Yota Devices, the company behind the YotaPhone 2 has an unviable business model in trying to enter the US market. The company initiated a crowd sourced campaign on Indiegogo last month, chiefly to explore overall demand. They raised over $250,000 and customers might be out of luck in trying to get their money back, because the Yotaphone is NOT coming to the US after all.
When the Yotaphone 2 was put on Indiegogo to basically explore demand in the US. I was very critical of a campaign whose essence was to see who wanted to buy one as utterly ridiculous for a well funded Matthew G. Kelly
In an update sent to backers yesterday, Yota Devices has revealed that the logistics of getting the phones in the hands of the US backers would take far too long. Following delays from the manufacturer, the team was forced to cancel the launch as it would interfere with their plans for a 3rd generation model due out in 2016.
Yota Devices is offering backers an international variant of the phone, which unfortunately will not have LTE in the US, or a refund. Currently, the company does not have all the details worked out about how it will refund the customers, but they acknowledged they won’t refund credit cards.
I think Yota is complete garbage in terms of their phone quality, their first generation phone was a dismal failure in the marketplace. The e-ink panel did not even have a touchscreen. The second generation model did have a touchscreen but the lack of e-ink apps made it a flop in the marketplace.
Yota Devices is a fine example of why its so hard to support tech companies that are soliciting funding from Joe Average in order to have a product reach customers. Why did they even bother raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, when they knew they would have manufacturing issues? Are they betting on a large demographic of people not caring they won’t get refunded or have to end up jumping through a million hoops in order to get it?
Saturday, August 1, 2015
Many users have been trying to upgrade their computers or tablets to Windows 10, until something happened. No literally, the error message people are receiving says “Something Happened,” talk about the most unhelpful error message ever. Thankfully you can now fix it.
The root of the problem resides in your language settings and is easily fixed if you’re able to re-download a specific language set.
Users should go to “Control panel”, “Language and region”, then go to the region for the United States, click “Administrative” and change the language to English (United States). If you live in a region outside of the US, make sure the language pack is correct for wherever you live.
If this does not fix your error, try deleting everything in the temp directory that Microsoft made, C:\$Windows.~BT
This will solve this nagging bug, let me know if you need any help with this error.
Four years ago there was a lot of panic in the book selling industry regarding e-books. The consensus was that digital reading was going to take over and physical books were going to become a relic of some other time and place. In 2015 indie bookstores and national chains all believe that print and digital co-exist, they don’t compete with each other.
The dream of an e-book only world has been severely squashed by a number of notable reports. The Association of American Publishers released their annual data report a few weeks ago and they found that in the first three months of 2015 they have plummeted 7.5% from the same period last year.
Meanwhile, according to the US Census Bureau Brick and mortar bookstore sales are on the rise for the third straight month. May 2015 sales across the board for books, stationary and magazines have increased 0.9%, to $776 million from the same period last year.
Major bookstores all over the world have proclaimed that they used to sell a lot of e-readers and direct customers to their preferred e-book store, but this isn’t the case anymore. The Kindle "has disappeared to all intents and purposes", said James Daunt the head of Britain's biggest book chain Waterstones. He also reported that print book sales lifted by 5% in December 2014.
Meanwhile, Australian bookseller Jon Page of Page and Pages said "print sales were up 3% last year, which is fantastic because for the last three years we'd actually seen a decline in that time."
In Germany brick-and-mortar bookstores maintained better sales performance than online bookstores for the second year in a row and even gained a higher percentage of overall book sales (49.2% of book sales in 2014 compared to 48.6% in 2013). Online bookstores saw a significant decline of 3.1% in terms of market share.
Large booksellers aren’t the only companies to sell decreased interest in e-books and e-readers, but indie bookstores have noticed this trend as well. Most of them deal with Kobo, who has been running a hardware and software scheme since 2012.
“It’s not even a drop in the bucket really,” said Arsen Kashkashian, inventory manager at Boulder Bookstore. “Our sales are up for the year and they’re coming from physical books.” He estimates the store has about 10 customers who regularly purchase e-books, with a few other occasional downloads. “I don’t have exact numbers but let’s say we make $10 off each hardback copy of (Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman”). E-books make 50 cents,” he said.
Many indie bookstores actually see no point to carrying e-readers or e-books. "We have no plans to sell Kobos at this time," said Bob Ryan, manager of Wakefield Books in Wakefield, R.I. "We understand the popularity of the e-readers, but we're going to cater to the print readers."
