Friday, November 8, 2013

Intel Purchases Digital Educational Company Kno


Kno has had a rocky road since they burst onto the tech scene in June 2010 when the company announced their 14 inch dual screen tablet. It never ended up hitting the market and in early 2011 the company gravitated towards software development. They reached agreements with 75 publishers and has over 200,000 interactive and digital titles their library. Habitual investor of the company, Intel, has just announced they have acquired majority ownership of Kno.

John Galvin, the GM of Intel Education said in a statement “The acquisition of Kno boosts Intel's global digital content library to more than 225,000 higher education and K-12 titles through existing partnerships with 75 educational publishers. Even more, the Kno platform provides administrators and teachers with the tools they need to easily assign, manage and monitor their digital learning content and assessments … We're looking forward to combining our expertise with Kno's rich content so that together, we can help teachers create classroom environments and personalized learning experiences that lead to student success.”

Most of KNOS team will be moving to Intel to try and kickstart their fledgling educational unit. There will be a series of Intel branded tablets being released soon that will have all of Kno’s software bundled on it.

Kno has never been known for making a ton of money and their investors have been lobbying for an exit strategy to make their cash back. Babur Habib is one of the co-founders of Kno and has been a fixture at tech events all over the world, talking about big data. It is unknown if he will be moving to Intel, but the other co-founder Osman Rashid will not be moving in, due to a conflict of company ideals with Intel.

Intel Purchases Digital Educational Company Kno is a post from: E-Reader News

Good e-Reader Android App Store Client Receives Major Update


The Good e-Reader Android App Store is Canadas largest and has close to 100,000 free apps to download. The Android client for smartphones and tablets is currently being used by over a million people every single month and we have just pushed out the largest update we have ever done!

We have added a new Facebook Connect system that will allow users to connect up their accounts and stay logged in, even if they close the app. When logged in via Facebook you can now have your Facebook image appear when leaving reviews of apps. There is also new sharing options available when you install an app or click the share button, so you can let your besties know what new game or reading app you are checking out.

Most Android users have at least one tablet and a smartphone and use the same apps on both devices. The new Good e-Reader Cloud system compiles a list of any app you have ever purchased or installed from the store. Under a dedicated “Cloud” list you can 1 click install any app from your list of prior installed apps, no more searching the the store for your favorites. If you want to uninstall an app, we have a new 1 click uninstall option accessible under “My Apps.” Finally, we eliminated a ton of existing bugs to make the store more usable on older devices.

The Good e-Reader Android App Store has been going strong for over one year now and we offer a more compelling ecosystem then Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Getjar or 1Mobile. We mandate ourselves to only stocking the best apps available and have no fear of promoting our competitors. Our App Market whether you are accessing it on the web or within the client will work in every single country in the world, without restriction.

Download the new Good e-Reader Client from Google Play or the Good e-Reader App Store.

Good e-Reader Android App Store Client Receives Major Update is a post from: E-Reader News

Digital Comics Bargains for November 8, 2013

V for Vendetta 1

Guy Fawkes Day may be over, but it’s never too late to enjoy an Alan Moore comic. Both comiXology and Amazon are currently running a 99-cent sale on comics by Alan Moore, including the iconic V for Vendetta (illustrated by David Lloyd), which gave the world the Guy Fawkes mask as a protest symbol, thus allowing Anonymous to be anonymous. But it doesn’t stop there: The 99-cent selection also includes Moore’s Swamp Thing, Tom Strong, Promethea, and more.

Here’s another sale that’s on at both comiXology, the Nook store, and Amazon: DC graphic novels for $3.99. Choose from Batman, Teen Titans, Nightwing, and more, all first volumes of their New 52 series.

ComiXology’s Thor sale is no doubt spurred by the release this week of the new movie Thor: The Dark World. Catch up on Thor’s recent adventures for 99 cents an issue.

Dark Horse is having a 99-cent sale on what I guess you would call retro heroes: The Black Beetle, Lobster Johnson, The Shadow. Some are old, others are old-ish. You really can’t go wrong with Francesco Francavilla’s Black Beetle, so if you don’t have those already, grab ‘em now.

