Friday, March 23, 2012

Free education

This is another of those amazing benefits of the Internet I hadn't seen coming: free education, and in quality too! Here's a new example. It's a wondrous world.

The linked article is about the iPad app Khan Academy. Lots of free educational videos on many levels and subjects.  So far what I've viewed in it was very nice, interesting and seemed knowledgable. And probably the number of videos and subjects will expand rapidly. I don't know who pays for it, but it's very kewl. Just found their web site.

Amazon’s Electronics Trade-In Program: Goodbye, iPad 2!

Amazon’s Electronics Trade-In Program: Goodbye, iPad 2!, article.

Apparently Amazon will pay $380 for a mint iPad 2 (including original packaging etc). I don't know how the heck they make any money on that, since Apple now sells that product from new at $400! (OK, it helps that payment is in gift cards, but if you're a regular customer that's all the same.)

So beyond eBay, there are now some other interesting options for selling used gear. Amazon US trade-in, Amazon UK trade-in (so far limited to books and video games), and Gazelle.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hitchcock would have been so pleased

Hitchcock would have been so pleased: Angry Birds are taking over the world.
They are just everywhere now.

I generally don't get games, they bore me. But if I'd have to guess at the world's most popular game, I really doubt Angry Birds would have come up. To me it's as interesting as a game of hammering a nail into a board would be. I don't get it. I simply don't get it.
I have tried  it. It held my interest for about 90 seconds, and that was it.

Chinese iOS & Android Activations Now Greater than U.S.

Chinese iOS & Android Activations Now Greater than U.S., article.

Be afraid, be very afraid.
Alternatively: be delighted, be very delighted. The future of the global economy no longer depends on a handful of blindered and sociopathically  greedy suits on Wall Street, NYC, USA.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

iPad file management *stil* sucks

So the author of the book mentioned in the last post was kind enough to send me an ePub copy.
I remembered that if you plugged in the iPad, and dragged the file into the Library area on iTunes, it would turn up in ebooks automatically. Except it didn't.
So I tried via Dropbox. Then I downloaded it in GoodReader on iPad. Well, GR could not read the file. Sigh.
So I tried the Dropbox app on the iPad. It could not open the file nor suggest an app to open it with (a normal ePub). But I was offered to copy the link.
So I tried Safari. And downloaded the file. And Safari downloaded it, and suggested that iBooks may open it. I clicked OK, and lo, it opened in iBooks! Zippidy doodah. I don't know what I did right. This is ridiculous, which non-geek would know to try all those options?

Short of the long: after two years I still think iPad file management really sucks.

And this is not even taken into consideration that after last big software updare, several important app have had all their local files wiped! GoodReader, Kindle App, DC Comics...
I know there's been changes in where app are allowed to keep their files, but seriously, Apple, this kind of thing is really *not* okay. In most cases I can re-download the files, but that's a waste of my time. And what if I got the file from a place which no longer exists, one way or another? (And no, the files are not in the backups. It seems that if they're gone from the iPad, backup assumes they should be gone. (Not that I have any clue how to look at the backups directly).)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sooo many reading apps!

There's a book which has mysteriously disappeared from my iPad (and the Internet, apparently) (Why Is This Hill So Steep, a book about the history of ebooks by Steven Jordan), so I looked through various apps trying to find it. And it struck me how many apps I have for reading. It seems to indicate some of the complexity still current in e-reading, since I have basically only the apps I needed in order to read something specific, plus a couple of ones which seemed to have something special.
Here's what I have:

For ebooks: 

  • Amazon Kindle app
  • iBooks (Apple)
  • Google Books
  • GoodReader
  • Kobo app
  • MegaReader
  • BlueFire Reader
  • eBookMobi
  • Kindle Cloud Reader
  • Ibis Reader

For comics: 

  • Comix
  • Marvel
  • DC
  • Image
  • Dark Horse

For web RSS reading and such: 

  • Zite
  • Safari
  • Instapaper
  • Readability
  • Zinio
  • Flipboard
  • Web Comics Du Jour (great selection)
  • Pulse 
  • Reeder
  • TapTalk

And those I haven't used in a while:

  • Atomic Web
  • NewsRack 
  • ReadleDocs 
  • StumbleUpon
  • VoiceReaderWeb
  • eBookSearch
  • Currents
  • vBooks
  • NetNewsWire
  • Mr Reader 

Wow! Exhausting just to think about. I don't even keep apps I'm pretty sure I won't need anymore. And I had none of it two years ago before I got the iPad 1!