Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Video: Lets Read Digital Magazines on the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9


Welcome to another Good e-Reader Video! Today Michael and Peter walk you through the magazine experience on the Amazon Kindle Fire HDX 8.9. This tablet is mainly billed as an e-reader and Amazon sells a wide selection of magazines to purchase. If you are thinking about making the move from tangible, to digital, or just looking for that perfect device to read your monthlies, this video is for you.

Overall, Amazon basically deals with every major publisher and you can think of magazines as apps. The Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 runs on a heavily skinned version of Google Android. Bringing magazines over into the ecosystem warrants a dedicated app, using the Amazon SDK. What this means, is that from publisher to publisher the entire magazine experience will be different.

Video: Lets Read Digital Magazines on the Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 is a post from: E-Reader News

Contest: 15 iPad Leather Cases


Welcome to another Good e-Reader Free Contest! Today we are giving away 15 iPad cases that come in red and black. These cases are exclusively compatible with the first and second generation models officially. You can turn the case into a stand to watch movies or television shows.

What do you have to do to win one of these? Its rather simple, just Subscribe to our Youtube Channel and drop us a line on the video that you did so. In one week we will draw out 15 people that commented and ship them out. This contest is valid in all countries in the world!

Contest: 15 iPad Leather Cases is a post from: E-Reader News

Viz Media Brings Shonen Jump Back to Print – Sort Of


Two years ago, Viz Media made big news when they converted their manga magazine Shonen Jump from a print monthly to a digital weekly, with new manga chapters running almost simultaneously with their Japanese release. A year later, they went to simultaneous release with Japan. Shonen Jump carries some of the best selling manga in the U.S., including Naruto and One Piece, and the print edition was the best selling monthly comic in the U.S., with over 100,000 readers, both subscribers and newsstand customers. Switching to digital allowed Shonen Jump to offer fresher manga but also cut into that existing reader base quite a bit.

Now they are going back to the newsstand with a print anthology, the Weekly Shonen Jump Jump Pack, which bundles manga chapters together with a Yu-Gi-Oh trading card (these things are like gold to some people). The promo says it allows access to three months’ worth of Shonen Jump, and it looks like it comes with a digital subscription. The price is a hefty $19.99, but you get a lot of content for that. This collection is sold only through Diamond Comics Distributors, which means it is going to comics shops (not newsstands), and it seems to be aimed at enticing the traditional Shonen Jump customers to sign on to the digital product. The press release says this is the “first full issue,” which suggests it will be released on a regular basis.

For those who are already comfortable with digital, Viz is also offering a free Weekly Shonen Jump Starter Pack, which includes the first chapter of their new manga All You Need Is Kill (which is being made into the movie Edge of Tomorrow, starring Tom Cruise), as well as chapters of Naruto, One Piece, and other Shonen Jump series. All You Need Is Kill is a light novel that was adapted into manga form by Takeshi Obata, the artist for Death Note, Bakuman, and Hikaru No Go.

(YU-GI-OH! ZEXAL © 2010 by Kazuki Takahashi, Shin Yoshida, Naohito Miyoshi/SHUEISHA Inc.)

Viz Media Brings Shonen Jump Back to Print – Sort Of is a post from: E-Reader News

How to Set Custom Screensavers on Nook GlowLight

Barnes and Noble’s Nook GlowLight doesn’t have as many nifty features as the Kindle or Kobo ereaders, but one thing it does have that those don’t is the ability to easily set custom screensavers. The process is the same as the older Nooks. All you need to do is use the following steps to set […]

The readers have spoken: OverDrive is the best eBook app for libraries and schools

Readers know what they want in an eBook and audiobook app, and even more so, they like to talk about it. One great thing about app stores is that they allow smartphone and tablet users to provide feedback on the apps they download and assign a star rating to signify their satisfaction level. And guess what we found out? The OverDrive eBook and audiobook app is the highest-rated among its competition as rated in app stores by tens of thousands of users.

