Thursday, June 12, 2014

Samsung Announces Galaxy Tab S


Samsung has been releasing so many tablets this year, its hard to keep track of the good, bad and the ugly. The Galaxy PRO, the Galaxy Tab and now the Galaxy Tab S are all vying for your attention. Is there anything compelling about this new one worth writing home about?

Bad puns aside, the Galaxy Tab S comes in a 8.4 and 10.5 inch edition. These models have ultra high-resolutions (2560 x 1600) with a Super AMOLED display. This certainly puts the iPad Air on notice, as they only have 2,048 x 1,536 pixels. According to Samsung, the Tab S’s display has a more accurate color range, better contrast, and higher outdoor visibility than an LCD display. Maybe with resolution like this, we may finally start seeing some of the Retina enabled magazines and comics finally make the jump to Android.

The Tab S models weigh slightly less than their iPad counterparts, with the Tab S 8.4 coming in at 10 ounces or 294 grams, compared to the Mini Retina’s 331 grams. Meanwhile the Tab 10.5 is a solid 465 grams, or 4 grams less than what the iPad Air weighs. Samsung is touting the fact that these are the lightest and slimmest tablets they have ever made.

Underneath the hood is a Exynos 5 Octa, an octa-core mobile CPU that splits duties between a 1.9 GHz quad-core processor and 1.3 GHz quad-core processor. It has a 64 bit architecture, so it should solidly multitask and play any game you can throw at it. It also has 3GB of RAM, 16GB of internal memory and SD Card support for up to 128GB. It is obviously running Android, and the latest version with 4.4 Kitkat.

You can shoot some video with the 8-megapixel rear-facing camera (with flash) and a 2.1-megapixel front-facing camera for selfies and video chats. It also has a neat fingerprint sensor, that will allow it to take advantage of all the companies now offering fingerprint unlock functionality. The big rumor right now is that PAYPAL is spearheading a new system to take advantage of this.

Samsung has been going into overdrive with making arrangements with content providers. These tablets will be bundled with Kindle for Samsung, Marvel Unlimited, Milk and Paperfold. Other apps such as Group Play, S-Note, S Translator, Samsung Link, Scrapbook, Story Album and Video Editor are pre installed, while Gear Manager, Gear Fit Manager, Samsung Smart Switch, Samsung Level, E-meeting, Kids Mode, Kids Piano, S-Console, Hanshow, Hancell and Hanwrite are available to download.

Are these new tablets worth it? Well it is the lightest and thinnest they have ever made, it also has the highest resolution. 3GB of RAM and a super quadcore chip is actually fairly solid. If you have something a few years old and like Android, this may float your boat. The downside is not much content takes advantage of this high resolution on the Android ecosystem. Likely, you will not have a ton of developers porting their content exclusively for this, like they do the iPad Mini with Retina or the iPad Air.

Samsung Announces Galaxy Tab S is a post from: Good e-Reader

Samsung Gives 3 Free Months of Access to Marvel Unlimited


Marvel and Samsung has signed a multi year agreement that will bundle the Marvel Unlimited subscription based comic book system to all future Phones and tablets. Readers will enjoy three free months of access to Unlimited, which will allow for reading as many comics as you want on a monthly basis.

Samsung has been reaching out to companies to help distinguish themselves in the marketplace. The ironed out a similar agreement with Amazon a few months ago that will give one free eBook a month to anyone who has the Kindle for Samsung app installed on their device. The Marvel Unlimited deal goes far beyond just digital comics though.

Beginning with the launch of the Galaxy Tab S, Samsung will debut a wealth of exclusive content. Over the next year, customers will have access to early sneak peeks for Marvel movies debuting in 2015 including Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Classic Marvel One-Shots, and a host of other great content.

The partnership between Samsung and Marvel will activate across a wide range of touch-points with exclusive content, custom Marvel-branded Samsung products, event activations and feature film integrations.

Samsung Gives 3 Free Months of Access to Marvel Unlimited is a post from: Good e-Reader

Wiley Acquires SimBioSys, Accelerates Research Tools

The world of publishing, especially scholarly and academic publishing, isn’t just about putting information on paper and selling it to schools. As information solutions provider John Wiley & Sons knows, it’s really about making data and information available to the people who need it most.

