Thursday, March 6, 2014

TappyToon and Amootoon Introduces Animation and Interactivity to Redefine Static Web Comics


The SXSW Trade Show this year will see the launch of two new web comics platform, TappyToon and Amootoon. Those behind the new medium stated they wish to innovate the segment by 'breathing new life into the medium'. The way this is achieved is by integrating aspects of film making, comics, and web development into a single medium which they claim will make things simple for the content creators. What this means for the comic readers is that they will get to experience sound, special effects and animation in what otherwise has only been a static medium so far. Readers will also be able to interact with the characters 'for a more immersive experience'.

The Korean start-up also stated the new TappyToon and Amootoon format has been optimized for viewing on smartphone and tablet devices and are designed to make the most of the digital rendering capabilities of these new age mobile devices. TappyToon will be available for free on iOS devices from May 2014 while making its Android debut in June. Those eager to know more will be able to experience TappyToon first hand at the SXSW Trade Show at booth no. 1206.

Amootoon, on the other hand will launch in beta form on April 2014 and can be previewed at booth no. 1111 at the SXSW Trade Show that runs from 9 – 12 March.

TappyToon and Amootoon Introduces Animation and Interactivity to Redefine Static Web Comics is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kobo Relaunches Windows 8 App and Promises Windows Phone App Soon


Canadian based Kobo was one of the first e-reading companies to have an app on the Windows 8 App Store. They actually developed it about a year before the official launch of the OS and beta tested it extensively. A few months ago Kobo pulled the app down from the app store, because of a lackluster UI and uninspiring features. Today, Kobo has reissued the app and its now available to download.

The new Kobo Windows 8 app will allow you to buy eBooks directly through the app. It also allows you to pin books you have purchased directly to your home screen, to allow easy access to your eBooks. Once you start reading a book, your exact page is synced across all of your devices.

“We are excited to give our Readers access to their Kobo eBooks on the Microsoft Windows ecosystem,” said Kobo’s Sameer Hasan. “Just like Kobo, Microsoft understands the importance of providing users with greater mobility and new ways to enjoy their favourite content. The Kobo for Windows app is designed to make Kobo content come alive on Windows devices.”

For the next few weeks to celebrate the apps launch, users can get a free copy of "Robert Ludlum's The Janson Command" by Paul Garrison. It might be worth it to download it just for the free Book!

Finally, Kobo has announced they are developing a standalone app for Windows Phones. Likely it will be for the most current OS and not be backwards compatible with say Mango. There are no details on functionality or when it will come out, but likely soon.

Kobo Relaunches Windows 8 App and Promises Windows Phone App Soon is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kindle Paperwhite 1 Finally gets GoodReads Intergration


Amazon has a very bad track record of updating the firmware for older devices. The original Paperwhite was a critical success for the Seattle based company with over half a million of them in circulation. Today, the Kindle Paperwhite 1 just received a massive firmware update that adds GoodReads functionality and a ton more.

Amazon had purchased eBook and social website GoodReads last year. The premise of the service is for people to discover new books and talk to kindred spirits. It is the most well executed site of its kind and something Amazon sorely needed. The Paperwhite 2 did not ship with GoodReads built into it, but pushed an update about a month after it first hit the store shelves. We were told that an update would be incoming shortly, and now we have it.

Another addition to the upgrade is Kindle Freetime, which allows you to setup profiles for your kids and add restrictions on what they can access, and what they can’t. This is tremendously useful for parents whose entire family shares the reader and wants to foster their child’s love of prose.

Here is a full list of all of the new features that went into the last update! You can download it HERE, if its not pushed out to you via WIFI.

