Daily Links and Deals: A Better Way to Read

daily_links_1Today, A look at how digital reading can offer advantages that print can’t, offering a better way to read. There’s also a look at literary translation, online security and future broadcast television standards. In deals, there ‘s savings on PNY Attache Flash drives.

Daily Links for Friday, May 13, 2016:

Google to bring ‘Gboard’ features to Android (PC World) You can search and add GIFs from the keyboard, right where you need it.

Spurn the Translator at Your Own Peril (The Millions) If you read many books in translation, you know that a translator can make or break a book. This is an article about translators, written by a translator.

Online security is so lousy that most “hacking” doesn’t require actual hacking (Quartz) So, where else did you use that password?

ATSC 3.0: What you need to know about the future of broadcast television (CNET) What’s ATSC 3.0? Just the next generation of over-the-air TV. Even if you don’t get your TV with an antenna, it’s going to affect you.

A Better Way to Read (The Atlantic) Critics of e-reading argue that print is better than digital. This article makes the case that digital can be better than print, especially in terms of groups that struggle with reading comprehension.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals includes Dead Spots (Scarlett Bernard Book 1) from Mellissa F. Olson’s Old World Series of urban fantasies.  All three of the Scarlett Bernard books are just $1.99 each. (I ♥ these!)

Today’s Deals feature savings on PNY Attache Flash Drives.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find is Armageddon’s Children (Genesis of Shannara Series #1) by Terry Brooks for $1.99. The Romance Daily Find is Wicked as They Come by Delilah S. Dawson for $1.99.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is The Murder Room by P. D. James for $1.99. The Extra Daily Deal is Duke of Thorns – Heiress Games (Book 1) by Sara Ramsey for 99 cents.

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes All This Belongs to Me by Ad Hudler for $1.99.

Google has a selection of Limited-Time Deals.

(A note on Daily Deals: All prices current at the time of posting and subject to change. Most items marked Daily Deals are good for only the day posted.

Many large promotions have discount pricing that is set by the publisher. This usually means that titles can be found at a discount price across most platforms (with iTunes sometimes being the exception). If you have a favorite retailer you like to patronize, check the title on that website. There is a good chance that they will be matching the sale price.)

Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news. I also post other, different links of interest on Twitter, Facebook, and on the Google Plus eBook Evangelist Page.

The Friday Echo: Alexa Can Now Track Your Amazon Packages!

echoI recently bought both the Amazon Echo and the Amazon Tap. We’ve actually been having a lot of fun with them around here. 🙂 I will be writing reviews on the products over the next few weeks (I’ve had the Tap longer and wanted to be able to fairly compare it with the Echo before I reviewed.)

One of the things I have discovered is that there is a bit of a learning curve to using Alexa. Not for her, but for the humans trying to learn to use her. Alexa is all about phraseology and keywords, I have found. (It is a bit different than Siri or OK, Google (Google Now) because Alexa does different things.) So, I am currently working on learning how to work with both the Echo and the Tap. As I learn what the two can do, I will be sharing news articles, tips and so on in a new column, The Friday Echo. Bet you can’t guess what day it will be posted on! 🙂

Alexa Can Now Track Your Amazon Packages! (Love My Echo) This is an incredibly nifty new feature for Alexa. She can now tell you when your next Amazon package will arrive. She only seems to be able to handle one package at a time, so I wouldn’t be giving here order numbers just yet, but this is a promising integration with Amazon’s system that personally, I would like to see more of.

This battery makes the Amazon Echo portable (The Verge) Okay. So a company made a battery stand for the Echo so that you can then move it around the house. That’s like basically turning it into an Amazon Tap without the button right? Well, not exactly. The Echo can only connect your home network. The Tap is designed to connect to other networks and hotspots.  While I can see the allure of moving Alexa around the house (sometimes I want her in the kitchen), this is a unusual solution, especially as Amazon already solved the problem with the Tap. Note that the Verge’s article employs humor and a hint of sarcasm.

Report: Google has an Amazon Echo competitor coming named ‘Chirp’ (The Next Web) The Echo has proved to be pretty popular and Amazon has sold out of them several times. Now Google wants one, too. It’s not clear if that desire to create a home device comes from is the number of Echo and Tap units sold or the data that is being collected from the device’s use. But seriously, “Chirp”? It needs a better name than that to compete with the likes of Alexa, Siri and Cortana. Okay, Google?

One year after Alexa: Amazon’s Echo has found a small but smart niche (Ars Technica) This article is an interesting case study in what it is like to like to use the Amazon Echo and Alexa. I found the pros and cons pretty much consistent with my experience of using the Echo and the Tap. And check out the video! It gives you a nice real world run through of the Echo’s features, although it doesn’t give you Alexa’s “I wasn’t able to understand the question I heard” response.

Echo Guides: There are quite a few guides written for the Amazon Echo. Not surprisingly, many of the guides written for the devices are available in Kindle Unlimited. I have started reading through them so I can make some recommendations for good basic beginner’s guides. Stay tuned.

Just for Fun: Ask Alexa what zodiac sign she is.