This weekend my home town, St. Augustine, celebrates its 447th birthday with parties, re-enactments and other activities.
Moving from the historic to the technical, the big news this week was Amazon’s introduction of its newest readers and tablets. I “watched” the event at The Verge. They were using the WordPress LiveBlog plugin to post updates and photos from the event. It allows multiple authors to post live updates within a single post and automatically refreshes the reader’s view as new updates are added. It could be a useful tool for reporting from a genealogy conference or event . . .
Amazon introduced a new e-reader, the Kindle Paperwhite, with both a Wi-Fi [$119] and a 3G [$179] version. This device has a brighter screen and includes a built-in light for reading in low-light conditions. They have increased the screen resolution which makes the text even clearer. These devices can be ordered now for October 1st delivery. The basic Kindle got an update with more font choices and faster page-turning. It also got a price reduction to $69. The 3G keyboard Kindle [$139] remains part of the Kindle inventory.
The Kindle Fire got a significant update with a faster processor, more memory and longer battery life. It also got a price reduction to $159. It can be ordered now with a September 14th delivery.
The new Kindle Fire HD offers two sizes – the standard 7″ screen and a larger 8.9″ screen. Both screens are HD quality and are combined with dual stereo speakers and Dolby audio. The processor is faster and the Wi-Fi system has been improved – including using two antennas – to make it even faster too. Bluetooth capability will allow you to use an external keyboard and there’s an HD camera on the front of the device which can be used with the Skype app to make video calls. The Kindle Fire HD (screen resolution is 1280 x 800) is available September 14th and there is both a 16GB model [$199] and a 32GB one [$299].
The big story is the new larger Kindle Fire HD. They have all the functional goodness of their smaller cousin, but with a larger screen showing a 1920 x 1200 pixel display. The Wi-Fi version is available with either 16GB [$299] or 32GB [$369] of storage. The 4G LTE wireless version offers all the goodness of its Wi-Fi cousins with high-speed wireless too. The 32GB model will sell for $499 and the 64GB model sells for $599. The wireless service for these devices is $49.95 a year and includes 250MB a month, 20GB of Amazon Cloud storage (in addition to the free storage you get for all your Amazon content) and a $10 credit in the Amazon app store. When you consider that 250MB service for the iPad starts at $15/month – and is only 3G speeds – this is quite a deal. These devices are expected to ship November 20th.
There’s a lot more Kindle stuff to talk about, but that will be saved for later postings.
One news item from yesterday that all ebook readers will enjoy is the settlement of the ebook price fixing case against Apple and several major publishers. The settlement returns the pricing process to the “normal” method where retailers buy books from publishers at the wholesale price, then set their own sale price. With luck, we buyers should see lower prices, sales and other enticements.
SlideShark has a new app for the iPhone/iPod Touch that will let you post your PowerPoint presentations at the site, then view them on the device. And, you can use the device with AirPlay to present the slideshow to others.
MacWorld has a great article – especially for Windows users with iPhones – listing easy ways to get your pictures off your iPhone.
WordPress released an update – v. 3.4.2 – with both maintenance and security fixes. This is a mandatory update and should be performed as soon as possible.
That’s it for this week. Hope you have a great weekend!