Author Archives: ari

The new class of ereaders: products with 8-inch screens

2017-10-09

For many years, people who read ebooks on ereader devices have settled on products that have six-inch screens. Nothing wrong with a 6-inch display, but there are people who would like to read on a larger screen. Now, the time has come for more choice. Not only has Sony introduced a huge 13-inch ereader, but a number of 8-inch ereaders are available from renowned brands and less known manufacturers.
Cybook Ocean 8-inch ereader

Cybook Ocean.


There are, at least, four products available with an 8-inch E ink display at the moment. In fact, some of the products come with 7.8 inch screen and others with 8-inch, but we will refer to all of them as 8-inch ereaders.

Boyue Likebook Plus 172 Euros.
Cybook Ocean 189 Euros.
Icarus Illumina XL HD 199 Euros.
Kobo Aura One 229 Euros.

If you need help in deciding which device size is the right one for you (from 6 to 13 inches), read the article that also has a video where different ereader sizes are compared.

Here are the most important features for each four ereaders.

Key features and specifications of the Cybook Ocean ereader

8-inch Eink display, touch sensitive.
Display resolution 1024×768 px (160 PPI), 16 levels of grey.
Front light for reading in dark.
CPU: Cortex A8 TI OMAP3611 (800 MHz)
RAM : 128 MB
Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n)
4GB internal storage for ebooks.
MicroSD memory card slot for additional storage space.
MicroUSB 2 port.
Dedicated keys for turning the page.
25 user interface languages.
Web browser.
Ebook formats: ePub, PDF Adobe DRM, HTML, Txt, FB2, DJVU
Li-Polymer battery 2100 mAh.
Dimensions: 196 mm x 150 mm x 7 mm
Weight: 300 gr with the battery.

Kobo Aura One key specifications

kobo aura one ereader

– 7.8-inch E Ink touchscreen, 1872 x 1404 resolution, 300 dpi
– Front light for reading in places with inadequate light. ComfortLight PRO technology that reduces blue light exposure.
– 8 GB on-board memory. Storage for up to 6,000 ebooks.
– 11 fonts and over 50 font styles. Font weight and sharpness settings.
– 14 file formats supported: EPUB, EPUB3, PDF, MOBI, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, TXT, HTML, RTF, CBZ, CBR.
– Access to public libraries that use Overdrive ebook library system.
– Wi Fi 802.11 b/g/n.
– Micro USB port.
– Battery life up to 1 month.
– Built-in device languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Dutch, Italian, Brazilian, Portuguese, Japanese, Turkish.
– Weight 230 gr.
– Dimensions 195 x 138.5 x 6.9 mm.

Highlights of the Icarus Illumina XL HD ereader

Icarus Illumina 8 inch ereader.

7.8-inch E ink screen.
300 DPI resolution.
Touch screen .
Powered by Android software. Google Play.
Front light.
Wi-Fi.
Bluetooth.

Key features of the Boyue Likebook Plus

Boyue Likebook 7.8 inch ereader

7.8-inch display in 1448*1072 resolution. Touch screen.
Ebook formats: Html, Epub, Pdf, Mobi, Html, TXT, Djvu, Rtf, Fb2
WiFi.
Android operating system.
Bluetooth
Dimensions: 198*144*8.3 mm.
Micro USB port.
3.5 mm headphone jack.
16GB storage space.
2800mAh battery.
Weight 290gr.

Google Pixel 2 and Clips cameras have special potential for travel photography

2017-10-07

Google has introduced two cameras that will interest travel photographers: the camera in the Google Pixel 2 and 2 XL smartphones, and the unique intelligent camera in the Google Clips product. Both cameras make use of artificial intelligence software technology, setting them apart from competition at the moment.

Google Pixel 2 smartphone with 12.2 megapixel camera and AIGoogle Pixel 2 smartphone.

