Saturday, July 5, 2014

Why I Ditched Blackberry for an iPhone


Blackberry used to be the definitive smartphone for business users until the iPhone and Android really took off. The Waterloo based company released Blackberry 10 a few years ago and changed the way they fundamentally ran their backend services. Now things are different, they are outsourcing all phone development to Foxconn and has signed an agreement with Amazon to offer apps to their users. Has Blackberry lost their way?

Business users and government were all enamoured with Blackberry because of their safe and secure environment. All emails, text messages and core services used to be routed through Blackberries own internet servers. This appealed towards people who travelled, because it would automatically compress pictures and attachments. The process resulted in less roaming fees for data consumption and telco companies actually sold Blackberry data plans as a separate entity.

Blackberry 10 changed the way data on the phones works by abandoning their internet service and now all information is delivered by the phone company. Not only does this result in higher costs for roaming and data but everything is less secure. BBM is the only facet of the modern day operating system that actually is still done through Blackberry, but it is a small compromise.

Most government and businesses have mostly abandoned Blackberry, you would be hard pressed to go a few weeks without another agency not renewing their contracts and going with Apple or Google. There simply isn’t any compelling reasons to stick with the company, when it involves a hefty cost of infrastructure and a less secure experience via Amazon.

I am not sure if most Blackberry customers are aware of the privacy ramifications of having Amazon services loaded on all Blackberry 10 smartphones. This will result in many peoples personal information being shared in order to serve you apps, books, magazines and videos easier.

Blackberry has lost its charm. I had every single phone since the original Pearl and stuck it out until the Q10 and Z10. Blackberry World is a ghost town and the company is letting go most of their development relations team. This will result in less apps being added in a native format, after all, 48,000 apps on World is done by a single developer. There is no BIS services anymore, which prevents me from saving money on roaming and traveling. Now the phone quality is diminishing with everything being outsourced to China.

I will stick with my iPhone 5 from now on, since the build quality is assured and I don’t have to worry about where my next app is being downloaded from or have to sideload in content just to get Instagram working.

Why I Ditched Blackberry for an iPhone is a post from: Good e-Reader

How to Install the Kobo Bookstore on the Sony PRS e-Reader


Sony has shuttered their online bookstore in Australia, Canada, United Kingdom and the US. This means if you have a Sony PRS-1, T2 or T3 e-reader you will no longer be able to buy eBooks. Users have been transitioned to the Kobo bookstore, but how do access it? Today, we show you how to search for the new firmware update, install it and access Kobo.

If you have not turned your Sony e-Reader on for awhile, when you boot it up and connect to WIFI you should see an update notification. You can drag your finger down at the very top of the screen to see the update. If you click on it it will ask if you want to download it. It is around 100 MB in size, so it should take a few minutes to completely download. Once it does, you can access the status menu again and click on the update. This time, it will ask if you want to install it. This process normally takes around fifteen minutes and will reboot your reader.

Once the Sony boots up after the update, you will have your Sony Reader Store switched over to Kobo. This warrants you making a new account with them, if you don’t already have one. In your library you will normally see all of your books on one shelf. If books are missing, you can click on the tab at the top of the screen and switch your shelf to Purchased Content.

How to Install the Kobo Bookstore on the Sony PRS e-Reader is a post from: Good e-Reader

HM Ward on Literary Agents and the Indie Author Industry

HM Ward
Even though the “indie author revolution” and self-publishing as a valid form of content distribution are currently enjoying a never-before-seen rate of success and acceptance, the landscape itself is still evolving as players from every aspect of the industry still work through the system. Of course, as the publishing industry itself evolves and new forms of expression and distribution become more commonplace, there are bound to be new waters to navigate.

One bestselling indie author, HM Ward, sat down with Good e-Reader and explained one area of that evolving realm, one that involves different experts in the industry: literary agents as they relate to highly successful self-published authors.