Based on data gathered January 22, 2014, the OverDrive app has rated highest in the Apple App Store among competitors, with the most recent release scoring 4.5 stars out of 5. Across all versions, the app received 37,110 reviews. For comparison, 3M Cloud Library is rated at 3.5 based on 1,595 reviews, while Baker & Taylor Axis Reader's most recent release is rated 2 stars, with 16 reviews for all versions. Users are raving about the OverDrive app, with thousands of 5 star reviews such as: "I have always extolled the virtues of public libraries and now that I can carry the library with me on my iPad, I tell everyone I know about OverDrive."

In addition to being rated top among eBooks, the OverDrive app is rated higher than its competition in audiobooks as well. OneClickdigital by Recorded Books is rated 2 stars based on 429 total reviews in the Apple App Store, and 2.7 stars with 396 reviews in Google Play. Baker & Taylor Axis 360 – Acoustik is rated 3 stars in Apple App Store with 16 reviews, and 2.5 stars in Google Play with 24 total reviews.

The OverDrive app was also named one of PC Magazine's 100 Best Android Apps of 2013 (listed in great company with Kindle, Dropbox, OfficeSuite Pro and other notable apps), and one of TechRadar's Best Free Android Apps of 2014 (along with CNN, Pinterest, IMDB and Groupon, among others).

This shows only a few examples; check out the full press release here to learn more.


OverDrive announces plan for audiobooks to be solely available in MP3 format

At ALA Midwinter Meeting this weekend, OverDrive will be announcing to library partners that over the coming months, we will take steps to discontinue the sale of audiobooks in the WMA format. With the largest collection of audiobooks from leading publishers in MP3 format for schools and libraries, OverDrive will soon make this the only file format offered for OverDrive digital audiobooks.

This is in response to user preferences, widespread compatibility of MP3 across all listening devices and the fact that the vast majority of our extensive audiobook collection is already in MP3 format. This includes the audiobook collections from Hachette, Penguin Group, Random House (Books on Tape and Listening Library), HarperCollins, AudioGo, Blackstone, Tantor Media and dozens of others. Our publisher relations team is working closely with the very few remaining publishers who require WMA to seek permission to sell their titles in MP3 for library and school lending.

We will soon be communicating the discontinuance of WMA sales, and then at a future date, we will announce when MP3 files will be the only supported format through OverDrive platforms. For libraries and schools that currently have WMA audiobook files in their collection, we will be working with the publishers of those titles to gain permissions to update your inventory to MP3. In the event that some titles are unavailable, an alternate solution will be offered to make up for the lost titles. Be on the lookout for announcements on our blog and from your Collection Development Specialist for a timeline of this process.

Sunsetting WMA formats will enable access to all audiobooks on any device through OverDrive's highest-rated, most used app for eBook and audiobook lending across all app stores. This will allow you to reach more users through your OverDrive audiobook collection, and offer patrons or students more titles to choose from on their preferred device. Visit us in booth #1723 at ALA Midwinter Meeting for more information, and to see a variety of other enhanced features coming soon from OverDrive.


Daily Deals & Freebies – January 22

Kindle Daily Deals I, Sniper by Stephen Hunter Four famed ’60s radicals are gunned down at long range by a sniper. Under enormous media scrutiny, the FBI quickly concludes that Marine war hero Carl Hitchcock, whose ninety-three kills were considered the leading body count tally among American marksman in Vietnam, was the shooter. But as […]

Bringing the OED into the Digital Revolution

One of the most iconic tools of the English language is the historic and famed Oxford English Dictionary. First established in 1858 with the goal of not just defining words but tracing their origins and first known published use, the OED has a tireless history of being the definitive source for information on words in the English language.

But as a rather in-depth piece by Tom Rachman for the New York Times points out, the process of being the OED is not a short one. It took twenty-five years for the original volume–A through Ant–to make it to publication. The full first edition was planned in the mid-1800s and wasn’t published until 1928. The second edition followed in 1989, and the third edition–first proposed in 1995–isn’t expected to be released until 2037.

