Thursday, April 4, 2013

New York Public Library Launches Public API Developer Tools


The New York Public Library is one of the landmarks of the city and provides a copious amount of digital and tangible content. Today, the library has announced that it has released a series of API tools that developers can use to tap into the big data and develop custom interfaces.

The new Digital Collections API allows software developers both in and outside of the library to write programs that search the digital collections, process the descriptions of each object, and find links to the relevant pages on the NYPL Digital Gallery.

One of the benefits the API provides is better searching options and being able to index genre specific data. By default, the library system only allows you to search for one specific thing at a time. If a developer wanted to make a bulk search option, it would be possible. Publishers and authors could benefit from this set of tools, because you can scan all of the important download and lending information. It can give you a strong indication on what genre is doing very well and provide clues as to which type of literature is popular.

New York Public Library Launches Public API Developer Tools is a post from: E-Reader News

Frommer’s Guidebooks Get a New Lease on Life


In 2012, Google acquired the rights to Frommer’s Guidebooks from John Wiley. The company decided to initiate a digital strategy to market the popular series of travel guides on the Google Books platform. A few weeks ago, Google announced that it was suspending the imprint and giving up on trying to make it work. Arthur Frommer announced today that he reacquired the rights to the entire series back from Google and will begin publishing new editions immediately.

Google issued the following statement about the entire issue, “We're focused on providing high-quality local information to help people quickly discover and share great places, like a nearby restaurant or the perfect vacation destination. That's why we’ve spent the last several months integrating the travel content we acquired from Wiley into Google+ Local and our other Google services. We can confirm that we have returned the Frommer's brand to its founder and are licensing certain travel content to him.”

The first Frommer guidebook was written in 1957 with a self-published book called Europe on 5 Dollars a Day. It was an expanded version of a small travel guide he had written for American soldiers in Europe. With its emphasis on budget travel, it became an immediate bestseller and launched a guidebook company that became one of the world’s most recognized travel brands.

When Google announced it was suspending the travel franchise, authors had already submitted over 25 books that were slated to be published later on this year. It is yet unknown whether these will be transferred over and how the rights issue will work.

Frommer’s Guidebooks Get a New Lease on Life is a post from: E-Reader News

Dell to Launch New Windows 8 and Windows RT Tablet this Fall

Dell Latitude 10

Dell is reported to have started developing the successor to its XPS 10 and Latitude 10 tablet devices running Windows RT and Windows 8 respectively. The new tablets are likely to be launched during the fourth quarter and will come come with 10 inch or larger displays.

“We have plans to significantly increase investment in our PC and tablet business to enhance our ability to compete. While Dell's strategy in the PC business has been to maximize gross margins, following the transaction, we expect to focus instead on maximizing revenue and cash flow growth with the goal of improving long-term sales and competitive positioning,” stated Dell in a letter to employees amid rising concerns among the workforce about the future of the company.

Details are missing at the moment, though it’s likely Dell will use the next gen Intel Haswell chips for its Windows 8 tablet that will succeed the Latitude 10. The Latitude series is dedicated to business users and the latest version is built around the Clover Trail chips. Haswell, in contrast, is touted to offer far better performance without being too harsh on the battery.

As for the next iteration of XPS 10 running Windows RT, the tablet could be seen sporting the latest chip offerings from any of the companies, such as Qualcomm, NVIDIA, Samsung, and so on. The current XPS 10 is based on a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor. However, while all of that might be good, the Windows RT platform might be a larger source of worry for Dell, given the lukewarm response the OS has generated so far.

Dell to Launch New Windows 8 and Windows RT Tablet this Fall is a post from: E-Reader News

Toshiba Announces BookPlace MONO e-Reader in Japan


Toshiba has announced today they it is releasing a new e-reader in Japan that should be available in a few weeks. In conjunction with the impending new device, Toshiba is also revising its online bookstore.

The Toshiba Mono will feature a six inch display with a resolution of 1024×758 pixels. It will be powered by a Freescale i.MX508, 800MHz processor and 512 MB RAM. You will have 4 gigs of internal memory and it also has a Micro SD card slot to enhance the memory further. One of the most exciting elements is the inclusion of a 3.5 mm headphone jack to listen to audiobooks and music. According to the company, it will provide a text-to-speech functionality by utilizing “TOSHIBA Speech Synthesis” feature.

