Monday, September 23, 2013

Sony PRS-T3 Case with Reading Light Review


The Sony PRS-T3 e-Reader has officially been released in a number of countries. This new model has a built in case that ships that ships with it and its important to note this unit was designed with the intention of always using the case. If you want to read in the dark, you must purchase the Sony PRS-T3 Case with built in reading light. It retails for around $50.00 and can be purchased from Sony Online or other retailers. Is this case a good investment? Today, we evaluate it in our official review.

The Sony PRS-T3 Case with Reading Light is a bit more bulky than the case that ships with the unit by default. It feels a little bit more unwieldy because there is extra girth to accommodate the reading light and the wires that bind them. The front of the case is a nice leather and the side that faces your e-Reader screen is made of suede. This case is fairly useful because it automatically wakes up the screen from standby mode when you open it up, so you can jump right into the book.

The Reading Light itself is much akin to previous Sony offerings. The LCD light has two LED’s and doesn’t really provide enough illumination to evenly distribute the light across the screen. You will find yourself in the common situation of the top half of the screen looking really good, but the bottom half is cloaked in darkness. The LCD light is not malleable, so you can’t position it the way you want, you are basically just stuck with the default positioning.

In the following video review we do a proper unboxing of the case to show you how it looks and attach it to the e-Reader for the first time. In our full video review we show you how it looks in complete darkness and in low-light conditions. You can get a sense on the real world conditions and if this is the right investment for you.

Sony PRS-T3 Case with Reading Light Review is a post from: E-Reader News

Judge Dredd Case Files Comes to iOS

Judge Dredd Case Files

Rebellion, the folks behind the British sci-fi comics anthology 2000AD, have been pretty aggressive about marketing their weekly comic digitally, with both an iOS app and direct downloads via their website. This week’s issue of 2000AD, Prog 1850 (issues are called “progs” in their world), is a good jumping-on point for new readers, with four new story arcs launching at once. Richard Bruton observes in his review at the Forbidden Planet blog that three of the “new” stories are the beginnings of new story arcs in existing series, but the Table of Contents includes a bit of backstory and heck, there’s always Wikipedia.

There’s more, though. A few months ago Rebellion started offering 2000AD’s companion monthly, Judge Dredd Megazine, digitally as well, and now they are filling in the backstory with 20 volumes of The Judge Dredd Case Files, available via their iOS app. (You can find them on Kindle as well, at what looks like a slightly lower price of $9.99 per volume.) These 20 volumes (with vol. 21 due out next month) collect every Judge Dredd story from 2000AD and Judge Dredd Megazine, in order of publication. Each volume is priced at £9.99 to $13.99, or whatever that translates to in dollars, pesos, or your own local currency, for over 300 pages of work by creators such as John Wagner, Grant Morrison, Garth Ennis, Dave Gibbons, Mark Millar, Brian Bolland, and Carlos Ezquerra. Check out the preview at Robot 6 for a sample of what’s inside.

Judge Dredd Case Files Comes to iOS is a post from: E-Reader News

Blackberry Enters an Agreement to take Company Private


Blackberry has announced that have entered into an agreement with Fairfax financial, their largest shareholder, to take the company private. Trading of the companies shares were suspended today and the evaluation on the deal is $4.7 billion. Pending due diligence that’s expected to be completed by November 4th, the deal would see BlackBerry go private, with shareholders each receiving $9 per share in cash.

In a statement, Fairfax Chairman and CEO Prem Watsa said, “we believe this transaction will open an exciting new private chapter for BlackBerry, its customers, carriers and employees,” adding, “we can deliver immediate value to shareholders, while we continue the execution of a long-term strategy in a private company with a focus on delivering superior and secure enterprise solutions to BlackBerry customers around the world.”

If the sale goes through, you can expect Blackberry to focus once more on the business and enterprise segment. Appealing to the corporate and government sectors as always been their bread and butter. They have lost sight of this market in trying to have a broad commercial appeal with their latest generation Blackberry 10 devices.

