Graphene is one of the strongest materials ever made and is designed to be totally flexible. It is more conductive than copper and it only has a layer of carbon one-atom thick. Discovered just under a decade ago, researchers have fervently been developing practical applications.
Cambridge researchers have just developed a flexible e-paper display screen using Graphene. The new prototype is an active matrix electrophoretic display, similar to the screens used in today's e-readers, except it is made of flexible plastic instead of glass. In contrast to conventional displays, the pixel electronics, or backplane, of this display includes a solution-processed graphene electrode, which replaces the sputtered metal electrode layer within Plastic Logic's conventional devices, bringing product and process benefits.
The new 150 pixel per inch (150 ppi) backplane was made at low temperatures (less than 100°C) using Plastic Logic's Organic Thin Film Transistor (OTFT) technology. The graphene electrode was deposited from solution and subsequently patterned with micron-scale features to complete the backplane.
"We are happy to see our collaboration with Plastic Logic resulting in the first graphene-based electrophoretic display exploiting graphene in its pixels' electronics," said Professor Andrea Ferrari, Director of the Cambridge Graphene Centre. "This is a significant step forward to enable fully wearable and flexible devices. This cements the Cambridge graphene-technology cluster and shows how an effective academic-industrial partnership is key to help move graphene from the lab to the factory floor."
"The potential of graphene is well-known, but industrial process engineering is now required to transition graphene from laboratories to industry," said Indro Mukerjee, CEO of Plastic Logic. "This demonstration puts Plastic Logic at the forefront of this development, which will soon enable a new generation of ultra-flexible and even foldable electronics"
Friday, September 5, 2014
When you release a new e-reader, how do you generate enough buzz without an expensive marketing campaign and a slew of television commercials? You appeal to the base of voracious readers that are most likely to buy it. In anticipation of the release of the movie versions of Gillian Flynn's hit suspense novels Gone Girl and Dark Places, Kobo has launched a new mystery campaign called ‘Going, Going Gone.’
Kicking off today, readers have the opportunity to channel their inner sleuth to solve puzzles by gathering clues found in three original short stories authored by acclaimed mystery writer Melissa Yi, available free of charge at the Kobo bookstore.
In the first story Cain and Abel, released today, readers are invited to go along for the ride when a camping weekend leads to much more drama – and distress – than desired.
How exactly do you play this little mystery game? Well, you need to download the Kobo app for Android or iOS. There are three books you have to read, Cain and Abel, Trouble and Strife (released September 16) and Butcher's Hook (released September 29.) The six-week contest opens on September 29th and closes on October 10, one week after the release of Gone Girl on October 3.
Here are the exact riddles you need to know to enter the contest
Leclaire to the west, Wabun to the east, Green to the north; in 1966, The Scottish Devil consumed their sister, a fish.
Check the frog and toad, his boom and missen was this fisherman’s daughter.
K.S. took an interest in the final resting place of Richard Watts.
Margaret Atwood is a Man Booker prize-winning novelist and her latest title will not be released for one hundred years. She is joining the Future Library, which will see 99 other authors lock their books away in a time capsule.
The Future Library was the brainchild of Scottish artist Katie Paterson, the project is based in Norway, where the city of Oslo has gifted a patch of woodland near the city to the Future Library Trust. Paterson has planted 1,000 trees there, which will grow for 100 years before being cut down and turned into paper to print an anthology of all the books which have been submitted over the century.
“It is the kind of thing you either immediately say yes or no to. You don’t think about it for very long,” said Atwood, speaking from Copenhagen. “I think it goes right back to that phase of our childhood when we used to bury little things in the backyard, hoping that someone would dig them up, long in the future, and say, ‘How interesting, this rusty old piece of tin, this little sack of marbles is. I wonder who put it there?'”
Every year the brain trust will select another title to be included in the project. The physical titles will be stored at the Deichmanske Public Library, which is opening in 2018 in Bjørvika, Oslo. The organizers are even setting up a printing press, to insure that the anthology will actually be printed, when the world switches to digital.
New Margaret Atwood Book to be Locked in a Time Capsule is a post from: Good e-Reader
Following in the footsteps of a 32.5M settlement reached with Apple in January, Google has agreed to pay back over $19M in charges racked up by kids playing games on smartphones and tablets. According to the details of the suit, the Federal Trade Commission noted that children were able to make these considerable payments using their parents’ credit cards for in-app currency and incentives.
