Monday, July 14, 2014

Play Aces of the Luftwaffe Using Your Sony Wearables

Android Anti-virus Apps Are Useless


Useless might be a strong word, but when it comes to being protected from security threats it would seem that the issue is necessarily black and white: you’re protected or you aren’t. So imagine the surprise (heard, read) around the world when Google’s chief security engineer for Android, Adrian Ludwig, announced that anti-virus apps may not be terribly valuable on that platform.

Not to be misunderstood, Ludwig’s claim isn’t that viruses and malware don’t exist. His assertion is that if users rely on Google and their own Play Store, they will be protected by his team and their checks and balances performed against every app. True? Not entirely, from what we’ve seen malware still seems to seep through their sensors and into those downloads (albeit only occasionally). Staying protected also requires you to have the latest version of Android installed on your device –something that isn’t necessarily within your control when the fragmented Android ecosystem means every manufacturer delivers updates at a different rate.

So what is within your control? Protect your phone from yourself: when an app requests permissions as you install it, don’t blindly allow them access. Don’t install software from shady looking app stores. Keep an eye on the usual behaviour for your device: if your battery starts dying hours earlier than it did a few days ago, it may signal a problem.

Other than potentially taking a few dollars out of your pocket (and running the risk of it behaving only as a placebo), there is no actual harm that comes from installing an anti-virus or malware protection app; just try to remember that even if you build a better mousetrap, hackers and malicious developers will just engineer a better mouse.

Android Anti-virus Apps Are Useless is a post from: Good e-Reader

Apple to Put Marketing Future into Beats Jimmy Iovine


Apple is close to abandoning a 30 year relationship with TBWA/Media Arts Lab and putting their future into the hands of Beats Audio co-founder Jimmy Iovine.

The Cupertino company is said to be developing their own in-house marketing solutions for print, radio, television and internet advertising. They have hired close to 1,000 media buyers and creatives  to assist in this effort.  Apple is hoping to also leverage Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine to bolster its marketing efforts. Beats is well-known for its aggressive marketing tactics and clever advertising campaigns that have skyrocketed its headphones to popularity.

The uber fashionable Beats brand, which Apple acquired for $3 billion, outmaneuvered official World Cup sponsor Sony with its "Game Before the Game" ad campaign. So many soccer stars sported Beats that Sony had them banished from the arenas.

Apples initial troubles with their long term advertising firm TBWA began in 2013 when Samsungs “The Next Big Thing is Already Here” campaign started to go viral.  Despite continuing a relationship with TBWA, Apple has pitted its in-house team against its longtime partner and it has also invited outside agencies to offer pitches on major projects, suggesting tension between the two companies has been ongoing.

Apple to Put Marketing Future into Beats Jimmy Iovine is a post from: Good e-Reader

BlueFire Releases New Windows Reader


Bluefire is best known for their mobile reading apps for Android. The company really makes most of its cash by white labeling their eBook reading tech to other companies who want their own or are making an online bookstore. Today, BlueFire Reader has just released their first Windows app.

BlueFire Reader for Windows is a small 7MB file that you can install on your Windows 8 PRO tablet, laptop or PC. It gives users a solid alternative to the mainstream readers out there, such as Kindle, Kobo, Sony or Nook. It allows users to import paid EPUB and PDF books from other bookstores and you can also elect to load in your own books you downloaded from the internet.

The new reading software is fairly solid, with lots of customization options. You can adjust the margins, line spacing, font size, font type, themes and even nighttime reading mode. One of the downfalls of the app is when  you close it and reopen it later, it does not preserve any of your reading settings.

Likely the BlueFire Reader app for Windows is going to be marketed towards established eBook companies who want a standalone app. From a user point of view, this is a neutral app that doesn’t rope you into any particular ecosystem. It offers enough options to craft your own experience and importing paid content is a boon.

You can download the new Reader for Windows HERE.

BlueFire Releases New Windows Reader is a post from: Good e-Reader

Amazon Offer Rejected by Hachette, Authors’ Organization

amazon-logo upside down
In a semi-olive branch move, Amazon offered last week to extend 100% of the sales price of Hachette titles to the authors themselves, in a conciliatory move meant to eradicate fears that Amazon’s alleged “sanctions” against Hachette have hurt their authors. In an effort to avoid dragging the children into this while the grown-ups fight, Amazon offered to give the entire purchase price of Hachette titles to the authors, assuming that Hachette also wouldn’t take any percentage, as a push to get both sides to work harder on a resolution.

