Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sony PRS-T3 e-Reader Ships Out September 9th

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The new Sony PRS-T3 e-Reader quietly got revealed today and is already for sale. Customers can order it from Shop e-Readers internationally, Sony Style in Canada. They come in three different colors, black, white and red.

The Sony PRS-T3 features a six inch e-ink Pearl display with a resolution of 1024×758 pixels. It has a 1 GHZ CPU processor, which should keep things fairly speedy. You will have around 1.2 GB of storage space when you take it out of the box for the first time. If this is not enough, you can increase it up to 32 GB via the Micro SD Card.

This e-Reader runs on Android and Sony e-Readers have a history of getting rooted and allowing for the installation of competing e-Book reading apps. You will have Evernote, Overdrive and Facebook apps built into it. There is a stylus that comes with it, for on the fly note taking. If you use PDF files a bunch, Sony generally has the best support.

The new Sony PRS-T3 comes with an integrated case with a built in reading light. This insures that you don’t have to spend another $60 to buy one from Sony.

Sony PRS-T3 e-Reader Ships Out September 9th is a post from: E-Reader News

Amazon Releases First Kindle UK Television Ad

kindle commercial

Amazon has just released their first television commercial in the United Kingdom. The company is forgoing their bikini babe campaign that launched in the US and focusing more on kids.

The television ad only talks about the joy of reading and makes no mention of prices, devices or content. Instead they go back to basics and just focus on the reading experience and the various reason kids are using it. Amazon is letting kids be their spokesman and influence other children to buy into the Kindle mentality and hopefully bother their parents to buy one. Since the commercial focuses on the process of reading, this may help with device sales, as parents want their kids to read and if its a Kindle they want, so be it.


Amazon Releases First Kindle UK Television Ad is a post from: E-Reader News

Introducing Carta: E Ink’s Latest Gen E-Paper Display Technology

Today E Ink officially introduced their latest epaper display technology designed primarily for ebook readers. Carta is an upgrade from Pearl displays that come on most current E Ink ereaders. According to E Ink, Carta brings a 50 percent improvement in contrast. The contrast ratio has been bumped from 10:1 up to 15:1. Reflectivity has […]

BerryCam: use your Raspberry Pi camera board with your iPhone

We know that a lot of you have iPhones – and there are some very useful things you can do with a Pi and an iPhone already, not least using SiriProxy to get your phone interacting with objects in the real world. (Once I work out how to automate emptying the cat litter, I’ll be making sure I can ask Siri to do it for me just to add an extra layer of entertainment.) There’s lots of SiriProxy work going on in the forums – head over, sign up, and join in.

But there’s more!

James Moore has made BerryCam available for free: it’s an app that will allow you to control your Raspberry Pi camera board direct from your iPhone, over a local network, with a pretty interface. You can use the phone to shoot and preview images, easily access the various effects and filters we make available; and you can control settings like exposure and white balance direct from the phone. Images are saved to your phone’s camera roll and to the Pi.

Now, we realise that this all added simplicity means that you won’t have to learn about SSH to view what your Pi is doing on another machine; or learn about giving the camera instructions from the command line. And, to be honest, we don’t entirely approve. It feels like cheating. So while we’d encourage you to give BerryCam a whirl for very compelling reasons of convenience, we’d encourage you even more strongly to try the camera without it first. Learning is good for your soul. You’ll find all the documentation you need to get going with the camera board right here, and plenty of help on the forums. And then you can download BerryCam and use it to your heart’s content.

If SSH is new to you too, there’s a great tutorial from The Raspberry Pi Guy (not affiliated with the Foundation – Matt’s another of our ridiculously helpful community members) you should watch.

Equipped with your new knowledge, you can go and use shortcuts (especially beautiful and well-presented ones like BerryCam) with a clear conscience. Thanks Matt, and thanks James!

 

Sony PRS-T3 Announced Much to Nobody’s Surprise, But There’s a Twist

Thanks to various leaks, we knew it was going to happen. And we knew when it was going to happen. Then it happened: Sony officially announced the PRS-T3 ebook reader today. But there’s a bit of an unusual twist to the situation. So far, the US seems to be left out of the release. The […]

Thailand Unveils Smart Education Plan That Promotes eLearning Via Tablets

Thailand

The government in Thailand is out to promote education in the country by putting more emphasis on digital learning via tablet devices. In its bid to impart quality education to its students that matches the best in the world, the government has drawn up the national Smart Education Plan which involves studying via tablets loaded with educational apps. Towards this, the government is collaborating with the Chulalongkorn University Demonstration School to sort out all issues before the scheme is rolled out in other centers of education.

