Monday, July 21, 2014
Amazon launches US$9.99 Kindle Unlimited - Oyster and Scribd got served by Earth’s Most Customer Centric Company but pay Indies Publishers better
“With Kindle Unlimited, you won't have to think twice before you try a new author or genre -- you can just start reading and listening. In addition to offering over 600,000 eBooks, Kindle Unlimited is also by far the most cost-effective way to enjoy audiobooks and eBooks together. With thousands of Whispersync for Voice-enabled audiobooks to choose from, you can easily switch between reading and listening to a book, allowing the story to continue even when your eyes are busy”
Kindle Senior Vice President, Russ Grandinetti, commenting on Amazon's launch of Kindle Unlimited
Amazon is still in the Book business it seems. After all, before the Amazon Kindle, Kindle Fire, Fire Tv and Fire Smartphone came along as noted in my blog article entitled “US$199 Amazon Fire smartphone is Amazon Prime member's Nirvana – Shopping by Nodding your Head and Finding Waldo”, their chief #Breadandbutter was selling books!
So I’m proud to announce that Amazon has decided to launch an unlimited Subscription all-you-can-read Service called Kindle Unlimited as reported in “Amazon rolls out $9.99 Kindle Unlimited monthly subscription”, published July 18, 2014 4:53 AM PDT by Lance Whitney, CNET News and “Amazon Officially Announces Kindle Unlimited, Offering Endless Reading And Listening For $9.99 A Month”, published July 18, 2014 by John Biggs, Techcrunch.
Amazon Kindle Unlimited – Oyster and Scribd got served by Earth’s Most Customer Centric Company
This is basically their answer to Oyster Books who launched a similar App based all-you-can-read US$9.95 per month service back in September 2013 as I'd chronicled my blog article entitled “Oyster Books launchers US$9.95 Apple iPhone App for lending 100,000 book titles - Amazon Kindle Lending just got competition”.
Back then, it was for Apple iPhone and Apple iPad; now there's an app for all smartphones, including Nokia smartphones running Windows Phone OS and Amazon’s own Kindle Fire and Nook HD. Scribd offers a similar service, costing $8.99 per month. All reasons as to why Amazon would make their Kindle Unlimited offer now; Oyster and Scribd were taking away their customers!
Like Oyster and Scribd, Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited offers a free one month trial, making this yet another “free” Book Service like those listed in my blog article entitled “US$199 Amazon Kindle Paperwhite upgrades Hardware and Software - How to find free Ebooks and e-Book Readers for Laptops and PC”.
Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited offers some 600,000 Kindle titles and more than 150,000 titles via a complimentary three month Audible audiobooks offer. Subscriber to Kindle Unlimited can find titles that are a part of this unlimited month long Online Library by simply searching the Kindle Book store and looking for titles labled “Read for Free”.
Best of all, this offer is open to all Kindle Paperwhite as well as BlackBerry phones, Apple iOS devices, Google Android devices, Windows Phone smartphones as well as Desktop and Laptop users that have the Amazon Kindle App installed.
The difference with the Amazon Kindle Unlimited, dear reader, is in the amount of titles and the scope of the offer:
1. 2001: A Space Odyssey
2. Animal Farm
3. Cat's Cradle
4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid
5. For Dummies book series
6. Harry Potter series
7. Kitchen Confidential
8. Lonely Planet travel guides
9. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
10. The Good Earth
11. The Lord of the Rings trilogy
12. The Princess Bride
The Audio Books, a unique offer to Amazon's Kindle Unlimited Service, sports some equally listen-worthy titles:
1. Boardwalk Empire
2. Hunger Games trilogy
3. Life of Pi
4. The Handmaid's Tale
5. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
However, the so-called Big 5 Publishers, who are a part of Oyster and Scribd, aren’t a part of Amazon’s Bestseller lineup as noted in “How Amazon’s New E-book Subscription Service Stacks Up”, published July 18, 2014 by Kristen Bellstrom, Time.com:
4. Penguin Random House
5. Simon & Schuster
Amazon Prime users cheated – Oyster and Scribed pay Independent and Big 5 Publishers handsomely
All this must have Amazon Prime users quite upset. After all, they’ve paid US$90 for unlimited 2 day shipping and the added perk of streaming video, streaming music and one-per-month e-book rentals.
