Thursday, July 25, 2013

Video: Top 5 Digital Comic Book Apps for Android


Android has become more refined over the years and is the operating system of choice for many of the worlds leading tablets. Today, we showcase Comixology, Dark Horse, ACV, Comic Rack and Comica! Each one of these apps brings something unique to the table.

If you want to load in your own CBR and CBZ comics that you download from the internet, you may want to check out Comica, Comic Rack and ACV. All of these allow you to import your own into the app, but most feel rather clunky when you search your tablet for each issue. There tends to be no unified way to automatically import them all in and manual labor is required. For the most part, you don’t have some of the more essential features found in the mainstream apps. You do not have guided view, and have to pinch and zoom each panel to read some chat bubbles.

Comixology and Dark Horse are the most refined apps and have the greatest selection for paid content. Comixology has deals with Archie, Marvel, DC, IDW and Walking Dead. This is the most well developed ecosystem, but their Android app always plays second fiddle to their iOS endeavors. Dark Horse excels with cool properties that have an avid following, such as Buffy, Star Wars and tons of indie titles.

Video: Top 5 Digital Comic Book Apps for Android is a post from: E-Reader News

Ectaco Caught Faking their Own Product Reviews


Ectaco has been releasing the Jetbook line of e-Readers since 2008 and has been developing language assistant devices for the military for the last 15 years. The company has never gained mass market traction with their devices, as they cannot compete with price alone against the juggernauts of the industry like Amazon and Kobo. Ectaco is facing some backlash as they have been caught creating fake profiles and building up hype about their products in popular e-Reader communities.

Popular community MobileRead has looked into the past five years of pro-Ectaco reviews and most of them stem from the companies official IP address. It seems a number of users were posting very favorable reviews and even making Youtube videos, posing as average customers. This is just one specific example, they have also been patrolling our website and others in an effort to sell more units.

Today, MobileRead issued the following statement “We’re a bit heavy-hearted to report the news, but recently it was discovered by one of our vigilant members that someone, or several people, employed by, or affiliated with, Ectaco used sock puppets in our forums. Posing as regular consumers, these sock puppets were used to create phony grassroots support for Ectaco products, specifically for the Jetbook device. Not just recently, but for several years. We pride ourselves on being an open and welcoming community. Everyone is invited to join the discussions, whether in an official capacity or otherwise. Full disclosure is not a requirement, as long as you don’t attempt to distort the views in our forums, either by pretending to be a delighted customer of your own brand, or by pretending to be a disgruntled user of a competing product.”

You can follow specific examples by checking out  Kris777′s Posts and LuBiBs Posts, as an example of how not to promote your own company, by posing as legitimate customers.

Ectaco Caught Faking their Own Product Reviews is a post from: E-Reader News

Good e-Reader Introduces a new eBook Best Seller List

A total of seven self-published ebooks will make the New York Times bestseller list this weekend

Today Good e-Reader is proud to announce the launch of our comprehensive eBook Best Seller List! The essence of the list is to data mine all of the popular eBook file sharing websites and produce what people are really reading. This is the first service in the world that gives readers and publishers comprehensive reports on what authors, genres and books are the most popular and what people are downloading the most.

The New York Times, IndieBound and USA Today all focus on digital books that produce the most sales. They look at the most popular reselling sites, such as Amazon, B&N and Kobo. We go the opposite direction to see what people are really reading, and not necessary purchasing. The main reason we went this route, is because no one else is paying much attention to this space, yet millions of books are being downloaded every single week, with no metrics or tracking information. We seek to help publishers and readers alike determine what books are the most popular and what eBooks are being downloaded the most. This type of data is often produced in real time, and is fairly accurate.

Our new eBook Best Seller List features the top 10 downloaded books and focus on new books exclusively. Obviously the Hunger Games, Harry Potter and 50 Shades of Grey dominate the all time most downloaded, but that’s not what we are interested in. Each book entry has cover art, the author name and a basic description. If any of them interest you, there is a Buy it Now button that directs you to Amazon, Sony, B&N and Kobo. We do not use affiliate links or tracking code, we get no commissions on any of the digital sales. You can check it out today by visiting the Good e-Reader eBook Best Seller List! We also have a new widget on the right hand side bar, that lists the book name and an image of the cover art. Clicking on any of those images will bring you directly to our Best Seller List.

Good e-Reader Introduces a new eBook Best Seller List is a post from: E-Reader News

Android 4.3: New Features Discussion


As expected, the “Breakfast with Sunder” event has yielded the Android 4.3 Jelly Bean, which marks an incremental enhancement over the Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean version. It could well have been Android 5.0 Key Lime Pie that we could have been discussing here, but instead Google made the decision to bring in a smaller update. Key Pie Lime is still being speculated to bring about some changes to the Android platform. However, it will be wrong to assume the latest Android is just about a few extra features or the usual dose of bug fixes and enhancements that all updates seem to incorporate.

Clearly, one of the biggest changes that Android 4.3 offers is performance enhancement with better graphics rendering than ever before. This has been brought about thanks to the OpenGL ES 3.0 support that has been included in Android 4.3 for "highest-performance graphics,” which aims to "optimize texture management and increase gradient rendering fidelity.” Android 4.3 also brings with it better rendering for shapes and text, which ensures fewer draw calls issued to the GPU for 2D images.

