How to get email alerts for free Kindle books at Amazon, using IFTTT and top 100 free amazon lists

Update, December 1, 2013: Unfortunately Amazon removed the rss link for the top free book list, leaving only the rss link for the best seller list. Until we get a good alternative (working on it), I opted for a regular check at these amazon pages, for free Kindle books and also promotional deals:

    note: You can adjust to other Kindle departments in Kindle Store using the Department browser  on the left

Although there are many tools & sites for checking on free kindle books at Amazon I have settled on using IFTTT (the tool that reads “if this than that”) and amazon top 100 lists (particularly the top 100 free list), to build my personal “low cost”/”high value” kindle library.

So, anytime that a new free kindle book enter the top 100 lists I follow, IFTT sends me a mail, & “buying” the book is only two clicks away. Another advantage on using the kindle top 100 amazon lists is that you can configure for specific categories that interest you.

People sometimes ask me, why don’t you “download” the books…? Well, it’s illegal :), you certainly won’t find all the books, and that doesn’t compare to having the books in my official amazon account. Amazon bundles amazing services with its amazon kindle books, particularly highlighting (I talked about kindle highlight previously here) . That is the killer feature  for studying, business reading & personal development, I refer to my highlights a lot and having them properly backed up & accessible is really awesome .

So, here’s how to easily configure an IFTTT recipe to send you a mail anytime a new kindle book enters the top 100 free list for a category.

1-First, check the top free kindle page at amazon and browse (left side) to the categories that interest you. You can create an IFTTT recipe for each Amazon category. 

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2-On the bottom of the page copy the link address for the “RSS feed “, ex: Subscribe to: Top Free > Computers & technology”

ex: http://www.amazon.com/gp/rss/top-free/digital-text/156116011/ref=zg_tf_156116011_rsslink

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3-Now log in into IFTTT (or create an account first), then create a new IFTTT recipe:

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4-For the “this” part (trigger channel) of your recipe choose the “RSS/Feed” channel:

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5-On the trigger feed, choose “New feed item”

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6-On the feed URL paste the amazon RSS link you’ve saved from the top 100 free page:

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7-For the “that” part  (action channel) of IFTTT recipe choose the email action:

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8-As for subject &  body of the email that IFTTT will send you, you can use the default. No changes needed.

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9-Give a name to your recipe, as I follow several categories I name each one differently, and that’s done!

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Now you’ll just have to wait for your first IFTTT notifications right in your email inbox. As long as you have single click buy configured for your amazon account, “buying” the free books will be a two click experience. Click to open the link from the email, and click to buy.

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Note: You should always check the current price before buying, as sometimes the books are not free anymore by the time you check the email.

this book in particular is currently not free anymore :(

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but it was free at the time I bought it…

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So, that’s how I do it! to date I’ve built a reasonable library of more than 1.000 kindle books, the vast majority free at the time I bought them.  Including some best sellers, top rated books & even expensive book collections.

It’s been of huge value to me on several areas in my life.  That being the reason I am a really devoted amazon customer & fan! Amazon just rocks!

So really…What are you waiting for creating you amazon account and filling it with amazing content and kindle ebooks?

good kindle readings!

Related posts on Kindle

How to get email alerts for free Kindle books at Amazon, using IFTTT and top 100 free amazon lists

How to save 3000$ in ebooks :) ? Don’t have a kindle yet? Well…you should get one (…not necessarily buy one :) )

Kindle eBooks as a great Learning/Self Development platform

Fixing Amazon Kindle Daily Review page usability on touch enabled tablets – a case for “url site scripting” ;)

Rui

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Book Quotes-Debunking the Leadership Myth: The Story of Conscious Leadership by Ryan Caradonna, Jake Caines

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I started this post thinking in collecting all my kindle notes on books that somehow related to this blog topic… Soon to discover that this would be an absolutely impossible task to get done in just one post. No way could I gather all this content in a single post. So I will do it a little bit more gradually, one book at a time.

Starting with a leadership book that become one of my all time favorites. An absolutely amazing book that I got (as usual :) )  through some alerts on kindle free leadership/business books (yes, absolutely free at the time! and currently at $3.44 it’s a bargain! a must have honestly).

I was caught completely off guard by the immersive quality of this (rather extensive) book. My leadership role is still, how to say, very residual… but I’ve  read many other books on the topic and, honestly, this is my favorite and it was great to review my quotes & notes.