Now as Streaming for books is set to start thanks to competition from Oyster and Scribd as concluded in “Kindle Unlimited: it's the end of losing yourself in a good book”, published Sunday 20 July 2014 by John Naughton, the UK Guardian, Amazon Prime and regular Amazon customers are now at a three-way Crossroads!
Clearly, this is a new service aimed at catching new Readers who may plan to purchase the Amazon Fire “people’s phone” smartphone by Friday July 25th 2014 as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “Amazon Fire is a Volkswagen for Amazon Prime subscribers that’ll drive shop-on-the-go Online Obsession”.
Now for an extra US$8.99, you can get an unlimited library on your Kindle Fire? Why isn’t this just introduced as another service under Amazon Prime, being as they’re already have a Book Lending Scheme?
The missing Big 5 Publishers may also be a deal-breaker for many considering Amazon's Kindle Unlimited Service, as Oyster and Scribd. That’s because they pay writers overall, be they Independent publishers or writing under the banner of the Big 5 Publishers a lot more money as stated in “Kindle Unlimited: Good for customers, not so good for authors?”, published July 19, 2014 4:00 AM PDT by Nick Statt, CNET News.
It seems that for a service described as Unlimited, it has a lot of limitations aimed squarely at Amazon Prime users and Independent publishers as noted in “What are the limits of Kindle Unlimited”, published July 19, 2014 4:01 AM PDT by Donna Tam, CNET News. In the end, it may succeed in pushing more Amazon users and Independent Publishers towards Oyster and Scribd!
So which service will you pick as the book industry becomes more like the equivalent of Streaming in the Music Industry as stated in my blog article entitled “Nielsen Stats record continued decline in Music Downloads - Developed World Streaming will catch on in Developed World once we get 4G LTE”? The choice is really yours, my friend, once you weigh the evidence!
United Arab Emirates starts Drones for Good Competition - How Jamaica can jumpstart Drone Designs as UAE pursues Lazy route to the Google of Drone Design and Application
“Drones get a lot of bad publicity related to surveillance and military operations. But at the end of the day, they're only a tool of technology. Our message is that we can use it for the good of people all over the world. We've already seen a lot of potential for humanitarian uses”
Project Manager for Drones for Good Award, Saif Al Aleeli, commenting on Drones and their non-military uses
The UAE (United Arab Emirates) apparently loves their Document Delivery Drones a little too much. So much so that they’ve planned an International Competition for Designers and Engineers to develop the next generation of Drones with the launch of the Drones for Good Award back in June 2014 as reported in “Your 'good drone' idea could be worth $1m”, published July 15, 2014 By Daisy Carrington, CNN.
The competition comprises of two (2) halves:
1. Local Competition in the UAE with a prize of US$270,000
2. International Competition with a prize of US$1,000,000
The rules are fairly simple:
1. Developers and Designers need to develope Drones for non-military usage i.e. First, do no Evil
2. Drone Designed have to be original and not already in production and on the market
3. Drones need to solve problems for the UAE Government e.g. Traffic Monitoring, First Aid Response in the Desert
4. No limitations for International entries; can be a private individual, team or a company
Project Manager for Drones for Good Award, Saif Al Aleeli Global view isn't surprising as it relates to including International entries, quote: “Innovation doesn't have an address. It comes from different geographical areas, from R&D centers and from the poor guy in Africa trying to provide a service or feed a certain need with technology. We want to give a chance to everyone in this world to be part of this innovation exercise”
UAE and Drones – Government Drones are so Good; UAE want more of them
This is a surprise development as it was just earlier in February 2014 that the UAE Government started using Drones to deliver Government Documents as stated in “Drone deliveries get off the ground in Dubai”, published February 10, 2014 8:38 PM PST by Dara Kerr, CNET News. Quite reasonable; the country’s rather large and its Government Ministries are rather far-flung, as far as the Camel rides or the crow flies….or in this case, the Drone flies!
Thus, seeing the potential usefulness, the UAE’s trying to address the negative stigma associated with Drones and their Military usages via stirring up the creative minds of the World with a Drones for Good Award.
