Monday, October 13, 2014

Reading Lowers Stress and Leads to a Healthy Body


The National Reading Campaign is a great Canadian initiative that leverages social media outlets and gets people to share their reading experiences. They also establish partnerships with schools, libraries and news outlets to focus on reading, whether its digital or tangible.

Recently the company released the above infographic, in conjunction with CBC Books. It basically hypes the fact that reading leads to a more stress free lifestyle and is a major contributing factor towards your overall health.

Reading Lowers Stress and Leads to a Healthy Body is a post from: Good e-Reader

Tired of Leaks, Apple Begins to Fine Suppliers


If you are a regular reader of tech blogs on the internet, you might have a passing knowledge of Apple product leaks. Whenever new phones or tablets are in production, regular leaks occur on internal components, screens or batteries. Apple is getting fed up with their suppliers providing leaks and has now implemented a policy of fining them, close to $50 million dollars each.

The fine may not affect companies like Samsung, but could be the kiss of death for smaller ones, that only make a component or two. GT Advanced Technologies, is the first company to feel the pain. They have just filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after deciding to close and sell-off its loss-making sapphire facilitates.

The problem with Apple fining suppliers for announcing they either have contracts with them or leaking component information is that these companies need the press. Apple is not their only contract, but the brand carries a lot of weight in the industry. GT was betting that news of Apple doing business with them, would attract other headset companies. This backfired and GT shares actually decreased.

Apple is well known in the tech world for a process of controlled leaks. They throw bones to journalists they like, and grant them exclusive interviews or scoops. Suppliers who leak out everything like the logic boar or RAM are circumventing the status quo and the new policy is to hurt their wallets.

Tired of Leaks, Apple Begins to Fine Suppliers is a post from: Good e-Reader

French Watchdog Accuses Scribd of eBook Piracy


A French watchdog is warning publishers that eBook subscription service Scribd offers hundreds of titles that don’t have an  agreement with a publisher or author.

Scribd is billing itself as a Netflix for eBooks and offers customers the ability to pay a low monthly fee and read as many digital titles as they want. This can be accomplished via their official e-reading apps for iOS and Android.

A number of larger publishers such as Simon and Shuster, Lonely Planet and Smashwords all contribute titles, which validates the platform as a viable alternative to buying each book one by one. One of the problems, is that publishers can upload titles without restriction and quality and control normally comes later.

The Group for the Development of Digital Reading aims to be the hub for all professionals working in the publishing industry to organize and structure the digital industry in a constructive complement to the paper. You can think of them as the poor mans IDPF of France, where they try and lobby for standards and bring issues into public light. 

GDN is basically accusing Scribd of eBook piracy by offering hundreds of titles by French publisher Bragelonne, otherwise known as Albin Michel. The publisher has not sanctioned the titles to be included into Scribds platform.

French Watchdog Accuses Scribd of eBook Piracy is a post from: Good e-Reader

B&T Axis 360 Now Available for New Zealand Libaries


Baker and Taylor has just expanded into New Zealand, giving public libraries the ability to loan out eBooks and audiobooks. The first libraries to offer digital content will be in Wellington City.

In order to expand into NZ, B&T needed to leverage their Australian subsidiary James Bennett. This is similar to Overdrive using Softlink as a partner in Australia, except they don’t actually own the company.

The agreement between Baker & Taylor/James Bennett and Wellington City Council offers all New Zealand public libraries an opportunity to sign onto a Participating Agency Agreement (PAA) and receive the terms and services outlined in the contract. Participating public libraries will have access to a wide range of areas in which Baker & Taylor/James Bennett have developed industry-leading expertise and technology, including collection development, ordering and procurement services and customized library solutions/technical services.

Working in partnership with Baker & Taylor/James Bennett also ensures that New Zealand libraries can quickly and easily receive all major titles from New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom through James Bennett's warehouse in Sydney, as well as U.S. titles through Baker & Taylor's American operations.

