Canadian based Kobo has started to release a number of new e-Readers every year, and a growing tablet line. The Kobo Arc was released at the tail end of last year and saw modest success in Canada. This makes two different tablet computers they have released and they are trying new things with a 10 inch tablet that will be released in September.
The new Kobo tablet is currently codenamed Macallan and features a 10 inch full color touchscreen with a resolution of 2560×1600. The resolution is fairly amazing and blows the Nook HD, Kindle Fire HD 8.9 and the 10 inch Samsung Galaxy Tab out of the water. This will make magazines, games and movies look superb, although it will lose the portability factor a seven inch device brings to the table.
Resolution of course, isn’t everything. This is why there is a quad-core 1.8 GHZ processor underneath the hood and 2 GB of RAM. All other specs are unknown, as the name and hardware were unearthed in a public benchmarking website, that has since been taken down.
Still, you can assume it will still give you a solid audio experience with Kobo’s partnership with True Vision Audio and maintain the Tapestries technology that was incorporated in the ARC tablet. Tapestries, basically is Kobo’s UI that gives you unique directory and social media management. It also puts an emphasis on reading with the ability to buy eBooks.
Kobo currently has a new six inch e-Reader at the FCC and likely this device should be ready for evaluation in the next few weeks. The company trend has been to announce a new product line at the same time.
Sunday, July 28, 2013
The Good e-Reader News app for Android has received a big update today! We have sped up the loading time when you first fire the app up for the first time and pull our featured news items very quickly. We have also alphabetized our topic section, which makes browsing our various news categories, easier than ever! Finally, we have really enhanced the app in many different ways and squashed some annoying bugs.
Good e-Reader has been chronicling the rise of the entire modern era digital publishing industry and has been reviewing e-readers since they first started getting manufactured. We provide a free online news service that is written by some of the best people in the publishing industry and give you a play by play of all major events and trends.
Here’s my roundup of digital comics best-sellers from the leading platforms.
1. Injustice: Gods Among Us #28
The list begins and ends with digital-first comics, and the fact that the previous issue of Injustice: Gods Among Us doesn’t show up until number 15 suggests that readers are snapping up fresh copies of these weekly comics as they come out.
1. Scott Pilgrim: Precious Little Life, color edition, vol. 1
Everything on here except Superman #1 is a graphic novel or collected edition. It’s interesting to see Scott Pilgrim, which was released almost a year ago, in the number 1 spot; what on earth could have caused a surge that would bring it to the top of the Amazon charts? The Wolverine and Deadpool books doubtless got a bounce from both the Wolverine movie and the sale Amazon is having on Wolvering and Deadpool books.
Amazon has a separate chart for single-issue comics; nine of the ten slots are taken by Injustice: Gods Among Us, with the most recent issue in the top spot. The one other comic is Superman #1, which Amazon was giving away for free for a while; this may have boosted the numbers.
1. Injustice: Gods Among Us #23
I stripped out the free books from Barnes and Noble’s list to make it compatible with the other lists. Bleach is still up there, and it’s interesting to note that the latest volume of Naruto is in the number 11 slot, just missing the top ten. So for some group of people, the Nook is a significant manga reading platform.
1. Injustice: Gods Among Us #27
So, Injustice: Gods Among Us continues to be the digital comics phenomenon. And here’s an interesting statistic from DC co-publisher Jim Lee: 30% of Injustice readers are new to comics. That’s not too surprising because although stars Superman and Batman, Injustice is based on a game, and the gaming audience is much bigger than the comics world.
I checked the New York Times print graphic novel best-seller lists (hardcover and paperback) to see if there were any larger trends that would be affecting these digital charts—a surge in print sales of Scott Pilgrim, for instance—but there is literally no overlap between the lists, aside from the popularity of The Walking Dead. It’s as if they were in two different universes—which, indeed, they are.
Can you save me the comics? This familiar question was often spoken in my household on Sunday mornings. A picture of fatherhood, my dad who had awakened early was holding his second cup of morning coffee with the Cleveland Plain Dealer spread across his chest and small ink marks on his hands proving that he had indeed been reading. After saying our good mornings, my elder sister and I would focus our gaze on the perfectly folded unopened newspaper sections stationed on the small table beside him. We would ask for articles about the arts, books, movies and, of course, the comics. Those first sections containing current news and the front pages would never do. Later in the morning, when dad had reached the desired sections he would share them with us. I remember reading the comics and enjoying the small illustrations of characters who spoke in word bubbles. But I know more than anything my favorite part was doing something grown up— reading the newspaper.
For those of you fellow comic book fans, here are a few titles which may cause you to marvel at the longevity of our favorite two dimensional heroes.
Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman (Nobleman & Macdonald) Juvenile Nonfiction
This is the true story of two teen boys, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster who created Superman in their hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.