In an statement from earlier today, Wiley announced the acquisition of SimBioSys, a scientific software tool developer that is widely know for facilitating the drug discovery process. This acquisition will pair the proven capabilities of SimBioSys’ research-driven platform with Wiley’s knowledge solutions for researchers and the educational community.

"Wiley has deep roots in top quality chemistry publishing with high-profile international chemistry society partnerships and extensive chemical databases, journals, books and references," said Steve Miron, Senior Vice President of Wiley's Global Research business. "By combining our traditional published content and databases with machine learning algorithms, we can support chemists in innovative research as they advance world knowledge."

"The acquisition of SimBioSys accelerates the development of Wiley Science Solutions, our integrated suite of workflow tools for researchers," said Dr. Mike Davis, Vice President and Managing Director, Research Innovations "SymBioSys has developed technology that enables the computer to learn organic chemistry. These tools enable chemists working in industry and academia to find new and better ways of synthesizing target compounds, saving them time and money."

Wiley Acquires SimBioSys, Accelerates Research Tools is a post from: Good e-Reader

Top 10 Android Apps of the Week – June 12 2014


This week has been massive for new and updated apps hitting the Android scene. Angry Birds finally released Epic, Mobage and Dena also put out some big updates. Today, we are going to look at the 10 top new and updated apps that you should take a serious look at. All of these apps are downloaded in one click from the Good e-Reader App Store, by clicking on the name of the app. If the app has been moved, use search on the site.

Angry Birds Epic - Get ready for a bird-tastic FREE RPG adventure filled with "weapons" (whatever they could get ahold of), magic, bad guys and silly hats! Lead your feathery team into battle now – it's going to be EPIC!

Lumosity – Train your memory and attention. Used by over 60 million people worldwide, Lumosity is a Personal Training Program that challenges your brain.

Soundgarden – The ultimate experience of Soundgarden's 20th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition of Superunknown, mixed in DTS Headphone:XTM. This immersive new technology allows you to experience the album in 11.1 surround sound, turning your normal stereo headphones into a panoramic listening experience.

FOX Sports GO - With FOX Sports GO, you can watch live sports and great shows from FOX Sports. Depending on your TV provider, FOX Sports, FOX Sports 1, FOX Sports 2, your regional FOX Sports Network, FOX College Sports and FOX Deportes may be available  . No matter where you go, take FOX Sports with you on your Android device.

Lebron - LeBron James shares his life on his phone, but he's putting it down to focus on the playoffs. Don't want to miss out? Don't worry, we got you.

Orange is the new app –  This free app from Netflix lets you be Alex's little spoon, rock a sweet pornstache and show your love for your favorite Litchfield ladies. Just pick a card, customize it with your own message, add a photo, and share it with your dandelions on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, SMS and more.

SimplyText SMS Text Messaging – SimplyText is texting, done better. A great replacement app for the stock SMS messaging app for your phone.

Break Bricks – Familiar to play, yet hard to master, Break Bricks brings fresh challenges and unanticipated obstacles to breakout players around the world. In this entrancing game of skill and spatial awareness, it is your job to destroy all the bricks by using the walls and the paddle below to ricochet the ball against the bricks and knock down them.

Skoobe – the digital library – Enjoy unlimited access to thousands of eBooks. For a small monthly fee you can read as many books as you like.

Summoners War: Sky Arena – Come explore a world under battle over the vital resource: Mana Crystals! Summon over 400 different types of monsters to compete for victory in the Sky Arena!

Top 10 Android Apps of the Week – June 12 2014 is a post from: Good e-Reader

Angry Birds Goes EPIC Now Available on Android


Life is filled with certain truths and inevitability: the nicest thing about the future is that it always starts tomorrow… and at some point, every human being with a smartphone or tablet will become addicted to Angry Birds. Now consider for a moment what would happen if you combine the fun of an RPG adventure game with the bird-tastic awesomeness of the Angry Birds franchise? Sufficed to say, it would be EPIC.

We all know these birds can fly, but can they do battle? Armed with hilarious weapons like a frying pan or a “stick thingy with a sponge on top”, you will be charged with leading a heroic flock of feathery familiars (like Red, Chuck, and Bomb) into turn-based combat scenarios across grand worlds (like a fantasy Piggy Island complete with tribal villages, frosty mountains, tropical beaches, and mysterious caves). The more you succeed, the higher your characters level up and the more armor, weapons, and potions become available to defeat King Pig, Wiz Pig, Prince Porky, and more!

