Thursday, November 20, 2014

Washington Post App Exclusive to the Kindle Fire

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When Jeff Bezos purchased the Washington Post last year for $250 million, many people were wondering what role it would play on the Amazon ecosystem. There is a new Post app exclusively available on the Kindle Fire line of tablets. Users will get access to two editions per day which the editorial team for The Washington Post will release at 5 am ET and 5 pm ET.

The new app, with pre-loaded stories, pictures and even advertisements, was designed in close collaboration with Mr. Bezos, said Shailesh Prakash, The Post's chief technology officer. "We talked to him constantly," Mr. Prakash said, describing feedback Mr. Bezos gave to developers. "He's our most active beta tester."

The Washington Post app has been developed to replicate the experience of reading the paper as if it was in print, the "pinch view" feature in this app attempts to replicate that experience.

The app will be free for Kindle Fire owners for six months, and will then cost a dollar for the next six months. A version of the app will be available for Android and iOS operating systems next year, at $3.99 a month.

Washington Post App Exclusive to the Kindle Fire is a post from: Good e-Reader

Simon & Schuster Makes Buy it Now Button Optional for Libraries

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Simon & Schuster first got involved in distributing their vast collection of eBooks to libraries earlier this year. In order for libraries to carry their titles the publisher was basically forcing 3M, Baker & Taylor and Overdrive to implement a buy it now button as part of the arrangement. Many libraries and consortium’s did not want to sell eBooks on their websites and resisted carrying any titles by S&S. Today, the publisher relaxed their restrictions.

"From the beginning, the ALA has advocated for the broadest and most affordable library access to e-titles, as well as licensing terms that give libraries flexibility to best meet their community needs," said ALA President Courtney Young. "We appreciate that Simon & Schuster is modifying its library ebook program to provide libraries a choice in whether or not to participate in Buy It Now. Providing options like these allow libraries to enable digital access while also respecting local norms or policies.”

"This change also speaks to the importance of sustaining conversations among librarians, publishers, distributors and authors to continue advancing our shared goals of connecting writers and readers," Young added. "We are still in the early days of this digital publishing revolution, and we hope we can co-create solutions that expand access, increase readership and improve exposure for diverse and emerging voices," said DCWG Co-Chairs Carolyn Anthony and Erika Linke. "Many challenges remain including high prices, privacy concerns, and other terms under which ebooks are offered to libraries. We are continuing our discussions with publishers."

I think S&S  have relaxed their policies because libraries simply don’t want to be getting themselves involved with retail. Libraries exist because of public funds and forcing them to become a bookstore in order to carry specific titles is tantamount to extortion.

Simon & Schuster Makes Buy it Now Button Optional for Libraries is a post from: Good e-Reader

Simon & Schuster eBooks available without Buy It Now

The Simon & Schuster catalog is now available to purchase without the previously-required Buy It Now feature. In addition, Simon & Schuster titles are now available for Canadian public and government libraries. Public and government libraries in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand may now add eBooks from Simon & Schuster without also having to offer a Buy It Now option. You can find Simon & Schuster titles in OverDrive Marketplace, and titles purchased will be made available to your users within 24 hours. Simon & Schuster eBooks are available with a one-year term limit from the date they become available in your library's digital collection.

If you have any questions, please contact your Collection Development Specialist.

Northern Ireland’s first Raspberry Jams

Liz: Andrew Mulholland is a first-year undergraduate student at Queen’s College Belfast, and the overall winner of 2014’s Talk Talk Digital Hero award. We’ve known him for a few years (he did work experience with us this summer – he created the Grandpa Scarer learning resource for us with Matt Timmons-Brown).

Andrew’s been setting up events to introduce other young people to computing for some years now. He‘s recently been running the very first Raspberry Jams in Northern Ireland, and is doing a lot of computing outreach with local schools. I asked him how the kids who’d attended the Jams had found the experience, and he sent me the blog post below. Well done Andrew – it’s brilliant to see how much fun an introduction to computing can be. You’re doing an amazing job.

Northern Ireland November Raspberry Jam

September, NI Raspberry Jam 5.

On Saturday 8th November 20+ soon-to-be Raspberry Pi enthusiasts arrived at Farset Labs for the 6th Northern Ireland Raspberry Jam.

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This months main activities? Sonic Pi 2 and Minecraft Pi!

At the Jam we also have all the previous months’ activities printed out, so that if the kids want to try something else out, they are more than welcome to.

There are activities ranging from Sonic Pi, to Minecraft Pi, to physical computing projects like creating a reaction timer game in Scratch GPIO, along with quite a few others.

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Lots of cool stuff to play with!

I asked a few of the kids at the jam to write down what they though.

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Haley (11) having way too much fun hacking someone else's Minecraft Pi game!

Haley:

“It was my first Raspberry Jam and I was quite nervous when I walked in but one of the mentors came over and introduced himself to me and explained what we would be getting up to. He found me a chair and showed me how to connect all the wires together and by the end of the Jam I was laughing my head off! I really enjoyed learning how to make music using Sonic Pi. I made the tune Frère Jacques. My favourite part was learning how to code while playing Minecraft. Andrew told me I should learn how to code because I had never done it before. I used a programming language called Python to hack others Minecraft games and to teleport them to a random place. I heard another kid start exclaiming after teleporting her several times, initially she had no idea it was me! Andrew and Libby were very supportive the whole day and I learnt a massive amount thanks to them. It was great fun!”

