How you can upgrade from a Kindle 2 to a Kindle 3 for less than $30

Kindle 2, Kindle 3 and iPad by andyi

Are you wondering if you should buy a Kindle 3 if you already have a Kindle 2? Or whether you should buy someone a Kindle 3 if they already have a Kindle 2?

The answer is yes. Not only is the Kindle 3 better than the Kindle 2 but you can also sell your used Kindle 2 on Ebay for about $160. Since a new Kindle 3G is only $189, that means you might upgrade your Kindle for less than $30!

5 other reasons to buy a Kindle 3 even if you already have a Kindle 2:

Comparing the screen quality of the Kindle 2 versus the Kindle 3 by OmegaPoint

  1. The picture is better.
  2. The pages turn faster. After using my Kindle 2 for so long, I’ve gotten used to hitting next page before I reach the end of the page because it takes a few seconds. The Kindle 3 turns pages much quicker.
  3. The battery lasts longer. My Kindle 2 battery lasts plenty long if I leave the wireless off. However, I like to keep my place synchronized on Amazon, so if I have a moment to read a few pages on my phone, it knows exactly where I left off on my Kindle.
  4. It’s smaller. It’s a bit smaller (half an inch in width and height) and lighter (1.5 ounces) but the screen is the same size.
  5. Someone else in the household can now have a Kindle with all the same books on it! (If you don’t sell it on eBay!)

Universal Subtitles

I found the coolest tool, Universal Subtitles. With Universal Subtitles you can easily transcribe a talk, add subtitles or captions or translate any video on the web.

I’ve been trying to transcribe my Would you do it again for free? talk forever and I always give up – I can’t type fast enough to keep up and manually pausing required more hands than I have. Universal Subtitles let me type and automatically paused and let me catch up whenever the video got ahead of me. Then I could go back and edit, adjust the timing, etc. Now I could also go back and translate the subtitles into other languages.

Universal Subtitles is an awesome tool to help people share videos and presentations in other languages. Not only does it give you the tools you need to do the job, but it makes it very easy to cooperate. So for example, I could transcribe a GNOME video and then someone from the GNOME Hispano community could translate the subtitles into Spanish and then someone else from the GNOME localization team could translate them into their language. Others can go back and make corrections and adjust timing.

(Note that while the Universal Subtitles tool is awesome, transcription is still hard! I was transcribing myself and I still had trouble at times!)

Universal Subtitles is open source software and funded in part by Mozilla through Mozilla Drumbeat.

Disclaimer: I work for Mozilla.

Giving feedback on Firefox Mobile

I love my Nexus One smartphone. I’m not sure what I ever did without it. (And I did not feel that way about any of my previous Palms, PocketPCs or Blackberries.) However, I really think the thing should have come with a big thick manual. I seem to discover cool features by accident. And it makes me wonder what else I’m missing … This problem is not unique to the Nexus One but seems to be a problem in the mobile space in general.

One thing I want to do is give feedback on cool applications that are in beta (and so particularly open to feedback.) While every application is going to be different, here’s how you do it for Firefox on your phone:

Swipe to the left > tap on browser tools button (the little cog wheel at the bottom) > tap on Beta button (top right button) and submit your feedback. It also asks you if you want to attach the URL of last page visted.

Thanks to Caitlin Looney for the directions.

Stormy’s Mozilla Update: November 12, 2010

I’ve been a Mozilla employee for all of 5 days so this isn’t so much of an update of all that I’ve accomplished (learned a tremendous amount of names and forgotten half of them) but rather some first impressions.

I spent the week at the Mountain View office which is where roughly half of all Mozilla employees work. (The rest work from the Toronto and Paris offices or from home, like me and most of my team.) The atmosphere is both laid back and intense at the same time. Everyone is very busy and it seems like most of the office is involved in an intense discussion most of the time but everyone was extremely welcoming and happy to help. I really liked how the offices were laid out. Everyone is in a very open cube format with lots of meeting rooms every where. Meeting rooms varied from big tables to informal sofas. I also liked how much of the discussion happens in public wikis and IRC channels.

Laura Mesa who is about to show me a cool video ...

