Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Star Wars Commander for iOS Review


Star Wars Commander is an attempt to cash in on the entire Clash of Clans phenomenon. The premise of the game is to enhance your resources, upgrade your town hall and build defensive walls to keep your enemies out. There is a big army component to it, and depending if you choose the Rebels or the Imperials a host of custom troops, mechanized and airstrikes that can turn the tide during a pitched battle.

One of the things I liked about Commander was the RPG aspects to it. During all of the big missions you get a sense on who the major players are, from bounty hunters to legendary AT&ST pilots.

This is one of those titles you can play without having to spend any money on micro transactions. You simply have to log yourself in a few times a day and squirrel away all of your gold and alloy. You can use this in-game currency to make troops or engage in some research to make your favorite army type more powerful.

In the end, you will complete the game in about a week, but new chapters are issued monthly. The big problem I have with this title is the inability to control where my troops are going. Their AI really seems indiscriminate and it takes getting used to. Its a free game, so you can check it out for Android or iOS.

Star Wars Commander for iOS Review is a post from: Good e-Reader

Free eBook: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

For those of you that enjoy reading epic fantasy, #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson is giving away free copies of The Way of Kings, book 1 of The Stormlight Archive, an expected 10-part series (epic indeed). The free ebook is available from iBooks as part of a promotion for the launch of […]

Paypal to Become Separate Entity in 2015


In 2002 PayPal became a wholly owned subsidiary of eBay and has been used to facilitate payments on the e-commence site. Due to the increasing pressures of the modern economic reality with Apple Pay, Alipay and Square, eBay and Paypal have agreed to part ways and Paypal will now be its own publicly traded company in 2015.

Devin Wenig, president of eBay Marketplaces, to become CEO of new eBay company following separation and American Express executive Dan Schulman joins PayPal immediately as President and CEO designee for PayPal post-separation.

PayPal has been on pace to overtake eBay’s core marketplace by sales. In the June quarter, the payments unit boosted sales 20% to $1.95 billion and added 4.1 million new active customers from the first quarter, to 152.5 million. PayPal facilitates one in every six dollars spent online, eBay said. At its namesake marketplace, revenue rose 9% to $2.17 billion as the number of active accounts increased by 3.8 million to 148.9 million.

“The payments landscape is hyper-competitive, the pace of change is accelerating and everyone is gunning for PayPal,” said Forrester analyst Denee Carrington. “The split will give PayPal greater agility to help it achieve its full potential.”

PayPal has been expanding beyond online and mobile payments and offering other financial services. It began lending money to small business customers late last year. And eBay bought Braintree, a payment processor used by startups such as vacation rentals site Airbnb and cab-hailing app Uber, a year ago for about $800 million and will be part of the PayPal unit.

Hopefully that now Paypal will be an autonomous entity they could really redeem themselves in the eyes of internet users. We have all heard of the horror stories of Paypal being used to facilitate Kickstarter payments, only to have the money put on hold and the developers have to jump through months of hoops to get any of it back, if they do get any of it back.

Paypal to Become Separate Entity in 2015 is a post from: Good e-Reader

Simon & Schuster eBooks now available to Australia and New Zealand public libraries!

OverDrive is pleased to announce that Simon & Schuster has expanded the availability of its catalog to Australia and New Zealand. With this expansion, the Simon & Schuster catalog now displays in OverDrive Marketplace for all U.S., Australia, and New Zealand public libraries. Some of the titles available* include The Great Gatsby, The Summer Girls by Mary Alice Munroe, I Am Having so Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum, and many more. All titles are available through the one-year metered access lending model.

A requirement to add Simon & Schuster eBooks to your library's digital collection is the "Buy It Now" feature. The option to Buy It Now will appear on all titles in your collection that are available to purchase from an affiliated retailer. Libraries that opt-in to the Buy It Now (BIN) feature will have access to many titles not previously available.

Before submitting a purchase order in OverDrive Marketplace that includes a Simon & Schuster title, you will be prompted to agree to enable the BIN feature. The feature will then be added to your OverDrive-powered website within a few days.

For each sale generated through BIN, your library will receive a percentage of proceeds from a user’s entire purchase from the affiliated retailer. On a quarterly basis, the proceeds will be added to your OverDrive account as a content credit to use toward content purchases and your library will receive an email from OverDrive with a summary of BIN activity. For more information on the feature, please watch a brief overview here. Patrons and Friends of the Library in your community can take advantage of this excellent way to support the library they love and enjoy.

If you have any questions, contact your Collection Development Specialist. We are always here to help!


Happy Reading!


*Title selection varies by geographic region

Picademy Cymru

Road trip.

These are the two words that Clive, our Director of Education says to me on a regular basis. In fact, he has promised me a road trip to Pencoed in Wales to visit the factory where our Raspberry Pis are manufactured in the UK for some time now. Not just any road trip, but one that involves an ice cream van serving raspberry ripple ice creams (avec flake) whilst motoring across the country to Sonic Pi melodies, containing the entire Foundation crew. You would be forgiven for thinking that this is all just mere ravings of a crazy ex-teacher. But you’d be wrong.

The dream machine

The dream machine

I’m pleased to be able to announce that this dream is to become a reality! Albeit, minus the ice cream van. For one time only, we are taking Picademy, our free CPD training programme for teachers, on the road to Wales this coming November, hosted at the Sony UK Technology Centre in Pencoed, South Wales. We have 24 places on Picademy Cymru, taking place on 19th & 20th November, for practicing classroom teachers in Wales. If you fit this description then please fill out our application form here or via our Picademy page. We are looking for fun, experimental, not afraid to have a go, Welsh teachers willing to share their experiences and practices with others. Primary and secondary teachers from any subject specialism are welcome – you don’t need any computing experience, just enthusiasm and a desire to learn.



A few months ago, Dr Tom Crick, Senior Lecturer in Computing Science (and Director of Undergraduate Studies) in the Department of Computing & Information Systems at Cardiff Metropolitan University and Chair of Computing at School Wales got in touch to encourage us to run a Picademy in Wales, offering the support and encouragement we needed in order to make it happen. He says:

This is perfect timing for the first Picademy Cymru and a great opportunity for teachers, even though we still have significant uncertainty around reform of the ICT curriculum in Wales. Nevertheless, there are hundreds of teachers across Wales who have been working hard, particularly at a grassroots level with Computing At School and Technocamps, to embed more computing, programming and computational thinking skills into the existing ICT curriculum, as well as preparing for the new computer science qualifications. This will be a fantastic event and I look forward to helping out!

Join us for a tour of the factory, hands-on Raspberry Pi workshops, cross-curricular resource generation, and Welsh cakes. (If Eben and Liz don’t eat all the Welsh cakes before we get our hands on them. It’s been known to happen before.)