With a new editor-in-chief at the helm, the OED may be undergoing more than just a pretty facelift to its exhaustive list of words and corresponding information. Having worked at the OED for twenty-five years, Michael Proffitt is not quick to throw out the old ways of doing business as the go-to source for English language information, but is looking ahead to more practical applications of the book.

One of the first steps for Proffitt is to to help authors and publishers see the benefits of having links to the OED in digital editions of texts. In addition, he’d like to see the OED information licensed for commercial business use, a measure that would help sustain the brand.

More importantly, Proffitt cannot be sure that the third edition will ever see its way to print publication. The first edition, with its nearly 620,000 words and corresponding information entries, was published in twenty volumes; the complete second edition costs $995, and its digital counterpart comes with a $295 price tag for a one-year online subscription. And while the expense of the OED is not strictly the paper and printing, but rather the teams of people who sit hunched over keyboards every day in order to ensure that the information is accurate and comprehensive, the fact of the matter is Googling the information is free, a fact that has already toppled other mainstays of printed volume reference works like Encyclopedia Britannica.

Whatever the OED of the future looks like, whether it’s embedded in every day reading material or becomes a search engine of its own, the dedication to preserving and recording the English language will keep the information relevant, even if the format goes by the wayside.

Bringing the OED into the Digital Revolution is a post from: E-Reader News

3M Cloud Library Launches in Canada with New Features

eBook lending to public libraries just went international with the first country to benefit from the 3M Cloud Library System. Canadian patrons will now be able to borrow digital content through the provider, including titles from several of the Big Five publishers and hundreds of other publishers.

“We know that libraries are looking for every possible way to help staff members use their time most efficiently, so we're constantly implementing Cloud Library tools to automate work and give more time back to librarians," said Tom Mercer, 3M Cloud Library Marketing Manager. "The automated buying tool is a powerful and customizable way for each library to manage its eBook collection and free up time for other tasks.”

In the early stages of library lending, patrons often experienced frustration with the catalog’s offerings, or more accurately, the lack of offerings. Companies like 3M and OverDrive have worked with publishers to be able to offer high-interest and bestselling titles, as well as back list favorites. These publisher partnerships help ensure that the rights holders are duly compensated through the lending program while still offering content that libraries can feel confident investing in for their readers.

3M will be at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference in Philadelphia, PA, this week, demonstrating the lending platform.

3M Cloud Library Launches in Canada with New Features is a post from: E-Reader News

South Africa Among Nations With Least Affinity to Read Books, eBooks Still to Make it Big


eBooks are far from reaching the same levels of popularity in South Africa as in the west and other parts of the world given the high price tag that ebook reading devices attract in the region. This along with bandwidth constraints has made experts predict that printed books will continue to dominate the scene well until 2017.  The latest PwC report, “South African Entertainment & Media Outlook 2013-2017,” further mentions that mass proliferation of ebooks in the African nations is further slowed by the fact that the country lacks a clear policy on digital copyright.

Tablets and ereaders have started gaining increased acceptance among the masses, though only among the middle and higher income groups. Further, less access to the internet has ensured vast sections of the society are unable to download ebooks, even if they can afford them. The copyright issues caused by Africa’s reluctance to align with the World Intellectual Property Organization's copyright treaty makes it risky to invest in digital publishing.

As things stand right now, even printed books aren't that popular in South Africa owning to their high price tag, something that can be attributed to the 14 percent VAT. This has prompted people there to read more newspapers and magazines than books. Currently only about 49 percent of households in the country have books in their homes as per an estimate from the South African Book Development Council; only a reported one percent of the population actually buys books, and just 14 percent of them read the books.

While ebooks generally cost less than their printed counterparts, the country will first have to enact viable copyright acts that seek to protect the interests of those who invest in this sector. Making available affordable tablet and ebook reading devices along with setting up a robust internet infrastructure will be the other requirements that can spur reading on a mass scale.

