Thursday, November 21, 2013

Blackberry to Allow the Installation of APK Files with New Update


Blackberry has been hit with hard times the last few years, as diminishing financial returns and flip flopping of management has made the vast majority of corporations losing confidence in the brand. There has always been a very loyal base of Blackberry users that have stuck with the company in the hopes things will turn around. According to a recently leaked OS, things seem very bright for the future of apps and games on all modern devices.

A new leaked OS will allow Blackberry users to install APK files right on their device, without the need of jumping through all the hoops of installing BAR files on their phones. All you need to do is install the Good e-Reader App Store on your Blackberry Z10-Z30 and you will be able to download and install apps using the stock file manager program.

One of the other benefits of the new OS is the upgrade to the Android Runtime, which will give users a dose of Jellybean. This will allow for even more apps to be installed. This new process will not mess up any BAR file you may have loaded in the past, and you will still be able to install apps under the old method of the Chrome Plugin or DDPB.

Blackberry should be pushing the official update in the next few months via WIFI through their update feature. In the meantime, you can download and install it today for free for the Z10 and Z30. All you need to do is know what model number you have, which is found underneath the battery. Then, simply download the file you need under “Full OS Autoloaders” and click on the exe file, while your phone is plugged into your computer via the USB cable. It will then update your OS. Once you do that and your phone reboots, you can install the Good e-Reader App Store for Android and then clicking on your file manager to find the APK file on your device and then install it.

Blackberry to Allow the Installation of APK Files with New Update is a post from: E-Reader News

Congratulations to the 2013 National Book Award Winners!

Each year the National Book Foundation presents awards to winners in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People's Literature. The four winners for 2013 were announced last night at a ceremony in New York City. This year's winners are:


Fiction: The Good Lord Bird by James McBride

Nonfiction: The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer

Young People’s Literature: The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata

Poetry: Incarnadine by Mary Szybist



We have created a list that features this year's winners, finalists, and longlist titles in Marketplace.


Established in 1950, the National Book Award is one of the most distinguished literary awards in the United States. Past winners include William Faulkner, Philip Roth, Flannery O'Connor, Alice Walker, and Allen Ginsberg.


To be eligible for a 2013 National Book Award, authors had to be American citizens and published books in the United States between December 1, 2012, and November 30, 2013.


Rachel Somerville is a Collection Development Analyst at OverDrive.


The Wolfram Language and Mathematica on Raspberry Pi, for free

One of the best things about working on Raspberry Pi has been the opportunity to meet groups of people who are trying to bring about the same sort of change in the teaching of other subjects that we’re aiming for in computing. One great example is the computer-based math (CBM) movement, which aims to redefine the teaching of mathematics in schools away from mechanical calculation and towards problem solving. From their website:

The importance of math to jobs, society, and thinking has exploded over the last few decades. Meanwhile, math education is in worldwide crisis—diverging more and more from what’s required by countries, industry, further education… and students.

Computers are key to bridging this chasm: only when they do the calculating is math applicable to hard questions across many contexts. Real-life math has been transformed by computer-based calculation; now mainstream math education needs this fundamental change too. is the project to perform this reset. We’re building a completely new math curriculum with computer-based computation at its heart, while campaigning at all levels to redefine math education away from historical hand-calculating techniques and toward real-life problem-solving situations that drive high-concept math understanding and experience.

Today, at the CBM education summit in New York, we announced a partnership with Wolfram Research to bundle a free copy of Mathematica and the Wolfram Language into future Raspbian images. We believe this will make the Pi a first-class platform for teaching CBM techniques to children of all ages. As Conrad Wolfram said today: “Coders will be able to use the power of Mathematica’s maths out of the box, not only enriching what they can do but also showing off the power and importance of maths.”

Plotting 3d graphs with Mathematica on Pi

Deeply inappropriate use of the Heaviside step function

Future Raspbian images will ship with the Wolfram Language and Mathematica by default; existing users with at least 600MB of free space on their SD card can install them today by typing:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install wolfram-engine

You’ll find Mathematica in the app launcher under the Education menu.

