Thursday, October 9, 2014

OverDrive’s statement about Adobe Digital Editions privacy concerns

On Tuesday morning, OverDrive became aware of the story regarding Adobe collecting user information via the use of their desktop reading software, Adobe Digital Editions. Adobe has since released a response, which can be read in full here, explaining both the purpose of this data collection and its usage.

We respect and uphold the privacy of users who engage with OverDrive's services and library websites hosted by OverDrive. It is our understanding that the reported issue involves Adobe Digital Editions 4, which is not used as part of the OverDrive app.

OverDrive collects information to improve the manner by which OverDrive operates and offers its products and services, and to improve how OverDrive communicates with users about those products and services. To see the full detail of what information OverDrive collects and how it is used, visit our OverDrive App Privacy Policy and OverDrive Privacy Policy.

We are actively monitoring the situation, and will continue to update our partners and users as more information becomes available.

Amazon Plans New Pop-Up Store in Manhattan


Amazon has been toying with the idea of a physical brick and motor store for quite awhile. The Seattle based company is taking the first few tentative steps towards retail by opening a temporary pop up store on 34th Street in Manhattan across the street from the Empire State Building just in time for this year’s holiday season.

The experimental pop-up store will function as a small warehouse, holding limited inventory for same-day deliveries only in New York. If a customer orders a product online, they can visit the store and pick it up in person.

The store also intends on showing off the complete modern lineup of Kindle e-Readers, tablets, smartphones and Fire TV. This will give customers a chance to play with the tech in person and have experienced reps to walk people through the key features. Amazon will also be selling the hardware and running daily contests.

Amazon has been experimenting with temporary retail locations since December 2013, when it ran one in San Francisco. During the summer of 2014 Amazon took the show on the road to China and went to a series of locations in Shanghai and Beijing.

If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere, says the old adage. Media and customers will likely be flocking to this retail outlet to gain insight on how Amazon does brick and motor.

Amazon Plans New Pop-Up Store in Manhattan is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kobo to Exclusively Focus on e-Readers and Apps


Kobo has experimented with many iterations of Android driven tablets, but has decided that their primary focus is going to be e-readers and apps.

The brand new Kobo H2O waterproof e-reader started shipping last week and CEO Michael Tamblyn said had achieved the highest rate of pre-orders of any other Kobo device. However, he also revealed tablet devices were no longer a focus area for the company. Instead, it will concentrate on three main e-reader models, the Kobo Touch, Kobo Aura and the new H2O.

Kobo has been developing tablets since 2011, with the advent of the Kobo Vox. The Toronto based company has done a number of followups, such as the Kobo Arc, Kobo Arc 7 and Kobo Arc 10 HD. Increased competition from notable vendors such as Apple, Amazon Samsung and Sony have relegated Kobo branded tablets to a novelty and not a must buy.

Tamblyn verified the exit of the tablet market by confirming “The tablet devices we already have out there will continue to be sold, but we are not at this point planning any new tablets.”

Kobo scored a major coup de tat when it reached an agreement with Sony to take over their digital book business. This resulted in over 25,000 new customers coming over to the Kobo ecosystem. Going forward, Sony has promised that their new smartphones and tablets will have the Kobo reading app pre-installed.

The future of Kobo looks bright. The company is focusing their energies on marketing their complete line of e-readers to international markets and refining their apps for Android and iOS. There really isn’t any need anymore to spend a copious amount of money, trying to compete against the big boys, when all you need is to have an exciting ecosystem and compelling apps.

Kobo to Exclusively Focus on e-Readers and Apps is a post from: Good e-Reader

Weekly eHighlights: Kids and teens edition



Welcome to this month's eHighlights newsletter for kids and teens. Check back on the second Thursday of every month for a new edition listing some of the best new youth titles added to OverDrive's Marketplace. The featured titles below are some of the best picks, but don't miss the complete list of 200 titles! Click on the link below to see these and even more great purchases conveniently placed for you into a Marketplace cart.


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


Top Authors: No Annotation Needed—

Kami Garcia – UnmarkedYAHachette eBook and Blackstone audiobook
Robin LaFevers –
Mortal Heart ­– YAHoughton Mifflin Harcourt eBook – His Fair Assassin trilogy, Bk 3
Jane Yolen and Adam Stemple – The Last ChangelingAges 9-11 – Penguin eBook – Seelie Wars Bk 2
James Patterson & Maxine Paetro – The Paris MysteriesYAHachette eBook and Blackstone audiobook


Picture Books

Chris Van Allsburg – The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie– Houghton Mifflin Harcourt eBook
Caldecott Medalist Van Allsburg chronicles the bleak existence of Sweetie Pie, a hamster doomed to be passed from child to child as they lose interest in him. Just when things get better and he is adopted by a classroom, he is left outside and forgotten, but is eventually adopted by squirrels.

Roger Mader – Tiptop CatHoughton Mifflin Harcourt eBook
A black cat is given to a Parisian girl as a gift, and in a nearly wordless series of panels, he explores his new surroundings. School Library Journal starred review.


Fiction for Early Readers

H. A. Rey – Curious George: Windy DeliveryAges 5-6 – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
George's friend Bill has a perfect year of delivering newspapers if he can make it through just one more day, but a huge storm makes it impossible for him to ride his bike. Can George help?

Joyce Sidman – Winter Bees and Other Poems of the ColdAges 7-8 – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
How do animals survive in the cold winter on the tundra? Poems appear on the left, and facts about the ravens, moose, bees, beavers, wolves and other animals appear on the right. Illustrated by Rick Allen. Kirkus & PW starred reviews. Sidman is a Newbery Honor author.