In addition to the monies being returned, Google also agreed to update their billing practices so this kind of thing cannot happen in the future. Beginning in March of this year, Google has ensured that users are more aware of when actual money is being spent. They also allow consumers to decide if they want to be prompted for each purchase that is made (something that makes good sense, even if you don’t share your devices with other people –a little bit of hassle is worth the protection of not transferring money on a whim).
This wasn’t the case in 2011, when Google allowed purchases to be made inside apps without any password required. In 2012, a password was required, but entering it began a 30-minute window during which additional purchases could be made without further verification.
At the time the suit was filed, Google’s response to parents had been to advise they take their complaints directly to the app developers responsible for the games being played.
The Internet Archive and Open Library offers over 6,000,000 fully accessible public domain eBooks for free. This massive content pool has inspired Kalev Leetaru, a Yahoo researcher at Georgetown to extract over 14 million images from 2 million public domain books and upload them to Flickr.
In a statement on the Flickr blog “Perhaps what is most remarkable about this collection is that these images come not from some newly-unearthed archive being seen for the first time, but rather from the books that we have been digitizing for years that have been resting in our digital libraries. Through the power of big data we are suddenly able to view the world's books not as merely piles of text, but as individualized galleries of one of the richest and most diverse museums of imagery in the world.
The Internet Archive's team hopes that this project inspires us all to reconnect with our cultural past and that you will join this exciting journey to unlock the visual tapestry of the world's books. Check back regularly as more of the 14 million images will be uploaded to Flickr over the coming months!”
The purpose of this image uploading project is to allow the internet at large, to remix existing photos from public domain books. This allows anyone to be able to use them without having to pay a copyright or licensing fee.
If you feel like walking down memory lane, check out the official project on Flickr.
Trying desperately to remain relevant, Digg recently launched a new service that pulls together trending stories for you based on the people you follow on Twitter. Cleverly called Digg Deeper, this service is now available on more platforms –including an upgrade to their Digg iOS app.
Speaking on the new service, Digg describes their release by stating, “It's a great way to turn your often-overwhelming social streams into low-volume, high-value feed from the people and channels you trust.” With these updates you can scan the most-shared stories, videos, and links –but only rated across your personal Twitter connections (meaning you will get the stories that are relevant to you and not be forced to see some of the ridiculous trending topics that you want to avoid). Prefer to see these things once a day without monitoring the app? These latest updates also offer an opt-in Daily Digest email option.
Portal style services like Digg Deeper make a lot of sense. Many of us want to keep up with the latest news, but following a timeline with hundreds (if not thousands) of entries is overwhelming and time consuming. Using Digg Deeper, you get to see the stories that are most popular (and therefore most shared)… without duplication.
If you don’t have an iOS device, have no fear, Digg for Android will be updated soon as well –download it now for free and be prepared.
Samsung kicked off the September of product launches with an event that brought us a new Galacy Note 4, Note Edge, Gear S Watch, and Gear VR Headset. When you are the company usually accused of copying Apple and their designs… it takes guts to hold your event first, and it takes talent to release products that get people talking. Samsung accomplished both of these things.
Galaxy Note Edge
We saw hints of this curved display (from a distance) over a year ago, but it looks even more amazing when up close. The Galaxy Note Edge is an innovative looking smartphone with a display that rounds off over the right hand side of the screen. It’s sleek. It’s sexy. It’s DIFFERENT. While it may make putting this phone inside a case a bit more of a challenge, that isn’t something consumers have to worry about. It appears practical (allowing you to slide menu items off to the side while still keeping them touchable and accessible. It’s extra screen real-estate (to the tune of 160 rows of extra pixels) without making a larger device –and it’s exciting!
While this is a bit of a monster as far as smartphones are concerned, the Edge offers a lot of function that may be attractive to power users (unless you happen to be left handed, initial reports are telling us that the screen feels sharp and uncomfortable on the tapered side).
The specs of the phone are the same as the Note 4, so keep reading to learn more.
Galaxy Note 4
Coming in at 3.8mm narrower than the Not Edge, but 2.2mm longer, the Galaxy Note 4 is apparently a little more comfortable to hold. It doesn’t have the beautiful tapered side, but it’s still an updated version of the over-sized 5.7″ Note that many smartphone users have come to love. It now has an aluminum frame, making it look classier and higher-end –which is good, when you are trying to market a device as a premium smartphone. The glass appears flat, but it is 2.5D, meaning there is a subtle bend along the edges of the screen.