Having said that, reading this book was not easy….it was not supposed to be. I guess that’s the way it delivers, it asks hard questions, it questions our thinking, our beliefs. But it gave me lots of hope. I was not the same after reading this book… and that’s usually the kind of feeling that drives me in reading all sorts of books.

Anyway, my point is not doing any kind of review, I am way too lazy for that, along being a very inexperienced leader. I’ll just leave you with a selection of my 364 highlighted passages. Hope not too many that could get me in copyright trouble. :)

Some of my favorite highlights from Debunking the Leadership Myth: The Story of Conscious Leadership by Ryan Caradonna, Jake Caines:

“Where do behaviors originate? Behaviors come from beliefs. The source of your behavior is your belief. What you do is a result of who you are, and who you are is determined by what you believe. Your actions are a result of your thoughts. Your beliefs (why you are doing something) determine your behaviors (how you are doing it)”"

“A Deeper Level “The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.” – Gerald G. Jampolsky”

“But this is where conventional leadership stops, at the behavior level. It focuses on the “how” and “what” but ignores the “why.” This is the point at which conventional leadership cracks and is a critical reason as to why it isn’t working in the face of intense pressure”"

“Conventional leadership tells a myth that behavior change is sufficient to produce better outcomes. It’s not. To generate meaningful outcomes consistently, to truly make an impact, change must happen at the belief level.”

“     •   Ignorance: Conventional leadership doesn’t really understand the power, or the potential, of beliefs. A conventional leader isn’t aware of his own beliefs and their power in his life, and he certainly isn’t aware of them in the lives of others. In some circumstances, ignorance may be bliss. For conventional leadership, ignorance is impotence.”

Back to School…Again “It is what we think we already know that often prevents us from learning.” – Claude Bernard”

“Unfortunately, this is the fallacy of conventional leadership. Unconscious Competence is the goal. At best, this myth is ineffective; at worst, it is dangerous. And this myth is everywhere. We have been told that we need to become experts in our field, so that we can perform our work with muscle memory, out of habit, like riding a bike. Conventional leadership places a tremendous value on experience. Why? Because it falsely believes that the behaviors that led to success yesterday will lead to success again today.”

“To navigate effectively with a map, you need three basic elements:      •   Humility: You must admit that you are lost.      •   Self-awareness: You must identify your current location.      •   Confidence: You must move forward”

Unlearning “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao

“It is much more difficult to let old ideas go than to embrace new ones. And while difficult, the ability to unlearn is pivotal to your success as a conscious leader.”

“Performance is the output; people and process are the inputs. If you want to impact the output, then you need to change the input.”

“Unaware of beliefs (his own or others’), the conventional leader exerts his influence on his environment. The unidirectional arrows represent his outward pushing, regardless of context and oblivious to its dynamic nature. He believes (subconsciously) that either he can’t change or that he doesn’t need to change. Functioning at a level of unconscious competence, the same ideas the created limited success in the past will now facilitate his failure.”

“The enlightened conventional leaders talk about the “How” of the “Why.” In other words, conventional leadership isn’t that concerned with the quality of your current motives (challenging you to change). It is concerned with changing other’s perception of those motives, regardless of their actual quality.”

“As you are writing your story, don’t try to make a point. It is easy and natural; it’s also normal. Making a point can be fun as it makes you look good. But it can’t create transformational change. It won’t produce anything positive, significant, or meaningful. Be different. Instead of making a point, have the confidence to make a difference. By doing so, you will be writing a different story.”

“The man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” – Muhammed Ali

“What matters is not your experience, but what you have done with your experience. What have you learned? How have you grown? How have you changed? What have you done differently based on that experience? The conscious leader (as we discussed in Chapter 2) reflects on his experiences. He takes those learnings and then applies them.”

“The conscious leader really does believe that people are the most important part of an organization. And because his behaviors flow from that belief, he doesn’t mind spending the time and effort training a high-capacity individual. In fact, he enjoys it. If a leader really values people above all else, there is nothing more impactful—and more rewarding—than developing another person.”

“The myth of prioritization is simply this: You will get everything done. The truth is just as simple: No, you won’t.”

“Looking in the mirror can be challenging. You need someone who can identify your blind spots. You need someone who can be a protective hedge against self-deception (a skill we all possess). You need someone who can challenge your beliefs, your ideas, your systems, and your status quo. You need someone who can pressure-test your best thoughts. The ability and willingness to challenge are characteristics of a great partner.”