There have been some positive developments of late, including Kobo partnering with one of South Africa's largest retailers, Pick n Pay to sell ebooks., which has a dedicated ebook reading application, also sells the Gobi ereader in the country. As Marcel Welman, e-books manager, explained, the country has already started to see the positive effects of lowering of internet costs and making available affordable ebook reading devices. As a result, ebook sales have shown a growth of 30 percent on a year-on-year basis. However, there is still a long way to go before the ebook market achieves a level of maturation as seen in the rest of the world.

South Africa Among Nations With Least Affinity to Read Books, eBooks Still to Make it Big is a post from: E-Reader News

Adobe Hardens DRM Protection, Likely to Send More People to Amazon to Buy eBooks

The world of ebooks is going to get a lot more complicated thanks to Adobe, a company that has nothing to do with the actual writing, making, or marketing of the ebooks you purchase, but that doesn’t stop them from wanting to cash in on them as much as possible nonetheless. The way they’ve found […]

UK Booksellers Association Teams Up With YodelDirect to Help Indie Stores Compete


As brick-and-mortar bookstores struggle to carve out their own unique niches in a market overrun by discounted online book buying opportunities, the UK-based Booksellers Association is hard at work helping their shop owners keep up. With everything from assistance in setting up the new mandatory pension plans for their employees to helping store owners play royalty-free discounted music through their speakers, the organization strives to make life as simple as possible for these small business owners.

Now, the BA is helping indie bookstore owners level the playing field, at least in some regard, by teaming up with Yodel Direct to offer easy shipping at a 20% discount. This partnership will allow store owners to schedule a package pickup online in order to increase the volume of shipments they can devote time to.

According to the Booksellers Association’s website under the special section for saving members money, the partnership announcement was posted:

“We are delighted to re-introduce to BA members a parcel service from Yodel. After a break in providing parcel rates to BA members, Yodel are just about to launch Yodel Direct to bookshops. Billed as the new, simpler way of accessing Yodel parcel collection and delivery services, allows you to book colletions online, without the need to hold on the phone to place bookings, and it also allows you to track deliveries online. For those times when you need personal help, there is a live chat option on the site, with a real person able to help you with queries.

“We are delighted to announce that we have negotiated a special Booksellers Association member discount of 20% off all services.

“Booksellers on the old Yodel rates will be able to carry on accessing those till the end of 2013, thereafter the BA scheme will be replaced by Yodel Direct.”

As companies like Amazon announce same-day delivery in the UK, Sunday delivery, and more, booksellers have been feeling the pinch as consumers click-to-buy and find their packages waiting for them after work. This partnership will help erase some of the consumer concerns about shopping locally for book purchases.

UK Booksellers Association Teams Up With YodelDirect to Help Indie Stores Compete is a post from: E-Reader News

Give us your best (Mathematica) one-liner

Here’s another guest post from Allison Taylor at Wolfram, which is part of a series that will help smooth your introduction to Mathematica. Thanks Allison: over to you!

At our 2010 and 2011 Wolfram Technology Conferences, attendees were challenged to come up with their best one-liners—pieces of code written in less than one line, or under 140 characters. The outputs were then judged by their complexity, usefulness, and general cool-factor. The submissions turned out to be quite diverse, thought provoking, and most of all, pretty nifty illustrations of the efficiency of the Wolfram Language.

So it only seemed fitting to tailor some of these small bundles of powerful code to the equally small-but-mighty Raspberry Pi. (To run these, you must first open the front-end version of Mathematica on your Pi by clicking the Mathematica icon.)

Echidnahedron (AKA, the Mathematica Spikey), by Radko Kriz

We couldn’t help but start off with teaching you how to make a cool, geometric logo similar to the one that has been representing Mathematica and Wolfram Research for over 25 years! The echidnahedron is a “stellation” of the icosahedron—basically, it takes the faces of the icosahedron and turns them into infinitely extending spikes. Or Spikey, as we like to call it.

