Microsoft are the new owners of Nokia. In a move which took many by surprise, Microsoft will now own the Finnish company's devices and products division in a deal worth $5 billion. Another $2.2 billion will go towards acquiring licenses of all of Nokia's patents so that the entire deal works out to $7.2 billion. All this while everyone thought Nokia is working hard to regain its status of being among the top handset makers in the world with active collaboration with Microsoft. The above deal is also reminiscent of the search giant Google acquiring Motorola last year.
"We announced some exciting news today: We have entered into an agreement to purchase Nokia's Devices & Services business, which includes their smartphone and mobile phone businesses, their award-winning design team, manufacturing and assembly facilities around the world, and teams devoted to operations, sales, marketing and support," revealed Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in a letter to Nokia employees.
The above deal will also mark a return of Nokia CEO Stephen Elop who had left Microsoft to join Nokia as its chief executive. He will now be back at Microsoft as the executive vice president of the devices and services division. Elop though is also in the race to replace Steve Ballmer once the latter's tenure comes to an end by next summer.
Microsoft termed the deal as a 'smart acquisition', which is quite relevant given the less than commanding position that Nokia is into right now which also is a shadow of what it was even a few years ago. The above deal also reinforces the Richmond based company's ambitions in the smartphone segment. The Windows Phone 8 platform has emerged as the third largest so far, beating BlackBerry 10 in the process but is way beyond both iOS and Android, the segment leaders right now. WP8 market share has jumped to 8.2 in Europe while its worldwide share of the smartphone market grew from 3.1 percent to 3.7 percent in Q2, 2013. (As per IDC).
“Today’s agreement will accelerate the momentum of Nokia’s devices and services, bringing the world’s most innovative smartphones to more people, while continuing to connect the next billion people with Nokia’s mobile phone portfolio,” revealed Ballmer and Elop in a joint statement.
The deal though is still awaiting shareholder and regulatory approval and is expected to come to a conclusion by Q1, 2014.
Monday, September 2, 2013
Welcome to another Good e-Reader Comparison Video! Today we compare all of the current generation Kobo e-Readers directly against each other. Conduct a nighttime reading test of the Kobo Glo, Kobo Aura and Kobo Aura HD. This will give you a sense on how the same book looks on all three devices.
The Front-lit screens that allow you to read in the dark has undergone constant refinement as each generation is released. Many people often wonder how the glowing display looks side by side and if its a viable reason to upgrade devices. We have seen from our own data that e-reader owners are the least likely to upgrade whenever a new model comes out. If you have the Kobo Glo, should you upgrade to the Aura? In this video we lay it all out, so you can judge for yourself.
The Sony PRS-T3 has been leaked before the official press event in a few days and we now have a sense on what it looks like and the finalized hardware. On the surface it looks very much akin to the T2 and only has marginal enhancements.
The Sony PRS-T3 has a six inch e-Ink Pearl HD display screen with a resolution of 1024×758 pixels. You can pinch and zoom to have more control over your internet and PDF experience. This is the same type of functionality that the new Kobo Aura has. You have 1.2 GB of internal memory to play around with when you take it out of the box for the first time. This will be enough for most users, but you can increase it up to 32 GB via the Micro SD Card. The exact dimensions are 107 x 160 x 8.8 mm. and you will get around eight weeks of battery life out of the e-Reader.
This device does not read a ton of different eBook formats, but you can read the popular ones with ePub, PDF, TXT. There is also a photo section with the support of JPG, GIF, PNG and BMP. Buying books is fairly simple using the dedicated Sony Reader Store, although the Spanish website that sent us all of the photos does not have access to the store yet.
On the software side of things Sony is still using the Android operating system. You can borrow eBooks directly from the library using the Overdrive app, but it is only available in the US, UK, Canada and Ireland. The T2 main selling point was the Evernote and Facebook integration and the new T3 model has both of these still on it. This e-Reader also has WIFI, so you can simply connect right up to the Sony Store, Overdrive and the internet.
Sony has maintained the quintessential drawing app, that allows you to take notes with a freestyle approach. You can use a stylus for more precision and actually take notes in the book. The one thing Sony has always done well is allow readers to make underlines or take notes directly on the book. This is useful because with PDF’s you can simply draw all over it and save the book in its current state. This will allow you to basically have two copies of the book, one virgin and one with your changes. Useful for students and people who are doing research or even belong to a book club.
There is no front-lite on this e-reader and many people should be all up in arms about it. Sony has publicly proclaimed that they fail to see the point of an illuminated screen. The T3 does come with a case, but does no have the reading light that was leaked a few weeks ago. Instead, you have to buy this additionally and should cost around $60.00. Speaking of prices, the T3 e-Reader is poised to retail for $189.99.