"The Thailand Smart Education programme is currently in pilot stage, and based on the results, the tablets will be extended to other schools in the future. The programme looks to transform the learning paradigm with a learner-centred development model and one-to-one digital classrooms. The programme aims to instil lifelong learning and allow students to learn from anywhere, at any time," said the Minister for ICT, Anudith Nakornthap.

The above move reflects the growing trend now evident worldwide where information technology along with suitable mobile computing devices such as tablets is seen playing a key role in the education segment. There has been a growing demand for tablets among the student community who otherwise would have opted for a notebook or a laptop device.

The Thai Smart Education Plan involves the development of education apps that are compliant with Window, iOS and Android, creating suitable curriculum, and so on. With tablet devices as the primary means of imparting education, teachers too will be better equipped to track student's progress as well as effective record management.

"With the 'One Tablet PC per Child' programme, the Ministry of ICT has accelerated the development of information technology for the education sector to meet international standards," said the minister.

Thailand Unveils Smart Education Plan That Promotes eLearning Via Tablets is a post from: E-Reader News

The top 100 audiobooks from 2013 so far…

Did you know that 14.8 million audiobooks have been borrowed so far in 2013 from OverDrive users around the world? That’s over 60,000 per day which averages out to one audiobook being checked out roughly every two seconds!

 

Audiobooks are wonderful for readers who love to multitask. If you have a long commute through traffic you can pass the time by listening to your favorite titles. Stuck in spreadsheets or doing mindless work during an afternoon? Audiobooks can help with that too! Many people prefer audiobooks to music while they work out, cook meals or just as background noise throughout their day. Talented audiobook narrators can make a story come to life and provide a new way to enjoy a title.

 

Digital audiobooks have created a mobility that wasn’t previously possible when using audiobooks on CD. Gone are the days of carrying CD players or juggling 15 discs for a long story. If you have a mobile device, you can listen to audiobooks easily and on the go! With the recent edition of the variable speed playback to the iOS version of OverDrive Media Console, patrons are getting through titles even quicker now!

 
To celebrate the continued popularity of audiobooks, we have compiled the top 100 titles that users have enjoyed so far in 2013. From the Harry Potter series to Gone Girl, a wide variety of genres are represented. You can view the top 100 list by clicking on the image on the right. You can also find the complete list available in OverDrive Marketplace. This will enable you to quickly add the popular titles you don’t already have in your collection.

 

For help with creating this or any other cart, contact your Collection Development Specialist today. Happy listening!

 

Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communications Specialist with OverDrive.

New Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Uses E-Ink Carta Technology

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The new Amazon Kindle Paperwhite was just announced yesterday and one of the things highly touted was the new front-lit display and 25% faster page-turns. How exactly is this accomplished when the vast majority of the industry is using Pearl HD display screens? This is because Amazon was the first company to license a new breed of e-Paper called Carta.

E Ink Carta displays utilize a new electronic ink formulation and technology to provide a dramatic 50% improvement in contrast ratio and over 20% improvement in reflectance over previous generations of E Ink displays for a remarkably improved viewing and reading experience. The new Carta displays utilize the most advanced bistable electronic paper technology to deliver the best contrast ratio E Ink has ever delivered to the market with the same extremely low power consumption expected from an E Ink display.

The new display has been specifically tuned for reading applications, fully supporting E Ink Regal waveform technology. Regal waveforms dramatically reduce the need for full page refreshes after a few page turns. This enhances the reader's experience by providing smoother page turns and more focused reading.

Regal technology is basically what the new Kobo Aura is using. This limits the full page refreshing from every six pages, which is the industry standard, to every chapter. Regal also eliminates “ghosting” which occurs quite often in e Ink screens.

"The Carta display technology is a testament to E Ink's continued innovation and leadership in ePaper and electronic ink displays," said Giovanni Mancini, Director of Product Management for E Ink Holdings. "E Ink has always enjoyed a close working relation with its customers. The launch of Carta reaffirms our belief in the future of the ePaper market and we believe it will herald a new standard in ePaper displays."

New Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Uses E-Ink Carta Technology is a post from: E-Reader News

How publishers should learn to stop worrying and love library ebook lending


At the start of the summer, I traveled to Chicago for the annual national conference of the American Library Association. It was great. There are many utterly baseless clich├ęs about librarians – the shushing spinster who prefers the company of books to humans is a creation of pure and unimaginative fantasy. But there is one way in which librarians live up to their reputation: they are superbly organized. I've been to many library conferences – national, regional, even Europe-wide – and the one thing I can report about all of them is that they ran like clockwork.

