Spezify…. gave me the idea for New-Used-Made Search

3 06 2009

The other day I came across a new search site called Spezify (http://beta.spezify.com/).  It was pulling news, images, products from a variety of sources such as flickr, Amazon.com, etc.

Spezify - Obama Search

I like the visual layout, but it got me thinking how hard could it be for a basic version… hmm..  I have already been playing around with some api’s and some visual layout.  So I went ahead and built it.  In my simplified version I just focused on Amazon, Ebay and Etsy… so I call it New-Used-Made Search.

new-used-made product search

I could use a bit more graphic design, but I am pretty happy with the basic result.  It really returns a diverse product set with some fun and weird items.

add to del.icio.us : Add to Blinkslist : add to furl : Digg it : add to ma.gnolia : Stumble It! : add to simpy : seed the vine : : : TailRank : post to facebook

New Amazon Kindle Website

28 05 2009

This morning I received an e-mail from Amazon regarding a new Kindle website:

Dear Amazon.com Customer, 

Our customers have told us that they love being able to add highlights and notes to their Kindle books. We want to make it possible for you to access your highlights and notes directly from a Web browser too. So we’ve released http://kindle.amazon.com, an online tool that enables you to do just that.

To try it out, go to http://kindle.amazon.com, sign in with your Amazon account, and simply select one of your books where you have added highlights or notes.”

I think this will be a terrific feature… it help me get my notes and ideas off of the kindle and to the web, where I can make use of them.  Nice work Amazon!

Below if a preview of what my notes page for the Kindle 2 Cookbook looks like: 

Amazon Kindle notes and hightlights online


First Impressions of my new Kindle 2

19 04 2009

So I did not take the decision to buy a Kindle 2 lightly.  New technology is great, but I always think about how the price is going to come down in a year or 6 months.  There is also the fact that I have seen a number of “gotta haves” turn into dust collectors.  Some examples include the hand-held gps, iPod, even my Wii Fit is not getting much use.  Maybe I am fickle or maybe just busy.  Something really has to fit into the life I have and not the life I envision have.  Anyway back to the Kindle.

Amazon's Amazing E-Book Reader
Amazon’s Amazing E-Book Reader

So what did I think… I love it… it takes something I do every day and makes it better.  I try to spend a hour reading in the evening every night.  I am mostly into non-fiction and magazines.  I like to be able to pick something up, jump around and put it down.  There is not a lot of continuity in my reading.  The Kindle is perfect for that.

 I subscribe to a lot of magazines where I am really interested in 30% of the content.  Blogs are actually much more focused and of more interest to me, but I hate reading a computer.  The Kindle lets me get to the content that I crave.  

The Kindle 2 comes with a whispernet feature that allows you to connect to the internet for free.  This is also how it downloads its content.  If you want to read blogs you have 2 choices:

1) You can subscribe for a month fee ($1 to $2 each) to a selection of several hundred blogs that Amazon offers.  


  • All the content is downloaded to the Kindle and can be view when not connected or in airplane mode.
  • There is a section list that easily allows you to browse the content.

2) You can point the Kindle’s web browser at a moblie reader app (eg Google Reader mobile) and use it to read any blog out there.


  • This is free.
  • It is not limited content provided by Amazon.

I thought I would be all over the free reader application, but after a couple of weeks with my Kindle I am finding the latency, and lack of organization a big disappointment.  Have Amazon download all of the content to my Kinlde and give me a table of contents seems to be worth the extra dollars.

So to summarize, the feature that is really impressing me is the ability to get to blog content.  And I think the work arounds to get to the free content are probably not worth it, if the content is available as a subscription from Amazon.