Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Massive eBay Listing Available for Good e-Reader Review Units

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Every single year we buy or are sent a copious number of e-readers and tablets. We write comprehensive hands on reviews, do video comparisons and do tutorials on how to load eBooks and manage your device. We keep these at our studio and figure the holiday season is coming up, time for a massive eBay listing!

All of these devices are very lightly used and were only used for the purposes of our reviews. Most of the e-readers are on sale right now from $29.99 to $50.00 and includes a number of popular brands like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Bookeen, and Kobo! We also have a large number of tablets available that are priced well below retail value. Click on the links below to see our Auctions or items eligible for Buy it Now.

Bebook Touch   Fire HD 2013   Kobo Arc 7   Kobo Arc 7HD

Fire HD 2012    Cybook Odyssey   Kobo Glo   Nook Tablet

Nook HD+ 32GB   iPad Mini

Massive eBay Listing Available for Good e-Reader Review Units is a post from: E-Reader News

Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 vs Apple iPad Mini with Retina

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Greetings everyone! Welcome to another Good e-Reader Comparison Video! Today we look at the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 and the Apple iPad Mini with Retina. The holiday season is quickly approaching and many people may want to get this under the tree or to give to a loved one. What device may be right for you?

The iPad Mini with Retina and the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 are often used for reading digital content. We look at magazines, comics, eBooks, and newspapers to give you a sense on how they perform head to head. As an added bonus we show you how both units handle video and audio.


Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 7 vs Apple iPad Mini with Retina is a post from: E-Reader News

eBook Review – Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and The People Who Play It

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Of Dice and Men is a compelling novel chronicling the rise of Dungeons and Dragons. The essence of the book tells the tale of TSR who originally made the first rule book back in 1974 and later sold to Wizards of the Coast. Approximately 30 million people have played the game in its many iterations and has spawned many imitators.

I have always played Dungeons and Dragons during my formative teen years because the game allowed the Dungeon Master and Players to work together to craft unique stories and shared experiences. Humanity at its fundamental core is a story telling species and before books were written, cavemen told stories around the campfires. Dungeons and Dragons is a game about telling stories and envisioning in the minds eye the sights and sounds of battling Lolth the Spider Queen in the depths of the Underdark.

David Ewalt is the author of the book and played Dungeons and Dragons as a kid and then gave it up for a good 15 years while video games and life started to replace it. In writing the book he got back into playing the game with trepidation because he did not want it to dominate his life again. The book tells the tale of the original creators of the company, their trials and tribulations of a small startup to making millions of dollars a year. You find out the various legal battles, living beyond your means and the crash of role-playing games that had Wizards of the Coast purchase the company and all of their assets.

Of Dice and Men is a book that gives an accurate tale on the history of storytelling games and how Dungeons and Dragons captured the imagination of millions of people. It talks in-depth of the pitchforks coming out as the game went mainstream and the social stigmas. The Author executes the history of the game better than anyone and a book like this was long overdue.

Rating: 4/5

eBook Review – Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and The People Who Play It is a post from: E-Reader News

Google Newsstand Launches on Android

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Google has just launched a Newsstand app for Android which basically replaces Google Magazines and Google Currents. This app will allow you to add RSS feeds and customize your reading experience while on the go. It works mightily fine on both tablets and smartphones and should be a boon to people who want to read most things Google offers in a singular app.

In order to get Google Play Newsstand to work, some users will need to update to the newest version of Google Play Magazines while others will need to update to the newest version of Google's feed-reading app Currents. If you check out the Play Store you will be prompted to upgrade these apps.

Not only will you be able to read any magazine you have purchased from Google or read your favorite news blogs, but you can watch video in the app too. I like the interface it is clean and robust, and features little animations. The news blog icons are quite large and full of color. People looking to use an app that will likely receive a ton of updates might want to give this a try.

Download it today for free from the Good e-Reader App Store!

Google Newsstand Launches on Android is a post from: E-Reader News

New Survey Shows Technology Can Hurt Students’ Study Habits

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In what should not come as a surprise to…well…anyone, a new survey from McGraw-Hill Education found that students who rely on technology for learning and studying often spend a significant portion of their academic time engaged in social activities with their devices. A study conducted by Hanover Research on behalf of the creators of LearnSmart found that nearly fifty percent of the college students surveyed reported using their devices for texting or checking social media while they were supposed to be studying, with forty percent answering that online distractions are the biggest draw.

