Friday, November 29, 2013

Video: Amazon Kindle HDX 8.9 vs Kobo Arc 10 HD


Amazon has had more success with building a strong tablet brand then Kobo. One of the big strengths of the Seattle based company is packaging their ecosystem and delivering a unique Android experience. Today, we look at the two latest entrants to both companies product portfolios and see how they perform in real world tests.

The Kobo Arc 10 HD features a stunning 10-inch capacitive touchscreen with ten point multitouch. It has one of the best resolutions in the business with 2560×1600 pixels. Meanwhile the new Amazon HDX tablet has the exact same resolution of the Kobo device, but packages it in a 8.9 inch screen. Both tablets have similar hardware specs, such as quad core processors and RAM.

Aside from the hardware, both companies have been developing cool software enhancements that go the extra distance. Kobo has done “Beyond the Book” which basically gives you a rundown of the author, major characters and locations mentioned in the book. Amazon does X-Ray, which is a bit more polished, since its been around longer. It lists all of the major characters, how often they are referenced, and other does people, places and things.

Kobo and Amazon bill their tablets as e-Readers, instead of general purpose editions like the iPad. In order to gauge what the better investment for your holiday dollars we put the HDX and HD models head to head to see what type of job they reading eBooks, magazines, newspapers, comic books and audio/video.

Video: Amazon Kindle HDX 8.9 vs Kobo Arc 10 HD is a post from: E-Reader News

Video: Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 vs Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9

kindle fire hdx 8.9 vs kindle fire 8.9

Amazon has been making tablets for a number of years and only has two of them that feature 8.9 inch screens. Today in another installment of the Good e-Reader Video Comparison Series, we look at both models to give you a sense on what they both bring to the table.

There are a number of differences on the hardware level, with the latest generation Fire HDX having a faster processor and higher resolution. It also has a number of software enhancements such as Mayday, which gives you the ability to receive live help from an Amazon agent. Sure specs are great on paper, but it is all about real world performance. As you can see in the screen capture leading off this article, video on the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 looks very solid.

In this video we mainly look at the e-reading experience and how the same content, side by side, performs. Peter looks at newspapers, magazines, comics, eBooks and even conducts an audio/video test. If you have the older model and are wondering if you should upgrade or not, this video is for you.

Video: Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 vs Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9 is a post from: E-Reader News

Price Fixing Monitor Blasted by Apple for Legal Fee Extortion


The Justice Department came down hard on Apple for the agency pricing model where it established they colluded with major publishers to create a fixed price for digital books. When everything was all said and done the court appointed a monitor to insure Apple was complying with the antitrust settlement. Today, Apple is blasting the monitor that is charging them $1,100 per hour and saying they had no choice in finding someone better.

Former US Justice Department inspector general Michael Bromwich was the man selected by the courts to keep tabs on Apple. In the first two weeks of work, Bromwich invoiced the Mac-maker $138,432. That number includes not only his own hourly fee, but that of a number of legal assistants brought in to support the role, and a 15% "administrative surcharge" on top.

Apple said they were left hamstrung with the choice of monitor, given the role was filled by judge Denise Cote. "Mr. Bromwich appears to be simply taking advantage of the fact that there is no competition here or, in his view, any ability on the part of Apple, the subject of his authority, to push back on his demands" Apple wrote, Bloomberg reports.

One of the biggest complaints that Apple has is the fact Michael is apparently allowed to talk to Apple employees without counsel present, in addition to being able to report back to Justice Cote without Apple also being in the room. The Justice Department is yet to comment on the new complaint.

Price Fixing Monitor Blasted by Apple for Legal Fee Extortion is a post from: E-Reader News

Digital Comics Bargains for Black Friday

Star Wars

Stay away from the mall this Black Friday and scoop up some digital deals for yourself—or your friends.