Thanks to Estudio Dos of the Librista website for answering a million questions and taking a bunch of custom photos for this reveal!
There are a few changes at the MagPi, the free community magazine about the Raspberry Pi. First of all, you’ll notice they have a new website, with a new and easier layout. And as of today, as many of you have requested, some articles from the magazine are being converted to be readable in HTML format as well as published in the usual whole-magazine PDF form. So far, the team at the MagPi has converted Issue 13, and they’re planning on converting their entire back catalogue to HTML over the coming months, so eventually all articles from all the back issues should also be available to view as separate web pages. It’s a bit of a labour of love, and the team is made up entirely of volunteers, so please be patient while they work! They’ve also set up a blog for MagPi announcements, which you can find at www.themagpi.com/blog/.
This month’s MagPi is the fattest issue so far, with an article on PATOSS, the rescue-bird monitor we covered here in July, going into much more detail about the setup than has been available before, and explaining what progress Jorge Rancé has made since Pato and his broken leg hit the Raspberry Pi blog this summer. There’s more on the skutter robot (hurrah!), with tutorials on adding sensors. You’ll find out how to drive LCD displays, learn about FPGA, and read the usual smorgasbord of software tutorials. This month’s issue comes with two competitions for Pis and accessories – you can read the whole thing over at The MagPi.
Jostling for space among the plethora of new gadgets that's waiting to be unveiled at the upcoming IFA 2013 event will be a humble ereader device which, according to reports from its developer,addresses readers’ responsibility to Mother Nature. The ereader in question, the EnerGenie PP2 from Danish company Gembird, is very similar to any e-ink-based ebook reading device out there. However, its makers want to convince us the EnerGenie PP2 is in reality an e-paper printer.
Here is how the company behind the device is justifying it being labeled as an e-paper printer. When connected to the computer via a USB cable, the device is recognized as a printer. Pressing the print option will transfer the document to be printed onto the EnerGenie where it remains saved. The document can then be called up and displayed on the 9.7 inch e-ink display the device offers, any time it is needed. The 1600 x 1200 pixel display also helps the cause, though while this makes for a nice way to save paper, that's only as long as the document is in black and white. Also, it's a two-way journey with the documents, as the same can also be sent back to the PC.
Meanwhile, the EnerGenie PP2 also includes a stylus which can also make impressions on the display. What this means is that the pen can be used to modify the document or add a signature and so on. The rest of the spec story speaks of a 80 Mhz processor powering the device, together with a 256 MB RAM and 4 GB of internal memory. There is also a micro SD card slot to allow for more storage. The device runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread, though it's unlikely users will be allowed access to the operating system. There’s a 2350mAh battery that will be providing the power, which it must be said will be quite enough given the power saving credentials that e-ink based displays are known for.
However, what comes as a downside is the intended pricing, which at 399 to 499 Euros translates to about $530 to $660. That makes us wonder if there will be enough buyers to splurge on an e-paper printer, no matter how committed they may be towards the green cause.
Meanwhile, here is a video of the device in action.
Many of the leading online digital book stores all offer pre-orders for eBooks that are not yet out. Many tend to only focus on books that are coming out within a few months and most never disclose their actual sales figures. According to a recent data report Good e-Reader ran, readers overwhelmingly are quite negative about ordering books in advance.
When you order a real book in advance, often you get it a few days or a week before the commercial release. eBooks on the other hand don’t give readers any real benefits of ordering them. There are no discounts or anything really compelling about ordering advance and our readers simply don’t do it. This data report is a strong indication on the mentality of your average reader that buys both real books and digital ones.
The Brazilian National Book Fair has just opened up to the public in Rio and is running from August 29 to September 8th. Every single major publisher from South America was in attendance and there was even special areas for foreign books, notably from Germany and France. Anyone worried that youth are distancing themselves from reading would have been warmed at the overwhelming presence of children and teens. Many were part of school visits or brought by their parents.
One of our readers Albert Silva attended the event on Sunday and mentioned “Digital books had an extremely modest presence, represented by Amazon and Kobo, but the impression was that their stands were about readers and technology. I saw very little mentioned of digital books themselves or the reading experience (dictionary, cheaper books, instant 24/7 buying, etc.) which seemed to be taken for granted.”
The Amazon and Kobo booths were about as far away from each other as possible. Albert elaborated that “I visited both, and even though it is quite understandable the only things on display were the readers and tablets, the representatives seemed entirely focused on the technological capabilities such as resolution and RAM. They also hyped up their financing options because electronics in Brazil are frightfully overpriced due to 70% import tariffs. ample prices, converted to US dollars are the Kobo AuraHD, which retails for US$270, or the Kindle Paperwhite for US$200.”