iPad vs. Kindle Part 2

Yes I was asked many times why I use Kindle to read eBooks but not iPad (even though I have both). I guess each of us has different reasons on why we pick one over the other, but apparently Amazon particularly likes to emphasize one point – One can read easily in bright sunlight.

Granted, it is one important selling point for many, but as an IT bug I actually don’t have the luxury to see many daylights … but again your mileages may vary and that’s why I am not that surprised when Amazon release another video on this great feature with a new tagline – “The book lives on”.

Yes right, “the book lives on”, but please release a better ebook reader than Kindle 3 with touch screen, and Unicode support.

The original video of Kindle about that “one-can-read-easily-in-bright-sunlight” feature.

Real page number for Kindle (Latest Generation) … only ?

Amazon just announced the details of their latest Kindle software update, but I have to say I am very disappointed about that release as all the promised great features are made available to Kindle (Latest Generation) only, in other words, Kindle 3 only.

According to the web page, the new software update will be made available soon thru Whispernet. However, if you want to manaually download and install it, you can do it now. The new features are:

  • Public Notes – now you can share your notes to public and even view the public notes of people you “follow”. (Previously, you can share some lines in the book you’re reading to Twitter and Facebook).
  • Real Page Numbers – Now there are real page numbers to match the page numbers in printed books. This feature is very important if you want to reference and cite passages.
  • Before you go – now you can rate a book, share a message etc. when you reach the end of the book.
  • New Newspaper and Magazine Layout – There will be an improved layout … but I doubt how it can match iPad based newspapers and magazines.

Anyway, for those Kindle 3 users … enjoy.

Second annual report of a tiny, little blog

Even though this tiny, little blog has been maintained for many years, I started the annual report only from year 2009. I found it’s a very good exercise  for me to review what I have done in the past 12 months, and then focus on how I can make this blog better. So here is it, the second annual report of the www.michaelyung.com.

One big achievement last year was the traffic, it reached the all time high in December, 2010 and the number of pageview was almost 10 times more than just two years ago. Really happy about it.

I think there is a couple of reasons of the traffic surge, one obviously is the ever growing popularity of the Amazon Kindle eReader. Many blog posts in this website were written about this fantastic device – Kindle news, tricks, and review reports. Another possible reason is I wrote some other blog posts about iPhone, iPad, Olympus M4/3 and blog engine setup. One last reason is I added the Facebook Like button to each blog post and it helped a lot to the traffic as the sharing of a blog post to my Facebook fans will get back many incoming traffic.

OK, back to the sales … year 2010 was a great year. I sold over 120 Kindles (4 times better than 2009), over 120 physical books and eBooks (6 times more compare to year 2009). And surprisingly I sold a few camera lens from Olympus and Panasonic as well. However, the most stunning sale was someone bought 20 Zune HD music players with one order !!

Lastly, same as year 2009, there were many bizarre sales such as Hair regrowth treatment, coconut oil, bed raiser, soap dispenser, Yamaha guitar, and even X’mas LED bulbs. Amazing.

So that’s about it, what’s going to happen next year ?! I will let you know same time next year.

Kindle 3 – the Bestselling Product of All Time on Amazon

According to the latest press release from Amazon, they announced that the Kindle 3 is now the bestselling product in their history, even better than the “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7)”. And in the same business wire, it says on Christmas Day, more people turned on new Kindles for the first time, downloaded more Kindle Buy Once, Read Everywhere apps, and purchased more Kindle books than on any other day in history.

I am sure the above claims are true as somehow this tiny site you are reading also reached the all time high traffic in 26th December, 2010 – the Boxing Day and a Sunday!!

The top 10 visited blog posts are:

  1. Running Gmail with your Kindle 2
  2. Reading PDF documents in Kindle 2
  3. Connect Kindle 2 to 3G network
  4. Buy Kindle books from outside US
  5. Facebook photo album image size
  6. Buy Kindle 2 from outside US
  7. Using Kindle outside US
  8. 10 steps to migrate your iPhone 3G / 3GS to iPhone 4
  9. Kindle 2 firmware update to read PDF files
  10. The first 30 days

7 out of the top 10 are in fact Kindle related posts. Congratulations, Kindle !!

Best Travel books / guides / sites

After I threw away about “two feet of books” (in other words, I don’t know how many) and an hour’s hard work, I have made my travel bookshelf back in shape. After this “shake-up”, now I have “only” 200 travel books, about half of them are in English, and others in Chinese. Compare to my other IT / photography / web design / usability reference books, business books, comic books and novels, it is still quite a lot.

My travel book library

The reason I bought so many travel books is because, believe it or not, I like to “study” travel books … in other words, understand how they were written, how the information is categorized, presented, cross-referenced etc. etc. In Internet’s term, I like to study the information arhitecture of travel books. However, seriously, after studied so many travel books, I still have not found my ideal book.

All along I believe the best way to plan a trip is not to go to Internet to research, as there are too many information in the Internet and you have no way to tell which one is correct and which one is useful for your style of travel. Searching thru travel books and guides are not necessary the better way as well, mainly because it’s hard to search the details in the physical book. In addition, most books are just a long list of attractions but doesn’t tell you how to connect the attractions together.

Out of the 200 books from that mini-library, the best ones so far are the Daytrips series from Hastings House. All these books let you plan your trip day by day with all the attractions, transportation and dining details.

Therefore I think … will it be great if I can go to one single website and plan my all trips, with all the information I need in a day by day fashion (just like the Daytrips series) ? That idea has been planted in my mind for almost 10 years now, and about 3 and a half year ago I wrote this blog post to illustrate the possible database design

Not sure you have the same trouble / idea like this or not but if you believe you cannot buy the best travel book from bookstores or Amazon, and you think you have to make your own travel guides – let me know. May be it is about time to develop the best travel site on earth.