Google Pixel 2

The Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL are high-end smartphones from Google that come with a 12.2 megapixel camera. The special feature in the camera is that it lets you capture images like photos taken on a professional camera where the subject is in the foreground and the background is magically blurred. Usually, that kind of images are taken with SLR cameras that come with changeable lenses and sharp optics, but the Google Pixel 2 can do it with a fixed lens.

The Google Pixel 2 comes with optical image (OIS) stabilization feature, a rare but valuable thing to have on a smartphone camera. The feature automatically reduces shake and movement when taking a photo, resulting in sharper images and better pictures in low light.

The camera on the Pixel 2 smartphone uses artificial intelligence software technology to create the blur effect. The software recognizes the main subject in the frame, and slightly fades the background. In order to recognize what is foreground and background in an image, the Pixel 2 combines two images (the photographer takes only one frame and doesn’t notice anything) allowing the software to conclude the depth. The result looks the same as a portrait photo taken on a dedicated high-end camera.

Google is not the first company to apply this technique to smartphone photographs: the Apple iPhone X has the same feature.
Google Clips camera with intelligent photo capture

Google Clips

The Google Clips is a totally new kind of camera. After you switch it on, the camera takes photographs by itself. It doesn’t snap a continuous stream of images at preset intervals as some life-capture cameras do, but the Clips monitors what is happening around it, who is in the frame, and is the situation worth taking a picture. The magic is achieved by artificial intelligence software that decides when to take a photo. It also decides the settings for the image capture.

For instance, set the Clips on a kitchen table, and it learns the faces of a family. Then, it can take photos when something interesting in the kitchen is happening.

The Clips is a standalone camera, which means that it doesn’t need a connection anywhere to work. All the intelligence is inside the unit, and all the photos are stored in its internal storage.

It is the camera owner’s choice which images he or she decides to share once the photos have been imported to a PC from the Clips. Battery life is only three hours. The price is $250.

What is Artificial Intelligence and what it has to do with a camera?

Google Clips camera with artificial intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a software technology that seems to be able to make conclusions like a human. If ordinary software applications can only respond “yes” or “no” to a question, AI software systems are trained to take into account more variables. Speech recognition and image recognition are the first popular applications for the AI technology. Since AI systems are made of software, humans have coded them, and the quality of the systems depends on the engineering skills of the system designers.

What does this all mean to people who are photographing their travels?

First, it means that photographers who are carrying multiple cameras and/or lenses may consider leaving a camera or a lens home. Since the smartphone, in this case the Pixel 2, can take good enough close-up images of subjects, for non-professional photographers it is an easy decision to drop extra weight from the luggage.

Second, the Google Clips has new kind of potential for the future. At the moment, Google says the camera learns the faces of a family, and the product is focused on delivering photographic moments for the family. That’s fine. The potential is that once the camera and its AI system are developed further, they may be used for other applications as well.

Street photography is an obvious application for the Clips. Capturing images of street life, subjects in animal parks, events in leisure parks, or what happened during a cycling trip or kayak tour are some examples of the other applications.

The Google video for the Clips camera that highlights the family aspect of the product:

Amazon managed to make the low-cost 10-inch Fire tablet just right

2017-09-25

For quite some time, the price range of 150-199 has been the level where it is possible to find 10-inch tablets from major manufacturers. Since it is the lowest price point for 10-inch devices, tablets often lack features or have too restricted resources. Amazon, however, has managed to create a 10-inch tablet that has every key feature in place at $149 price point.

Amazon Fire HD 10 tablet
The Fire HD 10 tablet, its October 2017 edition, is an improved, upgraded version of earlier models. This one is a complete product that makes you wonder why pay more for an Android tablet or even more for an Apple iPad?

The bottleneck of low-cost tablets (and phones) is often too small RAM memory size, very limited storage space, low-resolution screen, and so-so camera. The Fire HD10 avoids these problems and still manages to keep the price low.

