New Kindle, Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire

Amazon has done it again.  They have surprised us with new Kindle devices.  Not just a replacement for their popular Kindle but 3 all new Kindles.

First there is the Kindle Fire (pic) which is more like a tablet and some people are calling it an iPad killer.  It’s battery lasts 8 hours which is pretty good for what it is.

The specs on the Kindle Fire is an 80GB hard drive for storing 80 apps plus either 10 movies, 800 songs or 6,000 books.  The Kindle Fire has a 7″ vibrant color IPS screen with multi-touch.

I had never heard of an IPS screen before so I had to look it up and I found some information on it on a message board.  This is what someone said it was.

IPS – in-plane switching…. the liquid crystals are aligned horizontally instead of on an angle. This process greatly increases vertical viewing angles. When coupled with the high brightness and contrast of the glaretype displays, color reproduction is almost perfect. Basically it becomes a 1/4″ professional graphics flat CRT monitor…. which is why the display is primarily for those in professional graphics.

Very interesting.

The new Amazon Kindle Fire is $199 and it is a WiFi only device.

The 2nd new Kindle is a smaller priced Kindle with no keyboard.  It is WiFi only, has a 6″ e-ink Pearl screen, 2GB storage for 1,400 ebooks and its battery life is 1 month.

The new $79 kindle doesn’t have a keyboard but it does have a 5-way controller at the bottom for navigating.  With no keyboard I would imagine that it would be a bit difficult to type in the name of a book you are looking for.

I noticed that it allows you to check out books from the library.  That was something that will make it easier on most people who can’t afford to buy a lot of books but don’t want to have to go to the library for their books.  I looked that feature up when I was researching last year and our library is not in the system so it wouldn’t work for me unless they changed that in the last year.

They still have their Kindle with the keyboard which they have 2 versions of, a WiFi only version for $99 and a WiFi and 3G version for $139.  That went way down in price since last year when it was $150 for WiFi only and $200 for 3G.

Now they have a new Kindle touch in WiFi only for $99 and WiFi and 3G for $149.

The battery for both the Kindle Keyboard and Kindle Touch lasts for 2 months which is longer than before.

All of the kindles use the Amazon cloud storage for unlimited amazon content and they have an experimental browser with the exception of the Kindle Fire which uses their new Amazon Silk cloud-accelerated browser.

I remember when e-book readers first came out.  I had just made my new years resolution to start reading in December of 2005.  I saw the Sony reader at Costco for about $500 or $550, I can’t remember.  I do remember thinking how cool it was that they were coming out with them but I didn’t think they would catch on at that price.

I started reading the Harry Potter books in January 2006 and got hooked on reading.  I was reading all the time after that.

Then Amazon came out with their first e-book reader which if I can remember was almost as high as the Sony Reader but eventually they lowered the price down to $250.  Then B&N came out with their Nook after a little controversy with another e-book reader with a color screen at the bottom.  The nook was also $250.

The war was on and every year these 2 rivals have come out with a new version of their e-book reader with a lower price.

The Kindle has dropped from a high $500 all the way down to a low $80.  I never thought the day would come and it has.  Before you know it there will be another Kindle or Nook on the market that will be as low as $50 and every kid will have one in school with their textbooks on them.

My question is, what ever happened to the Sony reader touch?  That was a good one and it’s a shame it’s gone because you could write on the screen.  I seriously thought that the Sony Reader would evolve into the Sony Trapper Keeper where you would have all of your textbooks in there as well as a notebook with tabs for each subject and you could write your notes on a notepaper screen and have it turn it into typed text that you could save.  That would’ve been awesome.

Maybe that will be the next evolution for the Kindle or the Nook, or who knows, maybe even both.  It would be much easier for a child to carry to school rather than a heavy 20lb backpack filled with books and a notebook or a laptop.

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Kitrics Nutritional Label Scale

I remember reading about this scale last year and thinking how cool it was and how it’s a shame I will never be able to buy one because of the $50 asking price. Well, that is no longer a worry because a friend of mine found one in a shop in St. Louis, MO for less than $10, bought it and mailed it to me.

The problem was, there was no manual or food list but luckily they had one and made copies for me. Unfortunately I can’t read them so I found them online in pdf format so it’s a win win. I’d love to turn them into epub format one of these days to make it easier to read on my Nook. Maybe one of these days I’ll get around to it.

This is the description and info from the Kitrics website:

A scale and a calculator all in one, this essential dieting tool calculates portion weight, and displays all the information the way you’re used to seeing it on food packaging labels: an at-a-glance breakdown of calories, fats, carbs, proteins, fiber, sodium, cholesterol and sugars. You can also total your daily nutritional intake, and store up to 99 of your own food entries into a database of nearly 1000 others. So the experience is always customized to you, your goals and your lifestyle. Ideal for: portion control, medical requirements, type A personalities.