Meanwhile, Steven Baum, co-owner of Greetings & Readings in Hunt Valley, Md., which once carried electronics, has no desire to return. "We left that industry when the sales tax was greater than the profit margin," he said. "The Kobo is too little too late. E-book readers are already on a massive decline, because of the tablet."
Other booksellers were soured by the Google experience and decided not to sell Kobo e-readers. "We did the Google thing," said Grant Novak, manager of the Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury, which is not selling e-books.
Indie bookstores and national chains are all in agreement that print has enjoyed a resurgence in the last year, as the novelty of e-books as clearly waned.
Friday, July 31, 2015
If you have a Barnes and Noble Nook tablet you would have likely have seen the account management system. This was devised so that families who share the same device can better organize their e-books, magazines, newspapers or Android apps. Today, the Nook App for iOS has been updated with the same functionality.
I have always been a fan about the way parent and child accounts have been managed on Nook tablets. Now that it has been ported to iOS, all past purchases can be synced over and new accounts can be established. Sadly, if you do have a Nook tablet the same accounts you have on those devices will not carry over to iOS, you must establish new ones.
The updated app right now is on iOS only, with no word yet if the Android app will see the same system ported over.
Windows 10 just came out and many people want to upgrade to the latest and greatest, but they have Windows 10 Technical Preview installed. Microsoft won’t let you upgrade to the full version of their new OS, so there are a few steps you need to take.
In order to upgrade to Windows 10 from the technical preview you have to insure that you have your Windows Serial number. Many users bought Windows 8 with the OS installed and there is no evidence of a serial number on a sticker or on your machine.
In order to find out your serial number there is a neat trick you can employ.
Copy and paste the following into a Notepad window:
Set WshShell = CreateObject(“WScript.Shell”)
You'll need to use File -> Save As, change the "Save as type" to "All Files" and then name it productkey.vbs or something similar ending with the vbs extension. We'd recommend saving to the desktop for easy access.
Once you've saved it, you can just double-click and the popup window will show you your product key.
Alternatively if this does not work for you I recommend downgrading your Windows 10 technical preview to Windows 8.1 or Windows 7. Once you do this you have to use Windows Update to get all of the final updates in order to successfully upgrade to Windows 10.
To get started, open Settings and click Update and Recovery.
Under Update and Recovery, click Recovery option. On the right side, you will have the option "Go back to a previous version of Windows". Microsoft say you can go back to the version of Windows that used to be on this PC without losing your documents, photos and other personal files.
Click on Get started button and you will get a confirmation.
Important things to note:
Click on the Go back button and Windows will start the downgrade process.
The entire Angry Birds franchise is one of the largest of our generation. According to Apple, who by the way are poised to take over Android’s market share this year, people have collectively spent over one million years playing the entire series and this is poised to rise even further with the advent of Angry Birds 2.
The graphics have come a long way and this iteration of the Angry Birds franchise have adopted a more comic book-inspired styling than before. But it’s the landscapes that have seen major changes. There are now weather effects with thrashing rain and rainbows making appearances at times, while the backgrounds themselves have far more depth. Flowers spit out debris from your assault, potentially knocking over other structures; rockets burst into the sky; little green pigs come flying at the screen. Playing on an iPhone 6+, you can really see the enhancements that have been made. And the music is very chirpy and atmospheric too.
One of the most exciting elements about Angry Birds 2 is that it features multi-screen stages. At the beginning of each stage you’re given a set stack of birds. Since it does not refill between stage screens, you’re required to use strategy when picking the bird you want to fire at the pigs next. Yes, you’re allowed to do that now. Many stage screens can be passed using just one, carefully selected bird, but if you carelessly spend all your birds on a single stage screen, you’ll have nothing to clear the rest of the stage with. Unless you manage to win a bird card during the stage. This is done by filling up the so-called destructometer – the more objects you destroy, the higher the meter goes.
If you find yourself unable to beat a certain level or have spent many of your birds you might want to utilize another of Angry Birds 2’s new features – Spells. There are five spells so far you can pick in the game, the first lets you unleash an air drop of explosive rubber ducks that can pretty much destroy everything in a given area, but later on you’ll pick up a chilli spell that explodes a piggy and his surrounding area or an ice spell that freezes all the constructions in the chapter.
You get a selection of these spells for free, but you can purchase them with in-game crystals and real-world money if you really need to. You can also pick them up as one of your “extra card” perks when you fill the destruction meter.
Angry Birds 2 has also introduced the Arena. This is a very different experience, as it features different leagues, endless levels and special feather rewards separate from the main game. There’s a daily tournament for you to take part in, with some costing crystals or real money to enter. They’re entirely optional, though, so don’t be conned into spending anything to get into a tournament. Just wait until the next day and there might be a free one you can enter. Or you can just carry on with the main game, as there’s plenty to do there.
