Welcome back to another installment of the Good e-Reader Outdoor Reading Test! Today we look at the Sony DPT-S1 Digital Paper e-Reader and see how it performs underneath the sun. This will give you an indication on how the e-ink Mobius screen can handle PDF viewing and editing when you’re in the field and working.
One of the surprising things about the Digital Paper is the fact you get very extreme viewing angles when reading outdoors. Direct sunlight seems to have a minimal effect on being able to utilize this device.
Monday, August 11, 2014
Sony has discontinued making the Sony PRS-T3 e-readers in North America and Europe. This is creating an atmosphere where many existing Sony users want to insure they have a backup available incase their primary unit bites the dust. Currently, the PRS-T3 is completely sold out in every Sony Style in Canada. There is only one retailer currently selling them in limited quantities, Shop e-Readers.
Shop e-readers is our official sister site and in anticipation of the PRS-T3 getting totally discontinued we made sure to stock up. Right now we have the last 8 T3 e-readers in Canada and 6 T3S (the ones without the build in case).
The Sony PRS-T3 is available for $179.99 US and will be shipped worldwide, including the US and Canada at discounted shipping rates. The best deal is for the Sony PRS-T3s for $159.99 and does not have a built in case.
I think the Sony PRS-T3 has amazing build quality and the software is more stable and robust than Kobo readers. Speaking of Kobo, Sony recently abandoned running their own eBook store and piggybacks Kobo for all new purchases.
Voracious readers have many different options available to peruse their favorite book. Tablets, e-Readers, smartphones and real books are all viable options. Over the course of the last month we have ran a poll on our website where 784 people weighed in on their reading habits.
The vast majority of people (58%) prefer a dedicated e-reader, such as the Kindle, Nook or Kobo. 16% of the respondents proclaimed that they still primarily read paperback or trade books, while 15% read on their tablet. Smartphones (4.59%) , PC (1.15%) , Laptop (2.04%) and ultrabooks (.13%) were very negligible.
I am not surprised that the Good e-Reader audience reads on their e-ink device, as it is easier on the eyes and has wicked battery life.
HarperCollins Publishers today announced the HarperCollins Promotional Fund (HCPF), which will provide an additional fund of marketing dollars for Independent Retailers in the company's fiscal year 2015, which began on July 1, 2014. Qualifying accounts that promote HarperCollins titles throughout the year will have access to additional funds to support marketing efforts. The program is designed to simplify the co-op process and promote creative merchandizing of HarperCollins authors.
"We highly value the growing channel of Independent booksellers and recognize them as trusted partners in helping us connect our authors with their readers," said Josh Marwell, President of Sales for HarperCollins. "We know that Indies play a huge but sometimes under-valued role in local communities, and we want to support their extraordinary efforts in building buzz around books."
All co-op and new promotional funds will be paid out on a quarterly basis, eliminating the need to submit claim forms. For additional information stores should contact their HarperCollins Sales Rep or HarperCollins Customer Service Department at 1-800-242-7737.
|The folks at Arta Tech have started selling the Onyx Boox M96 Universe from Amazon.com for $339, and they even sent me one to review. The device is also available from Onyx-Boox.com for 309 euros. That’s the same seller that distributes the Onyx Boox T68 Lynx, which I reviewed last month. The M96 Universe is […]|
|The Onyx Boox T68 isn’t the only new ebook reader that runs open Android. A new version of the Icarus Illumina HD (E653 series) has just been released in the US and Europe. It sells from IcarusReader.com for 119 euros, or 135 euros bundled with a cover. In the US it sells from Amazon.com for […]|
I love my Apple TV. I hate my Apple TV remote. I have taken its’ name in vain on more than one occasion, usually about the time I’ve lost it yet again and I tear apart the couch trying to find that slippery silver sliver (say that three-times fast). As much as I hate that thing, the image shown by former Pixar employee, Randy Nelson, is believed to be the Google TV remote… and it is worse.