I started work the same day as Gary Kovacs, the new Mozilla CEO, and we were introduced at the all hands meeting (which is not private to Mozilla employees but open to all the Mozilla community) along with Alex Miller, the 12 year old that fixed a security flaw in Firefox and won a $3,000 bounty. And a few other Mozilla new hires. I apologize that I have already forgotten your names – I was a bit nervous at the time. 🙂

I spent the week meeting people (both local and remote), meeting people face to face that I know from email, twitter and blogs, learning what they are doing, asking lots of questions about what they thought the developer engagement team should be doing as well as doing mundane (but somewhat exciting) stuff like getting a new laptop and signing up for benefits.

Now I am working on creating the 3 year plan for the developer engagement team with tasks broken down by quarter for next year. Luckily I work with a lot of smart people with some great ideas for the next couple of years.

Stormy’s GNOME update: November 12, 2010

This is for my work done as a volunteer.

Reviewed the 9 slidesets that InitMarketing is putting together probono for GNOME. These are slidesets that anyone speaking about GNOME will be able to use and they cover things like applications, history, accessibility, etc. They are starting to look pretty good.

Forwarded emails to the right people. Talked to a few people about the status of projects and gave my opinion and ideas on things I’d been working on (and some that I am still working on.) Among other things this included reviewing the budget, making some introductions with LWN, forwarding the mail about a new Friends of GNOME subscriber, an a11y conversation, etc.

Gave some feedback on Dave Neary’s slides. He’ll be representing GNOME at an event in Korea in a few days.

Missed being on the board list. Now I will have to wait for the board meeting minutes to hear about the stuff that is going on. 🙂

Followed all the great posts about all that happened at the Boston Summit!

Stormy’s GNOME Update: November 7, 2010

This is my update for work done for the GNOME Foundation. For a higher level overview for what I do as the Executive Director, see What do I do as Executive Director of the GNOME Foundation?

F123.org and Mozilla both gave us grants for GNOME accessibility! We are opening contracts for good work with the funding. Thanks to Joanie Diggs for putting together the proposals and plans for the money. Joanie has been posting the opportunities.

Made a list of all the things I work on. I categorized them into things that could wait a while for a new executive director, things that need a board contact and things I thought the board should try to continue to work on in the short term. The board really stepped up to the plate to cover things. I am impressed by the work they are doing and willing to do.

Followed the Desktop Summit mailing list, had several chats with people about different topics, especially Dave Neary who has been following the progress closely and helping out. Reviewed the website and the press release. Helped Claudia Rauch with the text for the sponsorship brochure and proof reading it. Andreas Nilsson made it into a beautiful looking brochure. Claudia and I divvied up the companies we want to contact and I sent out the first request for Desktop Summit 2011 sponsorships to the companies on my list. Germán Póo-Caamaño and Claudia will continue the work.

Along with Paul Cutler met with Litl about the things they are working on related to GNOME. Litl is sponsoring the Boston Summit this weekend.

Worked on a standard document for terms and conditions for GNOME event sponsorship. It’s often a step that’s skipped as it’s work to put it together for each event. My hope is to make it easy. That said, we’ve had very few misunderstandings over the years.

Worked with James Vasile to write some standard letters for logo infringement. Actually, he wrote it, and then with feedback from the board I turned it into a couple of version to be used depending on the situation.

Wrote up a job description for the new executive director. Discussed the hiring process with the board.

Made a quick inquiry about health insurance in case that’s important to the new executive director. The way it works in the United States, it would be expensive. If we have a candidate from another country, we’ll have to research their employment laws.

Was very excited that we announced the interns for the GNOME Outreach Program for Women.  We had a couple of marketing applicants – which was exciting to me – but they faced tough competition from the other projects. They did submit, as part of their applications, a very nicely and uniquely designed brochure and a website of screenshots among other things. Marina Zhurakhinskaya did an awesome job putting the whole Outreach Program together from encouraging applicants to working with all of the potential mentors to putting out the press release. Thanks to to Google and Collabora for enabling us to accept so many awesome candidates!

Published a wiki page of the advisory board member responsibilities. It’s something every new advisory board member asks but something I had always done verbally so it was good to get it in writing.

Followed up with some of the advisory board members that have missed a few meetings. Most of them have just been very busy – some with great GNOME work!

Worked with Egencia, an online travel reservation system, to see if they could help the travel committee and the GNOME community with travel. We believe they can but we are working out the costs now.