“Great People + Great Process = Great Performance (most of the time) This doesn’t necessarily work in reverse, however. Performance is the output. People and process are the inputs. If you want to change the output, you must first address the inputs. Only by first improving people and process (the inputs) will you be able to impact performance (the output).”

“An objective is a reality check against an outcome, not a replacement for an outcome. You can test the progress of your desired outcome through the use of objectives. But objectives and outcomes are not interchangeable. An objective is a component of, not a substitute for, an outcome.”

“Show us an organization who is highly focused on objectives, and we will show you an organization with compartmentalized teams capable of making lots of points, but unable of making a difference.”

“The conscious leader often devotes more time to understanding the problem and framing the issue than to actually developing the solution. Why? More value is created in understanding and framing the problem than in developing the solution. Without an accurate diagnosis, impact is impossible.”

“Change for the Sake of Change Conscious leadership is about impactful change—change that makes a positive difference. This means that change is purposeful and intentional. And it means that change is initially internal; you change the world by first changing yourself.”

“ The word “best” is superlative. Best, by design, cannot be advanced or progressed. The myth of best practices assumes that the environment is static—like a photograph.A conscious leader recognizes that questions are more important than answers. A leader sets a new direction by asking questions that challenge the status quo. A manager is driven to provide answers that reinforce the status quo. The concept of best practices is all about providing answers. The concept of better practices is all about asking questions.”

“Change will often result in failure. If the change is good, then the failure will be limited to the temporary perception of those who crave normalcy. If the change is bad, then the failure won’t be merely perceived, it will be real. Sometimes, the change will be good but the timing will be bad, which results in temporary failure but ultimate success. However, you should be conscious of the fact that you cannot consistently generate meaningful change and not experience failure.”

“Although simplified and condensed, these examples expose another common myth of conventional leadership—the fault myth. The fault myth says that in order to solve a problem, you should start with those most at fault, which is always “them.” As a conscious leader, you need to debunk the fault myth and accept this principle as truth: significant impact and transformational change always starts with “me.”

“Despite its promises, conventional leadership cannot induce real, meaningful change. Why not? Impact requires changing who you are, not just what you do. Transformational change is belief change. Conventional leadership can’t even recognize beliefs—how can it possibly change them?”

“One word of caution: note the final lines on both of these lists. While the final outcome of conventional leadership is predictable, normal and known, the final outcome of conscious leadership is unpredictable and unknown. These unpredictable and unknown might initially seem daunting, but we would encourage you to embrace them instead of fearing them.”

“Be patient. You won’t become a conscious leader overnight, and you can’t transform who you are in a week. You can’t make the move from Unconscious Competence to Conscious Competence, debunk a host of myths, unlearn old beliefs (charged with emotion), and accept new beliefs within the confines of a 30-day action plan.”

Amazing book, go back to it very often for inspiration & help on difficult times. Free or at $3 it’s a must have in any leadership/management collection. Give it a try . Don’t forget to check the Kindle books business/investing category page for other best sellers & related Kindle content.

Kindle eBooks as a great Learning/Self Development platform

Almost a year now since I got my first Kindle. :) Being a somehow frenetic reader way before ebooks, and although I still like to read “regular” books, I must confess that when it comes to learning&self development, ebooks & kindle are hard to beat!

Why is that? Well… lots of reasons, but for now I’ll focus on the  highlights & notes feature. It’s amazing as it allows you to really extract so much more value from ebooks & reading in general. Curious thing, I had never been an “highlighter”… and always left my books in a pure & “pristine” state.

So for the basics, you highlight & add notes on any kindle reader (I prefer the real Kindle to do this , although I sometimes use the free mobile reader, as I’m always switching between them both).

You can then return to the ebook, on any reader (mobile, cloud,etc) and see all the hightlights & notes you’ve made. It all syncs to your amazon kindle profile, so you also have a great backup.

 

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Kindle Mobile Reader – Book Highlights

 

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Kindle Cloud Reader – Book Highlights

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You can also review all your notes & highlights directly on the Kindle device, selecting  the My Clippings book (you can see it like a dynamic ebook on your device, collecting all you highlights & notes).

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My Clippings on Kindle Device

There’s also a .txt file available with the content if you connect the kindle to the desktop with usb.

But there’s a minor catch here, the "My Clippings file only saves the highlights you do on that specific kindle device. If you highlight on the android/iphone the notes won’t make it to the file. That can be annoying, specially when you switch kindle devices.

