Friday, March 28, 2014

Readmill Acquired by Dropbox


Readmill is a Berlin based Startup founded in 2010 by Henrik Berggren and David Kjelkerud. The company launched a simple e-reading app for iOS and Android that allowed people to buy eBooks from publishers such as Penguin, and engage in a unique social atmosphere. Today, the company has announced that it has been acquired by Dropbox and will be joining their team.

One of thing things Readmill did to separate themselves from other e-reading apps out there was to add a social layer. In February 2014 the company 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. The app also allowed you to upload ePub books to your account through the website and then sync your library to your mobile device.

In a statement, Readmill said “As of today, it is no longer possible to create a new account, and on July 1, 2014, the Readmill app will no longer be available. For the next three months, our first priority is to help you transition to other services and get back to reading. All of your books and reading data are available for export in multiple formats. Our team will be joining Dropbox, where our expertise in reading, collaboration and syncing across devices finds a fitting home. Millions of people use Dropbox to store and share their digital lives, and we believe it's a strong foundation on which to build the future of reading. We're delighted to work alongside this talented team and imagine new ways to read together.”

Readmill Acquired by Dropbox is a post from: Good e-Reader

Amazon’s Latest Line of Kindle Fire Tablets on Sale Again

Either hardware sales are slow at Amazon or they’ve got an excess of stock because the entire line of Kindle Fire tablets is on sale once again. Sales have become so frequent over the past few months there really is no reason to pay full price. Ever. Just wait for the next sale to come […]

New Plaintiffs Come on Board Against Apple for eBook Price Fixing

Apple is still waiting for the final decision from Judge Denise Cote in the ebook price fixing scandal, entered into with five of the then-Big Six publishers in order to drive out some of Amazon’s market share. While the publishers settled out of court, Apple wasn’t so lucky. The final damages in the suit–which certain provisions under the law could cause to come in at almost $900 million–have yet to be determined, and Apple’s legal battles have been lengthy during this now four-year-old process.

But new plaintiffs have now announced that they’re coming on board to recover some of the damage done to their businesses due to Apple’s push for agency pricing over the wholesale model. A 2013 suit filed by Australian ebook retailer DNAML was the beginning, but it has now been joined by the owners of the Diesel ebookstore and Abbey House Media. All three of the plaintiffs are sharing the same attorneys and expect their cases to become one case against Apple.

The crux of this latest suit is similar–nay, almost identical–in wording to other documents in the case, all of which allege that Apple’s actions caused these companies to no longer be able to compete in the industry. Unfortunately for Apple, these three plaintiffs have been able to demonstrate profits and constant growth among their catalogs of titles and their customers bases leading up to the collusion. They specifically cite the inability to discount and bundle titles together as a customer incentive, one of the features of bookselling that changed for Amazon during the switch to agency pricing.

New Plaintiffs Come on Board Against Apple for eBook Price Fixing is a post from: Good e-Reader

Celebrate Women’s History

Before March is completely behind us, take a moment to celebrate the contributions of women across history and society. The celebration of women in history began in 1980 when President Jimmy Carter issued a presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8 to be National Women's History Week. In 1981, the week was recognized by congress. It wasn't until 1987 that the whole month of March was declared Women's History Month. Since 1995, U.S. presidents have issued annual proclamations designating March as Women's History Month, and to celebrate, we’ve put together this list of titles. These titles are great to offer as educational resources in schools or promotional packages at your library as we celebrate Girl Power through women in history as well as women who have had a profound impact on modern society and popular culture.



Laura Guldeman is a Collection Development Specialist at OverDrive.


MS Office Made Free for Android Phones

Office Mobile

Close on the heels of Microsoft launching its Office software suite on the iPad, the tech giant made its Office for Android free to use. Unfortunately, this only applies to Android phones and not tablet devices, enabling users to create and edit documents that earlier would have required an active Office 365 subscription. Interestingly, this latest move has made Android phones on par with their Windows counterparts so far as usability of the Office app is concerned.

Apart from the risk of losing subscription money, the Windows phone will now be deprived of a competitive advantage and may translate into adding greater adoption of Android phones. You can download this app today from the Good e-Reader App Store.

