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A special for the on the bus this morning. As I got up, he told me I forgot my and gave it back. !

Amazon Kindle Matchbook

1 min read


Personally, I like this.  After the cost of layout, etc... there isn't any additional cost to an ebook.  It is sort of like giving people mp3s when they purchase a CD.  Don't think about this as being like giving people mp3s.  Why?  Well, mp3s are easy to rip from a CD.  It is way hard to take a book of any length and make an ebook...hard enough I'd almost call it impossible.

Doing this would make me buy a real book for the bookshelf and get the ebook.  I'll certainly do this in cases where ebooks are free.  Amazon Kindle Matchbook

A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Two

1 min read

I just finished A Clash of Kings: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Two by Martin, George R.R. on Kindle for Android!

atlas shrugged

1 min read

I just finished Atlas Shrugged: (Centennial Edition) by Rand, Ayn on Kindle for Android!

Nexus 7

1 min read

nexus 7 case (cheep)

When my parents came over, they brought me a Nexus 7 (I wanted the 32 GB + mobile version).  I had it all set up, but the battery life was horrible...and by horrible, I mean really bad.  After doing some reading online, I decided to reset it.  Well, after the reset, and reinstalling all the apps (well, most of them), battery life is much much better.

I also got a keyboard and a case.

I may end up and sell the keyboard if I don't use it (it is really small).  But, so far, I really like it.  It solves all the problems I had with my Kindle Fire (basically, I couldn't get the native gmail app, calendaring, etc...) with only one drawback (I can't download Amazon Instant Movies).  As I use it more over the next few weeks, keep your eyes open for more reviews.

Image from yto via flickr

Ordering your Private World -- Gordon MacDonald

2 min read

Ordering Your Private World Gordon MacDonald

Back in 2006, I posted about reading Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald (link to the kindle book on Amazon here). Now, I don't remember many specifics about the this post is less of a review and more of a "Yes!  I found the book!" post.

See, one thing has stuck with me since reading the book:  to gauge how "ordered" someone has their life, don't ask them how they are doing...ask them what they've been reading.  For me, I can look back over the past years--6ish since I read it--and I see the times I have the least order in my life (and feel the most stressed, etc...) are the times I quit reading.  I don't read non-fiction all the time because I think it is important to mix things up.

Many times over the past 6 years, I've mentioned this to people; however, I could never remember the title of the book.  I was looking today for some of my old posts on Body for Life (or pictures from back when I did it) and came across the post I linked to above.  I thought I would post about it here simply because that simple measure has stuck with me for so long.

So, my question to you:  what have you been reading lately?  If you aren't reading anything, why not?

Bookmooch -- Update

1 min read

Book Mooch logo

Way back in 2008, I blogged about bookmooch.  Well, I never really did anything with it until we came to England.  Perhaps because I didn't have many books to offer, no one wanted my books...or perhaps it was because I couldn't send things out of the country reliably....  Who knows.

Anyway, since the middle of 2012, I've sent 4 or 5 books out via bookmooch and have enough points to request 10 books or so.  Currently, I'm reading Game of Thrones, book 1 on my kindle.  After I finish it, I'll request a book as I'm trying NOT to have more than one book going at a time.

[Update 2012-12-30 08:44:45] I realized I didn't have a link to anywhere in this post.  I do now :^)

Tomorrow -- 7 Sept 2012

1 min read

Kindle Fire: Out of the Box

Well, it turns out that I do have something real to blog about today.  And no, that isn't just the fact that it will be 20 days to my next birthday.

Tomorrow, 7 September 2012, Amazon is expected to launch a new Kindle and a new Kindle Fire.  We'll see.

[Update 2012-09-07 06:57:23]  Well, I got it wrong.  They announced it yesterday.  

Image from brian sawyer via flickr

In 10-20 years, this will be a bigger issue

2 min read

869 Paris-Marais

Hands up if you've ever bought music from Apple's iTunes?  What about a book from Amazon on the Kindle?  Yep, I've done both (although, I'm moving away from Apple and to Amazon), and I'm sure you have too.  What is your view about what happens when you die?  I'm sure you haven't thought about...or if you have you've assumed that your kids would have them.  For me, this is an issue because I've taken to buying digital books and music exclusively (well, where possible) But.....

