Friday, October 12, 2012

Paperwhite and Amz lending library coming to UK

The Kindle Paperwhite and the Amazon lending library (free with Prime membership) are coming to UK this month. Huzzah.
(The device is also coming to France and Germany. It's less clear about the library.)

Txtr Beagle, a €10 ereader?

Txtr Beagle aims to corner low-end e-reader market for $13, article.

The device seems quite interesting. Exceptionally small, most of the body is only 5mm thick, and it runs for a year on three AAA batteries. The ten Euro price is based on subsidising.

But what I want to know is, what will it cost, and can one even get it, without phone carrier contract? I don't need another phone contract, thanks, but I might be interested in a €30 ereader.

It's amazing how a simple B/W ereader can not only get you a handsome mate, but then also be more compelling than said handsome mate!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Early Paperwhite report

I've just had my Kindle Paperwhite for a few hours, so briefly:

No, the screen is not perfect. Compared to the iPad three's, it's less sharp and less even.
But I do think it's the best non-backlit screen we've had yet. (And it's hardly fair to compare it directly with the best screen broadly available.)

And more importantly for me, since as you know I never liked the dark e-ink screens, early evidence seems to point to that with the front light, this is a device I can use for longer stretches of time than I can backlit screens.

I am still curious as to why exactly it should be like that, but it's true, there's still something about backlit screens which makes it just a bit more of an effort to look at them.
For quick reading (like typical on the web) and many other things, they are just great. But... I was just listening to Iain M. Banks' new book on audio, and I decided to read along on the Paperwhite. I stopped the audio to take it a slightly puzzling sentence... and then several pages later I discovered I had forgotten the audio book and just been reading on the KPW. Somehow I had the feeling it wouldn't have happened with the iPad, there is just this small, odd strain...

It'll be interesting to see how this affects my book-reading, because while I always read a lot, in recent years a lot of it has either been articles, or audiobooks, or, well, unfinished books.

TTL says:

Simply put: reflected light excites the brain in a different way than direct light. Reflected light provides 3D information of the object/scene, while direct light provides merely a 2D image.

Watching direct light is tiring because, for one thing, the brain can not detect the distance of the object (text). Also, the image of the page becomes a kind of a "hole" in the scene. It doesn't reflect light from the environment, so it can not be integrated with the scene.

An Open Letter to Fiction Writers

An Open Letter to Fiction Writers, article.

Let's be frank: we're not the healthiest-minded bunch. If we were we'd spend our days doing something more pleasant than writing fiction. But lately we seem to have taken a turn for the worse. We look out at the shifting landscape of publishing - e-books rising, big publishers quaking - and obsessively ask, both publicly and privately, Is the novel dead? Is it all Fifty Shades of Twilight from here on out? Are we going the way of the poets, soon to be read by only each other?