We’d like to thank the team at Wolfram Research for the enormous amount of effort they’ve put to get the Wolfram Language and Mathematica running well on the Pi. Over the next few months we’ll be running a series of blog posts from Wolfram exploring some of the neat tricks you can get up to with them. This is going to be fun!

Video Chat for the Holidays

Video chat is a great way to keep in touch with friends & family if you can't be with them in person. Here are some tips to help you get started.

iStoryTime Library of Titles Now Available for Android Devices


The award-winning children’s enhanced ebook creators at zuuka’s iStorytime have announced that their complete catalog of titles, many of which are adaptations of some of the most beloved current children’s films, are finally available for Android-powered smartphones and tablets. Formerly only available for iOS devices, this catalog includes favorites like Shrek, Madagascar, Rise of the Guardians, and many more, along with some of its in-house children’s titles.

"Zuuka is proud to bring one of the most popular libraries of digital children's storybooks to Android tablets and smartphones around the world," said Graham Farrar, founder of zuuka. "From Kung Fu Panda to The Smurfs, our collection is full of fun characters that kids can enjoy with their parents, grandparents, teachers or by reading to themselves."

Apart from innovative work in children’s digital publishing by incorporating optional read-aloud narration, easy swipe for small fingers, and bonus content to hold young readers’ interest, zuuka has also won awards for its various purchasing and reading models. Parents can subscribe to the entire iStoryTime catalog of titles, can preview and purchase individual titles within their app, or can even earn free titles by interacting with option sponsor-delivered content.

The iStoryTime app for Android is now available for free through the Google Play and Amazon App stores, and for a limited time users who found the news on this article can have up to five free popular titles from Dreamworks and iStoryTime. Simply download the free iStorytime app and open the Rise of the Guardians title, then enter the code ANDROIDLAUNCH under the “enter story code” link.

“To celebrate, we want to give readers the Rise of the Guardians storybook, in addition to the four free books it already comes with: The Giant Smurf, Madagascar, Ice Age, and Robin Hood. The Rise of the Guardians interactive storybook app retells the exciting story of the movie. Join forces with the legendary Guardians in this fully animated, narrated and interactive storybook. Fans follow Jack Frost, North, Tooth, Bunny and Sandy as they come together for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of the children from the evil spirit known as Pitch.”

iStoryTime Library of Titles Now Available for Android Devices is a post from: E-Reader News

Macmillan Imprints to Establish Age-Related Book Divisions

Macmillan Children’s Books has made a move that is both brilliant and very telling of the state of the publishing industry. By splitting its children’s books division into two separate imprints based on the age demographic of its consumer readers, the publisher is acknowledging not only the very different needs and business practices of children’s book publishing, but is also currently strong enough in the market to focus on differentiating its publishing model.

Called the Macmillan Under 6 and Macmillan Over 6 divisions, the publisher has established two distinct teams to focus on the acquisition and publication of books for these markets. While reaching out to an audience with very specific reading needs, both divisions will focus on building a stronger digital imprint.

"We recognised that there are two different businesses so now they will be able to operate in a more efficient way," Macmillan Children's Books publisher Belinda Rasmussen said in an interview about the split with The Bookseller. "We really want to get a strategic lead by being as market, customer and consumer-focused as possible."

While this model is a much-needed move in the right direction and speaks to Macmillan’s intuitive decision making where children’s publishing is concerned, it is a move that more publishers would be wise to consider given the very different considerations when trying to reach children’s books readers. Toddlers and preschoolers at the emerging literacy stage have unique needs that are so far removed from the needs of middle grade and young adult reluctant readers, yet most publishers and even booksellers consider those age groups to both fall under children’s publishing.

Taking digital publishing into account, the access to technology at the preschool stage is not the same as the high school reader’s access, so different digital focuses must be established in order to reach as many young readers as possible.