While I was in Chicago, I sat down with some of the ALA strategists to talk about how libraries are getting a raw deal on e-books. When libraries want to buy an e-book from the publisher, they find themselves paying as much as five times the price you or I pay for the same book. Literally – librarians are paying $60-80, and sometimes more, to include current release frontlist titles in their collections. Each of these e-books can only be lent to one patron at a time, which means that libraries are sometimes buying a dozen – or more – of these overpriced text-files.




Link: http://www.locusmag.com/Perspectives/2013/09/cory-doctorow-libraries-and-e-books/


Dr. Seuss Available as eBooks for First Time

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Random House Children’s Books, the publisher of multi-award winning and best-selling children’s author Dr. Seuss’ entire catalog of children’s content, announced today that it would begin releasing most of the author’s forty-four books as ebooks for young readers, starting with fifteen titles near the end of this month. The ebooks will keep the original layout and beloved illustrations, but will also incorporate a read-aloud narration.

“Random House Children's Books and Dr. Seuss Enterprises have been publishing partners for decades,” said Barbara Marcus, President & Publisher, Random House Children's Books, in a press release. “I am so pleased to announce the start of an exciting new chapter in our long and thriving relationship, as we embark on expanding the Dr. Seuss reading experience together with ebooks," says Marcus. "We are delighted that today's parents, their children, and educators can now add Dr. Seuss's classics to their digital bookshelves, joining the cherished hardcovers that we have all grown up with."

The order of release includes:

September 24 – The Cat in the Hat; Green Eggs and Ham; Oh, the Places You'll Go!; Horton Hears a Who!; One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish; Dr. Seuss's ABC; Fox in Socks; Hop on Pop; Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?; Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!; The Cat in the Hat Comes Back; The Foot Book; There's a Wocket in My Pocket!; The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins; and The Lorax.

October 22 – I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!; Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!; The Cat's Quizzer; The Shape of Me and Other Stuff; Dr. Seuss's Sleep Book; Happy Birthday to You!; Horton Hatches the Egg; How the Grinch Stole Christmas!; The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories; The Sneetches and Other Stories; Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories; And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street; I Can Lick 30 Tigers Today! and Other Stories; If I Ran the Circus; If I Ran the Zoo; On Beyond Zebra!; The King's Stilts; and Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose.

November 5 – Oh Say Can You Say?; Bartholomew and the Oobleck; Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?; Hunches in Bunches; I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew; McElligot's Pool; The Butter Battle Book; and You're Only Old Once!

Many of Dr. Seuss’ titles have also been rendered previously as app books by OceanHouse Media.

Dr. Seuss Available as eBooks for First Time is a post from: E-Reader News

Rockstand And Vodafone Join Hands To Allow eBook Purchases From Mobile Balance

rockstand

Rockstand, one of the biggest ebook and emagazine application in India, today announced its partnership with Vodafone, who happens to be the leading provider of telecommunication services in the country. As part of the deal, Vodafone subscribers who wish to buy books or magazines from Rockstand can do so with the recharge amount they have in their balance. This will make for the most hassle-free buying experience, making Rockstand the first ebook app in the country to offer such.

"Rockstand's tie-up with Vodafone will further strengthen our relationship with them as well as with our users. We are receiving wonderful reviews for our application and recently we have crossed a mark of 50,000 downloads, which shows the growing popularity of Digital reading in India. With Vodafone support, we will be reaching to urban as well as rural areas of the country on a strong network. We are sure this association will bear rich dividends for both Vodafone & Rockstand," revealed a naturally ecstatic Mr. Praveen Rajpal, CEO, Rockstand Digital Pvt. Ltd.

Such a deal will also no doubt add impetus to the cause of digital reading in India, where the trend is picking up fast. Meanwhile, Rockstand also stated they will have exclusive subscription offers for Vodafone users which will let them buy books and magazine for ₹ 7 per day. Only a few days ago, the app recorded downloads exceeding 1 TB and the collaboration with Vodafone is expected to further enhance its reach among users in India.

Rockstand And Vodafone Join Hands To Allow eBook Purchases From Mobile Balance is a post from: E-Reader News

Afghanistan project: double your money update

I’ve spoken to the board of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, and I’m very pleased to be able to tell you that donations to the project we posted about yesterday, to bring computing labs to girls in Afghanistan, will be matched up to $10,000 by the Foundation. So there’s an extra incentive to donate – we’ll double your donation for you.