Blackberry Enters an Agreement to take Company Private is a post from: E-Reader News

Kobo’s Backwards Sales Tactics at Work Again

At times, Kobo is one of the most mind-boggling companies when it comes to selling their products. It’s make you wonder how they can keep up with the likes of Amazon at all. Last week I noticed that the Kobo Aura, Kobo’s latest ebook reader that just started shipping a couple weeks ago, has disappeared […]

Nooks On Sale Again – Up to $30 Off

Barnes and Noble is running another sale on Nook ereaders and the Nook HD tablet this week (the HD+ is left out of this round of deals). The pricing breaks down as follows: Nook Touch – $59 ($20 off) Nook Touch with Glowlight – $79 ($20 off) Nook HD 8GB – $109 ($20 off) Nook […]

2013 UK Beaver Computing Competition

Chris Roffey, creator of the most excellent Coding Club books, got in touch to tell us about the 2013 UK Beaver Computing Competition. He says:

“This November there is the chance for all school students to enter the UK’s first Beaver Competition for FREE!

I think it is a great opportunity for all groups of students to find out, in an enjoyable way, whether they have an aptitude in Computational Thinking.

I would like to see at least as many girls entered as boys. Wouldn’t it be great if 15 girls discovered they were in the top 25 students in the UK and thus considered a career they had not thought was for them?

I also would like to see students entered from all age groups. Again it would be great to see a Maths A level group entered and for them to discover that they might like to take CompSci at Uni when they had not thought of this as an option.

France had 90 000 students sit their first year doing this competition last year – it would be good to beat them!”

Registration closes on 27 October and the competition itself is 45 minute during the week of November 11th. There are four categories and the competition is open to students of all abilities. Chris points out that, "entry is only through a school and as such any individual wishing to enter would need to nag their ICT/Computing teacher." So if that’s you then get nagging!

If you are that teacher then this is a great opportunity to do something a bit different and to introduce your students to computational thinking. The competition is all about using your grey stuff to solve problems — there is no programming and no preparation. The solutions show how the problem is related to Computer Science so could even be used for future lessons.

Chris has also set up an event page on the Computing at School forum where teachers might want to meditate on the tricky question, "Want an easy teaching week?"

Reach Out and Read Earns LOC Prize, Receives One Million Books from Scholastic


At this weekend’s National Book Festival, hosted by the Library of Congress, book distribution and reading awareness organization Reach Out and Read was presented with the David M. Rubenstein Prize for the charity’s work to combat illiteracy, especially among low-income and underserved demographics of children. In addition the $150,000 prize, Reach Out and Read had a new surprise today: a donation of one million books from the world’s largest children’s publisher, Scholastic.

"We believe that literacy is the birthright of every child and the pathway to success in school, and it starts by creating a home library from which children can access and choose books that will set them up for a lifetime of independent reading," said Richard Robinson, Chairman and CEO of Scholastic, in a press release today. "Scholastic has been a longtime supporter of the work Reach Out and Read does to promote early-childhood literacy, and their proven model continues to successfully prescribe reading for all children and their families during their visit to the doctor."

"We know that books build better brains – and a million young brains will be shaped for the future through this incredible donation from Scholastic," continued Reach Out and Read’s Executive Director Anne-Marie Fitzgerald. "Scholastic is our oldest and most generous partner, and without their continued commitment, we would not be able to help children grow up to become readers and support parents as their children's first and most important teachers. As Reach Out and Read is poised to begin its 25th year, these books, along with the award from the Library of Congress, will be instrumental in creating a new generation of readers. On behalf of our 12,000 pediatricians and the millions of children we serve nationwide, I thank Scholastic for this tremendous gift."

Reach Out and Read distributes over 6.5 million books each year to low-income families in order to build home libraries of books. The organization also works with health care providers who specialize in children’s health to distribute materials and to encourage reading in the home, especially oral reading in order to build word recognition, reading fluency, and to foster family time. The organization has already been proven to be quite effective, as children served by the program typically score several months ahead of their non-served peers in reading.