Apparently Haley enjoyed her first Raspberry Jam.

Apparently Haley enjoyed her first Raspberry Jam.

 Katie:

“I heard about the Raspberry Jam because one of the mentors volunteers at my school and the Jam was announced in Assembly as part of EU Coding Week. My friend Rachel and I decided to give it a go. I didn’t know anything about a Raspberry Pi and had no idea what to expect before I went but Andrew and the mentors have taught me loads and are very encouraging. I have just done my second Raspberry Jam and I loved it! I created a piece of music using Sonic Pi, played/hacked Minecraft and played with an LEDBorg in Scratch GPIO! Also we got doughnuts and got to make use of Farset Lab's huge blackboard! It is the biggest blackboard I've ever seen. I don’t have a favorite part because everything I did was great fun and everybody was helpful. I definitely suggest anyone my age giving it a go!”

Rachel and Katie creating music with Sonic-Pi 2

Rachel and Katie creating music with Sonic-Pi 2

Rachel

“I had a great time at my second Raspberry Jam at the weekend. The thing I enjoyed the most was learning with Scratch with the GPIO pins. This is something my school doesn't teach so I don't get the chance to do anything like this normally. It was great fun programming the LEDs to change different colours using a program I wrote.

The Raspberry Jam is such an amazing workshop and I am very grateful to Andrew and Libby for running it! I can't wait till the December Jam!!”

We didn't just have young people at the NI Raspberry Jam this month! The Jam is open to people of all ages, coding knowledge and backgrounds.

Never to old to play Minecraft! John (70) getting taught how to play Minecraft Pi by Isaac (10)

Never to old to play Minecraft! John (70) getting taught how to play Minecraft Pi by Isaac (10)

A parent:

"These events are really great. It lets the kids experiment with technology that they wouldn't otherwise have got the opportunity to use in school. Most schools in Northern Ireland don't seem to offer any coding opportunities for the kids so stuff like this is essential. And Andrew and Libby are great, giving up their Saturdays to come and teach these kids and my son!”

Next month is the Christmas special Jam! We have some secret new activities planned and of course, lots of food!

Some awesome cupcakes baked by @baker_geek for last months Jam.

Some awesome cupcakes baked by @baker_geek for last months Jam.

Want to come along to the next NI Raspberry Jam?

Northern Ireland Raspberry Jam is on the 2nd Saturday of every month with NI Raspberry Jam 7 (Christmas special) being on the 12th December at Farset Labs, Belfast.

Tickets are free! (Although we ask for a £3 donation towards the venue if able to).

The event is especially aimed at complete beginners to the Raspberry Pi or people just starting out, but we do have some more complex projects and challenges for you if you are an expert.

Special thanks to Libby (16) for helping me with this months Jam, and to Farset Labs for basically letting us take over the building for a Saturday afternoon!

You know when you are onto something good when you overhear one of the kids on their way out saying: "Daddy, daddy, can I borrow your phone to book next month's tickets before they all go?”

Interested in finding a Raspberry Jam near you? Check out our Jams page!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jolla Successfully Funds the First Crowdsourced Tablet

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A year after their first smartphone was introduced, Finnish technology company Jolla has successfully funded their IndieGogo project aimed to create a tablet. Looking to raise $380K, supporters have already pledged over $865K (and the campaign doesn’t end until December 9, 2014).

Jolla’s tablet should take specific aim at Apple’s iPad Mini and the recently announced Nokia N1 (though it will not be as thin or have an aluminum-bodied shell), featuring a 7.9-inch display with 2,048 x 1,536 resolution, a quad-core Intel processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage… only it will not run iOS or Android –this device will take advantage of the startup’s Sailfish 2.0 operating system (which is able to boast 9 updates, 350 new features, and over 13,000 bugs fixed since their initial release; not to mention compatibility for Android apps).

Several incentives for supporters are being offered, though several have sold out, including among the first to receive a Jolla tablet (for a contribution of $204 USD as long as you live in one of the supported regions: EU, Norway, Switzerland, USA, India, China, Hong Kong, or Russia). For those with less to spend, $10 USD will get your name on the Jolla First Ones webpage.

Until the second quarter of 2015 when these little beauties are expected to ship, we will have to satiate ourselves with the product video created by Jolla.

Jolla Successfully Funds the First Crowdsourced Tablet is a post from: Good e-Reader

Nintendo Launches Free Digital Magazine

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Nintendo Extra is a new digital magazine that was designed to appeal to a younger audience. The first issue includes an introduction to The Legend of Zelda by producer Eiji Aonuma, basic tips for Mario Kart 8, a Captain Toad comic, Pokemon Alpha Sapphire & Omega Ruby features, and the first episode of the ‘Cat Mario Show’.

The new magazine is completely free and is primarily available through the Nintendo official website. There is no word yet if the publication is planned to launch via a series of apps for iOS or Android.Last month we saw the closure of Official Nintendo Magazine and this new endeavor is likely a second attempt to help market core Nintendo properties and appeal to a new demographic.

