Thursday, March 28, 2013

Apple Cutting iPad Mini Shipments in Q2 2013


Apple is reported to have set in motion plans to cut production of its iPad Mini in the second quarter this year, a move which industry experts believe could be a way to herald in the new gen iPad Mini. On the cards is a 20 percent cut in production of the iPad Mini in April followed by more later on. In fact, the report carried at Digitimes claims Apple plans to bring down iPad Mini shipments down to just 10 million in the quarter. However, it's not known for sure if the plan to cut production can be attributed entirely to the coming of a new iPad Mini or from increased competition from the new budget tablets launched in the past month or so.

In fact, there is a whole new segment that has come up with prices ranging below the $199 mark which at one time was considered the lowest a tablet can sell for. Also notably, it's the biggies in the business such as HP, Acer, Asus and the likes that have launched tablets in the ultra low price bracket. Then there also is the Galaxy Note 8.0 from Samsung that is believed to provide some stiff competition to the iPad Mini if its priced right. Apple CEO Tim Cook though has cautioned it would be unwise to make too much about reports of production cuts stating that the company typically sources its components from various manufacturers so that such data from supply chain sources cannot always offer a true picture of the real scenario.

Apple Cutting iPad Mini Shipments in Q2 2013 is a post from: E-Reader News

Zinio Announces Nokia Lumia Exclusive Magazine App

zinio-wp5Zinio has announced that it is developing a Nokia Lumia exclusive digital magazine app. It will take advantage of Microsoft Live Tiles, to show you new editions that are automatically synced and delivered to your phone. There are a number of new enhancements found in this new app that are not found anywhere else. There is a preference picker that allows users to define the article stream in their Reading List by area of interest and gives you a sense of the type of magazines that would appeal to your area of interest.

We're delighted to bring Zinio's leading app experience to Nokia Lumia smartphones with Windows Phone 8,” said Bryan Biniak, VP for Global Partner & App Development at Nokia. “Our ClearBlack phone displays are packed full of technology that delivers an enhanced viewing and reading experience in all conditions, be that at home or out and about on a sunny day.”

Michelle Bottomley, President of Zinio, states, "Nokia Lumia smartphones with Windows Phone 8 were the perfect platform for Zinio to bring the future of digital magazine reading for discerning digital readers. We've rethought every portion of our smartphone reading experience to be as intuitive as possible, allowing digital readers to fully immerse themselves in the magazine content that connects them with their diverse interests."

Zinio Announces Nokia Lumia Exclusive Magazine App is a post from: E-Reader News

Amazon Set to Acquire Goodreads

Today Amazon announced something that I’m surprised didn’t happen a long time ago. Amazon is set to acquire Goodreads, pending various closing conditions. With over 16 million members and over 30,000 book clubs on their website, is one of the best places to go for personalized reading recommendations and to discuss and review books, [...]

Amazon Announces the Acquisition of Goodreads


Amazon has announced today that the company will acquire eBook discovery and social community site Goodreads. The entire deal will be finalized sometime during the second quarter of 2013 and all staff and the headquarters will be property of Amazon.

Goodreads was founded in 2007 and currently has over 16 million members and over 30,000 bookclubs. Users have added 530 million books to their shelves and written more than 23 million reviews. The website has been the leading indie authority of discovering new books and many authors belong to the site. Over just the past 90 days, Goodreads members have added more than four books per second to the "want to read" shelves on Goodreads.

"Amazon and Goodreads share a passion for reinventing reading," said Russ Grandinetti, Amazon Vice President, Kindle Content. "Goodreads has helped change how we discover and discuss books and, with Kindle, Amazon has helped expand reading around the world. In addition, both Amazon and Goodreads have helped thousands of authors reach a wider audience and make a better living at their craft. Together we intend to build many new ways to delight readers and authors alike."