Graphics3D[{Opacity[.8],Glow[RGBColor[1,0,0]],EdgeForm[White],Lighting ->  None,PolyhedronData["Echidnahedron","Faces"]}]

The Ulam Spiral, by Dave Lawrence

Along a similar mathy theme, the Ulam Spiral is a beautiful way to visualize prime numbers. The spiral is contructed on an integer coordinate plane, starting at (0,0) and spiraling outward through every point that is prime.

s = {Re@#, Im@#} & /@   
  Fold[Join[#1, Last@#1 + I^#2 Range@#2/2] &, {0},    
   Range@140]; ListPlot[s, Joined -> True,  
 Epilog -> {Point /@ s[[Prime@Range@PrimePi@Length@s]]}]

Not the biggest bang Stanislaw Ulam ever made, but neat nonetheless

Test If an Integer Is a Prime Number, by Sascha Kratky

And while we’re on the subject of prime numbers, there are tons of math and computation examples where this little gem of code will likely come in handy. Run this function with any integer, and it will return True if it is prime and False if it is not.
RegExPrimeQ[n_Integer] := !   
  StringMatchQ[StringJoin[Table["1", {Abs[n]}]],    
   RegularExpression["^1?$|^(11+?)\\1+$"]] RegExPrimeQ[17]

Make Your Own Borg Cube, by Alex Hirsbrunner

You know you’ve always wanted to make one. By tiling a bunch of randomly generated cubes of random sizes and colors, this code will create your very own one-of-a-kind Borg cube to assimilate all your friends into the hive mind.
p := Random[];
r = RotateLeft;
 Table[{RGBColor[.2, p, .2],   
  Cuboid[l =    
     r[{z, p, p}, a], l +    
       8 {Sign[z - .5], p, p}, a]]}, \ {z, {0, 1}}, {a, 0, 2}, {6!}]]

Your biological and technological distinctiveness will be added to our own.

Fractals, by Stephan Leibbrandt

Make a “heart-shaped box of wires and springs” with this nifty line of code!
   Block[{i, x, p},     
    Table[i = 0; x = 0. I; p = r + I c;      
     Tanh[Power[i/9^3, (7)^-1]], {c, -1, 1, .01}, {r, -2, 1,.01}]]][]

Rubber Duck, by Paul Abbott

And we’ll leave you with this cute little creation, made using a series of spherical functions, because it’s just adorable, isn’t it?
 Log[\[Theta]] + Sin[\[CurlyPhi]], {\[Theta], 0,   
  2 \[Pi]}, {\[CurlyPhi], 0, 2 \[Pi]}, Boxed -> False, Axes -> False,  
 PlotStyle -> Yellow, Mesh -> None, PlotPoints -> 30]

Inspired? Show us what Raspberry Pi oriented one-liners you can come up with!

HumbleBundle Launches Audiobook Giving Campaign

There is a whole movement on the internet dedicated to letting people demonstrate that they are basically good. Opportunities to give back like crowdfunding and name-your-own-price let consumers make purchases they feel good about while often supporting a worthy cause or charity.

HumbleBundle, who began their price naming projects in video games, has now brought that same model to audiobooks. In this project, consumers not only pick their price for select titles from Recorded Books, the world’s largest independent publisher and distributor of unabridged audiobooks, they also get to select how much of the price goes to the author and how much benefits charity.

According to HumbleBundle’s Lizzie Cuevas, Director of Communications, “Customers will be able to pay what they want for The Satanic Verses, Stolen, Abandon, Junky, and Found. If customers choose to pay more than the average price, they will also receive A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Blood Meridian, and On a Pale Horse. Normally, these audiobooks would cost about $685, but we’re letting customers name their price.

“Customers also get to choose where their money goes: between the authors and/or two great non-profit organizations, Electronic Frontier Foundation and Worldreader. Thanks to the generosity of our community, we have raised more than $30 million for charity since the company’s launch in 2010.”

