mardi 14 juillet 2009

Some news and a Kindle!


once again, it's been a long time!
From now on, I will try to post some more regular updates, even if I don't have that many relevant things to say. However, I don't think the problem was that I lacked interesting subjects. No, I think that I was just lazy! I had been working so much to prepare for my exam since the beginning of the year that after the exam, I felt like doing nothing.
By the way, I am still waiting for the results and they won't be available 'til the 28th of July. I am rather optimistic, but we'll see...

Anyhow, it was kind of funny because a lot of people kept asking why I was studying yet again! Indeed, I already have a PhD and 2 master's degree, which might considered quite enough, and this is what most people I talked to also thought. The thing is, I think I really like to learn some new stuff! I don't conceive life without reading books and discovering new things. Well, of course, I didn't have to go through this certification to do that, I could simply have taken a book about finance and read it. True, but some of the topics I have studied, such as financial statement analysis, are rather important for my job, but as I don't really like them, I guess that without a final exam, I would never have had the courage to study them.

Well, on to some more geek stuff: I have finally made up my mind and I have ordered a kindle 2 from! I have always been an avid reader but I have always preferred reading "physical" books: I love the touch, the smell of books and having them in my library. However, there are some disadvantages too, such as the fact that it takes a lot of room, and it is heavy to carry when you travel.
So, what made me change my mind? Basically two things: the first is that I have seen that there is an integrated dictionary in the Kindle which would allow me to check the words I don't get. This is quite neat given that English is not my mother tongue and that there are many words I don't know, above all when I read fantasy or sci-fi novels. This has never really prevented me from understanding the whole meaning of a sentence, but I think that if I have a quick way to check for the words I don't know, I will enjoy my readings even more (and my vocabulary will improve greatly!). Second, as we say in the financial industry, buying a Kindle is a bet against the future variations of the US dollar: indeed, I don't think the dollar will go up in the long run (vs the Euro), quite the contrary actually. Hence, buying books directly from in USD will be much less expensive for me. For the moment, because of the large shipping costs, buying from is not that interesting.

Finally, I should add that someone outside of the US is not supposed to be able to buy Kindle books. However, there are workarounds, and here is one link explaining everything:

I haven't tried it yet since I haven't received my kindle, but I don't see why it wouldn't work. I have already "bought" some free kindle books, and I have downloaded them thanks to Kindle for Iphone, which, by the way might be a third reason why I bought a Kindle: indeed, when you own both a Kindle and an Iphone (with Kindle app) the books can be synchronized between the 2 devices and for instance, when you read something on the Kindle, the iphone will also remember your position in the book! In any case, it means that even if I don't have my Kindle with me, I can keep reading (for short periods of time of course!) on my iphone: it is really like always having my library with me!

That's all folks!
For the next installment, I think I will talk about some iphone apps. Or maybe some interesting websites I have discovered...

Until then...

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