The game is shockingly free, though you will be subjected to a little paid commercial content from select partners; seems a small price to pay for the quirky and offbeat humor that Angry Birds offers and we all fall so easily in love with.

Download Angry Birds Epic! from the Good e-Reader App Store for FREE.

Angry Birds Goes EPIC Now Available on Android is a post from: Good e-Reader

Firefox OS Apps Work on Android


Many of you will be familiar with the news that Mozilla’s Firefox OS has been designed and released to run on inexpensive smartphones and tablets (with a series of $25 smartphones already announced that will be running the operating system set for sale in India and Indonesia). What you may not be aware of is that the apps for Firefox OS are built using web technologies like HTML5 so they will also run on your Android device using Firefox for Android 29 (or later).

This extension of the Firefox Open Web Apps ecosystem translates into being able to manage a web app in the same manner as you would a native app: install/update/uninstall, see apps appear in the App Drawer and the Recent Apps list, and create shortcuts on the home screen.

To browse the current catalog of Firefox OS apps, visit the Firefox Marketplace.

One of the biggest advantages being marketed to developers is that apps they create will run on so many platforms without extra effort (in theory, apps should also run in any platform that has a web browser).

Firefox OS Apps Work on Android is a post from: Good e-Reader

Microsoft Offers Outlook on Android for Business Accounts


Android users with business email service through Microsoft Office 365 are in luck –today the company announced a preview version of their Outlook Web App (OWA) for your devices (as long as they are running Android 4.4 KitKat or higher, which may be a problem for many of you with devices that do not support this build). Similar in function to the existing Outlook app that was released for iOS last year, Outlook Web App provides all of the base functionality you need to manage your email, schedule and contacts securely from your smartphone.

If you qualify, you will be able to schedule meetings (including the ability to use the free/busy and room finder features), view shared calendars, use your voice to look up contacts or check your schedule, update your contacts’ information –all without using Exchange ActiveSync and all done from the palm of your hand while keeping your business data secure.

If you don’t qualify, there is no need to panic –Microsoft indicates that the reason for this pre-release is to “gather feedback, fix bugs, and generally make sure the app is ready for prime time.” They also noted that support for additional devices is already planned and will be added regularly.

Currently the Outlook Web App will not work for email accounts (formerly Hotmail) or Microsoft Office 365 Personal and Home Premium services, but but all expectations are that it will be extended to those services soon.

Microsoft Offers Outlook on Android for Business Accounts is a post from: Good e-Reader

Hachette Derives 60% of eBook Revenue from Amazon


Amazon and Hachette are locked in a contract battle that may decide the future of the publishing industry. Amazon wants lower prices on print and digital titles so it can increase its profit margins, Hachette is obviously resistant to the entire concept. Amazon has disabled pre-orders of all Hachette titles and has implemented a five week shipping delay on a huge catalog of print books. A recently leaked investor slideshow sheds light on how reliant Hachette is on Amazon for their worldwide eBook sales.

Amazon currently represents 60% of all Hachette eBook sales in the US, followed by B&N (18%) and Apple (12%). In the United Kingdom 78% of all digital sales derive from Amazon, followed by Apple (12%) and Kobo (5%).

Worldwide Hachette is currently the 3rd largest publisher in terms of eBook sales. 50% of their revenue in the US stems from trade and 25% from their education unit and another 25% from the profits of distribution. In the UK they derive 87% of their income from fiction and nonfiction sales. In 2013 over 16,452 books were published and 84 eBooks were showcased on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Hachette acknowledges a slowdown in their growth in the US and stabilization in the critical UK market. This is primary due to authors self-publishing via Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Barnes and Noble Nook Press, and Archway Publishing. Authors simply aren’t relying on major publishers like they used to, and this factor is making Hachette hit the glass ceiling.

When it comes to the future of digital book sales, Hachette is quite bullish. Ebooks share of total sales in the USA should continue to increase but at a lower pace to stabilize between 25-35% by 2017. UK market will follow the US market trend with ebook share reaching 35% of 2017 total
market. In France, despite a protracted take-off, ebooks will account for 10-15% of Trade market with Hachette Livre leading the charge.