Anyway, there’s much more to that. All your highlights are also available online at your kindle profile page here. Like this:

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From there you can go to any book and recover your highlights&notes, and also share them publicly.

 

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In one page you can see all you highlights & notes. A great starting point for building a quick personal  ebook. ;)

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with a little copy & paste, and minor editing you can get a pretty good ebook with all you preferred content, like this one wich contais all my notes, ever!:

 

 

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I even created a table of contents with one chapter for each book I’ve read. For periodic & quick recaps that’s amazing.

 

Amazon also got it right that we often buy books for learning & changing, not just reading, and there’s a specific feature that helps you to review & remember  your books highlights, its called the daily review. It will cycle trough all your finished books, periodically, and show all your highlights, one at a time.

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The daily review

You can also check other books highlights & posts… (Ferriss “on fire”, as always! :) )

 

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And follow some interesting fellows :)

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BTW, don’t miss this week free books. Just create your account and buy them “free” . :) Then, read them on free cloud/mobile readers. You don’t need to have a Kindle!

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So, that’s it for now, keep reading, and learning! :)

Related posts on Kindle

How to get email alerts for free Kindle books at Amazon, using IFTTT and top 100 free amazon lists

How to save 3000$ in ebooks :) ? Don’t have a kindle yet? Well…you should get one (…not necessarily buy one :) )

Kindle eBooks as a great Learning/Self Development platform

Fixing Amazon Kindle Daily Review page usability on touch enabled tablets – a case for “url site scripting” ;)

Rui

J.D. Meier [Principal Program Manager on the Microsoft patterns & practices team] great blogs & books

Principal Program Manager Microsoft patterns & practices team,  J.D. Meier work has caught my attention long ago, when security was one of my regular hobbies. Smile His books & work at the p&p team at Microsoft were always a great source of inspiration. And I’m sure it will continue be that way in the years to come. You can check his “p&p” blog here.

With some surprise, I must confess Smile, I recently discovered that JD is also extremely passionate on other, “more mundane”, topics like Personal Development, Emotional-Intelligence, Leadership & many others. And he dedicates his other *great* blog Sources of Insight to these topics!

So if you’re struggling for some work-life balance… first of all, good luck! Smile second, please check JD blog!

Other particular point of interest for me, is that he takes some core principles of agile methodologies into work-life balance topics. And that’s fresh!

And there’s also his book “ Getting Results the Agile Way “, witch its available to read online here, and buy at amazon here. Hope to read it soon. Unfortunately there’s not a Kindle version available yet. Sad smile I’ll  probably “instapaper” some of the free available content.

Some interesting posts …there are so many… :

Five-Minute Thinks – Sources of Insight
http://sourcesofinsight.com/2011/01/07/five-minute-thinks/

How To Read Faster – Sources of Insight
http://sourcesofinsight.com/2010/12/16/how-to-read-faster/

What is a PM? – J.D. Meier’s Blog – Site Home – MSDN Blogs
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jmeier/archive/2010/07/03/what-is-a-pm-at-microsoft.aspx

Personal Development Books – Sources of Insight
http://sourcesofinsight.com/Personal-Development-Books/

Day 8 – Dump Your Brain to Free Your Mind – Sources of Insight
http://sourcesofinsight.com/2010/08/08/day-8-dump-your-brain-to-free-your-mind/

40 Hour Work Week at Microsoft – J.D. Meier’s Blog – Site Home – MSDN Blogs
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/jmeier/archive/2010/10/21/40-hour-work-week-at-microsoft.aspx

(interesting quote on BI , JD says: “Smart BI (Business Intelligence).   In an online, connected world, there is no reason to be flying blind.  You can guess at what works, or you can instrument, test, and measure.  This is the key to Amazon’s online success.  They can learn and respond.  By using BI effectively, you can figure out exactly what customers want, how much they want it, how they are looking for it, and where they are finding it.  Don’t “push” products.  Find the “pull.”  You can find the appetite or the demand to help drive and shape your supply.”)

Little disclaimer: please note that regarding work-life balance, “pie in the sky”, “get all these great things done” kind of books you should (IMO) take some distance & skepticism , some things works on specific contexts, some apply to you, some  probably don’t. But they frequently have something that you can use someday, somewhere… (I hope…) Smile

Fixing Amazon Kindle Daily Review page usability on touch enabled tablets – a case for “url site scripting” ;)

In a previous post (see Kindle eBooks as a great Learning/Self Development platform) I’ve shown how to get the best from Amazon’s Kindle Highlights feature. This feature and all the amazon highlight personal store features are probably the main reasons for not buying physical books anymore, except for a very few cases.