At first glance I actually thought it was a label maker; it is overwhelming, large, and ugly. It isn’t the simplicity of the Apple TV remote that drives me crazy, it’s simply the size –the designers were right when they decided that only three buttons are necessary: stop, start and home. Sure it’s cool that the Google TV remote offers so many features and functions, but for day-to-day life, I don’t need to point something at my television that could launch a space shuttle. Not only that, how do I teach my kids to use it? Or worse yet, my mother (sorry mom!).
If you ask me, I believe Jacob Siegal over at BGR said it right: “Google TV remote is an Apple TV remote designed by committee.”
For those of us eagerly watching to see how great Google TV will be, let’s hope this isn’t actually what the remote looks like.
So, you may have seen on our twitter or elsewhere that we were a host centre for Young Rewired State’s Festival of Code 2014. We had 6 young people join us at Pi Towers for a week: Ben, Rihanna, Amy, John, Finn and Dan.
The aim of Festival of Code is to inspire and support young coders in creating something new – the only specification is that it must include an open data set.
From Monday to Thursday the teams worked on their own projects, Ace Your Place and Moodzi, with mentors and members of the Raspberry Pi team. We even had Twilio and Code on the Road pop by.
On Friday we all traveled down to Plymouth for the weekend to meet up with all the other centres.
I will hand over to Ben and Finn (part of team Ace Your Place) to tell you more…
From the moment I stepped through the doors of Pi Towers I loved it. It was an incredibly creative and friendly atmosphere and all our mentors for the festival were really inspirational.
On the first day we came up with project ideas and split into groups; then worked on developing the project and preparing a presentation before we left on Friday.
I worked in a group of 4 on a project called Ace Your Place, a service that helps people pick the right region to move to when they're relocating.
The mentors were only there to help us when we needed it, and were brilliant at guiding us through the creative process. I learnt so much in general just from being around similarly minded young people, and of course from the mentors as well.
On Friday we travelled to Plymouth, along with everyone else taking part in the competition. The sheer number of focused young people was amazing, and the atmosphere was so exciting. Everyone couldn't wait to share their projects and see everyone else's, and though it was a competition, everyone was extremely supportive.
Through the various rounds of the competition we got to see a lot of the other projects, and I was amazed with the dedication of some of the other teams. It was a truly inspirational experience seeing the range and scope of all the ideas, with some of my favourites being "hook", a coat hook that interpreted the weather and told you what to wear (powered by a Raspberry Pi) and "QuickAid", a crowdsourced first aid service which informs and calls first aiders in the area when someone is in need of it.
On the whole, the Festival of Code was an enlightening, motivating and stimulating experience. The first part of my week at Pi Towers couldn't have been a better learning environment, and the weekend was immensely good fun and extremely inspirational. I've made new friends and acquired new knowledge, and I can't wait for next year!
I personally really liked CityRadar, Miles Per Pound and QuickAid – which I thought was a really good idea and very well thought out.
When we had some free time it was mostly dominated by the photo booth…
I found the music at the end interesting because I hadn’t really heard that kind of music before – I quite liked it!
I definitely want to go to the Festival of Code again next year and would be delighted if I could do it with the Raspberry Pi Foundation.
Thanks Ben and Finn!
Amy and Rihanna’s project Moodzi used the twitter API to tell you when was the best time to tweet particular keywords.
Whilst waiting for the coach home I even caught our YRSers hacking their RFID wristbands to send people off to random websites.
Also, in Plymouth Carrie caught up with her biggest littlest fan.
I can't wait until next year either.
With Apple set to launch iCloud Drive in the next short while, it seems like a good time for Dropbox to do a few upgrades. Generally considered one of the leading cloud-based document storage solutions, Dropbox for Android has firmed up their footing at the head of the pack with improved search capabilities and proper document previews.
