Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sony 13.3 inch e-Reader Engaged in Pilot Program in Hollywood


The Sony 13.3 inch e-reader, otherwise known as the Digital Paper is hitting the US in MAY. In order to build hype around the $1100 PDF Reader Sony has signed an agreement with Ease Entertainment to have it used in the production process of Hollywood films.

Starting in May, the pilot will be conducted in collaboration with Ease Entertainment, a leading payroll and accounting company serving the motion picture and television production industries. Ease Entertainment will bundle Digital Paper with its Digital Start Paperwork, resulting in significant time-savings and increased efficiencies for studios and production companies.

“Storytelling is a global business,” said Glenn Gainor, President of Production for Screen Gems, a Sony Pictures Entertainment division. “I travel the globe scouting locations, visiting sets and overseeing production teams. Sets have traditionally been buried in paper, from scripts, call sheets, production notes and more. I’ve been testing Digital Paper for months and now I can’t imagine myself being without it. I can now keep ideas, notes and other great ideas in one device.”

According to Ease Entertainment, critical aspects of the entertainment industry such as production management and corporate oversight have significantly lagged in the adoption of new technologies that can offer considerable economic and operational benefits.

“We are committed to taking what is still a ‘paper and file box’ industry and moving it into the current generation of tools, a key part of which is Sony’s Digital Paper,” said Michael Rose, Chairman and CEO of Ease Entertainment. “The combination of our technologies will substantially streamline and improve the onboarding process, which will ultimately lead to reduced production costs. The uses in and around a shooting set, within production offices and at the corporate and legal level, are countless: enhanced regulatory compliance, fewer errors, reduced environmental impact and an increased level of efficiency.”

Sony 13.3 inch e-Reader Engaged in Pilot Program in Hollywood is a post from: Good e-Reader

Blurb Unveils New Streamlined Tools for Authors

For many self-published authors, the various ebook distribution platforms that have made it easier than ever to put content in front of readers are the only avenue to publication. But with the variety of companies who have begun to offer legitimate, cost effective ways of offering readers a print edition as well, there’s no reason not to release a book simultaneously in both ebook and print.

Blurb, who began as a limited print company who specialized in niche books like professional portfolios before expanding into genres like indie cookbooks and art books, announced today that it has a host of new features for authors, including free ISBN numbers, direct to Amazon distribution for print, and a new tool called BookWright that lets authors upload without having to have the expertise to submit files through Adobe’s InDesign.

"Blurb BookWright and Blurb to Amazon distribution have both evolved from years of learning, absorbing customer feedback, and the internal desire to bring a fully featured book creation platform to all potential authors," says Eileen Gittins, Blurb founder and CEO. "I've wanted to make an announcement this simple and clear for years: Make your book once and publish it anywhere, for print or for ebook. Today is that day, and Blurb has become the indie author's best friend. We're fulfilling our promise to bring publishing to everyone."

While there will eventually be a reasonable setup fee ($29US) per title, Blurb is currently running a free promotion that allows anyone to give the platform a try. BookWright is also free to setup and experiment with in order to test out features like professionally designed pre-built starter layouts for a variety of book types, an easy-to-use WYSIWYG design process from start to finish, the ability to import book files directly from existing Blurb tools, and more.

Blurb Unveils New Streamlined Tools for Authors is a post from: Good e-Reader

I believe in… reading

I'm a big fan of writing what I believe in. To me, there is nothing more refreshing than typing out a list of all the things that move me on a daily basis. It can be the big things like the day I got to marry my best friend, or it can be something seemingly insignificant like the perfect weather for a long run. I find that putting these things on paper reminds me of who I am through the beliefs I have.

I'd like to share one of those lists right now. I love everything that revolves around reading, and not just because I work at OverDrive. Something tells me if you're looking at this, you do too. And so perhaps this list might inspire you just a little bit.

I believe in reading; in the magic of written words.

I believe that a book has the power to affect emotions and the way you see everything around you.

I believe every house should have a reading nook – a place where you can escape into a different world, if only for a few minutes at a time.

I believe in countless Saturday mornings spent in those nooks with black coffee and warm blankets.

I believe in losing yourself in the pages of a tearjerker and then wondering how anyone around could possibly understand what you're feeling in that moment.

I believe in Seuss, Sendak, Silverstein, Dahl, Lewis, Tolkien, and Rowling. I believe these names shaped my youth.

I believe in classics; that everyone should spend some time with Dickens, Austen, Steinbeck, Wilde, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, the Bronte sisters, and Dante.