Anyway, I was using the daily review page occasionally on my laptop. Then I got the chance to start using a tablet to review my notes, and the page suddenly appeared much more interesting and useful.

Useful indeed, but not usable! as the small preview/next buttons are only at the top, and touching the flashcard or the page don’t jump to the next page as it should…

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Waiting for amazon to fix this… well, good luck! So, I was pleased to see that there were actually a pretty workable solution: just fixing the code inline, injecting an additional click handler directly! Amazon surely is using jquery right? Right indeed, they are!

How do you inject custom javascript behavior on a site? Well, easily through the address bar, just prefix your code with javascript: and you’re done! or off course you can try to spot a cross site scripting  flaw on amazon site… but  I doubt it would be an easy task. :)

So, go to the daily review page and just paste the following code in the address bar:

javascript:$(".reviewContentWrapper").click(function(e) {$(".nextReviewArrow").click();});

Nothing happens right? Well, just click the flashcard, your next flashcard should load automatically! Much better now! My fingers can finally rest from that “humongous” effort. :)

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Sure it works on iPad, just add a bookmark with the link. Every time you open /reopen the daily review page just select the bookmark. You won’t go anywhere, but the page will become far easier to use. As long you don’t close the page it will keep working, even when you choose to review another book.

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Not a permanent fix but a very usable one from my recent experience! ;)

 

Have fun!

Rui

How to save 3000$ in ebooks :) ? Don’t have a kindle yet? Well…you should get one (…not necessarily buy one :) )

Yes, I bet the title caught your attention right on. :) Well, anyway I thought today was a good time to recap that you can get all sorts of interesting ebooks from amazon, for free. Yes, I would also say that an actual Kindle device is a great tool IMO, but you have also the kindle free apps from amazon: ipad, iphone, cloud reader, pc, android… You just need and amazon account to get started.

btw, Please be advised that I am an enthusiastic amazon fan & customer. I do have a kindle keyboard, And, Yes, I regularly buy ebooks!

I actually find it difficult to have a good reason for not starting your own digital library right now…

Currently there is some kind of market place visibility war going on… authors & publishers need better rankings, visibility, one of the fastest ways to do that is to promo the books regularly… so regularly we monitor (thanks powershell, iftt & alerbox). :)

A few days ago I finally set up some powershell & ie automation to be able to compare all my orders (free and not free ones), with current prices and some other book information.

The results are interesting… (even taking into account that several of these books are clearly over priced… ) Got the results into Excel, and I was pleased to see, that at least, my book addiction didn’t reach my wallet! :)

Another side note, I usually follow only two/Three kindle categories, so this is just a small glimpse of the free content regularly available.

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Hoping that I didn’t mess anything up (and always remembering that data, like perception, is not reality!), but I double checked several items. Bet it’s at least approximate.

Off course Excel is a great tool for the stats but I couldn’t resist to get this data on a small tool I’m using for quick dataset analysis & visualization (based on ms pivotviewer). Maybe we can get this published through SmartPivot, how knows? :)

So, Right click my scrapped CSV where I collected order prices, current prices, stars, reviews, & book covers…

 

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And we get a much more expressive & interactive view of my digital library:

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Slice & dice, or kind of  :)

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Zoom it!

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Detail it:

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Unfortunately time to read is much harder to get these days, so most of this content still waits on my beloved kindle. But I can also say that I’ve read amazing books (at the time free), just a glimpse:

Critical Thinking Strategies for Success (Collection)

Do the Right Thing

Wired to Care: How Companies Prosper When They Create Widespread Empathy

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Final note, crossing my fingers that this won’t be the post that shuts the free content down! :)

By the way, this week pick. Bet it will last to next Monday only. ;)

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Now, go grab some reading! :)

Related posts on Kindle

How to get email alerts for free Kindle books at Amazon, using IFTTT and top 100 free amazon lists

How to save 3000$ in ebooks :) ? Don’t have a kindle yet? Well…you should get one (…not necessarily buy one :) )

Kindle eBooks as a great Learning/Self Development platform

Fixing Amazon Kindle Daily Review page usability on touch enabled tablets – a case for “url site scripting” ;)

 

Rui

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