The Fire HD 10 comes with 2 GB of RAM memory which is fine for Android based devices. Also the amount of storage space 32 GB is sufficient. The 10.1-inch display has high resolution 1920 x 1200 pixels which makes dot density of 224 ppi. It is a nice display for reading ebooks, and of course, for watching movies and tv shows. The cameras on the Fire HD 10 are something that you can forget about, and take photos with your smartphone instead.
ebook reading on Fire HD 10 tablet
For ebooks, the Fire comes with Blue Shade feature in its reading app. It can automatically adjust and optimize the backlight for comfortable nighttime reading moments.

Alexa voice control system, the brain behind Echo, is a new feature on Fire tablets. You can use your voice to give commands to the tablet. For instance, you can tell Alexa play a video, music, or an audiobooks. It is also possible to ask Alexa questions, see your calendar, get news, and view sports scores. The hands-free mode lets you wake up the tablet (and Alexa) even when the screen is asleep.

Fire HD 10 October 2017 model specifications

Alexa on Fire HD 10 tablet

Display 10.1 inches.
Display resolution 1920 x 1200 (224 ppi).
Processor: Quad-core up to 1.8 GHz.
2GB of RAM.
0.3 megapixel front-facing camera, 2 megapixel rear-facing camera with 720p HD video recording.
Dual-band a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi.
Location based services via Wi-Fi.
Bluetooth. A2DP compatible stereo headphones can be wirelessly connected.
Storage: 32 or 64 GB (expandable up to 256 GB) + unlimited cloud storage for Amazon content.
MicroSD memory card slot.
Micro B USB port.
Dolby Atmos audio technology, Dual stereo speakers.
3.5 mm stereo headphone jack.
Built-in microphone.
Voice control: Alexa can be used in hands-free mode.
Colors: Black, Marine Blue, Punch Red.
1-year limited warranty.
Weight 17.7 oz (500 grams).
Dimensions 10.3 x 6.3 x 0.4 inches (262 x 159 x 9.8mm).
Battery life: up to 10 hours of reading, surfing the web, watching video, and listening to music.

Nonfiction writing tips from a writer who has won the Pulitzer Prize

2017-09-18

Bret Stephens, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, recently joined The New York Times. One of his first articles for the newspaper was a collection of tips for writing news, articles and columns. Altogether, Brett Stephens shares 15 tips for writers, from which I selected 7 that apply to all nonfiction writers.

Somy DPT-RP1 ereader: reading and making notes
1. Get to the point.
Every sentence counts, and must deliver value to the reader. Some writers (and editors) believe the first sentence is the most important to hook a reader, but surely the attention span of readers is longer. Nonetheless, in order keep the reader’s attention the story and the delivery of information must move forward without slack.

2. Write to the broad community of people.
Don’t try to impress experts of your own field with industry jargon. A normal person has to easily understand what your message is. This applies to most articles and books ever published. Naturally, there are publications that target at experts of a niche, but that is another story.

3. Authority counts.
Readers have to trust the writer’s expertise on the subject he or she is writing about. Credentials help, but usually the authority has to be built with time.

4. Establish a confident voice.
Avoid passive voice in your writing, and unnecessary filler words that don’t add anything to the information you are delivering to the reader. Confident voice is not too modest and not too hyped-up, but – confident.

5. Doublecheck the facts.
It also means checking the spelling of names, verifying the dates and times.
[I would check the links at some point as well, because nonfiction articles and books usually have links to sources and more information. As an editor of nonfiction book manuscripts I have done some fact checking and the worst errors have originated from Wikipedia that some authors had used as their only source]

6. Drop all empty phrases.
It may feel that using a cliché is a shortcut to delivering a wealth of information, but more often it is an entirely empty phrase that is wasting everyone’s time.

7. Respect your editor.
Even if you are self-publishing, you should hire an editor to improve your text. If your article or book manuscript is being reviewed by the publisher’s editor, learn from it.

