Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Amazon Solves PDF Crashing Issues with New Paperwhite Update


The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 2 has suffered from a major PDF error since the unit was first unveiled last year. If you loaded in a PDF over 50 MB, you would often have a very slow experience and in some cases the rendering engine would crash. If you loaded in a file over 100 MB you could not even do anything with the e-reader before the whole thing just froze out. This obviously has been tremendously disconcerting for people who rely on the Kindle for any kind of complex document. It seems as though Amazon has solved this issue with a new firmware update for the Paperwhite 2.

We tested a couple of documents that used to always crash our e-reader before the new update, and we are happy to say they have full functionality now. If you have a penuche for academic, gaming, comics, or newspapers in a PDF form, the Kindle Paperwhite 2 is relevant.

The core PDF experience is dramatically enhanced now. The PDF files are tending to load quicker and overall navigation is smoother. Pinching and zooming is fairly robust now and does not stutter like before.

The Kindle is not the best six inch PDF reader out there. The Kobo Aura HD and Sony PRS-T3 do a better job in performance and advanced options. The one thing the Kindle has going for it, is that you can make notes, annotations, highlights, look words up in the dictionary or use the new auto translate feature.

Amazon Solves PDF Crashing Issues with New Paperwhite Update is a post from: Good e-Reader

Wargaming Launches New Digital Magazine


Wargaming earned close to 219 million dollars in 2012 with its seminal World of Tanks franchise. The company has since expanded into World of Airplanes and World of Battleships. Customers gravitate towards this multi-player simulation because of its historical accuracy. The company is transcending gaming and launching a new digital magazine for iOS and Android.

The new digital magazine called Lets Battle will focus on the companies various properties and put a special emphasis on the history of military warfare. One of the cool aspects of Wargaming is that when they develop new tanks, they often send a team down to many different countries to actually drive it around and get a feel for the handling. Obviously the entire crew at Wargaming is big into military history and this magazine may have a wider appeal.

"We are always looking for new ways to engage gamers with the content and projects we are creating," said Alexander Shilyaev, Director of Global Operations for Meta Games and Service Apps at Wargaming. "With the digital magazine, we'll be able to provide more coverage than ever to our player community, creating and molding our publications to fit the needs of a tech-savvy generation of modern gamers and military enthusiasts worldwide."

You can download the new Wargaming Magazine from the Good e-Reader App Store for Android.

Wargaming Launches New Digital Magazine is a post from: Good e-Reader

Pocketbook Ultra to Include Carta Display Screen and Book Scanning Camera


Pocketbook is developing a new e-reader called the Pocketbook Ultra. This will be the first device the company has released that will include an e Ink Carta display screen. This is the exact same technology that the new Kindle Paperwhite has. In addition, the reader will have a built in camera to allow you to scan books.

The Pocketbook Ultra will have a six inch capacitive display screen with a resolution of 1024×758. It has the Carta screen technology to deliver crisp images and text. It will also have a front light on the screen, similar to the Nook Glowlight. One of the main benefits of this new screen is faster page turns and a full page refresh occurring every chapter, instead of the industry average of every six pages.

The Ultra will be the first e-reader to utilize a built in camera. There will be dedicated OCR software able to save the photos / scans in real and editable text. One of the main benefits would be to scan text, a blackboard, a chart and then save it in PDF for future readings.

Pocketbook Ultra to Include Carta Display Screen and Book Scanning Camera is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kindle Paperwhite 2 Software Update 5.4.3

Today Amazon announced a new firmware update for the 2nd generation Kindle Paperwhite. The update adds a few new features geared toward improving the reading experience. Panning and zooming for PDFs is now faster, notes can be accessed from the reading menu, and they've tweaked collections a bit. The new software version is 5.4.3. Like […]

A GCSE lesson

Ben Llewellyn Smith is Head of Computing and ECDL manager at AKS in Lytham St Annes. He showed us this video just before last week’s Jamboree, to demonstrate his newly installed classroom Debian server being used by a class of GCSE students who all use Raspberry Pis.

Ben’s pupils each own a Raspberry Pi: we’re convinced that there’s enormous learning value in the sense of ownership and ability to customise that having your own Raspberry Pi, rather than a borrowed school unit, gives you. It’s one of the reasons we worked so hard at getting the cost of the Raspberry Pi down so low. This also means that the pupils can carry on working with their Pis at home in the evenings.

You’ll see the pupils being given a very simple Scratch task to test Ben’s new system in this video, and get a feel for what a teaching environment can be like. Ben’s aiming towards getting the class’s GCSE coursework done as a Minecraft hack, using Python on the Pi: he’s the kind of teacher I wish I’d had. (True story: my own Miss Lyons had to keep a picture of a floppy disk being inserted on her desk so she could remember which way up it fitted in the slot.)