Nintendo Launches Free Digital Magazine is a post from: Good e-Reader

Weekly eHighlights: Bonus Adult Fiction Edition

There were so many blockbuster authors who had new titles published in our November 6 edition of eHighlights, that we decided to publish a bonus edition to feature some of the other great titles available in time for the Holiday shopping season. In addition, Stephen King, Lisa Scottoline, and others have new books just available, so don't miss any of these excellent titles.

Click here to view the Marketplace cart of these titles and more.

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H. G. Adler – The Wall – Random House eBook – PW: One of the best books of the year.

Isabella Alan – Murder, Served Simply – Penguin eBook – Amish Quilt Shop Mystery series.

Donna Alward – Treasure on Lilac Lane – Macmillan eBook – Jewell Cove series.

Keri Arthur – Darkness Falls – Penguin eBook – Dark Angels Series.

Jo Baker – Offcomer – Random House eBook – By the acclaimed author of Longbourne set against the background of the Troubles in Ireland.

Juliet Blackwell – Keeper of the Castle – Penguin eBook – A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery starring reluctant ghostbuster Mel Turner. Bestselling author.

Mike Blakely – A Song to Die For – Macmillan eBook – Booklist starred review. Award winning author. Kirkus: "Topnotch mystery."

Steven Brust – Hawk – Macmillan eBook – Fantasy/Thriller; Vlad Taltos series.

Lucy Burdette – Death with All the Trimmings – Penguin eBook – A Key West Food Critic mystery set at Christmas time.

Andrea Camillieri – The Brewer of Preston – Penguin eBook – From the author of the Commissario Montalbano police procedurals comes a comic novel set in 19th Century Sicily. 50,000 print run.

Joanna Carl – The Chocolate Clown Corpse – Penguin eBook – Chocoholic Mystery series.

Diane Chamberlain – The Silent Sister – Macmillan eBook – Riley was told that her older sister committed suicide. Now it seems that she may be alive. Kirkus: "compulsively readable."

Brock Clarke – The Happiest People in the World – Workman Publishing – "A whiz-bang spy satire." PW starred review.

Barbara Cleverly – Enter Pale Death – Random House eBook – PW starred review.

Cleo Coyle – Once Upon a Grind – Penguin eBook – Coffeehouse Mystery series.

Lauren Dane – Broken Open – Harlequin eBook – Romantic Times: 4 stars,

Tessa Dare – Say Yes to the Marquess – HarperCollins eBook – Castle Ever After series.

Ted Dekker – A. D. 30 – Hachette eBook – Christian thriller – LJ Starred Review, Romantic Times: 4 stars.

Anita Diamant – The Boston Girl – Simon & Schuster eBook – From the bestselling author of The Red Tent. 85-year-old Addie Baum tells her granddaughter her life story.

Keith Donohue – The Boy Who Drew Monsters – Macmillan eBook – Literary horror from the bestselling author of The Stolen Child.

Eileen Dreyer – Twice Tempted – A Drake's Race Regency. Romantic Times: 4 stars.

Charles Finch – The Laws of Murder – Macmillan eBook and audiobook read by James Langton – A Charles Lennox mystery. Romantic Times: 4 stars.

Christopher Fowler – Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart – Random House eBook – Think Grumpy Old Men meets CSI. 11th in the series.

Abbi Glines – You Were Mine – The latest in the Rosemary Beach series by the bestselling author.

Molly Gloss – Falling from Horses – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt eBook – Kirkus starred review.

Christopher Golden – Sons of Anarchy: Bratva – Macmillan eBook – Based on the hot TV series. 100,000 print run.

Yannick Grannec – The Goddess of Small Victories – Random House eBook – A historical novel based on the life of Kurt Godel, the famous logician. Booklist starred review.

Andrew Grant – Run – Random House eBook and Books on Tape audiobook read by Jon LindstromTaut thriller for fans of Harlan Coben or Joseph Finder.

Shelley Shepard Gray – Snowfall – HarperCollins eBook – Days of Redemption Amish series Christmas novel.

Timothy Hallinan – For the Dead – Random House eBook – Poke Rafferty thriller series set in Bangkok. Booklist starred review.

Robin Lee Hatcher – Love Without End – Thomas Nelson eBook – Can two single parents get together and risk loving again? Christian fiction by the well known author. King's Meadow series.

Peter James – Want You Dead – Macmillan eBook – Detective Superintendent Roy Grace British mystery series.

Sophie Jordan – An Heiress for All Seasons – HarperCollins eBook – A Debutante Files Christmas novella.

Stephen KingRevival – Simon & Schuster eBook and audiobook read by David Morse – Classic King horror novel spanning five decades. LJ & PW starred reviews.

Rosalind Lauer – A Simple Charity – Lancaster Crossroads Amish series.

T. C. LoTempio – Meow If It's Murder – Penguin ebook – A Nick and Nora Mystery. Nora Charles is an investigative reporter who shares a name with the famous sleuth, but in this case, Nick is her cat.

Charlie Lovett – First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen – Penguin eBook and Books on Tape audiobook read by Jayne EntwistleFrom the bestselling author of The Bookman's Tale.

James Luceno – Tarkin – Random House eBook – Star Wars series.

Sarah MacLean – Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover – HarperCollins eBook – Rules of Scoundrels Series.

