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Sat July 23 2016

MobileRead Week in Review: 07/16 - 07/23

06:00 AM by Alexander Turcic in Miscellaneous | Week in Review

Ladies and Gentlemen, it's time for our weekly roundup of what's new and interesting in the world of e-books.

E-Book General - News

E-Book General - Reading Recommendations


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Thu July 21 2016

Software Jailbreak for PW2, PW3, PW3W, KT2, KV, KOA and KT3

11:35 AM by knc1 in Amazon Kindle | Kindle Developer's Corner

The 6th, 7th, and 8th generation devices listed in the title, running any known firmware version.
Step #1 below describes how to learn what nickname your device has here based on its serial number.

PW-2 users running firmware 5.4.4.2 or older, go directly to:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=186645

For prior (grayscale) Kindle models, see:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=275881

Credits:

Spoiler:

  • NiLuJe - for discovering the initial factory update could be recovered. PW-2
  • knc1 - for posting the 'HowTo' and recovering the KT-2 and PW-3 initial updates.
  • Forum members - several members who recovered and provided initial update images for the KV.
  • knc1 - recognition that the factory initial update could be re-installed on any (matching) customer model.
  • Branch Delay - the original software jb for version 5.6.5 and the generic jb for initial factory images.
  • Branch Delay, NiLuJe, Geekmaster - initial testing of the method.
  • Geekmaster - archivist of the off-site Kindle recovery resources.
  • knc1, Geekmaster, NiLuJe, kindlefere - server resources.
  • NiLuJe, Ryccardo, eschwartz - recognizing and testing of the source of the hung Kindles problem.
  • Forum member - who recovered the image required to create Oasis support.
  • eeeee - who recovered the image required to create updated, PW-3 and PW-3W support.
  • ktwombley - who recovered the image required to create KT3 support.
  • eschwartz - now the maintainer of Branch Delay's factory image jail break.
  • eschwartz, NiLuJe, others - New menu launcher for Oasis (KOA) and other models.
  • From kindlefere (here a machine translation) -

    Thank friends " kiss kiss flowers dew blade " message provided.
    Special thanks mobileread Forum Hacking God and to offer Kindle jailbreak program Kindler continued knc1 and providing and continuously updated jailbreak file NiLuJe , as well as all other contributors.

  • The first public announcement was made by Hackaday, see:
    https://hackaday.com/2016/07/09/a-ja...-every-kindle/
    Which can take credit for many of this thread's views.

A long list of a lot of work done over a period of more than a year. Work that is continuing.
This downgrade attack did not happen over-night nor was it the work of any one person.


Release Policy:
Spoiler:

It is our policy to use a 'single point of maintenance' model for our released items, with two exceptions:.

  • NiLuJe's snapshots, use: (filter prefix: tools, show threads).
  • Kindlefere.com is providing the distribution links for China.

This means that the user of these directions must click away from this post of directions in order to get the current release of each part.
That is a price one must pay (clicks) to minimize the chance that someone will stumble onto a stale (bit rotted) package of some part.


Step-by-Step:
Consider the following bullet list a "Step #0" that can be done in any order.

  • You Kindle must be registered with Amazon to access the required menus.
    If not yet registered, do that now.
  • Remove any device passcode or parental control passcode you may have set.
  • If you have an ad supported (Special Offers) model consider unsubscribing it at your Kindle account.
    If you do unsubscribe from special offers, be sure to give your Kindle enough time on-line for Amazon's servers to update its local status files.
  • Is your Kindle fully charged?
    Get started with that now, put it on a wall charger to be certain.
  • Only do one step at a time.
    They are intended and designed to be done one at a time.
    At the completion of a step, if the file you previously put at the top level of visible USB storage is still there, remove it.
  1. Positively identify the nickname of your Kindle model from the serial number.
    Of the first six characters, older Kindles: xxxx xx, newer Kindles: xx xxxx in this table:
    http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/Kindle_Serial_Numbers
    The factory images **are not** model locked, your care taken with this step is your Kindle's only protection! If not found in the table, STOP HERE and tell us.
  2. Prepare your Kindle for running an earlier version of the firmware.
    The Kindles have two user storage areas, the one seen over the USB cable and a hidden one.
    The process that wipes the hidden one will also wipe what can be seen over the USB cable.
    Spoiler:

    • Make backup copies of the contents of /documents
      You are about to wipe them all out, if you have them pushed to your Kindle's cloud, you should be covered.
      You should not need copies of the contents of /system - the 'system' should re-build them for you.
    • Do not copy the contents of /documents back to the Kindle until after you have returned to the same firmware version that you copied them from.
      The indexer might go crazy if you try anything else than 'back to same place, with same version running'.
    • You are about to loose all of your collections and annotations, kiss them goodbye now.
      You can't reach that hidden directory they are stored in and it is this database that causes most of the problems, so it MUST go.
    • Home -> Menu -> Settings -> Menu -> Reset
      Or whatever the path is on your current firmware version.
      This is the infamous "Reset (to factory defaults)" menu choice, but in this case it is a requirement, a [b]'must use'[b] entry.