Storing documents in the cloud makes a great deal of sense: they are available from any device you are near, no matter your location (not to mention how much easier it is to share documents). As people place their trust in this concept, services like Dropbox have the upper hand –being one of the first out of the gate means becoming nearly synonymous with the function itself (consider: Kleenex or Xerox). Of course, few development houses out there have the name recognition that Apple brings to the table… so Dropbox has to up the ante a little.
To this end, Dropbox has upgraded their search functionality so that you can search individual folders for files instead of just looking across your entire account. This may seem trivial, but as we move more content to these services, the volume of files being searched could become immense. In addition, being able to narrow searches in this manner may improve context and give you much more meaningful results. A few other value-adds are now present in search: Dropbox tracks your recent searches (so you can easily repeat frequent searches), highlights filenames that match your search criteria, and will try to predict the keywords you are typing on the fly.
The other major update was to add document preview capabilities. If you are storing Word Documents, PowerPoint presentations, and PDFs, they can be previewed directly in Dropbox for Android instead of launching a separate app.
An extra goody for non-Business users is that Dropbox now allows you to set view-only permissions on shared folders!
If you are still shopping for a cloud-based document storage solution, give Dropbox a test-drive.
Welcome to another Good e-Reader Video Comparison. Today, we look at the two of the latest generation devices that do an amazing job at reading PDF files. The Apple iPad Air and the Sony Digital Paper both provide unique experiences. The purpose of this video is to give you an indication on how both of these devices handle a very complex document and the pros and cons.
The Apple iPad Air has retina display, which provides deeper and richer colors. Whereas the Sony Digital Paper has an e-Ink display, which shows various gradients of black and white. The Air has a resolution of 2048 x 1536 and the DPT-S1 has 1600×1200. The Sony model is significantly lighter than the iPad and you should garner more battery life.
The Digital Paper was designed to exclusively view and edit PDF documents. The accompanied stylus allows you to take notes, make annotations or draw without any latency. The physical document you are augmenting actually is preserved, so you can easily transfer it to another device and it reflects all of the changes you made. The iPad on the other hand does not really give you a deep and rich experience, instead relying on a small army of free and paid apps.
The video below puts both of these devices head to head with the same PDF book, the Dungeons and Dragons Monsters Manual.
When you are the most financially successful company in the digital library space, an inflated sense of ego generally occurs. Overdrive is trying to start a new holiday called “Read an eBook Day” and is giving away a number of free tablets and e-readers just by visiting their site.
Read an eBook Day is a new program that Overdrive hopes to draw attention to their various verticals. Patrons can borrow a digital book from their local libraries (as long as its an Overdrive supported one) or they can buy eBooks (from a company using Overdrives WhiteLabel Bookstore system).
Overdrive is trying to start a holiday that basically shills their own products and services and makes no mention of Amazon, Kobo, B&N or competitors such as Axis 360 or 3M Cloud Library. They should have called it “Read an Overdrive eBook day.”
A corporate holiday centered around a specific company and not a movement is disingenuous. Trying to leverage readers and enveloping them into your own ecosystem is considered by many, to be a hostile act. What is next? A “Celebrate Life Day” with Aquafina? “Keep your Lawn Preety Week” with John Deere?
|Amazon has just released another software update for the second generation Kindle Paperwhite, version 188.8.131.52. The changelog remains the same as the 5.4.5 update that Amazon issued three weeks ago today. Even though it isn’t specifically mentioned anywhere, this 184.108.40.206 update presumably fixes the problem with footnotes that was inadvertently introduced with the original 5.4.5 […]|
Sitting outside on a warm summer day reading a good book is one of my favorite thing to do. But, I have to admit that my attention span goes right out the window as soon as I open them up to let the nice weather in. Long books are out of the question – I save the Infinite Jest's and War and Peace's for the cold winter months. I love being able to start and finish the same book in one beach, porch, hammock, or even cozy air-conditioned sitting. So for me, right around 200 pages seems to be the perfect length for the perfect summer read.
I compiled a list of some of my favorite and best reviewed short novels that are wonderful, quick summer reads.