In 2010, Toshiba launched an online ebook store called the "Toshiba Book Place" powered by the Bilo E-Reading software. The Book Place offered a full-color, 3D, interactive reading experience powered by Blio, the world's most engaging and innovative e-reading software. Toshiba Book Place brings books to life audio in multiple languages, hyperlinks, note taking and exporting, text-to-speech capabilities, and much more. The one really good hyping factor for the Book Place is that it uniquely brings to life children's books. It also offers cookbooks and travel books. In conjunction with the new Mono e-Reader announcement, Toshiba confirmed it is changing the name of the old bookstore with Blio to BookLive! and launching a new store.

The new store will still have the old Book Place name, but ebooks purchased from Booklive will be incompatible with the new device.  Digital content is coming from a new partnership with five different electronic bookstores in Japan. You will be able to download your standard ebooks and 50 different comics will be available at launch. eBooks are poised to be sold via digital coupon codes that you can redeem for specific titles.

Toshiba is also launching a series of iOS and Android apps for the new store and is jumping into the ebook world seriously this time. The company hopes to include its apps in all of the new tablets they launch going forward.

Toshiba Announces BookPlace MONO e-Reader in Japan is a post from: E-Reader News

Rumor: Apple Might Launch iPad 5 This Month

ipad 5

It is well known that a completely new full sized iPad is the next big thing coming our way from Apple, but we don’t know when. Fresh rumors say the new iPad 5 might be launched towards the end of this month, but nothing is confirmed. Details of the upcoming device are scarce, though sources speculate iPad 5 will be sporting a completely new design that is more akin to the iPad Mini. The iPad 5 is also expected to be a lot thinner and lighter than the current version. In the absence of hardcore evidence in support this, the only thing that backs up the rumor is that spring is to be the traditional launch window for the iPad and all the first three iterations of the same were launched during the March – April period. Of course, that pattern was broken last year when Apple surprised everyone by coming up with the iPad 4 along with the iPad Mini for the first time.

Worth mentioning here, a previous leak had earlier mentioned Apple has scheduled an event on June 29 to launch the next gen iPad 5 and iPad Mini along with maybe the iPhone 5 as well.

Rumor: Apple Might Launch iPad 5 This Month is a post from: E-Reader News

Viz Brings Shonen Jump to Apple Newsstand


The digital manga magazine Shonen Jump went to simultaneous publication with Japan in January, and now the magazine has reached another milestone: It is available for iPad and iPad Mini via the Apple Newsstand.

This offers readers three ways to buy the magazine: On the Viz Manga website, for 99 cents per issue or $25.99 per year, or via the Newsstand for $2.99 per month (automatically renewed). The nice thing about the Newsstand is that it gathers all your regularly updated apps into one place so you can check them all at once, and updates come in automatically. (Newsstand subscribers will also be able to read their issues on the Viz Manga website.)

Viz has been steadily expanding the reach of Shonen Jump since taking the magazine from print to digital in January 2012. While the Newsstand offers additional convenience and a price point that is cheaper than single issues (albeit more expensive than an annual subscription), the real significance of this move may lie in the words of Gagan Singh, Viz’s executive vice president for digital business, in the press release that announced this latest move: “The Newsstand App lays the groundwork for future expansion of the magazine and offers our fans yet another way to access their favorite manga.”

That raises some interesting possibilities. As a fan of Viz’s shoujo (girls’) comics, I’d love to see them bring back Shoujo Beat magazine in digital form, and with their wide range of properties, Viz could put together some pretty interesting digital packages.

Viz Brings Shonen Jump to Apple Newsstand is a post from: E-Reader News

Can a Price Reduction Save Windows RT?


Speculation is rife that Microsoft might look to cut licensing fees of its Windows RT to help manufacturers compete better with the plethora of low cost tablets currently available in the market. The entire tablet market seems to have settled down into two broad segments; a low cost one ruled by Android, and the Apple iPad ruling the roost in the higher priced segment. Windows RT is struggling to find traction in either of these segments. Microsoft wanted to pitch its Surface RT as a competitor to the Apple iPad, though the vast difference in sales of each in the past few months has proved that clearly is not the case. So the best option for Microsoft is to let it compete in the low cost category.

