Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Ice-T Records Dungeons & Dragons Audiobook


Audible has roped in rapper/actor Ice-T to lend his voice for the audiobook version of Dungeons & Dragons. The pairing can be considered the most unlikely considering the rapper's illustrious career that includes his association with heavy metal band and electrifying on-stage performances.  Even the rapper wasn't aware what he was being made to do and he admitted it to being quite tough to record an audiobook, more so it is about 'Dungeons & Dragons' (pun intended).

“When you read these books, you make up the pronunciation in your head,” he says. “But to actually verbally say this words? Son. Son,” said Ice-T who also admitted it took more than 3 hours at one time to record a 25 page section. Overall, it took two days to record the entire novel comprising of 40 pages which he had earlier estimated to take not more than 4 hours.

“Pegasus….Pegasi. That’s horses with wings. This shit is crazy.”

“This [expletive] got a sword that talks to him. And shit.”

“[Expletive] live in places that don’t exist.”

Looks like  Ice-T had really fun time recording the audiobook.

Ice-T Records Dungeons & Dragons Audiobook is a post from: E-Reader News

How to load Android Files on the Blackberry Q5 and Q10

how to load APK on blackberry q10

Welcome to another Good e-Reader Tutorial Video! Today Michael Kozlowski shows you exactly how to load APK Files on the Blackberry Q5 and Q10. This will allow you to install 3rd party app markets and also apps from the internet.

One of the really nice things about the new Blackberry 10 update is the ability to load in APK Files directly on your Blackberry Q5 and Q10 smartphone. No longer do you need DDPB, a computer or any 3rd party programs, everything now is just done on the phone.

The first thing you need to do is open the internet browser on your phone and click on the link Underneath the app icon is a download button, if you click on that the file will download to your phone. You will then get a menu prompt to install and then open the file. Once this is accomplished you would have installed our own Good e-Reader App Store directly on your phone.

There is tremendous benefits of installing our app market on your phone, as it is heavily customized to giving you a rich experience on your Blackberry. You can download over 100,000 apps, leave reviews, get notified of updates and look at all of the new content added daily.

How to load Android Files on the Blackberry Q5 and Q10 is a post from: E-Reader News

Crowdfunded Children’s Book Works to Introduce Girls to Coding

Linda Liukas established a Kickstarter campaign to write an important children’s book, but went so far past her original goal that her project has now grown to include a mobile app of the book, as well as an accompanying parents’ guide. From the $10,000 she hoped to raise to write and publish a book, she’s now moved to nearly $300,000 with just over two weeks left in the campaign, thanks to the support of donors who believe in the project.

Despite the growing interest in crowdfunding books, what could possibly be so important about this title as to garner this much attention?

According to a profile of Liukas–the founder of a global initiative to teach programming to women–for TechCrunch, the non-profit founder has shifted her focus from teaching women to reaching out to much younger girls to help combat stereotypes about computer science and generate interest in programming.

Hello, Ruby will be an artfully illustrated children’s book that helps introduce young girls to the world of coding, a world that is still woefully underrepresented by females with only a fifth of the computer science graduates globally being women. If Liukas reaches her new goal of $500,000, she will create an accompanying app of the book that can feature so many more interactive components than a print children’s book; and what better way to elevate girls’ interest in the power and capabilities of technology than by producing a fully-interactive high interest ebook about it?

Crowdfunded Children’s Book Works to Introduce Girls to Coding is a post from: E-Reader News

Podcast: New Kobo CEO, Author Survey Results and Advertising in eBooks


Welcome to another exciting edition of the Good e-Reader Radio Show! Today Michael Kozlowski of Good e-Reader and Jeremy Greenfield of Digital Book World discuss the new Kobo CEO, if Nook e-Readers will have collector value, the problem with eBook samples and author survey results from a recent DBW feature.

This is one fun show, Michael and Jeremy talk about a myriad of subjects from all over the digital publishing and e-reader world! A fun time as always, so check it out.