  3. Download your model's initial factory firmware image using your computer.
    The off-site, index of Amazon Condoned image files can be found here:
    http://pastebin.com/Wdw4L7yT
    Those links **are not** clickable by design, you have to choose one and manually copy-paste it into your browser.
  4. Transfer the selected initial factory image from your computer to your Kindle.
    Do not panic if this step is not immediate, put it on a wall charger and wait, some reports claim it can take over an hour for the downgrade to complete. Less than 10 minutes is more typical.
    Spoiler:

    1. Connect Kindle to PC with the USB cable.
    2. Place the downloaded update_*.bin file in the topmost, visible level of USB storage (alongside of /documents).
    3. Eject and/or Safely Remove (term depends on OS) the Kindle, USB storage.
    4. Remove the USB cable.
    5. Home -> Menu -> Settings -> Menu -> Update Your Kindle
    6. Confirm
    7. Wait


    ** The PW-2 is a special case at this point in the directions **

    1. Use the prior 'universal jailbreak' from this post:
      http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=186645
    2. Skip the next two steps, you are ready to upgrade if desired.

  5. Download and install the current version of Branch Delay's factory firmware jail break.
    The current version is attached to its release post, see:
    http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=275887
    Spoiler:

    1. Connect Kindle to PC with the USB cable.
    2. Place the downloaded file (an archive - as is) in the topmost, visible level of USB storage (alongside of /documents).
    3. Eject and/or Safely Remove (term depends on OS) the Kindle, USB storage.
    4. Remove the USB cable.
    5. Home
    6. Search bar, enter:


      ;installHtml

      Press 'return'
      Yes, the semi-colon is part of the search bar command string.

  6. Download and install the current 'hotfix'
    The current version is attached to its release post, see:
    http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...postcount=1597
    Spoiler:

    1. Unarchive the release archive package.
    2. Connect Kindle to PC with the USB cable.
    3. Place the Update_jailbreak_hotfix_*_install.bin in the topmost, visible level of USB storage (alongside of /documents).
    4. Eject and/or Safely Remove (term depends on OS) the Kindle, USB storage.
    5. Remove the USB cable.
    6. Home -> Menu -> Settings -> Menu -> Update Your Kindle
    7. Confirm
    8. Wait

  7. You can now update your Kindle to a newer firmware version, the jailbreak will survive.
    You can get any firmware version for your device from the Amazon download server.
    Spoiler:

    1. Go to the Amazon firmware download page for your model.
    2. Copy the full URL of the current firmware release and paste into an editor.
    3. Manually edit the version number to the desired version.
      You can find the version numbers that where released for your model Kindle from the list of source code packages released for your model, see:
      http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/custom...deId=200203720
      The firmware sources and the firmware binaries use the same numeric strings.
    4. Add the blocker directory (folder) name to the top level of visible USB storage if you don't want your Kindle updated over the air.
      The blocker directory is named: update.bin.tmp.partial

Usage:
With all of the above done, how to make use of it.

Spoiler:

  1. Any of our after-market add-ins, with an update_*.bin format filename requires the use of the Mobileread Package Installer (MrPI).

    • See KUAL and KUAL extensions section of:
      http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=225030
    • This is an "un-archive to top level of visible USB storage" package.
      Be sure that the un-archive tool you use has options set to create directories.
    • KOA and KT3 owners:
      You must run the installer with your new, search bar command: ;log mrpi
      Other models covered in this thread may do the same or may run it from KUAL.

  2. Nearly all of our after-market add-ins require an application launcher.

    • See KUAL and KUAL extensions section of:
      http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=225030
    • Beginning with version 2.6.40 of the release, the archive contains three (3) different builds of KUAL.
      The 'keyboard' version, the '(old) touchscreen' version, and the new 'KOA, KT3' version.
    • This is not a substitute for reading the README.txt file included in the archive bundle, but ...

