Friday, November 22, 2013

How to Load APK Files on the Blackberry Z10, Q10, Q5 and Z30


Blackberry 10 phones have always enjoyed a basic Android Emulator that allowed users to convert APK to BAR files and install them on your phone. This was often very complicated and warranted using our online convertor and then another piece of 3rd party software to load apps on your phone. Needless to say, this was quite the barrier to the vast majority of phone users that just want a better way to install apps. We now have that way.

Blackberry has issued new firmware that will allow you to update your phone to Jellybean and install Android Apps (APK Files) at the click of a button. The only thing you need to do is install the latest firmware update, by download it from HERE and then plugging your Blackberry into your PC. The file is almost 1.9 GB and will factory reset your phone, so make sure you back it up first using Blackberry Link. After you install that file your Blackberry will reboot. The next step is to open up the default web-browser on the phone and type in and this will download our App Store and install it. Once you have the app store installed on your phone, you can use it to download any app and install it whenever you want. You can browser the store on WIFI or on Data and there is no registration required.

The Good e-Reader App Store currently has over 48,000 Android Apps and Games, and new content is added daily. The client will allow you to browser one of our 65 different categories and our robust searching mechanism will assist you in App Discovery. If you fancy leaving a review, you can login using Facebook Connect and leave a starred rating and review. Once you connect with Facebook you will have the power to store any app you download to the Good e-Reader Cloud. This means you can use the same account with all of your Blackberry and Android devices and easily install any of your prior files at the click of a button.

How to Load APK Files on the Blackberry Z10, Q10, Q5 and Z30 is a post from: E-Reader News

Amazon Prime Gifting Program Announced


Amazon has just announced a new program that will allow you to gift a membership to Prime to another user.  It costs $79 and gives you a ton of access for the one time fee. You can get Kindle First, which will give you eBooks months before their publication date. There is also free two shipping on all orders and one free eBook a month. Finally, residents of the US will be able to watch free movies and television shows.  If you are in a gift giving mood, check it out.

Amazon Prime Gifting Program Announced is a post from: E-Reader News

Introducing GertDuino

Gert van Loo is one of the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s earliest volunteers. We wouldn’t have a Raspberry Pi without Gert; he did the hardware engineering for the alpha boards which turned into the eventual Raspberry Pi you’ve got on your desk/taped behind the TV/in your ping-pong robot today. Gert created the Gertboard – our favourite GPIO expansion board – shortly after we launched Raspberry Pi. Besides these personal projects he still volunteers with us: he’s a forum mod, he worked on the Raspberry Pi camera board, he’s working on kids’ electronics kits for the Pi with us, and he dropped by the other day to show me a few of his latest projects, including GertDuino.

We’re very excited about GertDuino. It’s basically an Arduino that mounts onto your Raspberry Pi, creating an all-in-one development environment – but unlike your standard Arduino, as well as having an Atmega 328 microcontroller, it also incorporates an Atmega 48 which gives you an IRDA interface, a batterry backup power supply, and a high-precision real-time clock, which many of you have been asking for. The Atmega 328 is Arduino-Uno® compatible, so you can clip on shields to your heart’s content. There are push buttons, a reset button, and a spangly array of LEDs – Gert feels that where one LED is great, six is always better. We love it.

Gert says:

“There has been a discussion on the forum from the beginning about the partnership that a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino can have. Both have their pros and cons, but together they’re great. So I decided to combine the two. But I wanted to do more than just add a microcontroller. The idea is that Gertduino can be programmed and developed on the PI, but then unplugged and used standalone. That is why there is a second controller with real-time-clock and IRDA interface. Plug in a motor shield and you can e.g. open the door of your chicken scoop [Liz interjects: Gert's first language is not English, and I am pretty sure he means coop, not scoop, unless he's got into meat processing when we weren't looking] every morning at 8 am. Or you can point a remote control at it and close your curtains from your chair. I added the RS232 interface so you can connect two boards over a long cable. It is the combination of these individual features which makes it so powerful.”

Here’s a spot of home video that Gert shot during development, all excited because he got a motor shield working for the first time.

Of course, being Gert, he’s not stopped with the hardware: he’s made a 30-page manual available too, complete with schematics and example code.

GertDuino is currently available through Element14. You’ll find some more technical information at the link, as well as some video interviews with Gert. Thanks Gert – we’re looking forward to seeing what everybody gets up to with GertDuino!

Let’s Help the Industry by Publishing FEWER Books?


At yesterday’s Futurebook conference, one of the anticipated panels was once again the “big idea” panel in which industry professionals came together to propose ideas that will have an impact on publishing in the near future. Each of the eight panelists were given the chance to share and explain one key idea that could revolutionize or secure the book business.

But with great ideas proposed like a ranking system for self-published authors to help ensure best practices and a streamlined device system that makes buying ebooks ridiculously easy, one of the better ideas was the focus on greater adoption of bundling of ebooks with their print counterparts, proposed by BitLit’s Peter Hudson.