Have a look at this article:  Bruce Willis is talking about suing Apple so his kids can have his iTunes music collection.  Why is this such a big deal?  Well, because if you have bought digital books or music, I assume you haven't thought about it.  I assume you assume that your kids will get the "stuff" just like any of your other stuff.  BUT, that isn't the case.  By default, you can't transfer the "stuff" to another person.  In 10, 20, 40, or 50 years when people start dying and want to transfer these digital assets to their kids, I think some kids are in for a large shock when they don't get it (under current law).  So, if he does sue them and win, it will be a game changer in this realm.

[Update 2012-12-26 09:46:54] Edited a few links

Image from i am not i via flickr

Is that a Fish in Your Ear -- Review

4 min read

Is That A Fish In Your Ear Cover

When we arrived back to England, I had a friend loan me a copy of Is That a Fish In Your Ear by David Bellos.  We had been talking about translation and what that meant when he mentioned it.  Here's a review of it; however, first off, before we left the US to go live in Serbia, I had never learned another language.  Sure, I had a year of Spanish on my high school transcript; but I didn't know any more than I learned living in Texas.  Even more than that, I thought it was a sheer waste of time for a generic American to learn a foreign language.  Think about this....who are you going to talk to?  You can travel thousands of miles in any direction and only meet people whose first language is English.  Even if you travel abroad on holiday, you might learn a few words, but come on...except for France, you are going to find many people willing to speak English to you and help you out.  The only time it really ever became important to me to learn a language was moving to Serbia.  This caused me to see that "translation" means different things at different times.  On to the book.

This book was good great.  I read it in about 3 hours on a plane (now I see why my dad read so much).  I only have two complaints (I'll detail those below); however, everything David Bellos said, I had seen or realized while learning Serbian.  In one case, he takes a poem in Chinese then spends two pages showing different translations.  Some would say that not all were translations; however, depending upon what the author and translator needed or wanted to keep intact, they all were valid.

In addition, he talked about how translators work.  As an example, he used poetry and movie titles.  I had noticed that movie titles aren't always translated (sometimes they are redone entirely).  This also applies to phrases like "human rights."  Sometimes, a direct translation has undesirable connotations so they choose something else that applies more directly to the "thoughts" of the movie or phrase.

On to my two gripes:  Bible Translation and language history.  Mr. Bellos lumped Bible translation in with every other kind of translation.  The Bible says that God "moved" (aka inspired) the writers of the Bible to write down what God wanted written down (see 2 Tim. 3:16-17).  Most reliable Bible scholars believe this means that God told the men to write down exactly what He wanted written down (similar to a secretary transcribing a letter that her boss is dictating) but not exactly.  God told the men what to write; however, it was written by the men (in their "style" and with words to suit their personality).  See, the secretary doesn't have leeway to "rephrase" what her boss says, but God can use people this way because He knows us better than He knows ourselves.  This means that more than just the idea of what the Bible says is important...the words are important as well.  Yes, translators can't often say everything exactly how the authors wrote it (Mr. Bellos says this) but, in the case of the Bible, they can't play fast a loose with what they have (as he did in some cases of the Chinese poem).

Language Tree

He then goes on and talks about language history.  He starts with the account of the Tower of Babel and says it is because of this that so many people have tried to find the "original" language.  For this reason, language trees have grown up.  Mr. Bellos does not believe the Biblical account and pokes holes in it; however, he makes one false assumption that clouds his judgement:  he assumes that the new languages were related somehow.  The Bible doesn't say they were so we cannot assume they were.  Why couldn't God have just made one group for each branch of the language tree?  That fits with 1)the Bible and 2)what we see today.

In spite of my two complaints, I enjoyed the book very much.  It was well written, easy to read, and covered the subject very well.

Disclosure:  The book links on this page are for the Kindle version and are through my Amazon Associates account (this means I'll get a small percentage of the sale if you buy the book by clicking the link).