All of these statistics from the leaked investors document showcase how reliant Hachette is on their digital sales in the US and UK by Amazon. This is prompting them to establish new relationships with Books A Million and other digital book stores, to offset the losses.

Hachette Derives 60% of eBook Revenue from Amazon is a post from: Good e-Reader

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Weekly eHighlights – Kids and Teens


Welcome to this month's eHighlights newsletter for kids and teens. Check back on the second Thursday of every month for a new edition listing some of the best new youth titles added to OverDrive's Marketplace. The featured titles below are some of the best picks, but click on the link to see these and even more great purchases all ready for you in a Marketplace cart.

Click here for the Marketplace cart of these titles and more great new choices for kids and teens.



Megan Frazer Blakemore – The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill– Ages 8-12
Bloomsbury USA eBook

It's 1953, the height of the McCarthy era, and when Hazel hears rumors that there is a Communist Spy in town, she just has to investigate. “A strong work of historical fiction for mystery fans.” —School Library Journal. An Amazon Best Book of the Month.


Soman Chainani – A World without Princes– Ages 10 and up
HarperCollins eBook

Sophie and Agatha return home from the School of Good and Evil as friends, but when they are forced to revisit, they find the school has changed. Now it's the girls against the boys, with a manipulative dean who thinks girls should make their own happy endings. Book 2 in the series. Book 1 was a bestseller. Soon to be a movie.


Eoin Colfer – The Hangman's Revolution- Teens
Books on Tape audiobook read b Maxwell Caulfield

Young time-traveling FBI agent Chevie Savano is back in London after visiting the Victorian Age, to find that the present has totally changed. Europe is being run by a Fascist movement, and the Secret Police are after her. Book 2 of the W.A.R.P. series. By the author of the Artemis Fowl books. 250,000 print run.


Andrea Cremer – The Inventor's SecretTeens
Penguin eBook and Dreamscape Media audiobook read by Leslie Bellair

In this Steampunk world, the British have won the Revolutionary War. Charlotte and her older brother Ash are children of revolutionaries who are ready to keep fighting once they're old enough. Cremer is the author of the bestselling Nightshade series. Io9: Essential Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Coming in 2014. 120,000 print run.


James Dean – Pete the Cat: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star ­- Preschool
HarperCollins audiobook performed by Lewis Grosso

The famous Pete the Cat sings an old classic…in his own way. 250,000 print run.


Jennifer Donnelly – Deep BlueTeens
Books on Tape audiobook read by Bea Miller

Six heroic mermaids work together to prevent a war among the Mer nations. Book 1 of a new series by the author of A Northern Light, a Printz honor book. 300,000 print run.


Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl – Dangerous CreaturesTeens
Hachette Digital eBook and Blackstone audiobook read by Khristine Hvam

Ridley Duchannes is a siren. She can make anybody do anything. But when she goes with her boyfriend Link to join a band in New York City, she finds that she is definitely not the baddest person in the place, and they may both be in real trouble. VOYA starred review. Kirkus: "smart, textured, and romantic." 250,000 print run.


Lisa Graff – Absolutely AlmostAges 8-12
Penguin Group eBook

Albie has learning difficulties, but no one seems to understand that. He is transferred from private to public school, his dad tells him to just try harder, his mom takes away Captain Underpants and gives him Johnny Tremain to read, and his grandfather predicts he will end up in a ditch. But then his new babysitter arrives, feeds him donuts, makes a cover for Captain Underpants that says Johnny Tremain instead, and things begin to get a little better. Booklist starred review. An Amazon Best Middle Grade Book of the Month.


S. E. Grove – The Glass SentenceAges 10 and up
Penguin Group eBook

It's Boston in 1891, but not the Boston that we know. In 1799, the continents were all thrown into different time periods. Sophia comes from a family of explorers and mapmakers and has never been out of the city, but her parents left her with her uncle eight years ago and never came back, and now her uncle has disappeared. She has to find them. With convincing world building and a fast moving plot, Kirkus called it "wholly original and marvelous beyond compare." Kirkus & Publishers Weekly starred reviews. An Amazon Best Middle Grade Book of the Month.


C. C. Hunter – RebornTeens
Macmillan audiobook read by Katie Schorr

Della has been turned into a vampire, which ruins her perfect life. Then she's sent to a camp for teens with paranormal powers and is training to be a paranormal investigator. But there's this gorgeous shape shifter and that other sexy vampire…. 150,000 print run.


