Friday, January 24, 2014

Top 10 New Android Apps of the Week – Jan 24 2014


It has been a very slow last couple of weeks as developers have come back from the holiday season and have mainly updated their existing library of Apps. Over the course of the last week a bunch of new apps and games have been released and we are finally seeing some higher quality content.

All of these apps are available for free via the Good e-Reader Android App Store! You can download everything in one click, and there is no registration system.

Robocop – In 2028 Detroit, when Alex Murphy, a loving husband, father and good cop is critically injured in the line of duty, the multinational conglomerate OmniCorp sees their chance for a part-man, part-robot police officer. Join the OmniCorp program to become RoboCop, the ultimate law enforcement officer! Battle human crooks, robot enemies and learn how to defend the citizens from the corrupt streets of Detroit.

Zombie Escape – With crisp swipe controls, completely unpredictable courses, and an incredible sense of speed, Zombie Escape ranks among the best the genre has to offer. Play as a little boy or girl as you dash, jump and spin your way across stunning 3D environments in order to get rid of the evil zombies. You can not only dodge the zombies but also eliminate them using tiny knife!

Small Fry – The chase is on! Swim for your life as the tiny fish Finley "Small Fry" Fryer in this thrilling and action packed ocean adventure. Swim, jump and even float though space to escape from all the perils of the seven seas. Avoid blazing fast swordfish, electric jellyfish, ink squirting octopuses, asteroids and more.

AirPlay Recorder – AirRecord – AirRecord: use doubleTwist's AirPlay Recorder to record iTunes audio and radio to your phone or tablet! Brought to you by the creators of the popular AirSync and doubleTwist Music Player, the AirPlay Recorder saves songs and radio stations that you stream from iTunes to your Android device.

Casters of Kalderon BETA – The game world of Kalderon is being rebuilt after a destructive magical war. Players take on the role of a caster who commands dragon magic and must attempt to rebuild the realm and restore it to its former glory. Players have an extensive coalition system to help them protect their territory and its heart, the Dragonium tower, and to defeat seemingly overwhelming enemies. With up to 20 players, a coalition can devise strategies against its enemies via in-game live chat and lead armies into battle together. In addition to PvP, there are also lots of missions and campaigns to choose from, and completing them will unlock valuable rewards and resources. Thanks to the in-game economics and trade system, players can exercise their mercantile talents to increase their income and to enlarge the troops.

Elementalist – As the hero in this epic tale you are on a mission. No, not a mission from god. You're on a mission to save the world from certain destruction! Learn new skills, gather items and master all the elements! Can you become an Elementalist? Elementalist is a Turn Based RPG designed for touch devices. Elementalist features an innovative and new mechanic which enables you to cast your chosen skill by drawing the spell symbol on your screen.

Evil Moon Steampunk Defense – Evil Moon is action packed steam-punk tower defense game! Destroy epic bossed, myriads of drones and upgrade you weapons and tower. Build and upgrade your base against steam-punk drones and machines!

Tank Riders 2 – Enemy forces are swarming across our borders, and their nefarious fleet of tanks is everywhere. You can't so much as kick a rock without a 120mm muzzle poking out at you from underneath. Time to mount up, buckle down and grease your guns, as the 153rd Tiny Tank battalion faces its toughest challenge yet!

MixLocker – Monotone refused, MixLocker makes your phone be full of Creative,Beauty,Surprise, Wonderful and Interesting.

TurretCrunch – Destroy huge waves of robots sent by Lord Metalcrunch with your powerful and healthy tanks. Line up hordes of enemies and watch them fly away as you blast away your cannon in this twinstick-shooter loved by critics.

Top 10 New Android Apps of the Week – Jan 24 2014 is a post from: E-Reader News

Best New Digital Comics for January 24, 2014

All New X-Men 1

Here’s what’s looking good at the (digital) comics shop this week:

All-New X-Men #22.NOW: Written by Brian Michael Bendis and illustrated by Stuart Immonen, this issue kicks off a six-issue crossover that brings the Guardians of the Galaxy into the world of the X-Men. The continuity folds over in a weird sort of way when a young Jean Grey, who has traveled through time to the present along with her original X-Men cohort of Cyclops, Angel, Beast, and Iceman, is forced to stand trial for the crimes committed by her other self. Bendis talked about this storyline in an interview with USA Today, saying it will raise some interesting issues of power and responsibility: “I’m always looking for that new angle on that power-and-responsibility jag after 200-some issues of Spider-Man. It’s always fun to find one.”