This is what the Apple iPhone X camera means for travel photography

2017-09-15

Many travelers, writers and even professional photographers trust in their smartphone cameras for capturing important images that document their journeys and remarkable moments in life. The Apple iPhone X has so many features for photographers that it allows travelers to reconsider the contents of their photography kits.

Apple iPhone X camera feature: face recognition
The iPhone X comes with three cameras: two at the back and one at the front panel. Here is what the cameras are for:

– Wide-angle camera at the back: ƒ/1.8 six-element lens, optical image stabilization. 12 megapixel image sensor. Allows you to get really close to subjects, or shoot small spaces that don’t fit into the frame of a normal lens. This and the telephoto camera are, however, used in sync by the system.
– Telephoto camera at the back: ƒ/2.4 telephoto lens. Together the two cameras at the back enable optical zoom. Two lenses also create depth to images. The benefit of this optical zoom is, however, minimal compared to camera lenses where the elements have room to move.
– TrueDepth camera at the front: ƒ/2.2 aperture lens. 7 megapixel image sensor. This is used by the Face ID recognition feature, and naturally, for selfies.

Apple iPhone X two cameras at the back: wide-angle and  telephoto
Apple has also developed new software applications that utilize the possibilities of the cameras. Especially, the Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting software allows iPhone X photographers to capture and adjust portrait images into studio-like pictures.

It is obvious that Apple has put a lot of effort for ensuring that selfies taken on the iPhone look fabulous.

The iPhone X cameras are at their best when shooting subjects that are relatively near the lenses. Anyone who has tried to snap a photo of beautiful scenery in the distance on a smartphone knows how disappointing the result can be.

Of course, the iPhone X is an expensive compact camera. The prices start from $999. Nonetheless, you get a smartphone as well, and you may consider leaving lenses or a camera home that you have used for close-up and portrait photos.

Street photography is also a potential field where the iPhone X can shine. Smartphones are less intrusive in street photography. People simply don’t mind that much when someone takes a photo on a smartphone even though they clearly see that they are in the frame. If you take the same photo on an SLR, they do mind.

No matter how good the iPhone X cameras and photography applications are, it is a camera with fixed lenses. It can’t do everything that SLR cameras with removable lenses can do.

Landscapes, city views, architecture, action, sports, sceneries, natural phenomena are the most likely photographs that require other type of camera equipment for the best results.

I have often used smartphone cameras for video recording lately, and generally have been happy with the results. It is primarily for documenting something or capturing a brief moment of city life or anything potentially interesting happening nearby. Video capture is another field where the iPhone X can be an excellent product. It can:

– Capture 4K video up to 60 fps (frames per second).
– Record slow motion video in 1080p HD format up to 240 fps.
– Produce time‑lapse videos.

The video features are remarkable – many SLR cameras can’t do 4K, slow motion or time lapse. Have you ever tried to shoot and produce a time lapse video? If you have, you know how much work and how troublesome it is. If the iPhone X can make time lapse videos easy, it is a big time saver.

In bright sunlight, most displays in SLR cameras become unreadable. The iPhone X display is based on OLED technology which means much brighter, clearer, and higher contrast image than an ordinary LCD display can produce.

The iPhone X camera specifications and features

Apple iPhone X: Portrait Lighting app

Cameras at the back
12 megapixel wide-angle and telephoto cameras
Wide-angle lens: ƒ/1.8 aperture
Telephoto lens: ƒ/2.4 aperture
Optical zoom; digital zoom up to 10x
Portrait mode
Portrait Lighting (beta)
Dual optical image stabilization
Six‑element lens
Quad-LED True Tone flash with Slow Sync
Panorama (up to 63MP)
Hybrid IR filter
Autofocus with Focus Pixels
Body and face detection
Exposure control
Noise reduction
Auto HDR for photos
Auto image stabilization
Burst mode
Timer mode
Photo geotagging: GPS location marked in photos
Image formats captured: HEIF and JPEG