Erin Hunter – The Endless LakeAges 8-12
HarperCollins eBook

The story of Lucky and the pack of dogs continues in this fifth installment of the Survivors series. The Pack has come to the edge of a strange lake that seems to stretch on forever, and Lucky discovers that there is barely enough food to survive.

150,000 print run.


Diana Wynne Jones & Ursula Jones – The Islands of Chaldea
HarperCollins eBook

When beloved author Diana Wynne Jones died in 2011, she left behind a few unfinished books. This one was completed by her sister Ursula. Aileen comes from a long line of magicians, but she hasn't grown into her magic yet. While on a mission for the King, she meets a mostly invisible cat who changes everything.


Peter Lerangis – The Tomb of ShadowsAges 8-12
HarperCollins eBook and audiobook read by Johnathan McClain

Jack McKinley and his friends travel to the Mausoleum at Helicarnassus on their way to all seven of the wonders of the world. Billed as Percy Jackson meets Indiana Jones. The first two books were bestsellers, and this is number three in the series. 125,000 print run.                                       


Cammie McGovern – Say What You WillTeens
HarperCollins eBook and audiobook read by Rebecca Lowman

Amy has cerebral palsy, and though she has made it to her senior year in high school, she has never socialized with any of her classmates until Matt, who has obsessive compulsive disorder, breaks through to her. John Green fans will love this one. Booklist starred review. An Amazon Best Teen & YA Book of the Month. 100,000 print run.


Mary Pope Osborne & Sal Murdocca – Soccer on Sunday– Ages 7-10
Random House eBook

Just in time for the World Cup! Jack and Annie meet a young soccer player in Mexico who wants to be like his hero Pele. The latest–#52–in the ever popular Magic Treehouse series. 300,000 print run.


Megan Jean Sovern – The Meaning of MaggieAges 8-12
Chronicle Books eBook

Set in the early 1990s. Maggie, who intends to become President one day, decides that she must write her memoir of the year that changed everything. As her father's multiple sclerosis gets worse, he and Maggie's mother share stories of their wild hippie days, and Maggie learns a lot about herself as well. An Amazon Best Book of the Month.


Maggie Stiefvater – SinnerTeens
Scholastic eBook

Cole St. Clair goes to California to see if he can get Isabel Culpepper back in his life. In the meantime, Isabel is not finding life worth living without Cole. Shiver series Book 4. Romantic Times Most Anticipated YA Books of 2014. 200,000 print run.


Geronimo Stilton – I'm Too Fond of My Fur– Ages 7-10
Scholastic eBook

Geronimo Stilton, the mouse who owns a newspaper, is on his way to climb Mouse Everest, but it's too cold, even if you have fur! Don't miss this bestselling series.




Rick Atkinson – D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy, 1944– Ages 8-12
Macmillan audiobook read by Jason Culp

Acclaimed historian Atkinson has written the story of the Normandy Invasion for kids. An Amazon Best Book of the Month. 100,000 print run.


Niki Foreman – Shark Reef– Ages 7-9
Dorling Kindersley eBook

Listen in on the conversation among sharks on a reef, including what they think of divers! For beginning readers.


Kerrie Logan Hollihan – Reporting under Fire: 16 Daring Women War Correspondents and Photojournalists– Ages 12 and up
Chicago Review Press eBook

Hollihan profiles daring women journalists throughout history. Heavily illustrated. School Library Journal: “A well-researched and riveting book."


Mary Pope Osborne & Sal Murdocca – Soccer: A Nonfiction Companion to Magic Treehouse #52– Ages 7-10 years
Random House eBook

A companion fact book for the latest Magic Treehouse fiction title on soccer. The series has sold over 120 million books since its inception.


Pollack, Pamela D. – Who Is George Lucas? – Ages 8-12
Grosset & Dunlap

A biography of the famous film director written for the middle grades. An Amazon Best Book of the Month.

Click here for the Marketplace cart of these titles and more great new choices for kids and teens.


*Geographical rights may vary by title.