Of course Hachette refused.

Yes, the very publisher who claims to be fighting for its authors in this situation refused Amazon’s generous offer, basically calling it a PR stunt. What is so interesting is the vocal criticism from (shock, surprise, horror!) the Authors Guild. The same organization who keeps claiming to speak up for authors has also refused to accept Amazon’s offer, which is really interesting because the Guild has no dog in this fight other than sticking its collective nose in.

Admittedly Amazon did send an outline of the terms to Authors Guild as a respectful gesture prior to submitting it to Hachette, but as mothers everywhere state, if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Instead, AG opened its mouth and took the opportunity to rail against Amazon, rising to the challenge of proving once again that it has nothing to do with authors’ best interests, and instead is focused on being an elitist club so disconnected from the reality of funding one’s own writing that it sides with a traditional publisher when terms are offered to benefit authors.

Publisher’s Weekly posted Amazon’s statement in response to being thwarted in its efforts to support authors during this difficult time:

“Our offer is sincere and it stands—Hachette need only say yes to help their authors. We also wonder what this letter [from AG] would look like if Hachette had posed this idea and Amazon had rejected it. The letter conflates the long-term structure of the industry with a short-term proposal designed to take authors, the constituency this organization supposedly represents, out of the line of fire of a negotiation between large corporations. Given that the Authors Guild are an author’s advocacy group, it is hard to believe they don’t support this. They are the Authors Guild, not the Publishers Guild.”

What purpose does the Authors Guild serve, exactly?

Amazon Offer Rejected by Hachette, Authors’ Organization is a post from: Good e-Reader

Data Conversion Laboratory Webinar Explores eBooks in the K12 Classroom

One of the last groups to adopt ebooks in a widespread and focused way is the K12 education sphere. While digital textbooks have been painfully slow to reach the public school market, ebooks have been an even slower format when it comes to kids and reading. OverDrive has made ebooks even more accessible, though, along with initiatives like Qlovi and Smashwords’ OverDrive partnership.

A webinar taking place this week from Data Conversion Laboratory will explore easy ways that school systems, teachers, and educational stakeholders can incorporate the shift to ebooks in the classroom, while exploring feasible strategies that let digital initiatives support student learning outcomes.

One of the chief obstacles for ebooks in the classroom is the hard data that demonstrates students not only prefer print books over ebooks when they have the power to self-select the texts, but also that demonstrate a possible drop in reading comprehension scores after consuming content in digital formats. This has been attributed to the understanding on the part of the students that the tablet contains far more interesting forms of entertainment than ebooks, and that rushing through to the end will afford the students the opportunity to play games or engage with social media. Overcoming that mindset is a chief concern of educators.

However, critics also argue that there’s no “need” for forcing students to overcome their aversion to ebooks, but that is unfortunately not the case. With more and more universities incorporating the advantages of digital textbooks and browser-based learning platforms, today’s K12 students are tomorrow’s digital university students, and therefore must strike a balance between the ease, convenience, and affordability of ebooks, while still optimizing for educational performance.

The webinar will be held Wednesday, July 16th, at 1:00pm ET. Registration for the free webinar is available from Data Conversion Laboratory’s website, found HERE.

Data Conversion Laboratory Webinar Explores eBooks in the K12 Classroom is a post from: Good e-Reader

Hints Point to Apple’s First iBeacon Device

Hieroglyphs on Rear of iPhone May Become Extinct


We’ve all looked at the back of an iPhone and wondered what those little symbols mean and then questioned why they need to be there. Most people probably can’t decipher them, but they provide details regarding trade regulations and indicate how the device should be properly disposed of. Thanks to the new E-Label act, a bipartisan bill recently introduced by the US Senate, manufacturers have more options for including this information on their devices.

With this new bill, certain marks (such as the FCC ID numbers, or the “CE” mark required for products that will be sold in Europe) could be displayed on the screen of the electronic, instead of being etched into the casing.

Does this kind of change make much difference to the average consumer? Perhaps not, but it does have the potential of lowering manufacturing costs by removing a step in the production process. It also allows for manufacturers to further streamline the look of their devices –and we all know that Apple (in particular) likes a minimalist and beautiful design… not to mention the appeal of not having to find space on smaller gadgets like smartwatches for all of those labels.

Hieroglyphs on Rear of iPhone May Become Extinct is a post from: Good e-Reader

Podcast: Should Publishers Start Selling Books on their Own?


