Compulsive readers know full well the advantages of electronic readers and the biggest selling range available, Amazon's own Kindle, designed especially to integrate with the company's e-books, has just got bigger, brighter, and cheaper. The cheapest of these has just hit the market at 99 euros. Kindle readers come in various sizes with differing options but are also competitively priced.
Justine Dilley, a proud company director stated on a recent visit to Catalonia: “We sell premium products but are not at premium prices.” These are obviously good products and designed to capture new clients. Top of the range at 8.9” is the Fire HDX with its four nucleus processor of 2.5 gHz that loads graphics 70% faster than previous versions. Wifi connections are better and faster (more efficient cloud upload for all those photos or to create back-ups) and it also has 4G capacity. This slim and light model comes with unlimited cloud storage, starting at 379 euros, becoming more expensive with extended capacity and connectivity.
Those who are looking for something smaller and cheaper can choose between the six and seven inch Fire models with their HD screens and Quad Core processors. The seven inch starts at 139 euros and the new six inch model that rivals the iPhone 6Plus, starts off at 99 euros. Amazon's Fire range uses its own recently updated operating system which strangely is known as Sangría, allowing direct access to the company's services and products and also their proprietary developed Android apps. The classic Kindle e-reader has also had a make-over; it's 20% faster and the memory has been doubled. The 4GB drive can store thousands of books but Amazon also offers free cloud storage for books purchased from their own store. The new Kindle costs 79 euros with the traditional Paperwhite coming in at a slightly higher price.
The company does all it can to attract new users for electronic readers who know more than simply needing to connect their Fire to a computer to start reading can also benefit from a sixty second download for their purchases while at the same time being able to take advantage of improved functions, such as dictionary access and adjustable reading options.
Amazon feels that the six inch model is still the optimum size for this type of e-reader. While the new model may have lost in resolution (from 212dpi to 167dpi) it still can easily be read in daylight. Using electronic ink means less eye stress than other systems over prolonged exposure. Even the battery lasts longer at a more than respectable two-week autonomy, claim Amazon engineers basing their calculations on a daily usage of 30 minutes (without Wifi connection).
Full charge is reached in four hours but a quick charge will usually give a user enough power for daily use.
One of the new features of Kindle is Freetime, a simple function which gives parents options to encourage their children to spend more time reading. Kids earn rewards according to the time they spend reading and parents can see progress as they do, even seeing how many words they are looking up in the dictionary provided.
For intensive readers, perhaps the most attractive feature is Word Wise, especially aimed to improve English language levels as the system provides brief and simple definitions of complex words which show up above the word concerned without the reader having to actually call up the dictionary.
The system is available for a number of books and can be regulated depending on language level with fewer or more definitions. Other functions, such as the synchronisation of the last-read page, notes, remaining time predictions and others have not been touched.
Just a few days after the “no” vote in the Scottish referendum on independence [scotreferendum.com], the country is already independent, at least on the Internet.
The .scot domain, the result of a petition from non-profit making organisation [dot cot.net] in 2009 to identify websites related to Scotland, its culture and language has been available for register since September through some 40 official registration companies around the world.
“The .scot domain gives individuals, organisations and companies a way to clearly identify themselves as Scottish, a unique branding available to all Scots dispersed throughout the world.”
The first domain up and running was the registration company Calico.scot [calico.scot] and since then a number of other websites followed [dotscot.net/pioneers], tourism's welcome.scot, and the referendum webs [yes.scot] and [bettertogether.scot].
Also of note is the fact that this summer the domain process for both Basque and Galician websites got underway with the domains .eus
[www.domeinuak.eus] and .gal [ ww.dominio.gal], both of which have received help from the Fundació Puntcat [domini.cat] throughout the process of obtaining recognition for their respective communities.
The domain names will not be available until later this year.