Other improvements are standard fare: an improved front-facing camera (with a 3.7MP sensor and an aperture of f/1.9 giving better low-light photographs), improved battery (going from 3,200mAh to 3,220mAh), Super AMOLED screen that improves on the previous 1080p resolution (now 2,560×1,440), upgraded rear-facing camera (16MP over the previous 13MP), and a faster 2.7GHz quad-core Snapdragon 805 processor with a 600MHz Adreno 420 GPU. The RAM remains the same as the Note 3, at 3GB. 32GB and 64GB models will be available, which means you can bump it up to 128GB with a 64GB microSD card (unfortunately the device doesn’t support using a 128GB card).
Those of you who were watching the S5 with great interest, will be happy to know that the fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor are now included in the Note.
For anybody who didn’t like the unsightly USB 3.0 connector found on the Note 3, Samsung has moved back to USB 2.0 on this new phone –it seems hardly anybody took advantage of the higher speeds, so the manufacturer went with form over function in this area.
Gear S Smartwatch
Samsung has been playing in the wearables market for a while now, with the latest entry being the Gear S. It is larger than most other smartwatches, with a curved 2-inch AMOLED screen that features a 480×360 pixel resolution. Powered by a 1GHz processor and backed by 512MB of RAM, the Gear S runs Tizen capably. There are a few gadgets and gizmos of course, with a GPS sensor, accelerometer, gyroscope, UV detector, barometer, and heart rate monitor.
Meant to be a compliment to a smartphone, the Gear S can function on its own as well –running many of its own apps and even featuring a QWERTY touch keyboard (which can only be described as awkward).
Gear VR Headset
Capitalizing on the virtual reality excitement in the tech marketplace these days, Samsung has announced the Gear VR headset. It isn’t a standalone product, with no CPU of its own –but it does feature the Galaxy Note 4’s quad HD display to deliver impressive and immersive graphics.
It looks a little old-school, basically looking like a large plastic rectangle when placed over your eyes –making me wonder why they wouldn’t just release a cradle style holster so any of the Note smartphones could function as this device.
There isn’t much in the way of content available for this headset just yet –but stay tuned, the more this technology is implemented, the more developers will create titles for it.
The one way Samsung failed at this event is that they didn’t tell us exactly what these new toys will cost us, or when exactly we can get our hands on them (other than saying ‘in October’). This is an area where Apple tends to excel, letting all of their announcements finish with answers to the who/what/when/where/why/how much questions we are dying to ask.
After thousands of readers across the globe cast their vote, OverDrive excitedly announces the title that topped them all for this fall’s Big Library Read: Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes. Participating in this event allows your library to offer a new simultaneous use title for community-wide access from your library at no cost.
What is Big Library Read?
Title: Anatomy of a Misfit by Andrea Portes
Subjects: Young Adult Fiction, Romance
Description: In this Mean Girls meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower tale, narrator Anika Dragomir is the third most popular girl at Pound High School. But inside, she knows she’s a freak; she can’t stop thinking about former loner Logan McDonough, who showed up on the first day of tenth grade hotter, bolder, and more mysterious than ever. Logan is fascinating, troubled and off-limits. The Pound High queen bee will make Anika’s life hell if she’s seen with him. So Anika must choose–ignore her feelings and keep her social status? Or follow her heart and risk becoming a pariah. Which will she pick? And what will she think of her choice when an unimaginable tragedy strikes, changing her forever? An absolutely original new voice in YA in a story that will start important conversations–and tear at your heart.
Lending model: The title will be available for simultaneous use, meaning no holds for users.
Formats available: Both eBook and audiobook formats of this title will be available for the program. Users will be able to read the title in their browser immediately through OverDrive Read, or download the EPUB, Kindle (U.S. only), or MP3 format to enjoy on nearly every device.
How does the program work?
At the end of the program, the title will be removed from your collection (unless previously purchased) and available for purchase in OverDrive’s Marketplace should your library wish to offer continued access (eBook – $15.99 USD in the Metered Access lending model, audiobook – $43.99 USD). If your library purchases the title before the start of the program, it will remain in your collection and be converted to the simultaneous use model for the duration of the program.
When is the next Big Library Read?
Who can participate?
The Big Library Read program is open to all OverDrive partners worldwide, and participation is on an opt-in basis. Sign up below by October 1, 2014. The title will then be automatically added to your digital collection on October 13. Sign up here.
What resources are available to promote the Big Library Read?
A free MARC record for the title will be provided via OverDrive MARC Express at no cost and sent via email to the email address provided at sign-up (a separate record will be sent for each format). This will allow the title to be discoverable through your library’s catalog and existing integration for adopters of OverDrive APIs.