This isn't new. Aside from their current civilian usage, the UAE's been interested in Drones since last year, their love for these flying puppies clearly on display. This was evident during the 2013 Dubai Airshow featured Aircraft Developer Abu Dhabi-based Adcom Systems that put its Drones on display as stated in “Mideast Companies Seek Foothold in Drone Market”, published Nov 20, 2013 By MARIETTA CAUCHI, The Wall Street Journal.
This might give Americans some degree of envy, as their FAA (Federal Aviation Authority) has put the kibosh on further Civilian Drone usage dependent on the outcome of several Studies to create Regulations and Standards for their usage within American Airspace as stated in my blog article entitled “FAA ok’s Drones for Hobbyist – Study to determine Commercial Drone Risk as Amazon, UPS and FedEx Drones get the Kibosh until 2015”.
UAE’s Drones for Good - UAE Lazy route to the Google of Drone Design and Application
Current Civilian usages include Personal Drones mainly aimed at filming on Contract or even personal filming of Daredevil Antics for Extreme Sports enthusiasts. The AirDog Drone and the Hexo+ Drone as detailed in my blog article entitled “AirDog Personal Drone – Action Selfie-Drone with an attachment for a GoPro Camera” and “Hexo+ Semi-Autonomous Drone Controlled by Apple iOS and Android – Despite no AirLeash Six Propellers better than Four as it won’t run away” come immediately to mind as examples
The Civilian use of Drones is an issue that's currently being challenged within the United States of American. A recent legal victory with a ruling handed down by National Transportation Safety Board Judge Patrick Geraghty with regards to Team BlackSheep founder Raphael Pirker challenge of the FAA rights to regulate Drones as explained in my blog article entitled “NTSB Judge Patrick Geraghty rules Drones for commercial purposes are now free - Forward thinking Black Sheep founder Raphael Pirker leading America towards an Almost Human Future” paves the way for Civilian contracts but not scheduled Commercial Flights of fleets of Drones.
This is what Amazon is currently awaiting and when it comes to pass, it'll mean the skies will be filled with what would basically be the first forms of flying Robots to deliver Packages as described in my blog article entitled “Fast Food Robot taking over by 2017 - How Drones like Amazon and PrimeAir and not Humanoid Robots will be the first Robots by 2015”. USA and the Caribbean need to do some catching up quickly, otherwise we'll find ourselves left behind in the race to utilize Drones to their full advantage.
UAE Lazy route to Drone Dominance – How Jamaica can jumpstart Drone Designs
By making the competition global, the UAE is basically canvassing the ideas of the Worlds Designers and Engineers and may end being used by the UAE to further their ambitions to become a world Leader in Drones, according to the UAE's minister of cabinet affairs, Mohammed Al Gergawi, quote: “I think it is a new stage of development, not only for the UAE, but for the world. Either you embrace this technology, or you resist it. If you resist it, then the gap between you and your competitor wouldn't be a year or two, it's going to be 500 years”.
The UAE’s already way ahead, something smaller countries like Jamaica should emulate by throwing out the design for the Drones needed by the Ministry of Agriculture as described in my blog article entitled “Min. of Agriculture proposes DNA Database for Cattle and Livestock – How RFID Biometric Markers can curtail Praedial Larceny and Develope Agro Processing for Export” to local Civilians Contractors.
After all, we may have local talent within the island that can produce the same level of results as our international Counterparts, as Aviation isn’t a secret, merely involving a lot of Trial-and-error design to see what works. This could blossom into a yearly Drone Competition that could see sponsored competitors fly around the island in a dexterity test of endurance for their designs as suggested in my blog article entitled “Suggested low cost high impact Launch of Digicel WiMax 4G Mobile (IEEE 802.16d) Broadband Network and DigiTV”.
Let's hope that their intentions are exactly as pristine as the Desert Wilderness they live in and not a means to develope a private Robot Army to wage was in the Middle East.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
“We are excited by the interest we have seen from the Windows Phone community for BBM for Windows. We are currently at capacity for the beta and will be working through our waitlist. The good news is Windows Phone customers won't have to wait long; BBM for Windows Phone will be available shortly.”
