A few weeks after Jesse Vincent, an inveterate hacker, yielded to his strong urge to hack another popular gadget, Savory was born. Savory is a Kindle 2 app that converts .pdf and .epub files into the .mobi format supported by the ebook reader. Though similar solutions have been available on the internet for quite sometime, Savory is unique as it executes the conversion on Amazon’s ebook reader itself. But like all great things, Savory has its limitations. It doesn’t support Kindle 1 and won’t convert ebooks protected by DRM. Please note that running unsigned code may void your manufacturer’s warranty.
It's been a little while since we've done a hodgepodge roundup of awesome freeware and open-source software. So brace yourself. The following free software applications have absolutely nothing in common with each other, save for them all being free and beneficial to your geek life in some capacity. We're looking at version-tracking applications that help keep all of the different installed software on your PC as up-to-date as it can be, as well as an easy-to-use display calibration app and a whole hodgepodge of must-have PC utilities (arranged neatly via a single installer application, to note).
But that's not all! To check out all of the other helpful applications we've got our dirty little fingers on, you're just going to have to click through to the full article. That's right. In Hollywood, we would call this a "teaser." But really, these apps are useful enough that you should have already scrolled past this introductory rambling and clicked right on the "I want more! I want more!" link--even though it's actually called "read more." You get the idea.
Giving Amazon's Kindle and Kindle 2 some competition in the eBook market, Fujitsu has at long last released its full-color eBook reader called FLEPia. Fujitsu had first shown off the FLEPia in concept form back in 2006 and has been drumming up interest with periodic glimpses ever since.
The FLEPia comes in both black and white unit colors and features an 8-inch XGA (1024 x 768) touchscreen capable of displaying 260,000 colors. Other specs include 802.11b/g WiFi connectivity, Bluetooth capability, embedded stereo speakers and a headphone connector, and an SD card memory card slot with support for up to 4GB, enough to hold 5,000 paper-based books 300-pages each.
Measuring less than a half an inch thick, Fujitsu says its FLEPia will last up to 40 continuous hours before having to be recharged. According to Fujitsu, the device doesn't require power to maintain a screen display because the color ePaper employed displays text and images by reflecting external light. The only time the FLEPia consumes power, says Fujitsu, is during re-draw, in which power consumption would be about 1/50 that of a standard notebook.
The Japanese version ships with Windows CE 5.0, giving end-users an internet browser, email, and other software.
The FLEPia starts shipping in Japan on April 20th for 99,750 Yen, which converts to a little over $1,000 USD.
A lot of people already have iPhones and iPod Touches, and it looks like now this gigantic target audience can double these handy devices as an Amazon Kindle, all thanks to a free app.
The Amazon Kindle app, which is currently available on Apple’s App Store, is completely free and gives users of it full access to the 240,000 eBooks currently available on Amazon.com (for the same price as Kindle users, of course).
While there are plenty of people that have already adopted the Kindle, one can’t help but think that plenty of them that have both are kicking themselves right now. After all, a backlit screen alone can turn the tide of battle!
Does the newly released Kindle 2's text-to-speech feature violate copyright law? That's a question Amazon would rather avoid asking, and so on Friday the e-tailer announced it would be modifying its eBook reader to give authors and publishers the final say on whether or not to enable text-to-speech.
Even though Amazon has decided to pass the buck on possible legal ramifications of using text-to-speech, the company maintains that it doesn't infringe upon copyrights. In a statement released Friday, Amazon said "Kindle 2's experimental text-to-speech feature is legal: no copy is made, no derivative work is created, and no performance is being given."
Amazon says it pulled the 180 because it believes "many rights holders will be more comfortable with the text-to-speech feature if they are in the driver's seat." Or, as CNet interprets it, "Amazon caved." Amazon had been receiving criticism from the Authors Guild, who said it wouldn't rule out the possibility of suing Amazon. By making the text-to-speech function optional, Amazon has left authors and publishers to fend for themselves if they decide to enable the feature, which most of them probably won't.
Did Amazon make the right decision? Hit the jump and tell us what you think.