Manufacturers aren’t waiting for Microsoft to cut its fees, though, and have already resorted to heavy discounts as a desperate means of pushing sales of their Windows RT based tablet devices. Prices have gone down steadily in the past few weeks at Amazon and elsewhere. The Asus VivoTab RT with 32 GB on-board now costs just $372 at Amazon, down from the $599 it started out with. Similarly, the 64 GB Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 RT now costs $499 at Amazon, down from $699 some time ago. Dell too has been forced to reduce prices of its XPS 10 tablet, the 32 GB version of which now costs $450, which is $50 less than its original price. All this while Samsung didn’t even release its Windows RT based ATIV Tab in the US and was forced to withdraw from other markets citing lack of interest around the device. Interestingly, Microsoft hasn’t tinkered with the price of its Surface RT, even though consumer interest around the device has perhaps plummeted to record lows.

Another reason for the lack of interest in Windows RT based tablets is that one can also opt for Intel Atom based tablet devices running the full blown Windows 8 for around the same amount. For instance, the 64 GB ASUS VivoTab Smart is now listed at Amazon for around $450. With this, consumers will have a device that is compatible with all legacy Windows apps, something sorely missed in the Windows RT version. Under the circumstances, the only chance for Windows RT to survive is if it is priced significantly lower than its Windows 8 counterpart.

Another way Windows RT can be saved from the situation it is in right now is by ensuring cross compatibility of apps on both the Windows 8 and the RT version. This along with around $300 for tablets based on Windows RT could make for the ideal situation towards creating some buzz around the devices.

Meanwhile, sources point out the upcoming Windows Blue version due out this summer will also make it to the Windows RT in the form of Windows RT 8.1 this summer.

Can a Price Reduction Save Windows RT? is a post from: E-Reader News

Spotlight on Reports: Current Waiting List

To make the most of the valuable features and data in Content Reserve, let's delve into statistical reporting. This month, we're focusing on the Current Waiting List. The Current Waiting List reflects the titles users are most eager to read. It can also serve as a guide for building your Holds Manager plan, which is highly recommended to reduce extra work on selectors. To get started, visit the Reports tab in Content Reserve and click on the Current Waiting List button.
After establishing the parameters and running the report, you'll see a snapshot of the waiting list for your library at the top, including the number of holds by format and the average wait period. Use these details to see which titles have high holds so you can consider purchasing additional copies. This information can also be used when creating your Holds Manager Plan or while browsing Marketplace.


If you plan to use the Current Waiting List report to build a cart, the Create Worksheet button at the top of the page will conveniently export the details to an Excel spreadsheet for customization and easy reference as you browse Marketplace.
In the report, keep an eye on the hold to copy ratio (number of holds on a title divided by the number of copies owned) when evaluating whether additional copies should be ordered. By reviewing the highest and average hold to copy ratios, you can determine a standard ratio that meets your library's collection development needs. This ratio can also be a basis for a Holds Manager plan. Click on the Ratio heading in the report to sort results by this value.


For assistance with setting up your Holds Manager plan or creating carts in Marketplace, please contact your Collection Development Specialist.


Heather Valentine-Gold is an Account Specialist at OverDrive.


Is B&N Going to Release a New GlowLight Nook Touch Soon?

Unlike most companies that like to release new ereaders in the fall before the busy holiday shopping season, Barnes and Noble tends to release new E Ink Nooks in the spring. In fact the GlowLight Nook Touch was officially announced exactly one year and one week ago from tomorrow. But unlike last year, there are [...]

How to Register for Our Online Classes

This is an updated article that was originally posted in March 2011. We get questions everyday about our online class program and how to register so I thought it was time to revisit this post. Our Microsoft Office online classes are completely free and can be taken at your own pace; you can finish the class in as... Read More ›

Issue 11 of the MagPi – out now!

April’s MagPi has just been released. As well as all the usual goodies, this month the magazine (free to download, as always) contains features on controlling your house’s heating system using a Pi, a guide to turning your Pi into a wireless access point (I’m thinking of pointing one in the general direction of my village bus stop, where I often find myself standing with only a 2G signal for my phone, waiting impatiently until the bus turns up half an hour late), and some really cute Minecraft pointers. This month’s cover, as you can see, was designed in Minecraft: Pi Edition.

There are competitions in which you can win a Pi and add-ons like a Quick2Wire kit, and, excitingly, an opportunity to win one of the very scarce blue Raspberry Pis which were produced by RS components for our first anniversary. (They’re so scarce we don’t even have one at the Foundation!)

Thanks, as always, to the MagPi team – you guys do an amazing job.

If you’re interested in contributing to the magazine, whether your skill is in writing, designing, typesetting or other production work, give Ash and the team a shout at At the moment they’re particularly in need of someone to help with testing and other technical editorial work; as well as someone with layout skills.