Started Another Blog

Ever since I started self-publishing books online I wanted to learn more about Internet marketing. Other than selling books it has been a rocky road when it comes to earning money online. There are so many scam websites out there that it is tough to determine which ones are good and which ones are just in business to rip you off. Now that I am making some headway, I decided to start another blog to discuss strategies for earning online. In it I am going to cover what works and what does not work based on my experience. I have got a lot to talk about, so as with all blogs, it is going to take some time to add content. So if you are inclined, please stop by and pay a visit. You can find “Strategies for Earning Money Online” here.

Although, I have not kept up with this blog lately (personal matters), I do plan to continue to add content periodically. Finally, I want to say thanks to all those that have stumbled upon this blog and to those that continue to be loyal viewers.

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Kindle Hd Review (part 1 of 3)

I have been watching the tablet market for quite sometime, but waited until recently to purchase one. When the Kindle HD went on sale I decided to purchase it for two reasons. First is because it has most of the features that I am looking for in a tablet and second because most of my book sales come from Amazon.com (in Kindle format). I bought the 7 inch screen version (the 8.9 inch was not available at the time). I have owned the unit for 3 months and feel, that now, I have enough experience using it to write a review. Part of the reason for taking so long is that I had little knowledge of the Android operating system. Although, I must say that it was not that difficult to learn.

This review is written in three parts as follows:
Part 1 – Hardware features and connectivity.
Part 2 – The android operating system and included apps.
Part 3 – Essential apps and nice to have apps.

The Hardware
The Kindle HD 7 inch version is sleek, lightweight and has a brilliant screen. The overall size is 7.6″ x 5.4″ x 0.4″ (193 mm x 137 mm x 10.3 mm) and weighs only 13.9 ounces (395 grams). Its compact size makes it a great travel mate as it fits easily into a purse or brief case.

Pros:
Touch Screen – 1280×800 HD display with polarizing filter and anti-glare technology. Video playback is at 720p. The polarizing filter allows the user to look at the screen from any angle without any washout or color degradation. In addition, by laminating the touch sensor and the LCD together into a single layer of glass, the display is easy to view, even in overhead light.

Speakers – Exclusive Dolby audio and dual-driver stereo speakers. Although better than most other tablets, don’t expect sound like you would get from a stereo system. To get the full sound experience the unit should be oriented in landscape position.

Processor – A high performance 1.2 Ghz dual-core processor with Imagination PowerVR 3D graphics core for fast and fluid performance. This is not technically a new processor, but has plenty of processing speed for all apps.

Battery – The battery provides on average 11 hours of use. This of course depends on what you are doing. Reading books will result in more hours while playing 3D games will yield in much less. Charging is accomplished in 3 to 4 hours with a dedicated charger (not included). It will take 13 plus hours to charge via the USB port on your computer (cable is provided).

Storage – 16 GB is provided with the unit. You can upgrade to 32 GB for another 50 bucks. I have the 16 GB and with over 50 apps loaded, have not come close to using all the storage memory. I must say that I do not have any videos stored on my unit. So, I can’t comment on how much storage is required for that purpose.

Sensors – Ambient light sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope are included.

Additional Hardware– Microphone, 3.5mm stereo headphone jack, front facing camera and USB 2.0 (micro-B connector) port for connection to your computer.

Cons
A charger is not included. It will cost you $10 if you order one from Amazon.

A protective case is not included. They are available online and at most all stores that sell electronic equipment. They usually run from between $35 and $50.

A screen protector is not included. These are only a buck or two at most all stores.

There are external buttons for volume and on/off on the side of the unit. They don’t give very good tactical feedback and therefore are difficult to use. I have gotten used to the on/off button, but rarely if ever use the volume button. The volume can also be adjusted via the touch screen.

No rear facing camera. The front facing camera has limited applications. The two I can think of are Skype and self-portraits.

No SD card slot. I am not sure this is required since there is a generous amount of storage. In addition, Amazon provides ample storage on their cloud for things that you don’t want to permanently keep on the Kindle.

No manual provided. A quick start guide is included, but if you don’t know anything about the Android operating system you will have to look elsewhere.

Connectivity
Pros
Wi-Fi Antenna(s) – dual-band, dual-antenna 40% faster downloads and streaming. The attenna’s are 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz. Amazon claims that this allows reception or transmission over both antennas simultaneously to increase capacity and reliability. Truth is that most Wi-Fi routers are still at 2.4 GHz so you won’t get the speed benefit until you can connect to a 5.0 GHz router. Therefore, speed is more dependent on the quality of the Wi-Fi router you are connecting to. Supports all the latest protocols and security encryption schemes.

Bluetooth – Allows you to connect to a variety of different wireless accessories such as stereo headphones, speakers, keyboards, and more. I have not used this feature yet, but am looking forward to exploring its capabilities.

HDMI Port – Share your favorite videos and photos on your TV or other display in rich high definition via the built-in HDMI out port. This is a very nice and useful feature, but requires a wire. I am currently looking into a wireless transmitter and receiver that uses this port.

