Friday, September 12, 2014

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook Discounted to $169


Barnes and Noble is offering a discount for online orders for the brand new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. US residents can order it directly from the Barnes and Noble website and get the tablet until September 14th for $169.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook is a stark contrast to all previous Nook tablets, because it has two cameras, a vanilla version of Android and the ability to really customize your own experience. Prior models of the Nook had a UI that was hard to change, this the Samsung Nook allows you to install your own keyboards, launchers and widgets.

International users can get value from the new Samsung Nook tablet, since you can download apps now from the B&N official app store and get expanded content from Google Play. The only limitations right now is renting to buying television shows or movies directly from Barnes and Noble. eBooks, magazines, newspapers, graphic novels and kids books are all easily purchased.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook Discounted to $169 is a post from: Good e-Reader

Microsoft Demos New Windows 9 Start Menu


Microsoft is no stranger to making huge mistakes with their Windows operating system. Beginning with Windows ME many moons ago, we all learned to be skeptical of the next best version that they have promised us. Even worse, some of us got so tired of Windows updates and service packs that we made the move to Apple and Mac OS. In a best effort to win back market-share and beg for market dominance once again, Windows 9 has been promised (and it will fix all that we hate about Window 8, they swear).

Keeping in mind that it’s very early (heck, Microsoft promised us Windows 8 for a few years before we ever saw a meaningful release of the software), there are a few versions of things floating around –some start menus we see have tiles, while others seem to be lacking those annoying graphics. This may mean that they are optional and configurable (which is likely).

The important takeaway from this leak –our comfort zone has been re-added… and those that missed the start menu desperately will be breathing a huge sigh of relief.

Microsoft Demos New Windows 9 Start Menu is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kobo Aura HD vs Kobo Aura H2O

kobo aura hd vs kobo aura h2o

Kobo released the HD e-reader in April 2013 and the company expected it to only account for 3% of their overall revenue. This was primarily due to the 6.8 inch screen being unproved in the market and the premium cost. Within six months, it quickly became a bestseller and CEO Michael Tamblyn said now accounts for 25% of hardware sales. This has prompted Kobo to developer a spiritual successor, the brand new waterproof H20 e-reader.

Today, we take a look at the Kobo Aura HD and the Kobo Aura H20. You will get a sense of what the new model brings to the table and check out some of the advancements in e-paper technology. We also test the glowlight capabilities to see if there are any differences between the way the front-lit display functions. If you are thinking of upgrading from the HD to the H2o, you don’t want to miss this video comparison.

Kobo Aura HD vs Kobo Aura H2O is a post from: Good e-Reader

There is a Literacy Crisis in the United Kingdom


The United Kingdom is facing a literacy crisis of epic proportions as 1.5 million youth are unable to read properly. 11 year old’s were the focus of a new study and it proclaims that unless drastic action is taken, by 2025 the UK will be in dire straights. 

A report by "Read on. Get on." said England is now one of the developed world's most unequal countries in reading, with the gap between the strongest and weakest equivalent to seven years of schooling.

The problem is acute in low-income groups, in particular white British boys, where 45% reach 11 are unable to read well. A total of 40% of poorer children are not proficient readers – almost double the rate of their better-off peers. The proportion of children reading well by 11 has dropped by 1% in five years since 2008. Even with an average annual improvement rate of 0.5
%, an estimated 120,000 pupils a year will fail to reach a proficient level of literacy – a total of 1,440,000 children between 2013 and 2025.

When children grow up, the ramifications of not reading regularly are having an adverse effect on the economy and higher learning. According to a recent OECD report, it proclaims that three-quarters of UK university graduates do not have high levels of literacy and there are currently  8.5 million adults in England and Northern Ireland with the numeracy levels of a 10-year-old. Basically, the lack of reading comprehension is costing the UK economy £32 billion.

There are various initiatives that are seeking to remedy this situation, such as the Barnes and Noble sponsored “Get London Reading” campaign.  Last year there was a read-a-thon take-over of Trafalgar Square which saw a number of West End shows such as War Horse, Billy Elliot and Matilda perform in front of a mesmerized audience of around 20,000 people. B&N also donated 1,000 Nook e-readers to schools and they all included free eBooks from Hachette UK, HarperCollins and Penguin Random House.