The investigation that Ben’s class will be doing for the GCSE can be done on a Pi as well. We’re very pleased that Ben’s been able to be able to share this video with us all: I hope it’ll be of some help to other teachers out there. You’ll find a lot more from Ben at his YouTube channel: enjoy!

Anne Rice Joins Fellow Authors in Petition Against Author Bullying

Every time the dust settles on the most recent examples of author bullying and reviewer bashing, something occurs that makes headlines again, thus starting the firestorm all over again. In this case, the news is that anti-bullying champion and bestselling author Anne Rice is one of approximately one thousand names on a petition to Amazon, demanding that they strip away the anonymity on their site that allows these alleged bullies to prey on authors.

What is more interesting than the same battle that has been circulating since groups on Goodreads and a grassroots effort called Stop The Goodreads Bullies first began waging organized warfare on authors or reviewers is that Rice is no casual observer of the issue. Apart from lending her famous name to the petition by signing, Rice has posted a fair amount of commentary on the issue on her Facebook page, much of it in response to people who are taking the argument–and their derision of the issue–to the comments section of her page.

“I’m optimistic. I think we will achieve something good here with our protest,” wrote Rice in response to one commenter. “And I will continue to draw attention to the petition. I see no reason ever to accept bullies as a part of life we can’t change…Systems evolve. We can change things in this world for the better. I will never accept evil or injustice as just the status quo,” Rice stated in a post about the petition.

While some commenters went on to scoff at the “fruitlessness” of asking Amazon to step in on this behavior, others went to the length of attempting to discredit a somewhat-controversial group that Rice openly supported in her post, Stop The Goodreads Bullies. Like the supporters of the petition, Rice feels that requiring verification at log in will go far in stopping the abuse in reviews, much in the way that author Lynn Shepherd’s books have come under attack for her pointless and poorly planned essay railing against JK Rowling.

“To get back to the essence of the problem;” wrote Rice on her timeline, “if Amazon will revise its policy on anonymity the problem will be helped greatly. These gangster bullies rely on anonymity for their multiple screen names, and their underhanded voting tactics. They could not [do] the same level of damage to others if they had to use their own names.”

Anne Rice Joins Fellow Authors in Petition Against Author Bullying is a post from: Good e-Reader

Blogs that became books

Before there was such a thing as YouTube famous, one could aspire to be "blog famous." "Blogfamous," or whatever you want to call it, it is now a thing. You too can be famous. For blogging. No, seriously.

I personally am a huge fan of several blogs, from cooking to makeup to fitness, I love the idea of being able to follow along with the information that people can provide over the Internet. I would like to bookend that statement by saying that, for the record, I do not think all information people provide over the Internet is valid or interesting. Just to be clear. However, when I come across a blog that is informative, judicious, entertaining, and relevant to my current information needs and interests, I feel like I've won the lottery. Undoubtedly, the authors of these blogs must feel like they too have won the lottery when they are optioned for a book deal.

nutellamuffinOne of my current favorites that runs tangentially to my last blog post about style rediscovery and spring cleaning is Cupcakes and Cashmere by Emily Schuman. Her wonderfully varied blog runs the gamut from recipes, style recommendations, DIY and more. Another great option for those thinking of reinvention is Save Karyn: One Shopaholic's Journey to Debt and Back by Karyn Bosnak. One that is incredibly close to my heart is Sally's Baking Addiction by Sally McKenney. I honestly follow her blog religiously and can confirm that her recipes are AMAZING. When in doubt for something to make for desserts, treats, and breakfasts, her blog is my first stop, and I am absolutely thrilled there is now a beautifully arranged cookbook available in Marketplace. Try the Nutella-stuffed cinnamon sugar muffins. Yes, they are a real thing. No, you are not dreaming. Yes, they were just as incredible as they sound.

Its topics like the muffins or spring wardrobe ideas from Cupcakes and Cashmere that make me realize how wonderful it is to have content like this available. We are truly living in a blogging age where great content is recognized. Share some with your patrons today by browsing the titles above or as always contact your collection development specialist. We are always here to help.

Happy Reading!


Kate Seivertson is a Collection Development Analyst at OverDrive.


Flipboard Acquires Competitor News Reader Zite


Flipboard is currently one of the most popular online news reading apps and the company has been gaining massive traction over the past few years. In order to facilitate further growth the company has bought out one of their competitors, Zite.

Zite was formerly owned by CNN, who had paid $25 million for it back in 2011. CNN Money proclaimed that the buyout figure from Flipboard was to be in the neighbourhood of $60 million.

Flipboard founder Mike McCue said that the partnership with CNN will include all of CNN Digital's content. We will also see the launch of heavily customized magazines created by a number of CNN personalities — including Fareed Zakaria, Jake Tapper and John King of CNN News. Those magazines are poised to go live later today.

