Welcome back to another installment of the Good e-Reader Nighttime Reading test. Today we evaluate the second generation six inch Icarus Illumina and put it through a battery of tests to see how it performs in complete darkness.
Most people read on their device when they are going to sleep or in other circumstances where lots of light is unavailable. Icarus has five LED lights on the bottom of the screen that illuminate the e-paper display. During the test, we check out all levels of brightness and see how it affects the reading experience.
Saturday, August 16, 2014
Amazon Kindle Unlimited is a new program that for a small monthly fee allows you to read 10 eBooks at a time. No major publisher has bought into the Amazon initiative, which insures that there is a tremendous lack of mainstream or bestsellers. Instead, the Seattle company relies on its own cadre of indie authors to populate the ecosystem with their titles from Kindle Direct Publishing. What has prevented Unlimited from really taking off and being embraced by readers? The lack of quality titles produced by indie authors.
In order for an indie author to be enrolled in Kindle Unlimited, they must opt into the Kindle Direct Publishing Select program. This allows their titles to be showcased in the Kindle Lending Library and made available for people to read for free. It also provides many advanced tools, such as free promotional pricing. KDP Select authors are automatically enrolled in Kindle Unlimited and this is how it works. If someone reads their eBook past the 10% mark, the author will get paid on average about a dollar. The money is paid from a revolving pool of revenue that Amazon has on a monthly basis.
Amazon relies on exclusivity for their authors to be opted into the Kindle Lending Library and Kindle Unlimited. This prevents authors from only promoting their works on Amazon and not on Kobo Writing Life, Nook Press or Smashwords.
The bulk number of titles on Unlimited are all produced by indie authors. There are 600,000 eBooks and audiobooks that have been opted into the program. Where do the rest of the books come from? Algonquin, Bloomsbury, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Open Road, Scholastic and Workman.
Some authors such as Hugh Howey were automatically opted into Unlimited, but did not have the same exclusivity as your run of the mill first time author. Howey and others had a limited amount of time they could distribute their titles throughout other retailers but at some point in time, they have to decide whether to fully embrace Unlimited on a title by title basis.
Most of the indie authors that actually make a decent living off of their works often have a head for the business. They are active on Twitter and other social media networks promoting their personal brands. They focus on multiple distribution platforms because it basically takes on average, two years to develop a core readership base. These authors do well because they do not rely on a singular source of revenue, but glean it from Apple, Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, Scribd and Oyster. Sadly, the authors that do rely on Amazon for the most part have poorly written titles and will never be purchased or loaned out for free. This makes Unlimited a barren wasteland of quality content from indie authors.
Should avid readers sign up for Unlimited? I would advise against it. The service is only available to residents of the US and there simply isn’t enough quality content to make it really viable beyond the first month.
Sony has been selling e-readers and eBooks since 2004 and they were the first mainstream company who made a serious powerplay to cultivate the industry. Their successes and failures over the years acted as a playbook for Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo to enter the the fray and immediately make an impact. Sony eventually got nudged out of the business due to the prices of e-readers coming down, to a such a point, that it was not financially viable anymore to continue. In February 2014 Sony announced that they were exiting the eBook space and Kobo would take over their book business. Aside from the preliminary press release Kobo has been silent about their dealings with Sony, but today Kobo CEO Michael Tamblyn has spoke to Good e-Reader all about it.
“In North America we have been really happy with the Sony customers coming over to Kobo. People have been really interested and excited about our retail ecosystem with our investment around recommendations and how to discover your next great read. As a company, we are very happy with the collaboration and quality of customers coming over.” said Tamblyn.
Michael is referring to Sony closing their online eBook store and gravitating their existing client base to Kobo. The entire modern line of Sony e-readers such as the PRS-T1, T2 and T3 have received firmware updates that removed the Sony Reader Store and implemented the Kobo store. Existing Sony customers had emails sent over to them before the big change, instructing them on how to transfer their existing customers over to Kobo.