      • KOA and KT3 owners:
        You must use the update_*.bin format package of KUAL and you must use the MrPi installer to install it.
      • Other devices:
        The archive still contains the previous 'document' style of KUAL, used by just placing the (correct) KUAL document into the /documents folder of USB storage.
        Note: The new (update_*.bin format KUAL) will run on all touchscreen devices running firmware 5.1.2 or newer.

    • "Nearly all applications require an application launcher" - I was expecting someone to ask . . . .
      KUAL is one of the applications that does not required an application launcher.
      It has a mime type associated with it that tells the system how to run it, when it is selected.

[ 666 replies ]


Wed July 20 2016

August 2016 Book Club Nominations

12:02 AM by WT Sharpe in Reading Recommendations | Book Clubs

Help us select the book that the MobileRead Book Club will read for August, 2016.

The nominations will run through midnight EST July 26 or until 10 books have made the list. The poll will then be posted and will remain open for five days.

The book selection category for August is: Thriller, Suspense, & Crime.

In order for a book to be included in the poll it needs THREE NOMINATIONS (original nomination, a second and a third).

How Does This Work?
The Mobile Read Book Club (MRBC) is an informal club that requires nothing of you. Each month a book is selected by polling. On the last week of that month a discussion thread is started for the book. If you want to participate feel free. There is no need to "join" or sign up. All are welcome.

How Does a Book Get Selected?
Each book that is nominated will be listed in a poll at the end of the nomination period. The book that polls the most votes will be the official selection.

How Many Nominations Can I Make?
Each participant has 3 nominations. You can nominate a new book for consideration or nominate (second, third) one that has already been nominated by another person.

How Do I Nominate a Book?
Please just post a message with your nomination. If you are the FIRST to nominate a book, please try to provide an abstract to the book so others may consider their level of interest.

How Do I Know What Has Been Nominated?
Just follow the thread. This message will be updated with the status of the nominations as often as I can. If one is missed, please just post a message with a multi-quote of the 3 nominations and it will be added to the list ASAP.

When is the Poll?
The poll thread will open at the end of the nomination period, or once there have been 10 books with 3 nominations each. At that time a link to the initial poll thread will be posted here and this thread will be closed.

The floor is open to nominations. Please comment if you discover a nomination is not available as an ebook in your area.


Official choices with three nominations each:

(1) All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda
Goodreads | Amazon US / Kobo US / Overdrive / Overdrive Audio
Print Length: 384 pages

Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

Like the spellbinding psychological suspense in The Girl on the Train and Luckiest Girl Alive, Megan Miranda’s novel is a nail-biting, breathtaking story about the disappearances of two young women — a decade apart — told in reverse.

It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched.

The decade-old investigation focused on Nic, her brother Daniel, boyfriend Tyler, and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson. Since then, only Nic has left Cooley Ridge. Daniel and his wife, Laura, are expecting a baby; Jackson works at the town bar; and Tyler is dating Annaleise Carter, Nic’s younger neighbor and the group’s alibi the night Corinne disappeared. Then, within days of Nic’s return, Annaleise goes missing.

Told backwards — Day 15 to Day 1 — from the time Annaleise goes missing, Nic works to unravel the truth about her younger neighbor’s disappearance, revealing shocking truths about her friends, her family, and what really happened to Corinne that night ten years ago.

Like nothing you’ve ever read before, All the Missing Girls delivers in all the right ways. With twists and turns that lead down dark alleys and dead ends, you may think you’re walking a familiar path, but then Megan Miranda turns it all upside down and inside out and leaves us wondering just how far we would be willing to go to protect those we love.

(2) Carved in Bone (Body Farm Book 1) by Jefferson Bass
Goodreads | Amazon UK / Amazon US / Kobo US / Overdrive
Print Length: pages

Spoiler:
From Goodreads:

On the campus of the University of Tennessee lies a patch of ground unlike any in the world. The "Body Farm" is a place where human corpses are left to the elements, and every manner of decay is fully explored -- for the sake of science and the cause of justice. The scientist who created the Body Farm has broken cold cases and revolutionized forensics, and now, in this heart-stopping novel, he spins an astonishing tale inspired by his own experiences.

A woman's corpse lies hidden in a cave in the mountains of East Tennessee. Undiscovered for thirty years, her body has been transformed by the cave's chemistry into a near-perfect mummy -- one that discloses an explosive secret to renowned anthropologist Bill Brockton. Dr. Brockton has spent his career surrounded by death and decay at the Body Farm, but even he is baffled by this case unfolding in a unique environment where nothing is quite what it seems.