Read more about the project here, or go straight to Indiegogo to make a donation.

eReatah: eBook Subscription Service That Might Actually Work

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A number of companies have experimented with the subscription model for digital reading, but there have been some factors that have stood in the way of launching a viable and productive reality surrounding pay-as-you-go reading. Publishers have expressed serious and very real concerns about ensuring their authors are fairly compensated for content read under subscription, and readers were less than excited about paying a monthly subscription fee to read content one time.

Now, a new approach has been created by eReatah, one that functions more like the famous mail-order book clubs of years past than any of its competitors’ approaches. By charging readers a monthly subscription fee to download and own the ebooks based simply on the number of books they choose (as opposed to paying market prices for individual titles), eReatah has opened the door for a very fluid model of ebook purchasing.

“My goal with eReatah was to design a subscription service that I myself wanted to use," said company founder Bryan Batten of the platform that was two years in the making. "As a reader, I like to be the person who finds a great book that none of my friends have read, so I can recommend it to them. While eReatah's library contains many of the best-sellers, we are also excited about our recommendation engine, which can help introduce lesser-heralded masterpieces to users so they can become curators and share those special finds."

eReatah also bills itself as a book discovery platform, meeting a very serious need in the digital reading realm as potentially thousands of new titles per day are posted to ebook retail platforms. One soon-to-be popular feature is the “If These Two Books Had a Baby,” a book recommendation engine that bases its suggestions on consumers’ prior ebook purchases.

The subscription model comes into play by charging a flat rate per month for a set number of titles. Readers get to choose those titles, regardless of standard stand-alone shelf price. eReatah already has agreements with several major publishers, including Berrett-Koehler, Diversion Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Independent Publishers Group, Ingram Content Group, Open Road Integrated Media, Simon & Schuster, Sourcebooks and Workman. The platform is currently in private beta launch, but plans to introduce new publishers by the time it goes public.

eReatah: eBook Subscription Service That Might Actually Work is a post from: E-Reader News

Rumor: A Smartwatch From Nokia Coming Soon

Nokia

After we have had enough of tablet devices, smartphones as well as big screen smartphone devices, it was perhaps just a matter of time before the manufacturers turned to provide the smart treatment to the humble watch. Joining the mad rush from manufacturers to come up with their individual take on the smartwatch concept is Nokia.  All of it is too nebulous right now, but is being linked to a smart wearable device in the pipeline due to several Nokia products being leaked.

The image depicts several Nokia products including the recently launched Lumia 1020 as well as the company's wireless charging stand. Towards the bottom is shown a device that is known internally as the Nokia Morph. Of course Nokia hasn't confirmed they are indeed making a smartwatch, though given the current trend, it will be surprising if they don’t. In any case, most other devices shown in the image has already become a market reality.

Further, the Microsoft Surface team were also rumored to be developing a smartwatch. Now with both Microsoft and Nokia joining forces, it will be really interesting to see how things pan out.

Rumor: A Smartwatch From Nokia Coming Soon is a post from: E-Reader News

Barnes and Noble Slashes Nook Tablet Prices in the UK

nook price drop

Barnes and Noble admitted during a recent investors call that they simply made too many tablets and are sitting on a ton of inventory. Every day that a unit remains unsold, new models are coming out from their direct competitors and vying for consumers attention. Barnes and Noble is again slashing prices in the UK for their entire line of tablets and it could be the incentive people need to buy into the Nook ecosystem.

Beginning today, customers can purchase the 7-inch NOOK HD for just £79 (8GB) and £99 (16GB), while the 9-inch NOOK HD+ tablet is available for just £129 (16GB) and £149 (32GB), both online at NOOK.co.uk and at leading retailers across the UK, while stocks last.

"As families across the UK prepare for students to go back to school, NOOK has made digital reading even more affordable by lowering prices on the NOOK HD and NOOK HD+ tablets" said Jim Hilt, Managing Director, Barnes & Noble. "We are committed to the cause of literacy and learning in the UK and this new pricing on our highly versatile tablets will bring a world of books, apps, films, music and more to customers at an unbeatable value."

To be honest, these prices make the Nook line of tablets very compelling. They still have some of the highest resolution displays in the business and their eight inch tablet is fairly solid for reading more graphic heavy content like magazines and kids books. All of the companies tablets are now officially Google certified, so there are no shortage of apps and games to download. Could this recent price slash encourage more people to pick one up?

Barnes and Noble Slashes Nook Tablet Prices in the UK is a post from: E-Reader News