Tuesday, January 21, 2014

How PDF Files Look on the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9


Welcome to another Good e-Reader Video filmed at our new Studio in Vancouver, Canada! Today, Michael and Peter take a look at the PDF experience on the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9.

The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 has the highest resolution out of any tablet the Seattle based company has ever released. The average tablet is seven inches, and with almost two extra inches you have to wonder if the extra screen real estate makes a big difference with PDF files.

One of the rude awakenings we experienced with PDF Files is the aspect ratio issue. Whether your tablet is in landscape or portrait mode the PDF file will never take up the entire screen by default. Instead, you will have to pinch and zoom each page until you find that sweet spot. Check out the video below for the skinny on the situation.

How PDF Files Look on the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is a post from: E-Reader News

Spanish Telefonica’s Web Portal Incorporates Brazilian Digital Library, Nuvem de Livros

cloud of books

Nuvem de Livros which means cloud of books in Brazilian language has been hosted on to Terra, a unit of Spain’s Telefonica. This has led to the inclusion of more than 11,000 titles to the digital library that runs on a subscription model. With this, Terra will now be seen as a multi-platform application having on offer ebooks, videos and other multimedia content.

“Adding Nuvem de Livros to the portal strengthens segments that we consider extremely important for Terra, such as culture and education. We’re always looking to incorporate products that make a difference,” said Koiti Inagaki, Terra’s head of subscriptions.

Nuvem de Livros is also aimed at the educational segment where students can avail of the ebooks or other materials relevant to their course. No wonder, the service has already grown past the million mark in its subscriber base in the two years it has been in existence.

Spanish Telefonica’s Web Portal Incorporates Brazilian Digital Library, Nuvem de Livros is a post from: E-Reader News

Apple iTunes U Expands into 50 New Counries


Apple iTunes U is the outfit responsible for thousands of interactive eTextbooks that are aimed at the educational sphere and learning inclined. The Cupertino-based outfit today has announced that they are expanding their reach into 50 new countries to purchase and download digital textbooks.

Asia, Europe and Latin America are the main recipients of the expanded iTunes U. Apple basically now has the farthest reach out the mainstream ecosystems that offer eTextbooks for purchase. Amazon, Google and many others are fairly US-centric and don’t really focus on the international educational market. Many of the Apple texts are interactive in nature and are often created with Apple’s own authoring tools to incorporate audio, video, maps and interactive elements. Users in these new markets purchase the books with iTunes U and are able to read them with the official iBooks App.

Apple iTunes U Expands into 50 New Counries is a post from: E-Reader News

OverDrive to preview enhanced eBooks at ALA Midwinter Meeting

As thousands of librarians convene in Philadelphia this weekend, we will be demonstrating interactive children's eBooks with dozens of "app-like" features based on industry-standard EPUB3 and other formats. In OverDrive booth #1723 at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, January 24-27 in Philadelphia, enhanced eBook editions of children's classics, picture books, adult and YA titles will be demonstrated using OverDrive Read without the need to first install an app or activate any new software.

New enhanced eBook features that we’ll be previewing include synchronized audiobooks and text, interactive pages, fixed layout titles and multimedia best practices. See how reader engagement can increase through cutting-edge technology such as integrated tests and quizzes with real-time grading, true-to-print page layouts, and much morel.

Also on display will be our recently launched features including the kids’ eReading Room, multilingual user interfaces, multilingual eBooks, OverDrive Media Station and OverDrive Streaming Video. Stop by booth #1723 to see it all in action!

Click here to read more about what OverDrive will showcase at ALA Midwinter Meeting.

ASUS Eee Note EA800 eBook Reader and Note Taker Now Available in US

Here’s a blast from the past. I just happened to come across the listing for the 8-inch ASUS Eee Note EA800 over on Newegg this morning for $179. For those of you without a ridiculously good memory for niche gadgets, the ASUS Eee Note EA800 was first released back in November 2010 in Taiwan, and […]

OverDrive Unveils Enhanced eBook Lending at ALA Midwinter

OverDrive, one of the global leaders in digital content solutions for more than 28,000 public and school libraries, will be attending this week’s American Library Association Midwinter meeting, and demonstrating an exciting new offering. With the ability to borrow enhanced ebooks in the near future, OverDrive is giving attendees a sneak peek at what this experience will be like.

"Our investment in HTML5, EPUB3 fixed layout and media overlays using SMIL documents will enable publishers, libraries and schools to serve readers with enhanced reading abilities on the widest range of devices," said David Burleigh, Director of Marketing at OverDrive, in a press release today. "We are excited to be working with leading trade, educational and children's publishers to reach our worldwide network of booksellers and institutions with enhanced and interactive eBooks."

New enhanced eBook features coming soon include:

Synchronized Audiobooks and Text: Readers and students can select "Start Reading" to launch audiobook playback synchronized to each line or word in the eBook, which is highlighted as it is read. Synchronized eBook and audio titles provide access to the professionally recorded voice of the author or narrator as if the eBook and audiobook were published together.

Interactive Pages: OverDrive will also demonstrate test and quiz applications with real-time grading and answers. Other enhancements will demonstrate how games and learning interactions can motivate, instruct and reward readers as they progress through the pages of an educational title.

