Friday, November 7, 2014

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 7 VS Nook 10.1


Barnes and Noble issued two new tablet devices in 2014 and they ironed out an agreement with Samsung to provide the hardware. This was the first time the hardware was outsourced and provides a very unique experience, compared to the Nook HD and HD+. Today, we look at the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 7 and Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 10.1.

In this official comparison video by Good e-Reader we look at the overall user experience. During this process we noticed that the 10.1 inch model had an extra widget on the home screen to give you quick access to your library.

What are the main differences between these two models? We dive deep into the reading experience. We compare eBooks, digital magazines, digital newspapers and look at all of the Nook apps that come loaded on it.

Both of these tablets have Google Play, Galaxy App Store and the Nook App Store. There is no shortage of content distribution systems available, and its really easy to download whatever 3rd party e-reading app or game you want. This is total freedom, something Nook users of the past were not able to really enjoy.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 7 VS Nook 10.1 is a post from: Good e-Reader

Blackberry CEO Pens Open Letter to Former Users


Blackberry CEO John Chen has just penned an open letter to existing and former users touting the abilities of the new Blackberry Classic. This phone reminds many of the Bold, which was the quintessential business device of its time.

The Blackberry Classic, otherwise known as the Q20, will come with a complete top row of navigation keys and a trackpad. Those are features that many BlackBerry fans missed when the company rolled out its revamped BlackBerry 10 line of devices last year.

The device is powered by a 1.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor with 2 GB RAM and 16 GB internal memory size. There is also a microSD card slot that allows memory expansion of up to 128 GB. It is also reportedly sporting a 13-megapixel primary camera with a 2-megapixel secondary camera for video calls. The Amazon App Store is bundled on the phone as well, to provide not only a wellspring of apps, but also video and music.

Chen conceded in a blog post that the company has made some mistakes in the last few years saying: “It’s tempting in a rapidly changing, rapidly growing mobile market to change for the sake of change – to mimic what’s trendy and match the industry-standard, kitchen-sink approach of trying to be all things to all people. When we lose sight of what you want and you need, we lose you.”

In my opinion, the Classic will sell. It hearkens back to the days of when Blackberry meant something to the business world. The physical keyboard still has a place in the world for people who don’t like touchscreens. Being a former Blackberry user myself, I have noticed that when I respond to text messages on an iPhone, I usually speak in Ebonics. My thoughts were more cohesively laid out when using a Blackberry.

Blackberry CEO Pens Open Letter to Former Users is a post from: Good e-Reader

New Onyx Boox AfterGlow 2 Features Android 4.2 and Google Play


Onyx Boox dramatically enhanced their e-reader portfolio in 2014 with the advent of the T68 Lynx, M96 Universe and the Midia e-ink Smartphone. The company has just quietly released the last new product, the Afterglow 2.

The Onyx Afterglow 2 features a six inch capacitive touchscreen with e-Ink Pearl HD with a resolution of 1024×758. You will be able to read in the dark via the front-lit display, which is the same sort of tech you see in the Kindle Voyage and Kobo Aura H2O.

This e-reader has a few things really going for it that makes it standout in a crowded marketplace. I really like the dual core 1.2 GHZ processor which should keep things really speedy, most other digital book readers all have single cores. It also has a stock version of Google Android 4.2 and the Google Play store in order to access all of the apps you can shake a stick at.

There is a 3.55mm headphone jack to take advantage of Ivona text to speech. Onyx has incorporated this technology in the Lynx e-reader, but it was bug ridden and did not work properly, it remains to be seen if they have solved the bug with this new product.

I don’t know if there is much of a market for this product, despite the inclusion of a better processor and the ability to install your favorite apps via Google Play. Anyways, the Afterglow 2 is available now and costs $154 US.

New Onyx Boox AfterGlow 2 Features Android 4.2 and Google Play is a post from: Good e-Reader

Facebook Allows Better Customization of Your News Feed


I would ask if any of you have been annoyed by the content featured on your Facebook news feed, but we all know the answer. What you see (and don’t see) has long been a bone of contention for those who check Facebook regularly… filled with things you don’t want to see. While it may seem like an easy solution to say that we can just unfriend those people who we find annoying, it isn’t always that easy (everybody has a few people on their friends list that can’t be removed without offending somebody or causing unnecessary drama). Or maybe you really like the person who keeps posting sappy Internet memes and game requests. Either way, Facebook has rolled out an update that allows for better news feed customization.

Now you will see a list of the top people and pages found in your news feed, complete with a one-click option that provides the option to unfollow them. Using a filtered view is also a choice, giving more granular control over people, groups, or pages (letting you identify whether it was the person or the content you would really rather not look at again). Of course, if you change your mind about anything you’ve eliminated, you can reverse these decisions at any time.

This functionality already existed to a lesser extent, but now it applies to more than just an alphabetical list of friends that you have unfollowed.

This update is available today for mobile and desktop.

Are you thrilled with the changes –or is this another instance where Facebook should have just left well enough alone?

Facebook Allows Better Customization of Your News Feed is a post from: Good e-Reader

Zuckerberg Hosts First Townhall Q&A at Facebook HQ


There are two types of people interested in quizzing Facebook founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg: those who envy his success and others who are avid users of his social media website (or perhaps better described as a sort of empire). Fortunately for both groups, Zuckerberg opened himself up to questions at the first Townhall Q&A session held at the Facebook HQ this week.

