Archive for October, 2009
Barnes and Noble today launched their ebook competitor to Sony and Amazon called the “Nook”. And I’m impressed. The photo from Gizmodo in my rumor blog about it last week was the real thing.
Priced at $259, the same as the international edition of the Kindle 2 and the big things about it is the WiFi, color touchscreen and mini SD card support is great. They even provided a good comparison chart on how it stands against the Kindle.
It’s important to note that the Nook first creates an environment to enhance the book buying, bookstore and reading experience rather than trying to replace the dead tree books that we usually buy. You read through entire books while inside the actual Barnes and Noble bookstore which is something that you might do in real life. You can share your books with friends digitally which is something that you would do in real life.
The touch screen is a good addition but colored? I know we like to look at our book covers in color but is it really necessary? I would have preferred that the screen is colored. Particularly with books that have colored pictures to be digitally viewable in colored as well in the Nook.
For overseas users who want an ebook reader when we travel or when we live in other places outside the United States are out of luck. The Nook is just for the U.S. (for now I hope). You cannot purchase books via WiFi outside the US. The Nook uses AT&T’s 3G network so there may be hope for the rest of us living outside the US much like the Kindle.
The Nook only has 10 days of battery life compared to the Kindle’s 14. If Apple is indeed at work on a similar device it should either provide a strong argument why the battery doesn’t last for days or the technology behind it allows it to last for days.
The Nook supports various formats that you can put in a 16GB mini SD card including mp3s. It does not support text to audio like the Kindle which got Amazon into some trouble when it was released.
The Nook supports pdf, jpg, gif, png bmp, mpdf, ePub and PDB file formats. You do not have to email these documents for the provider to send it back to you for a nominal fee to be able to read it on the Nook. These can all be done by the user. Yay!
This might not be the perfect eReader out there. But it is a good first step in the right direction. Now I wish all the ebooks are published in a common format that will allow me to buy books from any digital storefront and get the book I want at the lowest price available. That would be something. Especially when we are given the opportunity to write our own books and publish it ourselves. Now that would be totally amazing.
The logo just looks a bit off for me. It looks more like a horseshoe at first glance. Very tempting to buy, but I’ll hold off until I see that device from Cupertino.
Starting on Virgin America flights on November 15 to January 15, passengers will experience free inflight wifi courtesy of Google. Google sees wifi as a way of easing stress during the holiday seasons. Normally, passengers would have to pay $8 – $13 for wifi on the planes with rates depending on the device to be connected and the duration of the flight.
I think this is great news for US domestic travelers. I flew on Virgin America for the first time last year from San Francisco to New York with my family. Everything from booking the flight to boarding was great. Check in was hassle free and they even played music while you were boarding the plane. Overhead compartments were spacious enough to accommodate my mom’s trolley and there’s power in every seat. The infight entertainment was provided by the Dish Network by beaming satellite TV programming live to the plane. Ordering meals from your seat was also simple. Instead of pushing the food cart up and down the aisle, you just input your order on their linux based entertainment system, be it just water or beer, swipe your credit card and the flight attendant hands the beverage to you. There are also USB and power sockets in almost every seat so you can run your ipod or laptop throughout the flight. The only gripe I have with the flight was the passenger behind you keeps pushing the buttons on the touch screen right behind your head which makes it very annoying especially through a six hour flight. But other than that it’s a really nice flight. You check in the international terminal which means you don’t see the terribly long lines through check in and airport security and baggage claim.
The wifi wasn’t available yet when I flew but I do hope that other companies will continue to “sponsor” free wifi on airplanes.
This is the way to fly.
This week I tried out another yogurt place “The White Hat”. It’s not bad actually, much similar with other yogurt stalls out there but this time I tried a different combination. Aside from the usual original yogurt with peaches and/or blueberries. White Had strawberries in syrup which I tried with the green tea yogurt.
I must say it is an interesting combination.
On certain days, they even get strawberry yogurt which is just as good. My mother ordered one and was thinking of sharing it with my dad but she finished it before it could get to him. When you have a chance, I highly recommend getting the strawberry yogurt. It’s not always available but definitely worth the wait.