Friday, June 6, 2014

DigiLand DL 7: Best Buy’s New $49 Android 4.4 Tablet

For some reason I was over at Best Buy’s website browsing through tablets when I came across a new listing for the ultra-cheap DigiLand DL 7 tablet. It’s a 7-inch Android tablet with a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor that runs Android 4.4 KitKat and comes with front and rear cameras, 4GB of storage space, 512MB […]

How to Setup a Kindle for a Guest or Child

One of the cool things with Kindles is you can load them up with ebooks and then give it to your kid or use it as a guest ebook reader to give to people who visit your home or office. The same thing can be done with Kindle Fire tablets. You can load them up […]

Barnes and Noble Orders 1 Million Samsung Tablets


Barnes and Noble and Samsung are releasing two co-branded tablets this year called Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK. This is the first time the Nation’s largest bookseller is outsourcing the hardware design and focusing exclusively on the software. According to a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing 8-K report B&N will purchase 1 million tablets over the course of the first 12 months of the deal. This will include black and white versions of a 7-inch model, and 60 days after that will be black and white models of a 10-inch tablet.

Samsung intends on spending an “undisclosed” amount of money on advertising the new tablets. This benefits Barnes and Nobles marketing budget, because Samsung will hype it in the critical US and UK markets.

Going the Samsung route is a double edged sword for Barnes and Noble. Their current generation 7 inch tablet has a resolution of 1440×900 pixels, while the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK will only have 1280 x 800. This is notable because magazines, newspapers and kids books won’t look as crisp as they do on the Nook HD. One bright spot is the overall processing power that will be upgraded to a quad-core chip, instead of the existing duel-core.

So why did Barnes and Noble go with Samsung instead of Microsoft, which gave the company 300 million dollars a few years ago? Well, Samsung was able to lure them in with a custom white label solution. There will be no Samsung bloatware on the tablet and B&N is responsible for their heavily customized UI and library of pre-installed apps. This tablet is an e-reader first, and will have an entirely new interface and experience that will be quite different from anything that Nook has done in the past. Customers will also be able to access Google Play to download all of their apps.

The new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook will have an official release date around August, and its likely that either in September or October existing B&N bookstores will be stocking them.

Barnes and Noble Orders 1 Million Samsung Tablets is a post from: Good e-Reader

Google Making a Bid for Songza

songzaLooks like Google is ready to spend some money again and this time their sights are set on Songza to the tune (if you will pardon the pun) of $15 million dollars. Songza is a popular music streaming app, competing with big names like Spotify and Pandora, with an emphasis on curation so that you can find exactly the song you want at exactly the moment you need it. Where services like Pandora try to find your new favourite song by making matches based on your existing preferences, Songza takes a play-list style approach, matching song selection to your activities (like exercising or trying to relax).

Because Google already has their Google Play Music service in place, the assumption is that this acquisition would be all about curation –making their existing offering smarter and more value added.

If the deal solidifies and finalizes, this new relationship for Google wouldn’t come long after Apple paid $3 billion for Beats (with $500 million of that price directed toward the streaming component), a company often praised for having strong curation in their music streaming app. With Pandora currently valued at $5 billion and Spotify coming in at $4 billion, Songza seems like a true bargain –especially if it gives Google any kind of leg up on their competition.

Google Making a Bid for Songza is a post from: Good e-Reader

How to Borrow and Lend Kindle eBooks to Friends and Family

A few years ago being able to lend other people your purchased, DRM-protected ebooks was a pretty big deal. But now the idea has kind of been put to the side and you don’t hear about it much anymore. In fact I pretty much forgot about personal ebook lending until Apple announced that iBooks purchases […]

New Asus Memo Pad 7″ and 8″ Tablets up for Pre-Order

Asus unveiled several new devices this past week at Computex. Among them are two new budget tablets, the Memo Pad 7 and Memo Pad 8 (ME176CX and ME181C). Both tablets are available for pre-order at Amazon, Newegg, TigerDirect and GameStop. The 7-inch Memo Pad is $149 and the

Lunar phase clock

We found a simply beautiful Raspberry Pi project over at Instructables: this illuminated lunar phase clock.

lunar clock

Using John Conway’s lunar phase algorithm (that’s the same John Conway who invented the cellular automaton Game of Life in the 1970s), some simple circuitry (some soldering required, but this is an easy enough job), and a bit of elbow-grease for that handsome case, Aleator777 has produced an excellent tutorial that gives you all the steps you need to create your own lunar clock.

We love artistic, decorative projects like this one – and it’s a good way to teach your kids a little astronomy. Suggestions for improvements? (We note, for example, that Conway’s lunar phase algorithm only works for this century and last century.) Leave them in the comments!

Rowling/Gilbraith Excerpt Now Available

Image by One Minute News.

Image by One Minute News.

Longtime fans of JK Rowling and her new persona, Robert Gilbraith, have something to look forward to this month. The second installment in the Gilbraith mystery series will be released, but the publisher has posted a sneak preview of the title HERE. The Sphere, which follows book one, The Cuckoo’s Calling, will launch on June 19th.

In The Sphere, Cormoran Strike is once again on the case with help from his secretary Robin. Joining (and possibly foiling) the cast of characters is an underhanded reporter, Dominic Culpepper, and together the three are entangled in a plot for relationship revenge that involves secret documents that bring down an important figure.

We have to wonder if this isn’t a case of art mimicking reality, at least as far as the author is concerned. When Rowling first announced her return to long-form publishing with the release of a first mainstream fiction work for adults, fans were eager, to say the least. Unfortunately, the reception of that effort, A Casual Vacancy, was lukewarm at best once all the reviews were averaged. Rowling didn’t give up writing, but instead turned to a male pen name to serve as a way to write the story she wanted to write, without fear of being compared to her previous Harry Potter glory.

The first book she wrote as Gilbraith hardly took off by publishing industry standards, with only 1,500 copies in its first month. After her lawyer leaked her identity as the author, however, new print runs had to be ordered to keep up with demand. Rowling has confirmed that the leak was not a planned publicity stunt, which makes sense given her history of feedback from her adult titles. Much like the storyline in The Sphere, however, when the turmoil and consequences over releasing private, secure information in the media is the main theme, we may see a glimpse of how this news impacted the author herself.

Rowling/Gilbraith Excerpt Now Available is a post from: Good e-Reader