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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Nov. 18, 2011 / 21 Mar-Cheshvan, 5772

Amazon's iPad challenger Kindles a Fire

By Mark Kellner



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If you could get almost all of the cool functions of Apple Inc.'s $500 (and up) iPad tablet for only $199, and in what may seem a handier size, would you take it?

If "yes" was your answer, roll up for the Amazon Kindle Fire, the online bookseller's tablet, shipped this week to customers, and this reviewer. You can also get one at your local Staples store. I've spent about 30 hours with it, and, well, this Fire is a mixed bag, as most first efforts are.

Amazon's premise is a solid one: make it relatively easy to access a wealth of material stored in a "cloud," have enough space to store a few books/movies/songs/pictures or whatever on the device. The firm believes 8 Gigabytes of storage is enough, when coupled with its virtual, or "cloud," storage of your Amazon-purchased books, music, movies, TV shows, etc. You want something? Download it to the device, and you're good to go.

As much as I believe in the future of cloud computing, one big difference between the Kindle Fire and other Amazon Kindle devices is the Fire lacks a 3G wireless capability. All your networking has to be done via Wi-Fi. That's great where Wi-Fi is ubiquitous, lousy where it isn't, as when you're riding the Metro or flying to Bora Bora. So having stuff in the cloud can get a bit dicey when you're trying to retrieve said stuff.

Contrast this with the iPad, which offers as much as 64 Gbytes of storage, eight times the Kindle Fire's amount at the high end, and you can see the difference. Yes, that higher-capacity iPad costs more than three (or even four) times the Kindle Fire, but having more storage is a plus.

In operation, the Kindle Fire is remarkably similar to the Apple iPad: touching selects books or programs or songs or whatever; gestures move you through electronic books and documents. The seven-inch screen on the Kindle Fire can show videos in High Definition; the sound from the two built-in stereo speakers is arguably a bit better than the iPad's solo speaker. Plug in some good headphones and you'll get even more stunning sound.

Reading an eBook is, well, what you'd expect from a Kindle-branded device. It's natural, the viewing options, including type size and font, are helpful, and your progress is synchronized among all your devices running a Kindle-reading application.

All this performance comes at a price, and it seems to be heaviest in terms of battery life. If you keep your Wi-Fi connection on, there will be a battery hit, Amazon says. With Wi-Fi off, you can read for 8 hours or watch 7.5 hours of videos, they say. But without Wi-Fi, how are you going to stream said video to your device?

Then there's the question of add-on applications for the device. The Kindle Fire is built around the firm's implementation of Google's Android operating system, and the "AppStore" for the Kindle Fire lists all sorts of programs. As with the HTC JetStream tablet, it took me more than one try - many more, frankly - to get some applications onto the device, even after I took Amazon's advice and re-re-re-selected the proper credit card for "one-click" purchases online. I'm beginning to think this is an overall Android issue; if so, there's a looming problem here, in my opinion.

Once I got the apps on, not all would run properly. The Android version of the MOG online music streaming service ran once, and then all but disintegrated. I can't tell you why that happened, and MOG's people didn't respond to requests for comment by deadline. The built-in Pandora Radio app ran just fine, it should be noted.

There's a built-in e-mail application, and it works very nicely. There's no camera of any sort on the Kindle Fire, and no microphone, so forget video chats with anyone using this device.

The bottom line, so far: this will be a good "entry level" tablet for many people, it delivers a lot of value but demands a lot of battery charging. And it's not as fully-orbed as the iPad, which means those wanting that experience won't want to accept any substitutes.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.

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© 2011, News World Communications, Inc. Reprinted with permission of The Washington Times. Visit the paper at http://www.washingtontimes.com

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