Video Recording
4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps
1080p HD video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps
720p HD video recording at 30 fps
Optical image stabilization for video
Optical zoom; 6x digital zoom
Quad-LED True Tone flash
Slo‑mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps
Time‑lapse video with stabilization
Cinematic video stabilization (1080p and 720p)
Continuous autofocus video
Body and face detection
Noise reduction
8 megapixel still photos while recording 4K video
Playback zoom
Video geotagging
Video formats recorded: HEVC and H.264

TrueDepth Camera (at the front)
7 megapixel camera
Portrait mode
Portrait Lighting (beta)
Animoji
1080p HD video recording
Retina Flash
ƒ/2.2 aperture
Auto HDR
Body and face detection
Auto image stabilization
Burst mode
Exposure control
Timer mode

Tips for improving the readability and attractiveness of nonfiction books

2017-09-01

When a publisher/author states that the most important element of a plan for a nonfiction book is its table of contents, she has my attention. That’s exactly what we have been telling to Klaava.com readers in one of our most popular articles.

man holding old books in his hands
Anyway, Brooke Warner has written an article for Huffington Post where she reminds of the importance of the table of contents, and shares five valuable tips for improving the readability and attractiveness of nonfiction books.

Brooke Warner’s tips for better nonfiction writing:

– Use subheadings to break chapters into logical chunks, and to give a reader a break.
– Consider writing yourself into the book as a guide who looks after the reader.
– Insert other elements into the book besides text. Nonfiction books usually benefit from graphs, tables, fact boxes and similar layout elements that capture something essential about the discussed topic.
– Short books are fine. Yes, it perfectly all right to write a book less than 200 pages or 40 000 words.
– Don’t write in dry academic tone, but use your own voice.

A common feature in nonfiction manuscripts is long paragraphs. Time after time, the editor will break long paragraphs into two or more short paragraphs that are easier to read. This is particularly important when reading an ebook on a screen. Subheading, indents and other simple elements help as well.

Color is an important element in nonfiction books as well. Use color in charts, pictures and of course, photographs. If the book is published as a black-and-white print edition, so be it, but the ebook edition benefits greatly from colors.

We have published nonfiction ebooks about 50-100 pages long. When the reader is aware that he or she is buying a concise book focused on a specific theme, that’s a good deal for the customer when the price is right.

How to use a prepaid SIM card for Internet access overseas

2017-08-29

Every freelance writer, digital nomad, or remote worker who is traveling overseas will need Internet access – sooner or later. If you are working and traveling, you will need it the moment you arrive in a new country. No problem, many people think, I’ll use the hotel Wi-Fi, free access at McDonalds, or Wi-Fi hotspot at a nearby café. Sure, if you know what you are doing, because recent news reports showed us that multiple hotel Wi-Fi networks in Europe and Middle East were infiltrated so that hackers could collect guests’ banking and other passwords.

What can a traveler do to have an Internet access overseas that doesn’t cost a fortune and that is reliable and secure? The answer is to purchase a prepaid SIM card with a data plan in each country you visit.

three prepaid sim cards
The objective is to use a prepaid SIM card on a smartphone, or on a 4G router. You can use as much Internet you want without having to worry about paying more than the price of the data package you have paid for. Better yet, you can turn your smartphone into a Wi-Fi hotspot and connect your laptop or tablet to the Internet via your personal hotspot.

In many countries, a prepaid SIM card is easy to get. Find a mobile network operator’s retail shop, a mobile phone store, an electronics store, or in some countries, a kiosk that sells SIM cards. Choose the initial amount of data that you want (often starts from 1GB), and make sure you get the information on how to top up more data (if you need to). In some countries, there are no formalities – you just pay and that’s it. In other countries, you have to show your passport (the salesperson may have to copy it), and fill in a form.