Welcome back to another exciting edition of the Good e-Reader Radio Show. Today Editor Michael Kozlowski talks with Digital Book World‘s own Jeremy Greenfield about the Amazon/Hachette dispute and if publishers should circumvent their retail partners and sell books directly.

Amazon and Hachette has been the top story for a number of months, with new revelations by the New York Times. Many experts agree that we may see an end to this ongoing feud very soon. In the meantime, Amazon is trying to win over authors to their side by offering 100% royalties to Hachette authors. This is pissing off many people, including the American Authors Guild. If you missed any of the new developments in this saga, drop eveyrthing and listen to this show immidiately.

In other news, HarperCollins has started selling tangible books from their entire catalog, in addition to eBooks on their website. This follows the store within a store concept that Hachette made with Books-a-million to sell books directly. Many bookstores in Canada and the US are not doing that well and contract disputes with retail partners will only get more complicated as time goes on. Is the future of publishing selling books directly to readers and circumventing the established retailers?

Finally, should libraries call for a boycott against Simon and Schuster’s new terms? If a library wants to include the S&S catalog in digital format, they must also opt into selling the book on their website. Libraries as retail is a very polarizing issue, and the ALA administration is just happy they are finally onboard. Were negotiations done too quickly at the expense of libraries abusing the public trust? Is it time for a grassroots effort to boycott buying titles?

Podcast: Should Publishers Start Selling Books on their Own? is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kobo Gives Libraries 5$ for Every Customer They Refer

2011-10-02-11-14-27-Library director Erin Comeau with Kobo eReader

Kobo is giving $5.00 to libraries for every customer they refer to the platform as part of a new program. Overdrive, Baker & Taylor and 3M Cloud are all offering the ability for patrons to purchase eBooks from Penguin and Simon and Schuster. When books are purchased, retailers such as Kobo actually fulfill the order.

If a customer wants to purchase a personal copy of the title – perhaps because the waiting list is too long, or they want permanent access to the eBook – they will simply click "Buy it Now" and be taken to Kobo to purchase the title. Titles purchased via Kobo are for personal use only and cannot be donated to the library's collection. An 8% affiliate credit of the total purchase amount will be credited back to your library to use toward your digital collection development.

When a customer clicks the Buy it Now button they have different options to buy the title from a few different resellers. Kobo is betting on libraries to promote their ecosystem, rather than the competition with a straight $5.00 referral fee. This credit will be sent straight to the library and is only paid if the customer is new to Kobo, existing users are disqualified.

Kobo Gives Libraries 5$ for Every Customer They Refer is a post from: Good e-Reader

Iconic Bookstore’s Owner Retires, Gifts Store to Employees

A Canadian bookstore owner is set to retire soon, which would ordinarily not make news headlines. Even with the recent news of a local citizen in the US who launched a Kickstarter campaign to purchase her town’s independent bookstore from its retiring owners, a bookstore closing due to the age and employment status of its proprietor isn’t attention grabbing.

But in the case of Munro’s Books of Victoria in British Columbia, owner Jim Munro wasn’t content with selling his business and living off the proceeds in high-style. Instead, he officially gifted the store four of his long-time employees, leaving them a business that appears to be worth about $1 million, including its current inventory.

The store itself is an iconic tourist spot in Victoria, with visitors to the city making an intentional stop to the well-known book paradise. The near-landmark was opened in 1963, then moved to its current location in a former bank in 1984. Those years were helped along by the four employees who’ve become so much like family to Munro that even the owner’s adult children agreed with his decision to simply give them the store.

With bookstore closings reaching crisis proportions, leaving many to question what the retail landscape will look like for books in the near future, there’s a measure of comfort in knowing that this bookstore will live on. Had the owner put the shop up for sale and attempted to find a buyer, there was a very real risk that the doors would have been closed in the very near future. While some may question how sound it is to give away an investment of this kind, Munro’s actions are far more an investment in furthering the book industry and his community.

Iconic Bookstore’s Owner Retires, Gifts Store to Employees is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kobo Updates Firmware on Glo, Aura and Aura HD e-Readers


Kobo has released a major new update for their current generation line of e-readers. Owners of the Kobo Glo, Kobo Aura and Kobo Aura HD should notice the availability of the 3.50 update, which fixes a myriad of bugs and adds new features.

The Kobo internet browser should now provide a more smoother experience, which will hopefully get more people using it. They also remedied the speed in which syncing is accomplished. Syncing is important because it does a ton of different things in the background. It checks to see if you made any purchases on other devices and downloads books right to your e-reader. If there is a new firmware update, it will also fetch all of the data from the main Kobo server.