Fixed Layout Titles: Picture books and highly-stylized eBooks that deliver "true to print" presentations to readers for children's titles as well for school titles with graphs and charts will be on display by OverDrive.

Multimedia: To support video, animations and sound embedded or linked from OverDrive-supported eBooks, the company is creating a series of "best practices" for immersive experiences for digital readers that ensure compatibility with OverDrive apps and reading products.

This initiative is the latest in a long line of recent features and upgrades, all designed to help libraries reach their patrons and meet their needs, while maintaining a cost effective measure to stay relevant in their communities.

OverDrive Unveils Enhanced eBook Lending at ALA Midwinter is a post from: E-Reader News

Triviabox: a DIY quiz show setup

Sandy Walsh thought it’d be cool to host a trivia night in his living room. Most of us would make do with paper, biros and shouting: but it’s from little ideas like this that splendidly grandiose Raspberry Pi projects are born. In this case, projects involving a shipment of Chinese bike handles and a very large amount of speaker wire.

Sandy wanted a physical, game-show setup, so he hacked together some switches and an old terminal block he had lying around (you will probably have to buy one) with speaker wire and a Pi Face interfacing board.

The Pi runs a GUI for the game on a TV, and also deals with inputs from button switches mounted on each handle, so players can buzz in with an answer. The GUI works in concert with a live Quizmaster, who asks questions and adjudicates answers. Here it is in action:

Sandy says he thinks there’s a lot of refinement that could be added: he’s keen to see people add patches to what he feels is a bit of a hack. You can check out the repository on GitHub. This isn’t a difficult build, and I’m considering getting one of our work experience students to build a similar setup for the demo table: any refinements you think we should add?

Daily Deals & Freebies – January 21st 2014

Extra Kindle Deals $30 off Kindle Fire HDX – Use code GameOn30 at checkout. Free Coupon for Select Kindle Books for $0.99 Each – Amazon Local Deal – Expires Jan 24th The Big Deal: Kindle Books Up to 85% Off – Now through February 2nd Kindle Countdown Deals – Limited-time discounts on Kindle-exclusive ebooks Kindle […]

Do Not Ask for Free Advertising

For all the regular readers of this website, please feel free to ignore this article. This post is for all the sleazy marketers and annoying people out there who think it’s okay to continually email me asking for free advertising just because their product, book, or app is in some way related to ebooks. News […]

Crowdfunding to Expand Transmedia Story Stream “Gamifying” Platform


At last week’s Digital Book World Conference, noted industry gurus Tim O’Reilly and Dominique Raccah both expanded on the idea that the digital publishing revolution is just beginning. Both CEOs stated quite passionately that the industry is only at the very launch of what an ebook will become.

One concept in ebooks that has only scratched the surface of what the available and upcoming technology will let it do is enhanced ebooks. Content creators and designers have been publishing full-color tablet-based books for years that all incorporate the same features: read-aloud narration, easily manipulated interfaces, embedded video content, and more. But a new IndieGoGo campaign has been launched to expand the Transmedia Story Stream platform in order to make books do ever more, at least in terms of interactive video game style features.

According to a press release on the expansion, “Transmedia Story Stream, the Zynga of ebooks, is raising $15,000 to extend its revolutionary platform, which blends social video game mechanics with narrative to allow authors to build, distribute and engage fans in multi-media story worlds.

“Instead of a downloading a static, dead ePub, readers can log onto story worlds that are alive with fans and friendship and earn rewards while reading. The platform ‘gamifies’ reading with an invitation to users: Don't just read a book—play it!”

More information on the IndieGoGo campaign, along with a video of the platform in action, can be found HERE.

Crowdfunding to Expand Transmedia Story Stream “Gamifying” Platform is a post from: E-Reader News

Execs Leaving B&N While Nook Rolls Out Global Plan

Critics and industry speculators have been saying the same thing for far too long: Barnes and Noble is in trouble. And with the announcement that its third executive in the Nook division has left the company–most recently Jim Hilt, head of global ebook sales, and before him digital products director Jamie Iannone and VP of digital products Bill Saperstein–coupled with the disappointing holiday season sales and announcements of store closings, it’s easy to see why the rumors gain steam.

Following assurances to Good e-Reader from VP Theresa Horner only last October that B&N is fully committed to the Nook division, the company unveiled a brand-new dedicated e-reader. And certainly doing a year-on-year comparison of the 2013 holiday shopping season is a little unfair when taken into account that 2012 saw two brand-new Nook tablets roll out just in time for Christmas. But without plans at this time to replace these lost digital leadership positions at B&N, is the Nook division without direction?

Statements from within the company have promised once again the Barnes and Noble is committed to the Nook division and will be aggressively driving growth. The international rollout is taking longer than anticipated, with Nook still focused in the US, UK, and now Australia (some additional global markets can access the Nook ebook store through specific tablet apps, however), but at a time when there’s a high rate of turnover within the digital division, maintaining a slow but steady pace of international growth may be the smarter move to take.

Execs Leaving B&N While Nook Rolls Out Global Plan is a post from: E-Reader News