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My Latest Ebook: From Print To Kindle And Beyond

I’ve just discovered that my latest eBook, From Print To Kindle And Beyond, has been published. Available through MakeUseOf and on Amazon for Kindle devices, the book draws on my experiences writing and publishing Ultimate Regeneration in 2010-2011.

Your Guide To Self-Publishing. From Print To Kindle And Beyond by Christian CawleyFor me, the process was a massive learning curve.

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Has Apple’s Legal Team Made a Big Mistake?

Forget Bill Gates, forget Samsung. There’s a new enemy in town for Apple: US District Judge Phyllis Hamilton.

Apple - technology giant

She’s the plain talking lawmaker overseeing the nonsensical claim over the English language currently being made by Apple as they attempt to take ownership of the phrase “app store”, thereby preventing everyone’s favourite tax-dodging tax evading Internet retailer Amazon from using it on their collection of Android games and applications.

A number of ridiculous details have arisen in this case:

  1. Hamilton previously indicated (in 2011) she was unimpressed by Apple’s arguments and denied them a preliminary injunction.
  2. Apple claims that Amazon’s promotion of its own “Appstore” is false advertising.
  3. Apple’s lawyer, David Eberhart.

Yep, Eberhart is a bit of a character. If he’s not a complete maverick employed by the Apple legal department to pull a victory from the jaws of defeat, then he’s in completely the wrong area of the legal profession in our opinion. Apparently Apple claims that Amazon had deceived customers with by using the term “Appstore”, but Eberhart isn’t making a great case.

“They [Amazon employees] admit they targeted Apple customers, because Apple set the benchmark for what consumers expected. When you combine that with our evidence consumers associate the term ‘app store’ with Apple…”

However our new hero Judge Hamilton is completely unimpressed by this.

“Everyone who uses a smartphone knows the difference between the Apple iOS system and the Android system. Where’s the confusion? There’s some suggestion [by Apple] that if Amazon is using the ‘Appstore’ term someone might think they have as many apps as Apple does. Well, why? And how, in fact, does that contribute to any deception on the part of Amazon?”

This is a woman who has successfully brought some plain talking into Apple’s relentless attack on its non-Microsoft competitors over the past few years. Indeed, it is a shame that more of the judges involved in these cases haven’t taken a similar no-nonsense attitude.

Because, dear reader – and forgive me for bringing this up – but Apple is on the verge of losing all respect among the tech blogging community (and I mean actual bloggers, not those bought-and-paid-for technology “journalists” who are littered with shiny white Cupertino hardware every year). The once mighty company is falling into hole, becoming a shadow of its former self as it wages a 1990s Microsoft-style war against companies it deems to be using its technologies.

It’s sad, and unless there is a change in policy it’s going to have a severely negative impact on Apple’s public face over the next couple of years.

And as for apps, well I was buying them from Handango back in 2004. I don’t recall them launching any lawsuits against Apple for stealing their idea of providing an easily accessible marketplace for apps to be downloaded and installed. Which brings us back to Eberhart:

“Consumers will see this kind of advertising and import their associations with Apple service. They understand what the App Store by Apple entails—hundreds of thousands of apps, and an ease of service unmatched by any others,” said Eberhart. “When a consumer sees something like this they will be deceived into thinking the Amazon store has the same types of qualities.”

So, who invented single-click purchasing?

Finding Freelance Gigs Online

One of the things I’ve been planning on featuring here at my homepage is a few tips and tricks that I’ve picked up over years writing freelance.

It was back in 2004 when I completed my first freelance gig and while brainstorming another project recently I realised that I know more than I’d ever imagined.

While I might not know the secret of life, the universe and everything – or indeed how to call a sperm whale into existence above an alien planet – there is an amazing (and somewhat scary) 8 years of experience to be tapped.

As a result of this, I’ve recently started work on a completely different project, one inspired by this sudden realisation.

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Save Money – Brits Buy American!

We’re just a few weeks from Christmas yet the biggest online retailer has failed to present its top selling new gadget to the British public. Unavailable anywhere outside of the USA, the Kindle Fire has a ready made killer app in the shape of the Amazon website, but unless you have a kind friend, uncle or plane ticket, anyone in Europe and the Far East who wants a Kindle Fire tablet will have to wait.

Does it make sense for Amazon to hold off? It’s difficult to say. Reviews have been largely positive (unless you read Apple-centric papers such as the Telegraph) so there seems to be every reason for Amazon to supply some of their Android-based 7 inch slates for buyers in the UK, Germany, France and other European countries.

At the very worst, this would have resulted in shortages in the USA, something that other companies have turned to their advantage on many occasions over the years.

Similarly, we have the (temporarily?) revived HP TouchPad available for £300 in the UK and just £120 in the USA. Even with VAT this doesn’t seem right, and is of course the result of the endless “rip of Britain” pricing on electronic goods that has dogged gadget fans for many years.

With Samsung prevented from selling their latest tablet in the majority of territories thanks to Apple’s unjust legal actions the only avenue to acquiring a decent alternative to the iPad is to choose the Motorola Xoom or the HTC Flyer, the latter of which doesn’t have Honeycomb installed yet. The Eee Pad Transformer from ASUS is a good option, but has the status of proto-laptop rather than out-and-out tablet.

Or, a canny shopper might look for friends and relatives in the USA who might be able to help out by purchasing a Kindle Fire or HP TouchPad on their behalf, sending it through customs as a gift.

But what if you don’t have a friend who can help?

Fortunately we’re living in the modern age, which means that by checking any of the following websites you can find a service that will allow you to shop in the USA. These sites either provide a proxy US-based address for you to ship your goods to before having them forwarded, or offer a fully proxy online shopping service.

But what about payment? Don’t worry, as this can also be handled. If you don’t have a US credit card, using payment services via these sites can get you around that potential landmine, allowing you to shop for cheap electricals in the USA from the comfort of the UK!