Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Amazon Ready to Stream in 4K This October


We’ve been hearing from Amazon that they plan to shoot their 2014 original series lineup in 4K (which you can enjoy if you happen to own a Samsung Ultra HD TV). Until now, we just didn’t know when. Samsung has now revealed that this will be happening in October of this year, stating that they plan to support Amazon’s Prime Instant Video UHD streaming on their 4K TVs.

This is great news for those of you with the fancy televisions that support 4K content, with very little available in that enhanced resolution. Samsung has more in store, with a CES announcement this year sharing that in addition to Amazon, the company has established major partnerships with Netflix, Comcast, and DirecTV.

It hasn’t been announced yet whether Amazon’s 4K service too extend to additional manufacturers, but it seems probable once any kinks have been worked out.

Amazon Ready to Stream in 4K This October is a post from: Good e-Reader

What Should We Expect From Apple at Next Week’s Event?


These days it seems like America’s favourite passtime isn’t baseball, but rather it revolves around speculating as to what Apple will be releasing at their next big event. Generating hype is certainly something that Apple knows how to do, and their event next week is no exception. We will all be tuned in closely on September 9, 2014 –but in the meantime, there are a few decent guesses as to what Apple has in store for us.

iPhone 6

Every fall there is a new iPhone. Even if it’s a lesser ‘S’ upgrade, we’ve always enjoyed a new device around this time of year. With the 5S coming to us in the fall of 2013, a more significant move to an iPhone 6 is all that makes sense –and quite frankly, I am not sure consumers would accept anything less.

So what’s it going to look like? Probably about the same as it already does, but with a 4.7″ screen. It’s possible Apple will have a variety of sizes available: 4″, 4.7″ and a super-sized 5.5″ option –but this array doesn’t make sense with Apple’s existing support structure and design philosophy. Having something a little larger makes sense and would allow them to compete with the bigger devices being offered by the likes of Samsung, LG, HTC, and Sony (but if there are more than 2 size options available, I’ll be losing more than a few betting pools I’m participating in).

Other than the size difference, we’re going to see the usual cast of characters as far as updates are concerned: faster processor, better camera, possibly lighter, maybe a battery with more juice… but those aren’t things people tend to really care much about. It is probably a good bet that there will be a 128GB storage option, bringing into question whether they will still bother with a 16GB model or if the low end will start at 32GB.


There are two schools of thought when it comes to the iWatch: (1) Apple can’t afford to stay out of the fitness wearables market and (2) Apple shouldn’t bother trying to compete, and rather they should work with major fitness wearable manufacturers to turn the iPhone into a functional portal for all of the available options. If Apple doesn’t have something for this market at the event next week, it would likely be in their best interests to say they have no intention of competing in that arena; rather than stating that they aren’t ready yet.

There are a lot of important people out there that would say that having a credible iWatch style device from Apple is the most important tech product due out this year. The problem is, what would it look like? Apple values function equally with form, and they have a history of releasing a minimum number of design options for a device (a few colours, perhaps). What this means is that whatever they come out with has to appeal equally to the teenage masses as it does to the Rolex-wearing businessmen. It needs to look as good on a professional woman as it does on the athlete or low-budget university student.

So will they release an iWatch? I hope not. Will they release some kind of wearable sensor that can be mounted in any number of holsters (be them rings, watch-bands, necklaces, belt clips, or whathaveyou)? This seems more likely and appealing.

But I digress.

The point is, especially with the new HealthKit app, Apple is trying to become the go-to place for all of your health information. Whatever makes it easier to record and collate this information, is exactly what Apple needs to make… this means it has to be more than just a step-counter. What about having a heart-rate monitor? Blood pressure monitor? Glucose monitor? It just doesn’t make good sense for Apple to release yet another rubber band when there are dozens of credible and sensible options for sale already.


At the WWDC this past June, Apple told us about iOS 8 and OS X 10.10 Yosemite. Both operating systems have been actively in beta since that point and it stands to reason the are nearing a full release. If there is new hardware, shipping a device with anything other than the latest operating system wouldn’t make sense at this point.

Odds and Sods

There’s more we want of course. We want updated iPads (with fingerprint sensors), we want new Mac Minis (with updated specs)… there were recent improvements to the MacBook line-up, but heck, we’d like updated models of those too! All of these things are pretty unlikely at this event –not only are they going to be short on time to discuss them, they won’t want to put the new iPhone in the shadow of another device. It may be we’re seeing this sized event in September to keep room for an October launch of these ‘lesser’ updates just prior to the holiday shopping season… but that’s just a shot in the dark.

Obviously, it’s all about making educated guesses at this point… so until then, try to stay balanced on the edge of your seat.

What Should We Expect From Apple at Next Week’s Event? is a post from: Good e-Reader

Barnes and Noble Trials Espresso Book Machine

Bill Leggett

The largest bookseller in the United States, Barnes and Noble is implementing a pilot project to put the Espresso Book Machine at three locations.

The Espresso Book Machine is a print on demand machine that prints, collates, covers, and binds a single book in a few minutes. Each machine retails for $80,000, which is a significant investment.

What is the entire point of Print on Demand? Well, indie authors often take advantage of it to have their physical books printed when someone orders it online. Barnes and Noble will also be able to print bestselling and back list titles from Ingram Lightning Source.

