Bought a Kindle. Got apps for the Kindle. These are the apps I think you need to know about if you have an eReader of any kind (including Kindle, iPad, nook, etc). Everything listed is 100% cross-platform - Win/Lin/Mac
- email@example.com - You should set up your Amazon account so that you can email stuff to your Kindle for free. Tip: Add ‘convert’ to the subject line when sending document files to have them converted to Kindle format.
- InstaPaper - InstaPaper Bookmarklet, and InstaPaper Chrome Extension - one-click “send this article to my Kindle”. Compiles the last 20 articles into a table of contents. Relies on @free.kindle.com
- Calibre - It’s an eBook manager, but I just use it to subscribe to RSS feeds from anywhere (including leading news sources) and have them sent to your Kindle. Works on your PC. Relies on @free.kindle.com or plug in you device. Can also convert PDFs/etc to native Kindle format enabling font size changes etc.
- Briss - Crop the edges off PDFs. If you read PDFs directly, one issue is that they usually have unnecessary margins which make the text too small. Briss simply cuts the edges off and resaves the PDF. Requires Java.Related:
- SpokenText.net - similar to InstaPaper, except it sends the article to a text-to-speech interpreter and outputs a personal podcast which you can listen to on your phone. Slightly creepy, but I use it regularly.
- DealExtreme has an excellent PU Leather Kindle Case which you can buy for $9 shipped. Don’t buy the $3 bag, it’s lousy.
Instapaper and Marco Arment Have Ruined iOS UI
First, if you are not using Instapaper, you should. The ability to read things I find on the Internet whenever I want, wherever I want, is huge.
The key feature of the app for me is the tilt to scroll function. I now find myself in Safari for iOS, Mail and any other Apple-made iOS app (as well as third-party apps) tilting the device, expecting the app to respond by scrolling in the direction of my tilt. Much like the “Pull to Refresh” function, when its not there, the app feels broken, I feel disappointed, cheated and betrayed.
So thanks, Marco, for ruining my iOS devices for me. Keep up the great work. Jerk. ;)
“Tumblr didn’t have a dedicated server administrator until a few years into its life, so I had to be our de facto server administrator in addition to my primary developer role from Tumblr’s start until we had 48 servers handling about 5,000 requests per second. Since that’s a sizable infrastructure, but we had very little time to devote to maintaining it, I had to choose mature, stable technologies with great tools and very low administration needs. And I built Instapaper on the same technology: PHP 5 with a custom high-performance MVC framework, MySQL, Memcache, Apache, and CentOS, on high-end dedicated hardware. This proved invaluable to both Tumblr and Instapaper, since I don’t need to deal with webserver processes crashing, corrupted databases, or any serious platform issues. All of these tools are used by many other companies with deployments much larger than these, so nearly all of the bugs get worked out long before they get a chance to affect us. The result of all of this platform conservatism is that I can spend my time improving the product in meaningful ways instead of fighting with my server software.”—Marco Arment
“It is very hard to accept this — the wealth gap is not a mistake. It is the logical outcome of policy and democratic will. From the streets of Cicero on up, the point was to imprison black people in the black belt and then exploit them. The goal was pursued through public policy, private action, and open terrorism. The goal was accomplished.”—The Ghetto Is Public Policy - Ta-Nehisi Coates - The Atlantic
Reducing my Internet ADD
I follow a lot of blogs and websites. It is hard to read every article of every site I follow. It is also hard to read a longer article on the internet without being distracted a paragraph in (no matter how well written the content is).
Not only are distractions like instant messages, and instant access to other websites a problem, but on some sites there is so much extra “fluff” that can really distract me from reading the article content.
Arc90’s readability bookmarklet was a godsend for reading articles on the web. So when I discovered they now had a service that would allow me to read pages later, and on my kindle I got pretty excited.
Oh wait it cost money….
Unfortunately this pricing plan was a little steep for me. There must be a better way. After googling around I found instapaper!
Ironically* the first article I ended up reading on my kindle via Instapaper was orbital content, an article on the very subject of this one! Here is the abstract from that article:
We are on the cusp of a complete overhaul of the way in which we interact with online content, and I think you should be a hell of a lot more excited than you currently are. Bookmarklet apps like Instapaper, Svpply, and Readability are pointing us toward a future in which content is no longer entrenched in websites, but floats in orbit around users. This transformation of our relationship with content will force us to rethink existing reputation, distribution, and monetization models—and all for the better.
 I know this is not actually Irony but I prefer the Alanis Morissette’s understanding of the word over the dictionaries.