Baker and Taylor is the last major library to have a presence in New Zealand. Overdrive launched there in 2011 and 3M Cloud Library entered the market in 2013.

B&T Axis 360 Now Available for New Zealand Libaries is a post from: Good e-Reader

OverDrive readers’ top 10 favorite book series

Last month we asked readers to take a quick, one question survey. All they needed to do was pick all of their favorite series from a list we provided (or write any in that they did not see on said list). Thousands of votes later, we’re excited to present to you the top 10 favorite book series of OverDrive readers!

Team OverDrive anticipated Harry Potter being number one, with nearly half of all voters selecting it as one of their favorites, but there were some surprises on the list as well as a wonderful mix of genres and time periods. The series with the most staying power was Little House on the Prairie, the first book of which was published back in 1932!

In addition to sharing this fun infographic, we’re also excited to announce the addition of series pages and book numbers to Now, when you search for a book that’s a part of a series, you be able to tell what number of the series that book is and see all the other titles in proper order.

At, now if you search for a title that is a part of a series, The Magician’s Nephew for example, you’ll be able to go straight to the series page as well. To see this great new feature in action, simply click on the infographic snippet below to see the full top 10 and select any series you’d like to learn more about. You can also check out it out by searching for any title belonging to a series at!



Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communications Specialist at OverDrive. He’s a Potterhead from House Gryffindor and has a scarf to prove it.

Big Library Read is back!

The fifth installment of the Big Library Read officially kicks off today, giving readers an opportunity to join the world’s largest “global eBook club.” For the next two weeks, patrons of participating libraries can read Anatomy of a Misfit by best selling author Andrea Portes without any wait lists or holds.

Anatomy of a Misfit is a Young Adult novel that follows the familiar story of a high school girl, Anika, struggling to maintain her social status in her small Nebraska town. This is a book that adults will adore as it brings nostalgic feelings of youth, first loves and first heartbreaks. Anatomy of a Misfit is Andrea’s third novel, and first venture into the Young Adult realm, following the best selling success of Hick and Bury This. This title has already received rave reviews from Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal and PopCrush, among others.

Be sure to join the conversation on social media by sharing your thoughts on Twitter using the hashtag #BigLibraryRead (and encourage your patrons to do the same)! If you have any questions for Andrea, you can ask them via Twitter using the hashtag, and on October 20th we will post an exclusive interview with the author where she’ll answer you questions.

Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communications Specialist with OverDrive.

Make a Tweeting Babbage

At Picademy, our awesome free training course for teachers, I run a workshop to introduce teachers to using the camera module with Python, and show them how to wire up a GPIO button they can use to trigger the camera. I always make a point of saying “now you know this, what can you make it do?” and suggest some uses for the setup – stop-motion animation, motion sensing or sending pictures to Twitter.

On the second day of Picademy, we give teachers the chance to work in teams on a project of their choice, and there’s always at least one group that extends upon the camera workshop. At Picademy #3 in July, one group decided to take a Babbage Bear apart, shove a Pi inside and have it take pictures and tweet them – it was great fun to help them build the project and we got some funny pictures out of it…

Then at Picademy #4 last month, another group took the idea further and made Abuse Bear – a Babbage that tweeted a picture when punched! Perhaps this one’s not quite such a good idea for the classroom. Again, some brilliant pictures…

The idea has been so popular at Picademy that I decided to write the Tweeting Babbage project up as an educational resource! There’s a full set of instructions for building up the code to send simple text tweets from Python, taking pictures with the camera, wiring up the GPIO button, uploading pictures to Twitter, putting it all together and performing surgery on the bear to insert the hardware.


Making the incision


Removing the eye


Inserting the camera


Intel Raspberry Pi Inside

I was at PyCon Ireland in Dublin this weekend, where I gave a talk about Raspberry Pi in education. I brought the modified Babbage along (yes, I got it through airport security) and showed the pictures above during my talk. There was a very audible aww of sentimental attachment to the cute bear I just introduced them to.


Tweeting Babbage: the finished product

Go check out the resource and make your own Tweeting Babbage!