Animal Man #27: This issue launches the final arc of Jeff Lemire’s run as the writer on the New 52 version of Animal Man, and the stakes are high: Buddy Baker (Animal Man) must save his daughter Maxine from their enemy, The Rot, which is trying to kill her. Lemire also brings in Buddy’s wife Ellen and shows the effects of the struggle on her. Rafael Albuquerque’s art seals the deal.

Black Widow #2: Writer Nathan Edmondson and artist Phil Noto are getting a lot of critical praise for this new Black Widow series, which has Natasha trying to redeem herself by righting the wrongs of her past as an assassin. Writing at Comicosity, reviewer Roderick Ruth says “Edmondson and Noto are building a great foundation for Natasha Romanov to boastfully stand upon, and one which can only lead to better stories for the Black Widow. This is the most genuine version of Black Widow that I've ever read and I can't wait to read more.”

The Walking Dead #120: The zombie saga continues with a struggle between Rick and Negan; there’s plenty of action in this issue as the two go head to head.

Elfquest: The Final Quest #1: This is a historic issue as Wendy and Richard Pini’s long-running saga heads into its final arc. There’s also a prequel, available for just 99 cents, to get you started. Elfquest, which has been running since 1987, is one of the most influential fantasy tales ever; if you’re just getting started, you can read the whole rest of the series for free on the Elfquest website.

Best New Digital Comics for January 24, 2014 is a post from: E-Reader News

Break away from your shared collection with OverDrive Advantage

Is your library among a larger group or consortium of libraries that shares one digital collection? Do your patrons complain about excessive hold times on popular titles or the lack of unique content in the consortium's catalog? Or does your library have a separate budget set aside to build an exclusive collection for your patrons? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, it may be time to consider the OverDrive Advantage program for your library.

OverDrive Advantage is a collection development program offered to libraries that are part of a shared download media service or consortium. Advantage allows member libraries to build a unique, exclusive collection that is only available to the patrons of a specific library or branch. With Advantage, libraries are able to select and purchase eBooks, audiobooks, music and video to best suit the needs and requests of their patrons, without having to worry about the consortium as a whole.

Libraries that participate in Advantage are given an exclusive login to Marketplace – OverDrive's online shopping portal chock full of hand-selected bestseller lists, real-time reporting tools, and comprehensive support resources. Any titles purchased using the unique Advantage login ID for Marketplace are available only to the patrons of that specific library. OverDrive even now offers the ability to create multiple Advantage login IDs for those libraries that rely on multiple selectors to purchase new content.

advantage logoWhen patrons visit the OverDrive-powered download page for the shared collection, they are able to see all the titles in the consortium's catalog. However, once they log in using a library card number, they will then see any titles their library has purchased exclusively for them. These titles are clearly labeled with the Advantage logo, indicating they have unique access to them as a patron of an Advantage library.

Building an exclusive Advantage collection provides many benefits. Many libraries use Advantage to purchase additional copies of popular titles so that their patrons do not have to wait behind a long list of users on hold for a title in the consortium's collection. If a patron is on hold for a title in the shared collection and the same title becomes available in the Advantage collection, they get to “jump the line” and check out the title right away.

Advantage libraries can also use their exclusive collection to purchase titles that may fall outside the focus of the shared collection, or titles that are not available to consortia due to publisher restrictions. Libraries can purchase unique, niche content that better satisfies the demographic of their library knowing that these titles cannot be seen or accessed by the patrons of the shared collection. Additionally, Advantage members can purchase titles from publishers like Hachette and Macmillan who restrict some of their content to stand-alone libraries and Advantage members (U.S. and Canada only).