Bottom line:
Not just the weight, but the total breakdown. Calculates calories, carbs, fat and more.

– Weighs in grams and ounces
– Maximum weight: 72 oz/2 kg
– High precision: +/- .05 oz/1 g
– Automatic power off
– Requires 2 AA batteries, included

What’s great about this is that you can weigh your food and it tells you all the information you need so you can make sure you either go under the recommended or stay within the range, you’re choice. Personally, I don’t know if I want to know all of this information and so far I’ve only used it to weigh chicken so I have exactly 1lb for the chicken helper which I’m sure trumps the diet lol.

When I start my diet back up, I will start taking it seriously again. In fact, I will probably take it so seriously that I will be storing my own food entries in there for some of the diet recipes that I have so I can weigh my plate as I’m putting the food on it. That will make counting calories so much easier because I know how much food I’m eating by the exact weight.

I have a regular food scale that isn’t digital, it just has a bowl on the top and I’ve been balancing plates on it for the last few years and not knowing the exact measurement so this is much better.

So thanks Sue for sending me this scale.

PlayStation NGP Debut Trailer

The PlayStation NGP debut trailer looks pretty cool but it doesn’t tell me everything about the future for the PSP. Check this video out that comes straight from the G4 website.

http://www.g4tv.com/lv3/50948

I did see something about the NGP that showed an image of what it will look like and they said that it has PS3 quality games. The icons on the home screen look way cooler and those are the round icons you see in this trailer and I’m pretty sure it’s a touchscreen. You could kind of tell in this trailer because of the way he was picking people up. If it is touchscreen then that would be pretty cool especially if you could play the game with touch as well as the directional buttons and/or analog stick which there are 2 of, one on each side.

It also seems from the video that it has the award system just like the PS3 has, which I have no clue how that works since I still don’t have a PS3 :(.

It looks really cool and I would love to upgrade but I’m still using the PSP Slim (the 2nd gen PSP) so I don’t see an upgrade in my future, no matter how cool it looks lol. That is unless my PSP suffers an “accidental” fall in my toilet. Oopsie.

OnLive Cloud Gaming System

I watched this yesterday on Attack of the Show and wanted to blog about it but I really didn’t know much about it at the time to really blog about it.  After looking at their website though I discovered that it’s a pretty cool service.

When you play video games how long do you play them before you stop playing it FOREVER?  And how much do you want to kick yourself because you couldn’t afford to spend $80 on a new game every time one comes out that you want?  Isn’t that just the most frustrating?

You could rent them with GameFly but then you have to wait for the next one to come in the mail 2 days after you’ve shipped out the previous one.  OnLive is a GameFly killer!

You get the little OnLive box that is the size of your hand and plug it into your network.  I don’t know if it has WiFi but if it’s anything like the Roku then you’re probably better off just plugging it into the router anyway.  Start up your service and you are on your way to playing as many cool new video games as you like.

Here is that Gadget Pron video from Attack of the Show via Hulu:

http://www.hulu.com/embed/XHi-t64QEBl67tCDWxwG2Q

Trust me, if I had $100 for the box, I would definitely buy this.  There are so many games out there that I want to try but can’t because I just don’t have the money for the gaming system and even if i had the system, I still couldn’t afford the games.  So this will be a great way for anyone to try out any game that is available to users to see if it’s worth the sometimes $80 cost of the game.

The game controller looks very sleek and shiny and Kevin said you’re better off using another game controller from another system and if the controller that comes with it sucks then great, do that if you have one.  If you don’t then go to Game Stop and buy a refurbished one for an x-box or PS3 or whichever one is compatible.

They only give this a 3 out of 5 but considering it will probably save you thousands of dollars on games that you buy and never play again I’m going to give it a 5 out of 5 just for the money you will be saving.

Self-Lacing Sneakers?

Nike’s Plans For “Back To The Future” Self-Lacing Sneakers — via Deadspin.com

Remember the self-lacing shoes that Marty McFly put on in Back to the Future 2 when Doc Brown brought him into the future to save his son from getting arrested? He stepped out of the DeLorean and Doc handed him a jacket and shoes. He slipped the shoes on, pressed the button and they tightened around his feet.

This could be reality soon. Nike has filed a patent to make these shoes 5 years before it was destined to be reality along with the flying cars and no door handles on all houses. Here is a quote:

“The automatic lacing system provides a set of straps that can be automatically opened and closed to switch between a loosened and tightened position of the upper. The article further includes an automatic ankle cinching system that is configured to automatically adjust an ankle portion of the upper.”

And check out this video:

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROEZs0HpFQc&fmt=18

For clarification, the above video is NOT from Nike but a DIY video found on YouTube.  Nike would not sell shoes with a huge motor in the back lol.

