Thursday, September 25, 2014

Good e-Reader Radio Show – September 25th


The Good e-Reader Radio Show was on a brief one month hiatus and we are back with a vengeance! Lots of new electronic readers have been announced and have either come out or will imminently be released in the next few weeks. On today’s show I discuss all of the new Kindles, the Samsung 4 Nook and Kobo H2O. What device is the best of the bunch and which ones should you not consider? In addition,  the Blackberry Passport has been announced and we have some idea now on what other new phones they have up their sleeves for 2015.

We have been doing the Good e-Reader Radio show since 2009, covering the entire digital publishing, e-reader and e-paper sector! This is the only show of its type, where we dive deep into the issues and provide honest and candid information on the brands we write about. Join in on the fun and listen for free.

Good e-Reader Radio Show – September 25th is a post from: Good e-Reader

How to Export & Edit Kindle Notes and Highlights

One of the benefits that Kindles offer is the ability to easily access and edit all the notes and highlights that you’ve added to Kindle books. Most reading apps and ebook readers offer the ability to add text notes and highlights to ebooks, but in most cases there is no option to export those annotations […]

Kindle Unlimited eBook Subscription Service Arrives in UK

Back in July, Amazon first introduced their new Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription service in the United States, where users pay a monthly subscription fee to gain unlimited access to the list of ebooks available in the program. Now Kindle Unlimited is available in the United Kingdom as well, and it comes with a 30-day free […]

Updates to Minecraft Documentation – and a Python 3 version is on the way!

No … we’re not adding a Start Menu or a paperclip assistant. This update has nothing to do with Microsoft’s acquisition of Mojang. See the note below for information about this.


You may remember when Mojang released Minecraft: Pi edition for free on Raspberry Pi back in early 2013. If you’re unfamiliar, Minecraft is a popular sandbox open world-building game (like on-screen lego) available for a number of different platforms like PCs, consoles and phones. The Pi edition has a Python programming interface allowing users to use code to build things and manipulate the virtual world around them. It’s a great way to learn coding, and there are plenty of great projects out there people have done and shared with the world.


Last week when we announced the release of the new Raspbian image, we mentioned that Minecraft is now installed by default. Now if you download NOOBS or the standalone Raspbian image, it will come with Minecraft pre-installed. It’s also worth mentioning that the Minecraft application is packaged, so rather than downloading the zip file you can easily install it like a standard application:

sudo apt-get update  sudo apt-get install minecraft-pi

The accompanying Python module will be installed globally along with the game itself you don’t need to save your Python scripts in a particular folder like you did before. If you’re following books, guides, tutorials or worksheets that were written before, the code will still work the same and if you install Minecraft the new way you’ll be able to save your scripts anywhere.

Once it’s installed, here’s the basic setup to get a “Hello world” in Minecraft:

from mcpi import minecraft    mc = minecraft.Minecraft.create()    mc.postToChat("Hello world")


When we launched the new Raspberry Pi website in April it came with a documentation section, which we’ve been expanding ever since. In May we announced the usage guides within this documentation were complete, which features basic how to guides for getting started with each of the main applications on Raspberry Pi.

We’ve just revamped the Minecraft section to explore more of the fundamental components of the Pi edition and its programming interface, including installation, running the game and Python side-by-side, exploring the programming interface and getting a good all-round introduction to what can be done.

You’ll also find this guide in our resources section, and for a full API reference see Martin O’Hanlon’s website


The edition we have at the moment was built for Python 2, and that’s still the case. However, the education team brought this up at PyConUK at the weekend and a team of developers offered to work on porting it to Python 3 – with some success!


The project is on GitHub and you can download the repository and use it the way you would use the old version of Minecraft (when you downloaded a zip) if you want to test it – just use IDLE 3 instead! We’re also planning to make some improvements to the API to make it more Pythonic and more intuitive. I’m not sure what the timescale will be for the port, but watch this space for news.

Python 3 is really important to us and we’re keen to make sure all libraries people use on the Pi are available in Python 3. Python 2 should not be the default, we should be pushing forward and adapting Python 3. As it says on the Python 2 or Python 3 page on

Short version: Python 2.x is legacy, Python 3.x is the present and future of the language

So if you’re the maintainer of a Python library, please help by making sure it’s available for Python 3. If you’re using a Python library that’s not available in Python 3 – please let us know so we can add it to the list and we’ll do what we can do get them ported.