Middle Grade Fiction

Melissa de la Cruz – StolenAges 12-14 – Penguin eBook
Nat and her drakon are the last of their kind—sworn to protect what their enemies seek to control—and she’s risked her life for their reunion. But fighting for the majestic Blue meant saying goodbye to Wes, breaking both their hearts. Now Wes has been forced to join the military, and back in New Vegas, they find themselves on opposite sides of the war. Other Land Chronicles, Book 2. Bestselling author.

Gail Carriger – Waistcoats & Weaponry– Ages 11-14 – Hachette eBook
14-year-old Sophronia continues her studies at spy finishing school in an alternate England of 1851. This paranormal steampunk series has received great reviews and Carriger is an Alex Award winner. Finishing School, Book the Third.

Carrie Ryan and J. P. Davis – The Map to EverywhereAges 9-11 – Hachette eBook
A brand new fantasy series with lots of potential. Marrill is used to adventure, as she has traveled the world with her parents and never lived in one place for more than six months, but when a pirate ship appears in a parking lot in Arizona and she is stuck aboard, even she is taken aback. Wow…Booklist, Kirkus, School Library Journal, & PW starred reviews! First in a new series.



L. A. Meyer – Wild Rover No More: Being the Last Recorded Account of the Life & Times of Jacky Faber– Houghton Mifflin Harcourt eBook
When former pirate Jacky Faber is accused of being a traitor to the United States, she must flee for her life. She disguises herself as a governess for a while, and then joins the circus. All the loose ends from the series set at the turn of the 19th century are neatly tied up, and Jacky takes her leave at age 19. The 12th, and sadly, final, entry in the Bloody Jack series, published posthumously. Kirkus calls it underrated.

Stephanie Perkins, Jenny Han, Ally Carter, et al. – My True Love Gave to Me– Macmillan eBook and Books on Tape audiobook
Twelve romantic holiday stories by twelve bestselling young adult authors. Edited by Stephanie Perkins. 75,000 print run.

Bella Thorne – Autumn FallsRandom House eBook and Books on Tape audiobook
A light paranormal romance by teen actress Thorne. When Autumn Falls transfers to a new school, she makes some friends, but also gets on the wrong side of the school's queen bee. As she vents in a journal her father gave her, her wishes begin to come true. Should she use the journal for this purpose?

Ben Tripp – The Accidental HighwaymanMacmillan eBook and audiobook
An irresistible YA debut in the tradition of classic fairy tales such as Stardust and The Princess Bride—a swashbuckling tale of adventure, magic, and true love. 50,000 print run.

Dana Walrath – Like Water on StoneRandom House eBook
An unusual novel, written in free verse, uses first multiple first person narratives to tell the horrific story of the Armenian genocide in the early 20th Century. Three quarters of the population, 1.5 million people, were killed. PW & SLJ starred reviews.



Laura Hillenbrand – Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation) – Random House eBook and Books on Tape audiobook
An adaptation of the mega-selling book which was made into a movie is a great story for teens. Louis Zamperini had been a clever delinquent as a boy, breaking into houses, brawling, and stealing. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a talent that carried him to the Berlin Olympics. But when war came, the athlete became an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown ocean. Booklist starred review.

Albert Marrin – Thomas Paine: Crusader for LibertyAges 9-15Random House eBook
This biography of Thomas Paine by well-known author Marrin concentrates mainly on his ideas, though it does cover the basics of his life and sets it into the context of the Enlightenment.


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


*Geographical rights may vary by title.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula is October’s Free Kindle eBook and Audiobook Pair

Amazon has been giving away a free ebook and audiobook combination each month to help promote their exclusive Whispersync for Voice feature that syncs Kindle ebooks and Audible audiobooks together on Fire tablets and Kindle reading apps for Android and iOS. Now that it’s October, Halloween will be arriving soon, so naturally the free title […]

Meet Our Share Your Story Contest Winner!

Learn more about Diana Ousley, our first ever Facebook Share Your Story contest winner. She's quite an inspiration!

Chinese Democracy

We were directed to a Facebook page from Hong Kong this week. It’s been set up by one of the people involved in the peaceful demonstrations that are being called the Umbrella Revolution, protesting about Beijing’s insistence on vetting and controlling the list of candidates for they city’s Chief Executive, effectively preventing free elections in Hong Kong.

Our very own Dave Honess is in Hong Kong this week (nothing to do with the demonstrations – he’s gone to see some Hong Kong friends for a holiday that’s been planned for a long time). He tweeted these pictures on arriving:

Eben and I were also in Hong Kong a little while before the demonstrations started, talking to some components suppliers after our press and community tour of China and Taiwan, and visiting friends – the mood was sombre, and many of the people we spoke to were expressing grave concern about what’s next for Hong Kong. Hong Kong is much on our minds here at Raspberry Pi at the moment, and we wish all our friends in the city the very best.

So then. Why am I blogging about Hong Kong? It all comes back to that Facebook page I mentioned up at the top: it’s been set up to host time-lapse footage of the enormous pro-democracy crowds that have been gathering in Central since September 26. And that footage has been collected using a Raspberry Pi and a webcam, all set up in a biscuit tin and secured with duct tape.

Biscuit tin

Biscuit tin in position

Here’s one of the videos taken by the apparatus last week.

This footage is incredible – you can see more videos from the biscuit tin on Vimeo.

What more can we say? This sort of application of the Raspberry Pi, which is as simple as anything (you can learn how to make your own time-lapse camera here in our learning resources section), is an extraordinary leap from what we originally intended the Pi to be – a device to teach school kids computer science. Making technology cheap and accessible has some applications that go way beyond education.