Amazon

Sling Media Brings SlingPlayer to Kindle Fire!

Sling Media, makers of the SlingBox, today announces the availability of the SlingPlayer app for the Kindle Fire. What is the SlingBox? It is a device that works with all of your various set-top boxes to: allow folks to watch their TV from wherever they are with their PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone. And now, with SlingPlayer for Kindle Fire, they can bring their living room TV experience to their Kindle Fire tablets. The SlingPlayer software is already available for Apple iPhone and iPad devices, Android Phones, Android Tablets as well as for the Blackberry, Windows Phone and other devices….


M-Edge Suing Amazon; You Had Better Stock Up on Kindle Cases Now!

M-Edge makes some awesome cases for the Kindle and other ebook readers. They made the case I had my original Kindle in for many years, and I loved it. We’ve also covered many of their iPad cases here at Gear Diary and they consistently receive high marks for build quality and useful, eye-catching designs. Unfortunately, M-Edge is alleging in a lawsuit that Amazon doesn’t feel the same way about their Kindle cases. According to the Wall Street Journal, M-Edge is claiming some pretty unpleasant business dealings have gone down with Amazon: M-Edge said in the lawsuit that in November 2009,…


Amazon Reminds Google … ‘Um, We OWN This Whole Mega-Deal Thing’ …

I should have known better than to rush into buying music on Google. As I say repeatedly, they have the absolute worst music service bar none. Yet that old siren song of ‘great music, low prices’ lulled me into not checking Amazon. BIG MISTAKE. On Google I got the music, can play it on my PC or Android phone, and download it one … track … at … a … time. And THEN manually import it into iTunes. And THEN fix the FUBAR MP3 info and tags, because Google can’t even manage that 2002 level of technology. Had I gone…


The Gear Diary Kindle Fire Tablet Review

November 15th saw the release of what will quickly become the #2 selling tablet of all time: the Amazon Kindle Fire. Since then we have seen plenty of ‘race to be first’ reviews, but my goal was to spend some time integrating the Fire into my life before completing my review. This week we also saw the usability study that looked at the issues around the 7″ screen specifically with the Fire but related to mid-sized tablets in general. Dan and I each got one that arrived on the 15th: Dan’s has already gone back to Amazon, while I have…


One More Tablet Gone; Can Microsoft Avoid the Same Fate?

image courtesy of BerryReporter  Clinton recently wrote an opinion piece entitled, “As RIM Writes Off The Playbook, The Pressure is on Microsoft to Make a Complete Windows 8 Tablet“, in which he says: This morning the Wall Street Journal reported that RIM is taking a $485 million charge for their lackluster tablet, the Playbook.  The charge comes by way of a markdown in the value of the massive inventor that RIM still has of the devices.  It is a brutal and costly reminder that if you kinda-sorta-maybe-woulda-shoulda your tablet strategy, the price can be steep.  Very steep. and The challenge facing Microsoft is that they are…


Amazon: It May Be Easy, but It’s a Risk

Now that Amazon is shipping the Kindle Fire, I got to thinking: what if you gift the Fire or any other Kindle?  Well, if you do, make sure you do what Laptopmag.com says in their post and keep YOUR Kindle account safe.  After I read this, I did some more thinking: What if someone stole your shiny new Kindle off of your porch? If this happens, then that thief has access to ALL of your books and can purchase books on your account.  This is bad.  This is very bad.  Gear Diary’s own Michael Anderson and Dan Cohen are both trying out the Kindle Fire,…


Amazon’s Android Appstore — Same Legendary Amazon Service

I may have moved on to an iPhone, but I still have a hacked NOOKcolor running Android! Plus I have two years’ worth of Android apps between Google’s Marketplace and, more recently, Amazon’s Appstore. While it wasn’t an everyday ritual, I did try to grab Amazon’s free apps of the day if they looked halfway decent, figuring I might want to use them in the future. Now, I’m used to Amazon’s Kindle service, where they send me a nice email if a book is updated by the publisher with instructions on how to update it. But I’ve paid for those…


Amazon’s Proposed eBook Subscription Service — a Round Peg in a Square Hole?

The Wall Street Journal weighed in over the weekend with a very interesting and surprising rumor. Supposedly, Amazon has been shopping an “ebook subscription service” around to publishers, in an effort to bundle ebooks with Prime membership. Sort of like Netflix for eBooks. The closest analog to this is the old “Book of the Month Club” type deals, but this is definitely a step up. It benefits consumers, but does it actually benefit the business of selling books? First, let’s look at the specifics, as far as they’re known right now according to the Journal: Amazon.com Inc. is talking with book…


Kindle Cloud Reader iPad Review: Simple to Use, Awesome to Behold!

Carly highlighted the new Amazon Cloud Reader a couple of days ago, which provided a web-based solution for reading – and purchasing – Kindle books from Amazon.com on pretty much any device regardless of native app support (except for the BlackBerry Playbook, which is just in a woeful state at this point). While many companies, Amazon included, have discussed moving more apps to platform-independent HTML5, the timing of this release seems to good to be true, as Carly indicated with her ‘Don’t Tread on Kindle’ tagline. We have just seen a rash of changes, starting with Kobo, then Amazon, and…


When Is an eReader an Impulse Buy?