Cool eh? Now if we can just get to work on those flying cars, door handles, tv screen windows,fax machines in every room including the closet and bathrooms, pizza hydraters, hovering wheelchairs, hover boards and everything else we will be set.

New iPod Touch

When I was 11 years old I got my first walk-man which played audio cassettes (and sometimes ate them). That was in 1981. In 1989 when I was 19 years old I bought my first CD player walk-man. It was big and bulkier than the cassette version but it was pretty darn cool and I was paranoid to let anyone see it for fear of it being snatched.

In the late 90′s I remember seeing the first mp3 player, I think it was the Rio(?).  It only stored a few cd’s which to me is bogus for the price but whatever. Then the iPod came out and that was pretty darn cool.

In 2005 I got the Dell DJ but I wish that I had gotten an iPod instead.

What a long way we have come that we now have an mp3 player that not only plays music but also video games, records HD video, views websites and now has a new thing called FaceTime which allows you to have a live video streaming phone call with someone. And it’s not even an iPhone either, it’s an iPod, a music player. The walk-man of the 21st century if you will.

Amazing!  What will they come up with next?

My Nook Observations and Irritations

I finally did it! I finally bought a Barnes & Noble Nook last night. It didn’t take me very long to figure out how it works but here are my observations and irritations.

I bought the first Sookie Stackhouse novel and at first I was put off by the fact that swiping the touchscreen wasn’t working but I finally got it to work and now it works all the time. Sometimes I accidentally brush my finger on it and it turns the page lol. Oops.

I was reading this morning and my dog came to me to pick her up so I sat the Nook down on my desk and when I went to pick it up again I couldn’t turn the page. It was frozen. And that happened to me a few times last night but I didn’t understand why.

My observation from that irritation is that instead of setting it down, I’m gonna have to turn it off with that metal power button on the top and watch it go into screen saver mode then lay it down. When I pick it back up it I have to push the power button again.

I was playing with the Sudoku game last night and having fun actually but sometimes if I pushed the arrow button on the touchscreen on the left side it goes to the menu and I’m forced to start a new game or go into the menu. I think that if I just go into the menu then go back to the game it might continue but that wasn’t the case for me. And when the nook shut down completely when I turned it back on, it erased my game completely forcing me to start over. HOW IRRITATING!

I probably won’t be playing it that often because of that very reason.

It seems to freeze on me a lot and at first I started to think that I may have gotten a defective one but what are the odds that I would get a defective one? I always seem to think that an electronic is defective so I return it for another and it shows the same sign of defectiveness. I don’t want to have to go all that way back to B&N just to suffer the same pains especially if that’s normal for the Nook.

When you are in your B&N library you can choose to see the little covers on the bottom to choose a book to read or you can just push the arrows up or down to choose a book. Although it’s faster to choose from the book covers. However, when you have put your own books in the Nook via the USB cable, you don’t get that option. There are no little book covers. I kind of figured that it wouldn’t show them but that’s fine, I don’t care.

I do like being able to highlight a word or type out a note but unfortunately when you go to highlight things, if it’s down at the bottom you have to push that bottom arrow and it can take forever. That’s one thing that impressed me with the Sony that you could use the stylus to tap on the word but unfortunately the touchscreen makes it hard to read books. Typing is a bit of a chore too because my fingers are so fat that I can’t even see if the letter lit up or not when I press it so I’m constantly having to look up at the e-ink to make sure I pressed it lol. I definitely need a stylus.

I also bought the King James version of the Holy Bible because you never know when you’re gonna need it. Unfortunately, navigation is a biotch. When you go to a book it shows links for all the chapters. If you want chapter 1 then perfect, it’s on that same page but if you want chapter 21 then you gotta push the arrow button twenty million times to get all the way down to 21. Ok so twenty million is an exaggeration but you know what I mean.

Once you finally get to your chapter you just have to turn the page to the verse you want.  That’s a good time to bookmark it for when you are at church and you are supposed to turn to that page.  You can just wake up the Nook and go to your bookmarks.

Highlighting is kind of a bitch if you are highlighting something at the bottom of the page because as with finding the bible chapter you have to press the arrow button many times to get to it before you can start selecting the text.  When you do go to select the text you can highlight it and you have the choice of writing a note or just hitting submit.

Unfortunately, and this is an irritation, you can’t look up your highlighted notes from the beginning of the book.  The only way you will be able to find that note is by making a bookmark.  The Nook for PC software allows you to find all your notes.  I don’t know about the Nook software for other devices such as iPhone, iPad, blackberry etc.

Despite my irritations, I’m glad that I bought it because now I can enjoy reading books that I would otherwise have to read on my computer monitor which is not very comfortable on my eyes or my back.