"Books – and the stories and ideas captured inside them – are part of our social fabric," said Otis Chandler, Goodreads CEO and co-founder. "People love to talk about ideas and share their passion for the stories they read. I'm incredibly excited about the opportunity to partner with Amazon and Kindle. We're now going to be able to move faster in bringing the Goodreads experience to millions of readers around the world. We're looking forward to inspiring greater literary discussion and helping more readers find great books, whether they read in print or digitally."

"I just found out my two favorite people are getting married," said Hugh Howey, best-selling author of WOOL. "The best place to discuss books is joining up with the best place to buy books – To Be Read piles everywhere must be groaning in anticipation."

Amazon Announces the Acquisition of Goodreads is a post from: E-Reader News

Meet the Staff: Amy

Meet Amy, one of the few people on staff that came to us directly from the traditional classroom setting.

France Helps Out Its Bookstores, Can the US Follow?


In the climate of digital-versus-print publishing and the effects that ebooks and online retailers can have on the bookselling industry, France is taking some very determined steps to ensure that its physical bookstores remain open. According to an article in The Bookseller, new budget allowances from the government are making funds possible for loans for bookstores who need assistance, along with several other financial measures intended to prevent the demise of both chain and independent stores. Additionally, there are plans in place to mandate mediators for use in settling disputes, as this could prove to be far less costly in the long run than the expectation of high legal fees.

Obviously, the reactions to the new initiatives range from cautiously optimistic to highly favorable with bookstore owners and the parent associations over the retail book industry, but might not be as lauded by publishers, mostly where mediation has been proposed. In the meantime, there is hope that the several million euros that have been proposed to help ensure the survival of the bookstores will prevent situations like the collapse of Borders and other bookstores in the US.

Unfortunately, proposals such as the one by the French Cultural Ministry aren’t likely to take hold in the US to prevent the closing of more bookstores. First, the US doesn’t have a cultural ministry to oversee and protect the interests of reading consumers and to recognize the value that bookstores have for society. Geographically, with nearly fourteen times more square mileage than France, readers in the US suffer from being so spread out that customers who don’t live in major cities are already feeling the effects of losing their local bookshops, and government initiatives aren’t going to make those bookstores closer to customers who have already found the convenience of online book purchasing. Finally, the US often takes heat from critics for its government bailouts of industries such as the airline industry and the automotive manufacturing industry, but those are businesses that the government can at least justify support our transit and shipping as well as provide more jobs for Americans than the book selling and publishing industries.

If government initiatives aren’t enough to save brick-and-mortar bookstores in the US, then what will? At what point will citizens value access to books enough to continue supporting the stores, regardless of pricing, driving distances, and sheer convenience? And are digital publishing and the online retail industry to blame, or are they simply the next logical step in the evolution of technology?

France Helps Out Its Bookstores, Can the US Follow? is a post from: E-Reader News

Guest post from Code Club: Raspberry Pi factory visit

Liz: Do you remember those snippets of film from factories they used to show on educational kids’ shows when we were little? I have a very lucid memory of an episode of Playschool which (via the arched window) took you through the making of a rubber glove, and another segment featuring the manufacture of with chocolate biscuits. 
The manufacturing process is fascinating for us grownups. It’s even better if you’re a kid. So Code Club took a group of kids from Saint Saviour’s School in Paddington, London to the Pi factory in South Wales. Here’s how they got on. Thanks to Nick Corston for this post, which you’ll also find at

To do our bit for National Science Week we took a trip to the Sony factory in South Wales where they make the Raspberry Pi computers – in fact they make 18,000 a week. A real success story for British manufacturing.We met at Paddington and, not to waste a school day, got stuck straight into a Code Club lesson using the programming language Scratch.

Thanks to Clare and Linda at Code Club HQ for lending us a a pile of netbooks with Scratch on them. We had enough for half the group -  - so while they were waiting the other half got stuck into some worksheets to prepare them for the visit.

We were delighted when a passenger getting off the train, said how perfectly well behaved the children were, which, while not the be all and end all, made us very proud of them as they’d had lots of fun on the journey but also worked very hard.

