book and do the work for you.  What you get is a scanner with a surface angled to allow book pages to lie flat without being held down firmly that can supposedly scan both pages of an open book in about a second.  It will come with some form of OCR software to give you a file that has selectable text, reflow capabilities, etc, rather than your usual flat image or PDF file.  The whole thing looks simple to use and should be useful to anybody with the time and interest to spend a few minutes turning the pages.  This should all be good, legally, given that any book you scan should in theory be something you own, but I’m sure there’ll be some objection along the lines of piracy at some point.  Still, I know that I have a few out of print books that I will be immensely pleased to have digital scans of as soon as this one comes out.

Admittedly these are only a couple of the fun things we have to look forward to now, but they intrigued me and seemed worth pointing out.  Enjoy!