"Studying effectively – and with the right type of technology – is one of the best ways to ensure that students succeed in class," said Brian Kibby, president of McGraw-Hill Higher Education. "But focus is the key. When used properly, study technologies such as our LearnSmart adaptive study tool can help students pinpoint their studying efforts with great precision, prompting them to review only the material they have not yet mastered and moving beyond the concepts they know cold. This instant feedback helps students arrive to class better prepared and engaged and leads to higher grades and exam scores."

But it isn’t all bad news for higher education students. Of the survey respondents, “67 percent of students said that digital study tools such as adaptive learning programs save them time—up to five or more hours a week—when studying.”

Despite the “study breaks” students may be taking to check in on Facebook, that time is built in since students feel more effective in the actual studying they are doing. However, what was the biggest use of that extra free time thanks to digital study aids? Sleep.

More than half of the students surveyed said they use that extra time they save through digital learning to catch up on their sleep, something that most college students are already not getting enough of, despite the belief from the majority of the survey students that they need a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night in order to be effective learners.

Two interesting facts that came from the demographics data of the survey showed that more students are using PC laptops (71%) than Mac brand devices (20%), and that more students do their studying on a smartphone (36%) than a tablet or computer (22%).

New Survey Shows Technology Can Hurt Students’ Study Habits is a post from: E-Reader News

Scholastic Releases “Shoppable” Magazine

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For the upcoming holiday season, Scholastic is making the gift-giving experience even more streamlined for busy parents. In addition to highlighting the recipients of the 2014 Gold Star Toy Awards in an upcoming edition of its magazine, the creators of the issue have made the magazine “shoppable” in conjunction with ShopAdvisor and Digimarc.

"This holiday season, we are offering parents the best gift guide with an easy shopping experience right off the pages of our magazine." said Jamie Engel, Vice President and Publisher of Scholastic Parent & Child, in a press release. "Working together with our experienced editors and engaged parent readers, we created a trusted guide of toys that parents can feel good about giving this holiday."

Parents can now move through the print edition and actually make purchases of the award-winning toys by scanning the watermarks of each product with their smartphones or tablets. Apps made possible by the two collaborators will let parents find out more information on the products, then make their gift purchases immediately.

"Readers of Scholastic Parent & Child magazine look to the publication as a trusted source when it comes to finding the right products for their children," continued Scott Cooper, CEO of ShopAdvisor. "By shop-enabling their publication across platforms, they are making it simple and natural for readers to act on those recommendations. We are excited to work with Scholastic Parent & Child to introduce this innovative reader service and inspire shopping this holiday season."

The Gold Star Toy Awards are determined by the editors of Scholastic’s magazine, chosen through thousands of submissions from toy manufacturers and were chosen based on being “innovative and cool; magnetic and engaging for the child; mind-expanding or educational; and an excellent value to the consumer.”

Scholastic Releases “Shoppable” Magazine is a post from: E-Reader News

Add “Buy It Now” for Black Friday/Cyber Monday

It's hard to pin down my favorite holiday, but if I had to choose, then Thanksgiving would be a top contender. Planning for Thanksgiving – scouring the internet for new autumn-themed recipes, making lists of ingredients, browsing for orange, red and brown d├ęcor – is almost as fun as the day itself. Along with the all of the food-filled excitement is anticipation for the start of the gift-giving season that immediately follows.

 

All of hype surrounding after-Thanksgiving and Black Friday deals makes hitting the stores overwhelming and for many of us, shopping online can be the perfect solution. Even more perfect is how shopping online can support local public libraries via the “Buy It Now” feature. ‘Buy It Now’ enables your library to earn content credit of approximately six percent for every purchase made by your library's users when they use the “Buy It Now” links for titles or visit a retailer from the “Buy It Now” page (see Cuyahoga County Public Library's “Buy It Now” page for an example). The affiliate fee earned by your library will be based on the user's entire purchase, not just eBooks.

 

Consider adding the “Buy It Now” feature to your digital library website in advance of this year's holiday season.