The surreal setting is Cooke County, a remote mountain community that's clannish, insular, and distrustful of outsiders. The heartbreaking discovery of the young woman's corpse reopens old wounds and rekindles feuds dating back decades. The county's powerful and uncooperative sheriff and his inept deputy threaten to derail Brockton's investigation altogether. So do Brockton's other nemeses: his lingering guilt over the death of his wife, and the fury of a medical examiner whom Brockton dares to oppose in court.

Carved in Bone is a richly atmospheric, superbly suspenseful, and magnificently rendered trip into the world of forensic science, the heart of the Appalachian Mountains, and the dark passageways of the human psyche. Full of vivid characters and startling twists and turns, this thrilling novel heralds the debut of a major new voice in crime fiction -- and an unforgettable work from the hand of a scientific legend.

[ 20 replies ]


Mon July 18 2016

Author Earnings Romance market analysis

06:07 AM by fjtorres in E-Book General | News

AUTHOR EARNING'S Data Guy just gave a presentation at the Romance Writers of America, detailing the state of the Romance book market in 2016:

http://authorearnings.com/2016-rwa-pan-presentation/

The charts are downloadable and mostly self explanatory.
He thoroughly dissects the results of different strategies for title length, pricing, release rates, whether to participate in Kindle Unlimited, whether to set the first volume in a series free...

Interesting reading for anybody curious about how the romance cake is baked.

For everybody else, the juicy stuff lies in the general ebook market overview in the first few slides:

http://authorearnings.com/wp-content...07/Slide08.png

http://authorearnings.com/wp-content...07/Slide10.png

http://authorearnings.com/wp-content...07/Slide12.png

http://authorearnings.com/wp-content...07/Slide14.png

Points that stand out:

- Romance makes up 4.4% of the print book sales captured by Nielsen Bookscan and 45% of paid ebook sales at Amazon. Romance accounts for 235M paid ebook sales a year across Amazon, Apple, Nook, etc. Essentially, two thirds of the romance book market is invisibile to the publishing establishment because 89% of all romance books sold are in digital form.

- More generally: Kindle ebook market share is up to 74%, Apple is running at 11%, Nook 5%, Kobo 3%, Google 2%, and Other 2%. (Back in 2010, when Agency first kicked in, Amazon stood at 54% and Nook at 26%, with Sony around 10%).

Much more at the source, including the usual pretty pictures.

One point to remember: Harlequin policy through the decades was to let most of the titles they published go out of print after a couple of years and, since they considered them "played out", would routinely revert rights upon request. That practice has, of course, ended. But in the years between 2007 and 2012 a whole lot of romance writers rescued a whole lot of titles from out-of-print, typically adding new covers and re-releasing them on KDP. That means they not only brought along the titles but also their "brands" and their readers.

In short: to a very large extent, Indie ebooks becoming a mainstream business is due to romance readers. (With SF&F right behind.)

[ 78 replies ]


Sat July 16 2016

MobileRead Week in Review: 07/09 - 07/16

06:00 AM by Alexander Turcic in Miscellaneous | Week in Review

Have something interesting to say about e-books or mobile computing? Join our forums and share your view on topics like the ones discussed at MobileRead this past week...

E-Book General - News

Miscellaneous - Announcements


Network Maintenance July 20th, 4am ET

02:32 AM by Alexander Turcic in Miscellaneous | Announcements

Hi,

Our datacenter will perform some maintenance on its optical network on July 20. The window is from 4am to 6am ET. During that time traffic will be temporarily re-routed which means you may experience brief periods of downtime or latency. Sorry about that!

Alex

[ 1 reply ]


Mon July 11 2016

USA & Canada: Free ebook each month from Tor.com

02:33 PM by pdurrant in E-Book General | News

If you live in USA or Canada, Tor.com have a great offer starting up - a free ebook every month if you sign up to their mailing list.

See http://ebookclub.tor.com/ for full details.

The first book on offer is The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu.

[Update: The first month's offer is now over. But you can still sign up to their mailing list to get next month's free ebook, although we won't know what that is until next month]

[ 28 replies ]


Sat July 09 2016

MobileRead Week in Review: 07/02 - 07/09

06:00 AM by Alexander Turcic in Miscellaneous | Week in Review

If you've been a bit too busy to keep up, here are a few of our favorite stories from the past week.

E-Book Software - Calibre Companion




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