I believe in the whimsy of Lewis Carroll and that fairy tales shouldn't always end "…happily ever after". I believe in Hans Christian Andersen and the Brothers Grimm.

I, too, believe in the wonderment of turning pages and the smell of paper but I also believe in technology. I believe in the ability to have an entire library available at my fingertips whether I'm in my own basement, traveling 35,000 feet in the air, or anywhere in between.

I believe physical and digital coexist and that it's beautiful. I believe in options.

I believe in literary tattoos and borrowing quotes. I believe that if we can't find the right words to express how we're feeling, there's always a line from a book to do so for us.

I believe in that special feeling when you're one of the first people to read a book and you know it will be the next big thing. I believe in the excitement of sharing your newfound “author crush'” with every friend you come across.

I believe in bedtime stories – whether they’re read from a brand new iPad or a first-edition hardback.

I believe in TBR lists that have no end in sight, and that librarian friends always make the best book suggestions.

I believe that books and convictions can change the world.

I believe in the power of the library and the community it creates and I believe that sometimes all you need is to see what moves others to know what moves you.

So tell me…what do you believe in?


Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communications Specialist at OverDrive. He's a lover of italics and ellipses...

Set your grammar straight with our new lessons!

Get your grammar in line with our new set of lessons!

Free goodies for good causes from Pimoroni

Our  friends at Pimoroni have some good news for you. To celebrate making their 100,000th Pibow case, they’re giving away 512 Pibow Rainbow cases (and some accessories) to good causes.

The Pibow Rainbow: Liz's Raspberry Pi case of preference.

The Pibow Rainbow – Raspberry Pi case and thing of beauty

Are you a charity, educational establishment or other worthy cause with a bunch of naked Model B Raspberry Pis? Maybe you’re such a place and you want to buy a bunch of Pis with a free case, or upgrade to something a bit more shiny?

All you need to do is comment below with a valid email address, or email support@pimoroni.com with the subject “WE NEED FREE PIBOWS”.

Say briefly who you are (School, Charity, Good Cause), what you do, and why a classroom kit would be really useful to you. Each kit contains 10 lovely Pibow Rainbow cases (or more!) plus a PiHub, Pibrella and PiGlow to play with. Here’s a video of a PiGlow doing its thing to whet your appetite – you’ll find a tutorial in our Resources section to get you programming yours using Python in easy steps.

Paul, who is half of Pimoroni and who also designed the very fruity Raspberry Pi logo, says:

“We love the things people do with the Pi and Pibow already, and now seems like a perfect time for us to spread a bit of colour and joy to the places where the Pi makes the most difference. Learning about computers, electronics and other geekery should be fun and friendly and for everyone.”

Amazon Tax Causes Decline in Sales Across the US

One of Amazon’s more hotly contested and expensive legal battles has been what some states so blatantly dubbed “The Amazon Tax.” According to a decades-old Supreme Court decision, catalog retailers and online retailers do not have to charge sales tax in states where they have no physical presence, but state governments realized that Amazon’s distribution centers amounted to a physical presence. In a firestorm of legislation across the country, states began to draft legislation and file lawsuits against the retailer for sales tax.

In some cases, Amazon worked out deals with those states, promising new construction and new jobs in exchange for a delay in the new legislation or a pass on the back taxes; in other states, Amazon simply closed the centers and laid off its employees, thereby erasing its “presence” in the state. A handful of states where Amazon essentially needed to keep the centers open worked out their legislation and concerns with the retailer, and many of them agreed to a delay in Amazon’s collection of the tax.

But now that most of the states are now requiring full compliance with their own tax laws, a recent report has shown a drop in sales in states where the tax was enacted. As much as a ten percent drop in consumer spending to the site has been reported, leading some to question whether there is any truth to the long held criticism that physical retailers, especially independent bookstores, really are losing business to the big-box shopping mentality.

While Amazon maintains that it will continue to thrive for its superior prices, convenient shipping, and above standard customer service, there’s another factor that supports Amazon’s position as it pertains to sales tax. With so many county and city governments within each state charging their own sales taxes on purchases, consumers will still be better off making online purchases, regardless of whether the state collects sales tax. The dubious honor of highest combined sales tax in the country currently goes to the town of Arab, Alabama, where its citizens pay 13.5% sales tax; the state sales tax is only 4%, so online purchases make sense in that area. While some states do not charge a state sales tax on certain items, like Kentucky’s decision not to collect on books, only two states in the country charge sales tax on groceries, Mississippi and Alabama. Consumers in those states are still going to come out far ahead by buying grocery items from Amazon as the retailer is not required to collect sales tax in either of those states yet.