Podcast: New Kobo CEO, Author Survey Results and Advertising in eBooks is a post from: E-Reader News

Contest: Win 10 Leather Cases for Kindle Fire HDX


It seems like only last week that we had a contest (it was) and today we are running another free giveaway. Good e-Reader has 10 leather travel cases for the Kindle Fire and Kindle Fire HDX. You can use it to protect your device when commuting or to use it as a kickstand to watch videos or use it as a digital picture frame. To enter, all you have to do is subscribe to the Good e-Reader Youtube Channel and drop a comment on the video, to let us know.

Contest: Win 10 Leather Cases for Kindle Fire HDX is a post from: E-Reader News

HP Slate 7 Extreme review

What makes it unique?

In November, NVIDIA did a really interesting thing. With the help of EVGA, they launched a seven inch Android tablet. What makes that interesting, you ask?  NVIDA, who is known for making video cards and mobile processors, is sticking to the same business model they use in the world of desktop video cards for computers.

It works like this: NVIDIA designs the hardware (every spec), then manufacturers like EVGA and HP build the physical devices. This is a really cool idea because HP and EVGA don't have to do all the R&D work on all the things inside the tablet that make it work. This should allow for widespread distribution from a whole boat-load of manufacturers on the cheap, and a short development cycle.

That means that lots of people, from all over the world, can build these tablets quickly and cheaply.

Should you buy one?

So, is the Tegra Note actually a good device?  Well, I recently did a whole lot of testing on an HP Slate 7 Extreme (HP's version of the Tegra Note which I will call "S7E" from now on), and I think the answer is a solid "yes."

Tegra Notes run about $199, including the S7E. That's $30 less than the Nexus 7.  The S7E doesn't have nearly as good a screen as the Nexus, but the rest of the specs are pretty impressive. The screen on the S7E isn't bad, it's just no Nexus.

In fact, with the Tegra 4 and its lower-resolution screen, the S7E is one of the fastest tablets on the market. If you'd like to play some games (when not reading books from your library, of course) the S7E will handle even the most advanced titles without a stutter or hiccup.

S7EOne of the coolest features of the S7E has to be the magnets. These magnets are designed to hold the optional "smart cover" open or closed, which is pretty slick.  What HP isn't advertising is the fact that the magnets are strong enough to mount the tablet onto flat, metal surfaces. In fact, that's the S7E stuck to the locker at my desk in the picture (yes, that's Hitchhiker's Guide and Yoda).

I know what you're thinking; how useful are those magnets? Say you're cooking in the kitchen and want handy access to a recipe? No problem, just stick it to the fridge. Out in the garage working on your car? Stick it to your tool chest. What a library wants to promote Test Drive? Stick it to a magnetic board near your checkout desk with some signage that says, "Take this device home, and try it for yourself!"

Oh, and don't forget about the stylus. It's pretty great, and offers some pretty cool features (like the ability to take an instant, cropped screenshot). "Stylus mode" is activated automatically when you remove the stylus from its holder. It doesn't work quite as well as Samsung's S-pen, but it's pretty close.


The Tegra 4 in this tablet is blazing fast (especially for games). For other tasks, it holds its own against great tablets like the Nexus 7. The build quality isn't as good as the Nexus, but you save $30 buying the S7E. The 1280×800 IPS display is just OK. Whites look a little faded and dull, but didn't bug me while reading eBooks (my favorite test).

According to Android Police, the S7E has a slightly better screen than the EVGA Tegra Note 7. It's something to keep in mind, but I'm sure all of the Tegra Note screens are at least acceptable (based on other reviews).

In short, it's an amazing value for the money. The only real mark against it is the mid-range quality of the screen. If you've got $30 more to spend, I'd probably still recommend the Nexus 7 (and its gorgeous screen) over the S7E. However, if you're buying a bunch of devices for Test Drive, $30 per device can add up quickly, which makes the S7E attractive.

The S7E has officially earned the Quinton Lawman Geek Stamp of Approval.

Quinton Lawman is a Technical Writer at OverDrive.