G. M. Malliet – A Demon Summer – Macmillan eBook – Max Tudor mystery series. Agatha Award winning author.

Phillip Margolin – Woman with a Gun – HarperCollins eBook – Thriller by the bestselling author.

Juliet Marillier – Dreamer's Pool – Penguin eBook – A Blackthorn & Grim novel. Magical healer Blackthorn is freed from the executioner and sent on a quest, but she must give up her thoughts of revenge. Galley Chat featured book. Award winning author.

Melania G. Mazzucco – Limbo – Macmillan eBook – An injured Italian soldier returns home just before Christmas to recuperate, review, and try to make sense of her life. LJ & PW starred reviews.

Jack McDevitt – Coming Home – Penguin eBook – Alex Benedict Science Fiction/Mystery.

Monica McInerny – Hello from the Gillespies – Penguin eBook – When an Australian woman writes a truthful Christmas letter instead of the usual platitudes she's sent for the past 33 years, her husband hits "Send" before she can revise it and the family has to cope with the truth. Humorous and charming.

Lindsay McKenna, et al. – Coming Home for Christmas – Harlequin eBook – Three military heroes come home for a romantic Christmas.

Jenn McKinlay – On Borrowed Time – Penguin eBook – Library Lover's Mystery series.

Richard K. Morgan – The Dark Defiles – Random House ebook – Final book in A Land Fit for Heroes trilogy. Bleak dystopian fantasy by one of the best.

David Nicholls – Us – HarperCollins eBook and audiobook read by David HaigBooklist, Kirkus, LJ starred reviews.

Shelly Oria – New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 – Macmillan eBook – Fresh new voice from FS & G.

Tony Park – The Delta – Macmillan eBook – A fast moving thriller set in South Africa with a female mercenary as the protagonist. Kirkus & LJ starred reviews.

Arturo Perez-Reverte – The Siege – Random House eBook – Just as Napoleon's army lays siege to Cadiz in 1811, bodies of dead women begin turning up and Police Comisario Rogelio Tizón has been assigned the case.

Hannah Pittard – Reunion – Hachette eBook – A family reunites after the death of the father. Award winning author.

Ruth Rendell – The Girl Next Door – Simon & Schuster eBook and audiobook read by Ric Jerrom – Six decades after a group of children dug a secret tunnel, a tin box is found inside it containing the skeleton hands of a man and a woman. Multiple award winning author. Booklist starred review.

Imogen Robertson – The Paris Winter – Macmillan eBook – Three young women in 1909 Paris become embroiled in a criminal plot. Kirkus & LJ starred reviews.

Renee Rosen – What the Lady Wants: A Novel of Marshall Field and the Gilded Age – Blackstone audiobook read by Kirsten PotterBy the acclaimed author of Dollface. In 19th Century Chicago, retail tycoon Marshall Field makes his fortune.

Lisa Scottoline – Betrayed – Macmillan eBook – Scottline returns to her popular Rosato & Associates series after several years of writing standalones. Bestselling author.

Kazuaki Takano – Genocide of One – Hachette Digital eBook – The internationally bestselling author from Japan is back with a new thriller. PW starred review.

Lalita Tademy – Citizen's Creek – Simon & Schuster eBook – The story of a little known time in American history: Tom is sold as a slave to an Indian chief. By the bestselling author of the Oprah Pick Cane River.

Sheri S. Tepper – Fish Tails – HarperCollins eBook – By a science fiction master. What happens when the waters rise enough that a planet has no land left?

Paige Tyler – Her Lone Wolf – Sourcebooks eBook – a paranormal military romance.

Fred Venturini – The Heart Does Not Grow Back– Macmillan eBook – From a new voice in literary SF about a small town nobody who develops a superpower in the wake of tragedy.

Elaine Viets – A Dog Gone Murder – Penguin eBook – Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper series. By the Agatha and Anthony Award winner.

Urban Waite – Sometimes the Wolf – HarperCollins eBook – This thriller got starred reviews from Booklist and LJ.

Charles G. West – Trial at Fort Keogh– Penguin eBook – An easy going ranch foreman finds himself targeted by crooked lawmen in this Western.

Dennis Wheatley – The Fabulous Valley – Bloomsbury eBook – A devious patriarch leaves his family a valley of diamonds in the Kalahari. Now they just have to find it.

F. Paul Wilson – Fear City – Macmillan eBook – New entry in the Repairman Jack series.

Geographical rights may vary by title

Amazon Fire Stick Launches Today and Discounts Kindles

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Amazon is gearing up for the holidays by slashing some of the prices on their tablets and also positioning themselves to push lots of Fire TV sticks.

The Fire TV Stick is a cheap alternative to the Fire TV system that launched earlier this year. In essence, the $39 stick connects to the HDMI port on your HDTV for instant access to movies, TV shows, music, photos, apps, and games. It features a dual-core processor, 2x the memory of Chromecast, dual-band, dual-antenna (MIMO) Wi-Fi, and exclusive features like ASAP for instant streaming. Plus, it comes with a remote control for simple and easy navigation. You can also use the free Fire TV Remote App for Fire phone, Android phones, and coming soon to iPhone to search using just your voice.

