Sunday, July 13, 2014

New product launch! Introducing Raspberry Pi Model B+

Meet your new favourite piece of hardware.

In the two years since we launched the current Raspberry Pi Model B, we’ve often talked about our intention to do one more hardware revision to incorporate the numerous small improvements people have been asking for. This isn’t a ”Raspberry Pi 2”, but rather the final evolution of the original Raspberry Pi. Today, I’m very pleased to be able to announce the immediate availability, at $35 – it’s still the same price, of what we’re calling the Raspberry Pi Model B+.

You're a handsome devil; what's your name?

You’re a handsome devil. What’s your name? (Click to enlarge!)

The Model B+ uses the same BCM2835 application processor as the Model B. It runs the same software, and still has 512MB RAM; but James and the team have made the following key improvements:

  • More GPIO. The GPIO header has grown to 40 pins, while retaining the same pinout for the first 26 pins as the Model B.
  • More USB. We now have 4 USB 2.0 ports, compared to 2 on the Model B, and better hotplug and overcurrent behaviour.
  • Micro SD. The old friction-fit SD card socket has been replaced with a much nicer push-push micro SD version.
  • Lower power consumption. By replacing linear regulators with switching ones we’ve reduced power consumption by between 0.5W and 1W.
  • Better audio. The audio circuit incorporates a dedicated low-noise power supply.
  • Neater form factor. We’ve aligned the USB connectors with the board edge, moved composite video onto the 3.5mm jack, and added four squarely-placed mounting holes.

If you’re interested in precise measurements, or want to find out what the new GPIO does, check out the diagrams below.

Raspberry Pi B+ mechanical specs

Mechanical specs: you’ll want to look at these if you’re building cases or other housing. Click to enlarge.

Model B+ GPIO diagram

GPIO diagram – there’s a lot more to play with now! Click to enlarge.

We think you’re going to love Model B+, but to ensure continuity of supply for our industrial customers we’ll be keeping Model B in production for as long as there’s demand for it.

The B+ is available from this morning from many of the regular Raspberry Pi stockists. If you want to go direct to our two main manufacturing partners, you’ll find it at Farnell/element14/Newark here, and at RS/Allied Components here.

A few of our friends got their hands on a Model B+ on Friday, and have been playing with it over the weekend. Here’s what they had to say:


eBook Review: The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor

Verdict: 4 Stars

I adore well-done historical fiction, and as a particular favorite category, I never get tired of Titanic stories. There is so much to be said and learned, because essentially the ship carried–and lost–more than 1,500 different stories. It would be a treasure to know them all.

In Gaynor’s title, the story of the Titanic is almost a side plot of its own as the real story is of Maggie Murphy’s personal loss, not on the ill-fated voyage, but at leaving her real love behind in Ireland. After surviving the disaster, she moves forward in the way that only a young woman of the early twentieth century could: she put it behind her and never spoke of it again.

Interwoven with Murphy’s story is that of her own granddaughter, who suffers her own brand of loss seventy years later. Together, they work to heal the hurts of the past by ripping them open and hoping for new enlightenment.

For everywhere that the story was touching and well-written, there were equally important places where the accuracy just wasn’t there and the reading level was very middle grade. It was a fun book, even in spite of its fluff, and I was able to concede that there are stockpiles of in-depth, well-researched non-fiction and fiction titles about the Titanic. This one seemed to have the Titanic as more of a backdrop of the book, which is fine if readers aren’t expecting James Cameron’s level of detail and accuracy.

The Girl Who Came Home is available now.

eBook Review: The Girl Who Came Home by Hazel Gaynor is a post from: Good e-Reader

The Stigma Around Erotica Continues

Despite the fact that Fifty Shades of Grey is old news–at least the book, the film doesn’t release until Valentine’s Day next year–and the door to free publishing of adult content has been thrown wide open since EL James’ book took newsstands by storm, critics are still claiming the downfall of human society due to the abundance of explicit content. Interestingly, it seems that only men are having serious issues with the fact that women write and read more adult-themed material in the mainstream.

There are a number of odd characteristics at play with criticism of erotica. First, it’s really nothing new. The fact that title like Grey can be purchased in Walmart are certainly different, but erotic literature has been around and available to those who knew where to find it for literally thousands of years.