Building on the success of the Get London Reading campaign, Barnes and Noble has just announced they are throwing down with the Best Play Award at the prestigious and star-studded Evening Standard Theatre Awards. They will be leveraging this new arrangement to have  actress Cush Jumbo, winner of the Burberry Emerging Talent Award at the Evening Standard Theater Awards 2013, to visit a series of schools to read to children.  It was also announced that a number of other high profile actors will be reading to students all over London.

Its certainly nice to have e-readers, eBooks and publisher donated books to lower income children to build the foundation of reading, but what can really be done to solve the problem? Jonathan Douglas, director of the National Literacy Trust, said the research highlighted the vital role parents and carers played in reading with children, even for short periods. "They don't need to find big chunks of time," he said. "Parents, carers, grandparents and anyone with a child in their life can make a huge difference by reading for just 10 minutes a day."

There is a Literacy Crisis in the United Kingdom is a post from: Good e-Reader

eBooks on the Big Screen

Film adaptations always generate renewed interest in the source material, so make sure your digital shelves are stocked with the eBooks and audiobooks that inspired new and upcoming blockbusters! We have recently updated "Book to Movie" flyers available in the Partner Portal to help get the word out about your digital collection. You can find these titles and many more in OverDrive Marketplace.

All listed movie release dates are subject to change and are for the U.S. market. Title availability and film release schedules may vary by geographic region.


The Giver by Lois Lowry
The big screen take on this Newbery Medal winning book is in theaters now.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
This tearjerker, starring Chloe Grace Moretz, is playing now in theaters.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The first movie in the planned trilogy is in theaters September 19.

This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
With a cast full of familiar faces, TIWILY hits the big screen September 19.

Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow
Here Be Monsters! inspired the upcoming animated movie The Boxtrolls, in theaters September 26.

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The film adaptation, starring Ben Affleck,is due in theaters October 3.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 is coming to theaters November 21. (Part 2, the conclusion of the series, is set for release in 2015.)

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
The popular memoir turned movie hits the big screen on December 5 starring Reese Witherspoon.

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
Angelina Jolie directed the film adaptation of this unbelievable true story, set for release December 25.

Are there other “page to screen” titles you'd like to promote? Create your own book to movie posters or displays to help get the word out! Don't forget to check out our featured lists of popular books that have hit the big screen to help build your collection.

Melissa Marin is a Marketing Specialist at OverDrive. 

Let’s get Physical! New physical computing animation

With the success of the first two productions from Saladhouse, our animator friends in Manchester (What is a Raspberry Pi? and Setting up your Raspberry Pi), we proceeded to make plans for a third in the series. The topic we chose to cover this time is one which demonstrates the additional power of the Pi in learning – an introduction to the realm of physical computing.

Look through the amazing projects in our blog, the MagPi or Pi Weekly and you’ll see many of them use the portability of the small form factor and low powered nature of the Pi along with the extensibility the GPIO pins give you – not to mention the wealth of community produced add-on boards available making it all much easier.

B+ gpio closeup

Those pins sticking out there. General Purpose Input/Output. Did we mention there are 40 on the B+?

Here at Pi Towers we all love physical projects – from robotics and home automation to flatulence alarms and scaring the elderly – and we believe they’re a great way to introduce young people to coding, computational thinking, product development and understanding systems.

The video refers to some resources for projects you can make yourself. We featured the hamster disco on our blog in July, and you may have heard talk of some of the others on twitter – which are all brand new, constructed and tested by our education team. They are:

hamster-party-cam grandpa-scarer fart-detector robo-butler

See more in our resources section.

Huge thanks to Sam and Scott from Saladhouse for their hard work on this – and also to our voice actors Arthur (son of Pi co-founder Pete Lomas) and Maia! And yes, that’s Eben narrating.

IMG_0908 IMG_0910 IMG_0918 2014-07-04 20.01.22
A little gift I brought Dave back from Memphis...

A little gift I brought Dave back from Memphis…