Saturday, March 30, 2013

Barnes and Noble Offers Free eBooks and Magazines with Windows 8 App

Barnes and Noble has announced that the company is offering a number of digital magazines and books via its Windows 8 app. Some of the free titles include Blue Bloods, Hello, Cupcake!, Life of Pi, and The Enemy, along with current issues of top selling magazines Food Network Magazine, GQ, HGTV Magazine, Real Simple and TIME. B&N is hoping by giving away a bunch of popular books and magazines it will hook customers into dealing with the company for the long term.

To find and download the free NOOK books and magazines, NOOK for Windows 8 users can simply scroll to the Popular Lists section in the app and find the “Welcome Offer” list. Customers will have to act fast to get their free copy of the modern classic, Life of Pi, which is only available to the first 100,000 customers who download the book on the NOOK app for Windows 8. To download the app, merely visit the Windows store and do a search for Nook to install it. One of the great aspects of this app in general is that it allows customers outside the UK and US to buy content. This is because all purchases are done from your Microsoft Account.

“NOOK is the highest-rated reading and digital bookstore app for Windows 8, and by providing bestselling books and top magazines for free, new NOOK customers can start their digital libraries with some of the best content in the expansive NOOK Store,” said Jamie Iannone, President of Digital Products at NOOK Media LLC. “With the NOOK app for Windows 8, customers get an incredible reading experience and can choose from over 3 million NOOK Books, including 1 million free titles, as well as magazines, newspapers, and comics on any Windows 8 device.”

Barnes and Noble Offers Free eBooks and Magazines with Windows 8 App is a post from: E-Reader News

HTC Developing Windows 8 Tablet

HTC tablet

Reports emanating from Taiwan claim HTC is developing a new tablet device that will run the Windows 8 operating system. Details are scarce at the moment, though sources did mention the tablet will sport a HD 10.1 inch display that will pack in 1920 x 1080 pixels. That translates to a comfortable 218 pixels per inch. LG is tipped to be providing the displays while Pegatron Corporation will be assembling the device. However, both Microsoft and HTC declined to comment on the issue, which means it is still a rumor at best.

HTC’s earlier attempt at the tablet segment comprised of the 7 inch HTC Flyer and the Jetstream that offered a 10 inch display. However, none failed to make a mark, which can be attributed more to the high price tag than anything else. Let’s just hope HTC does not repeat the same mistakes with its forthcoming tablet ventures. The company is already battling a low demand for its hardware and is currently engaged in an all out battle to promote sales of its current flagship smartphone, the HTC One. In fact, it is such a desperate a situation for the company that its CEO Peter Chou is said to have even put his job on the line and has promised to step down if the One smartphone does not succeed. The company already offers the Windows Phone 8X and a Windows 8 based tablet offering will be interesting, to say the least.

The above image is for descriptive purpose only and may or may not bear any resemblance with the final product.

HTC Developing Windows 8 Tablet is a post from: E-Reader News

Dark Horse Adds Two Classic Series to Digital Manga Service

Blade of the Immortal 1

At this weekend’s SakuraCon, editor Carl Gustav Horn opened the Dark Horse panel with the announcement that it is adding two popular, long-running series to its digital service: Oh My Goddess and Blade of the Immortal. Both will debut in digital format in April.

Oh My Goddess, which has been running in Japan since 1988, is the story of a college student who unwittingly summons a beautiful goddess and binds her to himself for life. Humorous complications ensue, and there are a number of multi-arc adventures, as the storyline has gotten more complicated over the years. Dark Horse started publishing it in 1994, one chapter at a time as a monthly comic, then gathered it into trade paperbacks. Dark Horse will release volume 44 in April. There is also an anime based on the series, with the slightly different title Ah! My Goddess.

Blade of the Immortal is a classic samurai story about a swordsman who cannot be killed by a wound. He views his immortality as a curse and sets out to kill 1,000 evil men in order to have it lifted. Volume 26 of the series came out this month, and it was recently announced that it will come to an end in Japan with volume 30 (which will be volume 31 in the American numbering). Like Oh My Goddess, Blade of the Immortal was originally released as single-issue comics but is now published only as trade collections.

