Friday, September 13, 2013

Digital Comics Bargains for the Weekend of Friday the 13th

Adventure Time #1

It’s Friday the 13th, a good day to stay indoors and read digital comics! And we have some bargains to help you avoid the bad luck that inevitably comes with an empty wallet.

ComiXology has a bunch of 99-cent sales this weekend, catering to a variety of tastes. My first choice would be the all-ages Adventure Time and Bravest Warriors comics. Adventure Time took home honors in both the Harvey and the Eisner awards this year, so the creators must know what they are doing. These are comics that children and adults can both read and enjoy; they’ll just be laughing at different things. The sale runs through September 16.

If you’re in the mood for something a bit grimmer, check out the Forever Evil sale. This is a bit of a misnomer, as it doesn’t include the comic Forever Evil—that’s full price, as it just came out this week. However, there’s plenty of evil to be had in these comics, which feature bad people doing bad things in titles like Arkham Asylum, Final Crisis, Secret Six, and Villains United. This sale runs through Sunday evening.

Want something not too light, not too dark? Try out the Spider-Men sale, with 99-cent issues of Spider-Men, Scarlet Spider, and Spider-Man: Reign. Don’t delay, though, as that sale ends today at 11 p.m.

And finally, comiXology has the first volume of Annihilation marked down from $8.99 to $3.99, for this weekend only.

Dark Horse is celebrating Friday the 13th with a sale on horror titles, including Colder, Ex Sanguine, and To Hell You Ride. Not sure where to start? Try their free Horror Sampler, featuring excerpts from nine different horror titles.

Digital Manga’s eManga site is enticing readers to change over to their service with the September Switch promotion: Create a new account at eManga and send them proof that you have purchased a book from another digital retailer, such as Amazon, and they will send you a gift code for a free eManga book, up to $7.95. The offer is good till October 13. If you’re already a subscriber, comics aren’t on sale this week but their prose novel sale is still going on.

Digital Comics Bargains for the Weekend of Friday the 13th is a post from: E-Reader News

Sony PRS-T3 vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite


The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite has been on the market for almost a year and the e-commence giant as announced a successor to be released at the end of the month. The company claims to have sold millions of units worldwide and many people are eager about the new model coming out soon. In the meantime, how does this e-reader stack up against the newest edition from Sony?

The Sony PRS-T3 is the newest e-reader to hit the market and will be on sale next week. The big draws about Sony readers are the physical buttons, PDF Support and sleep covers. We compare both of these e-readers side by side and primarily evaluate the core e-reading experience.

Over the course of this video tutorial we look at books purchased from the stores and how the performance is. We also check out fonts, dictionaries, highlights, note taking and PDF files. Finally, we check out the main difference between both of their retail stores, and what you can expect to find.

Sony PRS-T3 vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is a post from: E-Reader News

Sony PRS-T3 vs Kobo Aura


Welcome to another exclusive Good e-Reader Video Comparison. Today we take a look at two new e-readers that are not commercially available yet, but will be in the coming weeks. Of course, we are talking about the Sony PRS-T3 and the new six inch Kobo Aura.

In the following comparison we focus primarily on the core reading experience. How exactly do these two devices handle EPUB and PDF Files? We dive deep into every single aspect and look at the pros and cons. Sony is very well known for deep support for reflow and the ability to augment PDF files. Has Kobo managed to catch them? If you are thinking of buying either of these two new readers, you want to check this video out.

Sony PRS-T3 vs Kobo Aura is a post from: E-Reader News

Amazon’s Interactive Map of Regional Food Based on Cookbook Sales


Periodically, Amazon compiles an interactive feature for its customers that chronicles the sales data from certain genres of books, such as its romance map from February of this year. Last week, Amazon sent out its Great American Eats map, which provided customers with a listing of 360 different new and classic cookbook titles based on their sales around the country.

Not surprisingly, the most popular cookbooks fall under Southern cooking and Tex-Mex types of recipes, as both of those are considered to be mainstays of culinary styles. Over one hundred of the cookbooks on the list fell into those categories. However, New York City was actually responsible for fifty of the titles that made the bestselling list.