MS Office Made Free for Android Phones is a post from: Good e-Reader

Android Found More Stable Than iOS


The latest finding by Crittercism, which takes stock of app usage on Android and iOS devices, is that Android has emerged as the more stable platform than iOS. However, it hasn't been a cakewalk, as Android 2.3 Gingerbread has been notorious for unexpected app crashes, earning it the least stable Android version honor. Things have improved dramatically ever since the later Android versions of Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, and the latest Android version, Kit Kat. In numerical terms, while Gingerbread alone accounted for app crashes 1.7 percent of the time, its successors crashed about 0.7 percent of the time.

The corresponding figures for iOS show that iOS 6 has been most prone to app crashes, reporting crashes an average of 2.5 percent of the time. Things improved with subsequent revisions, with iOS 7 and iOS 7.1 crashing only 2.1 and 1.6 percent of the time, respectively. That might come as a surprise to Apple fans, who often perceive iOS as the most matured mobile OS out there.

These findings form part of the report titled “Mobile Experience Benchmark,” which is based on a survey of about a billion Android and iOS devices for a period of one month.

Android Found More Stable Than iOS is a post from: Good e-Reader

George R.R. Martin’s New Book Excerpt Available on Android and iOS Phones

TV-Game of Thrones

Prolific author George R. R. Martin broke the internet when he posted a chapter of his upcoming book, The Winds of Winter, on his site, which crashed shortly after the announcement due to traffic. Fortunately for those who missed the chance to catch up with Mercy, the central character, they can still do so via the Ice and Fire app, available at the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store.

"Some of you who enjoyed meeting Mercy may not have found the other sample we've put out there of late, a new Tyrion chapter. That one is live and available with the ICE & FIRE app, and can be found at iOS; Android. Enjoy the read, " the author revealed in his blog.

Martin's other fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire, has been immensely popular and has already been made into a television series Game of Thrones.

George R.R. Martin’s New Book Excerpt Available on Android and iOS Phones is a post from: Good e-Reader

Readly Launches in UK with Unlimited Access to over 3,500 Magazines


Readly, which follows the successful subscription models of Spotify and Netflix, has made its all you-can-read magazine collection available in the UK.

For a monthly fee of £9.99, users in the UK now have unlimited access to over 3,500 magazines from some of the most popular publishers including IPC, DC Thomson, Time Out and Haymarket. Along with new titles, users can read one year of back issues and share the subscription with their household. The subscription allows access for up to five devices.

Readly can be downloaded on Android, iOS, Window 8 and Kindle Fire and is also available in the US and Sweden. Users have instant access from their device and can begin reading within 5 seconds of opening a title.

Readly is providing users the magazines they want, where they want it and is opening up new revenue streams for publishers. Its unique licensing agreement see what a user has read and divides the revenue between those publishers. The company is also providing publishers with valuable analytics on how customers are consuming their magazines.

The company is based in Sweden and is quickly rolling out its platform internationally. It hopes to add more european countries and publishers, while adding more features to its app.

Readly Launches in UK with Unlimited Access to over 3,500 Magazines is a post from: Good e-Reader

Sony’s Transition to Kobo is Smooth, But Not All eBooks Make It

Sony started sending out emails yesterday with links to transition customer accounts over to the Kobo ebook store now that Sony is closing the Reader Store. I received the email today and the transfer process was incredibly simple and took all of about 30 seconds to complete. All I had to do was follow the […]

Automated home brewing

The office conversation this lunchtime went a bit like this:

Me: “Two beer posts in a week is too much, isn’t it.”
Ben: “Maybe.”
Me: “OK. Damn shame: I’ve been sent a great automated brewing project; it’s way more complicated than the ones I’ve seen before. I’ll maybe put it up next week, after the new website goes live.”
James: “Can you send it to me now please? I’d love to read that. I want to update my system at home.”
Gordon: “Me too, please.”
Laura: “Can I see it?”
Clive: “That sounds brilliant.”
Eben: “Mmm. Beer.”
Lance: “Did someone say beer?”
Emma: “Do you have a link I can see?”

So I apologise for inflicting two posts about beer on you in three days: I promise not to mention fermentation at all next week.

Ted Hale blogs at Raspberry Pi Hobbyist, where he concentrates on physical computing with the Raspberry Pi. His most recent project brings in another of his hobbies: home brewing.

