Amazon Settlement is ….. settled. Did you get $?

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 7.46.54 AM“In December 2013, a federal court approved legal settlements by publishers Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Penguin in antitrust lawsuits filed by State Attorneys General and Class Plaintiffs about the price of eBooks. Those settlements resulted in credits for qualifying Kindle books purchased between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012.”

All this legal maneuvering has been simmering for a while, and I was wondering how it was going to come out in the wash.

This morning I received an e-mail from Amazon informing me that I would be receiving a credit on my account for the e-books that I purchased in the latter half of 2010, 2011 and part of 2012.


If you bought Kindle books during that time frame, and you received this email today … have no fear. It is legit. You didn’t have to do anything to be part of this settlement. It just happened for you. Enjoy!! :)

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I am one of the 4%

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 7.50.56 PMEarlier this year Pew research released the results of several studies regarding the habits of the reading public.

As someone who reads “e-books only” I was curious to see how common (or not) this has become. According to the research, this puts me in a small group of just 4%. Most people who read e-books also read print books.

But me? I stand firmly in that 4%. My eyes prefer the adjustable fonts, the adjustable light, the ease of getting, saving and carrying books. I’ve always been a big reader, but the e-reader (Kindle) simply makes reading even better.

However, when it comes to e-reading in general, once you take away the “exclusive”, the numbers climb. 28% of adults have read an e-book in the past year, and this number continues to rise.

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Half of all the adults in America own either a tablet or an e-reader, and coupled with the stats below, this makes me wonder:
…. if 32% of people own an e-reader, but only 28% have read an e-book, can we assume that about 4% own e-readers that are just collecting dust? (not to be confused with the 4% of us who are e-readers-only!)

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The full article: E-Reading Rises as Device Ownership Jumps
Three in ten adults read an e-book last year; half own a tablet or e-reader

Where do you fit? E-reader only? E-reader + print books? or do you (gasp) have an e-reader just languishing at the bottom of a drawer?

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Dr. Seuss’s Birthday = App Sales All Week

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 7.21.49 PMDr.Seuss inspires children to read every single day. I remember reading Dr. Seuss books to my own children and even though that was many (many many) years ago, I can still recite lots of Seuss-lines by heart. (One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish... Big A little A, what begins with A?   I could keep going. Once you start reciting the lyrical lines, it’s hard to stop!).

In honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday this coming week, the entire Dr. Seuss digital book app library (more than 60 apps) will be going on sale for up to 80% OFF. The sale will run from Friday, February 28th through Thursday, March 6th.

This is also the first year that each of the 44 classic Dr. Seuss books are available on the App Store as a digital book app. This means that your favorite book is now an app.

5 of the best selling titles will be 99 cents (regular prices $3.99-$4.99) -The Cat in the Hat Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 6.46.02 PM, Green Eggs and Ham , One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish , Dr. Seuss’s ABC ,  Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

(All other titles are $1 OFF, including classic Dr. Seuss & The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library Collections- -Beginner Book Collection #1- $8.99 (regular price $14.99) -Beginner Book Collection #2- $8.99 (regular price $14.99) -Dr. Seuss Short Story Collection- $5.99 (regular price $9.99))

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In addition, Oceanhouse Media will launch a contest on both their Facebook page and Instagram on February 28th to give fans the chance to win a 10-pack of apps. They will also be dropping promo codes every hour on the hour (12pm-5pm PST) on Monday, February 3rd to celebrate Read Across America Day.


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I Really Really REALLY Don’t Like This

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 8.41.58 AMI usually love all gadgets. I love my iPhone, my iPad, and my Kindles. Other tech stuff is fun too. I have some remote gadgets, step-counting gadgets and kitchen gadgets. I rarely meet a gadget I don’t like.

But I don’t like this one.

This is just plain creepy.

The Narrative is a clip on camera that you wear. It automatically takes a picture every 30 seconds.

The point? To create a “narrative” of your life. All the regular moments. The things you don’t remember… remembered.

I don’t want to be on either end of this device. I don’t want all those photos of …. ???? and I sure don’t want to be talking or working with a person who is wearing this little camera. I know I’d find it highly distracting.

(I suppose there is an argument to be made for wearing it to capture candid photos of your children, or maybe at an event …. I’ll go with that. But it’s the “all day” and photographing unsuspecting people that just seems yuchy. Bye bye privacy.)

You can read more about it in this article, and view examples of the photos that this gadget takes:

Cool or Creepy? A Clip-On Camera Can Capture Every Moment

If you’re interested, the Narrative sells for $279.

Just don’t visit with me if you’re wearing one. :roll:

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Boy uses a 3-D printer to make a HAND for his friend

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 8.31.26 AMDid you read the title of this post? A boy uses a 3-D printer to make a HAND for his friend. Crazy, right?

I have to admit here that I’m feeling my age. I try to “keep up” as best as I can with new tech advances, but the 3D printer is something that I simply can’t seem to get my brain wrapped around. I’ve read of so many marvelous things that 3D printers can do, but I keep thinking of them in the future, but .. no no … 3D things are happening now.