Horn also announced two new licenses, New Lone Wolf and Cub and a series based on the Vocaloid character Hatsune Miku. While he didn’t say anything about digital versions of these two comics, it’s likely that both will show up on the digital service, as the original Lone Wolf and Cub is available on Dark Horse Digital and Hatsune Miku: Unofficial Hatsune Miku Mix is published in a digital-only anthology, Comic Rush, in Japan.

Dark Horse Adds Two Classic Series to Digital Manga Service is a post from: E-Reader News

Apple’s iRadio Slated for Summer Launch


Apple's iRadio is almost a reality, and the service could be rolled out as early as this summer. Towards this, the Cupertino tech giant is reported to be in talks with several music companies and might have even made significant headway with at least two of the biggest, Universal and Warner. This marks an important development considering Universal can be considered among the last of the big names in the field to have signed up with Apple’s iCloud, while Warner wasn’t too comfy with cloud based storage until recently.

A report earlier in March had mentioned that the deal is getting delayed over negotiations of the royalty fees and such. As per the report, Apple is keen to pay 6 cents per 100 songs and the music labels want it to be 21 cents, which is what the Copyright Royalty Board has stipulated for companies that don’t support their own broadcast operations. Pandora pays 12 cents per 100 songs while Spotify pays at the rate of 36 cents. No doubt Apple has made good use of its clout and bargaining tactics to arrive at a much lower rate.

All of this can however make things a tad tougher for the likes of Spotify and other small time companies, while Google will likely emerge as Apple’s biggest competitor in the field of online music streaming. Google is also said to have reached a hush-hush deal with Warner that would provide music streaming services via Youtube.

So its a musical summer we are looking forward to, it seems.

Apple’s iRadio Slated for Summer Launch is a post from: E-Reader News

Iain and Seb from Creative Coding interview Eben

What were you doing for the Bank Holiday on Friday? Eben cycled 15 miles to have a meeting, then cycled home to do a Google Hangout interview with the guys from Creative Coding, all before I’d even got out of my pyjamas. Here it is: lots of interesting stuff here, including a low-bandwidth and somewhat pixellated Mooncake at around 33 minutes in, who causes Eben to scream girlishly as she extends all her claws and proceeds to climb his…leg.

Freading Library Platform Adds New Content


While libraries still struggle to provide digital content for lending to its patrons and publishers still feel the need to examine all the ramifications of allowing patrons to borrow their bestselling–and sometimes, even back list–titles on their digital devices, some companies are working to change the concept behind the lending all together. Library Ideas‘ ebook lending platform Freading, which will be upgrading next month to include new content and new publishers, is an entirely different take on the concept of book borrowing.

Close in nature to concepts like Amazon Prime, in which members have a pre-determined number of ebook checkouts for one annual membership price, Freading allows libraries to allot patrons virtual tokens that are exchanged for borrowable titles, tokens that are bought with actual money by the library, as opposed to a flat subscription price for using the catalog. The cost of a title is determined based on the  publication date of the title. A new release typically costs the equivalent of around two dollars to borrow, and it is removed from the device after a two-week checkout period.

Update: Brian Downing, CEO of Library Ideas, reached out to GoodEReader with clarification of the token model for ebook checkouts. The libraries incur the cost for the patron checkouts, much as they would assume the cost for a subscription to a lending catalog, only in the case of Freading, libraries only pay per circulation for a title. Additionally, libraries have unlimited simultaneous access to titles, eliminating the waiting list that frustrate so many digital patrons.

One issue that Freading has struggled with, and which has been addressed for the upgrade on April 12th, is book discovery. Unlike some library platforms that use subscription-based limitations to keep prices affordable for libraries of all sizes, all of Freading’s catalog is available to its member libraries. This can lead to issues with search and discovery, but Freading has incorporated search headings in this new edition, especially popular seasonal headings, that make it easier to filter searches for books.

To date, around 1500 library systems have signed on to use Freading’s lending platform, along with more than 850 publishers.

Freading Library Platform Adds New Content is a post from: E-Reader News