An exciting concept, proposed by Marcello Vena, general manager of RCS Libri, was that of “co-publishing,” a model that essentially lets traditional and small press publishers lend greater support to self-published authors through collaboration. Additionally, Rebecca Smart of Osprey proposed that the funeral march-pace of traditional publishing is practically artificial and needs to be sped up to keep up with the industry of ebooks.

But one of the stranger ideas to come from the panel was the notion that publishers should be producing fewer titles, an idea introduced by Canongate’s Jamie Byng. Rather than describing a situation in which publishers withheld great books from consumers (which is what it sounds like on the surface of his argument), Byng feels that publishers should cut their titles–and therefore the number of authors they work with–and instead focus all of their efforts and attention on a few titles that they deem worthy. This idea, Byng espoused, would mean customers would come to really appreciate the greater-quality books being produced, and “second rate manuscripts” would stop filling publishers’ inboxes.

This mentality about the nature and appreciation for books may very well be at the core of why so many authors–and their reader fans–are abandoning the sinking ship of the traditional publishing industry.

Let’s Help the Industry by Publishing FEWER Books? is a post from: E-Reader News

The FutureBook Innovation Awards


At this week’s annual FutureBook conference, put on each year by The Bookseller, a number of highly impactful and forward thinking companies were honored as Digital Innovation Awards winners and nominees. The awards, issued in a wide variety of categories, were given November 21st during the global digital publishing event.

Nosy Crow, Random house, Rough guides, Bibliocloud, and Touch Press were all major winners at the event, based on judging criteria for everything from their websites to their book campaigns. Several other runners-up were award highly commendable status for their contributions to digital publishing.

One of the non-surprising winners continues to be Dominique Raccah, publisher at Sourcebooks. The company is one of the go-to names when industry professionals think of leading the way in massive undertakings to spark digital innovation, especially with programs like this year’s collaboration with OverDrive for the Big Library Read and with Groupon for offering Put Me in the Story as a special.

Raccah commented to The Bookseller: “I am honoured and more than a little overwhelmed to be receiving this award. But the truth is, this award isn't actually about me. It’s really about what we’ve all accomplished together. This digital transformation has created a community among us; one that fosters innovation, shares successes and failures, learns from one another, helps each other, and one that’s worldwide. Perhaps most important of all, transformation can sometimes be both frightening and isolating. It’s wonderful to know there are others facing the same challenges and creating new kinds of solutions. You are all, for me that community. And I thank you for the inspiration, friendship and support you’ve given to me and my team.”

The complete list of award winners and their categories can be found HERE.

The FutureBook Innovation Awards is a post from: E-Reader News

Who’s Who in Pioneering Stand Alone eBooks?

A woman reading a Kindle ebook on a London bus. Amazon says downloads have overtaken print sales

A post today for Huffpo’s Books section is worthy of a share here on Good e-Reader: Howard Polskin, CEO and Editor in Chief, Thin Reads, listed his picks for some of the most powerful names in digital publishing, at least where the increasingly popular ebook singles are concerned, and we couldn’t agree more. In his post, “The 8 Most Influential People in E-Book Single Publishing,” Polskin lists the accomplishments and contributions to ebooks provided by a very short list of names.

Polskin’s list includes David Blum, editor in chief, Kindle Singles; Donna Carpenter, chairman and CEO, New Word City; Matt Cavnar, Vice President, Business Development, Vook; Mink Choi, book producer, Thought Catalog Books; Maris Kreizman, editorial director, Digital Content, NOOK Media; Laura Owen, staff reporter, Gigaom; Evan Ratliff, co-founder, CEO, editor, Atavist; and John Tayman, founder and CEO, Byliner.

One noted and overlooked name that we feel belongs on this list is Mark Coker, CEO and founder of Smashwords. While the ebook distribution site is admittedly not aimed specifically at the ebook singles market, Smashwords contains a wealth of titles that fall within the word count range for what is considered an e-short. The availability of this content on the Smashwords platform has arguably contributed to the rise in popularity of grabbing a quick read and enjoying the full story within the confines of a limited word count.

Who’s Who in Pioneering Stand Alone eBooks? is a post from: E-Reader News

New Apple Minisite Shows Six Intuitive Uses of the iPad

iPad during surgery

Apple is highlighting six stories that depict the use of the iPad in scenarios never originally envisioned. These have been compiled in a new page that forms the newest addition to the company's official website. The page, dubbed “Life on iPad,” can be the source of inspiration for many owners to explore new possibilities with their devices, and highlights ways the iPad has been used either by an individual or by a company with the collective aim of furthering their pursuit of achieving excellence, either professionally or personally.

The iPad has been put to use, for example, by Dr. Eldo during complicated surgeries and saving people’s lives, by Vintner Christian Gastón to manage his 600 acre vineyard in California using the Field Assets app, and by technicians at Siemens Energy Wind Service to help enhance work efficiency. Others who have relied heavily on the iPad and have made a difference include Mark Post, an off-road racing driver and owner of the Riviera Racing Team; Jeff Whiting, a Broadway director and choreographer; and Bridie Farrell, a competitive speed skater.