“I think agents are in a strange position when it comes to working with indies. Their job is to sell rights. That’s it. They sell the book. But indies, at least many, and those in my position, have already decided that in most cases the rights are far more valuable to keep. Where does that leave them [agents]? They don’t want to hurt their authors. But at the same time, my agent is having to turn down six-figure deals because I know that they’re not in my best interest. Are they in an agent’s best interest? That’s a complicated question – at the very least it’s no longer a direct relationship. Sales doesn’t always equal good.”

Agents have traditionally been the first stepping stone to breaking through the legendary “gate” that surrounded traditional publishing. But as authors have learned to become successful on their own terms, with a number of high-profile authors skipping over the agent step and going straight to a publisher after some measure of success, agents have had to adapt or be left behind as a relic of a bygone era.

“Some agents are making the transition better than others. Some have recognized the shifting ground and tried to seek out firmer footing. But how are they to do it? I had an agent offer simple services – and their ‘expertise’ in publishing – for a percentage of my lifetime sales. Do agents really have a better grasp of indie publishing than those of us doing it? Of course not. Is it worth tremendous sums of money for me to have an agent upload an epub? Of course not. (That agent doesn’t work with me.)”

While some agents who’ve attempted to work with indie authors have been accused of being nothing more than scam artists who take a lifetime 15% of sales only to push the book through to Kindle, there are agents who are working in different areas of publishing on behalf of their clients, with everything from negotiating foreign rights and translation to putting the manuscripts in front of Hollywood producers. There are still roles for agents, but they’re shifting as fast as the self-publishing industry can force them.

“My current agent is an awesome person. But we’re still navigating the changing relationship. If foreign presses want to buy rights direct from me, where does she fit in? If a publisher won’t offer what a book is worth, how does she pay her bills? At the same time, I like her, I trust her, and innovative agents have the potential to transform the industry – just as indie authors are.”

HM Ward on Literary Agents and the Indie Author Industry is a post from: Good e-Reader

Adobe Digital Editions Rolls Out Private Beta for ePUB3

Adobe Digital Editions
For fans of both Adobe Digital Editions ebook reading platform and the ePUB3 format, long-awaited good news is on its way. Adobe’s adoption of the ePUB3 standards is currently in private beta, and some sources say that full adoption for the public will be coming as early as the fall.

According to an announcement from the IDPF, “The industry rollout of EPUB 3 support has taken another big step forward with private beta releases of Adobe Digital Editions (ADE) desktop reading software and Adobe Reader Mobile SDK (RMSDK), both supporting EPUB 3 via the open source Readium SDK project. The beta releases support both fixed layout and reflowable content, audio and video playing, MathML, JavaScript in and outside of iFrames, multiple rendition EPUBs, and much more. The software is also designed to be compatible with the recently launched InDesign CC EPUB 3 fixed-layout support. Additionally, the RMSDK release supports new Adobe Content Server (ACS) features including subscriptions and other advanced transaction and distribution models. Email to request access to the early beta releases of ADE and RMSDK.”

Even more information was available from Datalogics, who provided an inside look at what the rollout of the adoption could look like.

“Datalogics is happy to announce that significant progress has been made, and we expect to see the EPUB 3 support in Adobe Reader Mobile SDK and Adobe Digital Editions by this fall. In addition to adding the EPUB 3 rendering capability, Adobe will also add the DRM support to EPUB 3 content. Those of you planning to attend BookExpo America (BEA) in New York next can stop by the Datalogics booth for the latest updates and to hopefully see a preview of this new functionality.

“The EPUB 3 support in RMSDK is based on the Readium EPUB 3 technology. You can find more information from Readium's website.

“Among many features from the EPUB 3 standard that Readium supports, you will find support for fixed layout, audio and video playing, MathML and many of the scripting features in the EPUB 3 standard.”

Screenshots and video are available from the Datalogics site, in a post on the Adobe adoption HERE.

