In the early days of the Internet, using Oh Flash was a sign that a website was ahead of the times. It was impressive and sought-after. These days it is akin to a technologically-transmitted-disease –we’ve all heard about Flash content and we all know of websites that feature it, but for the most part we really just hope to avoid it. Thanks to Google, users searching from an Android or iOS device will now receive a warning when a website in their results is built on the Flash platform. From there it becomes your choice: take your chances and try it anyway, or move on to the next result.
Once upon a time, many people chose Android devices because they supported Flash –but that all ended with JellyBean when security and performance concerns outweighed the perceived benefits (something Apple felt strongly about since iOS began). Of course, it doesn’t hurt that technologies like HTML 5 now exist that are equally dynamic and entirely cross-platform.
In order to display this warning, Google has developed an algorithm that aims to detect websites whose content is based mostly in Flash. It’s likely this will result in a few false-positive hits, but that accuracy should improve with time (especially as legacy sites start to die out or face redesigns)… but there is another side-benefit that shouldn’t be overlooked: Flash content is difficult for search engine spiders to crawl –meaning the overall quality and accuracy of your search results should also improve.
As somebody who uses iOS devices as often as I do Android, I can tell you firsthand that it is frustrating to hit a website and only see portions (or nothing at all in some cases). Are any of you as excited as I am to hear this news? Do you see any downsides?
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
The publishing industry could be turned onto its head with a recent revelation that Amazon is in talks to purchase big 5 publisher Simon and Schuster. If the deal were to get done, this would give Amazon major distribution to physical bookstores under their own imprint and change the publishing world forever.
Amazon Publishing first launched in 2009 and is composed of a number of imprints including AmazonEncore, AmazonCrossing, Montlake Romance, Thomas & Mercer, 47 North, New Harvest, Day One, and Powered by Amazon.
When Amazon got into the publishing industry initially major bookstores were very much against it. Barnes and Noble famously said it would not stock a single Amazon published title in their bookstores. At the time, they said "Our decision [not to stock Amazon published titles] is based on Amazon's continued push for exclusivity with publishers, agents and the authors they represent.”
There are some obvious benefits of Amazon purchasing S&S. It would legitimize their publishing efforts and give Createspace users the ability to stock their books more easily in stores. It would also give authors signed to their imprints to be stocked in stores under existing S&S contracts and also assist them in their efforts to get books in the library via Overdrive, 3M and Baker & Taylor.
CBS Corp currently made $800 million in revenue in 2013, which puts it on the small side of publishers. CEO Leslie Moonves said in a recent interview that "We are negotiating with Amazon as we speak."
In the last few years Amazon has been acquiring many companies, such as GoodReads and Comixology. Amazon is responsible for more than three out of every five e-books sold, according to research firm Codex Group.
We are starting to see a number of new devices hit the market with a secondary screen built into the phone or a case that has an optional one. The Yotaphone, Pocketbook and Pixel QI have all offered a wide array of concept pieces that have failed to takeoff in a meaningful way. A new Kickstarter campaign is ongoing for a second generation InkCase that has hit their funding target a few days into the program.
Following the success of the acclaimed InkCase, the second generation InkCase Plus now packs more power as a modular second screen for Android smartphones. With the new ability to install apps, InkCase Plus has become the converged multifunctional second screen for E Ink devices; just like the smartphone for communication and personal devices.
The InkCase could be used as a secondary screen for your Android device or used as the primary one. There are a few core functions that this accessory excels at, maps, reading, images, SMS Messaging, pick up incoming calls, and controlling your music.
InkCase Plus is a fairly interesting concept with physical buttons to allow for easy access to pickup a call or snap a picture. I think the future of e-Book Reading accessories is sound, but its important for the device to function autonomously and not exclusively rely on you having a smartphone.
If you’ve been holding off on using Google+ because you couldn’t use the display name you wanted (or maybe you just found the rules a little annoying), starting today those restrictions have been lifted. Some are speculating that the changes to Google’s terms of service are related to the departure of Google+ lead, Vic Gundotra, but it may just be that it was time.
Google made comments on this update on their Google+ profile:
Google+ turned 3 years old last month and still isn’t winning the social networking race against the reigning leader, Facebook. While I doubt many people were truly holding out because of the names that were allowed, fewer restrictions may provide a more welcoming atmosphere for would-be joiners.