Podcast: Collection Highlights for Corporate Libraries



Calling all corporate libraries! A special corporate edition of our monthly collection highlights podcast is now available on OverDrive's Learning Center. Join us as we highlight some of the excellent corporate-friendly content that's currently available for you to sample and purchase in OverDrive Marketplace, with a focus on topics like business, finance, stress management, careers, technology, and balanced lifestyles. To help you get the most out of OverDrive Marketplace, we round out our 15-minute podcast with some additional tips about where to find Marketplace training demonstrations and news about content sales.

You can check out our corporate collection highlights podcast now on OverDrive's Learning Center (find it under "Collection Development").


Carrie Smith is a Technical Writer at OverDrive.

Amazon Editors Release “100 Books To Read In A Lifetime” List

classic ebooks
The editorial team at Amazon Books devotes a small portion of their time celebrating books in seasonal applications by coming up with curated lists of recommended reads. Previous lists have focused on everything from romance for February to cookbooks at the holidays, but this new list of editors’ picks was even farther reaching in scope.

The “100 Books to Read in a Lifetime” list pitted editors against each other as they whittled down the best one hundred titles that spoke to a wide audience of readers. At the same time, the list was meant to encompass different stages of any given reader’s life, therefore incorporating beloved children’s classics, young adult favorite that help shape world views, and adult titles for understanding and enjoyment.

"With 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime, we set out to build a roadmap of a literary life without making it feel like a homework assignment," said Sara Nelson, Editorial Director of Print and Kindle Books at "Over many months, the team passionately debated and defended the books we wanted on this list. In other words, we applied plenty of the bookish equivalent of elbow-grease, and we can't wait to hear what customers have to say about our final picks."

The editors have released some interesting information about the process of establishing this list, including: the oldest book on the list was Pride and Prejudice, the most recently published book was Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, the most internally debated book that made the list was 1984 by George Orwell, and a few books–Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth, and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand–were actually nominated unanimously by the editors.

Unfortunately, not all favorite books can be counted. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, and Moby Dick by Herman Melville were among the titles that editors passionately argued for but were ultimately excluded.

A podcast of Nelson’s interview about this year’s list can be found HERE.

Amazon Editors Release “100 Books To Read In A Lifetime” List is a post from: E-Reader News

ALLi, Kobo Team Up on Indie Author Campaign

The London-based Alliance of Independent Authors announced today that it has partnered with Kobo to release a guide to its newest author campaign, the Opening Up to Indie Authors guide. ALLi will use Kobo’s extensive global retail reach to make the guidebook available to its 190 international marketplaces.

Mark Lefebrve, director of Self-Publishing and Author Relations at Kobo, said in a press release on the venture, "Having worked as a bookseller for twenty years, I recognize the critical role that local booksellers and librarians play in the role of supporting local authors. Any program or campaign that helps introduce booksellers and authors is one that will further enrich reading culture globally. I believe ALLi's Opening Up to Indie Authors campaign is an important one, and am delighted to work with them closely for the publication and launch of the guide."

Unlike initiatives that woke consumers up to the great titles being published by independent authors, this campaign is aimed at the local booksellers in hopes that they will finally see the benefits to taking risks on self-published books. Kobo, which has partnered with over 17,600 independent bookstores around the world to help them benefit through ebook sales, is the ideal champion for this campaign.

The guidebook will be released in April 2014.

ALLi, Kobo Team Up on Indie Author Campaign is a post from: E-Reader News

Daily Deals & Freebies – February 5th

Kindle Daily Deals Warlord by Ted Bell Thriller fiction of the highest order, Warlord by Ted Bell returns British-American MI6 counterterrorism operative Alex Hawke to the field, as he races to stop a plot to murder Great Britian's royal family. This latest spellbinding installment in the New York Times bestselling series is filled with twists […]

Updates at Readmill Provide Genuinely Social Reading

The concept of social reading has been kicked around by various companies over the last few years, but no platform has really had the Facebook-like explosion of fans connecting through a book. That has largely been due to the need to leave the book in order to discover who else is reading it from the user’s own circle of friends. Think of it this way, as you sit and read Sycamore Row by John Grisham, do you know which of your friends is also reading the book?