Cons
No GPS – would have been nice.

No 3G or 4G connectivity. You will have to purchase the 8.9 version to get that functionality.

Support and Warranty
Supports the following formats – Kindle (AZW), KF8, TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively, Audible Enhanced format (AAX), DOC, DOCX, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, Dolby Digital (AC-3), Dolby Digital Plus (E-AC-3), non-DRM AAC, MP3, MIDI, PCM/WAVE, OGG, WAV, MP4, AAC LC/LTP, HE-AACv1, HE-AACv2, AMR-NB, AMR-WB, HTML5, CSS3, MP4, 3GP, VP8(.webm)

Warranty – A 1 year limited warranty is included.

Conclusion
Overall, I am very happy to finally own a tablet (I rarely go on my computer to surf anymore) and have had zero problems with the unit. The 7-inch format is fine, but if I had to do it over again I would have waited for the 8.9-inch display. There are a couple drawbacks to using the 7-inch unit of which I will get into during Part 2 of this review. Stay tuned.

Sifting Through the Political Rhetoric

I don’t know about you, but I am getting tired of sifting through this years seemingly endless political campaign rhetoric and listening to all the prep-rally type speeches. Although the issues are clear, the solutions are not. Each party spins the issues and solutions to suit their own means. There is no way of knowing what is the truth and what is not. Most of the campaign speeches I have listened to so far have contained little substance. What I finally decided to do was to consider what I think are facts about any candidate running for president. Then choose the 3 or 4 issues that are the most important to me and listen closely to what the candidates have to say about them during the upcoming debates.

Things to consider:
1. People that run for president are rich and require a exorbitant amount of money to run a campaign.
2. Nowadays, any large business is run on a Global scale if it wants to survive. A candidate with global investments and interests should not be an issue and just takes away from the real issues at hand.
2. Those that provide campaign money and lobbyists have more influence on the candidates than you or I do.
3. Neither candidate can relate to the middle class or the poor no matter what they say.
4. A person of middle class or poor will likely never be able to run for president.
5. Most campaign promises cannot be kept without debate and approval of the Congress.
6. Candidates will never go against what people are fans of or believe in the most. For instance, during the GOP convention Clint Eastwood did more than a pretty good job of slamming president Obama. Yet, the very next day Obama came out and said how much he liked Eastwood. He obviously was not going to take a chance on loosing votes from Eastwood fans.
7. Candidates with tell you what you want to hear about the top issues and then tell you why the other candidate can’t solve them.
8. Politics and religion do not mix and do not belong in a political campaign. I would be happy to give my reasons if anyone is interested.

Keeping the above in mind, and the fact that I am a senior, the most important issues to me are the deficit, Social Security and health care. Those are the issues I will be paying attention to during the debates. The issues that interest you may be different. Choose the ones that are most important to you, pay close attention to what the candidates have to say about them and forget all the rest of the rhetoric.

My Friend and Golf Partner (update)

I wrote about my friend Bob on February 27 discussing his long term battle with prostate cancer. Since then he has completed 7 weeks of radiation for a tumor on his tail bone. Providing that he had no more tumors, he would be eligible for a new treatment that promises to cure the disease.

I received the following email from him a few days ago:

Hi Ron,

I know you wanted to know how the Dr. visit went so I am sending you this email and you can share this with whoever you would like. I had radiation for 7 weeks ending March 19. My PSA was 33 when radiation started (one of my highest readings). The next Dr. visit one week later showed it was 45. My next Dr visit 2 weeks later showed my PSA was 65 so I had another other bone CAT scan with the CAT scan including my chest area. April 19 was the appointment to talk about what they found. I have another growth this one on my spine. I will be starting chemotherapy with a drug called Taxotere on Thursday, April 26. The good news is that my major organs are clear. The chemo will be a 2hr. session, 1 day a week, every 3 weeks until 6 treatments have been completed around August 9.

Weather permitting I will see you at the course on Wednesday.

Bob

I have played golf and talked to him since the email. He is in high spirits and just looks at this latest setback as a way to aggressively attack and wipe out the disease once and for all. I hope he succeeds.

On Getting Older

With each passing year comes another birthday and the older I get the less I care about them. This is probably because more birthdays have come and gone than are ahead. Many joys come with getting older, but there are also some bummers that come with the territory. Today, I thought I would list a few of each to see how they stack-up.

Bummers:
Doctors and pills
Deteriorating body parts and those that don’t perform like they once did
Passing friends, acquaintances and family
Some-timers

Joys:
Grandchildren
Family and friends
Retirement
Sunny days on the golf course
Writing and Blogging
Hobbies (art and guitar)
Collecting things (I am not a hoarder!)
Reading
Leisurely vacations
No schedules

Mmmmmmmmmmmm, let’s see now. Looks like there more joys than bummers. In fact, it seems that I have more to do and enjoy now then when I was younger and making a living. Maybe getting older is not so bad after all.