Contact your Account Specialist to get started!

 

If “Buy It Now” is already live on your digital library website, check out the WIN Catalog marking kit to spread the word to your users.

 

*** “Buy It Now” is currently available to U.S., Canadian, and UK public libraries only. ***

 

Heather Valentine-Gold is a Library Account Specialist with OverDrive.

 

Holiday Events Part I: Device Mania

Over the next few weeks, holiday shopping will be in full swing. Hot gifts this year will be tablets and eReaders. Make sure your library is recognized as a resource for helping folks find the perfect device while promoting your digital collection at the same time.

 

Holiday Device Showcase

Also known as a Gadget Gallery or a Device Petting Zoo, the Holiday Device Showcase is a great way for users to try out popular devices they might want to give (or get) as a gift. If your library has the funds to purchase some of the latest devices, the showcase could be a temporary exhibit at the library. Or it could be an event where you can reach out to a local retailer, like Best Buy, to see if they would be interested in attending and bringing some devices.

 

For this holiday season, we've created a Facebook size graphic and poster to help you promote the Holiday Device Showcase at your library. Be sure to also have some Getting Started Guides on hand to answer basic questions about how your digital collection works.

 

Test Drive

It's a good idea to test drive a car before you buy it. Give your community that same opportunity with tablets and eReaders with OverDrive Test Drive.  Users can borrow a Test Drive device from your library to download eBooks and audiobooks from your digital collection. When the device is returned, our guidelines will help you reset it for the next user.

 

Keep a look out for parts two and three of our suggested holiday events!

 

Cassie Renner is a Marketing Specialist with OverDrive

 

Kano – Kickstart a Pi kit for beginners

We first met Alex Klein shortly after we’d launched the Raspberry Pi, when he was working for Newsweek and came to visit to write a story about us. Next we’d heard, he’d left Newsweek to start a company with Raspberry Pi at its heart. Today, he and his team have launched their project on Kickstarter.

Kano is one of the nicest Pi kits we’ve seen to date, and is aimed squarely at users who aren’t confident of their technical skills right out of the gate. It’s easy to put together, all the bits and pieces you’ll need are right there in the box, the software environment is designed to be accessible and intuitive, and the Kano team think it’s a great way into Raspberry Pi (and into computing) for young people, for people who don’t have computing experience and for other beginners.

In the box you’ll find:

1 – Kano Books
2 – Kano OS and Levels on 8GB SD card
3 – DIY Speaker
4 – Raspberry Pi Model B
5 – Kano Keyboard Combo
6 – Custom case
7 – Card mods and stencils
8 – Stickers!
9 – Cables: HDMI, Mini-USB
10 – Smart power plug (all region pins available)
11 – WiFi powerup

These primary school pupils below were among the first 200 testers to get their hands on a kit.

Check out the Kickstarter – we’ll be watching with interest!

McDonalds Promotes eBook Reading Among Kids with New Partnership

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McDonald has entered into a partnership with DK Publishing that will lead to the publishing of no less than 20 million ebook titles. That is not all for the two also introduced a new and innovative method of converting ebooks into HTML flip books. This they claim is unique in that this will enable the user to decide what the ebook in HTML flip format will look like or what sound effects it will incorporate. In what is sure to enhance the appeal of the flip books even more, these can also be published in e-magazine, e-brochure, digital album, or e-catalog format just as easily.

McDonald has also entered into a partnership with Reading is Fundamental, a non-profit organization promoting the cause of literacy and education that aims to make available no less than a 100,000 ebooks for kids to read throughout the US.

Earlier in November, McDonal had  made available about 2 million ebooks to families in the US as part of their Happy Meal Books Promotion that also coincided with National Family Literacy Day.

“We're excited to invite families to spend time together and celebrate the joy of reading through these fun and original Happy Meal Books,” said Ubong Ituen, the Marketing Vice President for McDonald's USA. “This is the latest step in our ongoing efforts to enrich the lives of families, and part of a broader book strategy that will combine the fun of the Happy Meal, new partners and technology to inspire more family reading time.”

McDonalds Promotes eBook Reading Among Kids with New Partnership is a post from: E-Reader News