Not only are they happening, but they are becoming common. And not as a novelty. To my constant surprise, 3D printers are already being used in schools and are even available in many libraries for public use.

And it appears as though the uses of the 3D printer are only limited by imagination.

Now get out your tissues to read this story:

9 year old Matthew was born without fingers. His Mom had looked into buying him a prosthetic hand, but prices ran as high as $18,000 and this was more than she could afford.

Enter family friend, Mason Wilde, a 16 year old boy with a passion for “figuring out how things work.”

Mason went to his local library, and used their 3D printer to make a working hand for Matthew!

Yes, really.

Read the whole story, here.

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New YouTube Series Starts Tuesday: YouTube Nation

Here’s something to think about:

Every MINUTE, approximately 100 hours of Videos are uploaded to YouTube.


That’s a lot.

With so many videos, it’s quite a job to sort through and find those that would interest you. Now you won’t have to.

Dreamworks Animation and YouTube have teamed up to do the searching for you, and starting Tuesday, they will be producing a regular series with samples of the most interesting, most popular and must-see videos.

Called YouTube Nation, a new episode of this program/sampler will be posted each day at 9 PM Eastern Time.

Plans are to eventually make these samplers even more specific, resulting in several YouTube Nation programs such as YouTube Nation Sports and/or YouTube Nation News. The goal is to produce more than a dozen specialized guides.

You’ll find this new program at this address (remember, content changes each night at 9 pm Eastern time):

With all this talk about YouTube, I can’t resist inserting a random interesting YouTube video.
Has anyone ever tried this?

What’s on YouTube? ‘YouTube Nation’ Lets You Know

Jeffrey Katzenberg talks up YouTube Nation

‘YouTube Nation’ To Give Users Daily Highlight Reel Of Curated Content

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Want a Kindle Fire? Now’s the time!

If you have been considering getting a Kindle Fire, you just might want to get serious right now.

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Today and tomorrow only (that’s January 10 and January 11), Amazon is offering $30 off of any of their Kindle Fire tablets. There are four models, so consider carefully. I personally own the cheapest one (the one that you can get today for $109) and I will say it is a fine product. It’s not an iPad (my favorite tablet), BUT … how can you beat the price? If you are looking to try a tablet, this is a great opportunity to jump in.

I’d love to experience that MAYDAY button that lives on the more expensive Fires.
(Note to self: Time to consider an upgrade????)

To purchase a Kindle Fire today or tomorrow with the $30 discount, you will need to add a promo code at checkout, so follow the instructions carefully. Just head on over to Amazon to learn more.

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Careful! The infamous Polar Vortex can hurt your phone!

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 8.14.37 PMMy goodness ….. it has been COLD around here, today. I live in the eastern US, and the term “polar vortex” has been on everyone’s (frozen) lips.

When I glanced at my iPhone during the night, one of my apps had thoughtfully left a chilly notification on the screen “temperature has gone below 0.” :shock:

Schools were closed and reporters were on the streets, tweeting pictures of bank-temperature signs announcing numbers like -7 and -3.

Made me wonder: Can iPhones work in that kind of cold?

Turns out that the answer is: Nope. Your iPhone will fail in sub-zero temps.

Apparently the screen display and the battery can not handle these extreme temperatures. Apple tells us that the iPhone battery functions best between 32 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. (-2 is a long way from 32!). When the phone starts getting sluggish, it’s your signal to warm it up. Put it in your pocket or tuck it in somewhere against your body for warmth.

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 8.16.41 PMIn 2012, the Mikro PC (PC World Finland) put some phones to the temperature test. They started in a room of 32 degrees and started lowering it in steps of 9 degrees until eventually all phones stopped working.

The iPhone 4s that they tested started acting odd at 23 degrees and and at 9 degrees it stopped working altogether. Some other phones kept functioning as the temps continued to drop. Non smartphones made it all the way to -40, but that was the limit for any phone. You can read all about this test by clicking here.

I heard one newsperson announce that compared to being outside, you would be warmer if you climbed into your freezer. Yep, it’s pretty cold.

When you venture out, remember to bundle up … good advice for both you AND your iPhone.

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REALLY funny Satire from Colbert on the Amazon Drones

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 6.41.03 AMTwo blog posts ago I included a short video of Amazon’s new drone that is scheduled to start delivering packages sometime in the not-too-distant-future.

Thoughts about these drones range from delighted to terrified.


Enter Colbert, weighing in on the Amazon Drone.

If you enjoy witty satire, you will love this.

Colbert cleverly moves our advancing technology backwards.

Colbert talks about the Drones and offers a NEW and innovative idea for Mr. Bezos

From Amazon to You in ….. 30 minutes?

Holy Cow! This looks like Science Fiction….. but it’s not.

Really, truly, Amazon plans to deliver goods BY FLYING DRONES in the not-too-distant-future. (perhaps 2015!?)

It’s Technology on steroids. :shock:

Watch this short video to see how they plan to fly your purchase right to your door.

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