Turn your smartphone into a Wi-Fi hotspot

creating Wi-Fi hotspot on Android smartphone
Your SIM card is the key to establishing Internet access, but some technical stuff has to be maneuvered before it will work. If you only want Internet access for your smartphone, turn off the phone, remove the current SIM card from your phone, insert the prepaid card, and start the phone.

An advanced solution is to turn your phone into a WiFi access point for your other devices. Here is how to establish your own Wi-Fi hotspot:

1. Insert the prepaid SIM card into your phone, and start the phone.
2. On an Android device, tap Settings -> Mobile hotspot and tethering -> Mobile hotspot.
3. Tap the Mobile Hotspot switch to set it on. If this is the first time you are turning you phone into a Wi-Fi access point, change the hotspot name and password to your liking. This is the Wi-Fi network name your other devices will connect to and the password you have to enter on those other devices. Anyone within the Wi-Fi signal range can detect your hotspot and try to connect to it, so keep that in mind when choosing the password.

establish Wi-Fi access point for mobile devices
Depending on your phone’s Android version, the described process may vary a bit. Once completed, the phone’s Wi-Fi signal is reserved for connections to the hotspot (your phone), and your phone’s mobile network connection (it doesn’t matter if it is 4G or 3G, the only difference is the speed) provides access to the Internet for all devices.

Now, connect your laptop, or other device to the new hotspot you just created by entering the hotspot password you specified.

If you regularly need a personal Wi-Fi hotspot, get a dedicated 4G router

People who travel and work want to ensure they have the tools and connections everywhere they go. Assuming that you already have a SIM card with a data plan that you can use in a country where you have arrived, the best product to have is a Mobile Wi-Fi/4G router. The router connects to a 4G or 3G mobile network for Internet access, and provides Wi-Fi signal for your devices to connect to.

Having a dedicated device for Internet access lets you use your smartphone’s phone number for phone calls and messages, and save its battery.

Huawei 4G Wi-Fi router for mobile internet access
The Wi-Fi/4G product category doesn’t have a self explanatory name, but for instance, this Amazon search lists plenty of products. The key things when choosing a product are:

The product is battery powered for mobility.
It is unlocked, and accepts any SIM card you insert into it.
4G is the fastest mobile data connection type at the moment, but as a backup connection, 3G works as well.

I have been using a Huawei 4G mobile router for a couple of years – sometimes continuously for months – without problems in many countries and on many networks.

When you get your router, connect your laptop to it. Login as admin, and change settings if you have to. This is important: save the router’s local IP address and admin password into your password manager, because you will have to access the router admin panel sooner or later. For instance, some networks send text messages to the phone number associated with the SIM card, and the only place where you can read them is the router’s admin panel.

The nice thing with prepaid SIM cards is that they work as a backup connection if your main Internet access point fails, and you can use it when on the road – without having to spend hours looking for a Wi-Fi signal.

Do you have to change your entire life to become a writer?

2017-08-17

Becoming a writer tends to be a gradual process. Usually, it takes time to learn the craft, decide what kind of writing is the most attractive, find a way to publish the works, and see if writing can be the one and only work to make a living. Because it is a gradual process, the method of working, the tools, and the working environment are typically discovered along the way.
Woman leaning on pile of books
An excellent article by Ayodeji Awosika suggests that aspiring writers must give up 7 things in order to become published and successful.

He makes valid points on what it generally requires from an aspiring writer to develop into a published writer. Here are the 7 points Awosika makes.

You have to give up your:
1. Entitlement. Especially, in the beginning, you are not entitled to anything. You have to fight for everything.
2. Romanticism. There are plenty of romantic stories of authors and how they have achieved their success, but they are never the full story.
3. Fear of marketing. No matter which publishing path you choose, you will have to market yourself and your work.
4. Time. Becoming a writer can take years.
5. Need for approval. In the beginning, genuine approval is difficult to get.
6. Laziness. Writing means a lot of work.
7. Excuses. If you want to become a writer, there are no excuses for doing something else.