Reviewed the annual report. It is ready to be published!

Gave my feedback about the Grace Hopper Conference Open Source track. I hope they do it again!

Wrote my rough draft of CiviCRM requirements. Passed the task off to Rosanna. She will work with the sys admin team and a consultant to get them implemented.

Attended the GNOME Foundation IRC meetings. Two this month! Was impressed by the attendance and the discussion.

Talked to Canonical about Unity. They plan to continue to work with and support GNOME.

Got the LWN agreement officially signed. They gave us an awesome offer and all Friends of GNOME subscribers will get an LWN subscription.

Attended the Boston Summit. Great job by John Palmieri on organizing it again! Got to meet a see a lot of people in person. Had a lot of conversations about potential candidates for the executive director job. Attended the board meeting which was very productive. Led the Friends of GNOME planning session. Lots of great plans with a great team working on it! Jason Clinton, Joey Ferwerda, Og Maciel, Vincent Untz and Jeff Fortin. Many others participated and gave feedback like Heidi Ellis and Brian Cameron and Vinny. And obviously there are others on the team that weren’t here who will help out as well!

GNOME was invited to a Samsung open source conference in Korea. Dave Neary will be representing us and speaking. Others are welcome to attend.

Pinged teams about the quarterly report. Set up a new process where people submit their reports to the wiki.

Made some substantial edits to the hackfest wiki pages to include other events and to clarify the parts of the process where we’ve gotten the most questions.

Floated the idea that the Foundation hire a part time event manager to help with hackfests and other events. Had several discussions about what that person might do and be funded and most importantly how the position might interact with the travel committee. No decision made.

Excited that the GNOME Event Box has a new home for a while while Christer Edwards gives it some tender loving care. He’s used it a few times and has some ideas for improving it.

Worked with InitMarketing on some slide presentations they are making for GNOME advocates to be able to use. They are looking good.

Followed up with Friends of GNOME “adopt a hacker” hackers and the post cards they’ve been sending out. Everyone wants to continue even if the numbers are going to ramp up soon!

Had some conversations about the GNOME Ambassadors. Plan to invite mentors to join as well.

Talked to Jim Herbsleb from Carnegie Mellon about work they are doing to research how communities work and how we can learn from them and make them more effective. One idea was to do a joint survey to help set Foundation goals. Germán Póo-Caamaño will be following up.

Held the GNOME Advisory Board Meeting. We discussed moduleset reorgnization, GNOME Asia and the Boston Summit.

Attended board meetings, met with Rosanna, met with Brian.

Took some vacation to visit my parents.

Changing Roles

I have really enjoyed working with GNOME over the past 2+ years. Working with the GNOME community on creating a free desktop accessible to everyone has been fun and exciting – as well as challenging – which is part of the fun. 🙂 It is the community that makes GNOME, and it’s working with that community, in particular the board, that has made my job so much fun.

Over the past two years I think we’ve made great progress with the GNOME Foundation. We’ve more than doubled our income both from corporate investors and individuals. We’ve made great technical progress especially with all of the hackfests. And we’re well on our way to GNOME 3.0 which is looking like a solid release at this time. In addition we’ve grown teams and processes like the marketing team, the sys admin team and the travel committee. And you know all this because we’ve also improved our communication processes with things like the quarterly report and more active use of the GNOME Foundation blog.

And I can’t take credit for all this. Obviously this is way more than one person can do! It’s been a team effort and again and again I’ve felt extreme gratitude for all the hard working people on GNOME.

So I am really sad to say that I am leaving my paid position as Executive Director. It’s been really hard to write this blog post because I really don’t want to leave. (And I won’t be leaving – more on that later.) However, I’ve been offered a great opportunity to work on the open web at Mozilla. As you all know, I think we need to be pushing for freedom on the web as much as we’ve pushed for it on the desktop. So I see this next step as continuing in my contributions to making sure users have a completely free and open experience when using technology.

So what about GNOME?

The timing of my move comes at a time when GNOME is getting a lot of press. I’d like to give my thoughts on how GNOME will move forward over the next couple of months.

