Amazon Kindle e-readers are showing a blank screen – Good e-Reader

Amazon Kindle e-readers are showing a blank screen – Good e-Reader:

Amazon Kindle e-readers are suffering from a major bug. Customers are receiving new Kindles with a blank screen out of the box and the e-reader cannot be used, existing e-readers are also suffering from the same issue. The problem stems from the new Kindle UI that the company implemented last year, that makes the Kindle e-reader look similar to the apps for Android and iOS. Kindle users have petitioned Amazon and the company says they are working on a fix.

There is no rhyme or reason why this glitch is happening. Some users are just using their Kindle normally and all of a sudden they have a blank screen. Some new users go through the setup process and are reading an ebook and all of a sudden the entire e-reader becomes unresponsive. Reboots and wiping the device seems to have no effect. Users on Reddit speculate that some of the backend services provided by Amazon that power the Kindle experience are having problems.

I stopped trusting Amazon on updates years ago. Here’s my solution; YMMV:

  1. Get to a version of the Kindle Firmware which makes you happy, or at least doesn’t fill you with rage
  2. Turn on airplane mode
  3. Delete your wifi information from the device
  4. Go to Amazon and delete your saved WiFi information
  5. Download your books to a PC or Mac and transfer them to your reader
  6. Use a tool like Calibre to help you manage your device
  7. Search out legal non-DRM options for when Amazon eventually blocks downloads for USV¥B transfer 

My advice for other ebook vendors is basically the same.

※ Amazon is no longer allowing downloading Kindle Unlimited titles via USB

In such a scenario, maybe it would be a good idea to keep a backup of all your Kindle titles on your PC or a compatible storage medium while Amazon is still hanging on with the AZW format. Once everything is transitioned to the KFX format, it could become impossible to break the DRM.

I agree, and this is another example of hostile behavior toward the consumer. I have older Kindles that can’t (or I won’t) connect to WiFi but work fine for reading. If the books that I buy, not borrow, are locked out then why would I buy any more of them from these guys?

※ All Your Face

All Your Face:

TSA going hogwild with facial recognition is going about as well as you’d expect, “but you can opt out”.

YK Hong:


Since folks asked what happens whenever I opt out of facial recognition, I documented it for you while going through US border patrol.

Coming out of the flight there was a row of kiosks for facial biometric capture. There were no people. Just kiosks. So I kept walking.

The next point of contact was the passport agents at their desks. Agent A asked me, “Did you take your photo at the kiosk?” I said, “No, I am opting out of biometric facial recognition.” And the agent asked, “Why?”

And I said, “Because I don’t like it.” And the agent said, “Wait here,” and then let the people behind me through.

After a bit of this punitive behavior, agent A sent me to agent B.

Agent B said, “Why? Why don’t you want to do it?” And I said, “Because I don’t want it. I want to opt out.” He paused and twisted his face.

Then he pointed at a sign and said, “Read that.”

The sign read: “U.S. citizens and select foreign nationals who are not required to provide biometrics and who wish to opt out of the new facial biometric process may simply notify a CBP officer, request a manual document check, and proceed with processing consistent with existing requirements for entry into the United States.”

It’s almost as if everyone entirely forgot how to do a manual check, which was being used for everyone until about a year ago.

And then agent B again said, “So you want to opt out?” Again I said, “Yes, I want to opt out.” And then he said, “Why?” And I said, “Because I don’t like my image being taken over and over.” And then he shook his head.

He said, “You know we already have your photo right?” And I said, “Yes, but I don’t like my biometrics continuously being captured.”

Then he said “Okay well I have to call someone.” And he just sat there looking very upset.

Then agent C arrived at the adjoining desk to begin work. And agent B said, pointing at me, “She doesn’t want to do the face scan. Which manager do I call?”

Agent C then said, “You don’t have to call anyone. Just look at her face and then compare it to her passport photo.”

And I said, “Yes, how it used to be done just a year ago.”

And agent B said, “You’re my first opt out.”

Then agent C said, you just have to enter on the screen why she doesn’t want it.” So again, I said, “I don’t like the repetitive image capture.”

Agent B said, “You’re losing the advantages of going through quickly.” I said, “That’s fine.” He shook his head.

Finally, after a lot of fumbling on their end, I was able to proceed through.

Even though it says, I can “simply notify a CBP officer,” it is not simple at all.

Opting out of facial recognition should be as easy as it is to opt in. The fact that it’s not tells you an immense amount.