If I had to list only 3 things that are required to developing into a writer, they would be the following:

Time. You have to allocate plenty of time for writing. It means you must give up something else, like watching television, playing video games, hanging out at cafés, shopping, or anything else that doesn’t add value to writing.
Perseverance. Writing is a long-term decision. Learning the craft, getting a work published, achieving sales never happens overnight. It is really amazing how disciplined most writers are when it comes to their work.
Continuous learning. No one can say that he or she completely masters the craft and business of writing. It is not only the techniques of writing that require continuous learning, but also work methods, processes, marketing, business, and tools.

So, many things in an aspiring writer’s lifestyle should change in order to make room for everything that writing requires.

A fridge library at a tiny village at the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains

2017-08-08

I have seen many kinds of street-side libraries where book lovers let passersby and neighbors take a book from the selection. If these readers have books they can donate, they may return a title into the selection. A Bookcrossing box in a city park, a stylish birdhouse filled with books on a wall of an artshop, or a bookshelf at the gate of a fruit farm are a few examples of street-side libraries.

But this one in Luzenac-Pouech, France was quite innovative. The tiny village of Luzenac is located at the foothills of the Pyrenees mountains. The lush environment indicates it rains pretty regularly in the region. A river flowing five meters from the library was filled with water in the middle of summer.
Luzenac, St Girons, France
If you want to establish an outdoor library in an environment where it rains, cows eat grass next to the books, horses may check out the place from time to time, and fishermen walk up and down the riverside, books have to be protected from water and other risks.
Luzenac, Arege, France, outdoor library
What is better protection for books than an old fridge? Well, old desk is another place to have books, but the desk won’t last long outdoors. This one has metal drawers, but still. I have to visit this library in a year or two to see how it is doing.

Luzenac village seen from PouechLuzenac village as seen from Pouech.

Choosing the right ereader device for reading ebooks is also a matter of size

2017-08-06

The most popular ereader, the Amazon Kindle, is available in one size – the screen is six inches, but many other vendors are marketing larger ereaders as well. Is larger better? What are the benefits of an eight-inch, or even a 13-inch ereader?
Kobo ereader: reading on a hammock
Let’s compare three ereaders – Sony DPT-RP1, Kobo Aura One and Kindle Paperwhite – that come with different screen sizes. The size differences between these three ereaders are considerable.

The dimensions of the Kindle Paperwhite are: 6.7″ x 4.6″ x 0.36″ (169 x 117 x 9.1 mm). It comes with 6-inch display.
The dimensions of the Kobo Aura One are: 195,1 x 138,5 x 6,9 mm. The screen size is 7.8 inches.
The dimensions of the Sony DPT-RP1 are: 8.82″ x 11.9″ x 0.23″ (224 mm x 302.6 mm x 5.9 mm) . Larger than tablets, the screen size is 13 inches.

Somy DPT-RP1 ereader: reading and making notes
So, the first big difference is portability. Are you going to carry the ereader with you? The second difference is the type of ebooks or documents you are going to read on the device. If it is PDF books and PDF documents, or ebooks and magazines with pictures, tables, graphs, the larger the screen is, the better the reading experience will be.

All this and much more is explained and showed in a video by The Ebook Reader. Take a look. Here is the video that shows the 13-inch Sony DPT-RP1, Kobo Aura One and Kindle Paperwhite ereader.

Those ebook lovers who want color displays can get a tablet, but also then, it is a question of size. Personally, I like my 10-inch tablet for ebooks, but most people who read ebooks seem to choose an 8-inch or 7-inch model.

Amazon Kindle ereader fits into a coat pocket

The trends in remote work in 2017

2017-08-04

Most writers are, in practice, remote workers or location independent professionals because many work from home or from a peaceful location somewhere that is not home. Writers may also travel, or even call themselves digital nomads, if they spend some time on the road and stop somewhere to continue a writing project that is being processed at the back of the mind all time, anyhow.