“Fall is such a huge cookbook season, especially the gift-oriented ones that come out at this time of year,” explained Mari Malcolm, Cookbooks & Lifestyle Editor at Amazon, in an interview with Good e-Reader.  “I’ve noticed how many great cookbooks there are, especially from the South. I became interested in who these cooks were and what amazing restaurants there are. I decided to start categorizing the titles and seeing what I came up with, based on customer feedback.”

“I looked at books that were already on my radar as editor’s picks, and then expanded that to include the books that are consistently the best reviewed by our customers.”

While certain categories like holiday cookbooks and “quick and easy” time saving titles become popular at this time of year, some of the books would be considered backlist titles, such as the famed Boston Cooking School’s Fannie Farmer Cookbook, but the sales prove they are still influential to cooks today. Malcolm also perused award lists to see what cookbook titles are making waves now.

Of the 360 books on the list, Malcolm stated that 230 of those titles are now available in digital format, demonstrating that more and more culinary customers are taking advantage of the full-color photos, video demonstrations, highlighting capability, ability to altar proportions, and other features that are often found in tablet-based cookbooks.

Amazon offers these features to its customers throughout the year in an effort to alert their readers to some of the titles they may not have otherwise browsed for, making book discovery more valid based on book sales and annual themes.

“We’re always looking for ways to break the mold with readers.”

Amazon’s Interactive Map of Regional Food Based on Cookbook Sales is a post from: E-Reader News

Feeder Tweeter

This is hands down the best bird feeder project we’ve seen yet. I got an email from the folks at Manifold, a creative design agency in San Francisco, this week. One of their developers works from Denver, Colorado, and has been spending some time building the ultimate bird table. It’s autonomous, it’s solar-powered, it feeds, it photographs, it tweets images when a bird comes to feed, and it’s open source.

A PIR (passive infra-red) sensor detects when a bird lands at the table to feed, and triggers the camera. Photographs are then uploaded to Twitter. PIR’s a great choice here because it only responds to warm-body heat; if a leaf blows in front of the assembly, nothing will trigger, but if a toasty-warm little bird stops by for some seed, the sensor will detect it, and set off the camera.

This was not a trivial build. Issues like waterproofing, power constraints, and all those fiddly annoyances you find with outdoor projects had to be dealt with. The prototype (built from the ground up out of bits of wood: no pre-made bird feeders for these guys) took around 25 hours to put together. Here’s a time-lapse video of what happened in the workshop.

The first iteration of the Tweeter Feeder had a few bugs: the webcam in the assembly didn’t offer high enough resolution for decent pictures of the birds, and was swapped out with a Raspberry Pi camera board. But the camera board’s focal depth wasn’t right for this project, so an additional lens was put into the assembly – and then all the camera code had to be changed to reflect the switch. With cracking results: here’s a before and after picture.

The PIR sensor was getting false positives from changes in temperature due to the sun on the feeder: an additional motion sensor was added to iron those out. A light sensor found its way into the assembly to stop the camera triggering when there wasn’t enough ambient light for a reasonable photograph. The solar panel positioning wasn’t optimal. And so on and so on – but the bugs have all been stomped now, and the end result is a thing of beauty.

Read Chad’s account of what they were up to on Manifold’s blog (which has a ton of information on the development of the Feeder Tweeter), and then head to the Feeder Tweeter site itself, where there is an area for developers with a hardware list, wiring diagrams, links to all the code you’ll need on GitHub and much more. And let us know if you decide to make or adapt the Feeder Tweeter for your own use – we’d like to see what you come up with!




OverDrive to provide digital content to Chinese libraries and retailers

Recently OverDrive CEO Steve Potash was in Asia for a number of events including the IFLA annual conference as well as the Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF). During BIBF the China National Publications Import & Export Corporation (CNPIEC) and OverDrive signed an E-Publications Import License Agreement, in an official signing ceremony. With this agreement in place, OverDrive can now take steps towards making OverDrive's catalog of digital content available in China to libraries and retailers.


CNPIEC is the largest importer of publications in China with domestic customers of over 10,000 libraries and institutions. OverDrive's entry into China will provide an additional market for OverDrive's publisher partners, who can rely on the trusted relationship with OverDrive as their digital distribution partner.


OverDrive will be working with Chinese libraries, schools, universities and retailers in China to establish digital library lending platforms, and provide the best services and content catalog. OverDrive is excited to continue to provide unrivaled compatibility and selection to library patrons around the world.


Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communications Specialist with OverDrive