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Books Handhelds Technology

Amazon Restores Some Heft To Helvetica For Kindle E-Ink Readers (teleread.com) 85

David Rothman writes: Props to Amazon. The Helvetica font will be restored to a more readable weight than the anorexic one in the latest update for E Ink Kindles. Let's hope that an all-bold switch—or, better, a font weight adjuster of the kind that Kobo now offers—will also happen. I've queried Amazon about that possibility. Meanwhile thanks to Slashdot community members who spoke up against the anorexic Helvetica!
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Amazon Restores Some Heft To Helvetica For Kindle E-Ink Readers

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    You insensitive clod!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Don't get me wrong, it's worth posting about. But it's a pretty small follow-up to a previously posted story. This is exactly the kind of thing that belongs in Slashback, which I'd really like to see the editors bring back. There are plenty of other stories with follow-up news that never makes it on Slashdot. We actually need more of this, but not each as its own story. Please bring back Slashback!

    • New stories with back and forward references would make more sense. If you pull up a Slashdot story from Google and read it you'll never know there's a Slashback with an update or correction. A filter could be applied for exclusion or presentation changes based on tag from that point forward.

      Put a feature request into the Soylent github - hopefully /. will finally go open-source under @whipslash's leadership.

      [I'm expecting these tags will magically start working one day.]

    • It's not a pretty small follow-up because it shows us that Amazon has responded (correctly) to the complains of their users. Those of us without a Kindle would never have known about what Amazon did.

      So what I've learned is that Amazon made a mistake, people complained and Amazon fixed it. Unlike Apple* and Microsoft, who keep doing things that their users hate and don't fix those mistakes later.

      * and I say this as a Mac and iPhone user.

  • If you had a eink Kindle and you found Helvetica to hard to read you probably switched to another font already
    anyway I like white text on a black background

    • I've always used a serif font for reading, san serif, even Helvetica, just isn't the greatest for large amounts of text except in cases - and recentish Kindles aren't one of them - where the resolution is so attrocious that seriffed fonts just aren't practical.

      I'm kinda surprised it was as big a deal as it was, I'd have thought most people weren't using Helvetica.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      anyway I like white text on a black background

      Actually, white-on-black makes things worse - it makes skinny fonts skinnier and the black "creeps into" the white and makes fonts appear smaller.

      So much so if you're doing it, you must increase the size and weight of the font you're using to make it look "normal" again.

      • Is this something specific to do with eInk? I thought (from photography back when I had copious free time) that light tended to bleed into dark.

        • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

          White text on a black background certainly looks thicker than black text on a white background to me on my MacBook Pro. That said, it may depend on the font rendering engine.

  • Yes, yes, bring us back the workaround.

    The underlying problem doesn't have to be resolved, because we can just ignore it by installing a bolder font than the one that uncovered the underlying problem in the first place by making it more obvious.

    Does anyone else see this as a crap solution to the problem?

    Does anyone else see the actual problem is people with bad vision trying to use eReaders?

    What about those of us with prosthetic hands who can't use touch screens for lack of capacitive coupling? We should d

    • What about those of us with prosthetic hands who can't use touch screens for lack of capacitive coupling?

      You know they have gloves with capacitive fingertips now so you can use such devices, right? They don't depend on your fingertip's capacitance. That's a solved problem.

      • What about those of us with prosthetic hands who can't use touch screens for lack of capacitive coupling?

        You know they have gloves with capacitive fingertips now so you can use such devices, right? They don't depend on your fingertip's capacitance. That's a solved problem.

        Actually, it's a problem I solved for Bochs when I worked at Google. Because I had the need to solve the same problem for a robot that needed to be able to capacitively couple with touch devices. The gloves only work because they are conductively connected to a great big meat antenna (you), such that the cpacitive coupling works.

        If you have an artificial limb, there's generally no electrical coupling to the meat antenna. So people with artificial limbs do not get to use touch devices.

        The fix is to place

    • Does anyone else see the actual problem is people with bad vision trying to use eReaders?

      No, the problem is the maker of a programmable device artificially limiting the font selection available to the owner.

  • I love my Paperwhite (small form factor, light weight, long charge) - but I really wish you could invert the text and have white text on black, for reading at night.
    • by locofungus ( 179280 ) on Thursday February 11, 2016 @09:14AM (#51486263)

      Two problems with this.

      1. You don't seem to be able to change the colour of the paper all the way to the border - not sure if this is a limitation of the paper, limitation of the kindle or limitation of my efforts to get inverted text.

      2. (and why I gave up on 1) when the page refreshes, it goes to all white before it changes back to black. If you could *COMPLETELY* turn off the back light and use reflected light then this would probably be OK but it causes a very unpleasant flash when reading with a dark adapted eye.

      One day I'll get around to attacking my voyage with a soldering iron and rooting it so I can turn off the backlight but I don't know when.

  • seriously this is the second anti-kindle pro-kobo (wtf is a kobo anyway, i have only ever heard of it in these "new direction" spam posts) article within a week. dear new owners , please stop with the advertising articles, shilling is actually worse than blatent spamming
    • Get a grip. The site where the articles were posted is dedicated to books and reading gadgets. As enthusiasts, they would be aware of many ereaders, and mentioning one in the context of an article about a shortcoming of another makes sense. Just as an article about Ubuntu might mention Fedora, mentioning the Kobo in an article about Kindle makes sense. I see no advertising here.

    • by GuB-42 ( 2483988 )

      I recently bought a e-reader and bought a Kobo because it fitted my needs, my budget and was easily available for me. There were other options, including "no-name" stuff, but one that was out of the equation right off the bat was the Kindle.
      Come on... an e-reader that doesn't support ePub, are you serious?

      Now, if you don't mind selling your soul to Amazon, sure, get a Kindle. I won't blame you, Amazon is convenient after all.

  • Why on earth would one ever apply an update to the reader? To get the latest spyware and backdoors from Amazon? Seriously, I have stopped ever updating anything if I can help it, I don't need any more "improvements" like this.
    • by Luthair ( 847766 )
      I think it happens automatically. Ultimately their DRM might require it.
      • You may be right. I keep mine in airplane mode almost all the time so possibly I never notice. There is an 'update my kindle' option in the Settings menu, but it was grayed out.
    • Why on earth would one ever apply an update to the reader?
      You have no option other than disabling the WiFi or filling the flash memory completely with content so that there is no space for Kindle to download the update to. If you disable the WiFi you have to side-load all your purchases using USB cable The last update - the one with the new certs for connecting to the Amazon servers is only a few kilobytes.
  • What this illustrates is the fact that tech companies often neglect a large segment of the population whose aging eyesight affects their ability to use the devices. Cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration are maladies that most people are going to have to deal with eventually. Those baby-boomers and Gen-Xers who have the money to buy the gadgets can't be ignored.

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