Digital Comics Bargains for November 8, 2013 is a post from: E-Reader News

Podcast: New and featured content for November


Hear all about the latest publishers to join OverDrive Marketplace in our November collection highlights podcast, now available on OverDrive's Learning Center.


This month's featured publishers boast award-winning romance titles, Spanish-language audiobooks, professional development content for educators, eBooks that teach readers how to play popular instruments, and much more. We also share big news about a highly anticipated publisher who'll be available in Marketplace soon, as well as details about our upcoming holiday sales, which kick off this month with great deals on popular audiobooks.


As always, we wrap up our short podcast with tips and resources for ordering content for your digital collection. Don't miss out on this quick and easy way to brush up on what's available and how to order in OverDrive Marketplace—November's podcast is available all month on OverDrive’s Learning Center.


Carrie Smith is a Technical Writer at OverDrive.



New Ms. Marvel Will Be Muslim Teen from New Jersey

Ms Marvel

Marvel turned a lot of heads this week with the announcement that its newest superhero will be a 16-year-old Muslim girl, Kamala Khan. Kamala is the daughter of Pakistani immigrants, lives in Jersey City—and can change her shape at will; with her newly awakened powers, she is taking the name Ms. Marvel.

The Ms. Marvel character has been around since 1968, and Khan is not the first to bear that title. The original Ms. Marvel was Carol Danvers, an Air Force major who acquired superpowers after an explosion caused her genes to be fused with those of an alien species, the Kree. Last year, Carol became Captain Marvel in the series of that name, written by Kelly Sue DeConnick and illustrated by Dexter Soy. And Kamala Khan takes on the mantle of Ms. Marvel because she is an admirer of Carol Danvers—a member of the Carol Corps.

"Captain Marvel represents an ideal that Kamala pines for," writer G. Willow Wilson said in an interview with the New York Times. "She's strong, beautiful, and doesn't have any of the baggage of being Pakistani and 'different.'"

Kamala sprung from a conversation between Marvel editors Sana Amanat and Steve Wacker. "I was telling him some crazy anecdote about my childhood, growing up as a Muslim-American," Amanat said. "He found it hilarious." The two started talking about the lack of female superheroes as well as superheroes from different cultures, and that got the ball rolling. When they invited Wilson, who is a convert to Islam, to write the comic, she jumped at the chance.

The comic ties in with an event in the larger Marvel universe, specifically the Inhumanity storyline: In last month’s Infinity #4, the Terrigen bomb was detonated over New York City, awakening dormant superpowers in a whole group of Inhumans. Kamala is one of these.

The character is at once dealing with a very specific situation—being a first-generation immigrant, negotiating the tricky divide between traditional family ways and the life of an American teenager—and something very universal, the need for teenagers to find their own identity and place in the world. For Kamala, this is complicated by her newfound superpower, which should make for an interesting story.

Amanat said she is prepared for some criticism: "I do expect some negativity," she told the Times, "not only from people who are anti-Muslim but people who are Muslim and might want the character portrayed in a particular light."

New Ms. Marvel Will Be Muslim Teen from New Jersey is a post from: E-Reader News

New Software Update for 1st Gen Kindle Paperwhite

Amazon has started rolling out a new software update for the original Kindle Paperwhite. The new firmware version is 5.3.9. When I first saw it I thought maybe Amazon was adding the features from the new Kindle Paperwhite, but alas it’s a minor update with just a couple of changes. I still think it’s likely […]

Steve Wozniak on the Raspberry Pi

BBC Click interviewed Steve Wozniak this week, and he had a few words to say about a certain little computer. If you’re in the UK you can watch the programme on iPlayer for the next month. The bit we’re interested in starts at 2:19.

Woz talks Pi. Click to visit iPlayer if you’re in the UK.

Since many of you aren’t in the UK (or may be coming to this late), I’ll transcribe the pertinent bits of the interview: namely the bits that had us smiling so widely we were a little worried that the lower parts of our faces might fall off.

Spencer Kelly: Do you think, then, that things have got better? Or do you think, with the return of the app…that we’re back to the days of the bedroom programmer – that any one person can be a success?

Woz: There are Arduino boards, and Raspberry Pi boards that young people can buy and learn about technology, and even drive motors and things: but there isn’t as much of it. It’s not as easy as it was back then. But the creative desires come out of a brain. (Gestures at head.) And the creative desires are coming out in other ways – thank god for the App Store! I’m so glad for that, that Apple didn’t say “No apps can come out except for ones that we write”; that would have been horrible.