As always, your Collection Development Specialist is always available to help create any recommended lists. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information today!
*Some titles are metered access and may have limited regional or platform availability. Check OverDrive Marketplace to find what is available for you.
The biggest news out of the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference this year revolved around the next version of their mobile operating system: iOS 8. Much anticipated, iOS 8 favours function over form by focusing on features instead of upgrades to the look and feel.
As a developer, I have had the chance to test drive the beta version of iOS 8 since early June… for the rest of you still waiting to give it a try, here are a few of the things you can most look forward to:
Double-tap the home button and you will be greeted with a scrolling list of the contacts you have most recently been in touch with –this is extremely handy when you want to call or message these folks quickly and easily (instead of scrolling through lists, or trying to find an existing message to reply to).
With a tap inside the Messages app, you can send voice content quickly and easily. No more pre-recording and then attaching after the fact!
Of course, my favourite feature is the ability to ‘Share My Location’ and ‘Send My Current Location’ within an iMessage. No more trying to describe exactly where you are waiting, with a couple of taps you can send your contact an actual map!
Keyboards, Keyboards, Keyboards
Custom keyboards. A crazy elaborate Emoji keyboard. A QuickType predictive text feature for your keyboards. Keyboards are the name of the game in iOS 8 –you can finally customize them good and proper, and you will be delighted. I promise.
There are a few interface changes when it comes to the way photos are stored on your iOS device, but the one I am most excited about is the addition of a ‘Recently Deleted’ album. While it may seem unnecessary and redundant at first, anybody who has regretted deleting a photo will rejoice. Think of it like the familiar trash can (or recycle bin for those of you who still use Microsoft Windows) –it’s a holding place for deleted photos. Any photos that find their way there will be removed automatically after 30 days, unless you empty it manually before then.
I have heard more complaints about smartphone battery life than any other shortcoming. We expect our smartphones to do a whole lot, it stands to reason that will take power to accomplish those things. Thanks to the Battery Usage summary now found under Settings, we can evaluate the features we need the most vs. the battery power it takes to make them happen. It may surprise you to learn exactly which apps are drinking your battery; in my case, Messages is the biggest culprit.
Best thought of as a portal more so than an app, HealthKit gives you a single place to track anything and everything that pertains to your health and well being, including: body measurements, fitness, nutrition, sleep, and vitals.
Most valuable is the ability to create a Medical ID that is accessible even when your phone is locked. How much information you provide is left entirely up to you, but I recommend taking good advantage. My Medical ID contains a list of allergies and reactions, current medications, my emergency contact person along with their relevant details, my full name and date of birth, confirmation that I would like to be an organ donor, and my blood type. While you may initially be concerned about sharing these kinds of details in front of your passcode, the first time it saves your life those worries will vanish.
App Store – Family Purchases
If you question whether the new Family Sharing feature in iOS 8 is worthwhile, you clearly do not have children with smartphones or tablets. Now, up to six people in your family can share purchases made through iTunes… but better than that, your kids can have their own accounts! When they want to make a purchases (using your credit card of course), you can approve their spending from your own device (and not have to log in to theirs). Other family-friendly features are present as well, including photo sharing and a family calendar –all things that show Apple understands how the modern family functions.
There are so many odds and sods updated and added in iOS 8 that a comprehensive list would be nearly impossible –some are less significant: the Podcasts app is native now, the Weather app is powered by The Weather Channel instead of Yahoo, settings for Messages allows you to keep audio/video messages where previously they would be auto-deleted, Control Centre has a new look, a Tips app is installed by default and offers weekly tips on using the new operating system… and on and on.
Excited? Wondering when you can get your hands on iOS 8 and actually see these things in action? A specific release date hasn’t been announced, but with an expected Apple event in early September, it seems safe to assume things will start rolling out officially later that month.
