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eBook Reader selection guide

Would you like to upgrade your ereader, or give an ebook reader to a friend? This post you’ll find suggestions and advice on ebook format, digital rights management, and improved night reading.

Book Format

If you aren’t sure about the recipient’s favorite way to read ebooks, give them an ereader that will read ePub books. This standard format is supported on every platform by dozens of e-reading applications. A book published in the ePub standard format will be available no matter what happens in the marketplace, or whether they shift to a different reading platform in the future. Furthermore, there are numerous easy ways to convert an ePub book to be read on Kindle readers.

A book based on the proprietary Kindle format can be converted to other formats, but the process isn’t easy and the results are less than ideal. However, if you know absolutely that the user has and prefers an Amazon Kindle, then you can gift them either format. They have already accepted the technology risk associated with the Kindle format.

Digital Rights Management (DRM)

If a book is protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM) it may be difficult to read on other platforms. If possible, purchase a book without DRM protection.

If the publisher of the book insists on DRM protection, your choice of platform could become important. Apple and Amazon books with DRM cannot be read on any third-party device or application.

In contrast, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and many other stores sell book with the standardized Adobe ADEPT DRM technology that third-party ereaders can properly decode and display on any platform.

LED versus e-ink

For the choice of reading device, the only significant criteria I have found is the choice of LED screens versus e-ink screens. Some people have a difficult time reading LED screens for a long period. Other people (myself included) can comfortably read LED screens for any length of time. If you want to gift someone with a new or upgraded reading device, try to learn how they feel about reading on LED screens.

The following readers provide front-lit displays that don’t shine light directly into your eyes:

  • $99 on sale: The Nook Glowlight Plus is a dedicated e-reading device. This device can display any book in ePub format, ensuring upgrade protection and allowing purchase from many book vendors.
  • $99 on sale: Kindle Paperwhite can only display Kindle-format books.
  • $119: Kobo Glow HD is a dedicated reading device which uses Kobo’s reading software.
  • €119: inkBook Obsidian is a full featured Android e-ink device which can utilize any Android reading app, including Kindle and Nook apps.

There is a wide variety of devices with LED screens, so you can pick any one which meets your needs. I recommend that you acquire and use blue light filters at night to prevent the well-documented effects of reduced serotonin generation.


This was originally posted at http://www.jorhett.com/2015/12/ebook-reader-selection-guide/. You are welcome to reply at Interactions in Real Time or here.

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As Christmas is close, Winter Solstice is closer, and Hanukkah is already upon us, some of you may be looking for ways to give books to people that don’t involve shopping malls or overnight shipping. Give an eBook! Every year it has gotten easier and easier to send eBooks as gifts. Here are my short and easy instructions, with links to detailed explanations for each vendor.
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This was originally posted at http://www.jorhett.com/2015/12/how-to-give-ebooks-as-gifts/. You are welcome to reply at Interactions in Real Time or here.

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I’ve been driving an EV car all week. Fun! Now I don’t tend think much of stock car stereos. Often when I bought a new car, replacing the stock radio was something I did on the way home before the car even got to my house. But I was, frankly, blown away with how good the stereo in the Chevy Spark EV was. HD FM radio? Check. Tightly integrated Sirius radio? Check. Bluetooth audio streaming? Check. Best display for interacting with my iPod I’ve ever seen. How, like, I would keep this!

When Chevy told me that the navigation system in the car worked with an app on my phone, I was very excited. “Someone finally got the right idea!” No more horrible built in Navigation. No more multi-hundred dollar map updates. I was so happy, I had such high hopes. I immediately downloaded the BringGo application and…

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You can read the original article at http://www.netconsonance.com/2015/06/bringgo-review-right-idea-worst-possible-implementation/. Comments are welcome here or there as you please.

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Learning Puppet 4

Learning Puppet 4: A Guide to Configuration Management and Automation

This book teaches you how to use Puppet 4 for configuration management and automation. If you are an experienced DevOps engineer, this book covers in detail the changes and improvements in Puppet 4 and how to make best use of them.

You can read the original article at http://www.netconsonance.com/2015/04/learning-puppet-4-early-release-is-now-available/. Comments are welcome here or there as you please.

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+1 and an assist!

No goals were scored against us while I was on the ice tonight. That would net me a +0, the thing which I was happy to have a few weeks back.

