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Comment Re:I give her 5 stars (Score 4, Interesting) 92

That's because it's really not necessarily the quality but the NUMBER of reviews that are important at Amazon. The more reviews something gets, positive OR negative, the more it tends to get featured near the top of its category. So by giving something a one-star review, you do it nearly as much good as by giving it five.

So says Chuck Wendig, noting that all the one-star protest reviews of his new Star Wars book helped it become a bestseller.

Comment Re:Does anyone care? (Score 4, Interesting) 92

Back in the day, she was a hugely controversial figure among book nerds. As the Slashdot poster added to my submission, Not very many people can inspire snarky sites tracking their contributions, analyzing their statistics, and outright accusing them of fraud simply from the act of posting consumer reviews to an e-commerce site.

The fact that such a thing is even possible could be taken as a metric of just how broadly the Internet has affected our lives.

Submission + - RIP: Prolific Amazon customer reviewer Harriet Klausner (1952-2015) (

Robotech_Master writes: Prolific Amazon customer reviewer Harriet Klausner passed away last week at the age of 67. Klausner was a controversial figure: She never gave anything a negative review, her review blurbs cast doubt on how closely she actually read what she reviewed, and received dozens of free books per week (which ended up resold on via her son's account). Nonetheless, for a time she was one of the most recognizable names to any frequent customer; it was rare to come across any popular title that didn't have a Klausner review.

Comment Re:It's a niche product. (Score 1) 200

I think Paul's idea is that this tablet also lets you read books, and it lets you read them even cheaper than an e-ink reader. So if you're on a tight budget, what are you going to do: pay more for something that can only read books, or pay less for something that can read books and do other tablet things, too?

Interestingly enough. Amazon doesn't really have the tablet locked down. It's actually fairly simple to add Google's app store to it, too, which gives you a $50 nearly-vanilla Android tablet.

Comment Re:Cut to the chase. (Score 1) 145

So far, the previous Fires haven't been too easily rootable, or so I understand.

Note that if you want a $50 plain-vanilla Android tablet, there are plenty of choices in that price range on Amazon.The Fire's going to have better specs, but it's going to be locked to Amazon's ecosystem. You have to be aware of that going in.

Comment Re: what's the problem? (Score 3, Informative) 145

You can open it, yes. But unlike for any book that is indexed, such as the books on an e-ink Kindle, it loses your place in a manually opened book from the SD card as soon as you close it. This eliminates one of the biggest advantages of an e-reader over paper--the ability to pick it up right where you left off without needing a bookmark.

Submission + - $50 Fire tablet with high-capacity SDXC slot doesn't see e-books on the SD card 1

Robotech_Master writes: For all that the $50 Fire has a 128 GB capable SDXC card slot that outclasses every other tablet in its price range, and it evolved out of Amazon's flagship e-book reader, it strangely lacks the ability to index e-books on that card. This seems like a strange oversight, given that every other media app on the tablet uses that card for downloading and storage, and its 5 GB usable internal memory isn't a lot for people who have a large library of picture-heavy e-books—especially if they want to install other apps, too.

Comment Not a Honeywell test kit (Score 1) 361

At least that actually is a bomb. There are Facebook memes going around that purport to show that Ahmed's clock actually resembles "a real bomb"...but the "real bomb" photo they use is a photo of a Honeywell security testing kit, ganked from a blog entry in which the owner of said kit elects not to bring it on an airline trip for fear it would be mistaken for a bomb. Which is rather ironic, or something.

Submission + - The Last Unicorn, other Peter S. Beagle titles hit Kindle October 1

Robotech_Master writes: Peter S. Beagle's publisher Connor Cochran has announced that fan favorite The Last Unicorn and several other titles by Beagle will be available in e-book form from Amazon as of October 1. Apart from a brief sale via The Humble Bundle, this will mark the first time an authorized e-book edition of The Last Unicorn has ever been available for sale. It will be offered in both a "Classic" edition and a "Deluxe" edition, featuring sequel novella "Two Hearts" and an interview with Beagle.

All programmers are playwrights and all computers are lousy actors.