Marvel Comics: The Untold Story (Sean Howe) Nonfiction
In the early 1960's Marvel Comics was a small struggling company who armed with their cast of brightly costumed characters including Spider-Man, Captain America, and the Fantastic Four created a multimillion dollar enterprise and changed the world of comic books.
“A superpowered must-read for anyone hooked on comics, as well as a gripping story for someone merely enlightened by a genre that’s always had to fight for respect. It’s much more about ordinary, flawed humans than super men and women, and therein lies its excellence.” – USA Today
The Boy Who Loved Batman (Michael Uslan) Nonfiction
Uslan's memoir chronicles his childhood obsession with Batman and later his passion turned business which led him to purchase the film rights to Batman and produce every modern Batman film to date. He created one of the most successful pop culture franchises of all time.
Renee Lienhard is a Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive
A few days ago Smashwords announced it was launching a new pre-order system for indie eBooks. Smashwords now joins Amazon, Apple, B&N, Kobo and Google in offering a system for readers to order their favorite digital books in advance. The big question, is eBooks have infinite copies available and are book lovers actually pre-ordering books or just buying them when they come out?
All of the major digital book resellers never release statistics on the amount of pre-orders a single title receives. Obviously, it is a system that gets some use, but there is seldom any advantages of ordering it in advance. Most movies, music albums and video games normally gives a slew of bonus content when you pre-order. If you order an album in advance, you normally get a bonus track, video games give you extra equipment or even new levels. Retailers give discounts on movie tickets when you pre-order a DVD or Blu-Ray or even a bonus disk. All three of these also allow the early shipment, which means you can have it shipped out before the actual release date. eBooks on the other hand, never give any type of bonuses at all. You would be hardpressed to get a coupon for some savings on purchasing your next title and books never give out bonus content. Also, when you order a book before the release date, there isn’t even any cost savings, so where is the allure?
If online retailers really want customers to order more books in advance, they need to roll out features that make it worth the readers while. Let’s hear it from our readers, do you pre-order books? If not, what types of incentives and features would help sway you?
Verdict: 4 Stars
Wilson’s second title Death By Living (Thomas Nelson), following the immensely popular Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl, once again incorporates the author’s nearly-manic writing style that somehow manages to be both disjointed and steadily straightforward at the same time. This book is a times so hard to comprehend that the reader might wonder if it is, in fact, English; at other times, the author makes such profound statements that it felt less like reading and more like absorbantly knowing.
Wilson’s essential point in the book is this: you’re gonna die. There’s nothing you can do to prevent it, there’s no amount of good you can do or legacy you can leave behind that will change it. But this is also decidedly not a book about filling the moments between birth and life with the greatest use of time. It just…is.
What this book also demonstrates is the complete spirituality of our existence, regardless of where the reader place his own faith on the vast spectrum of belief. The author isn’t referring to religion, though, only spirituality and its impact on this life everyone lives before dying.
Granted, this is an incredibly confusing book to read and at times I wanted to hold the author down, preferably tied to a chair, and administer some kind of medication that would cause the writing style to make more sense. But I’m certainly not a lesser person for having read it, and might even be someone who is now more aware.
With the first of the Apple verdicts behind them and the promised appeal looming on the horizon, there is still some question as to who will pay, when they will pay, and how much.
With the earlier settlements from the five publishers involved, one of the resounding statements they repeatedly made when signing to agree to pay out hundreds of millions of dollars to consumers for allegedly overcharging them for ebooks was that they were not at fault and did not admit any wrongdoing. Their only reason for agreeing to the settlement terms was to avoid paying even more than the amount of the settlement in fighting a lengthy legal battle.
For Apple, though, that was a gamble that did not pay off. The iPad creators who reportedly conspired with the publishers to arrange the prices of ebooks in an effort to sway consumers away from Amazon’s Kindle and to the then newly-launched iPad have resulted in a ruling from Judge Denise Cote that could mean Apple will pay almost half a billion dollars.
The math gets a little convoluted, and several sources including GigaOm, AllThingsD, and TUAW have all posted articles on the subject that help clear up some of where the money will come from, and where it will go. Essentially, the original amount that is owed to consumers looks like just over $218 millon. But factoring in current legislation that specifically addressed anti-trust violations–in this case, the price fixing allegations brought by the Department of Justice and agreed with by Cote–means that the punishment could be triple that amount, since Apple was found at fault. that new number is over $656 million, of which the publishers have already paid nearly $200 million, leaving Apple to potentially foot the bill for the remaining nearly $500 million.
Of course, don’t go looking for that refund anytime soon. The wheels of justice might turn slowly, but the wheels of issuing refunds to millions of ebook customers will turn even slower, and that’s assuming that Apple does, in fact, lose its appeal, an outcome that legal analysts feel strongly may happen.