Apple Books iPhone 3G Kindle

Curious About Book Edition Pricing – The Lost Symbol Example

Dan Brown’s latest novel The Lost Symbol is available in a Kindle edition – said to be selling better than the hardcover edition at!

Yesterday, while browsing the iTunes Store, I noticed there’s also an edition of The Lost Symbol available for the iPhone (in an edition powered by Iceberg Reader)! Iceberg says:

“We currently offer over 500 best-selling books in the App Store, and are thrilled to announce we will soon be bringing more than a million books, as well as more than 50 major magazines and over 170 daily newspapers to the iPhone.”

Frankly, I hadn’t noticed they had over 500 books for sale in the App Store!

Anyway, back to The Lost Symbol. What’s curious is the pricing: Kindle ebook edition: $9.99, hardcover edition at $16.17 (plus any shipping), iPhone ebook edition: $24.99. Hmmm.

Books Kindle Web/Tech

Amazon’s Kindle and the E Ink Displays

Wade Roush does a great interview with Russ Wilcox, co-founder and CEO of E Ink, the company behind the screen used on Amazon’s Kindle and (in an improved version) Kindle 2. Turns out it’s taken 12 years and $150 million to bring the E Ink technology to this point!

“What we’ve got here is a technology that could be saving the [global print media] $80 billion a year.”

Interestingly, he talks about color E Ink coming in 2011 – and that having color is particularly important to advertisers in e-newspapers, for example (if there are any left by 2011!).

Books Kindle Web/Tech’s New Kindle 2

At an event in New York City’s Morgan Library this morning, CEO Jeff Bezos introduced the new Kindle 2 – a significant upgrade from the original Kindle.

I’ve been a big fan of the Kindle since I got my first one a week after the announcement in November 2007. It’s a constant traveling companion whenever I’m away from home – it’s in my backpack along with everything else I seem to lug around everywhere.

The thinness of the Kindle 2 is especially attactive – along with the new, brighter/faster (to flip pages) screen. Significantly more storage is nice – although that’s never been a problem for me given that books can be deleted from the Kindle and later re-downloaded from the digital bookshelf that Amazon maintains for each Kindle. Something that didn’t change was the $359 price – apparently given the demand (and somwhat endless out of stock over the last few months), Amazon felt there was no need to a price reduction just now.

In other Kindle news, The New Yorker is now available on the Kindle!

And, yes, I couldn’t resist and impulsively ordered a Kindle 2 this morning! Amazon says “Even though we’ve increased our manufacturing capacity, we want to be sure our original Kindle owners are first in line to receive Kindle 2. Place your Kindle 2 order by midnight PST on February 10th and you will receive first priority.”


Amazon Kindle – Update

I first posted about my new Amazon Kindle just over two weeks ago – after having received it the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Here’s an update on my Kindle usage, etc. since that post:

  • My Kindle is almost always with me. I typically carry it in my backpack – tucked next to my MacBook Pro.
  • On weekends, when we’re out and about and I might have some “dead time” to fill, I take the Kindle along – it’s great for that.
  • I still tend to read my favorite newspapers on the MacBook Pro – and use the Kindle as backup.
  • When reading newspapers (NY Times, WSJ, Washington Post) on my Kindle, I do appreciate the ability to focus on the story – and not on the glitzy ads, etc. that surround the story when I read it in my Safari browser.
  • So far, I’ve bought 15 full-length books on my Kindle – having most recently
    completed reading “Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany”. I also enjoyed earlier reading “The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court”, “The Atomic Bazaar” and “The Siege of Mecca: The Forgotten Uprising in Islam’s Holiest Shrine and the Birth of al-Qaeda”. The first book I bought weirdly now appears to no longer be available in a Kindle edition: Tom Perkins’ memoir “Valley Boy”.

  • I love the samplers – I’ve bought a couple of books (most recently including “The Most Noble Adventure: The Marshall Plan and the Time When America Helped Save Europe”) after reading the sampler.
  • I also have way too many samples on my Kindle and am feeling guilty about needing to get to them all. I also wish it were easier to delete a sample – once I’ve either bought the book – or given up on it.
  • When I go to the bathroom, my Kindle is almost always with me! 😉

So, that’s it for now. I’m still quite happy with my Kindle.

Books Kindle Web/Tech

Kindling Away

Just after Thanksgiving, a new Kindle e-book reader arrived on the front step and I’ve been reading much more ever since. I was one of the first day orderers – and, other than obsessing about when it would arrive (it was Thanksgiving week after all) – I’ve been very happy with my Kindle experience since then.