If you are would like to check out the book machine for yourself it is currently available at the flagship Union Square store in New York and also Paramus, N.J, and Willow Grove, Pa.

Barnes and Noble Trials Espresso Book Machine is a post from: Good e-Reader

How to load eBooks on the Samsung Galaxy 4 Nook


Barnes and Noble has only released one new device in 2014 and it is called the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. This device allows you to load in your own PDF files, newspapers, magazines and eBooks. In this video tutorial I will show you how to load in your own content using Calibre and Windows Explorer. You will get a sense on the internal directory structure of the Nook and where you should be copying the files.

How to load eBooks on the Samsung Galaxy 4 Nook is a post from: Good e-Reader

New and popular content for schools

For many of us, September brings a new school year. Though for our friends in the Southern Hemisphere, many of you are currently in session, or have a few more weeks until the start of the new term. But no matter where you are, we have some great titles made available in the past month.

Below are lists of the most popular new titles released in the month of August. Clicking each link will take you to each list in Marketplace. The titles appear as search results would, so you can easily refine results or add them to a cart.

New Juvenile

New Young Adult

New Adult – High School Appropriate


And as always, your Collection Development Specialist is happy to assist you with recommendation lists customized specifically for your school or library. Email us at collectionteam@overdrive.com for more information!

*Please note: some titles may have limited regional or platform availability.

Liz Tousey is a Collection Development Analyst at OverDrive.

Scribd Celebrates an Amazing 2014

Scribd has already posted their year in review infographic that gives as a sense of their most popular reading categories. Over the course 2014 they have had 1 billion pages read,  160 billion words read and readers have spent 17.6 million hours of reading eBooks.


Scribd Celebrates an Amazing 2014 is a post from: Good e-Reader

Reading Eggs eBooks Now Available on Kobo


Kobo has ironed out an agreement with  Blake eLearning to make more than 120 of their award-winning Reading Eggs eBooks available in the Kobo Kids Store.  This marks the first occasion the books are digitized  outside of the Reading Eggs program and are available exclusively on Kobo.

Developed by a highly experienced team of educational teachers, writers and developers, the Reading Eggs program focuses on a core reading curriculum of phonics and word memorization so that kids learn skills and strategies essential for sustained reading success. It directly supports what children learn at school and will help to improve a child's results at school.

If you want to see what all of the fuss is about and you have a Kobo Tablet or their official app, Reading Eggs is offering a bundle of 4 free educational eBooks.

Reading Eggs eBooks Now Available on Kobo is a post from: Good e-Reader

Final Call for September Picademy Applicants

Are you a teacher? Have you got back-to-school blues after yesterday’s return to the staffroom? Are your classroom displays distinctly lacking in interaction or automation? Are you bored of taking the register the old fashioned way? Well we think that we have the perfect remedy for you!

Have you packed your Raspberry Pi yet?

Have you packed your Raspberry Pi yet?

We’re offering another two days of FREE training from the Education Team in our HQ home town of Cambridge, UK. You don’t need any experience with Raspberry Pi. We will teach you, inspire you, feed you, and give you free resources. All you need to do is get here! We are confident that you will have such a good time that you’ll shake those back-to school-blues and be excited about getting hands on with technology in your classroom, like Raspberry Certified Educators Dan Aldred and Sue Gray, who created a dancing and singing glove over the two days of training:

We can help you create lots of classroom projects from scratch, like a ‘Make-an-entrance’ Doorbell for your classroom or an RIFD tag register for your desk!

Apply now for September Picademy (29th & 30th September 2014). The deadline for applications for this event is on Friday 5th September, so you’ve only got a few more days. We will email all successful candidates on Monday 8th September.

Applications for October Picademy (27th & 28th October 2014) will remain open until Friday 3rd October.

We accept applications from practicing teachers from all over the world who teach any subject area. We’ve had art teachers, history teachers, science teachers and Primary non-subject specialists as well as ICT and Computing teachers visit Picademy; the course is appropriate for any teacher, no matter what their subject.

Here is what some of our Raspberry Pi Certified Educators have to say about their experience at a Picademy:

Picademy was a hard two days of CPD but was definitely the best I have been on. It is difficult to mention the best thing about it because there were so many! Unlike most CPD I have been on we were not just talked at – we were hands on developing and creating nearly all the time. We had so many opportunities to networking and share ideas – I have not used Twitter so much and am seeing more value in it now. The time simply flew by especially when we were working on our projects during which we were writing code, debugging, bouncing ideas around, sharing, creating, swearing, laughing, tweeting, eating sweets, learning, googling, performing bear surgery and collaborating. Although the two days finished last week for Picademy#3 it hasn't stopped – ideas are still flowing and the tweets and emails are pinging about the internet. – Matthew Parry – CAS Master Teacher

It was an epic journey. For some present, they had never plugged in a Pi before Monday, by the end they were exploring different programming concepts not for necessity but for curiosity and intrigue. For others, we now had a colossal array of activity ideas and cross-curricular links not to mention a brilliant network of fellow interested educators. What more can you ask for from 2 free days of CPD? – Sway Grantham - Primary Teacher, UK.