Now, social reading platform Readmill has announced an update to its app that lets users make mentions to their friends, giving them the ability to highlight titles and pull direct quotes from the book, even if their friends are not currently engaged in the book. By using the Twitter-like at symbol, users can highlight passages, send them to a friend, and even include a note. The recipient can respond, of course, and a genuine conversation about the book can actually take place.

Early attempts at social reading focused on the sharing of insight and ideas about the text, something that was perfect for the academic market since it allowed students and professors to make comments within a user’s book, much like margin notes. Again, the people a reader connected with had to be reading that book at the same time. With Readmill’s update, the biggest advantage may not actually be social connectivity based on literature, but book discovery; as readers share a book they are reading with someone who is not currently engaged in that title, new works can be suggested in a viable and meaningful way.

Along with this updated feature, Readmill also announced its mode, making smartphone reading even easier on the eyes. This advantage will allow more people who rely on their smartphones for social connection to bring that habit to books.

Updates at Readmill Provide Genuinely Social Reading is a post from: E-Reader News

Placer County Libraries Join Zip Books Program


Placer County Libraries have stated they will now be participating in the Zip Books program. The program works when a particular book isn't available with the library, they will place an order at Amazon or any other bookseller featured on Amazon and have it delivered straight to the member, free of cost. Once the book has been read (or heard, in the case of audiobooks), the member will be required to return it to the library where it will become part of the library's catalog. There are no obligations on the part of patrons for participation in the Zip Books program, except that they shouldn't owe more than $5 as fines to the library.

Further, members will have to be physically present in the library to make Zip Book requests. Also, all Zip Book requests worth more than $35 will require approval from library administrators. However, once the book (or audiobook) has been returned, members will be free to make another request. The Zip Book program excludes videos and DVDs.

Placer County Libraries Join Zip Books Program is a post from: E-Reader News

Readfy Offering Ads in Its Free eBook Subscription


Readfy has rolled out an ebook subscription service in Germany that offers subscribers the option to read ebooks for free as long as they don’t mind enduring ads once in a while. The ads can pop up either at the center of the screen or along the bottom, and can be image, text, or video based. Ssers will also be required to be online to read the books to allow the ads to stream in.

There will also be a two tiered paid subscription model where users can opt for lesser ads by paying a pre-determined amount. The best offer includes a completely ad-free reading solution that users can choose for 10 euros a month, something that will also allow the ebooks to be read offline. As of now there are 15,000 ebooks to choose from, though Readfy has stated they plan to take that figure to 30,000 in the near future.

Other future plans for Readfy include extending its services to other European countries and the US. Of course, adding English and Spanish language books features prominently in the company's plan, although that is not expected to happen before 2015. What still needs to be seen is whether there are enough readers who won't mind a few ads interrupting their reading time.

Readfy Offering Ads in Its Free eBook Subscription is a post from: E-Reader News

YO JOE! Kindle Worlds Irons out New Agreement with Hasbro


The GI-JOE franchise has enjoyed a resonance the last few years due to two blockbuster movies and the seminal success of the Mobage game GI-Joe Battleground. If you were a child of the 80′s, chances are you had a few Joe action figures and if you were a fiendish collector, you ever had the Terror Drome. Today Amazon has just reached a new agreement with Hasbro to usher in a new age of GI-Joe Fan-Fiction.

The new licensing agreement comes at a historic time for the G.I. JOE brand, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2014, since the first G.I. JOE action figure was released in 1964. It has become one of Hasbro's most enduring and recognizable brands with toys, comics, TV series, films and video games. With the launch of the G.I. JOE World, writers will be able to publish their own original fiction starring iconic G.I. JOE characters like DUKE, SNAKE EYES, and COBRA COMMANDER, and sell their work on

"Since 1964, G.I. JOE has inspired the imagination of multiple generations by providing a backdrop of excitement and adventure. Whether exploring the secrets of the mummy's tomb, or defending freedom from the evil plots of COBRA, G.I. JOE has been there," said Michael Kelly, Hasbro's Director of Global Publishing. "It is with equal excitement that Hasbro now enters a new segment of the business by embracing the concept of open-source storytelling, and officially unlocking the world of G.I. JOE to our fans through Amazon's Kindle Worlds."