Make it as hard as possible for anyone to take your very personal data.

Normalize opting out so it is never taken for granted.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

Almost exactly a copy of one of the times I opted out.

T.I.L. – scraunch


scraunch or scranch




verb tr.: To crunch, crush, or grind.


Of imitative origin. Earliest documented use: 1620.


The word scraunched is the longest one-syllable word in the
English language.


“Sancho fell to, without invitation, and champed his bits in the dark,
as if he had scraunched knotted cords.”
Miguel de Cervantes (translation: Thomas Shelton); Don Quixote; 1620.

See more usage examples of scraunch in’s dictionary.

Fortuitous Planning

A pipe burst yesterday. It’s in an unheated bonus room, so I started up my portable heater when it froze. The rest of the house was fine, so I soldiered on with my lazy Christmas Eve day. Then I noticed the water pressure in the house dropped. The pipe burst, and it was kind of unsurprising as there’s almost no insulation out there for the pipes.

The new whole house shutoff I had installed this year worked a treat, but it left me without flowing water, but …

I filled up my big bathtub last week before the cold snap hit. I happened to have been sous vide-ing some beef in a large container. I keep a 7-gallon water container filled. I always keep a pitcher of water in the fridge. And my humidifiers were all filled and misting my place into a decent humidity. Good planning and happenstance!

Then the utility announced rolling blackouts. The fire, with ample wood, was already going for heat and ambiance. I ended up “roughing it” in my house, making tacos with a big cast iron grille on the fire, and ready to read books with my well charged eInk reader in the dark. No blackout for me, thankfully, so I watched a bunch of non-Christmas Christmas movies.

The bottom line: a little bit of advanced planning paid dividends when things weren’t going right. nIt makes it so much easier to make it into an adventure instead of a disaster. Happy Holidays, y’all!

Tech sucks


Pluralistic: What the fediverse (does/n’t) solve (23 Dec 2022)🙁permalink)

No matter how benevolent a dictatorship is, it’s still a dictatorship, and subject to the dictator’s whims. We must demand that the owners and leaders of tech platforms be fair and good – but we must also be prepared for them to fail at this, sometimes catastrophically.

That is, even if you trust Tim Cook to decide what apps you are and aren’t allowed to install – including whether you are allowed to install apps that block Apple’s own extensive, nonconsensual, continuous commercial surveillance of its customers – you should also be prepared for Cook to get hit by a bus and replaced by some alt-right dingleberry.

In case you think Cory sides with Elon Musk, a wealthy, selfish, often cruel, weirdo who has marketed himself as a man who is so smart that he can say or do whatever he wants, he doesn’t.

But, it takes Cory a long time to get to the fediverse:

The Fediverse’s foundation is a standard called ActivityPub, which was designed by weirdos who wanted to make a durably open, interoperable substrate that could support nearly any application. This was something that large corporations were both uninterested in building and which they arrogantly dismissed as a pipe dream. This means that Activitypub is actually as good as its architects could make it, free from boobytraps laid by scheming monopolists.

BTW, the use of terms like “weirdo” is, I think, meant in the best way – people outside of the accepted normal or willing to look outside of same.

Cory continues:

The perils of running your own Mastodon server have also become a hot topic of debate. To hear the critics warn of it, anyone who runs a server that’s open to the public is painting a huge target on their back and will shortly be buried under civil litigation and angry phone-calls from the FBI.

This is: Just. Not. True. The US actually has pretty good laws limiting intermediary liability (that is, the responsibility you bear for what your users do). You know all that stuff about how CDA230 is “a giveaway to Big Tech?” That’s only true if the internet consists solely of Big Tech companies. However, if you decide to spend $5/month hosting a Mastodon instance for you and your community, that same law protects you.

Indeed, while running a server that’s open to the public does involve some risk, most of that risk can be contained by engaging in a relatively small, relatively easy set of legal compliance practices, which EFF’s Corynne McSherry lays out in this very easy-to-grasp explainer:…

Finally, there’s the ongoing debate over whether Mastodon can (and should) replace Twitter. This week on the Canadaland Short Cuts podcast, Jesse Brown neatly summarized (and supported, alas) the incorrect idea that using Mastodon was no different from using Gab or Parler or Post.…

This is very, very wrong. The thing is, even if you like and trust the people who run Gab or Parler or Post, you face exactly the same risk you face with Twitter or Facebook: that the leadership will change, or have a change of heart, and begin to enshittify your community there. When they do, your only remedy will be the one that Valente describes, to scatter to the winds and try and reform your community somewhere else.