Connect with the author during the Big Library Read
If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your library’s Account Specialist at OverDrive.
We hope you’ll participate in the next Big Library Read!
The Usual Suspects: Guaranteed Bestsellers
Kick Lannigan was kidnapped at age six, and rescued at eleven, but her abductor trained her in all kinds of interesting skills, including bomb making, lock picking, and marksmanship. Now she's an adult and in order to feel safe, has augmented these skills with many others, and will use them to help free two kidnapped children. This one is much loved on Edelweiss, and is a Library Reads pick.
Christine Feehan, the "queen of paranormal romance," is back with a new Carpathian novel.
Terry Goodkind – Severed Souls
Goodkind's fantasy novels have hordes of Legend of the Seeker fans. In this one, an army of the dead threatens the world of the living, and a magical sickness threatens Richard Rahl and Kahlan Amnell.
Kay Hooper – Haunted
NY Times bestselling author Hooper returns with the new novel in the Bishop/SCU series. A small town is on edge when two local men are killed under mysterious circumstances and the prime suspect insists it was a paranormal murder.
The newest Mitford novel will please Karon's millions of fans, who have been waiting since 2005 for a new book in the series. Father Tim Kavanagh, who has been retired for five years, returns to Mitford with his wife. When he's offered a pulpit, he decides he doesn't want it, and wonders if he's lost his passion.
Here's the latest from the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master. Judge Deborah Knott is summoned to her Aunt Rachel's bedside. The dying woman is awake and surrounded by what seems like the whole town, and is telling random stories. But less than an hour later, she's found dead—smothered by a pillow. Who would kill a woman on her deathbed?
Colleen McCullough's The Thorn Birds was a blockbuster bestseller decades ago. This is billed as her first epic romantic novel since that time, and is set in Australia like the earlier novel.
David Mitchell – The Bone Clocks
By the author of the bestselling Cloud Atlas.
A chilling ghost story by the bestselling author of Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy. When a wealthy man dies, leaving behind his country house packed with his belongings, his estranged family arrive to claim their inheritance. But they are not alone. Long dead former residents of the house linger within its claustrophobic walls.
This Library Reads honoree is receiving rave reviews, and may be even more popular due to the current Ebola epidemic. A terrible flu has spread and killed most of the people on the earth. This novel spans decades, moving back and forth in time to depict the world before and after the epidemic.
Another Library Reads pick, Umrigar, with each new novel, picks up more and more fans. An experienced psychologist manages to maintain emotional distance from her patients until she meets a young Indian woman who tried to kill herself.
Andrew Cuomo – All Things Possible
New book by possible Presidential candidate and governor of New York.
Steve Harvey – Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success
HarperCollins eBook & audiobook
The author of Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man is back with his plan for succeeding in life. 750,000 print run.
Nicky Hilton – 365 Style
Hilton has created her own style, and in this guide, she shares her best-kept style secrets and explains how to discover your own style.
Euny Hong – The Birth of Korean Cool
Hong grew up in Gangnam—yes, the Seoul, South Korea neighborhood Psy mocked in his viral video "Gangnam Style." In her book, she explains how a really uncool country became cool, and how a nation that once banned miniskirts, long hair on men, and rock and roll, could become known for its pop music and a smartphone in every pocket.
Paul Johnson – Eisenhower: A Life
Acclaimed and bestselling historian Johnson is back with a biography of Dwight D. Eisenhower, focusing mainly on his years as a general and his two terms as president.
Ronald Kessler – The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents
From the bestselling author of In the President's Secret Service. The book covers the entire sweep of the Secret Service Agency's relationship with the president and his family, and tells the story of what it is like to be a secret service agent.
An award-winning senior writer at Time explores narcissism with insight and wit. He includes new research on narcissism and explains how to recognize and understand them so that you aren't overtaken by them. Narcissists are everywhere. They are entertainers, politicians, business people, your neighbors, and odds are they're intelligent, confident, articulate, and the center of attention.
Eric Schmidt & Jonathan Rosenberg – How Google Works
Two of Google's most senior executives offer their sometimes contrarian techniques for how to hire, manage, motivate, strategize, and grow a business.
*Geographical rights may vary by title.
