Amazon shuts down Special Occasion Reminder, adding birthday to address app in OSX

I received an email from Amazon at 3 am EST this morning telling me that they are shutting down the Special Occasion Reminder service. They are converting these reminders to their (new?) Friends & Family Gifting service. I understand that they are trying to encourage people to buy things from Amazon for these birthdays as gifts, but do they have to externally rename the service? If you have been a long time Amazon customer like myself, some of the very old reminder setup did not have a marker to say that the reminder is for a birthday. Those older reminders will not be converted. What to do? I can add those reminders back to the new service, or I can add the birthdays to my address book database on my Mac. I updated my address book on the Mac. This is how:

Adding Birthday field to the Address book app on the Mac

  1. Go to the Preferences menu
  2. Click on the Templates button
  3. Click Add Field and select Birthday
  4. Voila ! Each contact in the address book now has a birthday field


Amazon Paperwhite Kindle Review

The postman dropped this through the mail slot today! My new Kindle Paperwhite, one day early. I have the original Kindle, and the Kindle Touch (well the kids have the Kindle Touches). How does this one compare?

  • much faster respond time, including typing
  • the display is way better
  • the UI changed a little, for the better
  • remember it does not have audio capability now, so it is purely a reading device

The only negative? My unit has a little scratch on the side edge on the rubber case. I am not going to exchange it for now obviously. Ignoring that, Highly recommended!

Click through the photoset below for many more pictures.

Amazon Paperwhite Kindle, a set on Flickr.

Amazon order delivered in four hours?

Yes. (just less than) four hours. I ordered a Klean Kanteen insulated bottle on at 11:20 am Monday morning. I selected one day shipping because I have Amazon Prime. So for $3.99 I get the bottle tomorrow, I thought. At 3pm, which is 3 hours and 40 minutes later, my door bell rings and it is the delivery guy from their delivery service. Bottle delivered. Less than four hours. How is this possible? It is a combination of inventory management system, and they must have a fulfillment center right here in Massachusetts. But even then, someone has to pick up the bottle, boxed it, call the courier service, pick up the box, and delivery down to my loft, all within four hours.

Amazing, Amazon.

The New Cheaper Kindle, Well Played Mr. Bezos

[AMAZONPRODUCT=B003FSUDM4] I am an early adaptor and reader. Of course I have the original white, wedge, Kindle. In fact still prefer that design than the new slim design. Since the launch of the Kindle, to the point when Apple seemingly enters the race with the iPad and the iBook store, I bet a lot of people has prematurely declared the death of the Kindle. How they were wrong!

I admire Steve Jobs a great deal. I am a Apple Fanboy. But I also love Amazon. And lately I really started to appreciate Jeff Bezos. The phrase "slow and steady win the race" comes to mind. Of course the Amazon book pricing is going to end. Of course there will be competing devices to the Kindle. But Bezos hung in there, working up to the "mass market" Kindle event today slowly. This is the right move. And he took his time. Why not?

At the end it is about the reading experience. And you cannot beat the Kindle. Call me old school. When I read I don't want to be distracted. I don't want to flip over to check email or get ping on my twitter account on the iPad. I want to read. Lifehacker happen to run a story on the need to rebuild one's attention span and focus, referencing this How To Focus article. (While you are at it, skip over to the Onion for a laugh on this topic.)

I'll leave you with a little Jeff Bezos advice:

Amazon Kindle is still King

I am as much of an Apple Fan as the next person. I stood inline for six hours for my last iphone. But I don't have an iPad. And I have the original Amazon Kindle. Every time I pick up my Kindle and start reading, all doubts fade away. The device is easy to hold. The print is crisply readable. The book selections are great. Although thanks for Apple, the book prices have increased. I just want a cheaper Kindle (so I don't have to baby it as much), cheaper books, and a way to share books. The only real issue is that books has to be formatted correctly when there are diagrams.

We do not need a colored Kindle. We do not need a touch screen.