My first best friend

My dad, or Pops as I like to call him, was my first best friend. In fact, until I met my wife I probably spent more time with Pops than anyone else in my life. Pops and I have seen just about every corner of Ohio and its neighboring states. Growing up, sports were one of the many things that bonded the two of us. I can't tell you how many countless hours he spent driving me to baseball fields all across the state, listening to the Moody Blues or Fleetwood Mac as I drifted in and out of naps. There are only so many corn fields you can look at before you start to get drowsy.

Pops would also follow our high school football team on Friday and Saturday nights to whatever tiny city we happened to be playing in. No distance was too far and he always was there, not just for the start of the game but he'd often times beat the bus to the school and be around during our warms ups as well. Pops was my coach in the stands: always taping games to make sure I could correct the mistakes I made. But he was also my biggest fan. I've lost track of how many of his clients I've met that would say "Oh so YOU'RE the baseball player he still talks about!" It's a nice feeling.

Pops and I would spend evenings going to the gym or batting cages and when it came to equipment like a new bat or glove he always made sure I had what I needed. It wasn't just sporting events that Pops was present for though. He never missed a theater performance, article I'd written or the chance to ask me how a presentation went at school. I guess I was a strange kid to never go through that "I hate my parents" phase, but when you're dad is your first best friend, why waste time being mad at him for petty reasons?

Pops is also the main reason I'm comfortable in my own skin. He has the ability to talk to anyone about anything and he's why I'm able to do things like pretend to be a game show host in front of over 500 people at Digipalooza. He's also the motivation for my passion for brightly colored clothing, Cleveland sports, and mindless action movies with superheroes and impossible monsters.

MonsterAtTheEndOfThisBookI have a million memories I could share about my dad, but interestingly the first one I remember is one that helped lead me to where I am today. The first real memory I have is Pops reading two books to my brother and me. The first one was the Sesame Street classic There's a Monster at the end of this book and the second one was one of the NFL Huddles series where each NFL football team is represented by a kid (or animal) wearing their uniforms. The memory I have isn't about the books though, because Pops didn't actually read the stories on the pages. Instead, I remember him making up entire tales on the fly, complete with characters that had different voices and even sound effects. Pops made the pictures come to life. Maybe he didn't realize it at the time but he was teaching us so many lessons when he did this: creativity, a love of reading and, perhaps most importantly, to never be afraid to act a little silly.

Pops and I still talk multiple times a week about "My Cleveland Indians," as he calls them, and how maybe this is the year the Browns will finally turn it around. We talk for hours about individual hitters, plays and what we think they need to do. I cherish every one of these conversations and try to make them last as long as possible. It's the sort of thing you do when you're talking to your first best friend. Happy Father's Day, Pops.

Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communications Specialist at OverDrive and, thanks to his Pops, he owns multiple neon pink shirts.

Amazon Prime Music Now Available

prime music

Amazon has officially unveiled Prime Music, which is exclusively available to members who pay the annual $99 Prime subscription fee. The service is competing against a number of established players in the market, such as Spotify and Beats Music.

Prime Music has a catalog of over one million tracks, contributed from Warner Music Group and Sony Music – as well as from large independent labels.The largest label in the world, Universal has not contributed any material.

Amazon has their work cut out for them competing against Spotify, Deezer and soon to be acquired by Apple, Beats Audio. These two companies have over 20 million tracks, and have highly developed curated playlists.

With millions of music tracks to choose from, it can get overwhelming when you try and discover new music. Amazon Prime Music is launching with hundreds of “Prime Playlists” created by Amazon’s editorial team, grouped by genre (Pop, Alternative & Indie Rock) as well as context (Happy & Upbeat, Party Time & Entertaining, Work, Study & Reading and more) Most of the playlists have older tracks on them and new ones will take six months from their release to become available on the new Amazon service.

Amazon Prime Music will be available to listen offline and doesn’t need an internet connection once the content is downloaded. You will also be able to scintillate your ears on any of the Kindle Fire tablets, and iOS. I was told an Android app is incomming, but is not available yet.

Amazon Prime Music Now Available is a post from: Good e-Reader

Smashwords Adds Daily Sales Reports for Authors

Daily Sales Reports
With so much emphasis and recent news on authors and what they truly earn, the industry as a whole is taking a good look at how this information is shared with the content creators. Traditional publishers have long issued quarterly sales reports to their authors, often distributed three months after the fact, and that’s one of the many reasons authors cite for trying to go it alone. Now, eBook distribution and self-publishing platform Smashwords has added a whole new level of author service to its already streamlined yet dynamic platform: daily sales reporting.

