Friday, September 6, 2013

Whats the deal with Front-Lit e-Readers?


e-Reader technology has come a long way since 2006 and many of the latest devices pack a front-lit display. Unlike LCD screens that emit light from behind the screen into your eyes, this e-paper technology evenly distributes the light from the bezel onto the screen. This is easier on the eyes for long reading sessions and the Kobo Aura, Kindle Paperwhite, Nook Glow and many others use this technology.

Today we want to give you a visual demonstration about the virtues of front-lit technology. Many people like to read at night or next to sleeping partner and not keep them up like a lamp would. The e-Readers in this comparison all allow you to augment the luminosity levels to optimize your reading conditions. It is important to note that this technology is using e-ink display screens and lights that are on the bottom of the bezel, pointing upwards.

Whats the deal with Front-Lit e-Readers? is a post from: E-Reader News

Digital Comics Deals for the Weekend: Here Come the X-Men

Black Beetle

It’s all about superheroes this week, in one form or another.

September 4 was the 50th anniversary of the X-Men, so comiXology has the Fall of the Mutants issues on sale for 99 cents each, and they are also offering the first volume of Grant Morrison’s New X-Men for $3.99, a substantial discount off the usual price of $8.99.

Now, this is kind of interesting: I subscribe to Marvel Unlimited, so I could read most if not all of those Fall of the Mutants comics with that. But I just this week noticed that Marvel has special offers for MU subscribers. The latest offer (it’s good until October 7) is All-New X-Men #1-10 and Uncanny X-Men, vol. 3 #1-5, for 99 cents each. Since Marvel Unlimited is not a download service—you don’t keep the comics when your subscription ends—I was curious how this worked, so I bought a comic. I was shunted over to the Marvel comic store, which (although it doesn’t say this anywhere) is powered by comiXology, so when I opened the comiXology app on my iPad, the new comic appeared. It’s interesting to see Marvel building some synergy between these two digital comics services.

Meanwhile, Dark Horse is putting the spotlight on their own superheroes in this weekend’s 99-cent sale. Highly recommended: Francesco Francavilla’s retro-noir Black Beetle comics, featuring action-packed stories and art ripped straight from the cover of a pulp novel. There’s also Sledgehammer, Michael Avon Oeming’s The Victories, and a good handful of others, so check ‘em out.

The manga scene is quiet, but Digital Manga is offering 20% off on light novels through September 13.

Digital Comics Deals for the Weekend: Here Come the X-Men is a post from: E-Reader News

Kindle MatchBook: Buy a Paper Book, Get the eBook for Cheap or Free

Earlier this week, before announcing the Kindle Paperwhite 2, Amazon made headlines by introducing something they plan on introducing in October called Kindle MatchBook (no, it’s not Kindle-branded matches). Kindle MatchBook allows customers who purchase the printed copy of a book to get the ebook copy for cheap—$2.99, $1.99, or $0.99—or even free. What’s great […]

Oyster Offering All-You-Can-Read eBooks For $9.95/Month


Oyster is out to win over the reading community with an offer that is hard to resist: a library full of ebooks for just $9.95 a month. No wonder the Oyster offer is being equated to Netflix, which has a similar monthly plan for watching videos. At present, there are 100,000 ebooks at Oyster, with none of them being free titles. Oyster has signed up directly with publishers such as HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Rodale. Smashwords titles are also available.

Amazon has a similar offer in place, the Kindle Owners' Lending Library, where subscribers of Amazon Prime service have at their disposal over 350,000 ebooks for an annual fee of $79. However, Prime members will be limited to borrowing just one ebook a month. The Oyster offer stands out in that it offers as many ebook one might need for just a few bucks more.

However, there is a catch: the service is only available for iOS right now and that too, only for the iPhone. The iPad version will be made available during fall though the team behind Oystem isn't revealing when will they appear on the Android landscape. Meanwhile, the service is as per invitation only at present as it's still under beta testing with about 100 subscribers trying out the service. Further, owners don't get to own the ebooks they have borrowed from Oyster, for the moment the monthly subscription is discontinued, all of the ebooks will vanish from your device.

The Oyster offer though does make a lot of sense for the academicians or research professional who need to refer to lot of books. But then, there is no stopping anyone from trying out the service – once it is launched that is – for avid book lovers too will love to be part of the Oyster service.

"We’re trying to allow people to spend less time deciding if they should read a book and more time just reading it," revealed Eric Stromberg, one of the co-founders of Oyster.

Oyster Offering All-You-Can-Read eBooks For $9.95/Month is a post from: E-Reader News

McGraw-Hill Connect Update Makes the Platform More Versatile

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

For the growing number of platforms that offer some form of digital learning or e-textbook options, the race to compete in the already crowded field is driving innovation. For companies who already began with a strong foundation in academic and K-12 publishing, all that remains is to improve the technology and offer the most comprehensive use of the digital capabilities.

Educational mainstay McGraw-hill initially began its digital learning dashboard with Connect, and this week announced an update to the already strong platform.

"For this update of Connect, we worked closely with researchers, instructors, and students to create the industry's most intuitive and effective online learning environment," said Stephen Laster, chief digital officer of McGraw-Hill Education, in a press release. "We made significant investments in real-time reporting for quicker insights into emerging classroom dynamics and process automation that frees professors for higher value teaching activities and adaptive learning technologies that personalize education. We look forward to continuing to collaborate with students, educators and institutions to ensure Connect and all of our digital learning solutions deliver the industry's strongest engagement, retention and learning results."

While the comprehensive list of enhancements and features can be found at, some of the new updates include Course Builder and Assignment Builder updates which opens access to LearnSmart Advantage™, and offers several time-saving elements, an update to the LearnSmart user interface, the introduction of a new Section Overview feature, and more comprehensive Share/Copy functionality.

McGraw-Hill Connect Update Makes the Platform More Versatile is a post from: E-Reader News

Podcast: New and Featured Content for September

Listen to our September collection highlights podcast to learn all about new content in OverDrive Marketplace and be automatically entered for a chance to win $500 in content credit.


This month's podcast features publishers of beloved mysteries and thrillers, best-selling Chinese language content, illustrated children's eBooks, high-low titles for struggling readers, contemporary Hispanic literature, and more. We also cover September sales, where you can receive 30–60% off select content from a variety of publishers—all in under 15 minutes.


But the perks don't stop there—just by listening to this month's podcast, you'll be entered into a drawing to win $500 in content credit, which you can use to purchase titles in OverDrive Marketplace for your collection.


September's podcast is available all month on OverDrive’s Learning Center. See you there!


Carrie Smith is a Technical Writer with OverDrive



Waterproofing your timelapse rig

You might remember the post we wrote about BerryCam, a way to operate your Pi’s camera board (available from any of our main distributors – check the “Buy a Pi” links at the top right of the page) from your mobile phone, from  the other day. Jim, one of the BerryCam engineers, has also been playing with the camera board in another project: a waterproof timelapse rig in a coffee can.

This is not, of course, the first timelapse setup we’ve showcased here: but it is probably the most robust and self-contained, and importantly, it’s waterproof, so you can use it outdoors in the sort of interesting weather that’s just begging to be filmed in timelapse.

What you’re watching here is the tide on the Isle of Arran: a soggy environment. A parts list, instructions, code, tips on stopping someone mistaking your camera for an abandoned jar of delicious coffee, and tips on what adhesives etc. to use in environments with fluctuating temperatures and humidity are all available from Jim at Fotosyn’s blog.