(Spencer and Woz talk about the App store and Steve Jobs. Then:)

Spencer Kelly: You mentioned the Raspberry Pi. Are you a fan of getting real nuts-and-bolts engineering into schools as early as possible?

Woz: From a very young age on. You don’t need the high-level math of calculus or the stuff you get at university level. Any young child, even ten years old, can understand enough to learn to program, and the Raspberry Pi – you can hook wires to little motors, you can build devices that do things. What an incredible learning experience. Or sensors – you know, or when I say a certain word it’ll turn on the lights. Those are really fun projects for young people. And they are a growing step in developing the great technologists of the future, that build the devices we all live with.

As far as we at Raspberry Towers are concerned, Woz occupies the same bit of the pantheon as Merlin the Magician. We have now watched this clip about forty times, and it’s still not getting old. Thank you Woz. That absolutely made our day.


OverDrive Releases Update to School Digital Library Interface


OverDrive, one of the world’s largest digital content and media suppliers to academic and public libraries, has rolled out a new update to its web interface that will make searching for content even more streamlined. The first enhancement helps ensure that users who access the interface via computer, tablet, or smartphone will see a very similar storefront, helping make searching easier by keeping information in as uniform a space as possible across the different platforms.

But it is the second feature, Recommend to Library, that may offer the most assistance to both patrons and library directors. By allowing students to search the OverDrive catalog for content and then clicking to recommend that title, libraries can keep up with what content their patrons are requesting. In addition, once a title has been added to the catalog by the library, the requesting patron will receive an email stating that it is now available through the library.

Of course, with so much recent attention focused on the accidental exposure of children to inappropriate subject matter in different ebook stores due to metadata miscalculation, OverDrive has taken measures to ensure that only age-appropriate content can be requested by patrons at public school libraries. Using the Recommend to School feature, students can only request that their libraries purchase titles “with Juvenile or Young Adult subject categories, titles that have school metadata, such as Lexile/ATOS scores, ortitles that have been added to other school library collections.”

Finally, teachers have been provided with even greater tools for seeking out student reading material. “Users are now able to search for titles based on standardized reading level information such as Lexile, ATOS and Accelerated Reader scores. This new metadata will assist teachers in identifying the most appropriate content for their students.”

Within the new interface, users can select from three different visual themes, can adjust their lending periods, and can alter their account settings to pre-select different categories of books.

OverDrive Releases Update to School Digital Library Interface is a post from: E-Reader News

Amazon Names Best Books of 2013

Amazon Kindle Fire

Amazon’s Book Editors have chosen their top picks for Best Books of the Year, making selections across a wide variety of categories. While the comprehensive list has one hundred selected titles, the top ten books are:

1. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
2. And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
3. Thank You for Your Service by David Finkel
4. Life After Life: A Novel by Kate Atkinson
5. Pilgrim's Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier by Tom Kizzia
6. Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson
7. Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders
8. The Son by Philipp Meyer
9. A House in the Sky: A Memoir by Amanda Lindhout
10. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

"This year offered a stellar list of books to choose from, both fiction and nonfiction," said Sara Nelson, Editorial Director of Books and Kindle at, in a press release. "Our top choice, The Goldfinch, is an emotionally trenchant masterpiece and was hands down our team's favorite book of the year."

Celebrity authors were invited to pick their top books of the year, and they were “Stephen King's Doctor Sleep, chosen by George R.R. Martin, Life After Life, selected by Helene Wecker (debut author of The Golem and the Jinni), and The Sound of Things Falling, which is one of Khaled Hosseini's favorites.”

Amazon is offering readers two incentives to accompany this list. First, the Best Books of 2013: Reader’s Guide offers insiders’ look at author interviews, excerpts, and information on each of the books included in this year’s top picks. In addition, Amazon is hosting a sweepstakes in which three winners will be given a Kindle Paperwhite filled with this year’s selections. The free Kindle readers’ guide can be found HERE, and the sweepstakes entry can be found HERE.

Amazon Names Best Books of 2013 is a post from: E-Reader News