The Amazon branded stick is shipping today, but new orders might be a bit delayed, due to the sheer amount of people opting to try out this new system.

Amazon is also discounting some of their tablets. The new Fire HD 7 normally costs $139 and is now on sale for $119, also the variant released last year, the seven inch HDX is only $179.99.

Also, if you are thinking of subscribing to Amazon Prime for the first time or renewing your membership you can get a $40 discount on the new Basic Touch 2014 model. Simply start/renew your membership and then add the product to your cart for the free voucher.

Amazon Fire Stick Launches Today and Discounts Kindles is a post from: Good e-Reader

B&N Nook Glowlight Now $99

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The Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight is the only e-Ink based reader the bookseller is currently marketing. It normally costs $119.99, but starting November 21st, it will be discounted to $99.99 and this price point seems to be locked in stone for the rest of the year.

Barnes and Noble is also having a “Discovery Week” sale this weekend where lots of things are being discounted store wide in order to get a jump start on buying gifts for the holidays. In a limited time promotion from November 21 to November 23rd the recently launched Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK devices have new low prices. You can pickup the seven inch version for $149.99 (after a $50 instant rebate) or purchase the 10.1 inch variant for $249.99 (after a $100 instant rebate).

B&N Nook Glowlight Now $99 is a post from: Good e-Reader

B&N Launches Nook Audiobooks App, Comes With 2 Free Audiobooks

Barnes and Noble has announced the release of a new audiobook app for Android phones and tablets called NOOK Audiobooks. B&N claims that their audiobook catalog consists of over 50,000 titles, with free samples available on a wide selection of them. B&N is emphasizing a no-commitment type of selling environment, unlike Audible.com’s monthly subscription plans […]

B&N Drops Nook GlowLight to $99; Weekend Sale on Nook Galaxy Tablets

Barnes and Noble released a press release today announcing a permanent price drop on the Nook GlowLight and a weekend sale on Nook Galaxy tablets. The Nook GlowLight turned one year old this month. Since its release it has sold for $119, the same price as the base Kindle Paperwhite. As of November 21st, the […]

A collection of Pis

Liz: Today’s guest post comes from Alex Eames, who runs the rather wonderful RasPi.TV. He’s been furtling through his drawers, and has discovered he owns a surprising number of Raspberry Pi variants. Thanks Alex! 

Now we have the A+, I thought it'd be a good time to celebrate its 'birth' by having a rundown of the various mass-produced models of Raspberry Pi.

I had a look through my collection and was somewhat surprised to see that I have 10 different variants of Raspberry Pi now. There is one I don't have, but more about that later. Here's the family photo. You can click it for a higher resolution version.

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Rev 1 Model B

In row 1, column 1 we have the Rev 1 model B. Although I was up early on 29th February 2012, I didn't get one of the first 10,000 Pis produced. This was delivered in May 2012. It's a Farnell variant (I have an RS one as well, but it does full-time duty as my weather station). This was the original type of Pi to hit the market. It has 256 Mb RAM and polyfuses on the USB.

Rev 1 Model B – With Links

In row 1, column 2 you'll see a slightly later variant of Rev 1 model B. This one has 0 Ohm links instead of polyfuses. It helped to overcome some of the voltage drop issues associated with the original Rev 1, but it introduced the "hot-swapping USB devices will now reboot your Pi" issue, which was fixed in the B+.

Rev 2 Model B (China)

Row 2, column 1. Here we have an early Rev 2 Pi. This one was manufactured in China. It originally had a sticker on saying "made in China", but I took it off. This one was bought some time around October 2012. The Rev 2 model B has 512 Mb RAM (apart from a few early ones which had 256 Mb), mounting holes and two headers called P5 and P6.

Rev 2 Model B (UK)

Row 2, column 2. This is a much later Rev 2 Pi, made at SONY in Wales, UK.

Chinese Red Pi Rev 2 Model B

Row 3, column 1. This is one of the Red Pis made especially for the Chinese market. They are not allowed to be sold in the UK, but if you import one yourself that's not a problem. It is manufactured to a less stringent spec than the ones at SONY, and is not EMC tested. Therefore it bears no CE/FCC marks.

Limited Edition Blue Pi Rev 2 Model B

Row 3, column 2. I'm not going to go into how I got hold of this. Suffice it to say it was not at all easy, but no laws were broken, and nobody got hurt. RS had 1000 of these made in March 2013 as a special limited anniversary edition to use as prizes and awards to people who've made a special contribution to education etc. I know of about 5 or 6 people who have them. (At least two of those people traded for them.) They are extremely hard to get. They come in a presentation box with a certificate. I have #0041. Other than their blueness, they are a Rev 2 model B Pi.

Model A

Row 1, Column 3 is a model A. The PCB is identical to the Rev 2 model B, but it has only one USB port, no ethernet port, no USB/ethernet chip and 256 Mb RAM. The $25 model A was released in February 2013. On the day I got mine, the day after launch, I made a quick and dirty "I've got mine first" video, part of which ended up on BBC Click. The model A sold about 100k units. Demand for it was outstripped by the model B, although at one point CPC was offering a brilliant deal on a camera module and model A for £25 (I snagged a couple of those).

