Microsoft has come up with a cheaper but more personal alternative to its Office 365 subscription plans. Office 365 Personal, as the plan has been named, will cost $6.99 a month or $69.90 a year but will only be applicable to a single PC or Mac, and one tablet device. This is in contrast to the five PC or Mac devices (and five mobile devices such as a smartphone and tablet) that the Office Home Premium caters to, but costs a higher $9.99 per month or $99.90 a year. The new Office 365 Personal plan will be made available sometime in the spring and comes as a welcome choice for single users. Meanwhile, in another development, Microsoft has also announced a change of name for Office 365 Home Premium to just Office 365 Home.
“We're committed to delivering a great Office experience to all of our customers and believe that giving you a choice about the Office 365 subscription that fits your unique needs is one way we can do that,” Chris Schneider, a senior marketing manager at Microsoft revealed in a blog post. “We'll have more details to share closer to availability.”
Benefits and features more or less will remain the same, which includes access to the latest updates when those become available. Users will also have an hour of free international Skype calls every month along with 20 GB of free OneDrive (cloud) storage. There will also be the option to have the service for just one month, in which case it will cost just $7. Users can still opt for the internet free standalone version of Office which will cost them $140. While there will not be any updates available, it can serve customers well enough if all they need is just basic computing tasks done.
Meanwhile, experts believe the Office 365 Personal could also be the precursor to an Office for iOS version. This has been rumored for a long time now; maybe the next announcement will be an Office version for iPad.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Hachette has released new sales data that has 30% of their US revenue stem from eBooks. They also announced that 2014 was off to a great start in the UK with revenue up 40% from the same period last year.
Part of the reason why Hachette has seen a dramatic increase in digital sales is primarily because they are betting on the right books. In the UK the profits were led by Sir Alex Feguson's autobiography, which was the best selling hardback sports memoir of all time, and with Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch.
In the US 84 ebooks from Hachette made the New York Times Bestsellers List. The most notable titles were THE CUCKOO'S CALLING by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling), THE LONGEST RIDE by Nicholas Sparks, ALEX CROSS, RUN by James Patterson and David Ellis, DAVID AND GOLIATH by Malcolm Gladwell, THE HIT by David Baldacci, THE GOLDFINCH by Donna Tartt, and I AM MALALA by Malala Yousafzai.
Hachette Sees 30% of its Revenue Derive from eBooks is a post from: Good e-Reader
OverDrive is launching a brand new help site on March 19! We've given help.overdrive.com a massive facelift and added a plethora of features based on some truly valuable feedback from you. In this post, I'll give you the run-down on what's new and different so you're prepared for launch on the 19th.
It’s easier to navigate
We've reorganized everything by platform, and provided persistent navigation to help you find what you need no matter where you are on the site.
Across the top, you'll see links to the four main landing pages for help:
It's easier to peruse on a mobile device
We've made the new help website fully responsive. That way, no matter what size screen you're using, you'll find the help you need with a minimal amount of fuss.
It's easier to get started
On each of these quick link category pages, we've split the content up by device or platform, and each has its own drop-down menu.
Under each drop-down, you'll see a list of pertinent articles. Because these lists are dynamically generated, you can expect them to remain up-to-date.
It’s easier to see how things work
The new help videos landing page lets you pick which videos you want to watch, from any series, without having to scroll down a page or open a new tab. You can pick the series from the "Devices and platforms" menu and the video from the playlist. Each video and series will show up in the same space for fast load times and easy navigation.
It’s easier to understand compatibility
The new device profiles quickly and clearly spell out which services work on a given type of device. This eliminates the need to wade through long lists of devices you may have never heard of, or that may have different names in different regions.
It’s just easier
There are really too many features here for me fully detail in a single, succinct blog post, but I'll give you a few more brief examples before wrapping up.
Wrap-up and what you need to know
So, once again, we're launching the new help site on March 19, 2014. I'm sure you've got a question or two, so I'll try to address the biggies here:
I know that a new help website might not be the most exciting thing you read about today, but I'm undeniably excited to tell you all about it. I sincerely hope that you enjoy the fruits of our hard work as we help you more easily find the help you need.Feel free to post your first impressions in the comments section!
Quinton Lawman is a Technical Writer at OverDrive.
Recently, one of our U.K. partners introduced us to a popular biographical category trending overseas. They refer to it as "Misery Lit." These are distressing tales of childhood experiences much like Dave Pelzer's stories. I combed through our collection and found many other authors with similar tales to Pelzer's, including his own brother's side of the popular story, A Child Called "It."
These awe-inspiring stories will keep you on the edge of your seat and are sure to leave quite an impact. Check out these titles and other Dave Pelzer read-a-likes available through OverDrive.
And remember your Collection Development Specialist is always available to help create any recommended lists. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information today!
Kristin Preyss is a Collection Development Analyst at OverDrive.
Amazon has increased its Prime membership fee, citing an increase in fuel and transportation costs. However, the new price structure is applicable to those whose term expires after April 17, 2014. Those whose membership expires before that date will still have the chance to renew their membership for $79. Those who need to renew after April 17 will pay the new annual rate of $99. Those who wish to enroll for the Amazon Prime service have until April 17 to save $20 in the annual subscription fee. Amazon Student Prime fees has also been increased from $10 to $49 a year.
"We are working to expand selection even further, as we develop additional fulfillment and transportation capacity to make the Prime program even more valuable to our members. Even as fuel and transportation costs have increased, the price of Prime has remained the same. If you consider things like inflation and fuel costs, a Prime membership valued at $79 in 2005 would be worth more than $100 today," revealed Amazon.
