Daily Links and Deals: Middle-Aged Women Drive eBook Sales

daily_links_1Today, a look at the age statistics some think are driving ebook sales. Also, a Wisconsin library is the poster child for how e-vendor changes affect patrons, Samsung acquires an AI and a a piece on the effects of “security fatigue”. In deals, a Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga and a deal on the Alexa enabled Triby.

Daily Links for Thursday, October 6,  2016:

Wisconsin county library system informs patrons of loss of digital magazines (Talking New Media) There’s no getting around it: when libraries change vendors it can be hard for patrons.

Samsung acquires Viv, the AI bot developed by the original creators of Siri (9 to 5 Google) Will Samsung soon have its own AI system?

‘Security Fatigue’ Can Cause Computer Users to Feel Hopeless and Act Recklessly, New Study Suggests (NIST) Raise your hand if you have ever thought, “If a large corporation like X can’t protect themselves, what can I do?

Middle-Aged Women Drive eBook Sales Though Print Still Holds Strong (Huffington Post AU) Interesting statistics on what age groups really drive ebook sales.

Deals of the Day:

Amazon’s selection of Kindle Daily Deals include Kindred by Octavia Butler and Wolverine: Enemy of the State: Enemy of the State Ultimate Collection by Mark Millar, John Romita Jr., and Kaare Andrews.

In Today’s Deals, a Lenovo Thinkpad Yoga 11E (3rd Gen) 11.6″ Touchscreen Convertible Ultrabook and the Triby – Smart portable speaker with built-in Alexa Voice Service in Grey.

Through October 9th, the Alexa-enabled Amazon Tap is available for $100.

This week, Prime members can save on Kindles. The basic Kindle is $50, The Paperwhite is $90 and the Voyage is $150.

The Echo inow available in white. There is also an  All-New Echo Dot (2nd Generation) which will be available in both black and white and retails for $49.99. The Dot is also being offering in a “Buy 5, get 1 free” six-pack and a ““Buy 10, get 2 free” twelve-pack”. The new Echo Dot will be released on October 20, 2016.

The Barnes and Noble Nook Daily Find features savings on the first eleven volumes of Yusei Matsui’s global hit, Assassination Classroom. The Romance Daily Find has the three books in the Pulse Trilogy from Shoshanna Evers.

Barnes and Noble also has a selection of NOOK Books Under $2.99.

Kobo’s Daily Deal is I Know This Much Is True A Novel by Wally Lamb. The Extra Daily Deal is The Saint of Seven Dials
Collectors Edition (four books in one volume).

Also, a selection of titles called Romance On The Ice for $4.99 or Less until October Until October 31st.

There is also a selection of Great Reads Under $5 and Bargain Reads in Fiction, in Mystery and other genres. The Kobo Aura One (and the Aura Edition 2 e-readers are now available for order at the Kobo store. (The Aura One is out of stock until October 14, 2016.)

iTunes’ Weekly Bestsellers Under $4 includes Dating Tips for the Unemployed by Iris Smyles.

Google Books has a selection of Hot 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.


Friday Echo: Jeff Bezos talks Alexa


At Recode’s Code Conference 2016, Jeff Bezos has been talking about the AI, the Echo and Alexa:  Bezos acknowledged that the Echo team is comprised of over a thousand people and has been working on the project for over four years. Here’s

He goes on to say that:

“I think there are going to be a bunch of artificially intelligent agents in the world,” Bezos said. “There are going to be specialties, and you may not ask the same AI for everything. I bet the average household will use a number of these, but to me that’s a very exciting seed that we’ve planted. I love working on stuff like that, and the team is brilliant.” (Quoted in Venture Beat)

The idea of of multiple AI interfaces in a home is interesting. I use Google and Siri along with the Amazon Echo and the Tap – I just use them for different things. That may be the true wave of the future. For more, here is the video of Walt Moss berg’s interview with the Amazon CEO:

The phone versus the Echo – or is it: While Jeff Bezos noted at Code Conference 2016 that “voice interfaces won’t replace phones altogether” he did note that AI  as a field of interest is growing. However, in her annual Internet trends report, venture capitalist Mary Meeker points out that the Amazon Echo sales are growing just as iPhone sales are starting to fall. While our phone are always with us, as more and more Alexa enabled devices become integrated into more devices like the Triby and the new Pebble Core, part of the functions of our phones may be incorporated into other AI-enabled devices. Jefff Bezos thinks that Alexa has the potential to become the fourth pillar of Amazon, although some people think it needs to get better at search first.

More Home versus Echo: There has still been a lot of interest in the idea that Google Home will be competing with Alexa and the Amazon Echo. While we will have to wait and see on that front as the Home doesn’t actually exist as a finished product as yet, we are learning  more about the Home. Not surprisingly, the Home seems to be based on the existing Chromecast and not on Android. That probably means a cloud-based solution much like Google search. Given the price of the current Coogle Chromecast and Google audio what, that probably means that the Home will come in much cheaper than the Amazon Echo, depending on speaker quality.

Echo on the Web: Yes and No – This week, there was a big deal made out of the fact that there was an Echo Sim site up on the web at https://echosim.io/. The truth is, that is a test site for developing Alexa skills. It is not intended as a “try-before-you-buy” site to see how the Echo works. Trust me, if they  worked as slow and as badly as that site does, I would have sent both the Echo and the Tap back in a heartbeat. Fortunately, the real devices are a lot better!

However, did you know that you can actually control your Amazon Echo or Amazon Tap from your web browser instead of your app? After you have your device set up and connected, log in to your Amazon account. Then go to http://alexa.amazon.com/ in your browser. There, you will see the Alexa App info on your computer monitor. You can access also your info there, including your shopping and todo lists. Trust me, it is a lot easier to search through skills on the computer with a keyboard and mouse than it is trying to pinch and tap on the tiny screen,m especially now that Alexa has over 1,000 skills. (Found via How-to Geek)

Need more help with Alexa on your Echo or your Tap? Here’s the help page.