Compute Module

Row 2, column 3 is the Compute Module, sitting atop the Compute Module development board. This was launched 23 June 2014 as a way to enable industrial use of the Pi in a more convenient form factor. The module is made so it fits in a SODIMM connector and is essentially the BCM 2835, its 512 Mb RAM and 4 Gb of eMMC flash memory with all available GPIO ports broken out. It costs $30 when bought by the hundred.

Model B+

Row 3, column 3 is the model B+. This was launched on 14 July 2014 and was a major change in form factor. Rounded corners, corner mount holes, 40 GPIO pins, 4 USB ports, improved power circuitry and a complete layout redesign. The B+ was announced as the 'final revision' of the B. So it would appear that it's going to be with us for some time.

Model A+

In row 4, all by itself we have the shiny new Raspberry Pi A+, launched 10 November 2014. It's essentially the same as a B+ with the USB end cut off. It's the smallest, lightest, cheapest, and least power-hungry Pi of all so far. It's 23g, $20 and uses just half a Watt at idle.

So Which One Don't I Have?

I don't have a Rev 2 256 MB variant. If you have one and would like to trade or sell it to me, I'd be happy to hear from you (alex AT raspi.tv).

I believe there is also now a red Chinese B+ I've not got one of those, but it's only a matter of time. I wonder if there will be a red A+ at some point too? We Just Don't Know!

 

 

Barnes and Noble Puts a Priority on Audiobooks

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Barnes and Noble has formally unveiled their Nook Audiobook app for Android. The Nations largest bookseller is putting a company wide priority on the audio experience. This is the first time they have ever got serious about it and they intend on marketing it towards the types of people who buy books on a regular basis or have never listed to one before.

There are over 50,000 audiobooks from major publishers available to purchase and the vast majority of them have free samples that range between two and four minutes in length to preview. As part of the launch promotion every week there will be five free audiobooks and new users to the platform can download two for free. There is no signup required or credit card needed for the account in order to take advantage of this promotion. The titles were exclusively vetted to span multiple genres and picked especially for the overall quality of the narration. During the first week the following titles will be available; Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, Ender’s Game (Ender Quintet #1) by Orson Scott Card, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Heist (Fox and O’Hare Series #1) by Janet Evanovich and Seabiscuit by Lauren Hillenbrand.

Kashif Zafar, Vice President of US Digital Content at NOOK Media told Good e-Reader exclusively “The mission of the design was to be very crisp and engage the broad mainstream audiobook customer. This was one of the first apps we built from the ground up and we feel it provides a user friendly experience.

Barnes and Noble is sourcing their compete audiobook collection from Findaway World via their Acoustik imprint. This is the same organization that powers the vast majority of libraries digital catalogs.

This is not the first time the bookseller has got involved in audiobooks. For the last few years they sold them exclusively online and the titles were provided by Overdrive. When customers purchased an audio edition they had to download the Media Console app and had to register an account. Kashif mentioned that this distracted from the overall user experience and was quietly killed a few months ago.

The Nook Audiobook app will be made available via a firmware update for the Nook HD, Nook HD+ and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 7 and 10.1 inch models in the coming weeks. Kashif made it very clear that the marketing efforts behind the app is simply not pushing it out to the devices and hoping for the best. “We are implementing a marketing program across all of our bookstores to really drive home the fact we are serious about audiobooks. We also encouraging our publishing partners to advertise it across their own networks.”

I got a chance to play around with the final release version of the Android app as apart of the soft-launch program. I actually found it really intuitive to use, it doesn’t bog you down with advanced features, but makes listening and purchasing new content really easy. The main store features the aforementioned free content any user can download. There are a few sections that are curated by the new Nook Audio team and there will be seasonal themes and update provided every few weeks. There is also a featured audiobook of the week, which offers a tremendous discount.

When you listen to an audiobook, you don’t have the advanced features that Audible has. You can’t adjust the speed of the playbook to read faster or slower, you are stuck with the default setting. This isn’t all bad, as much I as do use the iTunes and Audible Players I have never adjusted the narration speed, but some people do, so it bears mentioning. You also are limited to two simultaneous downloads at a time, but once the first chapter is is complete you can listen to the book as its downloading.

The Nook Audiobook App is available as a free download from Google Play but is only available for US customers. You can download it from our own Good e-Reader App Store if you live outside the US. I found that living in Canada you can buy and listen to audiobooks, so there seems to be no geographical restrictions on content. Kashif also wanted to make clear that an iOS version should be available by the end of the year and a Windows 8 iteration might be launched sometime in the new year. There is no timeline for official expansion into the UK.

The entry into the audiobook market is perfect timing for Barnes and Noble. It perfectly rounds off their Nook Media catalog so they now sell everything a reader could possibly want. Apps, eBooks, comics, graphic novels, magazines, music, newspapers, and video.

Barnes and Noble Puts a Priority on Audiobooks is a post from: Good e-Reader

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Amazon Silk Browser gets Private Web Browsing Feature

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The Amazon Silk Browser is fairly innovative because it can buffer in advance websites you visit on a regular basis, to cut down on the load times. One feature that has sorely lacking is private browsing, so you can cut down on the footprint you leave online and avoid some of the cookies that tend to follow you around. Today, Amazon has announced that this critical feature is now available.

