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Posts Tagged ‘ Amazon ’

Amazon vs Kobo: how much to make the ebook switch?

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014


Amazon has been locked in an epic battle with publishers for control of ebook prices for years now, and the fight has lately taken a nasty turn. Among other things, the retail giant has recently banned pre-orders of Hachette titles, including JK Rowling’s next mystery novel, and today it appears that it’s done the same to Warner Bros movies, refusing to take pre-orders of The Lego Movie.

This is obviously irritating for publishers — and authors, as Stephen Colbert’s amusingly rage-filled reaction highlights — and it has implications for readers too. I expound my thoughts on this in next month’s PC Pro (I’m sure you can’t wait), but the fact that I’m considering switching to a different ebook seller probably gives away the punchline.


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Posted in: Newsdesk, Rant


Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2013) review: first look

Friday, September 6th, 2013

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2013)

In among the heap of product announcements at IFA this week, another has quietly slipped under the radar: Amazon has launched a new version of its superb Kindle Paperwhite ebook reader. The announcement was pretty low key, and the reason became patently obvious as soon as we got our hands on one for a brief demonstration.


How adult books ended up on my young son’s Kindle

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Kindle Fire, Landscape

At £99, the Kindle Fire looked the perfect gift for a seven year old, with plenty of content aimed at children, some very playable games and a fairly rigorous set of child-friendly filters built into the device. In fact, Amazon was even touting the device’s child friendliness in the run-up to Christmas, with an offer that included Disney and Nickelodeon content.

It was something of a surprise, then, to find that as said youngster explored the device with child protection turned on, a trio of adult books turned up in the carousel display on the Kindle’s homepage. To be fair, this wasn’t something pushed by Amazon, but the result of the child’s account being linked with my Amazon account.

During research for a feature on online porn and child protection (Yeah, I know, lame excuse, but I’m sticking with it) three erotica titles of the 50 Shades ilk had found their way into the main account controlling the Kindle in question.


Barnes & Noble Nook HD and HD+ review: first look

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Nook HD and Nook HD+ side by side

Amazon’s Kindles have ruled the roost for the past couple of years in the UK ebook reader market. But over the next couple of months, its position looks set to be assailed as never before. One of the new challengers is Barnes & Noble, which announced yesterday it would be launching two Nook HD tablets in the UK in November, to rival Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD models. We’ve had some hands-on time with them.


Kindle Fire HD means price is now everything for Microsoft

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Kindle Fire HD 8.9inSo Amazon has launched its Kindle Fire range in the UK, and it’s no understatement to say the two we’re getting in the UK come with sizzling price tags. A 7in Android 4 device with an IPS screen and access to all of Amazon’s various media libraries and services? That’ll be £159 for the 16GB model. Yes, £159.

If you don’t mind a lower resolution and some lesser specs, that falls to a faintly ridiculous £129 – and that’s for a 7in tablet that’s fully capable of playing video, downloading magazines and doing all the things an Android tablet normally does.


How Apple forced consumers to pay more for ebooks

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

iPad iBooks

Who would you rather had the monopoly on ebooks: Amazon or Apple? That’s the question Forbes asked last month, and now the US authorities have chosen the former.

The Department of Justice has sued Apple and publishers Macmillan and Penguin (three others have already settled), accusing them of colluding to create the “agency model” of selling ebooks. The filing document offers intriguing detail about what’s happened in the past three years of the growing ebook market.


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Posted in: Newsdesk


The best free books to read on an Amazon Kindle

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

Free books for Amazon.jpgThere are so many free books available for the Kindle that you never need spend anything more once you’ve bought the device. You have the entire canons of out-of-copyright writers such as Oscar Wilde, all the Sherlock Holmes adventures you’ll ever want to read, plus a myriad of other freebies. And in a way, those other freebies are the more interesting.

Some of the books are honeypots from professional authors, hoping to lure you into their 23-part series that tells the life story of an amazing spy/explorer/dancer/footballer. There’s nothing wrong with this, just go into it with your eyes open.

Some are only briefly reduced to free as a promotion, before being shoved up to full price. You can keep an eye out for such promotions by entering your email address at (this site also provides a slightly clumsy search mechanism for finding free books).

Then there are some that barely qualify for the terms “books” at all. O’Reilly, for instance, produces a number of very short publications about technology that feel more like extended articles. (more…)

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Posted in: Random


Black Friday tech deals in the UK

Friday, November 25th, 2011


Like Halloween and the NFL, Black Friday is the latest American import that the British love to moan about, but secretly actually quite like. And with good reason — tech retailers are offering some fantastic deals, whether you’re shopping for Christmas gifts or yourself.

Here’ are a few of the best deals. Drop a line in the comments if you’ve seen any other discounts worth sharing.


Textbook service from Kindle tech support

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

Broken KindleCustomer service really is rubbish, isn’t it? I mean how often have you rang a support line, or stared into the glassy eyed bubble of human-shaped ignorance that is 98% of this nation’s support staff and seen nothing but the next ten minutes of your life being rolled up and thrown out of the window.

That was my attitude until last night, when I took out my Kindle to discover the top two thirds of the screen had frozen, while the lower third of the screen worked perfectly. It was the Dolly Parton of eBook readers, and I rang Amazon fully expecting to be ushered onto the usual treadmill of pointless questions and obfuscation.

Instead I got Rose and Simon. Not together. They weren’t dueting support queries or anything – though that would be awesome.


Wanted: IT orchestrator for private cloud deployment

Monday, February 7th, 2011

ViolinReza Malekzadeh is a trooper. I don’t mean he’s in the military or anything: I mean, he fought his way through a rotten cold in the depths of winter, to talk to me a few weeks ago about Nimbula.

Take a look at the site if you want to but I’m about to gloss fairly rapidly over what it does in pursuit of a couple of points that dropped out of the conversation. Here’s that rapid gloss: this is the dev team who built Amazon EC2, and it wants you to have your own EC2-alike (a whole lot alike, even though it is not Amazon) cloud, inside your organisation.

That’s a short sentence that tends to leave Cloud sceptics and fanatics alike a bit like a goldfish. It takes time to sink in, during which you can see the cogs moving: I ‘m sure Reza could see mine doing that because when I asked him for a case in point, he dived back into the example-giver’s favourite territory of banking.







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