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Monday News: Amazon’s Campfire, sound technology at new David Bowie exhibition, new reader & author conference, and real-life inspired superhero c

Monday News: Amazon’s Campfire, sound technology at new David Bowie exhibition,...

Mr. Bezos, who built Amazon from its dot-com roots as a bookseller into one of the country’s biggest retailers, knows the psychology of writers, several past attendees said in interviews. “You come to this exclusive event, you are treated fabulously and you get access to the next Steve Jobs, who happens to control how many books you sell,” one said.

Employees at Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle have to pay for their perks, down to the treats from vending machines. And the company is famously tough on its suppliers; the Hachette conflict is just one example. At Campfire, however, there is no stinting. –New York Times

The proprietary technology can shape audio zones within a room, so when you enter a gallery you could hear the audio feed of the main exhibit but as you approach smaller installments along the walls the audio switches over to the appropriate feed. Instead of using IP streaming, GuidePort uses the same unlicensed bands designated for Wi-Fi to send a broadcast recording (think FM radio), meaning timing is perfectly synched with any video on display.

I experienced it first hand, and I must say I was impressed. As I meandered into the main gallery, Bowie’s 1973 performance of “Starman” on the BBC’s Top of the Pops started wafting in through my headset before I even rounded the corner to see the main multimedia exhibit. As I walked over to smaller video displays, Starman faded out and the on-screen interviews faded in. –Gigaom

Back to RUDC, unfortunately, not everyone can come. I want to keep it small and intimate. There will be 300 people max. 50 featured authors, 15 featured bloggers, and 235 readers/everyone else. While I would love, love, love to have a million people come, that’s not possible. One, I don’t think I could find a hotel big enough. Two, RT does that and it’s so overwhelming that I barely have time to say hi to my favorite authors, let alone fangirl and stalk them all week. With only 225 readers, you won’t have to ninja fight off other readers for time with your favorite author.  (Just, don’t ask. I’ve done some things…)

But what will make RUDC stand out from every other author/reader conference out there is there will be no panels on writing, editing, agent-getting, nada. I know figuring out what brand of yoga pants you can wear for an entire week without changing/washing (because of deadlines) and not look like a hobo is very important.  Or finding out that your favorite author will cry into a tub of nutella while eating it by the spoonful because she thinks her rough draft is the worst thing ever written in the history of the world. Hearing that will make you realize that she’s just like you and you guys can be soul-mates. But do you have the courage to walk up to that table and tell her so? Yeah, didn’t think so. That table at panels can be somewhat intimidating because it’s a literal and figurative barrier between you and the authors. –Literary Escapism

Recall is almost like an astral projection: While his body lies stricken in a hospital bed, his spirit roams around, dispensing karmic justice by projecting memories into your mind — do good and you get a dose of good memories, do bad and, well, you get the idea. At his side is Given, who’s based on Roz — and she’s called that because her love for Recall is a given. Roz says David approves all the story and art choices, and he relishes his editorial role.

“The one thing that brought him back, was the comic,” she says. “He would wake up, he would do his little finger things, he would make himself known, he would make his voice heard with regard to the comic that would bear his story.” –NPR

Thursday News: B&N disses desktop downloads, new Kindles to ponder, breakthrough digital textbook for visually impaired students, and interview with Alison Bechdel

Thursday News: B&N disses desktop downloads, new Kindles to ponder, breakthrough...

In the meantime, Mac users can install this older app, and PC users can install this older app.

It’s not as thin as a sheet of paper, but it’s the slimmest Kindle so far at less than 3/10 of a inch thick (7.6mm) and 6.3 ounces. There are software enhancements under the hood as well, including a “Word Wise” feature that shows word definitions and explanations over text, deeper integration with the Amazon-owned Goodreads service, and chapter-by-chapter book synopses in X-Ray that may eliminate the need for Cliffs Notes entirely. –Wired

Traditionally, the abundance of charts, graphs and data visualizations has made it challenging to bring math and science to visually impaired students. And their teachers struggle to transition from printed textbooks to digital instructional materials. With accessibility directly embedded into Reach for the Stars, every student in the classroom can use the same book. Educators don’t have to convert the content to special formats for students with disabilities. –Yahoo Finance

What are your inspirations? You’ve talked a lot about Harriet the Spy — what does she mean to you?

Oh, god, Harriet the Spy! I read that book easily twenty times as a kid. At the time I just thought she was cool, bravely peeping through peoples’ windows and creeping into their dumbwaiters and spying on what they were up to. But as an adult, I realized that she wasn’t so much a spy as a writer, this archetypal writer taking notes on everything around her. When her friends find her, they’re devastated and so is she. As a memoirist, I identify intensely with her peculiar dedication. –NPR