Young people are increasingly turning to technology such as smartphones and tablets as an avenue to keep themselves entertained. This comes at the expense of spending leisure time expanding their minds through the process of reading. The American Time Use Survey recently issued a report that will be quite startling for parents. It proclaims that teenagers 15 to 19 only read for around 4 minutes a day.
This report basically ascertains that young people’s reading habits are utterly disdainful. Four minutes a day does not amount to much quality time devouring literature. At this pace, it would take over a year and a half to read Donna Tartt’s The GoldFinch.
Americans ages 25 to 34 spend about eight minutes a day on weekends and holidays reading, while ages 20 to 24 spend about 10. The saving grace of the report is that Americans over 75 spend more than an hour a day reading over weekends and holiday. The voracious reading habits of older people likely comes from an era where reading was the only form of entertainment, that was easily accessible.
“The electronic platforms on which children read also hold a host of diversions that are only a click away, competing for children’s time and attention,” the report says. “In addition to ebooks, these platforms may include games, apps, websites, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and a multitude of innovative ways of watching TV and movies.”
Friday, June 20, 2014
It seems like the kind of story that should be later-revealed as a joke: a crazy simple app is released with $1 million in venture capital funding and then a few days later it gets hacked. This is what happened to Yo –an app that lets you say “Yo” to your friends. Literally. The app, developed by Life Before Us LLC, is actually the result of an April Fool’s joke gone wild. By their logic, sending a message that says nothing more than “Yo” tells your friends everything they really need to know: yes I am awake, I am thinking of you, I’ve just arrived, I’m on my way (ad nauseam).
So why did they get big-time funding? It is all about potential. Piloted with the World Cup, users with the WORLDCUP user on their contact list will get a ‘Yo’ on every goal. Other suggestions include a ‘Yo’ when your order is ready at Starbucks or a friend’s plane lands at the airport. When you think of it that way, it makes a little more sense.
Unfortunately, without a security team and time spent considering app architecture, you are vulnerable to attack –and that is exactly what happened. It didn’t take long for a group of college students to discover that they can view any phone number associated with users in your list (and then allow for the hacker to spoof messages using the app).
The moral of the story is to be careful and be cautious, especially when it comes to trendy communication apps that seemingly come from out of nowhere.
Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse is definitely not the kind of game you think of when your mind goes to Disney. Sure it includes Mickey Mouse and it’s true that he’s doing his best to rescue Minnie from the evil witch Mizrabel; in this game he is doing it through a rather dark and ominous setting: the Castle of Illusions. Described by Sega as a ‘reimagining’ of their classic Sega Genesis title, players can expect to enjoy pretty amazing 3D graphics (over the old 2D sprites seen in the original).
Despite the inclusion of Mickey Mouse as the star, this really isn’t a game meant for children. Filled with hidden challenges, exciting costumes, powerful minions and the Disney-trademark world of wonder, Castle of Illusion forces you to solve puzzles among “rebellion toys” and “mazes of living books”.
You can grab Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse from Google Play for $9.99USD –a price that may seem a little steep (to those of you who don’t value nostalgia), but it does mean that you will not be faced with countless in-app purchases as you go along.
Those of us who love old-fashioned role-playing games will have a soft spot for Warhammer, even if it isn’t a title you have played. Known for the custom paint-jobs on tiny figurines and battlements, the franchise made the move to video games some time ago. This move now includes Warhammer 40,000: Carnage, now out for Android (it was available for iOS last month).
Complex story-lines are present, arming you (as one of the powerful space marine characters like the Ultramarine or Blood Angel) with crazy-fun weapons (like the boltgun, chainsword, and thunder hammers). Your mission is to maneuver through this side-scroller action game until you compete the mission to obliterate “nasty little Orks.”
No details were spared adding in the bells and whistles: over 500 classic wargear items are available, 50 levels are available through free expansion packs (and there are 9 different ways to play each one of them). For those who crave the interaction with friends that make RPGs so special, connect and co-op with other players using Google Play or Facebook.
You can download Warhammer 40,000: Carnage from the Google Play store for the bargain price of $6.99 (when you consider the prior investment required for equipment and time to play it on the table-top).
SNK Playmore has a new game in store for us following the success of their The King of Fighters franchise. The new title, The Rhythm of Fighters is set to launch for Android and iOS systems ‘soon,’ though no specific date is yet known.