The increase in Prime subscription cost does not come as a surprise, as Amazon had already warned of the move back in January, stating then that rates could be raised by as much as $40; thankfully, the actual increase was half that amount. This is the first time that Amazon has resorted to a fee hike since the Prime service was launched nine years ago. Over the years, the service has become immensely popular and proved to be one of the biggest revenue sources for the online retail giant. Amazon revealed a record 1 million+ Prime customer registrations in the third week of December last year, its biggest increase so far.
Prime services continue to be the same, which includes free two day shipping, access to 40,000 videos online, while also enabling members to borrow from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library that offers over half a million titles.
When we wrote about accelerating Fast Fourier Transforms (FFTs) on the Pi back in January, several people asked what sort of real-world application FFTs can have. We talked about numerical analysis, cryptography, spectrograms and software-defined radio, among other things, in the comments on that post. All the same, FFTs are something that those who don’t get excited by maths can find a bit dry, and it can be hard to find a good demonstration of FFTs that works for those of you who like to think about things visually. So I was really pleased to find a link to this project from Pavan Tumati, which makes digital signal processing…decorative. Not to mention festive.
Here, FFTs are performed on music samples on the Raspberry Pi fast enough to detect a beat, and the Pi relays that information to some teeny-tiny tap-dancers, who produce an automated routine that’s synced to the music.
These little tap-dancing guys are from a post-Christmas sales bin. They’re called Happy Tappers, and are made by Hallmark, who, for reasons known only to them, include a port which enables them to interface with their tippy-tapping brothers and sisters – which makes for exciting DIY project possibilities once you add something that’s able to feed them an input. I’ve never seen them on sale in the UK, but if you’re dead set on making your own tap-dancing Pi project, they seem to be available online at eBay, Amazon US, and at some Christmas shops.
(I know: it’s a bit odd posting about Christmas decorations in mid-March. But if the family across the road from me, who still have multicoloured lights flashing away merrily on the tree in their front garden every evening, are anything to go by, Christmas decorations aren’t just for Christmas any more.)
Hopkins was scheduled to speak to students at Panther Valley High School yesterday, but leading up to the visit, parent protests, school board intervention, and even obstacles from the school’s administration almost prevented the visit from taking place, despite the fact that students raised the funds to pay Hopkin’s travel honorarium. Some students with signed parent permission slips were blocked from attending the author’s presentation, and one teacher reportedly gathered the students who attended his church and kept them in his classroom during the assembly to have a prayer meeting instead.
According to a post on the author’s Facebook page, “The principal greeted me at the door, all fake smiles and handshakes. I found out he had to be talked into my appearing at all, and this was yesterday afternoon, and he was oh-so-close to banning me. The ninth school board member watched my presentation and still believed my message was dangerous somehow. Some of the MS kids who had permission slips were allowed to attend, but ONLY if they bought one of my books from the school. Those who bought books elsewhere couldn’t come, although the school did send those books for signing. An English teacher pulled a group of kids who go to his church and they had a prayer meeting instead. Apparently, he quoted a line said by a CHARACTER, and somehow couldn’t understand that I, the author, don’t share every one of my CHARACTER’s views. This guy teaches English?”
While access to books is something that most of us might think only happens in certain oppressive societies in far flung places, this level of censorship–especially when parents have purchased the book and given permission for their children to take part–is shocking in the 21st century.
Mark Coker, founder and CEO of Smashwords, spoke to Good e-Reader about the incident and how digital publishing’s very core principle is to make access to the written word a reality for everyone.
“It’s really pretty pathetic. We have an American city acting like a third world, religious extremist country,” explained Coker. “eBooks make it easier for parents and for readers to access content that might be socially unacceptable. It’s even worse than censorship, it’s making kids feel bad about literature. They’re painting literature as a dangerous, evil, scary thing. It’s the intolerance that concerns me about this.”
Coker has long been known as a champion for authors who’ve been denied the right to publish their books by the traditional publishing industry and is an ardent supporter of everyone’s right to at least access book creation. With this incident, Coker has also shared the importance of being an active supporter of readers’ rights to access both books and their authors.
“Readers enjoy talking about books with a community, and the community around this book has been interrupted. Shame on the school for allowing this to happen.”
Authors of every publishing model are cautioned vehemently now that they must have an online presence and actively engage with their fans. Authors are basically told they cannot have a career if they’re not accessible to their readers, yet when students take the initiative to raise thousands of dollars and an author comes to engage with her readers, the end result is a dark and judgmental unappreciation of an author’s efforts.
“eBooks make content more accessible than ever before so people can experience it, so they can experience the joys of all kinds of literature without feeling this narrow-mindedness, guilt, peer pressure, and community pressure that would prevent them accessing books.”
|So the big news today is that Amazon has decided to increase the price of Amazon Prime from $79 per year to $99 per year. The new price goes into effect on March 20th, 2014. This come just five months after Amazon raised the threshold for their Super Saver Shipping (or as I like to […]|
“Appzine Machine is the first all-in-one solution that combines easy-to-use magazine building tools and world-class training on how to publish and profit,” said Len Wright, CEO of Appzine Machine, in a press release. “It is a fully turn-key system to help you earn monthly income, build your authority, or advertise your business.”
While the price tag of the platform does mean that not just anyone will be able to afford to publish a digital magazine, the easy DIY drag-and-drop aspect of the tool can make it worthwhile. Taking into consideration what the cost would be to have a digital designer create the finished product and upload it through a monthly-fee service like Adobe Digital Publishing Suite, the savings can accumulate quickly. Ideally, there is also a return on the investment in the form of royalties, as Appzine doesn’t take further fees after the cost of using the tool.
“Digital magazines open up a new world of possibilities for both new entrepreneurs and existing businesses. By combining the compelling content of a magazine with the interactivity of a mobile app, you can spread your message, drive revenue, and reach a growing audience of millions worldwide.”