“The Sony and Kobo relationship has been successful in a couple of ways, we are concerned about people accessing their digital libraries for the long-term and to buy new books. Our primary motivation was stepping in for a company exiting the eBook space and allowing customers to buy new titles.” Tamblyn mentioned.
Not all customers were happy for the Reader Store to close and switch to Kobo. Jeff P recently wrote "HORRID! HORRID! HORRID! I’ve been a member since November 2007. The only readers or tablets I’ve ever were Sony so that I could use the reader software. I once told a sales clerk that I didn’t need the extended warranty because I was buying a Sony. Almost every piece of electronic equipment I have is Sony. I won’t buy another Sony ANYTHING. Yes, you say customers are first, well, I’m the first customer to tell you that you’ve made a HORRID mistake and I’m never going to buy another Sony product EVER."
Like it or not, many children carry smartphones. For some, they are tremendous resources and in many cases help to keep them safe. As parents, we also have to manage their use. At a minimum, we want to be able to get ahold of our kids when we call –and not have those calls ignored because they are busy, or doing something they know they will be in trouble for. Fortunately, a new app called Ignore No More has a solution!
Brought to you by the developers at Mountaineer Technology Ventures, Ignore No More gives you control over your children’s phones. It is okay to feel a little bit giddy about this, because if your children ignore your calls and text messages, you can lock their phones remotely until they call you back!
Once the app is installed, it is virtually impossible for anybody other than you to remove. A single household account can be used by parents for multiple children, making it easy to have the system up and running quickly and easily! The developers are also quick to remind, that emergency calls are still available even if the device has been locked –so safety is never compromised.
You can download Ignore No More for $2.50 CAD, which is a small price to pay to remind your children just who makes the rules. Kids need to learn how to use technology responsibly, and sometimes that means they require a little remote supervision.
Prevent Kids Ignoring Parents’ Calls Using New App is a post from: Good e-Reader
2K Games and WWE have teamed up together to create WWE Supercard, a larger-than-life game for your Android device! Filled with all of your favourite WWE Superstars, Legends, and Divas, this new game brings the excitement of wrestling to mobile gaming.
To play WWE Supercard, you must collect card packs (either by earning them in online matches or purchasing them directly) and use the players contained within to build your dream team. There are over 400 cards available, with seven different rarity levels –though it has been announced that there will be regular updates to the superstars available. Once your winning roster is built, play against other players with single athletes, tag teams, or five-person teams.
As an added incentive, the more you participate the better your rankings and rewards!
If you like fast-paced sports-themed games, give WWE Supercard for Android a try. The game is free to install, but you may find yourself making purchases in-app when you are looking to get new card packs quickly.
Beginning as a site that lets users buy a bundle of video games for a better price than they could if they were to choose titles individually, Humble Bundle has expanded their service to include eBooks and Audio as well.
Using the app, there is a section specifically for Android games and game updates –making it very easy to keep the titles you own at the latest versions. While the interface is terribly simple and in need of a little beautification, it does function nicely.
Bundle contents change regularly, but currently they are giving you the chance to round out your digital comic book collection. If you purchased everything separately, it would cost you in excess of $431 –but they can be yours right now for $15 (less, if you choose to skip the bonus offer).
Freshly out of beta, Humble Bundle for Android is ready to download now. Once you have it installed, start looking out for the Humble Bundles: review an offer, choose how much you would like to pay (with some of your funds available for allocation to charities), make the purchase… and start reading (or playing, or listening)!
Nintendo has been threatening to target mobile devices with ports of their successful titles, and soon you will be able to catch ‘em all on your iPad: it has been confirmed that Pokemon Trading Card Game Online will be available for iOS later this year.
There are many reasons for Nintendo to start playing in the mobile game marketplace, not the least of which is to increase interest in the game franchises that may bring consumers to their console products. If that doesn’t result in success, at a minimum they will have their hands in mobile gaming and could always build on that as a next-generation plan.
The Pokemon Trading Card Game for iPad is basically a port of the free game already available on the Pokemon website, but it’s a step in the right direction.