  • Kindle FreeTimeFreeTime lets you create personalized profiles for kids, and give them access to titles from your collection of books. Kids can keep track of their personal reading progress and earn achievement badges. To learn more, go to Kindle FreeTime
  • Goodreads on KindleConnect with the world's largest community for readers from your Kindle Paperwhite. See what your friends are reading, share notes, and rate the books you read. To learn more, go to Find and Share Books with Goodreads on Kindle.
  • Cloud CollectionsUse Cloud Collections to organize your content in custom categories. See your collections in a Collections view, and customize where your collections show on your device. To learn more, go to Organize Your Content with Cloud Collections.
  • Page FlipWhile reading, you can skim the book page-by-page, scan by chapter, or skip to the end for a sneak peek without losing your place. To learn more, go to Go To Other Locations in a Book
  • Enhanced Bookmarks, Highlights & NotesAccess and manage all of your bookmarks, highlights, and notes more quickly and easily. To learn more, go to Bookmarks, Highlights & Notes
  • Smart LookupWhen you look up a word or character, Smart Lookup provides you with dictionary, X-Ray, and Wikipedia information.To learn more, go to Explore Your Book with X-Ray.
  • Vocabulary BuilderWords looked up in the dictionary are automatically added to Vocabulary Builder. View the definition and usage of the words, and quiz yourself with flashcards. To learn more, go to Expand Your Vocabulary.

Kindle Paperwhite 1 Finally gets GoodReads Intergration is a post from: Good e-Reader

MagPi issue 21 – out now!

Last month’s MagPi fundraiser for a Volume 2 binder was a roaring success: check out how they did on KickStarter.

MagPi issue 21

As you’ll know unless you’ve been living in an internet-free commune, The MagPi is the free, monthly Raspberry Pi magazine, created by the Raspberry Pi community. We at the Foundation have no involvement with The MagPi beyond thinking it’s terrific: there are tutorials, listings, project ideas and more for people of all levels; from kids picking up a Raspberry Pi for the first time, to the most grizzled and hairy of systems engineers.

This month’s issue has a second birthday interview with Eben (unfortunately this issue went to the typesetters when the news about Friday’s open source announcement from Broadcom was still under embargo, so make sure you read that too to get a complete picture of what we’ve been up to). You’ll find a project where you can use a Pi for maintaining a notoriously finicky saltwater aquarium for corals – Emma has already asked me if we can get one for the office – and type-in listings for a great old-school text adventure called Stronghold of the Dwarven Lords. There’s another instalment from Project Curacao, the tropical environmental monitoring setup, alongside a weather station project you can make at home, where the environment is less exciting. My favourite piece this issue is from 13-year-old Jacob Roberts, who made his Pi into a portable computer on a pocket-money budget. He’ll show you how you can do the same.

There’s internet radio, motion detection, book reviews, competitions and much more. We really look forward to the MagPi every month: it’s a great resource for all Pi users, and we’re grateful, as always, to Ash, Will, Aaron and the team of volunteers who work so hard on it every month. Thanks gang – we’re looking forward to April’s issue!

3M Cloud Library Adds 40,000 Audiobooks


The audiobook industry is starting to undergo dramatic shifts in their content delivery methods and major publishing companies are now investing millions of dollars into expensive productions. The entire audiobook industry is currently worth around 1.6 billion dollars and that figure should climb further. Production is being stepped up and companies such as Overdrive and 3M Cloud are sourcing them out to libraries. Today, 3M has announced that they have ironed out a distribution deal with Findaway World for 40,000 titles.

The addition of eAudiobooks to the 3M Cloud Library will be a seamless transition for both readers and librarians, with the existing apps updated and optimized to include discovery, checkout and listening capabilities. As always, patrons only need to register to use the 3M Cloud Library through their local library the first time they sign in. Every eAudio title will be compatible on all devices using 3M Cloud Library applications, users will not have to differentiate which formats work on which devices. Once the eAudiobook is checked out, users can immediately start listening. Also for the user's benefit, eAudiobooks are automatically bookmarked across the Cloud and available across all devices.

Titles from Findaway World are professionally engineered, enabling the highest-quality listening experience for users. Through Findaway World, 3M will have content from every major publisher in the Audiobook space.

3M Cloud Library Adds 40,000 Audiobooks is a post from: Good e-Reader

1st Gen Kindle Paperwhite Gets Lots of New Features with Software Update

Yesterday Amazon issued an update for the new Kindle Paperwhite, and today they just followed that up by updating the 1st generation Paperwhite to add a host of new features. The new software is labeled version 5.4.4, and it essentially turns the original Kindle Paperwhite into the newer second gen model, minus the upgraded screen […]

Weekly eHighlights: Your Guide to What’s New at OverDrive – UK Adult and YA Edition

Happy March! Spring is in sight, and with the excitement of sunshine and balmier temperatures, we have a brand new list of content for readers in the U.K.