Another improvement that Android 4.3 has is the inclusion of support for Bluetooth AVRCP 1.3, which means devices running this version of Android can easily pair up with car audio while also offering additional functionality as well.

Google has also introduced a way to introduce further restrictions to the multi-user profile so that users can now restrict what specific apps or games other users can have access to. This feature is only available for tablet devices, and will come in handy for parents to restrict their kids usage of tablet devices.

Android 4.3 also introduces better location accuracy, enabling apps to get location data. This is achieved by ensuring the apps have access to wifi even when it is switched off and not used for data access purposes.

Google has also introduced additional languages to Android 4.3, include Afrikaans, Amharic, Hindi, Swahili, and Zulu.

The Android 4.3 update also has a new keyboard feature included. It is now better equipped to recognize tap typing, which makes it easier for users to input text even when they are engaged in chatting via messages; there is a new emoji keyboard as well.

Overall, it's another layer of sugar coating that Jelly Bean has been provided with, which no doubt will keep us satiated until the bigger Key Pie Lime update comes along, despite the belief that it is more than six months away and that there will be lot of action taking place until then.

Android 4.3: New Features Discussion is a post from: E-Reader News

Kindle Singles Introduces the Long-Form Interview


Long-form journalism and short-form fiction have become widely popular formats with readers, and a number have platforms have been launched to focus solely on this type of reading. Now & Then Reader, Atavist, and Kindle Singles have all seen bestselling titles as readers take to the type of reading that provides a faster read than a full-length book, but still provides more depth and insight than a magazine article.

Today, Amazon announced a new category for Kindle Singles,  the Kindle Singles Interview, a series which stands to be as popular as the single-title e-shorts that takes readers into far more information than a typical print or televised interview would have space for.

"In September of 1962, novelist Alex Haley's conversation with Miles Davis launched the Playboy Interview, and pioneered the idea of a long-form, extended dialogue with the great personalities of our time," said David Blum, editor of Kindle Singles, in a press release on the announcement today. "We hope to carry forward that tradition, and use the unlimited digital space to engage great artists and thinkers in conversation with skilled writers and interviewers."

The first title available in the Interview series is with Shimon Peres, president of Israel, who had a number of insightful things to say, including remarks about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, as well as assurances that the upcoming peace talks with Palestine are a positive move, referring to their leader as a “partner for peace,” even while expressing his concerns over Israel’s current concern with Iran.

Future titles in the Kindle Singles Interview series will be available at, and this first title, “The Optimist,” is available now for 99-cents.

Kindle Singles Introduces the Long-Form Interview is a post from: E-Reader News

How to Use Excel’s VLOOKUP Function

Excel's VLOOKUP function is an extremely useful tool, and learning how to use it is easier than you think!

Digipalooza ‘13 kicks off next week!

On Thursday, August 1st, hundreds of librarians and publishers will join Team OverDrive in Cleveland, Ohio for Digipalooza, the 4th international user group conference. Librarians from around the world will participate in educational and interactive sessions covering topics such as the future of digital media, trends and lessons learned from Big Data, best practices for increasing awareness, usage, and customer engagement, and publisher previews from AudioGO, Books on Tape / Random House, Harper Collins and more.


On Saturday morning, keynote speaker, Mitch Albom, a best-selling author, screenwriter, playwright and nationally syndicated columnist will take the stage. Mitch is the author of five consecutive New York Times bestsellers, and readers are eagerly awaiting his new novel, The First Phone Call from Heaven, coming 11/12/13.


Attendees will also be among the first to see a live demonstration of Streaming Video and OverDrive Media Station, and hear OverDrive CEO, Steve Potash's Crystal Ball Report on what's next in eBooks, audiobooks and video for libraries, schools and readers around the world.


At Digipalooza, we work hard and find some time to play hard, too. Attendees will party like rock stars at the exclusive party at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum and experience the first-ever Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction exhibit.


If you're joining us for Digipalooza, we wish you safe travels and look forward to seeing you next week. If you haven't received your checklist and last minute reminders yet, please email for details on what to pack, Wi-Fi, weather and more. Whether you'll be in attendance or not, join the conversation all weekend on Twitter by using #digip13.


Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communications Specialist with OverDrive


Going on Vacation? Hide Your Tablet in Plain Sight


As prices came down on expensive tablet devices and more consumers could afford to invest in the convenience of complete portability, new concerns arose about theft and damage. A survey from digital magazine distributor lekiosk revealed that only half of the tablet users surveyed reported that they take their tablets with them on vacation; of the remaining half who do not travel with the devices, twenty-five percent cited concerns about theft as the reason they leave them at home.

Nathaniel Philippe, lekiosk's Head of International Business Development, said in a statement on the survey results, "When it comes to providing entertainment, tablets like the iPad are extremely versatile – that's why so many Brits have started taking the devices on holiday with them. But there aren't as many iTravellers as there might be – because people are worried that their precious slates will be targeted by sea- and pool-side thieves. And even the Brits who do take their tablets on holiday with them are resorting to watching them like hawks – or taking a risk and hiding them under piles of clothing. That's why we've developed these very special anti-theft devices that let Brits hide their tablets in plain sight – and experience the kind of true relaxation that everyone goes on holiday to find."