Statement by Blackberry spokesperson to CNET in the week of Sunday July 6th 2014 on their inquiry into the BBM for Windows Phone users
BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) is now out and about for Windows Phone users via the Microsoft's Windows Phone store as of Friday July 18th 2014 as stated in “BBM for Windows Phone now live for Beta Testers”, published July 18, 2014 8:19 AM PDT by Lance Whitney, CNET News.
Again I say Finally! Click on this link to download BBM for Windows Phone.
Please note that’s if you’ve signed up to BlackBerry's BBM for Windows Phone beta program during the week of Sunday July 6th 2014 in order to be one of the lucky few to take BBM for a spin as stated in “BBM now up for Windows Phone, but you'll have to wait in line”, published July 11, 2014 7:23 AM PDT by Lance Whitney, CNET News.
According to WinBeta’s article “BBM for Windows Phone now available to selected beta testers, download now”, published by Zac Bowden on July 17, 2014 - 06:52PM, WinBeta, BBM for Windows Phone comes with a bag-o-problem:
1. Inability to send invites and acceptances when out of Wi-Fi
2. Newer emoticons not displaying (i.e *brrrr*, *flex* and@-@).
3. Akin to Android and iOS during the initial launch of BBM 2.0, BBM Voice available albeit not working
4. When "Find Friends" and the "OK" button selected, Error Popup message appears
5. Contacts is confused, showing Suggested Contacts as Potential contacts during BBM launch
Many more exist, of course, all of which complainers can share on the Blackberry Beta Zone instead of making a complaint YouTube Video!
Blackberry Messenger on Windows Phone – Goes well with Blackberry 10.3 OS and Passport
BBM originally came out for Google Android and Apple iOS was announced on Wednesday September 18th, 2013, but the magic occurred on the weekend of Saturday September 21st 2013 and Sunday September 22nd 2014 as I’d reported in my blog article entitled “Blackberry launched free BBM App for Apple iPhone and Android smarphones - First true Mobile Social Network is Bob Marley Could You Be loved against WhatsApp”.
Now Windows Phone OS users can enjoy BBM 2.0 with VoIP Calling, Glympse, their Geo-Location Service and Dropbox Integration for sending huge files as explained in my blog article entitled “BBM 2.0 now with Voice and Dropbox Integration – WhatsApp beaten for sure as Free File Sharing and Voice Calling result in BBM Transcendence on Android and iOS”.
Good to note that the news thus far for the Blackberry Passport has been positive as I’d reported in my blog article entitled “Blackberry blogs positive reviews of Passport as Z3 sells out in India - Blackberry Passport may be their ticket on the Indian Express”, suggesting that the September 2014 launch will be a good one.
So maybe my crazy prediction that BBM can beat WhatsApp as I’d stated in my blog article entitled “Blackberry Messenger is Most Downloaded in November 2013 and is poised to beat WhatsApp - BBM is now on the Rising Tide of the Mobile Social Messaging Network Summer of Love” isn’t so crazy after all as.
This as it’ll go well with the Opera Browser that’s now a part of Microsoft’s Nokia X Project my blog article entitled “Opera Browser for Nokia X Series – Discovery with Opera Turbo is a Speed Dial Away as Opera is Riding West”. Despite being a forked version of Google Android, what’s nicer than having a Browser on your smartphone? Having VoIP Calling, Geo-Location Service and Dropbox Integration to go!
Blackberry Passport and the Nokia X series of smartphones will get a positive vibe if the co-operate on this one. Especially as India and the Far East are now realizing that it’s Hip to be Square and productive!
JANN to host Intellectual Property Workshop at UTECH – How Independent Animators can Make money from Animation and thwart Copyright Infringement
The Ministry of Science, Technology Energy and Mining hasn’t done much since they declared that Animation was the next big money-maker for the Jamaican Government.
So it’s nice to see that the JANN (Jamaica Animation Nation Network) have announced plans to launch an Animation Intellectual Property Workshop to educate persons on how to protect their IP (Intellectual Property) as declared in Kelroy's Blog article “Jamaica Animation Nation Network launch an Intellectual Property Workshop”.
This inaugural Workshop, which is Free, is scheduled to take place on Saturday July 26th 2014 between the hours of 11:00am – 2:30pm at UTECH (LT10A). It's a free event being hosted by JANN with the aim of explaining to Independent Animators, Illustrators, Writers, Storyboard Artists, Comic Book Artists, and TV/Film Musicians on how to monetize their IP and protect it from plagiarism.