This week's post highlights 10 of the newest titles by authors of note with a link to a list of 40 additional great titles to add to your collection.



Grace Burrowes – The MacGregor's Lady

What if the steps they take to avoid marriage…

The last thing Asher MacGregor, newly titled Earl of Balfour, wants is a society wife, though he has agreed to squire Boston heiress Hannah Cooper about the London ballrooms. When he’s met that obligation, he’ll return to the Highlands, and resume the myriad responsibilities awaiting him there.

…Lead instead to impossible love?

Jane Gurtler – 16 Things I Thought Were True (YA Read)
Gurtler has been a RITA Award Finalist.

Heart attacks happen to other people #thingsIthoughtweretrue

When Morgan’s mom gets sick, it’s hard not to panic. Without her mother, she would have no one—until she finds out the dad who walked out on her as a baby isn’t as far away as she thought…

Adam is a stuck-up, uptight jerk #thingsIthoughtweretrue

Now that they have a summer job together, Morgan’s getting to know the real Adam, and he’s actually pretty sweet…in a nerdy-hot kind of way. He even offers to go with her to find her dad. Road trip, anyone?


Hugh Howey Dust
NLA Digital

“Reviewers have compared his series to The Hunger Games … but it’s better written and more thought-provoking.” (Guardian)

WOOL introduced the silo and its inhabitants.

SHIFT told the story of their making.

DUST will chronicle their undoing.

Welcome to the underground.


Lisa Jackson – Tell Me

“#1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jackson creates her most electrifying thriller to date, as a mother’s unspeakable crime sparks a new killing spree. . .

The most hated woman in Savannah, Georgia, is about to be set free. Twenty years ago, Blondell O’Henry was convicted of murdering her eldest daughter and wounding her two other children. The prosecution argued that beautiful, selfish Blondell wanted to be rid of them to be with her lover.

Now Blondell’s son, Niall, has recanted his testimony and demolished the case in the process. Reporter Nikki Gillette is determined to get the true story, and not just for professional reasons. Blondell’s murdered daughter, Amity, was Nikki’s childhood friend. The night she died, Amity begged Nikki to meet with her, insisting she had a secret to tell, but Nikki didn’t go. Her guilt is compounded by other complications—Nikki’s favorite uncle, Alexander, was the attorney who helped save Blondell from execution. And rumors…


Debbie Macomber – That Wintry Feeling
Random House

After watching the man she loves walk down the aisle with her sister, Cathy Thompson needs to get away. Alaska–beautiful, remote, and far from bitter memories–sounds like the perfect place to start over. But a brand-new life comes with brand-new challenges . . . namely Grady Jones, a pilot and single dad who has a solution to both their problems: a marriage of convenience.

Grady isn’t looking for love. He tried that once and failed. He just needs a wife, and Cathy is smart, easy on the eyes, and adored by his daughter. But Grady doesn’t count on the way Cathy gets under his skin, the way she makes him want to be a better husband and father. Grady didn’t think he had any more love inside to give, but Cathy proves him wrong. With his wife by his side, this pilot learns to soar on the wings of a future neither of them dreamed possible.


Elizabeth Kolbert – The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
Top seller in new books at Amazon UK.

Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions of life on earth. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. Elizabeth Kolbert combines brilliant field reporting, the history of ideas and the work of geologists, botanists and marine biologists to tell the gripping stories of a dozen species – including the Panamanian golden frog and the Sumatran rhino – some already gone, others at the point of vanishing. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind’s most lasting legacy and Elizabeth Kolbert’s book urgently compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.


Philippe Margotin and others – All the Songs: The Story behind Every Beatles Release

Every album and every song ever released by the Beatles—from “Please Please Me” (U.S. 1963) to “The Long and Winding Road” (U.S. 1970)—is dissected, discussed, and analyzed by two music historians in this lively and fully illustrated work.