Flipboard is also inking a new premium advertising partnership, "the kind of advertising you see in print magazines," CNN's head of digital KC Estenson said. CNN and Flipboard will be jointly selling ads for the CNN content. "We’ve been developing a healthy relationship."

In the wake of Facebook launching their news reading app “Paper“, Flipboard has been ramping up its effort with publishing partners and advertisers. Flipboard has secured a new deal with Condé Nast to give titles such as Bon Appétit, Details, Glamour, Golf Digest, Vanity Fair and Vogue. Flipboard also has a great relationship with The New York Times, The Telegraph, Forbes, Esquire, Fast Company, Oprah, and Lonely Planet.

CNN is a victim of big media trying to run a news app. They simply could not innovate internally to make Zite a compelling enough service to give its serious rivals a run for their money. Flipboard puts the executioners axe to another competitor and is able to now harvest their original content to integrate it into their own service.

Flipboard Acquires Competitor News Reader Zite is a post from: Good e-Reader

Microsoft to Launch Low Cost Windows Tablet in India


Microsoft has embarked upon an ambitious plan to introduce an affordable range of tablets in the Indian market. These low cost tablets running Windows will cost as low as just ₹10k, which comes to about $160 USD.  With these, Microsoft hopes to stem the steady slide in its user base that has been ditching the notebook or PC segment in favor of Android tablets. The Indian tablet market is inundated with several Android tablets that offer a good mix of cost affordability and performance. Microsoft has also roped in Indian device makers Karbonn and Lava to manufacture smartphones running Windows and its likely they will also be participating in the tablet project. In addition, traditional Microsoft partners HP and Dell are also expected to be in the fray as well.

"We are reducing our required hardware specification for Windows to bare minimum that is needed for good experience. We want to be price competitive with Android. We want to get the bill of material for Windows tablets down," revealed Amrish Goyal, director of Windows business group in an interview with the Times of India.

"We will probably not sell a tablet for Rs 5,000. But yes, we will sell tablets with a price of around Rs 10,000 by middle of this year," Goyal further stated.

Goyal however refused to comment on recent reports about Microsoft contemplating a reduction in its licensing fees for devices priced below $250. In any case, the said low cost devices meant for sale in India will surely benefit from the lower license fee structure if it is implemented. That a windows tablet in the budget segment will also make for an interesting choice is almost a surety as buyers right now can only choose from devices running Android. Currently, the cheapest tablet running Windows 8.1 available in India is the Acer Iconia W4-820 that retails for around ₹27,000 or $436 USD for the base 32 GB Wi-Fi only version. What remains to be seen though is how much of a dent that an affordable Windows tablet can make to the Android stronghold, or by how much that corner will be cut to arrive at the desired price point. However, its unlikely the tablet, if successful, will be limited to sale in India only as these could also be introduced in other South-East Asian regions and developing countries elsewhere in the world as well.

The latest Gartner report has revealed just 2.1 percent market share for Windows in 2013, a period during which about 4 million Windows tablets were sold. However, the research firm believes the numbers to reach much higher this year onwards with it being hybrid devices that is expected to bring in volumes for Microsoft.

Note: Image shown above is that of the Acer Iconia W4-820 tablet.

Microsoft to Launch Low Cost Windows Tablet in India is a post from: Good e-Reader

New Report Shows Minor Growth For Android KitKat

Android Version

Google has come up with an updated distribution list of the various Android versions that are being employed.  Not surprisingly, it is the preceding Android version – Jelly Bean that continues to hold the sway with about 62 percent adoption.  The latest iteration, KitKat,  can now be seen running on just 2.5 percent of devices, which marks about a slight improvement over the 1.8 percent Android devices that had the newest Android version last month.

One of the barriers to KitKat adoption is the bulk of mainstream phones from  LG, Samsung, Sony, HTC not pushing out the latest updates. Most of these companies all have a custom UI that hinders quick updates.

Coming back to the Android version distribution list, while its Jelly Bean that continues to be the largest version in use right now, its Android 4.1 Jelly Bean that runs in the majority (35.6 percent) of devices followed Android 4.2 and 4.3 versions is use on 17.1 and 9.6 percent of devices respectively.

Among the other preceding Android versions, 14.2 percent of devices continue licking Android Ice Cream Sandwich while HoneyComb has been reduced to just 0.1 percent. In contrast Gingerbread can be still seen running on 19 percent devices along with Froyo on 1.2 percent devices. These figures aren't expected to show growth any more but will only be fading into oblivion.

Overall, the above figures might not be of much interest to the average users but still makes for an interesting read for Android users as it gives them an insight as to which group they belong to or how big or small the group has come to be over the months.

New Report Shows Minor Growth For Android KitKat is a post from: Good e-Reader