Being labelled as a mix of ‘brawler and music game’, actual details on the gameplay are lacking at the moment. Through teasers we are told the battles will be rhythm-based and require the completion of special moves and combos (set to legendary SNK tracks) –and while the combination sounds fun, it is unlikely to be a great ‘waiting room time-sink’ when you need volume to play (unless you are more prepared than I usually am and have headphones in your pocket at all times).
It has been a while since we saw a new title from SNK Playmore: the launch of the first installment of The King of Fighters came in 1994 with the latest release being The King of Fighters 13 in 2009.
OverDrive is excited to offer more than 900 Grove/Atlantic eBooks, now live and available for purchase in Marketplace.
Grove/Atlantic is an American independent publisher whose notable authors include: Samuel Beckett, Mark Bowden, William S. Burroughs, Candace Bushnell, Charles Frazier, Jim Harrison, Michael Tolkin, Sherman Alexie, John Kennedy Toole, Joyce Carol Oates and many more.
Please click on the links below to explore all of the great new titles. I am personally ecstatic that A Confederacy of Dunces is available as well as The Warriors and Naked Lunch. Be sure to stock up on extra copies, as I am sure I am not the only one. Look for more hot titles coming soon!
As always, we are also available to assist you with the addition of Grove/Atlantic titles to your catalog; email email@example.com for more information.
Please note that title availability may vary by geographic location and platform.
Rachel Kray is a Collection Development Analyst at OverDrive.
The popularity of audiobooks is on the rise, and it’s no wonder – there are so many great things about listening to a good book. There’s the convenience, obviously: you can multitask to your heart’s content. The biggest excuse I have for not reading more often is always “I just don’t have the time.” But with audiobooks, I can run errands, clean, go for a jog or make dinner all while donning headphones and losing myself in the latest bestseller. It’s more than just that, though. Audiobooks help those who are visually impaired experience new books, help reluctant readers stay interested, and help those with physical limitations fly through chapters without needing to hold books or turn pages.
For the past week I have been listening to Lauren Oliver's latest YA novel, Panic. Sarah Drew does a fantastic job bringing the characters to life through her narration. "Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a poor town of twelve thousand people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do." If that little teaser doesn't get you interested, then take a moment to listen to this mp3 sample of "Panic" available in Marketplace now.
Don’t forget to take advantage of the Audiobook Month sale, with more than 14,000 mp3 audiobooks 30-50% off during June. As always, contact your Collection Development Specialist with any questions or if you need assistance.
Laura Guldeman is a Collection Development Analyst at OverDrive.
|The first video of the new Onyx Boox M96 turned up on YouTube today. It’s a quick video demonstrating how to setup a PDF file for optimal viewing. The Onyx Boox M96 is the lasted 9.7-inch E Ink ebook reader from Onyx. It’s essentially an updated version of the Boox M92, aka the Icarus Excel […]|
As a key supporter of open standards in the internet, non-profit Mozilla–the creators of the Firefox web browser, among other innovations–is working with The New York Times and The Washington Post on this initiative. Currently, news sites have to screen reader comments before posting immediately, which can not only be a drain on manpower but can also lead to readers leaving the website. With advertising considerations, sites want readers to spend as much time as possible on their websites; the bigger issue, of course, is that readers cannot stay engaged in the discourse if they have to wait for their comments to be approved.
It’s also possible that a lot of the notoriously bad behavior found in the comments sections of news sites and other posting platforms stems from that same feeling of disconnectedness. If commenters know that their feedback is valued and contributes to the ongoing dialogue, there is a valid hope that their comments will be more purposeful. As it stands, sites that require difficult login processes don’t get as much reader feedback, but those that allow basic anonymous commenting get the “grenade effect” of tossing a commentary grenade into the room and evacuating.
More importantly, this joint effort will also allow readers to submit more than pithy diatribe. The goal is to build a platform that fluidly accepts links, photos, videos, and more, all contributed by reader-users. With three powerhouses at the helm of this project, several other publishers have already announced that their sites are anticipating an upcoming rebuild in order to change the way dialogue happens online.
You may have noticed a certain lack of blog action over the last few days. Unfortunately, while I’ve recovered from the curse of Nuttall (though I do sound a little more Sith than usual), Liz has now fallen victim. We hope normal service will be resumed on Monday.
In the meantime, I thought I’d share a couple of GPGPU (General-Purpose programming on Graphic Processing Unit) examples that have appeared since Broadcom released the specs for the VideoCore IV GPU back in February.
The second is Pete Warden’s port of the Deep Belief image recognition SDK to the Pi.