Bridging the gap between ebooks and role-playing games leaves you with a new genre of app: gamebooks. Essentially adding another dimension, gamebooks immerse the reader into the narrative by allowing them to make choices that influence the outcome of the story. Many of you will remember this formula from the popular “Choose Your Own Adventure” books that have thrilled young readers for decades. Using the Inklewriter engine, Steve Jackson’s Sorcery! is available for your Android in a thrilling and unique way!
Traditional role-playing games use strategy and skill to guide you through the story, but gamebooks are special because they employ your imagination. While the illustrations inside Sorcery! are gorgeous and elaborate, the words on each page paint the real picture.
Written as a four-part fantasy adventure, Sorcery! presents users with thousands of choices –each of which serves to shape and personalize the story on the fly. Joyfully, these permutations change the timing (or even the existence) of fights, dialogue, and locations such that the outcome is truly unknown until you get there. To get the most out of your experience, pay close attention: you need to outwit monsters by learning their weaknesses and master a host of magic spells while you embark on a tremendous journey across a beautiful hand-drawn 3D map.
If you love reading as much as you do adventure, download Sorcery! now for $5.50 CAD and let your imagination run away with itself.
Amazon has started a new website that explains the nature of the Hachette eBook dispute and hopes to alleviate some concerns. It is aimed primarily at readers and how they will pay less money for their favorite digital titles. The full note is quite detailed and is available to read below.
Just ahead of World War II, there was a radical invention that shook the foundations of book publishing. It was the paperback book. This was a time when movie tickets cost 10 or 20 cents, and books cost $2.50. The new paperback cost 25 cents — it was ten times cheaper. Readers loved the paperback and millions of copies were sold in just the first year.
With it being so inexpensive and with so many more people able to afford to buy and read books, you would think the literary establishment of the day would have celebrated the invention of the paperback, yes? Nope. Instead, they dug in and circled the wagons. They believed low cost paperbacks would destroy literary culture and harm the industry (not to mention their own bank accounts). Many bookstores refused to stock them, and the early paperback publishers had to use unconventional methods of distribution — places like newsstands and drugstores. The famous author George Orwell came out publicly and said about the new paperback format, if "publishers had any sense, they would combine against them and suppress them." Yes, George Orwell was suggesting collusion.
Well… history doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.
Fast forward to today, and it's the e-book's turn to be opposed by the literary establishment. Amazon and Hachette — a big US publisher and part of a $10 billion media conglomerate — are in the middle of a business dispute about e-books. We want lower e-book prices. Hachette does not. Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99. That is unjustifiably high for an e-book. With an e-book, there's no printing, no over-printing, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out of stock, no warehousing costs, no transportation costs, and there is no secondary market — e-books cannot be resold as used books. E-books can and should be less expensive.
Perhaps channeling Orwell's decades old suggestion, Hachette has already been caught illegally colluding with its competitors to raise e-book prices. So far those parties have paid $166 million in penalties and restitution. Colluding with its competitors to raise prices wasn't only illegal, it was also highly disrespectful to Hachette's readers.
The fact is many established incumbents in the industry have taken the position that lower e-book prices will "devalue books" and hurt "Arts and Letters." They're wrong. Just as paperbacks did not destroy book culture despite being ten times cheaper, neither will e-books. On the contrary, paperbacks ended up rejuvenating the book industry and making it stronger. The same will happen with e-books.
Many inside the echo-chamber of the industry often draw the box too small. They think books only compete against books. But in reality, books compete against mobile games, television, movies, Facebook, blogs, free news sites and more. If we want a healthy reading culture, we have to work hard to be sure books actually are competitive against these other media types, and a big part of that is working hard to make books less expensive.
Moreover, e-books are highly price elastic. This means that when the price goes down, customers buy much more. We've quantified the price elasticity of e-books from repeated measurements across many titles. For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000. The important thing to note here is that the lower price is good for all parties involved: the customer is paying 33% less and the author is getting a royalty check 16% larger and being read by an audience that's 74% larger. The pie is simply bigger.