But that’s not true of the Fediverse. On Mastodon, you can export all your followers, and all the people who follow you, with two clicks. Then you can create an account on another server and again, with just two clicks, you can import those follows and followers and be back up and running, your community intact, without being under the thumb of the server manager who decided to sell your community down the river (you can also export the posts you made).…

For me, and I kind of thank Elon Musk, a wealthy, selfish, often cruel, weirdo who has marketed himself as a man who is so smart that he can say or do whatever he wants, for this realization, is:

They’re not that smart. By “they” I mean Space Karen and Thiel and Jobs and the Oracle guy and Gates and whomever. They and those like them did something, maybe, that made a difference. Some, like Space Karen, marketed themselves instead. They all ended up where they are because they convinced people that what they were selling was the best.

Remember: the audio player and smart phone existed before Jobs moved Apple there; Space Karen bought into and then took over Tesla and SpaceX, and so on.

A Song That Makes Me Cry

Well made music stirs emotion. Music can encompass or traverse genre. Emotion? Maybe it is patriotic. Maybe it’s passionate. Maybe it’s funny. Maybe it’s emo and shoe gaze-y. Maybe it’s a lot of things and you can’t quite figure it out because you’re too busy being emotional because of that well made music.

My Achilles’ Heel, musically, is Chumbawamba’s 1997 irritatingly hopeful and delightfully disjointed British pub anthem, Tubthumping. It makes me want to cry every time I hear it. I used to actually cry every time I heard it. Why?

Part of my emotional release is right there in the chorus for all to hear — I get knocked down / but I get up again / y’ain’t never gonna keep me down — over and over again, Sisyphean in its repetition, and significant.

I did that, taking the knock down and getting up again, but not always in a healthy way for me. I made poor decisions based on false equivalence and self sacrifice for things not quite hope shaped. There’s a fatalism there, too, that I tend toward.

The other part my emotional release is in a lyrical bit — Don’t cry for me next door neighbor.

I do not understand why that bit gets me like it does. I expect it’s because I want my emotional process — illness or depression or whatnot — to be mine and not have someone close to me weigh in because that’s how I do it (for better and worse). Granted, in such a case the closeness would be geographical. I further expect I also didn’t want pity, but to have someone to whom I’m only geographically close to expel tears on my behalf would be too much.

Songs that people think should trigger an emotional response? Harry Chapin’s “Cat in the Cradle”, Elton John’s “Rocketman”, maybe the gawdawful “American Pie” by Don McLean. None of those rank in my book.

Throw a “Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” by Gordon Lightfoot at me, a song about sacrifice and circumstance, and we can talk about a tear jerking song.

Length ≠ Depth

I’ve never liked Twitter threads.

If one wants to write a longer piece, there are better ways than to make readers either navigate around interstitial comments or use a 3rd party service — old school web posts immediately leap to mind.

Also, reading longer pieces on Twitter was never good. They were in a narrow space meant for 140 characters. The expansion to 280 characters felt wedged in when read in Twitter’s tools.

If EMu is genuine in taking Twitter to 4000 characters, then welcome to a web product you likely abandoned. I will not join you.

※ Two Weeks Later and Twitter Is Still Up

Two Weeks Later and Twitter Is Still Up:

In the immediate aftermath of Twitter’s mass layoffs and subsequent resignations, there were widespread reports that the staffing situation and collective brain drain were so dire that the site would collapse. Two weeks later — with World Cup soccer drama fueling record usage — such concerns seem to have been overblown.

At what point would a Twitter failure make Gruber’s statement overblown? 2 weeks + 3 days? 4 weeks? Could it be Twitter’s infrastructure had been well run and resilient recently enough that it could handle a predicted spike in traffic?

Let’s remember the value of Twitter isn’t Twitter; it’s the thousands of people who ran it and the millions who shared their content on the platform. Stand or fall, Twitter is less than it was. And for a lot of people, there’s not a good replacement.

The World Cup is only half over. Let’s check back in another two weeks.

But while fears of technical collapse seem to have been overblown, Twitter’s advertising collapse is seemingly continuing unabated.

The advertising revenue, that’s what we should all care about. Never mind the gross mismanagement by Elon Musk, a selfish, often cruel, child of wealth weirdo who has marketed himself as a man who is so smart that he can do whatever he wants. And he wants to put chips in human brains.