September 3, 2010

Sony Reader PRS-650 (Red)

Yesterday I was so excited; today not so much.

Update: Some lovely Sony people on Twitter followed this up for me. The Sony store in World Square (Sydney) should have the Reader on sale on September 8. Maybe.

Further to yesterday’s news that Sony has launched the Reader in Australia, according to CNET Australia the Readers will be priced from $229 to $299. The Readers will have touch screen and the ability for users to take notes and annotate ebooks using a stylus—a key selling point for me.

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September 2, 2010

Sony Reader PRS-350 (Pink)I’ve been waiting for aaaages for Sony to launch their ebook reader in Australia, and today they finally announced it.

The Reader—it boggles my mind how Sony could possibly have trademarked such a common word—features the E-Ink Pearl display, which I believe is the same type of screen that the newest Kindles have.

Book Bee has all the details, the most important being that the Reader will integrate with REDgroup’s online bookshops, which includes Borders Australia. The device will be sold at Borders (online and bricks and mortar shops), Angus and Robertson, Myer, Sony Style stores and Sony centres.

Update: CNET reports that Readers will start from $229.

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May 26, 2010

Telstra HTC DesireThe short story is that Telstra gave me a free phone to play with. Here’s a summary of the first week.

You can read my full disclosure and links to related posts here.

So I’ve had the HTC Desire for over a week now, and I have to say that it almost sucks as a phone. I rarely use it for calls, and when I diverted my number to go to the HTC, I found it difficult to handle people actually calling me. I also kept accidentally calling random people.

That aside, the HTC rocks as a toy. It’s a great gadget. Not perfect—but great enough. It’s not as intuitive as I’d like it to be at times, and it suffers from menu overload, but on the whole it isn’t too bad. It does some seriously cute things that I’ll talk about later this week.

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May 20, 2010

Telstra HTC DesireThe short story is that Telstra gave me a free phone to play with. In return, I’m going to use it, read with it and talk about it—the good and the bad.

I debated whether or not I should post my phone reviews here, and in the end I sensed enough interest in people who follow me on Twitter (or their family members!) to think that this may interest blog readers, too. I’ll explain why in a sec.


Last week, Telstra selected me to be one of their 25 ‘social reviewers’. We were given a new Telstra HTC Desire to play with, test, break and otherwise treat it as a customer might normally use the phone.

To be honest, when I entered the contest, I didn’t even know what was so great

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October 7, 2009

Amazon Kindle International(Last updated: 14/10/2009) Just in from Twitter: Amazon will now ship the Kindle internationally. According to Bookseller+Publisher:

Kindles are available to order for US$279 (A$313) from the Amazon website now and will begin shipping from 19 October. Amazon’s director of merchandising Laura Porco is scheduled to run a demonstration of the device in Sydney on Monday 26 October. An Amazon spokesperson told WBN that it had ‘not been confirmed as yet whether [books from] Australian publishers will be available’ to read on the device.

CNET Australia provides some technical details:

The reader can either download books via USB or by 3G or 2G wireless, without any mobile contracts … but the spokesperson could not

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June 2, 2009

I’ve been meaning to write another post on the issue of parallel import restrictions (PIR) in Australia, but I’ve been putting it off because, well, I just can’t decide where I stand on this issue. Anyway, when I found myself commenting on this post, Parallel importing and ebooks in Australia, over at bookbook blog, I decided to move my comment diarrhoea here instead. Before you read any further, you should check out that link as this will be a response to that post.

I have to confess, I’m on the fence with this one. I agree that book prices in Australia have to come down. I recently spent $55 to buy a hardcover. I’m crazy, I know, and it gives new meaning to the term “book crack”. But I also don’t think an open market is the solution.

First, let’s talk about price

I believe the abolition of PIR will probably result in lower wholesale prices. Will these savings be passed on to consumers? Maybe, but if Angus & Robertson admit to pricing above the RRP now, it’s certainly not guaranteed.

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May 10, 2009
Swan & Edgar bar (via the Booktagger blog)

Swan & Edgar bar (via the Booktagger blog)

First things first: Happy Mother’s Day to all you mums, nannas and mums-to-be! I hope you enjoyed a good breakfast in bed and that the kids’ arts and craft project churned out something useful or appealing or edible or easy to hide. :-D

Apologies for slacking off last week with the Bizzo, but this one is absolutely chockers with good romancey stuff, so I hope it’s worth the wait.

ARRC09 audio recordings

Audio recordings from the Australian Romance Readers Convention in February are now available. Click here for more information and an order form.

International Association for the Study of Popular Romance

The IASPR is offering yearly, 5-yearly and lifetime memberships. Click here for more information. The IASPR, University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, and the Romance Writers of Australia are sponsoring an academic conference on Popular Romance Studies.

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March 7, 2009
Lost in Austen (DVD)

Lost in Austen (DVD)

Pride and Prejudice time travel shenanigans

Tomorrow night, ABC1 will screen the first part of Lost in Austen, a British mini-series in which a 21st-century reader swaps places with Elizabeth Bennet and finds herself inadvertently changing Jane Austen’s story. It sounds fabulously fun, and the SMH provides some background to the series. Lost in Austen has become one of Britain’s best selling DVDs, with talks of a film adaptation. Click here to watch a preview of the show.

Ebooks in Australia

Thinking of buying an ebook? David Frith at Doubleclick has a good round-up of ebook options for Australians. The BeBook seems to be the cheapest option, although Frith seems to have missed the products sold by DA Direct (which, according to a reader at ARRC, will be selling more ebook readers through their Melbourne store).

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March 5, 2009

This is a round-up of ARRC09 and is not in chronological order. If you want to read more anecdotes, check out the liveblog. Click here for a list of ARRC09 posts and liveblogs .


I missed the speeches on Sunday morning because we had an informal Cellie breakfast at the cafe next door. It was a lovely way to start off the day, and I was told of a ubiquitous photo on the Lora Leigh forums that I must go and check out, but NOT while I’m at work. The search term is “King Neptune”, in case you’re curious.

The morning panels all sounded really good, so I had a difficult choice to make. In the end, I opted for the ebook panel since I had friends going to the others. The session was sponsored by Torquere Press, and the panelists were Helen Woodall, Jordana Ryan and Jess Dee. Most of the discussion was around the benefits of ebooks and the publishing process. It kind of felt more author-focused than reader-focused, but it would’ve been useful for readers who were thinking about writing for an epublisher.

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