Based on the fact that the presentation is free and the schedule of speakers involves the Ministry of Science, Technology Energy and Mining, JAMPRO and JIPO (Jamaica Intellectual Property Office), most likely it’s no different from the information I’ve already written on JIPO in my blog article entitled “JIPO, Protectors of Jamaican Intellectual Property Rights - How Jamaican Dancehall and Reggae Artiste, Inventors and Design Engineers protect their Intellectual Property from The Book Thief”.
GOJ and Animation – Finally, some love for Independent Animators
The Ministry of Science, Technology Energy and Mining had launched their push into Animation at the Inaugural opening of the KingstOOn Animation Conference and Film Festival at the UWI Mona Lodge on Friday June 21st, 2013 as I'd reported in my blog article entitled “Inaugural KingstOOn Animation Competition a boost to local Animation Industry - State Minister Julian Robinson give Graphic Artists the chance to Feel this Moment Pitbull and Christina Aguilera Style”.
Their main focus was on the idea of making money from Animation in a Call Center-like environment where teams of animators worked on projects. This hasn’t really happened, as there’s a shortage of Animation Talent in Jamaica, due to the fact that many High School leavers don’t see a future in Animation within Jamaica.
To this end, the Governor General Sir Patrick “I Believe in Jamaica” foundation has been funding the Training of Animators with the help of our Local Universities as explained in my Geezam blog article entitled “KingstOOn Animation Festival and GG’s “I Believe in Jamaica” Animation Training – Genesis of Animation Outsourcing”.
Many aren’t aware of the fact that the majority of work in Animation is sub-contracted from Clients abroad akin to any typical Call Center. This is something that the average Jamaica may not be able to do if they never went to University abroad. Without those “foreign” connections, an independent Animator getting a foot in the door is a tricky process that involves placing your IP online, only to end up having it stolen.
This effort by JANN marks the first time that any effort supported by a Government Agency, in this case JAMPRO, is being expended to help Independent Animators. Many may have made Short Feature Films but may not have any idea as to how to protect their IP once they publish it online.
After all, it’s a fairly easy process to download any video from YouTube or any Video Hosting Website as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “How to download Videos from any website without installing software using Savefrom”. Even hosting the video yourself on your own website or blog as described in my blog article entitled “How to use Dropbox, Google Drive and Sound File Sharing Websites to Share and Promote your Content online - Sharing is Caring”, makes no difference; your IP can be easily downloaded and copied.
Thus, protecting your IP Online and making money from that IP is something that needs to be explained to many Independent Animators.
Animation in Jamaica – Independents Animators struggle to find a footing in Jamaica
Since then I've been following the developement of Animation in Jamaica with a series of articles tracking the developement of the nascent Industry that can be found by googling the phrase “Animation after KingstOOn”.
I've done articles on how to get software for Animation, both Photo Editing and Video Editing as stated in my blog article entitled “Animation After KingstOOn – Free Photo Editing Software and How to get a copy of Adobe Photoshop CS2 absolutely Free” and “Animation after KingstOOn - How to get free Video Editing Tools to breathe life into your Animation Project”.
I've even done articles on Software to properly author your finished product in Professionally Done DVD's and CD's as explained in my blog article entitled “Animation After KingstOOn - How to Author Professional DVD Copies of your Animation Project or any Downloaded Video or Audio Files”.
So far, the only major success Story in Animation has been one of three Animation Studios on the island, Reel Rock GSW, who landed a contract with Imira Entertainment of Spain in December 2013 to produce 52 episodes of Disney Channel and Nickelodeon Cartoon series Lucky Fred as explained in my blog article entitled “Animation after KingstOON - Reel Rock GSW reveals that the Imira Entertainment of Spain Contract is for Disney Channel and Nickelodeon's Lucky Fred”.
So now you’re armed with all that information, how do I protect my Animation Content and make money at the same time?
Money-Making from Animation Online – How to Monetize your Animated Works online
First you’ll need to have a Bank Account, preferably either a Scotia VISA Debit Card or CIBC VISA Debit Card. You’ll also need a PayPal Account a means of receiving funds online. These Accounts can be used as alternative means for persons to send you payment for Services via Credit card Payments or as a Cheque that Wire Transferred to your Bank Account.