But when a thing has been done a certain way for a long time, resisting change can be a reflexive instinct, and the powerful interests of the status quo are hard to move. It was never in George Orwell's interest to suppress paperback books — he was wrong about that.
And despite what some would have you believe, authors are not united on this issue. When the Authors Guild recently wrote on this, they titled their post: "Amazon-Hachette Debate Yields Diverse Opinions Among Authors" (the comments to this post are worth a read). A petition started by another group of authors and aimed at Hachette, titled "Stop Fighting Low Prices and Fair Wages," garnered over 7,600 signatures. And there are myriad articles and posts, by authors and readers alike, supporting us in our effort to keep prices low and build a healthy reading culture. Author David Gaughran's recent interview is another piece worth reading.
We recognize that writers reasonably want to be left out of a dispute between large companies. Some have suggested that we "just talk." We tried that. Hachette spent three months stonewalling and only grudgingly began to even acknowledge our concerns when we took action to reduce sales of their titles in our store. Since then Amazon has made three separate offers to Hachette to take authors out of the middle. We first suggested that we (Amazon and Hachette) jointly make author royalties whole during the term of the dispute. Then we suggested that authors receive 100% of all sales of their titles until this dispute is resolved. Then we suggested that we would return to normal business operations if Amazon and Hachette's normal share of revenue went to a literacy charity. But Hachette, and their parent company Lagardere, have quickly and repeatedly dismissed these offers even though e-books represent 1% of their revenues and they could easily agree to do so. They believe they get leverage from keeping their authors in the middle.
We will never give up our fight for reasonable e-book prices. We know making books more affordable is good for book culture. We'd like your help. Please email Hachette and copy us.
Hachette CEO, Michael Pietsch: Michael.Pietsch@hbgusa.com
Please consider including these points:
– We have noted your illegal collusion. Please stop working so hard to overcharge for ebooks. They can and should be less expensive.
Getting a smartphone unlocked has traditionally been a frustrating and tedious process that usually begins with a call to your carrier and ends with either a lengthy support call that involves delving deep into the settings on your device… or more often, a trip in to a store to have it done for you. Thankfully, T-Mobile is pioneering a new way of doing things: self-serve and simple by way of using an app on your smartphone.
There aren’t a lot of details known yet regarding exactly how the app works, but the understanding is that you can request and apply an unlock code that can then be used directly on your device. It also appears that there are two types of unlocks: temporary (good for overseas trips) and permanent (available once your device is paid for in full).
Getting excited for this app may be a bit premature as it only works on a limited number of T-Mobile phones, but try to think of it more as a proof of concept that is likely to be adopted by all carriers for all phones in time.
Just about everybody uses Facebook, which means that just about everybody already knows that Facebook is migrating the Messenger functionality out of the core app and into a standalone Facebook Messenger app. What many hadn’t realized, is that the standalone app isn’t new –it’s been around for a couple of years. Part of the news surrounding the shift is a hefty dose of viral paranoia that is mostly out of date and not entirely accurate; many articles have asserted that Messenger is listening to every conversation you have as well as the music you are playing, all in an effort to better target you with advertising.
The good news: Messenger doesn’t listen to your music. The bad news: the regular Facebook app does (so that you are able to share what you are listening to with your friends during the first 15 seconds of your next status update –luckily, disabling this feature is easy to do).
So what got everybody all riled up? It is safe to say that the app’s terms and conditions did the trick:
Knowing that Messenger may be recording your audio without confirmation reasonably makes a lot of people anxious, but it isn’t meant to be the root of all evil. Messenger allows for in-app calling and the sending of voice messages, and asking permission prior to each task would become monotonous and annoying –it isn’t as if the app is designed to record and share 24/7.
It is good that people are paying attention to security and potential risks to their personal data. It is less good that misunderstood information can spread so quickly.
If you haven’t yet installed Facebook Messenger for Android, and you don’t want to miss out on notes from all of the friends while you are using a mobile device, download it now for free.