There could well be more such ingenious ways that the iPad has been used or is likely to be in future. Its newest releases, the iPad Air and the iPad Mini with Retina Display, have already received rave reviews and have rewritten the way tablets are designed or used.

New Apple Minisite Shows Six Intuitive Uses of the iPad is a post from: E-Reader News

Mountrath Community College Describes Its eLearning Program Based on HP Elite Pad a Disaster

HP ElitePad

With educational institutes around the world fast adopting digital means to ensure better education among students, at least one school, the Mountrath Community College in Laois, Ireland begs to differ. Its ambitious ‘books to ebooks’ move initiated amidst much fanfare more than a year ago has come a cropper. Unfortunately for HP, its Elite Pad tablet device has to bear the brunt of the blame as the device was often found wanting in its performance; so much that it prompted the school's principal to terms their move to adopt ebooks as “an unmitigated disaster”.

As a quick gap solution, the principal has already called for physical books to be distributed to all students to ensure the session progresses smoothly. Each parents had to dole out €550 (market price €620) in lieu of the HP Elite Pad tablet device and as a consolation for them, the books are being provided free of cost.

The school’s principal, Martin Gleeson in a letter to the parents said: “The roll-out of e-learning which involved the use of HP Elite Pads and e-books should have been an exciting and new way of moving forward.

“The HP Elite Pad has proved to be an unmitigated disaster. We have met with HP representatives on a number of occasions to address the issues.

“To ensure stability and continuity of education I have ordered a full set of books for all the students.”

To have the right device is imperative for any e-learning program to succeed and the HP Elite Pads has failed on this on multiple counts. Among the issues that students reported having faced with the Elite Pads include Wi-Fi functioning erratically, system board failures, device not switching on or going into sleep spontaneously and so on. School authorities said they have put in almost 18 months' worth of research in choosing the right device though obviously that has proved to be flawed. The tablet device in question though has had fairly good reviews which makes it interesting to know why the units supplied to the school turned out to be faulty.

HP has been hard at work to resolve the issues but has not been able to commit to any time frame so far. In a statement, HP stated they are “working very closely with Mountrath Community School to resolve some technical issues and is committed to doing so in the shortest possible time frame.”

Mountrath Community College Describes Its eLearning Program Based on HP Elite Pad a Disaster is a post from: E-Reader News

Remembering JFK


Today, on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the United States remembers the life, leadership, and legacy of our beloved 35th President. The circumstances surrounding the assassination still continue to fascinate, and in many cases, divide us as it may never be solved to everyone's contentment. Regardless of whether you accept the "lone gunman" theory or believe the many conspiracy theories, the image and memory of this day has a strong hold on the American mind.


In honor of this historic day, OverDrive has created a list of titles* that chronicle both the incredible life and tragic death of JFK. Titles in this collection include:


The Death of a President: November 20 – 25th, 1963 by William Manchester

As the world still reeled from the tragic and historic events of November 22, 1963, William Manchester set out, at the request of the Kennedy family, to create a detailed, authoritative record of the days immediately preceding and following President John F. Kennedy’s death. Through hundreds of interviews, abundant travel and firsthand observation, and with unique access to the proceedings of the Warren Commission, Manchester conducted an exhaustive historical investigation, accumulating 45 volumes of documents, exhibits, and transcribed tapes.


An Unfinished Life: John F. Kennedy, 1917-1963 by Robert Dallek

Drawing on previously unavailable material and never-before-opened archives, An Unfinished Life is packed with revelations large and small – about JFK’s health, his love affairs, RFK’s appointment as Attorney General, what Joseph Kennedy did to help his son win the White House, and the path JFK would have taken in the Vietnam entanglement had he survived. Robert Dallek succeeds as no other biographer has done in striking a critical balance – never shying away from JFK’s weaknesses, brilliantly exploring his strengths – as he offers up a vivid portrait of a bold, brave, complex, heroic, human Kennedy.


Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot by Bill O'Reilly

A riveting historical narrative of the shocking events surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the follow-up to mega-bestselling author Bill O’Reilly’s Killing Lincoln. Now the anchor of The O’Reilly Factor recounts in gripping detail the brutal murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy – and how a sequence of gunshots on a Dallas afternoon not only killed a beloved president but also sent the nation into the cataclysmic division of the Vietnam War and its culture-changing aftermath.


Oswald's Tale: An American Mystery by Norman Mailer

In perhaps his most important literary feat, Norman Mailer fashions an unprecedented portrait of one of the great villains – and enigmas – in United States history. Based on KGB and FBI transcripts, government reports, letters and diaries, and Mailer’s own international research, this is an epic account of a man whose cunning, duplicity, and self-invention were both at home in and at odds with the country he forever altered.


If Kennedy Lived, The First and Second Terms of President John F. Kennedy: An Alternative History by Jeff Greenfield

November 22, 1963: JFK does not die. What would happen to his life, his presidency, his country, his world?


*Some titles are metered access and may have limited regional or platform availability. Check OverDrive Marketplace to find what is available for you.


Rachel Somerville is a Collection Development Analyst at OverDrive.