Finally, libraries sometimes have separate budgets that can be used only for their specific branch. With Advantage, libraries have more control over how their money is spent in regards to content, and can ensure that their investment is directly enhancing the usage of their patrons.

The cost to enroll in Advantage is only a one-time content credit commitment that is used to purchase new titles for the exclusive collection. Beyond that, there are no additional hosting fees or maintenance fees required to sustain the collection. For additional information, please check out our Advantage training resources available through the OverDrive Learning Center.

Interested in signing up for Advantage? Contact your Collection Development Specialist or email


Rob Mooney is a Collection Development Specialist at OverDrive.


Daily Deals & Freebies – January 24

Kindle Daily Deals The Retribution by Val McDermid Val McDermid is a world-class crime writer whose books have sold millions worldwide. Now joining the Atlantic Monthly Press list for the first time, she is back with a chilling, high-velocity thriller featuring her immensely popular creations, clinical psychologist Dr. Tony Hill and detective Carol Jordan. Today’s […]

What MP3 means for your library, school, and users

We recently revealed that we’re planning to provide all OverDrive audiobooks in MP3 format only, and sunset the distribution of WMA audiobooks. Our goal is always to give readers what they want—by providing the largest catalog, easiest user experience, and the most compatibility across all devices. By moving to MP3 only, all OverDrive audiobooks will be compatible with all the major audiobook playing devices, including iPod, iPhone, iPad, Android phones and tablets, Windows devices, Macs and more!

WMA format prevents all of our iOS, Mac and Android users from enjoying their library audiobooks. We aren’t okay with that—we want everyone to enjoy their library’s audiobooks, no matter what device they prefer. So we are taking steps to make that happen. 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.

MP3 audiobooks are still being borrowed, and users are prompted to delete when the lending period is over. Titles still expire in the OverDrive app at the end of the lending period.

As previously posted, 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.

Please contact your Collection Development Specialist with any questions at

David Cameron talks Pi at Davos

We’ve just seen this: Prime Minister David Cameron’s speech to the World Economic Forum at Davos, where he’s been talking about reshoring. And it got us very excited, because at 1m 03s he talks about Raspberry Pi.

It is deeply weird to hear your company being namechecked by the PM.

It’s all BBC all the time for us here at Raspberry Pi today: at 3pm Eben will be live on Tech Tent on the BBC World Service with Rory Cellan-Jones, talking about tech, toys and education; and at some time after 5pm Pete Lomas will be responding to the talk in the video above on PM on Radio 4. Let us know what you think if you listen in!

OverDrive is Getting Rid of DRM on Audiobooks

OverDrive is the leading distributor of ebooks and audiobooks to schools and libraries. They make borrowing ebooks from libraries easy for anyone with an ebook reader, tablet, computer or phone. And soon borrowing audiobooks is going to be a lot easier too. Earlier this week, OverDrive announced on their blog that they are going to […]

Smashwords Once Again Named to Forbes’ List

The quiet underdog in the ebook publishing and distribution arena has long been Smashwords, a site known for its ease of use and welcome of nearly every genre. But the site that so many readers–and even self-published authors–are not all that familiar with is actually accumulating impressive numbers, with over 80,000 authors and publishers launching more than 230,000 ebooks, which translates into revenue of more than $20 million last year, a five million dollar increase over the year before.

When you’re that good, people tend to take notice. And for the second year in a row, Forbes has taken notice, naming Smashwords to its Top 100 Promising Companies list.

According to Smashwords’ CEO and founder Mark Coker, “The editors at Forbes evaluated hundreds of companies before making the final selection. Forbes based their selection on growth (both in sales and hiring), quality of management team and investors, margins, market size and key partnerships.”

Per a 2013 year-end edition of the Good e-Reader Radio Show, it’s possible that Smashwords has done more to disrupt the old-school publishing model than any other company at work in the book business. By putting the ability to publish and distribute squarely in the hands of authors, Smashwords gave a voice to people whose books–for better or worse–would often never have reached readers.