Macmillan Imprints to Establish Age-Related Book Divisions is a post from: E-Reader News

Russian eBook App Bookmate Offers Unlimited Access For $5 Monthly


Russia boasts of a rich literary culture, but is also besotted with digital piracy of an unprecedented scale; that translates to substantially less cash inflow to the national exchequer every year. eBook piracy in the country is among the highest in the world, and a Russian company has likely come with a solution:an ebook reading service, Bookmate, that offers ebook subscription at very nominal rates.

The brain child of Dream Industries, Bookmate offers its subscribers open access to its entire library of no less than 225,000 books for a mere $5 per month. No doubt such a pricing strategy will draw a parallel with Netflix, that started the trend with unlimited movie downloads for $9.99 per month. The ebooks are in both Russian and English languages and can be reached via an app that is compatible with various platforms.

The founder of Dream Industries, Simon Dunlop, believes Bookmate is just not a reading service like any other. “Today, reading competes with many new services for a person's time: social networks, messaging, Twitter, online games,” he says. “Bookmate … puts books wherever you are online, creating a 'reading layer' across all your online activity.”

Understanding that it's a virtual social environment that we live in, Bookmate also includes social functions that will let readers share quotes or collaborate in other ways, like enabling friends to see what titles you are reading.

“When people have the chance to read many books in a shared and social environment, their reading behavior changes,” said Dunlop. “Our readers read many more books simultaneously and share experiences with one another.”

Plans are also afoot to increase the scope of Bookmate to branch out to more markets worldwide. Among its immediate plans include tying up with publishers in the US and UK while adding more English language titles to their collection. Bookmate also stated they wish to tap into those countries that have a substantial English speaking population.

“Across six countries — Russia, Turkey, Nigeria, Pakistan, India and the Philippines — there are more native English speakers than in the U.S., UK and Canada combined, but at the moment we don't believe those readers are being served through traditional sales channels,” says James Appell, head of global development at Bookmate.

These are also the countries where ebook piracy is fairly rampant, though the trend could change once Bookmate with its affordable pricing structure enters the scene. This will ensure a steady revenue stream for not only Bookmate but also the publishers since readers who either didn't read at all owing to the high costs involved or read pirated books will be tempted to try Bookmate reading services.

Russian eBook App Bookmate Offers Unlimited Access For $5 Monthly is a post from: E-Reader News

High Point Public Library Wraps Up eReaders for the Holidays

Since announcing the winners of this year's marketing-focused Digital Library Champions contest at Digipalooza in August, each month we’ve highlighted their success stories through a series of Librarian's Share blog posts. This week, we feature the winner of the "Outside the Library" category, High Point Public Library (member of the North Carolina Digital Library):


As we began 2012, High Point Public Library experienced a huge influx of readers interested in the library's eBooks due to the affordability of eReaders. It seemed like everyone had received an eReader or tablet for Christmas in 2011. We were searching for ways to connect readers with the growing eBook collection that we provide through the North Carolina Digital Library.


In the spring of 2012, an idea came to mind.  What if we could help the people that were planning on giving eReaders to their mothers, wives, or daughters for Mother's Day and promote the library's eBook collection at the same time?


A plan was born to provide complimentary gift boxes (with tissue paper, ribbon and gift tag included) that were the perfect size for wrapping up new devices (they were white shirt boxes, in fact).  Inside each gift box, we would include general information and tips on how to get started using their device.  We also provided specific information on how to use the library's OverDrive collection based on the type of device they received.  Library staff had already created device-specific handouts on how to use the service. We advertised these gift boxes in posters and on the library's Facebook page.



Unsure of how popular this service would be, we were surprised when the majority of the 16 gift boxes that we created had been taken. While our project started with Mother's Day, we continued throughout the summer for high school and college graduation season and Father's Day, as well.  We expect that this may account for an increase in our circulation during May-July of 2012.  We had 1,300 circulations in May and almost 1,850 for the month of July 2012.