You can also receive payments via MoneyGram as well as via any other Remittance Service as a means for compensation rendered as it relates to Animation Work done on contract.
Now to wrangle up some contracts!
First, set up a Website, blog or paid Video Hosting service to host your Animation work, such as YouTube any of the ones listed in my blog article entitled “UWI's planning to increase all Tuition by 5.5% come the new Academic Year 2013-2014 - How to Download ANY Video, including Facebook Videos, Convert and Free Video Hosting Online”:
Most of those listed in the article above have built in options for Monetization, mainly centered on advertising. However, that’s dependent on Traffic, making it your responsibility to share the shortened URL using Bit.ly or tinyurl everywhere you can via whatever means possible.
The real money as an Independent Animator comes from getting Contracts online. This is achieved via joining Websites online that act as a go-between for Freelancers and persons with work. Be warned though; you’ll have to pay for a professional Account on the below websites before you can get offers for work coming to your email account:
Finally, another way to get work directly on contract and cut out the middleman of Freelancer Websites is to have an Ebay Sellers Account as described in my blog article entitled “How to make money as an EBay Seller online - Everything in Jamaica from Rare Coins to Unique Craft Items”. Other websites exist, but they’re not as well-trafficked as Ebay!
Protecting Animation Online – How to Protect your Animated Works online
A Poor Man’s Copyright can be used to protect IP that was just published. You simply make a copy of your Animated Work along with the original Music score and any other related Content connected to your artwork. Along with your content, include a sealed envelope with the following declaration:
1. Name of the IP
2. Name of the Creator and co-creators
3. Date of Creation
4. The Words “Copyright ©” and the Date of creation and the Authors name on the letter as well as on the IP Medium e.g. Copyright © November 12th 2013, Lindsworth Deer
5. The symbol “(p)” to be used to indicate that the IP Material is a Master Recording
Then to place in a large sealed Envelope or even a packaged box if it’s a lot of stuff and go to the local Postal Agency aka Post Office and have the package Registered and Sent to your home address. Once it arrives, it’s registered; do NOT open the package and make sure the keep the receipt from the Post Office in a sealed Envelope.
This should be only opened when requested as evidence by your Legal Council or during the proceedings of a Copyright Tribunal Court as proof that your IP (Intellectual Property) is indeed yours.
Next, according to the JIPO website, you need to be registered with one of the following CMA (Collective Management Agencies). CMA’s are basically Trade Associations that administer and protect Copyright for a select group of Jamaican Dancehall and Reggae Artiste, Inventors and Design Engineers. Joining one helps to protect your IP online.
There are three (3) active CMA’s registered in Jamaica:
1. JAMCOPY (Jamaica Copyright Licensing Agency)
2. JACAP (Jamaica Association of Composer, Artistes and Producers)
3. JAMMS (Jamaica Music Society)
As Independent Animators, the CMO that applies to them is JAMCOPY. JAMCOPY provides protection for Visual, Graphic, Text and Audio-Visual based IP, which basically covers Animation. If you happen to be a Musician making a music Video or your Animated Musical Work contains original Music Content and Score and you wish to manage your reproduction Rights, then the CMA for you is JACAP.
JAMMS covers IP related to Recording in a Studio and Musical Master Recordings. Thus it helps to safeguard owners of Music Studios and Producers from theft of their IP by overzealous Artiste. This may apply if you’re also in the business of owning a Record Label, as you Animation Studio may also be working in that Capacity.
As a Blogger and Administrator of my own Blog My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica, I’d have to be registered with JAMCOPY. This I plan to do as soon as I get my blog up to speed and go Pro with my own domain as I’d explained in my blog article entitled “Strategies to mitigate against Blogspot Shutdown – How to do a backup of your Blogger Blog in case Disaster Strikes as Maintenance is key”.
To all aspiring Independent Animators, once you follow this advice as well as the advice you’ll receive at the JANN’s free Animation Intellectual Property Workshop, you’ll be on your way to making money and protect your Intellectual Property from copyright infringement at the same time.
Here’s the link: