Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Kindle Unlimited Now Available in Italy and Spain


A few months ago Amazon unveiled their first Netflix for eBooks service, Kindle Unlimited. For a low monthly fee you get access to over 700,000 titles, mostly from indie authors. So far, not a single major publisher has committed themselves to the platform, which makes finding quality content fairly difficult.  Today, Amazon has announced that their woeful subscription platform is now available in Italy and Spain.

Kindle Unlimited is a subscription service currently available to customers in the U.S., U.K., Italy, Spain, and Germany. With Kindle Unlimited, customers can read as many books as they like and keep them as long as they want for a monthly subscription fee. Any customer can subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. They don’t need to be Amazon Prime members, they simply need to pay the subscription fee.

Amazon has some excellent programs, but Unlimited is not one of them. I would look at Scribd or Oyster as alternatives because their business model is more solid and they have plenty of quality eBooks.

Kindle Unlimited Now Available in Italy and Spain is a post from: Good e-Reader

Amazon Kindle Voyage and Fire HDX 8.9 Available in the UK


Amazon has announced that their latest generation e-reader, the Kindle Voyage is now available in the United Kingdom. If you order it today, it won’t be shipped out until December the 8th,  so time is of the essence for the upcoming holiday season. The e-Reader will cost £169 for the WiFi-only model and £229 if you want 3G to buy eBooks while on the go.

The Amazon Fire HDX 8.9 is also available today, and there are plenty in stock so you won’t have to wait as long as the Voyage in terms of shipping. The 8.9-inch tablet has a faster processor and better sound quality, thanks to Dolby Atmos.  The 16GB, WiFi-only model is now on sale for £329.

Amazon Kindle Voyage and Fire HDX 8.9 Available in the UK is a post from: Good e-Reader

HBO GO and MAX GO Updated for Lollipop and Hi-Res Playback


As Android’s new release readies for official release, app developers are furiously updating their apps to support all of the new features and design cues: some of the latest being HBO GO and MAX GO. Along with support for Android Lollipop, the update for these apps now offer higher resolution feedback as well.

It isn’t yet known just what “higher resolution streaming” means, but the expectation is that it means added support for QHD displays.

If you have a subscription for HBO or Cinemax and you haven’t yet downloaded the apps for digital, on demand, streaming of their content (including original programming, hit movies, sports, and comedy specials), follow these links to grab them now: HBO GO for Android and MAX GO.

HBO GO and MAX GO Updated for Lollipop and Hi-Res Playback is a post from: Good e-Reader

Disney Movies Anywhere Available for Android


I don’t think there is a human out there who doesn’t have a favourite Disney movie. Now, thanks to a new movie-curating app, you can carry your Disney movie collection in the palm of your hands. The result of a partnership with Google, Disney Movies Anywhere lets you add any Disney, Pixar or Marvel Universe movies to a single account (no matter whether they are copies you bought from Google Play abd iTunes, or if they were redeemed using codes from physical DVD and Blu-Ray purchases).

The process is straightforward and begins with the creation of a Disney Movies Anywhere account, which then prompts you to link your iTunes and Google Play accounts to it. Once this has been completed, you can play any of your Disney movies through the Disney Movies Anywhere app or directly on Disney’s website.

Even more exciting than the convenience of Disney Movies Anywhere (especially for those of us who also happen to be parents) is the news that this app is multi-platform in a way that is truly remarkable: combining purchases from Google Play and iTunes. This cooperative app-effort puts the best interests of users in front of the petty platform arguments that usually win out. With any luck, this is a turning point and will happen far more often going forward.

Unfortunately for Canadians, this new Disney service is only available for US residents (aged 13 and over) –but it is my sincere hope that this restriction is temporary. If you happen to be American, you can download Disney Movies Anywhere for free now.

Disney Movies Anywhere Available for Android is a post from: Good e-Reader

Oyster Unveils Book Lists


eBook subscription service Oyster has unveiled their latest initiative, Book Lists. They borrowed a page out of GoodReads playbook by allowing their readers to assemble books they want to read or are in the process of reading. This not only is a personal thing, that lends the assist in the books you want to read this year, but you can view other peoples lists to get inspiration or discover new content.

Some people get a kick out of snooping in medicine cabinets, but Oyster prefers to go straight to the bookshelf. You can tell a lot about a person by the books they read, I always love checking out peoples physical bookshelves to see whats on it, Oyster does things the digital way. Take a peek at the Book Lists put together by Pulitzer Prize winners, cult authors, and Team Oyster favorites.

Oyster is hoping that developing new features will give them a competitive edge over Entitle, Scribd and Amazon Unlimited. The entire Netflix for eBooks concept is starting to see the market get flooded and Oyster is starting to standout in the crowd.

Oyster Unveils Book Lists is a post from: Good e-Reader

Certified Refurbished Kindles on Sale up to 25% Off

Amazon is currently offering up to 25% off of certified refurbished Kindle ebook readers and Fire tablets via their Kindle Outlet Store. There’s no mention of how long the sale lasts. Right now there are some pretty good deals. The current Kindle Paperwhite can be had for $99—that’s $20 off retail for a new one—and […]

Sony Working on New eBook DRM, Could Enable Sale of Used eBooks

Despite closing down their own ebook store and sending customers to Kobo, and deciding to discontinue their line of dedicated ebook readers, Sony still continues to remain attached to the ebook industry. According to reports on the German ebook website, Lesen.net, Sony has developed new copy protection for ebooks that will compete with the widely-used […]

Core collections by Dewey Decimal number

DewyListsHaving a balanced, well-rounded collection is vital to the success of any library. When I worked in a public library, one of my favorite tasks was when the Manager would assign everyone a Dewey Decimal call number range. We would go to the shelves and look for any collection gaps and assess the strength of that specific area of the collection.

Have you been working to make sure your digital collection is as well-rounded and strong as your physical collection? To help you with this, we have created a collection of lists based on the title's Dewey Decimal call number.

150s – Psychology

320s – Political Science & Process

360s – Social Services & True Crime

610s – Medical Sciences

640s – Family Living

650s – Management

790s – Recreational & Performing Arts

810s – American Literature

900s – History & Geography

920s – Biography & Autobiography


Are there any other categories you would like to see on this list? We'd love your feedback. We're always happy to create any custom lists. Email collectionteam@overdrive.com for more information today!


*Please note that title availability may vary by geographic location and platform.


Rachel Kray is a Collection Development Analyst at OverDrive.

Kindle Unlimited eBook Subscription Service Arrives in Spain and Italy

Amazon first introduced their new ebook subscription service, called Kindle Unlimited, in the United States this past July. Then two months later Amazon brought the service to the UK Kindle store. Now today Amazon has officially launched Kindle Unlimited in Spain and Italy, giving customers an option to pay a monthly subscription rate to get […]

A Raspberry Pi computer lab for learners in South Africa

Back in July we wrote about an exciting project aiming to make computing accessible to school students in South Africa, where most schools have no computers at all and many lack electricity. Solar Powered Learning was raising funds for a Raspberry Pi computer lab at a secondary school in Johannesburg, with the aim of creating a facility that can be reproduced all over South Africa, and powered by solar energy where mains electricity isn’t available.

Their Indiegogo campaign was successful; we donated a classroom set of Pis and accessories, and project manager Taskeen Adam and fellow organisers set about coordinating volunteers to sand, drill, paint, lay cables, build desks and fit curtains.

Raspberry Pis and accessories to equip the new lab Students helped to prepare the room Ready to go

Remarkably, less than one month after the close of the fundraising campaign, the new computer lab was ready to use.

Computers in the new lab

Computers in the new lab on the day of its launch

Graham Schwikkard, a good friend of Pi who represents us in South Africa, went along to the launch of the new facility in September. He writes:

The team really did a stellar job meeting such a tight deadline. I was especially charmed by the school choir opening the ceremony, a student’s poem extolling the potential of technology and the many hand written thank you letters from students. It was very clear that the school, teachers and learners are very excited and appreciative of the project.

Launch day

Learners and teacher enjoy using their new lab for the first time

The Lab itself utilises a Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP) with the Raspberry Pis working as thin clients. The server is additionally loaded with Khan Academy Lite (adapted to the local curriculum). This lets the students have a capable desktop experience and access to teaching videos and interactive exercises. Worth mentioning are the key local partners Siyafunda CTC, PiFactory and Ismail Akhalwaya, who have done a similar setup previously at another local township school and were key in getting this project completed. ​This first pilot does not include solar panels and they were able to use a school which has an existing electrical connection.

Hopefully, in the coming months we’ll be able to see the success of the model, and we hope to see it expand across South Africa where many schools lack both computer labs and valuable computer skills.

Students wrote to thank project sponsors

Several of the students have written letters of thanks to sponsors of the project – it’s clear the school community is really excited about the opportunities their new computer lab offers. It’s been great to watch the project develop this far, and we’re looking forward to more!

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Companion App Available for Android


Fans of the Sledgehammer Games created franchise have been waiting patiently for the release of the latest installment, Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, released this week. Whether you have already started playing or still have plans to grab your copy, be sure to download the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare companion app to help you in your quest for glory!

Offering support to Call of Duty fans, the companion app offers a suite of tools needed to create and manage their clan (including chat, player profiles, and clan profiles), produce in game player and clan emblems (using the included emblem editor to create custom images), and participate in Clan Wars on the go from their tablet or mobile device.

Claiming that “More Devices Unlock More Content,” users of the companion app can look for the golden plus sign symbol while immersed in game-play that indicates there is exclusive content ready to be unlocked (just enter the URL code into your mobile device in order to get connected –be sure to include your smartphones and tablets both in order to gain the most bonus material)!

The full version of Call of Duty Advanced Warfare is sold separately, and is available for xBox 360, xBox One, PS3, PS4 and Desktop PC systems. If you are a fan of trivia the way I am, you will enjoy learning that our in-game leading man (thought to be among the most powerful men in the world), Jonathan Irons, is portrayed by Academy Award winning actor Kevin Spacey.

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Companion App Available for Android is a post from: Good e-Reader

Amazon Fire TV Now Doubles as a Gaming Console


Technically you have been able to play games on your television by way of an Amazon Fire TV appliance since it was released, but thanks to a fresh batch of updates, there are a wider variety of tablet style games available to try (as long as you have invested in one of their official Gamepad controller accessories). Of course, when you consider that you can also mirror the screen of any Android device to your television with the Fire TV (without needing to login to your Amazon account, much the same way Apple’s AirPlay functionality works) –it seems a little frivolous and unnecessary because you can just play whatever tablet games you have already invested in.

Even with the update, games that require multitouch input will still be a challenge and likely won’t work very well –but it’s a step in the right direction. In order to be competitive with the other television appliances available, it is important to includes these little value adds.

Also part of this update bundle is the ability to travel with your Amazon Fire TV –moving easily between the US and UK without any difficulty. While I’m sure this is a problem that plagued millions of you out there, it’s another ‘nice to have’ item for the feature list.

Amazon Fire TV Now Doubles as a Gaming Console is a post from: Good e-Reader