We saw the gift boxes used for more than just holiday gifts. We had a Middle School teacher come and get two of the boxes to reward her top readers with Kindles and she wanted to include information about the library's eBook collection with them.  It was then that I realized it was a success!


Overall, we were pleased with the response we received for this service.  It was a relatively low-cost way to make the eBook experience more personalized for the new device owners and spread the word about eBooks to members of our community.  If you wanted to do this at your library, you might even ask your Friends of the Library group to help fund the project and get them involved in the publicity for your OverDrive service.  This is a service that could be offered around major holidays or even throughout the year, as eReaders and tablets are popular birthday gifts as well. We feel that through this project we were really able to demonstrate the library's value to the community in a new and unique way.


Julie Raynor is the Readers' Services Supervisor and OverDrive Specialist at High Point Public Library, member of the North Carolina Digital Library, and winner of the Outside the Library category in the 2013 Digital Library Champions contest.


Video: iPad Mini with Retina PDF Experience


The Apple iPad Mini with Retina is the latest generation 7.9 inch device and many people may want to use it to read technical PDF files. Today, we take a look at the overall PDF experience using the stock iBooks app.

The iPad Mini Retina has the exact same resolution as its larger screen cousins. This really makes graphic heavy content really shine and is a significant step up from the iPad Mini 1. The PDF file we look at today is the Dungeon’s Masters Guide 5th edition and check to see how image quality, text clarity and what type of gesture support it has. This video is really meant to show off the screen to give you a sense of how it handles larger files.

Video: iPad Mini with Retina PDF Experience is a post from: E-Reader News

Barnes and Noble Simple Touch with Glowlight Drop Test


The Barnes and Noble Simple Touch with Glowlight was the first e-reader on the market that had a front-lit display. This allowed customers to finally read books on their digital reader in complete darkness, something that was quite new for for early 2012. Many companies jumped onto the bandwagon a few months later, like Kobo and Amazon. The NST with Glow is still being sold at big box retailers in the USA and in the UK.

Today we run an extensive drop test with the Barnes and Noble Simple Touch with Glowlight. We do a three foot drop, which simulates the pocket miss. We also drop it from the five foot mark on its back, side and front. This e-reader actually was the first one that totally failed the drop test. Check out the video below for how we managed to completely destroy the screen.

Barnes and Noble Simple Touch with Glowlight Drop Test is a post from: E-Reader News

Students in UK Want eBooks to be Priced Lower

tablet students

eBooks already enjoy a price advantage over the printed counterparts though that does not seem to be enough for the younger generation in the UK. Or so a study revealed where the 16 to 24 age group expressed their desire for ebooks to be priced even cheaper. The common rationale is that since ebooks cost a fraction of printing a real book, they should also be priced much less than what it is right now.

“Whatever the internal politics and business issues within publishing, young people won’t care: all they want is a price that seems fair—or better than that,” said Luke Mitchell, head of insight at market analysts Voxburner that published the report 'Buying Digital Content: Research on spending habits, needs and attitudes among UK 16-24s'.

Of the 1,420 respondents who were polled, 17 percent feel ebooks should be priced 75 percent lower than what printed books cost while 28 percent said ebooks should be priced half than their printed counterparts. It is only a minuscule 8 percent that felt ebooks are priced right. Another aspect of the finding that should be of interest to the publishers is that it is only 55 percent that own some sort of an ebook reading device, be it a dedicated ereader or a tablet while the majority 85 percent only own a smartphone device.

“Young people are obsessed with value for money [but] their second obsession is convenience, and this is something also that publishers may be able to work on: how seamless is e-book buying on a young person’s favourite device,” further added Mitchell.

Also, in another interesting revelation, 62 percent of those who took part in the survey said they preferred printed books over ebooks.

Students in UK Want eBooks to be Priced Lower is a post from: E-Reader News