The Kindle, a beloved companion for global travelers, seems ideal for language translation. Unfortunately, Google Translate, with its 50+ language translation powers, doesn’t work on the Kindle. Enter the Kindlefish web app, which turns the Kindle into a near-universal language translater.
Developed by road warrior SeattleFlyerGuy (a “travel and mileage nut”), Kindlfish enables users to tap into Google Translate via the URL http://kindlefish.t15.org. Kindlefish was designed to eliminate mobile Google Translate’s clunkiness, offers three default output languages you can save, and provides easy-to-read translated text (even Asian languages and others with non-Latin alphabets).
The Kindle browser, however, is notoriously slow and Kindlefish can also be susceptible to accuracy issues related to Google Translate and poor support for non-English input on the Kindle. The Kindle DX may also have a particular issue, although there’s a workaround that the developer created just for DX users.
Those obstacles aside, if you travel a lot with your Kindle or ever wished you could use Google Translate from it, this web app is for you.
A major update was released today for the Kindle for iPhone/iPod/iPad app.
The big news for calibre fans is that the Kindle app can now open .mobi files directly from your iPhone/iPod/iPad mail program and Safari browser. Users can also now transfer .mobi files to their device using iTunes on their computer.
For regular calibre users, this facilitates the transfer of converted files to the iPhone/iPod/iPad without any external programs or jailbreaking.
I plan on changing my calibre options to automatically send downloaded periodicals to my iPhone’s email.
Sony has transitioned its entire line of e-readers to touchscreens. An article in today’s New York Times suggests that the touchscreen is the natural course for things, such as e-readers, to follow. However, I question the validity of this statement the article, “To Win Over Users, Gadgets Have to be Touchable”:
For readers used to turning paper pages, e-books invite touch perhaps more than anything else. Many a Kindle screen has been sullied by errant fingers before their frustrated owners realized that readers turn the pages of an e-book using buttons on the side of the device.
Really? “Many” Kindle “owners” have bought their Kindles online, only to discover that they are not touchscreens? This is a classic example of an author creating an unattributable scenario in order for a weak story to hold together.
While the article also states that Amazon is expected to release a touchscreen Kindle, Mr. Bezos has said that this would only happen–if at all–once the technology allows for glare-less touchscreens. Whether the Sony e-readers have accomplished this will have to be seen.
As for me, I really do not feel limited by my Kindle’s lack of a touchscreen. In fact, since I read my ultra-light Kindle with one hand, having a touchscreen, as opposed to buttons placed in-line with my holding position (which the Sony appears to lack), would be a negative.
Listening to last Friday’s “The Kindle Chronicles” podcast, I heard Len Edgerly and his wife discuss the new Kindle 3 feature that lets one change the amount of spacing between the lines of text. While this may be a new addition to the Kindle’s ‘Text’ key options, it has long been available on the Kindle 2 as a hidden shortcut.
Directions to change line spacing on Kindle 2
Press & hold: ‘Shift’ + ‘Alt’ + (number 1 – 9) with ‘1’ yielding the fewest spacing, up to ‘9’ yielding the greatest spacing
Below are screenshots from 3 of the 9 available spacings:
The Kindle 3G began shipping two days earlier than originally promised. However, the shipping date for customers who pre-purchase is “on or before September 17th”–which is the 2nd time the shipping date has been pushed back due to heightened demand.
If you are a current Kindle 2 owner and want to try to avoid buying the newest generation for as long as possible, stay clear of the reviews–where you will find quotes such as this from Fast Company:
It’s still black-and-white, but really, that’s for the best. The screen almost glows outdoors. In comparison to the iPad, which turns into a pretty but useless mirror in sunlight, the Kindle only gets more readable. This is a gadget that loves the beach.
Meanwhile, iPad supplies have caught up with demand–this based on analysis of shipping times and availability at Best Buy. Shipping rates have dropped from May’s 5-to-7 business days, down to 3-to-5 days last week, and down to 1-to-3 business days as of two days ago. Barclays Capital produced this nice graph of the various iPad/iPod models’ availability at Best Buy (notice the huge jump in the last few weeks):
So what does it mean that iPad supplies are increasing? In short, only Apple knows–price has not changed, so either the demand curve or the supply curve has “shifted.” In other words, sales have either cooled a bit or Apple figured out how to increase production by 100 percent in the last week.
On the heels of the announcement of its latest Kindle device, Amazon has also introduced its latest covers for the “Kindle 3”–available in a multitude of colors:
The regular cover will sell for $35, but a cover with a built-in LED light will sell for $60. The light will retract into the cover when not in use and draws power from the Kindle (rather than a separate battery).