What may be more astonishing–and therefore upending–to literary critics is that women are now the top-selling authors by far on a number of book retailers’ sites and self-publishing platforms, including Smashwords and Kobo, largely due to the popularity of romance and erotica. Names like EL James are often found beside Bella Andre, Barbara Freethy, and HM Ward, just to name a few, and these women command many of the highest grossing spots at the moment.

Adding to the confusion for vocal wet blankets is the fact that romance writers and fans can no longer be lumped into the stereotype of the discontented, underappreciated housewife who sits in her modest home and devours these stories as a means of escape. According to an article for Pacific-Standard, Hilary A Hallett revealed that more men than ever are reading erotica, and that 42% of romance fans have at least a bachelor’s degree, which is higher than the average of 30% of women nationally who hold the college degree.

However, Hallett points out that despite the income potential of the fans and the bestseller status of the female writers of the genre, it continues to be an overwhelmingly male population of critics who callously dismiss the genre and its readers. And with the income potential of both female authors and self-published authors on the rise, it’s no wonder that mainstays of the industry are looking for ways to dismiss and discredit the popularity of a model which they don’t understand and cannot fathom appreciating.

The Stigma Around Erotica Continues is a post from: Good e-Reader

Sony Digital Paper e-Reader Now Available at William S. Hein & Co


The Sony Digital Paper e-Reader is trying to find a place in the professional business world. This device is 13.3 inches and costs over $1,000, billed as a replacement for paper. It is primarily available via Amazon, but also with Entertainment and Legal firms. Today, Sony has announced that they have inked a deal with William S. Hein & Co.

William S. Hein & Co., Inc. is a digital legal publishing company of original legal publications including legal dictionaries, reference works, legislative histories, classroom texts, and various other publications. Hein's online product, HeinOnline, is a subscription-based database that provides access to more than 100 million pages of legal history available in a fully-searchable, image-based format. HeinOnline provides exact full-page images of documents in the PDF format, allowing viewers to see all charts, graphs, tables, pictures, handwritten notes, photographs, and footnotes exactly as they originally appeared in print.

Following Sony’s announcements at the American Bar Association Tech Show in March, the Hollywood IT Summit in April, and now at AALL, Sony continues to investigate and develop new markets for Digital Paper in collaboration with publishing and technology companies that serve sectors still burdened with paper and are obvious beneficiaries of Digital Paper. The only core market that Sony is neglecting is the average consumer.

Good e-Reader will be having the Sony Digital Paper in their review studios next week and comparing it against other large screen devices on the market. We originally broke the story on this e-reader during SID Display Week 2013 in Vancouver, you can check out video and pictures HERE.

Sony Digital Paper e-Reader Now Available at William S. Hein & Co is a post from: Good e-Reader

Good e-Reader Now Has 2400 Blackberry Playbook Apps


Good e-Reader has been supporting the Blackberry Playbook since the OS first got an Android emulator, three years ago. We have made it our mission to provide better quality apps and better support than Blackberry World. We are proud to announce that we now have over 2,400 Apps, fully compatible with the Playbook and Blackberry 10.

Why choose Good e-Reader and go through the rigamarole of learning how to sideload apps? Well, Instagram, Vine, Soundcloud, Starbucks, Skype, Google Maps, Kindle, Whatapp did not exist for the Playbook until we made them available our site. We accept apps from developers directly, and we also run popular Android apps through our own proprietary tools. This allows us to repackage apps for Blackberry and allow anyone to download them for free.

Good e-Reader has also pioneered the first public tool that allows users to upload an Android (APK) file and easily convert it to a Blackberry friendly (BAR) file. Blackberrys own tools to do this is needless complicated and necessitates downloading a bunch of bulky software.

Hitting the 2,400 app milestone is a big deal for the entire Good e-Reader App Team. For every app we upload, we test 30 others, which amounts to a copious amount of time. This is primarily why we have only 2,400 apps, and over 32,000 Android Apps.

The main reason why there is not a huge app selection on Blackberry World and Good e-Reader is because of the outdated Android emulator. It is only running 2.3, which disqualifies many of the more modern apps that utilize complex libraries or Google framework.

Join in on the fun today and check out our app selection, you will not be disappointed. You can install the software needed to load in the apps you download and watch extensive video documentation HERE.

Good e-Reader Now Has 2400 Blackberry Playbook Apps is a post from: Good e-Reader