All the Songs delves deep into the history and origins of the Beatles and their music. This first-of-its-kind book draws upon decades of research, as music historians Margotin and Guesdon recount the circumstances that led to the composition of every song, the recording process, and the instruments used.

Here, we learn that one of John Lennon’s favorite guitars was a 1958 Rickenbacker 325 Capri, which he bought for £100 in 1960 in Hamburg, Germany. We also learn that “Love Me Do,” recorded in Abbey Road Studios in September 1962, took 18 takes to get right, even though it was one of the first songs John and Paul ever wrote together. And the authors reveal that when the Beatles performed “I Want to Hold Your Hand” on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, John’s microphone wasn’t turned on, so viewers heard only Paul singing.

All the Songs is the must-have Beatles book for the any true Beatles fan.


Nick Pulford – Racing Post Cheltenham Festival Guide
CPI Books
Top seller in new books at Amazon UK.

The ultimate betting companion in the build-up to the 2014 Festival. Packed with invaluable advice from the best writers in the business, this comprehensive guide has everything you need for jump racing’s biggest meeting. Includes:

  • Race-by-race guide, with in-depth assessment of the main contenders in every championship race
  • Key trends for all the established races
  • Tom Segal (Pricewise) with his fancies
  • The Irish challenge
  • Views from the British training centers
  • What the bookmakers say
  • Tipsters’ forum

Plus: Racing Post Ratings, Topspeed, trainers and jockeys to follow, pedigree pointers and analysis of the key trials.


Edmund White – Inside a Pearl: My Years in Paris

Inside a Pearl vividly recalls those fertile years, and offers a brilliant examination of a city and a culture eternally imbued with an aura of enchantment.

Edmund White was 43 years old when he moved to Paris in 1983. He spoke no French and knew just two people in the entire city, but soon discovered the anxieties and pleasures of mastering a new culture. White fell passionately in love with Paris, its beauty in the half-light and eternal mists; its serenity compared with the New York he had known. Intoxicated and intellectually stimulated by its culture, he became the definitive biographer of Jean Genet, wrote lives of Marcel Proust and Arthur Rimbaud, and became a recipient of the French Order of Arts and Letters. Frequent trips across the Channel to literary parties in London begot friendships with Julian Barnes, Alan Hollinghurst, Martin Amis and many others.


Leah Wilson et al – Divergent Thinking: YA Authors on Veronica Roth's Divergent Trilogy
BenBella Books

Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy (Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant) has captured the hearts and thoughts of millions of readers. In Divergent Thinking, YA authors explore even more of Tris and Tobias’ world, including:

  • What Divergent’s factions have in common with one of psychology’s most prominent personality models
  • The biology of fear: where it comes from and how Tris and the other Dauntless are able to overcome it
  • Full-page maps locating all five faction headquarters and other series landmarks in today’s Chicago, based on clues from the books
  • Plus a whole lot more, from why we love identity shorthand like factions to Tris’ trouble with honesty to the importance of choice, family, and being brave

With a dozen smart, surprising, mind-expanding essays on all three books in the trilogy, Divergent Thinking provides a companion fit for even the most Erudite Divergent fan.


View all of the above books and 40 more great new titles in a handy Marketplace list here:

eHighlights UK March 3, 2014

*Geographical rights may vary by title.


Comixology Violates Customers Trust with Data Breach


Comixology is the largest digital distributor in the world for digital comics. This often puts them in the media limelight and paints a big target on their back. The company has acknowledged that they have suffered a major data breach today with usernames, passwords and email accounts were accessed by a rogue denizen of the internet.

In a letter sent out to anyone who has ever registered an account with Comixology, the company is encouraging people to change their passwords.  Although no credit card or financial data was stolen,  it is only a matter of time before all of your data is sold to companies that buy customer information in bulk.

The Comixology servers are currently overwhelmed  with password changing requests and it is currently impossible to actually change your user information. This may change in the next few days, but it is unlikely.

Breaching databases and stealing customer data is nothing new. Its been happening more often with companies such as Adobe, that handle the bulk of eBook encryption technology. It looks like hackers are now targeting companies that readers cluster to.