We had a quick change of train at Cardiff station, before getting a much smaller train to Pencoed, where taxis were waiting to take us to the factory (if you ever do the trip, don;t even consider walking the short distance as the dual carriageway is UNCROSSABLE and dangerous).
 Then we were at the Sony factory, a massive building in the countryside where Sony used to make televisions. Now they make the best TV cameras in the world as well as Raspberry PI’s and servicing Sony electronics devices from TVs to PlayStations, PSPs and camcorders providing much needing employment for the local community.
 We then had a briefing all about Sony and the Raspberry Pi sat round the Sony Director’s board table.

Before entering the factory we had to put on special shoes that make sure that any static electricity in us went to the ground and not into any thing we touched, as it can damage the sensitive electronics in the factory.

 We saw the Raspberry Pi production all the way through the process. We learned how the circuit boards are coated in solder and saw then the tiny pin head size components put on the boards really quickly by a robot arm.
Some parts still have to be put on by hand and there is a line of ladies who do that job.
 The boards then pass on to a solder bath on a conveyor belt where these components are fixed in place.

Here one of the groups poses for a photo with Mr Corston who organised the trip and was helped on the day by Ms Bennett and Mr Lee.

A real bonus of the day was a visit to a company called Wales Interactive, who Sony are helping by letting them use some of their office space. They are a games development company and we saw how they create games for the PlayStation and iPhones and Android devices. They had some great free and paid for apps – we think Ms Woodford might particularly like their cat and dog calculator app!
Dave Banner who runs the company showed us how they create illustrations that get turned into computer graphics to go into the games.
A really interesting aspect of this was the role of coding and computer programming in creating games. We saw the software they use, which uses flow charts a bit like Scratch to bring the games to life. We saw how important maths is to create the equations and physics formulas to make the games as realistic as possible. Dave said they only consider employees who have worked really hard at school and been to university.
Finally on the way home the children completed a quiz sheet based on what they had learned on the day and six lucky winners got a Code Club t-shirt as a souvenir of the day.
Thanks to all the children for being so well behaved, their parents for letting them come. Mr Corston, Ms Bennett and Mr Lee for their help and Sony TEC Pencoed for their amazing hospitality. Code Club for loaning us a bunch of netbooks with Scratch on and the prize t-shirts.
More photos in a slideshow here and watch this space for exciting news re a movie of the day.

Blackberry 10′s 100,000 Apps Includes 20k with Android Origin


One way to get people hooked on to a new platform is to ensure there are lots of apps that are compatible with it. Towards that, Blackberry did the right thing by luring in developers to port Android apps to the Blackberry 10 operating system. This ensured BB10 could quickly reach the 100k app figure mark, something that could have been pretty much impossible if the company had only focused on developing native apps for the new platform.

So what the Blackberry folks essentially did was devise an emulation engine that allowed Android apps to run on the Blackberry 10 OS. This resulted in about 20 percent (20,000 apps) of the 100,000 Blackberry 10 apps to be directly modified Android apps that can now run in a Blackberry environment.

"We give them a very nice on-ramp to get onto the platform," said Martyn Mallick, Vice President for Global Alliances and Business Development for Blackberry. "Our users deserve to have great content. If that is the fastest way we can get some of that content, that's great."

Blackberry has been going all out to woo developers into writing codes for Blackberry apps. This included a $10k guarantee to developers to convince them they will have enough returns in this venture. "Overall we're excited by what we are seeing in the marketplace," Mallick said. "We have a high level of confidence we will continue to see more of the application partners come on board."

However, not all seem to be convinced and among those who aren’t on BB10 yet include Netflix and Instagram. But most of the major apps are present, with companies like Amazon who devised a native Kindle app for the new Blackberry OS.

Right now, it’s only the Z10 smartphone that runs the BB10 operating system, though there obviously are a few more in the pipeline due to launch later in the year. Then there also is a new PlayBook tablet that is also rumored to be in development.

Blackberry 10′s 100,000 Apps Includes 20k with Android Origin is a post from: E-Reader News