We like this not only because we like beer, but because think more Pi projects should employ propane.

We’ve seen brewing projects where a Pi controls simple heating and cooling, but here, Ted uses a Pi here to control all the parts of the brewing method called partial mash: for this he needs to be able to:

  • Open and close a valve to a tank of propane
  • Start a grill igniter to light the burner
  • Detect if the burner actually did light
  • Sense the temperature for the wort (the brew of water, malt extract, and hops)
  • Operate a pump for circulating water through the wort chiller.
Ted had problems over the build, including discovering that one of his sensors actually melted at high temperatures, finding that the igniter gave off so much electromagnetic interference that the I2C bus was unhappy. Being a seasoned hacker, he found ways around all the problems he encountered. The following paragraph, describing how he dealt with the interference, demonstrates why we think Ted is so great:
I used shielded audio cables commonly used for microphones.  I am also a musician so I had some of this already.  If you have to buy a small reel you may find that it is rather expensive.  Cat-5 cable may also work well.  That is what I use for my hot tub controller, but it is not subjected to the massive EMI of this system.
This guy is a musician with a hot tub who brews his own beer and hacks with the Pi for fun. We are in awe.

There’s a writeup over at Raspberry Pi Hobbyist about how the whole setup comes together, and James, I expect you to have overhauled your entire home system over the weekend.

Sony Sends Out Email about Transferring eBooks to Kobo


Sony has sent out the first batch of emails that instruct customers on transferring their library of purchased content to Kobo. The process is relatively simple, you have to register for a Kobo account and click on the Getting Started Link. It will scan your library and begin uploading your books to the Kobo account. The only books that will not transfer are books that Kobo does not sell in their bookstore.

Users are reporting that the success rate of transferring their existing library of content from Sony to Kobo, is around 85%. The bulk of titles that are not transferring are self-published, magazines, newspapers, comics, manga and kids books.

The Sony Reader Store is now officially closed and users will not be able to buy anything further directly on their e-reader anymore. Sony has promised that during the next few weeks they will push out a firmware update to the Sony PRS-T1, Sony PRS-T2 and Sony PRS-T3 that will replace the Sony Store with the Kobo one. Users will soon be able to buy books directly from Kobo and read them on the Sony Reader.

Users are implored not to fret if they have not received the transforship emails yet. Sony obviously can not send out millions of emails at once, and it will take about a week for everyone to receive them.

Sony Sends Out Email about Transferring eBooks to Kobo is a post from: Good e-Reader

Penguin eBooks for your classroom!


John Green, Roald Dahl, Holly Goldberg Sloan, and so many, many more are coming to your classroom! OverDrive is thrilled to announce that Penguin eBooks are now available for purchase for U.S. schools. Under a one copy/one user lending model for a one year term, thousands of incredibly popular, award winning titles are in Marketplace, just waiting to be discovered by students in your school.

Imagine the possibilities, lesson plans, activities, and group discussions that can revolve around titles like The Fault in Our Stars, James and the Giant Peach, Counting by 7s, and more. Stock up as your students return from Spring Break and be ready for summer reading programs, because it's going to be hot with Penguin content.

School libraries can shop the Penguin eBook catalog now on the Marketplace homepage. You can also search for the content in Advanced Search under Publisher Account: Penguin Group (USA).

Check out the lists by clicking on the links below. Also, we created a cart of the “Top 100″ bestselling Penguin titles in your Marketplace carts. The list is named “Penguin Juvenile/YA.”

The OverDrive Collection Development Specialists are available to help create recommended lists of the Penguin catalog. Please email for more information. We're always here to help.

Happy Shopping!


Suggested lists:

Penguin Hot Titles JUV/YA FIC

Penguin Hot Titles JUV/YA NONFIC

All Penguin JUV FIC

All Penguin YA FIC


Kate Seivertson is a Collection Development Specialist at OverDrive.

Kobo eReaders, Tablets and Covers Now Available from Walmart

Earlier today I was browsing through Walmart’s ebook reader selection online and noticed some interesting new additions. It appears that Kobo is finally making their line of ebook readers and tablets available through Walmart (U.S.) again. Kobo used to sell their ereaders through Walmart and other major retailers in the United States, but then they […]