Smashwords, who sells author content as well as distributes that content to major retailers of authors’ choice, gives authors the option to sell their ebooks through Smashwords at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Apple, Flipkart, and a few other retailers, as well as to distribute their work for lending to OverDrive, Oyster, and Scribd. The company announced last night in a blog post that it will begin daily reporting to authors of sales that happen at iBooks, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, OverDrive, and the Smashwords store.

“The reports provide authors and publishers unprecedented insight into recent sales performance across the largest Smashwords retailers,” wrote CEO and founder Mark Coker in the post. “Authors can use the reports to gain rapid feedback on the effectiveness of marketing and promotion campaigns.

“You can view your aggregated performance over the prior seven day or 30 day period, with drill-down views by retailer, title or series. There are also one-click filters to view priced books, free books, all books and accumulated preorders (iBooks only). Publishers and literary agents who manage multiple authors can drill down and view author-specific performance.”The information provided to authors in these reports is updated round-the-clock, with same-day daily updates every three hours for Barnes & Noble, next-day daily updates for iBooks and Kobo, and same-day daily every 30 minutes for the Smashwords store. This constant data checking for authors joins Smashwords’ already in place method of submitting new content to these retailers several times a day, meaning work distributed through Smashwords makes its way to retailers’ online catalogs even faster than before.

Smashwords Adds Daily Sales Reports for Authors is a post from: Good e-Reader

Game of Thrones Nintendo keytar hack

What do you get if you cross a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), a Guitar Hero Controller, a Famicom Controller, a Raspberry Pi and a toy keyboard?

venn diagram

You don’t *really* get a duck-billed platypus, but this Venn diagram is so good I had to work it in somehow.

What you actually get is this: a homemade keytar which uses the NES’s lovely grungy old 8-bit analogue sound chip to make sweet, sweet synthesised tunes.

Theremin Hero has built the keytar of our dreams. He says a build diary is coming soon – from what we can make out there’s a degree of sophistication in there, with the Guitar Hero controller providing octave up/down, slide and modulation input; we’re dying to find out what that Famicom controller is doing. (I’ll update this post when build details are available.)

I am off now to fall down the YouTube rabbit hole of laser harps and theremins. Thanks Theremin Hero – this is mind-alteringly fabulous.

Rumor: Blackberry to Sack another 2,000 Jobs – Including Developer Relations Team


Blackberry is rumored to be cutting 2,000 at its Waterloo headquarters. The entire Developer Relations team (including Marty Mallick) will be let go, and parts of engineering.

One of the main downsides of the elimination of the Developer Relations Team will be the noticeable drop in establishing new relationships with app studios to have them make apps for Blackberry World. Existing developers will also experience decreased support levels.  The end result of this move will dramatically reduce the quality of new apps being made available for anyone who has a Blackberry 10 phone.

The Blackberry Developers Team deserves to be fired. In the last six months they have not signed any big apps to be listed in their store. The team is out of touch on the most popular new apps being developed and are fully compatible with Blackberry. Alec Saunders was one of the more vocal members of this team, but since he changed position to be the VP of QNX, things have been very quiet.

Good e-Reader is in a position to speak of the lack of quality in the new apps being added to Blackberry World because we maintain our own Blackberry 10 and Blackberry Playbook App Store. We spend countless hours every single day monitoring all of the most compelling new apps and testing them on a wide array of  BB devices. This is why you can find Instagram, Snapchat, FIFA, LINE, Netflix, Adobe Photoshop on our app store and not Blackberry.  Blackberry also has a super complicated system for developers to port their apps over to the BAR format. You have to install a bunch of SDK files, Java and a ton of other small aspects. This provided a barrier for your average developer. Do you know what we did? We made a ridiculously easy (and free) APK to BAR convertor that over 144,000 people use every single day.

Basically, we have a better selection of quality apps than even Blackberry does and we have better support tools for developers. It is highly amusing that a four person team can build a better ecosystem than a company of 8,000. Sorry to say, but all of the teams involved in Blackberry World and Developers Relations deserve to be fired.

Rumor: Blackberry to Sack another 2,000 Jobs – Including Developer Relations Team is a post from: Good e-Reader