One last note about the Microsoft acquisition of the Minecraft development company Mojang: many people have asked us what this means for the future of Minecraft on Raspberry Pi. In statements on their website, Microsoft claim they intend to continue to support Minecraft on all existing platforms. We don’t know for sure what the future will bring but Minecraft is important to us, particularly its use in education, and we’re confident that it won’t be taken from us.

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Weekly eHighlights: Video edition


Our streaming video catalog just keeps getting better and better! This month we've added a plethora of new feature films, television series, and documentaries. Many of our new titles feature phenomenal stars: Matthew McConaughey, James Franco, Robert DiNiro, Nicole Kidman, Amy Poehler, and more. Below you'll find a sample of our hottest additions. To see all of our recently added videos, click on the link to the Marketplace cart.

Click here to view the Marketplace cart of these titles and many more.


Feature Films

Are You Here
Millennium Entertainment – Comedy

Womanizing local weatherman Steve must accompany his off-the-grid best friend Ben to his childhood home for Ben’s estranged father’s funeral. They soon discover that Ben has inherited the family fortune, leaving the ill-equipped duo to battle Ben’s formidable sister and deal with his father’s gorgeous 25-year-old widow. Starring: Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, and Amy Poehler.


As I Lay Dying
Millennium Entertainment – Drama

As I Lay Dying is adapted from the classic novel by William Faulkner.  The story chronicles the Bundren family as they traverse the Mississippi countryside to bring the body of their deceased mother, Addie, to her hometown for burial. Directed by, written by, and starring Oscar-nominated James Franco.


Millennium Entertainment – Comedy

In small-town Texas, an affable mortician strikes up a friendship with a wealthy widow, though when she starts to become controlling, he goes to great lengths to separate himself from her grasp. Based on a true story. Starring: Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, and Matthew McConaughey.


Dragon Tattoo Trilogy
Music Box Films – Drama, Suspense

The original Swedish adaptations of Stieg Larsson's best-selling trilogy are now available in streaming video! English subtitles.


The Great Buck Howard
Magnolia Pictures – Comedy

A young man, much to the chagrin of his father, becomes the new assistant to an illusionist in decline. Starring: John Malkovich, Colin Hanks, Emily Blunt, and Tom Hanks.


The Paperboy
Millennium Entertainment – Drama, Thriller

A reporter returns to his Florida hometown to investigate a case involving a death row inmate. Based on the novel by Pete Dexter. Starring: Zac Efron, Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, and John Cusack.


What Just Happened?
Magnolia Films – Comedy

A movie producer desperately tries to save his two films from falling apart while managing the chaos of two marriages that already have. Based on the acclaimed, best-selling memoir by veteran Hollywood producer Art Linson and directed by Academy Award-winning Barry Levinson. Starring: Robert De Niro, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener, and Bruce Willis.



The Cisco Kid
Peter Rodgers Organization – Action, Adventure

The Cisco Kid and his English-mangling sidekick Pancho travel the old west in the grand tradition of the Lone Ranger, righting wrongs and fighting injustice wherever they find it.


Dan Vs.
Starz Digital Media – Animation, Comedy

A rude and selfish lunatic named Dan tries to get revenge on anyone and anything that he wants to stop from angering him. He gets his dimwitted best friend Chris and (sometimes) Chris’ beautiful and intelligent wife Elise to help Dan on his revenge plots.


Documentary and Instructional

Food, Inc.
Magnolia Pictures – Documentary

Food Inc. lifts the veil on our nation’s food industry, exposing how our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers, and our own environment. Nominated for Best Documentary Feature Oscar.


I'm Still Here
Magnolia Pictures – Documentary, Comedy

Documenting Joaquin Phoenix’s transition from the acting world to a career as an aspiring rapper. Starring: Joaquin Phoenix and Casey Affleck.


Put Your Heart on the Page
Dreamscape Media – Instructional

Anne Perry started out as a good writer, but has won greatness inch by inch by reading other authors, listening to editors and agents, and adapting techniques from other creators. Now you, too, can have a lesson from an author who The New York Times has called ‘First Rate,’ and who’s included in the 100 Masters of the crime genre; who’s sold 25 million copies worldwide to continuing critical acclaim.


The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: A Family Portrait
MTI Home Video – Documentary

In 1974, Tobe Hooper unleashed a film that was an intense study of homicidal madness in psychological horror. It has since become a cult phenomenon and the most successful independent horror film ever made. This is the first ever documentary of the making of this landmark film.


Click here to view the Marketplace cart of these titles and many more.