Dark Horse has an amazing deal on Star Wars comics: A megabundle of over 150 single issues for $100. The bundle includes Brian Wood’s Star Wars (set in the world of the original movie), the kid-friendly Clone Wars, all three arcs of The Crimson Empire, and all sorts of Star Wars storylines that Dark Horse has spun out from the originals over the years.

On Cyber Monday, Dark Horse will offer 50% off all comics on its web store only; just enter the promo code dhdcyber2013 when you check out. The sale is December 2 only, from midnight (PST) to midnight.

ComiXology has a couple of sales that should match every taste. If you’re a superhero type, jump on the Avengers vs. X-Men sale, with a ton of single-issue comics for 99 cents each or the collected edition for $19.99 (that’s half price).

The folks who are creating a real buzz in the comics world right now are Image, and comiXology’s Image sale lets you jump on to a bunch of different series with strong characters and original storylines: Saga, Great Pacific, It-Girl and the Atomics, The Manhattan Projects. All highly recommended, all available in graphic novel format, so you get a good chunk of story for $3.99 to $7.99.

I can’t find a direct link, but scroll down comiXology’s sale page and you’ll also find a good sale on comics from Action Labs, a up-and-coming indy publisher. The deal of the day is the first volume of Princeless, their Eisner-nominated all-ages series, for $1.99. That’s a great digital comics gift for any kid who likes adventure and fantasy.

And if you spent all your money at the mall, don’t despair: Both comiXology and Amazon are still offering the free DC digital-first comics through December 2.

Manga fans should check out Digital Manga’s Blackout Week sale: Get 20% off all purchases on the eManga website by entering the promo code BLACKOUT at the checkout.

For those who like their manga with a side of anime, Crunchyroll is offering a 12-month all-access pass for $69.99, which is half price. That gets you access to their full range of streaming manga, including Attack on Titan and Fairy Tail, as well as

Digital Comics Bargains for Black Friday is a post from: E-Reader News

OpenSprinkler Pi

I’ve been meaning to write about this for ages: I hate watering the garden. I’ve met Ray, the Mind Behind, a couple of times now, I actually *own* one of these boards, and…I hate watering the garden. Did I mention that?

If you hate watering the garden but enjoy messing around with computers, OpenSprinkler Pi is a no-brainer. It’s the cheapest and most configurable system of its type I’ve come across, it’s open source (and this means that Ray’s not the only person working on it – tools from the community like Rich Zimmerman’s Sprinklers_Pi software add features like weather control, so you can adjust your irrigation depending on your local weather forecast), and there’s a big community adding features all the time.

You can read more at, find links to a ton of code, and buy a board there too. We highly recommend you take a look; Ray’s a great guy, and we love what he’s doing with the Pi.

Ad-Based Reading Service Readfy Launches in Beta

One the most elusive models in digital publishing has to be subscription-based ebooks, with companies around the world all seeking to be the Netflix or Spotify of reading. Everything from pay-as-you-read page view models to open, unlimited consumption have been tried, but nothing seems to have taken hold, at least not in a way like…well…Netflix or Spotify.

But Dusseldorf-based Readfy is hoping their own brand of subscription reading will finally prove to be what readers want. What makes their model different? It’s free.

Very similar in structure to the base level of 24Symbols lowest tier in their freemium structure, readers can access unlimited amounts of content in the Readfy catalog while seeing ads embedded in the ebooks. But as 24Symbols and even Amazon have found out, readers are not clamoring to tolerate ads in their reading spaces, even for a bargain.

But unlike models that use the ad-embedded free model in order to encourage users to upgrade to an ad-free level, Readfy has no plans in its model to encourage signing up. What will prove to be difficult for the German company, however, is reconciling the readers’ interests, the authors’ interests, and the advertisers’ interests; to date, both publishers and advertisers have both been wary of how digital is going to produce verifiable revenue based on the user experience.