In particular I’d like to highlight one that’s at the top of everyone’s mind, GNOME 3.0. I am confident the GNOME community will continue to work hard on GNOME 3.0 and they will release it next spring when it is ready for end users. My leaving will not affect the development of GNOME 3.0. My job was to run the GNOME Foundation to support the GNOME community. I did not set technical direction nor contribute to the code base – the GNOME community, led by the release team, individual contributors and partners, sets the technical direction and does the work. While I will not have as much time to help with things like marketing and partner coordination, because of the GNOME Foundation, GNOME has the resources and funding we need to move forward with GNOME 3 whether it’s hackfests or resources for marketing. Not to mention that we have many partners hard at work on GNOME technologies like

Red Hat on Nautilus and Evolution … Igalia and Collabora on WebKitGTK+ … Novell on Sabayon and Banshee … Collabora on Empathy and Telepathy … Intel on Clutter … Litl on GObjectInstrospection … Openismus on gtkmm and anjuta … Oracle, Mozilla, Igalia and F123.org on accessibility … Nokia with a GNOME Mobile grant … Google on Outreach … Openismus and Canonical on the Bug Squad … Igalia, Lanedo, Codethink, Red Hat, Openismus and others on GTK+ … and many, many more

Where I can continue to help by supporting the marketing team or helping introduce companies, I will.

Another area where I’ve invested significant effort is fundraising. People have expressed concern that it won’t be easy to duplicate the work I’ve done. I’m proud to say that the GNOME Foundation is looking good financially. We recently hired a system administrator, sponsored numerous hackfests and we will now be increasing our administrative assistant’s hours. Our financial status is very solid and will continue, given the generous support of our advisory board members. I’m confident that with our current board, our finances will be well managed and we will be in a great situation for the new Executive Director to take over.

There are numerous other things I’ve been working on that might be affected. I’ve worked a lot on the marketing team and I hope to work with the dedicated team that’s grown there to make sure all the projects I’m working on move forward. The GNOME Advisory Board  has been benefiting from regular monthly meetings. One of the board members will take over that and we have numerous topics lined up. For everything I’ve been working on, I’ve been working with the board on how best to transition them and make sure items that need attention are addressed in the next couple of months.

If you are working on a GNOME project and regularly checking in with me, please know that someone on the board will be available to help you and you can always continue to bounce ideas off me in IRC or IM or email. If you don’t hear from me about who your contact is, feel free to ping me or the board (board -at- gnome org)

Where am I going?

I’m going to Mozilla to head up their developer engagement program, focused on the open web! As many of you know, I think we have a complete free and open source solution for the desktop but we still have a lot of work to do on the web. Many of us now depend on web applications that are not only not free but don’t even let us download and protect our own data in reasonable ways. Working on developer engagement at Mozilla will let me dedicate more of my resources to making sure developers have the tools and knowledge they need to create applications on the open web.

(And I should point out that GNOME is hard at work solving the problem of how web applications integrate with the desktop with efforts like libsocialweb in GNOME 3 which will integrate instant messaging and social web sites into your desktop. In addition, applications like Tomboy, Banshee and Rythmbox are all integrating with the web. I hope my work at Mozilla will compliment what GNOME is doing and that we will work together.)

I’ve really enjoyed all my conversations with the Mozilla folks I’ve met and I am excited to be joining them. They are aiming to create an open standards-based platform for innovation without restriction. Something that fits very well into what I’ve been thinking and talking about for the past six months.

When I started at the GNOME Foundation, everybody asked me what I was going to work on. So I spent the first couple of weeks asking everybody else what they thought I should be working on. I feel a bit like that again. I’ll be working with the people and team at Mozilla to enhance and define their developer engagement program. I’ll be blogging more about Mozilla and my work there in the future.

What’s next for me and GNOME?

While my last day as a paid employee will be this weekend at the GNOME Boston Summit, I don’t plan to leave the GNOME community. I will continue to be active in the marketing team and I am always available to chat or help. My focus for the short term will be helping the board hire my replacement.

When elections open up for the GNOME Board of Directors next spring, I plan to run. I’ve really enjoyed and appreciated all the work the GNOME Directors do (it’s the most active board I know!) and I hope to be able to continue that trend and contribute my share. I believe the skills and interest I have can continue to strengthen the GNOME Foundation in its efforts to create a free and open source desktop for everyone.

And to echo a cry I’ve heard:

“Rock on, GNOME!”