In the end, this game is amazing and Angry Birds 2 must be played to see how far the series has evolved in the last 13 generations of the series.
The vast majority of users will likely be playing the Android version, which you can download from the Good e-Reader App Store for free.
|It’s time for another weekly roundup of 10 free Kindle ebooks to get your weekend off to a good start. These Kindle ebooks are free as of July 31st, 2015. Please note that most of these titles are free for a limited-time only and will expire in a few days or hours. Owning a Kindle […]|
Yusuf Mehdi of Microsoft has confirmed that over 14 million copies of Windows 10 have been installed all over the world. He noted that not everyone who reserved an upgrade has gotten it yet, but says that people who reserved their copy should be getting it within a few weeks.
Not everyone is happy that Windows 10 is being sent on a staggered release schedule. This is resulting in people becoming quite irate that they reserved it months ago and still are not being able to get the free operating system. We posted a series of instructional videos HERE and HERE that allow you to download it directly from Windows Update or Microsoft.
Speaking of Windows 10 the first large collection of fixes, which Microsoft is calling Service Release 1 (SR1) is due to be released in early August, possibly as early as next week. While SR1 won’t include new features, it will fix some of the issues people have been experiencing with Windows 10.
After the initial patches and updates, Microsoft is working toward a bigger collection of fixes and feature additions for later this year. Tentatively scheduled for October, some of those additions will include a new Messaging app to provide Skype integration and extensions support for the Microsoft Edge browser.
Have you installed Windows 10 yet? Any thoughts on the brand new OS?
Thursday, July 30, 2015
The New York City Department of Education is about to approve a $30 million dollar contract with Amazon to create a single, massive ebook marketplace for the city's 1,800 public schools. This deal might dramatically lower the price of textbooks because digital is cheaper than print.
The marketplace, known as "Storefront", will provide low-cost digital versions of textbooks and other assigned books that are accessible via a "variety of devices". Purchased content will be made available on these devices via Amazon's Whispercast platform.
The Amazon contract with the city is over three years, through 2018, at $4.3 million the first year, 2015-2016; $8.6 million the second year, 2016-2017, and $17.2 million the third year, 2017-2018.
Many people find that an epic book series is too daunting to even begin and instead watch the TV show. Game of Thrones fits this bill perfectly, far more people have watched the entire series on HBO or downloaded it from the internet. HarperCollins is hoping to appeal to the casual reader by launching a new Game of Thrones app for iOS.
You can think of A Game of Thrones: Get into the Books app, available for Apple products, as a bridge between the books and television series. It will allow viewers to read iconic passages from the show — without risking spoilers. Many of the main characters have passages that tell you more about them and you can even learn what a Direwolf is!
The app will also be updated to keep up with future seasons of the TV show and with upcoming books.
Today OverDrive Marketplace was updated to include a brand new “Featured” tab option to help you more easily locate the hottest titles, collections and sales available to library partners. These featured highlights include ongoing publisher and event sales, links to newly added content that is sure to be popular with your users, and even lists of titles hand selected by the librarians on OverDrive’s Collection Team.
These collections will be updated frequently so be sure to check back often to stay up to date with the latest collections and so you don’t miss out on any sales. For additional recommended lists from our staff librarians be sure to check out our recommended lists page on our partner portal.
Ever since I was a little kid, I've always identified summer as the season of reading. Probably from all those years of signing up for my public library's annual summer reading program. These days I still love to spend my summer days reading for hours on end although my book choices have changed as I've gotten older and today I'm going to share with you some of the Harlequin lists that OverDrive has put together for your library!
For those readers looking to have a scorching summer there is the Harlequin Heat list. These books come from the Harlequin Intrigue, Red Hot Reads, and Blaze series and feature titles like The Seduction of Lucy, Her Last Wild Ride, Deceptions and Desires, and My Stallion Heart among others. Our recommended list of Harlequin Heat books are so hot, your patrons will be wanting to reach for some extra sunscreen while reading.
Along with the heat, summer also means a lack of new episodes from favorite primetime medical dramas on television, but luckily the Harlequin Medical Romance list has readers covered. With selections such as The Midwife's Miracle Baby, The Doctor's Society Sweetheart, Summer with a French Surgeon, Firefighter with a Frozen Heart, and Dr. Drop-Dead Gorgeous, the Harlequin Medical Romance list provides the perfect amount of bedside manner.
