Stave off long-trip boredom with your smartphone or tablet

By Chris Meadows
September 25, 2015 // 0 Comments

What can you do if you’re about to take a long air trip and don’t want to suffer the pangs of boredom but don’t want to buy overpriced airline Wi-Fi either? Gizmodo has some great advice, but I think they’re thinking too narrowly. The advice they give for smartphones in air travel could [...]

Kindle Paperwhite first use: Dim room reading

By Chris Meadows
September 23, 2015 // 2 Comments

So, today I went down to my favorite local brewpub for lunch and, before the arrival of and after finishing my wings, I read the first chapter of Lies My Teacher Told Me on my new Paperwhite. It was a remarkable success. Thanks to the backlighting, I was able to read perfectly well in the dim [...]

Kindle Paperwhite vs. Kindle Touch: First impressions

By Chris Meadows
September 22, 2015 // 3 Comments

Today I received a new (refurbished) current-generation Wi-Fi Kindle Paperwhite. I saved $20 over regular price, and then another $20 thanks to the promotional offer Amazon gave me when my Touch wouldn’t download updates. On the principle that if I’m going to cover e-readers, I should have [...]

You can repair your own Kindle Fire…but would you want to?

By Chris Meadows
September 15, 2015 // 2 Comments

Apropos of my article about how manufacturers don’t want you to repair complicated electronics, it’s worth noting that doesn’t stop a lot of aftermarket repair vendors. Today on my Facebook, a Baen barfly posted a link to a rather impressive 28-minute video how-to going into detail on how to [...]

Manufacturers don’t want us to repair TVs or e-readers

By Chris Meadows
September 13, 2015 // 6 Comments

A few days ago, the Wall Street Journal ran an article on a subject near and dear to my heart, and of some degree of relevance to TeleRead readers, too. After all, you’re more likely than most to be using modern electronic gadgets. The Wall Street Journal points out that the problem with those [...]

My failed Kindle Touch update, redux

By Chris Meadows
September 8, 2015 // 10 Comments

Well, today I contacted Amazon’s support via chat to see about upgrading the firmware on my Kindle, in the wake of my previous attempt not going over so well. The front-line Amazon representative, Ero, walked me through the upgrade process (Error 006 again) and had me reset the Kindle and try [...]

Apple applies for laptop fuel cell patent

By Chris Meadows
September 5, 2015 // 1 Comment

Apple has just applied for a patent on a fuel cell charging system that could be used in MacBook laptops, Wired reports. Using removable cartridges to contain the fuel, such a system could power a computer “for days or even weeks without refuelling.” Apple is rumored to be working with UK [...]

A tablet is not a smartphone

By Chris Meadows
September 5, 2015 // 2 Comments

What’s the difference between a smartphone and a tablet? If you consider how similar the operating systems are and how many applications are available for both devices, you might not think there is so much—but as ClickTale web psychologist Liraz Margalit, PhD., writes in a guest column on [...]

Sony’s new Z5 Premium: Do you really need a 4K screen in your pocket?

By Chris Meadows
September 3, 2015 // 0 Comments

How good a screen do you really need to read e-books? Ars Technica is carrying an Ars Technica UK article reviewing Sony’s newest smartphone handsets, the Z5, Z5 Compact and Z5 Premium. The 5.5” Premium sports what may be the highest-resolution screen ever put to a smartphone—a fully [...]

How to use a Kindle as an oversized fridge magnet

By Chris Meadows
August 31, 2015 // 0 Comments

Do you have an old Kindle sitting around and a handy Raspberry Pi? Then you might consider putting it up on your fridge door and using it to display emailed-in messages. This clever hack on github provides all the code you need to set it up so that your Raspberry Pi checks a given Gmail account and [...]

Amazon leaks tease engineer layoffs, potential new products

By Chris Meadows
August 27, 2015 // 0 Comments

The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article (paywalled; Google the headline to bypass it) on changes taking place at Amazon’s top secret product lab, Lab 126, which has been responsible for many of Amazon’s innovative products including the Kindle e-reader itself. The Journal reports [...]

Enterprise use will drive sales of larger tablet, report says

By Chris Meadows
August 27, 2015 // 1 Comment

Tablet sales in the usual size are on the wane as larger smartphones eat into their marketshare—but business uses are going to drive sales of larger tablets, says a new report by Strategy Analytics. The report suggests large tablet sales will have nearly doubled by the end of 2015, what with the [...]

My first Kindle Touch update attempt ends in failure

By Chris Meadows
August 26, 2015 // 5 Comments

On BoingBoing, Jason Weisberger writes about his experiences updating his Kindle Voyage to the latest firmware version. He had trouble getting USB cables to work to connect his Voyage to his Mac Book Pro to upload the update. He eventually had to reset the Kindle and try it from his Mac Book Air [...]

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