In a statement issued on the official Silk Blog the lead developer said “In response to customer feedback, we are excited to announce support for Private Browsing. With Private Browsing, you can surf the web without saving a record of your visits. For example, if you use Private Browsing while researching travel destinations for a surprise trip or shopping for presents, these sites will not show up in your browsing history when someone else uses your device. Private Browsing is now available on our 2012, 2013, and 2014 Amazon Fire tablets as well as the Amazon Fire phone. Pages you view during a Private Browsing session do not remain in your browser's history, cookie store, or search history after the session is over.”

In order to download the new update for your Amazon tablet or phone you have to download the largest update. This is normally pushed out via WIFI, but if you want to get it right away see the Software Updates page on the Fire & Kindle Support site.

Amazon Silk Browser gets Private Web Browsing Feature is a post from: Good e-Reader

Sony Digital Paper Now on Display at Two US Store Locations

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The Sony Digital Paper is the first large screen E Ink device aimed at business professionals and a stark departure from consumer e-readers.  The product up  until this point has only been available through key Sony partners and sold online, prospective owners have not got a chance to try it out to see if its the right fit for them, until now.

Sony executives have announced that the DPT-S1 Digital Paper is now on display  at Sony Stores to "touch and feel" the device, especially to realize the lightness and also the fluid handwriting.  It is currently available at the Sony Store at Stanford University in Palo Alto and the 550 Madison Avenue Store in New York.If a customer likes way they see, these locations have plenty of units in stock for $999.99. Not to mention that people from overseas have another option if they, a relative or colleague is in the neighborhood!

Sony has also confirmed they are engaging in direct advertising for the first time “We're running some ads in the The Stanford Daily digital edition.  There's been considerable interest from individuals in the Stanford community, and from the Bay Area in general.”

I think being able to give the Digital Paper a test drive is tremendous. Up until this point if you wanted to check it out, you had to watch one of our extensive YouTube Videos, which demonstrates the full user experience. Actually being able to hold one in your hands and play with it for awhile is likely the best way to actually push more device sales.

Sony Digital Paper Now on Display at Two US Store Locations is a post from: Good e-Reader

MagPi issue 26

I’m in a bit of a rush today; we’re all at the factory in Wales where the Raspberry Pi is built to show the team that works in Cambridge how to make a Pi. So I’ll hand over to Team MagPi, who have just released their 26th edition of the free monthly Raspberry Pi magazine, written by Raspberry Pi fans for Raspberry Pi fans.

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 14.17.27

Editor Ash Stone says:

This month's Issue is packed with hardware and programming articles.  We are pleased to present the first article in an OpenCV (open source computer vision) image recognition software series by Derek Campbell.  The robot that Derek used to test the software configuration is shown on this month's cover.

Expanding the I/O possibilities of the Raspberry Pi is often a first step of electronics projects.  This time, Dougie Lawson presents a review of the Arduberry board from Dexter Industries.  This little board provides an ideal microcontroller interface for more complicated electronics projects.  This month's hardware articles are rounded off by Karl-Ludwig's third BitScope article, which includes examples of preamplifier circuits and associated test and measurement.

The Raspberry Pi provides the opportunity to run many different software applications.  Voice over IP (VoIP) allows telephone calls to be carried over an internet connection.  Walbarto Abad continues his mini-series by describing how to setup an Asterisk VoIP server.

The second application article this month continues the discussion of git (distributed version control system).  Git was originally produced for Linux kernel development, but is now a mainstay of many different development projects and has been adopted by several schools too.  Alec Clews leads us through his second tutorial on the subject.

This month's programming article demonstrates how to build an arcade game using FUZE BASIC.  Jon Silvera includes instructions, code and images to build a horizontally scrolling game.

We are on the look out for more articles at all levels and on all subjects.  If you are interested in submitting an article, please get in touch with us by emailing articles@themagpi.com.

If you have any other comments, you can find us on Twitter (@TheMagP1) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/MagPiMagazine) too.

 

 

Nokia Launches Their First Android Tablet, Aluminum-Shelled N1

Nokia

The Slush conference in Helsinki brought news that Nokia hasn’t been twiddling its thumbs in the seven months since their devices and services unit was sold to Microsoft (for a cool $7.2 billion). It appears the company was hard at work preparing to deliver the N1: a 7.9-inch, aluminum-shelled, Android tablet (running Lollipop OS). It looks a lot like Apple’s iPad Mini (complete with the placement of the camera, buttons, and headphone jack), but will sell at a far more attractive $249 price-point.

Luckily (and cleverly) for Nokia, the sale to Microsoft may have included a ban on making smartphones or handsets for 30 months –but other devices, including tablets, were not included in that agreement.

Nokia’s head of devices Sebastian Nystrom indicated that the N1 is targeted toward users who have yet to find the Android tablet of their dreams (meaning those out there who love the classy look of an aluminum-bodied tablet, but would prefer not to buy an iPad). Other specifications for the N1 include the use of Gorilla Glass 3, a weight of 318 grams, an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera, 2048 x 1536 screen resolution, and Wi-Fi (only) network connectivity.

Nokia’s reveal video is linked below, offering an excellent overview and visual guide to the N1.

