Saturday, June 22, 2013

Shop e-Readers and Okanagan College Deliver Amazon e-Readers to Students


Shop e-Readers has announced today that it has reached a new agreement with the Okanagan College to carry e-readers in its campus bookstore. Starting immediately, at the main branch in Kelowna, the Amazon Kindle Fire HD and Kindle e-Reader will be available for students to purchase. The new e-reader demo area will provide diligent young scholars with the ability to play with the devices and get information to aid in a buying decision.

Carla Macfarlane, General Merchandise Buyer, OC Campus Store, said, “Okanagan College Campus Store is excited to partner with Shop e-Readers, to provide students and staff with e-readers and tablets and digital content for them. We are looking forward to a successful relationship and expanding our line in the near future!”

Eric Johnson, Sales Director at Shop e-Readers, said, “We are very excited to offer students the latest generation Kindle tablets and e-readers at Okanagan College. It is important that Canadian students have access to the most cutting edge technology to enhance their education.”

Shop e-Readers currently deals with a number of universities and campus bookstores all over Canada. Okanagan College joins the University of British Columbia, Langara, University of Victoria, and Simon Fraser University in offering e-readers and tablets to the general student body.

Shop e-Readers and Okanagan College Deliver Amazon e-Readers to Students is a post from: E-Reader News

BookOS Accused of eBook Piracy


The issue of ebook piracy, or digital piracy in any form, is the topic of many debates all over the world. Within these discussions, it is generally concluded that those aiding in piracy are considered equal partners in the crime. One such site that does not have a clean record is, which many accuse of having a large number of pirated ebooks in its collection. The site, which claims itself to be the largest ebook library in the world, is also reported to have been down once, though it seems it’s back to business as usual.

Needless to say, the author community is up in arms against the site and they have a valid reason to do so. If  their works are pirated and sold or doled out for free, the authors are deprived of their livelihood. Authors typically are paid a percentage (which can be up to 40%) of the sale from their ebook or agree to a flat fee from the publisher which will remain fixed regardless of the number of books sold. The latter is generally applicable to the more renowned authors, and while they are less prone to suffer from piracy as far as their livelihood is concerned, those that depend on royalties are the ones that suffer losses if their works end up being pirated.

Now imagine their surprise as authors discover their ebooks listed at without their knowledge or consent. does have a provision for authors to have the links to their books removed, if they report it, although there have been many instances of ebooks coming back online again. A Facebook campaign called “Shut BookOS Down“ is also underway, though it only has a paltry 62 likes. The Facebook crusade seems to be working, however, due to constant pestering, which has forced BookOS to vastly limit its Facebook presence. In any case, BookOS still has managed to garner over 18k likes.

As for the users, they don't have anything to complain as long as they have their books delivered completely free. It can be hard to remain ethical, especially when it can be about saving a few hundred dollars. Opinions are divided throughout, and some believe it's only a book that is priced too high that runs the risk of being pirated. Tor Books UK, a publisher of science fiction and fantasy, ran an experiment in which they stripped all copy protection from their books for a year. They claim this did not lead to any remarkable increase in piracy for any of their titles.

However, in the end, what must  kept in mind is that the author community runs the risk of being eroded in the digital age, where piracy is widely accepted. When a pirate website has more Likes than the site trying to shut it down, we have problems. When it comes to the success of BookOS, who is responsible for shutting it down? The publishers? Authors? Users? Pirate websites like this thrive when users refuse to pay for content, and in the end, authors suffer the most.

BookOS Accused of eBook Piracy is a post from: E-Reader News

Judge Dredd Megazine Comes to the iPad

Megazine 336

The British publisher 2000AD has upped their game by adding Judge Dredd Megazine to their iOS Newsstand app, along with a major revamp that makes their comics easier to find and sort.

When I first took a look at the app, last November, I found it to be “pretty basic”—really, just a grid of comics that you can buy, arranged in numerical order, and a subscription page. The new app is a bit more sophisticated, with a store page that sorts the comics by title and publication year. You still can’t preview individual comics, but there are two good-sized freebies, a 69-page sampler issue and a 12-page prequel to the Judge Dredd movie. The update also brings in two features that have become fairly standard in digital comics apps: Bookmarking and panel zoom. (Since the app is available for the iPhone as well as iPad, the latter feature is really not optional.)

The biggest change, though, is the addition of Judge Dredd Megazine, a monthly magazine that is a thicker, richer version of 2000AD. The mix of stories usually includes some old and new Judge Dredd, creator interviews and other feature content, and a complete 64-page graphic novel drawn from the 2000AD archives.

I have been a fan of 2000AD since I jumped on with their Prog 1824, which featured four new stories. 2000AD is a great action comic that presents interesting characters in extreme situations without falling into the two greatest pitfalls of American superhero comics, sexism and overly complicated continuity and crossovers. The women in the comics I have read have all been sexy, but they are also smart, fully rounded characters who really move the story forward, and the stories themselves tend to be fairly short and self-contained. It’s easy to start reading 2000AD, but it’s not so easy to stop.

The app solves the biggest problem with these two comics, which has been distribution—the fan base has been limited for years by the fact that the print comics tend to show up irregularly in brick-and-mortar shops weeks after their UK publication date. The digital issues come out the same week as the UK versions, and at $2.99 for an issue of 2000AD (which is a weekly) and $7.99 for the much thicker Megazine, the prices are reasonable, although they can add up. The subscription shaves a bit off the cover price and also includes some back issues.

Judge Dredd Megazine Comes to the iPad is a post from: E-Reader News

Restrictions on In-Flight Devices May Soon Be Relaxed


Travelers who have spent much time in this air can probably recite the intercom warnings verbatim, reminding passengers that it is against Federal Aviation Association restrictions to use portable electronic devices during certain portions of the flight, namely during take-off and landing. Some airlines’ announcements go so far as to list specific products by name, such as Kindles, Nooks, or iPads, in an effort to make guarantee that passengers were aware of precisely which devices are in question. Interestingly, travelers are informed that the devices must be physically stowed in the carry-on bag and not left in the seat pocket, presumably because the device–which incidentally is the same size or smaller than the stash of magazines and catalogs in that very same seat pocket–can be ejected from the pocket and injure someone.

For Senator Claire McCaskill (D), this isn’t good enough. And in her role as chairman of Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, which presides over both aviation and communications policy, it is her job to be kept well-informed of the safety policies for airline travel and their justifications. Only there hasn’t been a justification.

McCaskill has been arguing with various agencies for several years now about the restrictions on portable device use during air travel, not in an attempt to brush aside the potential dangers caused by any interference with the aircraft’s finely tuned controls, but because no one has come forward with any evidence that such interference even exists.

This week, McCaskill’s office released a statement announcing that the FAA may soon lift much of the current restrictions on in-flight device use, and the Senator had following statement for the announcement:

"It's good to see the FAA may be on the verge of acknowledging what the traveling public has suspected for years—that current rules are arbitrary and lack real justification. In the meantime, I'll continue my effort to have these regulations rigorously examined until scientific evidence has been presented to justify them, or the rules are altered."

In her capacity as chairman, McCaskill has maintained that restrictions to protect consumers should be in place if the evidence supports the cautionary measures, but no evidence has been provided that tablets, e-readers, or cell phones are potential threats to passenger safety.

Restrictions on In-Flight Devices May Soon Be Relaxed is a post from: E-Reader News