“Every day I wake up thankful that over 80,000 authors and publishers around the world have chosen to partner with Smashwords for their ebook publishing and distribution. Every day, every member of the Smashwords team is 100% focused on your success. We serve at your pleasure, and we’ll never stop working to innovate new opportunities to connect your books with readers.”


Smashwords Once Again Named to Forbes’ List is a post from: E-Reader News

Kids Found to Read Less via Tablets or eReaders in the US


Tablet devices may be becoming increasingly popular with the kids in the US, though only half are being used for education, a study conducted by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center has revealed. In a survey that covered 1,577 parents, 62 percent stated their kids aged 2 – 10 have access to a tablet or ebook reading device, but only about 49 percent of these stated they actually use the device to read. Further, kids tend to spend no more than just five minutes on average to read off a tablet or ereader daily, compared to about thirty minutes they spend reading printed books.

What the study has also revealed is that for parents, 44 of the content that children consume on their devices is related to education. Subject wise, 57 percent of the parents believed their kids have learned a lot when they deal with content related to maths, while only 19 believed so when their kids learned about science on their tablet devices.

The above finding comes at a time when there has been an increase in effort towards making tablet devices more accessible for kids and parents alike. A notable development in this sphere, apart from Samsung launching a kid specific tablet, is the recent effort by Dreamworks and Fuhu to launch a tablet device with intuitive software to appeal to the kids.

Kids Found to Read Less via Tablets or eReaders in the US is a post from: E-Reader News

Samsung Announces Slightly Lower Profit in its Quarterly Results


Companies are now releasing with their quarterly performance report cards, providing the industry with an insight of recent activity. Samsung released its figures, and the findings were a bit disappointing given the dip in profit reported. The South Asian giant announced profit of $7.8 billion for Q4 2013, which is a few notches below the $8.27 billion that the company secured during the same period a year ago.

Samsung defended the slightly lower profit margin, claiming much of that has to do with some “year-end inventory adjustments” that they had made. Other reasons have nothing to do with demand for its range of products, but involves an increase in the advertising budget and a $745 million special one-time bonus that it paid to its employees to celebrate 20 years of the new management initiatives the company adopted. To top these off, the company also had to deal with a stronger foreign currency, which affected exchange rates to the tune of a substantial $700 million.

The company reported brisk sales of its tablet devices with the new Galaxy Note 10.1 (2014). However, its mobile division has taken a beating with revenue going down nine percent during the last quarter. Samsung has already announced a slew of launches in the pipeline which they hope will help combat lower profits. Among the big ticket new releases expected in the new few months is a thoroughly refreshed Galaxy S5 smartphone as well as a new Galaxy Gear successor. Then there is the new Pro line of tablets, which means it could be just a matter of time before Samsung is back with an impressive run at the markets.

Samsung Announces Slightly Lower Profit in its Quarterly Results is a post from: E-Reader News

A sneak peek at some content from our new website

As you may have gathered from large hints we’ve been dropping, we’re partway through a complete redesign and overhaul of this website. All the stuff that you’re familiar with here will be staying, but there will also be lots of new content, easy-to-download projects, and areas for teachers, learners and makers with classroom materials, worksheets and much more.

The new site will come online (as a beta – we’ll be looking for your feedback later) in the spring; right now we’re working on architecture, design, and, most importantly, content. (I’m sure you have lots of suggestions about what we should be doing, but we’ve got a lot of stuff in train at the moment, and so we’d really appreciate it if you could wait until the beta release before you unleash your ideas on us!)

One question we felt we weren’t adequately addressing with the website as it is, is something we get asked very often: What is a Raspberry Pi? You can tell people it’s a small, cheap computer, but that doesn’t seem to cover the whole answer. So we asked Saladhouse Animation in Manchester to make this video, which will be one of the first things a new visitor to the site will see. We think it’s brilliant: we hope you do too!

Sam Alder at Saladhouse has been heading up the project, and he’s been just brilliant to work with. Marcus Alexander worked on the sound design. Amy Mather, European Digital Girl of the Year 2013, who was interviewed by the BBC this week about kids’ programming, provided the voiceover. A VERY big thank you to all of you, and to the whole team at Saladhouse!