Kindle calamity strikes again

2nd damaged Kindle
About three weeks ago I picked up my Kindle one evening where I had left it in the afternoon, only to discover about 25% of the screen completely broken. It was a sad moment but after about a day of mourning, I called Amazon who kindly offered to replace the device for free, and pay for the return shipping of the damaged item. My relief was considerable and the replacement Kindle was delivered right to my office. Amazon is a fine company and I have always had really good service from them and especially appreciate their letting me activate and cancel subscriptions at whim so that I can in fact subscribe to a newspaper only for a few days while I travel, for example.

Image my chagrin when, a full four days after receiving the brand new Kindle, I knocked it off a shelf while rushing up the stairs, dropping it on its face on the floor. You can guess: same problem, but this time it was a single corner that was working properly. Eina! This was really 100% my fault and I am afraid that I ordered a new one the very same evening.  Among other things, I am reading The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis and am eager to resume. Nevertheless, I have to wonder whether I too am a Kindle serial killer?

What can one do with a partially functioning Kindle? It can still masquerade as a USB stick but I am struggling to find the application for such a large one.


GoogleMaps wormhole opened by my WiFi router

Quite strange things started happening over the past few days with my mother's position on Google Maps, which she shares with me using the Latitude application on her Symbian smartphone. Her position would very regularly show up right at my house and it took 15 minutes of trying to get her to adjust the settings today (manual setting of location is an option, after all) before the penny dropped.

I had recently moved a WiFi router from my house to my parents' and although I changed the name of the wireless network, it had obviously been scanned by equipment ID by Google when they surveyed (or, are surveying) my suburb and Latitude was positioning my mother using this device. Wikipedia informed me that Google Maps uses information from GPS first, then from WiFi access points and finally from the cellular phone network masts. Now, why does Google Maps not do a reality when check when a confirmed GPS reading outside in the street is followed by a WiFi location 15km distant, within seconds? I am going to wait and see whether they update their database by analysing readings in my parents' area but I would really be interested in tweaking the location algorithm and/or having more options in Google Maps itself.