Tonight we ran the puck into the opposite zone. I passed cleanly to someone, who took a shot. Deflected by the goalie. The opposing left winger got to the puck first and railed it behind the net. Henry and their right winger collided trying to get the puck; it bounced a few feet away from them. I snagged it, glanced around and found our right winger standing clear in the slot. I passed cleanly to him, he shot on goal. It rebounded off the goalie's pads towards me. It could have been my first goal, but Henry got to the puck quicker and tossed it in the net before the goalie could get over to our side.

Would have been nice to get the goal, but it was first assist AFAIK and also my first +1 game so I'm happy with this.

We won the game 3:1 which ain't bad either ;)

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So the last two weeks have provided for the first time some positive news on the hockey front. First I did some careful investigation and tuning with the manager of our local Hockey Giant store, and we figured out where all my pain is coming from. On my left foot I have a nerve running over the top of the bony protrusion in my ankle. On my right foot, the nerve lies lower and is protected from pressure. We successfully cut away some of the tongue and used silicon pads to protect the nerve. For the first time I skated with no pain. (meant to write this part a week or so back)

So I did some testing and moving things around and got positive and negative results and was able to confirm that the silicon pad doesn't prevent the tongue from sliding down and doubling up there like we hoped, but the silicon pad falls inside the tongue and protects the nerve. As long as the pad stays in place, I can skate with little pain.

In fact, I've been able to stop tying my skates super tight once the pad is protecting the nerve, and let the skate move around a little more. This was guaranteed pain in the past, but it's fine as long as the pad stays in place. I'm skating better and more confidently now. It's been a huge relief to stop thinking about pain, and avoiding thereof, and just think about skating.

I still can't skate well without KT Tape to support me, although I did figure out that I can apply a long strip across the lower back nerves myself, and this provides enough support. So at least I'm self-sufficient now.

Finally, the Knights broke our losing streak Sunday by defeating the Piranhas, who beat us soundly back in November. Not only did we win, but it was my first game where I didn't go further negative on my +/-! Granted, a positive (being on the ice when a goal was scored) or scoring a goal myself would be even better, but it's my first game were I didn't go negative so I'm happy with it.

This is apparently a best season so far for the Knights, and we have secured a spot in the playoffs!

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Know anyone with clue about hockey skate fit?

I'm having a ton of fun trying to learn hockey. But to be honest, in the 10 months I've been doing it I've spent 3 times as much time trying to find a way to get the boots stable and pain free underneath me. It's not a problem skating around for fun. For some reason once I start skating with hockey intensity I find myself in serious pain.

Either the boot is too loose and moves around beneath my feet, or I'm in pain from the little bony knob just above the heel on the outside of my left foot.

I've tried lacing patterns. I've tried pads inside the boots. Sharks ice pro shop has no clue. I switched boots with Hockey Giant. Last thing we did was reheat and punch out the boot to give me more room there. After spending two months out due to the shoulder surgery, I came back and spent roughly 10 hours practicing skating. I went to the beginner hockey class this Saturday morning and I couldn't even finish the class I was in too much pain.

I guess after the shoulder surgery I'm just really tired of being in pain all the time, and I'm seriously considering hanging up my gloves and going back to just being a fan.

If someone has any good ideas about where to go, or any specialist (I'm happy to pay) who might be able to work this out... I'd really love to be able to focus on skating and hockey, rather than pain management.

Until or unless I find some useful direction to proceed, I guess I'm going to bow out and go back to sports I could enjoy sans pain.

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Going to work at Chegg

After a lot of thinking and probably over-thinking, I've accepted an offer from Chegg. I'll start there Monday as a Senior DevOps engineer.

I believe this is going to be not only a good job, but a good lifestyle match for me. I'm really excited about this change.
This post is for those of you in the group who went to Greenwich after LonCon had finished. So I'm looking through my photographs and I have a half dozen of other people at absolute zero. I have the two of us in a group photo which someone else took, but I swear that Nova and I got a couple photo taken of us. I don't have it.

I'm pretty sure this means that someone else took the photo and I assumed I'd get it from you, but forgot to. So Dave, Andy, et al... do you have a photo of Nova and I standing together at absolute zero?
The show has moved from the Regency Ballroom to the Warfield. It's Skinny Puppy with Haujobb and Front Line Assembly opening. When they moved to the Warfield I purchased two seats up top because I'm old and lazy. So before I put them on Craigslist I figured I'd offer them to my friends.

Note that GA is sold out, so if want to be on the floor you've got to get them from me or someone else. $49/each.