To help ease travelers’ concerns–and keep them from resorting to hiding their expensive technology under clothes or inside their shoes, as many survey respondents reported doing–lekiosk has introduced a ne anti-theft tablet case that is so simple as to very nearly be brilliant. Disguised as a standard, inexpensive print magazine, lekiosk’s tablet cases let users enjoy their tablets poolside without drawing the attention of a would-be thief, just waiting for them to put their tablets down and go for a swim. Anyone with ill intentions who happens to walk past an empty lounge chair, looking for the opportunity to help himself to an expensive iPad, would see only a typical paper magazine.

lekiosk is an iOS, Android, and Windows 8 app that allows consumers to purchase magazines from a rotating 3D news-kiosk and start reading them in just a few clicks, allowing users to create a virtual library of their content. It is already one of the most widely used digital magazine apps in Europe, with one out of every four consumer iPads having installed the free app.

Going on Vacation? Hide Your Tablet in Plain Sight is a post from: E-Reader News

Clive at Activate

Clive Beale, our Director of Educational Development, was at the Guardian’s Activate conference two weeks ago. He was giving a talk in the alarming and upsetting PechaKucha format, where twenty slides are displayed for twenty seconds each, giving the speaker six minutes and forty seconds to talk in twenty-second bursts. Hats off, Clive: I swear there’s no format more terrifying. (If anyone ever asks me to do one of these, I’ll just show twenty landscape photographs. Scratch that: if anyone ever asks me to do one of these, I’ll say no.)

Clive makes an analogy. Click to view the whole talk.

Click here or on the picture to see Clive give a lightning-fast explanation of why learning to code is so important. Clive is at the Scratch conference in Barcelona this week; if you’re there, please go and say hi, and have a chat with him about learning with the Pi. He’s got an awful lot more material to share with you than will fit into seven minutes.


Nvidia Reveals Next Gen Tegra 5 Chip Based on Kepler Architecture


Nvidia just ensured smartphones and tablet devices of the future will be far more powerful by announcing its latest chip offering, the new Tegra 5. Designed to deliver a far more potent processing punch while draining the least on battery resources, the new Tegra 5 chip could finally ensure the introduction of such processor-intensive features as augmented reality or image processing on mobile devices, which  was unthinkable on mobile devices so far. Codenamed Logan, the chip draws a lot of similarity with its present generation 600 series and 700 series GPUs in that the same Kepler architecture is retained. What's new is a “low-power inter-unit interconnect” that has been optimized especially for mobile devices. What emerges in the end is a chip that draws even less power than a third of current generation GPUs, without compromising on performance in anyway.

“We achieved this efficiency without compromising graphics capability. Kepler supports the full spectrum of OpenGL – including the just-announced OpenGL 4.4 full-featured graphics specification and the OpenGL ES 3.0 embedded standard. It also supports DirectX 11, Microsoft's latest graphics API,” the company revealed in its blog today. Daniel Vivoli, senior vice president at Nvidia said it is the new concept of GPGPU or general-purpose graphics processing unit computing that we are approaching in which many of the tasks that were traditionally handled by the CPU is now being processed by the GPU. However, he stressed on the need for both the CPU and GPU to work in tendem to ensure optimum utilization of available resources.

Daniel revealed that Project Logan also boasts several advanced rendering and simulation techniques such as compute-based deferred rendering, advanced anti-aliasing and post-processing, physics, simulations, and Tessellation. This Tessellation refers to the ability of the chip to create geometry on the GPU dynamically from high level descriptions. The chip accomplishes this in such a manner that the triangles in the geometry are sized based on the user's viewpoint, thereby freeing up the chip to engage in other tasks.

Nvidia referred to Compute-based deferred rendering as something “which calculates the effect of all lights in a scene in a single deferred rendering pass. This OpenGL 4 capability greatly improves deferred rendering efficiency and scalability compared to current OpenGL ES-based implementations, which require an extra pass for each light source in the scene. The scalability of the compute-based approach also paves the way to even more advanced lighting models, such as using virtual points of lights to approximate global illumination effects.”

Anti-aliasing and post-processing techniques ensure multi-sampling is more programmable, which works towards enhancing the overall scene. The tech also supports several film-quality post-processing effects, such as motion blur and depth of field. It also supports advanced modeling of physics engines, which adds a touch of reality to the scenes, physics, and simulations. It also opens up avenues to new and innovative ideas for gameplay mechanics which make extensive use of the physics engine.

However, Nvidia didn’t come up with any figures to denote how much of an improvement the Tegra 5 chips marked over Tegra 4. Tegra 5 is slated to arrive only in 2015 as Nvidia has only just begun to ship its Tegra 4 chips which will be powering the upcoming SlateBook X2 tablet from HP.

Refer to the company blog for more on this.

Nvidia Reveals Next Gen Tegra 5 Chip Based on Kepler Architecture is a post from: E-Reader News