Kindle Unlimited is now live for customers in the U.S..
And there’s bad news for some people, including me, in the Terms of Service:
We only accept credit cards for payment of your membership fees. Please do not sign up for the program with a debit card. Also known as a “check” or “ATM” card, a debit card typically has the word “debit” printed on the face of the card.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
Well that sucks. I was hoping I’d be able to buy a $10 Amazon Gift Card, have a binge-read for the month, then not have to pay for the months I wasn’t using it.
It isn’t like Amazon not to want all the money.
Here’s Amazon’s first store:
It’s in Shanghai, and it exists only between July 18-20th [Google Translate].
It’s Amazon’s ploy to get people to fondle their devices so they might increase their sales in China.
Announced via a Weibo communique.
Rockchip 3288 CPU, 10.1-inch 1920 x 1200 screen, 2MP front and 8MP back camera. No other specs released. See the announcement at the Pipo forum [Google Translate].
Unless I see any surprises in reviews, I won’t be covering this tablet further.
Amazon will unveil its smartphone June 18th (probably)
Here’s the hype:
I can’t wait to see the reaction from all those who have been hyping iOS 8!
Gerry Conway: The ComiXology Outrage
Now, I’ve heard some folks say that Amazon is just trying to avoid paying Apple’s “greedy 30% fee” for in-app purchases. This is such nonsense it almost doesn’t require a response, because there are people out there who have a knee-jerk reaction against Apple that goes beyond critical thinking, but in the hopes of reaching more open-minded readers who might be tempted by that argument, let me address it.
Apple charges 30% for in-app purchases of eBooks, music, video, games. Amazon charges 30% for digital distribution of eBooks, music, video, games. Same deal. Period.
There’s a long and fruitless debate to be had over whether or not Apple “deserves” to make a profit off its App Store. Anti-Apple deniers say no, and their arguments usually boil down to just a dislike of Apple making a profit (or what they consider a “greedy” profit). The fact is, Apple provides a storefront for developers to sell their apps, and as any store owner would, asks for a piece of the money the developers make as a result. Mall owners ask store owners to pay rent. It’s a normal business transaction. Happens every day. Apple’s App Store provides developers with access, and gives them three ways to pay for the privilege: developers can charge for the app directly (and Apple takes a cut, 30%, same as Amazon); developers can provide the app for “free” and Apple will place ads in the app (ad-supported payment, like Google search); or developers can offer in-app purchases (and Apple takes their 30% cut, one step removed).
Please, bitch. Please.
After years of rumors: This is Amazon’s smartphone
I’d be surprised if it was branded as a Kindle. This would be much more: “All of Amazon in Your Pocket.”
This is probably the biggest move ever made by Amazon and should really scare the living shit out of everyone who’s wide awake. It has repercussions that I’m not even going to try to list because that list would be huge.
The 3D is, of course, differentiation — but that could have vast implications for all UIs as well. People talk about kids and tablets encountering paper, trying to pinch-zoom photos. What happens when kids experience the 3D Amazon UI and have to go back to flat?
From a technical standpoint. it’ll be interesting to see if the infrared cameras work in bright sunlight. There’s more to those IR cameras than a 3D effect. Imagine your eyes being tracked to call up a contact and dial a number — hands free. Or to scroll through Twitter — hands-free.
The eye-tracking will probably send data to Amazon to tweak things — and to measure the effectiveness of ads. There’s a big privacy issue that will blow up.
It’ll probably sell out the first day it’s offered for sale.
This Is Why Amazon Will Do A Phone
The Amazon Phone Rumor Again
How Amazon Could Make Its Phone Free
Mirroring Android to Amazon Fire TV
The mirroring performance of the Fire TV is on comparable to the Apple TV (low latency, high quality). Chromecast (which uses WebRTC) has noticeable quality issues, on both audio and video.
I never actually got around to sending the audio output to the Apple TV, so the Fire TV implementation is the best of the 3 currently.
Summary of the three platforms:
Fire TV – Great audio and video quality. Works on any 4.4+ device.
Apple TV – Great video quality. Great audio quality, but I don’t have audio implemented yet.
Chromecast – Good video quality after 2 minutes, when WebRTC ramps the bitrate up. Terrible audio quality, not sure why. I think that it encodes the audio stream to be optimized for voice. Requires a hardware vp8 encoder, currently only available on Nexus 5.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
Well, I didn’t know that about Chromecast with AllCast. Time to think about Fire TV.
L’Europe va mettre fin aux formats propriétaires pour les livres numériques
Europe will put an end to proprietary formats for digital books
While the European Parliament will be renewed in May, the European Commission, which will also be fully reconstructed by the end of the year, embarks on a surprising activism: she finally grabs the file interoperability digital books, with the aim of forcing retailers using proprietary formats to end these systems.
Amazon and Apple, the two market leaders, are directly targeted. Currently, a digital book bought on Amazon.fr can only be read on the Kindle, the e-tailer reading lamp, or one of its applications. Reading lamp which does not accept the open format ePub. It is the same with the iBook Store, Apple’s digital library, which does not allow the reading on the terminals of the Apple brand.
Assuming this isn’t an April Fool’s item, what will happen?
Kobo objects to potentially “devastating” Competition Bureau agreement on agency pricing
By analogy, in the US, when Agency Lite was brought into existence, Kobo saw its net revenues steadily decline. Kobo has since stopped investing in marketing in the US, closed its office in Chicago and is focusing on other markets. Its market share and revenues are now negligible there.
Boldfaced emphasis added by me.
Well, there it is. What I’ve thought was the case for at least the past year.
B&N’s Nook division goes into a death-spiral of losses.
Sony pulls out and sends it eBook customers to Kobo.
Now Kobo is saying it has basically written off the American market.
That leaves Amazon as undisputed winner.
Tell me again how ePub 3 is going to save everyone from Amazon…