In observance of the announced-for-summer Kindle Reader for Android, CNet’s Josh Lowensohn takes a look at the existing Kindle Reader versions for other platforms and compares how well they come off. My own review only compared the PC, iPhone, and iPad versions; it is interesting to learn more about the Blackberry and Macintosh versions.

Gizmodo has spotted the Kindle in a slightly unusual place—being used by the evil lizard-aliens on the V revival. Amusingly, the Kindle in question is very blatantly displaying an “empty battery” screen. Gizmodo makes much of the fact that a Kindle, not an iPad, got featured in the show—but as commenters below the article point out, the episode would necessarily have been shot well before the iPad was available.

MobileRead is giving away an iPad (depending on its availability in the winner’s native country) to one lucky participant in a brief e-book device survey the site is running. MobileRead is taking answers through the end of Friday, May 21st, and pledges not to share personal information, including e-mail addresses, with any third party.

Remember the uproar over Diana Gabaldon’s blog post about fanfic that we covered a couple of weeks back? Another writer, George R.R. Martin, denounced fanfic in his blog a few days ago. Mike Masnick at TechDirt had a rebuttal.

I would add that one reason fans often give for writing fanfic is that there are no more “official” stories available featuring the characters they love—and George R.R. Martin has gained a reputation for extremely long delays between volumes of his series, A Song of Ice and Fire.

John Scalzi has expanded the substance of a comment he left on the TeleRead post about the Andre Norton Award-winning web book into a blog post about why attempting to “punish publishers” usually does not work. I can’t say that I agree with his point of view, but it spawned some interesting discussion touching on Amazon boycotts, one-star reviews, and other reader protest issues.

BT (formerly known as British Telecom) is planning a tablet computer that is not meant to be an “iPad killer” (at least, according to BT), but rather “the telephone of the future.” With a display sized between the 3.5” iPhone and 9.7” iPad display, the device will place phone calls via Bluetooth headset or speaker. It will also include e-mail, web browsing, and text messaging capability. Said BT’s chief executive, Ian Livingston:

“You can even have little applications that will tell you the weather, or have a rolling stream of news. It’s for when you don’t want to have to turn on the computer to look something up. We’ve talked to a lot of customers about it – it’s not just something we’ve dreamed up. We’ve designed something around what the customers have said rather than around what technologists have said.”

E-reading oddities: The CEO of Hanvon, a Chinese company launching a multitouch tablet called the TouchPad B10, smashed an ice sculpture of an apple in front of a crowd of Chinese journalists. Way to send a subtle message, there.

And Bloomberg reports that Asus has hired a 73-year-old Buddhist master as a product tester for Asus’s e-book reader.

“Because of her patience she can do a better job testing than most,” said Jonney Shih, chairman of the Taipei-based computer maker and honorary board member of Cheng Yen’s Tzu Chi Foundation. “Some ideas were a little bit different from normal usage, but I asked my team to sincerely accept that advice.”

You just can’t make this stuff up.


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