Others have written a lot about their experiences – with some disappointments noted regarding the design, the case, the DRM, etc. One of my colleagues commented that the design would have been an Apple prototype about 18 months from product release – meaning how much more work on improving the design that he thought was needed to bring it up to Apple-like design quality. It is true that when you demo the product to friends, they love the screen and the features but almost always conclude by saying “It is clunky, isn’t it?” Brings to mind the old Volkswagen Thing.

While it’s not perfect, I’ve come to appreciate the functional design of the Kindle. With the cover folded back over, it’s a delight for me to use reading with one hand. The next page keys are right where my fingers want them – much easier to use for linear reading, IMHO, than clicking on a touch screen would be.

The whole online store experience is about as good as it gets. Selecting, buying and then receiving the whole book on the Kindle in less than a minute is really amazing. My primary frustration is wanting to learn daily what’s new in the store and available for purchase – that’s not easily accomplished from the device itself nor, for that matter, in the Kindle Store using my Mac’s web browser.

More comments coming soon!

beef Kindle Meat Tri-Tip

Scott’s ‘Lazy-S’ Easy Oven-Roasted Tri-Tips

Note: this recipe is for oven roasting – very easy to do with great tasting results. Perfect for cooking indoors when the weather isn’t cooperating for outdoor grilling!

For our Christmas Eve family get together, we like to serve main course meat entrees that are really easy to eat in a buffet style setting – without formal sit down dinner place settings for every guest. Most of our guests will be eating with their plate in their lap, so something lovely like a slow-roasted prime rib just won’t do.

We’ve settled on serving a combination of honey baked ham, just heated to room temperature in a 450 degree oven for little more than 5 minutes, and beef tri-tip roasts. The ham is super easy to prepare, comes basically pre-sliced (spiral cut) and preparation literally requires unwrapping it, putting it briefly in the oven to warm and then choosing which serving platter to use to present it! A couple of choices in gourmet mustards to accompany the ham and that half of the main course is ready to go!

For the tri-tips, we usually get three of them and try different rubs/marinades. My Dad particularly likes his beef plain – so one of the tri-tips will always just be salt and pepper rubbed. The others get a bit more exotic! But the rub’s not the point – the easy preparation in the oven is what these tri-tips are all about.

If you live on the San Francisco peninsula, you’ll want to try the marinated tri-tips available from these three meat markets: Schaub’s in the Stanford Shopping Center (Fred’s Steak), Draeger’s in downtown Menlo Park (Frank’s Steak) and Bianchini’s on Alpine Road in Ladera. Schaub’s, in particular, is famous for Fred’s Steak – and perhaps it’s the original of the darkly marinated variety. Both Draeger’s and Bianchini’s sell similar versions – but give each of them a try to see which you prefer.

Doing the tri-tips in the oven sacrifices a bit of the smoky flavor from the Weber BBQ version — but the super-easy preparation and not having guests following me out onto the patio!) makes the oven version perfect for winter-time cooking and entertaining. But you’ll want to do the rubs (or marinades) enough in advance to ensure the beef ends up being very flavorful.

I call these my “Lazy-S” tri-tips – Lazy-S for Lazy Scott!

(Added: December 26, 2005)


  1. After breakfast on the day you’re entertaining, prepare the tri-tip using whatever rub or marinade you prefer. I like to use coarse sea salt (applied heavily) along with whatever rub I’ve chose. For the plain version my Dad prefers, it’s just the coarse seal salt and some fresh ground pepper. After rubbing/marinading, put each tri-tip into a large Ziplock-style plastic bag, remove as much air as possible, seal it, and put it back in the refrigerator. Have a nice day!
  2. When you’re ready to cook, here’s the drill. Allow an hour from this point to serving.
  3. Take the tri-tips out of the refrigerator and their Ziplock bags and begin letting them warm to room temperature. Place the tri-tips into a suitable oven roasting pan (I prefer to use Pyrex baking dishes because they clean up so readily!) Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  4. When the oven’s warmed up to 450 degrees, put the roasts into the oven and roast for 10 minutes at 450 degrees.
  5. Open the oven and cover the tri-tips with aluminum foil. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees and roast for 15 minutes.
  6. Open the oven and remove the foil. Continue roasting at 350 degrees for a final 15 minutes.
  7. At this point, the meat has roasted for a total of 40 minutes and should be just right for medium-rare — but you can’t serve it yet. Remove the tri-tips from the oven and re-cover with foil. Let them sit for 15 minutes outside the oven.
  8. Now they’re ready! At 55 minutes from when you started, remove the foil, place a tri-tip on a cutting board and slice 1/4 inch slices diagonally across the grain. Each slice will end up being 1-4 inches in length. Serve on a platter with accompanying sauces – BBQ sauce, steak sauce are good to have along side.That’s it. Enjoy! Serve with a side of Perfect Roasted Potatoes for a special treat! (Note that a second oven may be required for their combined preparation because of the temperature gymnastics used in both recipes!)