Adobe Digital Editions Rolls Out Private Beta for ePUB3 is a post from: Good e-Reader

Light Up Your Fourth with Amazon’s Best Books of July

As the Independence Day festivities carry over for many people due to the long weekend, it’s time to load up the e-reader with Amazon’s list of best books for July. The titles are selected by the editorial team at Amazon Books, and just as with every other list the group produces for months or holidays, they’re not based on book sales or ranking, but rather on the human input of the editors who are themselves readers who’ve enjoyed the titles.

The complete list of titles includes: War of the Whales: A True Story by Joshua Horwitz (July 1), California: A Novel by Edan Lepuki (July 8), High As Horses’ Bridles by Scott Cheshire (July 8), Liberty’s Torch: The Great Adventure to Build the Statue of Liberty by Elizabeth Mitchell (July 2), Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival by Laurence Gonzales (July 7), The Fracking King by James Browning (July 1), Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (July 29), Landline by Rainbow Rowell (July 8), The Girls from Coronoa del Mar by Rufi Thorpe (July 8), The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee by Marja Mills (July 15), and Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (June 26).

Links to the titles can be found HERE.

Interestingly, Amazon was criticized when the list came out for July as it includes a title published by Hachette Book Group, California, by Edan Lepuki. Due to the ongoing dispute Amazon is engaged in with Hachette, books by that publisher are not available for pre-order and many are listed as out of stock until further notice. Despite the downright nastiness that has been lobbed in Amazon’s direction for what it claims to be its fight for its customers and low prices, Amazon has openly encouraged readers to purchase Hachette titles from other sources until a resolution can be reached.

But how can Amazon include California on its list of best titles if it won’t even sell it? Good e-Reader reached out to Amazon for comment, and this was their reply:

“Amazon's editorial team chooses their book recommendations independent of other teams. California will be available for customers to order on its publisher designated on-sale date of July 8.”

Regardless of what critics have to say about a retailer and its business practices, it’s hard to find fault with an organization whose own editors have the ability to promote a book based simply on its merits as a great read, even if the parent companies involved are still battling it out. It would be not at all unheard of for a corporate official to order California off the list due to the politics involved, but that isn’t the case here.

While the arguments rage on, one group of nearly thirty indie authors has shown its support for Amazon and the good work that it has done in revolutionizing nearly every aspect of the publishing industry. A petition at has been established to show Amazon that it does have friends in the business.

Light Up Your Fourth with Amazon’s Best Books of July is a post from: Good e-Reader

Tolino Vision VS Onyx Lynx T68


Welcome to another Good e-Reader Comparison Video! Today we compare reading PDF files and ePub books with the Tolino Vision and Onyx Lynx T68. As an added bonus we also will check out how the front-lit displays do in a side by side nighttime reading test.

The Tolino vision has e-Ink Carta going for it, which is brand new e-paper technology give you higher resolution text and less page refreshing on the page turns. Side by side with the Onyx e-reader the Tolino reigned supreme when reading ePub files.

The Onyx reader has a bit larger of a screen with 6.8 inches and has the benefit of being very much akin to a tablet. It has access to Google Play and allows users to install any app they want.

When it comes to e-reading, the Tolino was more responsive in opening menus and books. Even large PDF files opened way quicker, although they both struggled with the overall experience. The Vision has a weird rendering engine which makes text ultra blurry and discombobulating. The Onyx T68 had a bit better of a time, but the steps to optimize the file involves many steps.

Modern day e-readers tend to have a front-lit display that allows you to control the brightness level to read in the dark. The main benefit about this technology is the light is on the bottom of the bezel and evenly distributes the light access the screen. Tablets and smartphones have lights shining in your eyes from behind the screen, which is why people struggle to read for long sessions. The Onyx has a superior front-lit display, which really gives the Kindle Paperwhite 2 a run for its money. The Vision had light spillage on the bottom of the screen and was not as bright and clearly defined.

Tolino Vision VS Onyx Lynx T68 is a post from: Good e-Reader