Which social networking site do you like best? Do you try to keep up with all of them?
|Scribd is among a small group of companies offering ebooks as a monthly subscription service. Instead of buying individual ebooks, you pay a monthly rate of $8.99 to get unlimited access to Scribd’s growing catalog of ebooks that now consists of over 400,000 titles. Today Scribd announced the addition of a Windows app to go […]|
|Amazon’s latest Kindle Paperwhite has one of the clearest and easiest to read screens of any ebook reader with its 6-inch E Ink Carta display and evenly-lit frontlight. The Paperwhite normally sells for $119 for the Wi-Fi model, but today you can get one for $85 via Amazon’s Deal of the Day. It’s a refurbished […]|
|The Dutch ebook reader company, Icarus, has announced the upcoming release of a new Icarus Illumina ebook reader. It’s an updated version of the Icarus Illumina HD, and sports a faster processor, more RAM, and a smaller and lighter design. The new Icarus Illumina has a 6-inch E Ink Pearl display with a resolution of […]|
Gove was responsible for a number of highly criticized initiatives, including introducing self-paced, computerized learning for some courses at some grade levels, erasing the need to pay a teacher for the position. His most recent horrible decision to be met with public outcry involved removing American literature from the curriculum, deciding that Jane Austen was far more important for young people to read than Of Mice and Men due to the fact that she was British.
With Gove’s departure to a different position, the education role will be filled by Nicky Morgan, MP for Loughborough. Morgan’s role will also include minister for women and equalities, which on the surface is a good combination to have within the one cabinet office as so much of the global issues in education involve equal access and support for education. Unfortunately, Morgan has come out in the past supporting the student tuition in the UK, which has led to riots in recent years.
If Morgan and her predecessor were so focused on funding in education, hopefully changes that shift the system to a viable model for digital textbooks and ebooks will emerge.
One of the other changes to cabinet positions, unfortunately, could mean trouble for Open Access. David Willetts, minister of universities, led the decision that the UK would institute open access to any scholarly publishing whose research was funded with tax dollars. This initiative has been lauded by supporters in both the copyright and academic publishing worlds for the fact that researchers should be given access to any findings that are footed by the public, therefore avoiding repeats or errors in expensive, time-consuming experimentation. Willetts has been removed from his post, and no replacement has yet been announced.
Scribd has been in development overdrive the last few months, revising the core reading experience in their seminal iOS and Android apps. They have also been quietly refining their first offering for Windows Phone 8. All mobile applications now have a unified experience which will immerse users who have multiple phones and tablets in the household.
With the launch of the Windows app, paired with existing apps for iOS, Android, Kindle Fire and Nook tablets, Scribd has been downloaded more than 6 million times — placing it on more devices in more countries than any other subscription book service. This latest endeavor is part of the companies overarching global commitment to getting people to read more.
"Scribd's mission is simple," said Julie Haddon, Vice President of Marketing at Scribd. "We're empowering people to read more. We're celebrating this milestone of launching apps on seven platforms with a new campaign called "Read More."
The updates for Android and new Windows app are available now and can be download from Good e-Reader and the Windows app store. The update for iOS will be live in the Apple App Store in the coming days.
At the Google I/O conference this year, we were treated to news that the latest version of Android would also come with a new Material Design UI –complete with an updated look and feel that would persist through to most of Google’s apps as well. A full tour of the design changes won’t be possible until the fall, but until then we will have to have our curiosity satiated by sneak peeks. To that end, we’ve seen a little bit of what the new Google Play Store will look like.
The primary difference with Material Design is whitespace (and lots of it) combined with large header images that make it easy for users to skim the content.
It goes without saying that these leaked images should be considered part of the rumour mill at this point, Google may surprise us with something else entirely when the time comes.
Sneak Peek at Google Play Store Material Design Update is a post from: Good e-Reader
Do you like dinosaurs? If so, don’t play Dino Hunter: Deadly Shores. Do you like shoot ‘em up games where you get to brandish a rifle and take to hunting man-eating lizards? Play this game immediately.
As you begin your hunt, the first weapon you can equip is an assault rifle aptly named the Atlas Eliminator (which should tell you a great deal about the game) –it is every bit as violent as any first-person shooter you’ve tried. Working your way through the objectives of each mission finds you trying to earn points for head shots, heart shots, and anything that gets you the kill you need to progress.
Graphics in the game are vibrant and much better than you might expect, though the on-screen controls are slightly awkward to get used to. Taking aim isn’t always easy, but that challenge keeps you playing (until you get to finally hunt the mighty Tyrannosaurus Rex).
If you don’t have a weak stomach and feel like hunting a few extinct animals, download Dino Hunter: Deadly Shores for free now.