The initial launch of the N1 will be limited to China and is expected around the Chinese New Year (February 19, 2015), with delivery to Russia and select European countries shortly afterward. There is no word yet on when we might see Nokia’s new tablet in North America, but I suspect that will depend greatly on how is is received following the initial release.

Nokia Launches Their First Android Tablet, Aluminum-Shelled N1 is a post from: Good e-Reader

Path Talk Launches in UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand

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In my line of work, I have the opportunity to test drive a lot of apps –many good but more that aren’t; every now and then, my mind is blown and I feel a little mad that I didn’t create it myself. Path Talk falls into that last category, quickly becoming one of my favourite apps of all time since it’s launch earlier this year. Having been available in the US and Canada for several months now, lucky users in the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand can finally experience my joy.

Those that know me are well aware that I hate phone calls: I hate answering them and I hate making them. Path Talk makes it possible for me to accomplish many of the tasks that used to require a voice call all with in-app text messages. My first inquiry determined that the restaurant around the corner from my home accepted debit cards for deliveries, but that is only where I began. It may seem lazy, but I prefer to think of it as convenient –turn to Path Talk when you wouldn’t otherwise be able to make call. Ask the Path agents to make you a haircut appointment just before you walk into a meeting or have them check to see if an item is in stock at your local retailer before you make the trip.

In the end, the purpose of Path Talk is to give business the opportunity to provide amazing customer service –not entirely unlike the ‘chat live’ options seen on many websites over the years, only the legwork is being done on your behalf… no more waiting for the next available agent (who might actually be a robot) to assist you.

No matter how you use Path Talk, it is exactly the kind of app that really makes your life easier; though I’m not going to lie, I would like to see the database of things these Path Agents have been asked to inquire about.

If you haven’t given Path Talk a try, you should download it now for your Android device.

Path Talk Launches in UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand is a post from: Good e-Reader

Facebook Hard at Work on Enterprise Collaboration Tool

FacebookAtWork

Most offices have been working diligently to find ways of keeping Facebook out of sight and mind for their employees while on the job –but the social media giant may be finding ways to make inroads of their own into the enterprise market. While technically still in the rumours stage, the ‘Facebook at Work’ initiative is all but confirmed and could roll out in the next few months.

Think of this product as a shortcut to having a corporate Intranet, in many cases replacing e-mail or IM as it pertains to communication between colleagues. In addition, Facebook at Work is likely to make it very easy to collaborate on documents, share files, and communicate important news.

Knowing how securely Facebook dominates the social media category, already-established competitors are readying their defenses. One of the first is Salesforce.com, whose Chatter product already provides much of the same functionality that Facebook at Work is likely to offer; but even if it’s better, they (along with other likely suspects like LinkedIn, which can be quite expensive for their subscribers) lack overwhelming brand recognition and curb appeal. Love it or hate it, just about everybody is already familiar with Facebook.

This familiarity likely means that the success of Facebook at Work will depend heavily on their ability to adapt the same interfaces and layout that users are already used to; recognizing that corporate citizens hate change even more than most.

Facebook at Work is expected to be a completely separate product to the existing Facebook apps and website… but few details are known. While the current system is supported by a sophisticated ad network, enterprise would likely be willing to pay a little for corporate branding and a lack of external advertising. While central hosting provided by Facebook is a possibility, my best guess is that the app will be available for installation inside existing corporate networks (meaning security can remain a top priority and the upgrade and update schedule can be determined by each organization). Either way, I’m sure Facebook is busy hammering out all of these final details.

Facebook has not commented officially at this stage, but sometimes silence speaks volumes.

Facebook Hard at Work on Enterprise Collaboration Tool is a post from: Good e-Reader

Samsung Plans to Make Fewer Smartphone Models in 2015

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Profits are down, so Samsung is making plans to streamline their product offering in an effort to get the company’s financials back on track. Selling fewer smartphone models will be Samsung’s primary cost-cutting measure, reducing their current line-up by 25%-30% overall. This news comes on the heels of the heads up given to investors that the upcoming financial results will show a considerable 74% drop in mobile profits during the third quarter of this year.

While it may seem like a huge loss, it’s actually about time (with a seemingly endless array of available devices, like their flagship Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S5 Active, Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy A3, Galaxy A5, Galaxy S5 Mini, Galaxy Alpha, and more)!

If successful, Samsung will find its way back to a double-digit percentage margin:

“After maintaining smartphone operating-profit margins above 15% for 10 consecutive quarters, Samsung’s margins from its mobile and information technology business were squeezed to just 7% in the third quarter ended September—the lowest level since the end of 2008, before it launched its first Galaxy smartphone. Acknowledging the slide in margins, Samsung executives said during an earnings call last month that its new goal is to maintain a sustainable double-digit percentage margin starting in the new year. They reiterated that pledge during this week’s investor day meeting.”

Less hardware diversity means being able to share more components across devices (particularly in the mid-to-low-end models), allowing Samsung to maximize profits while they “further leverage economies of scale.”

Fewer smartphones should also make it easier for consumers to decide which device they want (not to mention making it more clear when their existing device is out of date and in need of an upgrade).

Now before people worry too much about Samsung as a whole, don’t forget that they have a lot of other irons in the fire.

Samsung Plans to Make Fewer Smartphone Models in 2015 is a post from: Good e-Reader