My question, is GI-Joe fan-fiction even relevant in 2014? I remember reading a series of novels when I was a child and picked up some of the graphic novels via Comixology fairly recently. I found Max Brooks, of War War Z fame, did an excellent job on the “Hearts and Minds” Series.

YO JOE! Kindle Worlds Irons out New Agreement with Hasbro is a post from: E-Reader News

Modeling Physics with the Wolfram Language

Here’s another guest post from Allison Taylor at Wolfram Research. Today we’re looking at how to build simple physics models using the Wolfram Language

If you’ve taken any introductory physics course, you’ve learned about Newtonian mechanics—conservation of energy and momentum, friction, harmonic motion, and so on. Idealized, classical motion can be broken down into a series of simple equations based on position, acceleration, and velocity. To derive these equations requires solving differential equations—something the Wolfram Language does very well with a function called NDSolve[].

For example, to model basic freefall, we just need to determine our initial conditions—acceleration y” is given by gravity, 9.81 m/s²; initial position is 150 m; and initial velocity y’ is 0. From these conditions, NDSolve[] can figure out the motion for a given range.




So, in the above case, if I dropped a ball from a height of 150m, it would take approximately 5 seconds to reach the ground. Simple! But we can take this a step further with a function called WhenEvent[]. If I were to try to model a bouncing ball by hand, for example, I’d have to reevaluate the equations of motion every time the ball reached an “event” or change in conditions. The ball is in freefall from the air to the ground—but I can’t rely on those same values to model the ball bouncing from the ground back into the air.

Using WhenEvent[] inside NDSolve[] lets you specify what happens when y[t]=0, or when the ball hits the ground. For this example, let’s say that when the ball hits the ground, it will reverse direction at 95% of its original speed. Now, every time the ball hits the ground, its velocity magnitude will continue to decrease by 5%. All inside one NDSolve[]—no more additional work for us!

WhenEvent[y[t]==0,y'[t]->-0.95 y'[t]]},y[t],{t,0,10}];



Having these values automatically computed means we can also easily observe how energy changes over time. Take the values of position and velocity that are calculated and plug them into the classical equations for kinetic and potential energy:

WhenEvent[y[t]==0,y'[t]->-0.95 y'[t]]},{y[t],y'[t]},{t,0,10}];

kin[v_]:=.5 v^2;

pot[y_]:=9.8 y;




The graph on the left shows the ball’s position, and the graph on the right shows the potential energy in red, kinetic energy in blue, and total energy in brown. Notice that the total energy decreases stepwise with each energy-dissipating bounce.

And further! What if the ball was not bouncing on even ground? What if, instead, the ball was bouncing down a flight of stairs? The same principles are used, with an additional a[t] specifying how many steps of width one the ball must drop down. When the ball reaches the end of the stairs, “RemoveEvent” is used to stop the condition from continuing to be in effect.

steps=NDSolve[{x''[t]==0,y''[t]==-9.8,y[0]==6,y'[0]==0,x[0]==0,x'[0]==1,a[0]==5,    WhenEvent[Mod[x[t],1]==0,If[a[t]>0,a[t]->a[t]-1,"RemoveEvent"]],
WhenEvent[y[t]==a[t],{{x'[t],y'[t]}->.9 {x'[t],-y'[t]}}]},{x[t],y[t],a[t]},



And again, we can also model the energy alongside it, and have the Wolfram Language punch up the graphics using Reap[] and Sow[] to obtain the coordinates of the ball at each bounce.

"RemoveEvent"]],WhenEvent[y[t]==a[t],{{x'[t],y'[t]}->.9 {x'[t],-y'[t]},



Event[] inside NDSolve[] can be used to model all sorts of processes—from friction models to signal processing, to even simulating the human heartbeat. It lets you visualize many complex environments in a simple, cohesive way. Try it out!