One thing working in Readfy’s favor that other similar attempts did not have is timing. Readfy’s full launch, expected next year, comes at a time when reading consumers are already accustomed to social reading, sharing information on titles, and reading on smartphones, which means enjoying the portability more than the experience.

Ad-Based Reading Service Readfy Launches in Beta is a post from: E-Reader News

Unboxing the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9


Welcome to another Good e-Reader Unboxing Video! Today we check out the brand new Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8.9. This is the second tablet of this size the company has produced and has some very solid hardware compared to the first generation. We show you everything that comes in the box and power the unit on for the first time.

The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 features a 8.9 inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 2560x1600p pixels with 339 ppi.Underneath the hood is a quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor that is running at 2.2 GHZ and 2 GB of RAM. There is also a dedicated on-board graphics with the Adreno 330 graphics engine. All of these things combined will be one seriously powerful unit that will be able to tap into the extensive Amazon App Store and be able to run any app or game that you can throw at it. It will also be useful for viewing videos and movies as part of Amazon Video. Amazon has the speakers at the top of the device now and audiobooks/movies will sound really good with Dolby Audio.

One of the most interesting aspects of the 8.9 inch is the frame, it is comprised of a single-piece of machined magnesium with a blend of glass and nylon molded onto the uni-body to create openings for the antennas and maximize signal strength without sacrificing sturdiness. The result is the lightest large-screen tablet—at just 13.2 ounces, it is 34% lighter than the previous generation large-screen Fire HD tablet.

Unboxing the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is a post from: E-Reader News

Video: Nook HD+ vs Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9


Welcome to another Good e-Reader Comparison Video! With the holidays right around the corner you can get the Nook HD+ for a solid price, normally around the $139 range. Its been out for almost a year now, whereas the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 just came out and has a premium cost of $379.99.  If you are looking to purchase either of these two devices you won’t want to miss this video.

Today in our comparison video we evaluate the core e-reading experience. We give you a sense of comics, newspapers, magazines, and eBooks perform. The Nook has the advantage with Google Play and the ability to download basically whatever you want. The Amazon App Store is a more curated experience and normally don’t stock apps that compete with any of their business interests. You are more or less locked into dealing with Amazon exclusively unless you know how to load in your own apps. The Nook is fairly agnostic with Google but if you want to buy content from B&N you will only be able to do it in the USA or UK.

Video: Nook HD+ vs Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is a post from: E-Reader News

McGraw-Hill Professional eBooks go live at OverDrive for public libraries

Starting today, Black Friday, the entire McGraw-Hill Professional catalog of 5,000+ business, technical and educational reference titles are available.


McGraw-Hill Professional's full eBook catalog is now live for libraries worldwide. This catalog is one of the premier eBook collections for career, reference, IT and certification titles available on the market today. To celebrate this new offering, all 2012 and 2013 McGraw-Hill eBook releases, (more than 800 titles) will be discounted 30 percent for public library partners through the end of this year in OverDrive Marketplace.


Libraries will be able to offer 24/7 access to McGraw-Hill Professional digital titles in three broad categories: Business/Consumer, Science/Technical,  and Test Prep/Education. Their proven reputation is highlighted with such notable collections as 5 Steps to a 5 AP (test prep series), Practice Makes Perfect (foreign language study), Schaum's Outline (study aid series), Mike Meyers' CompTIA (tech series), and Disney U: How Disney University Develops the World's Most Engaged, Loyal and Customer-Centric Employees. High-demand bestsellers include The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley; McGraw-Hill's 5 TEAS Practice Tests by Kathy Zahler; and Programming the Raspberry Pi: Getting Started in Python by Simon Monk.


The eBook collection for libraries includes over 1,000 recently released titles for researchers, business professionals, consumers, scientists, and students including test preparation titles for the ACT, SAT, MCAT or LSAT.


For more information on this partnership or to learn how to add McGraw-Hill Professional titles to your library catalog, contact


Heather Tunstall is the Public Relations Specialist for OverDrive.