Some other fixes include the support for new Adobe RMSDK, long paragraph bug fixed for Epubs and the frontlight returns to the same level as before waking the device from sleep or unplugging from a PC.

Kobo has also updated their for PC app, that allows you to shop for books and deliver them to your reader.

If you hit the sync button on your Glo, Aura or Aura HD e-Readers you should be notified that a new update is available. If you don’t see the update yet, Kobo often distributes them in a staggered release, so millions aren’t downloading it at once.

Kobo Updates Firmware on Glo, Aura and Aura HD e-Readers is a post from: Good e-Reader

Bluefire Releases New Reader App for Windows PC

Bluefire has released a desktop reader program for Windows computers. The app supports ePub and PDF files and works with Adobe DRM, both the old and new Adobe DRM. Bluefire has made a name for itself with reading apps for iOS and Android. They were one of the first to offer support for DRM’d ebooks, […]

Kobo added to Affiliate Partnership Program for U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia

Have you taken advantage of the benefits offered through our WIN Affiliate Program? Now is the perfect time to get started, with the exciting new addition of Kobo as an affiliate partner.Thousands of libraries are already participating in this free, opt-in service. You can offer your library patrons the option to purchase an eBook for their personal collection through your library website, whether you carry that book in your catalog or not (through the Recommend to Library catalog).

WINlogoA percentage of the entire sale generated through the WIN Affiliate (not just the sale of a single title) is credited back to the referring library as an affiliate fee in the form of OverDrive content credit. If your library opts to participate in the affiliate program, a "Buy it Now" button will be added to titles in your library's digital collection that are also available at Kobo or other participating affiliate retail partners. Note: Affiliate retailers may vary by geographical location.

With the addition of Kobo, if a customer wants to purchase a personal copy of the title – perhaps because the waiting list is too long, or they want permanent access to the eBook – they will simply click "Buy it Now" and be taken to Kobo to purchase the title. Titles purchased via Kobo are for personal use only and cannot be donated to the library's collection. An 8% affiliate credit of the total purchase amount will be credited back to your library to use toward your digital collection development. (The 8% affiliate fee is subject to change in 2015 per Kobo.)

It gets even better – Kobo has generously offered to help your library increase your potential revenue through this affiliate program by providing an additional 5 dollars (in your library's native currency) per new customer your library refers to Kobo. The customer must be new to Kobo; existing Kobo customers do not qualify.

Raise awareness by promoting the links to retailers on your website and in your newsletters. It's a win-win for everyone. And now with Kobo added to the retailer affiliates, customers have even more options.

For more information on the WIN Catalog and to add it to your digital library website, contact your OverDrive Account Specialist today. You can find contact information specific to your account on the Support tab at OverDrive Marketplace.


Kobo Glo, Aura and Aura HD Updated to Firmware 3.5.0

Kobo has issued a new software update, version 3.5.0, for the Kobo Glo, Kobo Aura, and Kobo Aura HD. They’ve also updated the Kobo PC desktop software to version 3.9.0. Kobo always releases their software updates gradually in different parts of the world. Since I live in the US I never seem to get updates […]

Readers Gravitate Away from Free eBooks


During the e-reader boom period from 2009 until 2013 many people got switched onto digital. Online bookstores did record business and many new entrants came to the market, offering their own self-publishing systems. One of the tools that authors employed to get their book out there was giving it away for free. Whether they made it free for a short period of time or did it from the beginning, people downloaded it in droves. New research is suggesting that giving your eBook away for free might not be effective anymore.

Apple owned iBooks was the focus of a recent case study and the data said that for every one book purchased, 39 were downloaded for free. In prior years the gulf between free and paid was even more pronounced. In 2012 it was at a 91:1 ratio and in 2012 100:1.

The digital book market is certainly not sick — it’s growing robustly. Overall, online book sales were up in 2013 by 3.8% for total sales of $1.3 billion.

Self-Published authors are beginning to realize that the concept of free is declining. It is no longer effective to give it away for free and expect a ravenous flock of readers will devour it. After all, even Microsoft is giving away 300 free eBooks, and they hardly have any downloads.

If free is no longer working, what are the price points that are most effective for sales? The report revealed that $2.99 and $3.99 were a popular price point.

Readers Gravitate Away from Free eBooks is a post from: Good e-Reader