Comixology Violates Customers Trust with Data Breach is a post from: Good e-Reader

What Does It Take to Sell 100M eBooks? Smut and Marketing

book review fifty shades of grey
It still makes headlines whenever a self-published author manages to sell one million copies, or makes a major bestseller list. for some self-published authors, that level of success is actually a cumulative total of all of their titles, but it’s still quite a big deal. EL James might disagree. News came out this week that the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy–admittedly all three books in the series combined–have now sold more than 100 million copies worldwide.

To be fair to the authors who are selling a “paltry” million or so, James was picked up by a traditional publisher and the books relaunched under Vintage Books’ imprint. Additionally, the titles have been translated into fifty-one languages for distribution in foreign markets, not taking into consideration the countries where English language titles sell rather well.

But what does it take to make a one-time Twilight fan fiction series that is still treated with such scornful, humorous consideration by the public into a global bestseller, with a major studio film adaptation in the works? Awesome marketing.

Beginning with the first efforts at publishing the books herself, James built a fan base around a work that was arguably unlike much else on the market. Once the series was invested in by a major publishing house, the author’s work didn’t stop. Successful and bestselling indie authors will share that same mentality with anyone who asks for the secret to their success: reader engagement is vital to selling books.

In last Tuesday’s Twitter chat #indiechat, hosted each week by BiblioCrunch, author Hugh Howey made an appearance to discuss the finer points of putting a well-crafted book in front of a broader reading audience. Besides sharing his post on advice for new authors, Howey made the statement: “I write in the morning. After lunch, I treat the publishing bits like my day job. I often work 16 hours a day.”

This attention to the business side of being an author is what sets apart those who sell books and grow a fan base, and those who don’t. Sadly, one of the business aspects that is becoming more and more clear–especially to authors who’ve handled it badly, like Lynn Shepherd, who has recently been accused of petty jealousy due to the fact that her traditionally published titles are not selling as much as many self-published authors’ works–is that authors must take on the responsibility for their own marketing. Regardless of the publishing route, crafting a work that readers want to read and then actively talking with them about that book is becoming more the norm.

What Does It Take to Sell 100M eBooks? Smut and Marketing is a post from: Good e-Reader

CONCATENATE: Excel’s Duct Tape

Don't let the long name scare you; CONCATENATE is a super-easy way to stick two or more things together in your spreadsheets.

Android is the Fastest and Most Successfully Adopted OS in History


Android has emerged as one of the most popular operating systems in use today. That devices running Android has outsold all its competitors in 2013 is no doubt a good measure of its popularity, beating even Apple iOS in the process. The online search giant has now upped the ante claiming its mobile OS has proved to be the fastest to reach the top.

"I mean, look, in the history of operating systems, I think Android has been the quickest and most successful adoption of an operating system in the world. So you just sort of stop, take pause and say, oh my God, that’s crazy. Nobody could have ever predicted that we’re going to get an operating system adopted in an industry, which has so many different OEMs, manufacturing with their own operating systems having adopted around the world," said Nikesh Arora, senior vice president at Google while speaking at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference.

First acquired by Google in 2005, Android (the company also of the same name) has since seen several upgrades. However, as stated by Google, the OS first attained a level of maturity from the Ice Cream Sandwich version. The OS then attained newer heights with the upgrade to Jelly Bean which continues to be the most used version of Android so far. Google has since launched the Android KitKat version, the most recent so far.

However, to completely ignore Apple's iOS when discussing the most successful of mobile OS's will be just half the story told. Apple devices such as the iPad and the iPhone continue to be the single largest tablet and smartphone brand respectively, outselling any of its Android competitors by a healthy margin. It's just that the iOS got swamped by an operating system that is based on a completely different business strategy. Android is doled out free enabling any manufacturers to use it as per their will. In contrast, Apple maintains a vice like grip over iOS and is the only maker of gadgets based on it. In any case, it will be interesting to see how things pan out now that Android has proven to be more popular than iOS.

Android is the Fastest and Most Successfully Adopted OS in History is a post from: Good e-Reader