This week, Dr Sam Aaron released the much anticipated final version of Sonic Pi v2.0. It will be replacing Sonic Pi v1 on Raspbian very soon, and you will be able to get it via our Downloads page (we will let you know when). In the meantime, you can follow the instructions at the bottom of this post to download and install it. The latest version of Sonic Pi brings music creation and performance to the forefront with live coding capabilities, parameter modification, samples and much more!
To celebrate, we have launched the first ever Sonic Pi Competition to find some of the best space-themed music, coded with Sonic Pi v2.0 by school children in the UK. The Sonic Pi Competition is designed to encourage school students aged between 6 and 16 years old to use their creativity and coding knowledge to create a unique and original two-minute piece of music on a Raspberry Pi device.
Entries need to include an audio file of what the music sounds like, the code used to create it, a short written description, and a cover art file.
All entries will be put into a hat to win a Raspberry Pi and SD card at random. Semi-finalists will win a Sonic Pi half-day workshop with Sam Aaron and Juneau Projects for their school, and a custom Sonic Pi Pibow case. Overall winners in each category will win a Sonic Pi classroom kit containing 25 x Raspberry Pis and peripherals for their school and a Minirig speaker, as well as a Sonic Pi Competition trophy designed by artists Juneau Projects.
The final will take place at the Cambridge Junction on 4th November 2014 as part of the Sonic Pi Live & Coding Summit, with the 12 semi-finalists (four in each category) introducing and playing their music on a Raspberry Pi to the audience in front of an expert panel of judges.
The deadline for entries is 13th October 2014, so get creative with your code, and become the next big thing in music!
Sonic Pi v2.0 can be downloaded right now by typing the following from the command line or LXTerminal window:
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install sonic-pi
Pocketbook has formally announced a trio of next generation of tablets that are absolutely brimming with cutting edge specs. The company is betting that they will outshine the competition on the hardware front on the match towards the holiday shopping season.
PocketBook SURFpad 4 M (7.9 inch screen) and PocketBook SURFpad 4 L (9.7 inch screen) models have IPS displays with resolution of 2048×1536, and the 7-inch version PocketBook SURFpad 4 S has a resolution of 1920×1200, which is more than FHD (Full High Definition) format. The screen aspect ratio of PocketBook SURFpad 4 S is 16:10 and PocketBook SURFpad 4 M and PocketBook SURFpad 4 L – 4:3.
Underneath the hood is a 1.7 GHZ Octacore processor and all models have a quad-core GPU for is great for fans of the latest computer games. All three devices have 2 GB of RAM for better performance, and 16 GB of internal memory. If this is not enough, you can increase it further via the SDHC and SDXC external memory cards. The 9.7 inch 4L model has an amazing 8000 mAh battery, while the others have a more modest 4000 mAh.
All models are equipped with the two cameras – a rear facing 8 MP with autofocus to create high resolution images and the front facing 2 MP. They also have a set of stereo speakers, one on each side of the screen. They also have 3.5 mm headphone jacks for the moments you don’t want to keep sounds on the down low.
Finally, these tablets are running a vanilla version of Android 4.4 KitKat OS. No word on price as of yet, or official release date.
The Pocketbook Sense has just been unveiled at the IFA event in Germany. This new e-reader is aimed primarily at women, as they have teamed up with Kenzo, a French Luxury House. When you order the e-reader it comes with a sweet embossed crocodile leather case.
The PocketBook 630 Fashion features a six inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1024 x 758 pixels. One of the innovative design elements beyond this device is the built-in ambient light sensor. It will automatically adjust the front-lit display based on the surrounding conditions. So the brightness with be different outside in the shade then reading in complete darkness in bed.
The e-reader supports 19 popular text and image formats and provides a set of pre-installed ABBYY Lingvo dictionaries, which makes it easy to read books even in a foreign language. 4GB of built-in memory plus a microSD slot will be enough to keep even the largest collection of favorite literature. Using the device is simple and, which is more important, incredibly comfortable due to the multi-sensory display and the new PocketBook user interface. Access to the Internet via built-in Wi-Fi opens up limitless opportunities not only for reading, but also for social networking using via ReadRate service. The pre-installed Dropbox and Send to PocketBook services allow to transfer content to the device without connecting to a PC.
Custom leather cases are nothing really new in the world of e-readers, but often have to be ordered from 3rd parties, who specialize in artistic designs. It is rare that a company like Pocketbook will give away a very well designed case with purchase of the e-reader. One thing that made me laugh in the press briefings is how it ended “Meet PocketBook Sense with KENZO cover – the fashion trend-setter of the e-reading market, and remember: there is nothing more seductive and compelling than intelligence.”