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Submission + - SPAM: Amazon adds SD card e-book storage, automatic video downloads to Fire tablets

Robotech_Master writes: Amazon has added a couple of interesting new capabilities in its latest Fire tablet firmware. The $50 Fire tablet will now automatically store e-books on SD cards, when available, and will also automatically download Prime Video movies to have on hand in case you can't access Wi-Fi for a while.

Submission + - Harvard Bookstore launches Print + Digital bundle for Chris Anderson's new book (teleread.com)

Peter Hudson writes: Teleread, Publishers Weekly, Digital Book World, and Publishing Perspectives are reporting that the Harvard Bookstore is launching a program in partnership with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Shelfie where customers who purchase certain HMH books will get the ebook included free or at a substantially reduced price (Teleread reports that the majority of the bundled digital editions will be free or 99 cents). From Publishing Perspectives:

The new program is applicable only to certain New York Times bestselling titles including TED Talks: The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking by Chris Anderson (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, releasing today); Life of Pi by Yann Martel (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2002); Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000); and How to Cook Everything The Basics: All You Need to Make Great Food by Mark Bittman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012).


Submission + - Bernie Sanders Internet Speed Test: Trump-level credibility? (teleread.com)

David Rothman writes: U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is right to say U.S. Net speeds are too low. But just how accurate is the Bernie Sanders Internet Speed Test? The gag site from some clever Romanians is a hoot. But when I tried it from my location outside Washington, D.C., the site just didn't give my Comcast account its due.

As a comparison, I didn't just rely a near-by server that might have had Comcast ties. I also used the DSL Reports speed test site relying on multiple ISPs. DSL Reports clocked me at around 180Mbps compared to around 18Mbps reported around the same time by the Sanders site, based on Europe and apparently relying on a server in Frankfurt. Am I missing something?

Please note that the Sanders Internet Speed Test is not part of the Sanders campaign. I can still Feel The Bern.

So what gives? Please note that I'm not out to help or hurt Comcast here, just get at the truth.

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.

Submission + - The Public Collection: Indianapolis's own 'Big Free Libraries' (teleread.com)

Robotech_Master writes: Indianapolis has just launched a great new series of art installations intended to promote both art and literacy. The Public Collection will act as a sort of artistic big version of the "Little Free Libraries" that have been popping up lately—offering hundreds of books to the general public, including homeless and hospital patients, absolutely free.

Submission + - Designers & Dragons is the complete history of role-playing game publishers

Robotech_Master writes: Evil Hat Productions is Kickstarting a four-volume history of the RPG industry that's already met its funding goal almost seven times over. Comprising half a million words altogether, it tells the story of pencil-and-paper role-playing games from their very beginnings, and you can read the e-book of the first volume for kicking in just one buck. $1 for the first e-book, $15 for all four, print volumes starting at $25 and up.

I've reviewed the first volume of it here. I found it extremely thorough and well-written.

Submission + - New recipe produces ammonia from air, water, and sunlight (sciencemag.org) 1

mdsolar writes: Nitrogen is essential for all life. But even though nitrogen makes up 78% of the atmosphere, it's in a form that can't be used by living organisms. Instead it's tied up in nitrogen molecules made up of two nitrogen atoms that share a strong triple bond that's not easily broken. A century ago, two German chemists, Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch, figured out how to sever those bonds with high pressures and temperatures and weld nitrogen atoms with hydrogens to make ammonia, thereby converting nitrogen into the starting material for a nitrogen-rich fertilizer that can be taken up and used by microbes, plants, and people. That process has been so successful that ammonia-based fertilizers now enable farmers to feed billions more people than our planet could otherwise support. But ammonia production also comes at a high environmental cost, as it is responsible for 2% of worldwide energy use and thus a massive greenhouse gas footprint. However, on page 637 of this issue, U.S. chemists report that they've come up with a way to synthesize ammonia from air, water, and sunlight. If the approach can be scaled up, it could offer a means for making an essential commodity without a major cost to the climate.

Submission + - Amazon vs Big Publishers - another side of the story (change.org) 1

An anonymous reader writes: Amazon has allowed hundreds of self published writers to quit their jobs and write full time.

In the battle of Amazon vs Big Publishers, here is their side of the story:

Windows

Submission + - Africa: CherryPal's $99 "odd lots" netbook (teleread.org)

Robotech_Master writes: CherryPal, which Slashdot last covered back in 2008, has released a $99 netbook, the Africa, aimed at the developing world but (unlike the OLPC) available for sale to the consumer. But unlike most netbooks, the Africa is not actually made to a set design. Instead, it uses a hacker-like approach similar to the way home PC builders build their cheap beige boxes. CherryPal purchases odd lots of whatever components are available most inexpensively, builds netbooks out of them, and calls them Africas. The resulting machines will at least meet and may exceed the minimum specs given on CherryPal's website, and may be built around an ARM, MIPS, or X86-based CPU depending on what parts CherryPal has on hand at the time. The device ships with 'at least' Windows CE or CherryPal's custom 'Green Maraschino' Debian-based Linux distro.

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