Amazon currently collects sales tax in twenty states, with new states still waiting to enact their taxes. The online retailer has rightfully stated that it supports and will comply with a federal sales tax decision that allows one streamlined system for online retailers, but that the need to establish fifty different modes of taxation on web-based purchases simply wasn’t feasible.

Amazon Tax Causes Decline in Sales Across the US is a post from: Good e-Reader

What to do if your Amazon Kindle is Stolen or Lost


Kindle e-Readers and tablets tend to be one of the sole joys of a voracious readers life. You carry your entire library of books that you have read, intend to read or want to buy next. It can be devastating if you lose your Kindle Fire or Kindle e-reader or someone steals it. What should you do if this situation were to occur?

If you lose your Kindle, chances are it’s going to be very hard to track down who found it or get back again. The first thing you want to do is deregister the device,  you do this by visiting Amazon.com and clicking on Your Apps and Devices.  Next, click on your devicesClick the Actions button, and then click deregister device. Deregistering your device prohibits Appstore purchases on that device, and disables the use of any app purchased from Amazon Appstore for Android and downloaded to that device. You can re-enable purchasing from the device by signing in to the Amazon Appstore for Android again.  Once you deregister  your device someone can’t make any purchases via the One Click Checkout or access anything to do with Whispernet.

When you unregister your Kindle, you do not lose any of your past purchases or digital content. If you were to buy another Kindle Fire or an e-Reader you can simply use your login and password on the new hardware and sync all of your past content. One of the big drawbacks of newspaper and magazine subscriptions is that you can’t get the back  issues via sync, instead you can only get the most current one.

If you want to insure that a stolen Kindle cannot be sold on the blackmarket, eBay, Craigslist or the local pawnshop you may elect to blacklist it.  The best thing to do is phone Amazon, and ask them to “blacklist” the device. When it is blacklisted, it can not be registered by someone else. You can do this by calling Toll free: 1-888-280-4364 or international: 1-206-266-2992. If you manage to find it, or someone returns it in a lost and found bin, you can call  Amazon back  and they can unblacklist it so you can re-register it.

If you want to be an especially vigilant and upstanding citizen, you may elect to file a police report. Chances are if the value is less than $400, it is considered a petty crime and normally the boys in blue move slowly on this. So it might not be the best course of action to file for that lost Kindle Keyboard, but might be worth it for that shiny new 4G Kindle HDX 4G.

Most of Kindle loses occur on while flying and you just want to get off the plane after a long trek. If you realize you left your Kindle on the plane, you don’t want to call the airline or talk to them in person. Instead, most major airlines all have online claim forms that you can fill out. This normally takes weeks to reach a resolution but many customers have found that they get an email eventually if they have found it and then pay the postage to ship it back to you.

Kindle Fire tablets work a bit differently than most of the e-readers. If someone finds it they do  have access to all of your apps and email accounts that you have on file. I recommend that you add a password to your device, to provide a barrier for a bandit. Try and make a password that is not “password” or “123456789.” Find my Kindle is next to useless and should not be depended on.

Tablets are the type of item where it is next to impossible to get back once its stolen or lost. Blacklisting it from accessing core Amazon services would be a sufficient strategy to insure that a thief cannot use the device for their own dark ambitions. Often, a thief quickly resells it on Craigslist, and an unknowing customer cannot actually do anything with it. In this situation, normally Amazon will open a dialog with the new owner and get them to send it back in return for a discount on a new model.

What to do if your Amazon Kindle is Stolen or Lost is a post from: Good e-Reader

Apple TV Adds A&E, History Channel and Lifetime


Apple TV is expecting a major new hardware update in 2014 and the big rumor is that it will include iOS, which will allow companies to develop custom apps and games. Until then, we will have to settle for incremental additions whenever opportunity arises. Today, Apple unveiled three new channels with A&E, Lifetime and the History Channel.

Starting today you can get your fill of American Pickers, American Restoration, Pawn Stars, Storage Wars, and tons more! This is only available for American subscriptions and it is a bit of a pain to actually watch all of the shows on-demand. Instead of subscribing with iTunes you have to write down codes from the TV, visit the television providers website and make a new account. The whole process takes basically 15 minutes, which is quite daunting.

Apple TV Adds A&E, History Channel and Lifetime is a post from: Good e-Reader