As a child, summer provided a break from school. As an adult, summer can mean wanting an escape from everyday life and this is where the Harlequin Historical Romance list comes in. Historical fiction gives readers the chance to meet dashing rakes and untamed cowboys while witnessing scandals at court and visiting the western frontier. The Harlequin Historical list lets readers take a vacation without ever leaving the comfort of their home.
Finally, the Harlequin Kimani Imprint list provides titles that are more African-American centric or for readers who want an urban spin on their books. Titles in this list include Red Velvet Kisses, Falling Into Forever, Touch of Paradise, Stallion Magic, and Heat Wave of Desire. Handpicked by us, the titles on the Harlequin Kimani list provide the perfect mix of sweet and sultry for your readers.
Help your readers beat the heat this summer with our carefully curated lists of Harlequin titles!
Jill Grunenwald is a Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive.
|Below is a roundup of 10 free ebooks from Kobo.com, along with a list of coupon codes for discounts on ebook purchases. Kobo is also running a trivia contest promotion through August 7th where you can get ebook codes for 10%-75% off, and enter to win a new Kobo Glo HD. The 10 Kobo ebooks […]|
It’s with an almost rude amount of excitement I can announce that issue 36 of the Official Raspberry Pi Magazine, The MagPi, is here!
It’s bigger and – dare I say it – better than ever too, with 100 pages of amazing projects, interviews, features, tutorials and reviews.
As of today UK readers can pop to a local branches of WHSmith or their local newsagents and buy the magazine RIGHT NOW for £5.99.
One of my favourite articles from #36 is Minecraft Splat, which is a multiplayer Raspberry Pi-remake of Nintendo’s modern classic, Splatoon, made in Minecraft Pi. Martin ‘Minecraft‘ O’Hanlon (of stuffaboutcode.com fame) kindly agreed to give it a shot for us and he delivered in spades. If you enjoy that, you’re sure to love Adventures in Minecraft, which he co-wrote with The MagPi’s Technical Editor David Whale.
You can save up to 25% on the cover price and have it delivered to your door before it even hits store shelves. If you order while the first issue is still on sale, you’ll get issue 36 sent out straight away.
Also, if you’re a teacher, after school club leader, part of an educational scheme or simply want to horde as many issues as possible (we don’t mind), you’re entitled to a massive discounts on multiple copies. Please let us know and we’ll be happy to help.
It’s free – now and forever
Why bother buying it at all? Well, like the Raspberry Pi itself, all the proceeds of The MagPi magazine are channelled back into the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a UK charity dedicated to making affordable, programmable computers available to everyone, all over the world.
We think it’s important that children and adults from all walks of life have access to the internet and applications, and have the opportunity to learn to code if they want to. We hope you feel the same way.
The Raspberry Pi makes all of this possible and I very much hope The MagPi Magazine helps make it fun.
Many people have started listening to audiobooks while commuting because let’s face it, our music collection is starting to get a bit stale. It might be getting easier to listen to audiobooks in your vehicle with the recent announcement that Audiobooks.com is partnering with Android Auto.
It is estimated that there will be over 60 million connected cars on the road in five years. BI Intelligence published a report predicting that car-focused telecom, hardware, and software will drive $51 billion in annual revenue by 2018. Connected cars are clearly the way of the future, and Audiobooks.com is the first audiobooks provider to take advantage of this new and exciting market.
"The experience of using an app while you are on the road is entirely different than using it on a phone or a computer," said Ian Small, Audiobooks.com General Manager. "We made integration with Android Auto a high priority because we wanted to give drivers the best audiobook experience that this new technology allows. Our goal is to revolutionize the in-car experience, and to make the 100+ hours a year Americans spend commuting to work and 38 hours a year stuck in traffic more enjoyable."
Android Auto is an infotainment operating system that puts maps, music, calls, and text into a car-friendly interface. The app hit the Google Play store in March of 2015 and has a long list of top car companies signed up as partners, including Acura, Maserati, Volkswagen, Audi, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Honda, Hyundai, Jeep, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, Volvo, and more.
In addition to the Android Auto support, Audiobooks.com is also the only audiobook app to support Apple's new in-car platform, CarPlay. The company recently released a new version of its iOS app that is fully supported by and optimized for Apple CarPlay. Audiobooks.com also has relationships with top car manufacturers and its service is available around the world, in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. With a footprint of this breadth and depth, Audiobooks.com is the leading in-vehicle audiobook provider on the market.