Amazon started selling the Kindle 3G With Special Offers (“Kindeal 3G) in May, for $164 – a drop of 25 from the full non-ad-supported version. Two weeks ago, they dropped that price further, to $139. This week, they have started selling the refurbished Kindle WiFi for $100 and the refurb Kindle 3G for $130. These are not ad-supported versions of the device, but the full versions that sell for $139 and $189 respectively, in their non-refurb models. This sure looks like the typical inventory-clearing moves of a manufacturer about to introduce a new model. The current generation was introduced right around one year ago, and speculation…


Capitalism Versus the Independent Bookstore

Seattle Mystery Bookshop created quite the tempest in a teapot this past week. They’re a small independent bookstore in, you guessed it, Seattle. Seattle is also the home of Amazon.com, and it’s clear from SMB’s attitude that they are not happy to have Bezos and Company in their backyard. In fact, Seattle Mystery Bookshop so thoroughly hates Amazon.com that they refuse to carry books or handle author signings by Amazon-published authors. Why? Because Amazon is a Big Evil Corporation. To best illustrate this debate, you need to start with the email exchange between the bookshop and the unnamed author. The…


Amazon Free App Reminder Does What It Says – Amazon Android App Store

Ever since it was launched, we have extolled the virtues of the Amazon Android App Store, as well as pointed out a few issues with it. Like it or not, Amazon’s Android App Store has been well-received by Android users, especially since they have a different paid application available for free every day. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I get busy. So I don’t check the Amazon App Store every day. Which means I could miss out on such gems as Nuance’s FlexT9 keyboard for free. Well, an enterprising developer came up with a solution for those of…


Amazon Prime Videos (finally) Adds New Content

Remember back to the heady days in late February when Amazon launched the ‘Prime Video’ service and then a few days later made available ‘more than 5000’ movies and TV shows FREE for Prime members? Well, now about 10 weeks later Amazon has added new content! They just added 22 new videos … a whopping 0.5% addition to the library! Seriously, this is decent set of movies – Network, The Majestic, Superman (the REAL one), The Right Stuff, and more. Definitely worth checking out … I mean, they are free if you are already a Prime member! If you want…


Borders Gets Snarky

Apparently, this closing Borders is really, really, bitter about the whole bankruptcy thing. We’ve spent plenty of time rehashing why everything went so wrong for Borders, but this store did nail one thing we all secretly miss when retailers disappear.  


Amazon Appstore: Is Choice Good for Android Users?

Competition is always a good thing, right? I mean, the iPhone was the first true innovation in the smartphone market for years. And along came Android, which accelerated healthy competition and made all smartphones better, and therefore better for users. So why am I not very happy with the Amazon Appstore, at least at the moment? The promise of the Amazon Appstore sounds great, at least on paper. Adding another option for a store for consumers to buy Android apps sounds like a win-win situation, but in practice, I don’t think that it is all that it is thought to…


Amazon Adds Unlimited Free Streaming for Prime Members

I joined Amazon Prime last year by way of a free one-month trial and somewhat reluctantly paid the $79 annual fee, but by the end of the year the service had easily paid for itself in terms of greatly reduced shipping costs, no minimum to qualify for free shipping, priority treatment and so on. At the same time, my wife bought me a Roku XDS for Christmas and my family has greatly enjoyed the simplified access to Hulu+, Netflix and rental movies through Amazon On-Demand. We recently decided to (once again) cancel Netflix due to the selection and our usage…


Amazon Video on Demand Comes to the Rescue!

I’ll be honest — I am not always on top of ordering gifts ahead of time. Even when I have a plan, or am told exactly what to purchase, I somehow always push it to the last minute. Luckily for me, I was ordering Sarah “Big Love: Season 4” for Valentine’s Day, and Amazon comes through like a champ by offering free “video on demand” rentals with purchase! See, without it I would have been without part of Sarah’s Valentine’s day present (bad Carly!) But thanks to the free rentals, we were able to start watching the show even though…


Amazon Releases ‘Deals’ App to Track Gold Box and Lightning Deals

Do you check Amazon more or less daily for their great Gold Box or Lightning deals? Me too! But way too may times I have been away from my laptop when I knew a deal was going on and missed out. So I was thrilled when I saw today that Amazon had created a small app to help track their daily deals! Here is their description: Stay up-to-date with Amazon Gold Box Deals wherever you go and never miss another deal. Amazon Deals for iPhone lets you check availability of current offers, schedule reminders, and purchase Lightning Deals and Gold…


The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Amazon Kindle Support

The Kindle 2 was my Christmas present in 2009 from my family.  I have spent most of the last year with nary an issue with my Kindle and I love it to death.  It’s how I prefer to read now.  I’ve read more books in the last year than in any year past.  However, on my trip down to Knoxville, TN for the holidays this year, I was reading along and then all of a sudden my Kindle developed a spot that would not go away; time to call support.  So I will cover the good and the bad of…


Shop Amazon, Wikipedia Style

Amazon isn’t shy about finding new ways to sell books, and now they’ve rolled out a fairly creative one. Using the Creative Commons license, Amazon is recreating Wikipedia articles about authors and books, hosting them on Amazon.com, and inserting links to buy books referenced in the articles. From CNet: “Shopping-enabled Wikipedia pages are a new introduction on Amazon.com,” Amazon spokeswoman Anya Waring told CNET when asked via e-mail. “As of November, we have rolled [the feature] out in the books category; however, [it] will be expanding to new categories in 2011.” It’s not an official partnership, Waring explained. Amazon’s use…


NPR’s Libraries and eBooks Report Highlights eBook Ignorance

The good folks at NPR’s Marketplace did a story on the state of ebooks and libraries the other night. At first I was excited, since it’s great to hear any story about ebooks, especially library programs that tend to fly under the radar. But NPR’s reporting was so horribly, egregiously, painfully inaccurate that I really wonder if they did any research at all. Let’s start with the biggest head-scratcher: Kai Ryssdal: For all that die-hard bibliophiles say they will never ever give up their actual printed books, they may be fighting a losing battle. E-book sales are up 118 percent…