Reach Out and Read Earns LOC Prize, Receives One Million Books from Scholastic is a post from: E-Reader News

Celebrating Banned Books Week

For over 30 years, Banned Books Week has celebrated the freedom to read while drawing attention to recently and formerly banned and challenged books. This is done because it's important to focus on why some works face opposition and dissension. In the past, banned books were often a representation of voices in contrast to government control and racial prejudice.


However, more commonly today, banned or challenged books come from an overarching societal discussion on what is acceptable for younger readers and what is not (specifically in schools); and typically, the challenges come from the attempt to identify what that answer is. This is why it's important to acknowledge and know these works – so others don't speak for you, so you can have a say, just like the writers themselves who others have attempted to quiet.


For this, we have compiled an exhaustive list of titles that have been previously banned or challenged; most commonly by educational institutions and governments. This list is a catalog of history as it represents what was once considered controversial or then misunderstood and in some cases – what still is.


We encourage you to go through this list, not every banned/challenged book is a widely known classic. You never know, you might find some gems. For help on adding these titles to your digital library contact your OverDrive Collection Specialist today!


Jacob Corbin is a Merchandising Specialist with OverDrive



Digital Comics Best-Sellers for September 22, 2013

Blue Is the Warmest Colour

One of these things is not like the other: Three of this week’s best-seller lists had at least one title that seemed a little out of place. The other one, Nook, is so weirdly consistent from week to week that it’s almost an outlier itself.


1. Injustice: Gods Among Us #36
2. Infinity #3
3. Uncanny X-Men, vol. 3, #12
4. New Avengers, vol. 3 #10
5. Superior Spider-Man #18
6. Battle Scars #1
7. The Walking Dead #114
8. Thor: God of Thunder #13
9. Batman and Robin #23.3
10. Action Comics #23.3

Marvel edges out DC this week with six titles in the top ten, while DC had three (including two Villains Month titles and the final issue of this story arc of Injustice: Gods Among Us) and Image had The Walking Dead. Battle Scars #1 is a bit of an outlier, as it came out in 2011 and wasn’t on sale this past weekend; everything else is fresh this week except The Walking Dead #114, which topped the chart last week.


1. Injustice: Gods Among Us #36
2. Injustice: Gods Among Us #35
3. Injustice: Gods Among Us #34
4. The Hedge Knight: The Graphic Novel
5. Injustice: Gods Among Us #33
6. Injustice: Gods Among Us #1
7. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
8. The Walking Dead, #114
9. The Sandman, vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes
10. Stephen King’s N.

George RR. Martin’s The Hedge Knight graphic novel makes it into the top ten on pre-orders alone, as it won’t be out until November. Also breaking the predictable pattern is Stephen King’s N., which is a couple of years old but is topping the “horror” and “literary” Kindle graphic novel charts right now.


1. Injustice: Gods Among Us #35
2. Injustice: Gods Among Us #36
3. Injustice: Gods Among Us #34
4. It’s a Dog’s Life Snoopy
5. The World According to Lucy…
6. Snoopy at the Bat
7. Sandman #1
8. The Walking Dead, vol. 1
9. Injustice: Gods Among Us #1
10. The Walking Dead, vol. 2

This list is so consistent from week to week that I wonder if anyone is buying any comics at all on the Nook. Last week’s list is almost identical. Are there that many people buying It’s a Dog’s Life Snoopy each week, or are total sales barely changing from week to week?


1. Injustice: Gods Among Us #36
2. Injustice: Gods Among Us #35
3. The Walking Dead #114
4. Injustice: Gods Among Us #34
5. My Little Pony: Micro-Series #8 – Celestia
6. Injustice: Gods Among Us #33
7. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #10
8. Blue Is the Warmest Color
9. Injustice: Gods Among Us #1
10. My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #9

The outlier here is the graphic novel Blue Is the Warmest Color, but that’s not too surprising as the film based on the book took the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and has been getting a lot of press lately, ahead of its U.S. release. Other than that, it’s another week of ponies, zombies, and embattled superheroes down at iBooks.

Digital Comics Best-Sellers for September 22, 2013 is a post from: E-Reader News