Details on the promotion and on the individual charities supported through this project can be found at

HumbleBundle Launches Audiobook Giving Campaign is a post from: E-Reader News

Cisco Reports Android Devices are the Most Prone to Malware Attacks


Android may be accounting for a phenomenal growth in the mobile segment though all of that is fraught with risks of being infected with malware, warns senior vice president of marketing at Apple, Phil Schiller. Quoting Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report, the Apple executive pointed out that Android alone accounted for an unprecedented 99 percent malware threat in 2013. The same for iOS is an almost insignificant less than 1 percent considering there are others like Windows and Blackberry in the scene as well.

What should be even more worrisome for Google and users of its Android platform is that its vulnerability to attacks from malware has only increased over the years, having grown from 79 percent in 2010-12 as mentioned in the Mobile Threat Report, Q4 2012 from F-Secure.  In contrast, Apple can be considered to be holding steady in the face of malware attacks which is said to have compromised just 0.7 percent of iOS devices as mentioned in F-Secure's survey for the period 2010-2012.

The latest Cisco report also mentions that Java is open to 91 percent web exploits. Further, it is Trojans that has turned out to be the primary source of worry, accounting for 64 percent of malware with adware making up a smaller 20 percent. The report also stated that it is malware Andr/Qdplugin-A that has been found to have infiltrated the most on Android device. The malware is introduced via a legal app not listed at the official Google Play Store but on other Android app stores. The report also highlights the fact that Android users would be better off to source all of their app requirements from the Google Play Store than from third-party app stores.

The above no doubt will enhance the appeal of iOS devices even more as a stable, secure and safe platform compared to Android that might be raking in the numbers right now but is more prone to online malware threats.

Cisco Reports Android Devices are the Most Prone to Malware Attacks is a post from: E-Reader News

ALA Mid-Winter Conference Starts Friday


The American Library Association is holding their Mid-Winter conference in Philadelphia this Friday. There are plenty of sessions, speakers and things to do during the five day event, sometimes it can get overwhelming. Today, Good e-Reader brings you the can’t miss events of ALA-MW 2014.

The American Library Association (ALA) will host Google Glass demonstrations on January 25th and 26th in the Grand Hall of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Wilson L. White, public policy manager of Glass at Google, and technical members of the Google Glass Team, will be on hand to talk about the wearable computers while conference attendees try them on! This will give everyone a chance to see what all of the fuss is about, hopefully they will give out invite codes to actually buy them!

Overdrive, 3M, Baker & Taylor are the main companies that help libraries facilitate a digital lending strategy. Even though eBooks have certainly taken off in the last few years, there are still many libraries that are still not participating. One of the few pure digital sessions is the DCWG Directions and the Author-Library Relationship program, and it will take place Saturday, January 25, 2014, from 1-2:30p.m., in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, room 201 C. As part of the program, a leading panel of library and publishing experts will discuss the best ways that libraries can bring together authors and readers in the digital age. Panelists will explore new opportunities for collaboration between libraries and authors.

Want to hear inside information about the National Security Agency leak? Hear the "story behind-the-story" from Spencer Ackerman, national security editor for the Guardian U.S. newspaper at the 2014 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Ackerman will address library professionals during the Washington Update session on Saturday, January 25, 2014, from 8:30-10:00a.m. in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, room 201 B.

It’s been ten years since the Children's Internet Protection Act—the law that requires public libraries and K-12 schools to employ internet filtering software in exchange for certain federal funding—was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court as constitutional. During the past decade, how have libraries coped with the law’s filtering requirements? What can be done to ensure open and equitable access to information while complying with the law?

Join library leaders at “Revisiting the Children's Internet Protection Act: 10 Years Later,” an interactive session that will be held during the 2014 American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Panelists will discuss the difficult issues faced by librarians developing and managing internet use policies. Panelists will wade through legal requirements, ethical arguments, factual issues, and the potential long-term impacts of filtering. The session will take place Sunday, January 26, 2014, from 1:00-2:30 p.m., in the Pennsylvania Convention Center, room 203 A.

ALA Mid-Winter Conference Starts Friday is a post from: E-Reader News