Workfrom is a source of information for finding spaces to work, stay or perhaps getting a job that lets you work remotely. Workfrom conducted a survey with more than 1000 mobile professionals in order to understand what the trends and facts are among remote workers in 2017.

Here are some highlights from the survey:

7 out of 10 respondents said that the tools, such as laptop bags and standing desks are a top priority to ensure productivity in their work. Video conferencing tools such as Skype and WebEx were second, with project management apps like Asana and Trello third.

About half of the remote workers work on their own, without a support of a team. That’s a plenty of freelancers out there.

The majority of respondents (57%) who work on remote teams have colleagues in multiple time zones and countries. Remote employees, entrepreneurs and consultants/contractors were likely to be part of a global team.

Most remote workers indicated that they don’t have to work at an office at all, but 42% are working five or more days per week from their home offices.

Remote workers are interested in traveling. However, most prefer to see the world through coworking or coliving programs like Nomad House, Unsettled or We Roam—a short-term, flexible arrangement where they can meet like-minded professionals. These programs scored higher than volunteer/pro-bono opportunities, overseas retreats, ecotourism, and longer, structured travel cohort programs like Remote Year.

The infographics by Workfrom:

Trends in remote work 2017, infographic by Workfrom.co

Jeff Bezos’ reading list: the books that Amazon employees are expected to read

2017-07-28

Recently, the big news was that Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon online store, had become the richest person in the world. The ranking, however, can quickly change because it largely depends on the stock prices of companies the richest people own, which is why Bill Gates or Warren Buffet can take the number one position any day.

Amazon started its business as an online bookstore. Even now, when the company enters a new market, it often starts business in the country with books.
jeff bezos reading list; 3 book covers
Books, reading, and learning mean a lot to Jeff Bezos who established Amazon 22 year ago. He has led the company from the beginning, and has always been regarded as a visionary. He took over the Washington Post newspaper that was on the brink a year ago. He is investing his personal money in the Washington Post, not Amazon’s corporate assets.

Amazon has invested in the creation of the ebook market probably more than any enterprise. The Kindle ereader, and the worldwide marketplace for ebooks on Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, and on other country-specific markets have the biggest market share of ebooks. The company is also running many other book-related business programs, such translating titles, print-on-demand, and even its own publishing imprint.

Jeff Bezos is known as an authoritarian leader. He has established rules, processes and methods that are strictly followed. Jeff’s Reading List is a list of 12 books Bezos expects Amazon employees to read. Many are related to business, but there are other themes as well.

Author Brad Stone who wrote the Bezos biography The Everything Store lists those 12 books. The author says the books have shaped Bezos’ leadership style and way of thinking. Here is the Jeff’s Reading List.

– The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro: a fictional story about the First World War.
– Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins: advice from business management guru.
– Creation: Life and How to Make It by Steve Grand: building intelligent technology systems.
– Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … and Others Don’t by Jim Collins: the author of the book has consulted Amazon as well.
– The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton Christensen: how new technologies disrupt existing businesses.
– Sam Walton: Made in America by Sam Walton: Walmart founder’s biography.
– Lean Thinking: Banish Waste and Create Wealth in Your Corporation by James Womack and Daniel Jones: lean thinking method.
– Memos from the Chairman by Alan Greenberg: a collection of memos from the Bear Stearns Chairman to the employees. (Bezos worked for an investment bank before starting Amazon.)
– The Mythical Man-Month by Frederick P. Brooks, Jr.: small groups of engineers can be more effective than large groups.
– The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvements by Eliyahu Goldratt: lessons for manufacturing.
– Data-Driven Marketing: The 15 Metrics Everyone in Marketing Should Know by Mark Jeffery: how to measure everything – has become a must at Amazon.
– The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb: the power of events with massive consequences.

Via CNBC.