Literary agents are very particular about what type of manuscripts they look at. This is based on the strengths of the publishing company and what they think could sell in today’s climate. Traditionally authors connect up with agents at writing festivals or big events such as Book Expo America. Recently, a few agents from Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh did something unique, they took to Twitter.
Agents representing Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh received more than 2,000 pitches for books on the first inaugural #PitchCB day. Authors had to sum up their book in 140 characters or less, which is a good indication of how good a writer is, because if you're able to capture an idea in that limit it shows you have a talent with the written word.
The hashtag reached over 5.3 million times and authors from all over the world tried to hype their titles to the agents. The publishers expressed interest in about 100 of them, but it remains doubtful whether any will be signed.
In the last few years agents have had to change their way of thinking, due to the rise of self-publishing. The vast majority of startup authors often just submit their titles to Kindle Direct Publishing and hope for the best. The most successful indies writers such as Joe Konrath, Barry Eisler, and Hugh Howey have powerful, hard-working agents who earn every penny of their 15%. And most of the successful hybrids, like Catherine Ryan Hyde, also have representation from agents who understand the new publishing paradigm.
Using Twitter as a vehicle to discover new writing talent might catch on in the publishing world. A one day event could result in finding and cultivating the next J.K. Rowling or E.L. James.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
The vast majority of people who want to upgrade to Windows 10 are finding it ridiculously difficult. Microsoft is not pushing the update to all computers and the Redmond based company has said it might take months for everyone to get pushed the update. Today, we published a workaround that allows you to force download Windows 10 via Windows update but this process is not working correctly for everyone, especially if you are running Windows 7. Today, we have a new way that you can download Windows 10, directly form Microsoft.
The first step is to visit this link http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 from your internet browser. It will allow you to download the Microsoft Windows 10 setup tool. It is important to note that you must download either the 32 or 64 bit version. You can find out what your computer is running by visiting the Control Panel and selecting System.
The next step involves you finding the Media Creation Tool that you just downloaded and clicking on it to open the file. I recommend selecting the option Create Installation for Another PC. You need to select the operating system language and whether or not you want the Windows 10 32 or Windows 10 64 bit.
Next, it will ask you if you want to install Windows 10 via a USB drive or an ISO. I recommend an ISO file because it will download the entire version of Windows 10 directly to your computer. I would recommend downloading the single file to your Desktop, for easy access. It is important to note that this is a VERY large file and could take a few hours to fully download, depending on your internet connection.
Instead of burning the ISO to a DVD like Microsoft recommends I encourage you to download a specialized ISO program that will virtually mount the image as an independent drive. PowerISO, WinISO or Daemon Tools.
Once the Windows.ISO file has completed its download you want to open the ISO file with one of the programs you just installed to manage them. Next, select the Windows file you just downloaded and open it up. Next, you want to click on the mount button to mount the image as an independent drive. Once you do that, you can click on the setup button and run the upgrade.
Barnes and Noble has just announced a back to school deal that should appeal to anyone who is looking to purchase a new tablet. The Nations largest bookseller is offering Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 7 inch for $149.99. This includes a free Kimono Sleeve + a 16GB memory card! This promotion is only available at select Barnes & Noble stores only through 8/22. You can find a B&N store near you by searching HERE.
The worldwide tablet market is in serious decline according to the latest figures released by the IDC. In the second quarter of 2015 it fell 7.0% year over year and they also dropped -3.9% compared to the first quarter of 2015.
Apple remains the largest vendor in a declining tablet market, shipping 10.9 million iPads in the second quarter of 2015. Samsung continued to be the second largest tablet vendor with 7.6 million tablets shipped in the second quarter and 17% market share, a 12% year-over-year unit decline. Lenovo, Huawei and LG Electronics rounded off the top five, with 2.5 million, 1.6 million and 1.6 million global tablet shipments in the second quarter respectively. All other tablet vendors had a combined 45.6% market share.
“Longer life cycles, increased competition from other categories such as larger smartphones, combined with the fact that end users can install the latest operating systems on their older tablets has stifled the initial enthusiasm for these devices in the consumer market,” said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. “But with newer form factors like 2-in-1s, and added productivity-enabling features like those highlighted in iOS9, vendors should be able to bring new vitality to a market that has lost its momentum.”
|Yesterday Kobo announced that they’ve partnered with two of Mexico’s top book retailers, Libreria Porrúa and Gandhi, to offer a full range of ebooks, Kobo’s ebook readers and ereading services to customers in Mexico. Libreria Porrúa and Gandhi operate nearly 100 retail bookstores in Mexico. They are competitors but in partnering with Kobo they’ve jointly […]|