Amazon's second generation Kindle eBook reader has barely had a chance to roll off the assembly line, but there's already talk of a Kindle 3, and it might ship sooner than you think. Citing un-named "market sources," DigiTimes says Amazon plans to release a new generation of Kindle by the end of this year, one that is both larger than either existing Kindle and equipped with a touchscreen.
Such a quick followup to what's expected to see popular sales in the Kindle 2 seems unlikely, however this isn't the first we've heard of a proposed eBook reader from Amazon with large proportions. One early rumor had the Kindle 2 checking in shaped like a standard 8.5 x 11-inch piece of paper (Kindle 2 measures 8 x 5.3 x 0.36 inches), but to our knowledge, this is the first we've heard of any touch functions being implemented.
Stay tuned, as we have a feeling the rumors are just getting started.
Since Amazon’s announcement on Monday, we’ve had Kindle 2 on the brain. After all, the long-awaited sequel to Amazon’s ambitious eBook reader improves on the original in almost every way: it’s got a better screen, better battery life, more storage, better buttons, and it’s just a hell of a lot nicer looking, to boot. So what’s stopping us from jumping on the preorder list? The price.
Launching at just about 360 U.S. dollars, the Kindle 2 is a pretty hefty investment. But maybe we can justify buying the new Kindle anyway. We’ve heard people bandying about the notion that—based on the discount price for eBooks—the Kindle will actually pay for itself over time. Sounds good, but we wanted to find out just how long it would take to break even, so we went out and did a little research.
The latest of many rumors regarding Amazon's next-generation Kindle eBook reader predicted the new device would make an official debut today, and New York Times blogger Brad Stone can now pat himself on the back for getting the release day right. Amazon has finally introduced the long anticipated Kindle 2, the followup to the immensely popular Kindle.
"Kindle 2 is everything customers tell us they love about the original Kindle, only thinner, faster, crisper, with longer battery life, and capable of holding hundreds more books. If you want, Kindle 2 will even read to you—something new we added that a book could never do,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com Founder and CEO.
Oft rumored but not yet confirmed, New York Times blogger Brad Stone says Amazon will introduce the Kindle 2 eBook reader in New York City on February 9th. Reaching that conclusion took a little bit of detective work on the part of Stone, who noticed Amazon changed the ship date for its out-of-stock Kindle from 11 to 13 weeks down to 4 to 6 weeks. This would coincide with a news conference Amazon has planned for February 9th at the Morgan Library & Museum in New York.
"The device has been out of stock since November, after Oprah Winfrey touted it on her show," Stone writes. "The announcement seems to confirm our suspicions that the original Kindle has been obsolete since that time and that everyone who purchased the device over the holidays from Amazon.com — or put their name on a waiting list — will receive the newer version."
Back in October 2008, BoyGeniusReport.com posted what it claims were leaked photos of the upcoming Kindle. Among the changes shown were smaller buttons to help avoid inadvertent page turns, and a joystick instead of a scroll wheel. The photos also revealed a miniUSB cable port.
Though I’m willing to bet the Maximum PC core demographic differs somewhat from that of the Oprah Winfrey show, oddly she has done something worth mentioning. The TV celebrity took the opportunity on Friday to do some heavy plugging of the Amazon Kindle. Oprah claims the gifted Kindle she received this summer “has changed her life”. Some might down play the significance of this endorsement, but the popularity of Oprah’s book club is often enough to catapult relatively obscure titles all the way to the New York Times Bestseller list seemingly overnight. Heck, new studies have shown even a simple nod from the celebrity will be enough to net Barack Obama an additional one million votes. Winfrey who was joined by Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos described the gadget as “pricy” but “environmentally friendly”. The endorsement does come with a fringe benefit however. A $50 price break is offered when using the promotional code OPRAHWINFREYduring checkout. So if you’ve been waiting for a price drop before you pick up a Kindle this brings the device down to a modest $309.00 USD until November 1st 2008.
So while I’m willing to bet Oprah isn’t the primary reason our readers will pick up a Kindle, has anyone else made the switch from paperbacks? Let us know what you think of the Kindle.