A few questions and responses stand out:

Why did you force us to install Facebook Messenger?
Zuckerberg: "The first thing I want to do is acknowledge that asking everyone in our community to install a new app is a big ask. We really believe that this is a better experience and the messaging is really important. Each app can do one thing well."
What I heard: We want to do serious development in the messaging arena –and to keep our options open in the future, it is being modularized such that it can be sold or implemented without dependence on the core Facebook app. If Facebook is getting set to launch a more comprehensive mobile platform (perhaps even as an independent operating system), having a full-featured and securing messaging service is very important.

How accurate is the movie Social Network?
Zuckerberg: "I kinda blocked that one out. It was a very interesting experience that was supposedly about my life. The reality is that, writing a code and building a product is not that exciting.” He also went on to describe that the filmmakers “just kind of made up a bunch of stuff” that he thought was hurtful.
What I heard: With no specifics being called out, Zuckerberg wanted us to believe that anything negative in the movie was a part of the ‘made up stuff’.

Is Facebook intending to take over the mobile industry?
Zuckerberg: His answer was as vague as the question, noting primarily that a large number of people live in areas without Internet access (or no way to get themselves online). He did express that it was his view that Facebook has a social responsibility to spread the Internet (with activities like working with large companies in the industry that can beam Facebook access to phones).
What I heard: It felt very much like Zuckerberg was saying that even if you don’t have Internet access, you can still have Facebook. He could have said they were ‘beaming educational materials,’ or something slightly more philanthropic… indicating that at least in small part, Facebook does intend to dominate the mobile industry (and more).

How do you keep the passion running for Facebook?
Zuckerberg: "It starts with doing something that you think is actually important."
What I heard: I am not sure ‘important’ is the word I would use. Perhaps something more along the lines of: innovative, exciting, or entertaining. I suppose it is important that social media giants believe in their cause, but in the grand scheme of things… it’s mostly just window dressing of sorts.

Is Facebook becoming boring?
Zuckerberg: "My goal was never to make Facebook cool." Basically, he feels that it is their job to be present and reliable.
What I heard: Facebook isn’t in the content business, they only deliver the things we provide (by way of text, photos and video)… and that makes sense.

The sessions ended with a lot of questions that carried less weight, wanting to know what Zuckerberg’s passion is or how Facebook intends to get involved in the fight against Ebola… but this is the point where my interest kind of trailed off (unless you count that we learned he wears the same shirt everyday because he thinks it is a waste of his precious time to make frivolous decisions of this type –I am paraphrasing, but barely).

Zuckerberg Hosts First Townhall Q&A at Facebook HQ is a post from: Good e-Reader

Team OverDrive’s Best Books of 2014

ODbestbooks20142014 was a great year for books and eBooks and it’s hard to believe we’re nearing the end. To commemorate some of the great reads, we polled our staff here at OverDrive and asked for everyone’s favorites.

Click here for the complete list of titles!

All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Melissa Higey, School Account Specialist II
I love the twists and turns of this book, as it moves back and forth in time and between several different narrators. The life of Marie-Laure, as a blind child and teen living during WWII is fascinating and beautiful. Loved it!

Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson
Dan Potash, Product Manager
In 2014 Tor published Words of Radiance, the second book to his "The Stormlight Archive" series. The series itself is a great read for anyone into Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings. It combines elements of a feudalistic society centered on the Hellenic ideas of honor and glory through war, with a hidden but emerging world of magic. As the protagonists become more aware of their own importance and power, they come closer to the knowledge of a world-ending event and the preparations needed to thwart such a catastrophe.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown
Heather Valentine-Gold, Account Specialist II
I borrowed the eBook from Cuyahoga County Public Library without knowing much about it, other than it came highly recommended, and I ended up loving the story and characters. While many of the sci-fi themes are familiar, they're wide-ranging and Brown manages to weave them all together in a completely new and entertaining way.

The Weirdness by Jeremy Bushnell
Rachel Kray, Collection Development Analyst I
A “hipster” sells his soul to the devil in a last ditch attempt to sell his novel. And there’s also werewolves and an evil wizard trying to end the world with a very special lucky cat. Hilarious with brilliant prose, this book in unlike anything else I’ve ever read.

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Christina Samek, Launch Specialist I
It's part of a planned trilogy that I cannot wait to get my hands on! It's a fantasy novel with suspenseful and tragic elements. It's definitely not YA, but it's not strictly Adult, either. I'd rate it 17+. I love the use of the quest motif present in the novel and coupling that with a female lead makes the literary trope feel brand new. It's just great, everyone who has ever felt small or insignificant should read this. Anyone who has ever felt powerful should read this. Everyone should read this!

Redeployment by Phil Klay
Jim Monastra, Account Specialist
Redeployment is a collection of short stories about the war in Iraq, and the soldiers that are fighting. The stories are brutally honest, and at times hard to read, but difficult to put down because of the terrific writing. I'm really excited to see what Klay has in store for the future.

Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh
Michelle Ross, Collection Development Analyst
Reminiscent of Raymond Chandler and Ready Player One, this was an awesome futuristic and suspenseful read.

The Care and Management of Lies by Jacqueline Winspear / Read by Nicola Barber
Deb Halinski, Manager of Knowledge Services – Learning Systems
I love audiobooks because I do so much driving. This year I happened upon an extraordinary reader, Nicola Barber. Her voice is expressive and versatile (male, female, child, elder, British/American/Scottish/Irish and more) — so much so I can forget I'm listening to a single reader. Even more remarkable, she has the ability to spin individual words to portray complex emotions. I'm immediately pulled into the story, and I am sad every time I reach the end of one of her narrations!

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Melissa Marin, Marketing Specialist II
This book really stayed with me after I read it. The writing style is unusual and while it kept me at arm's length at first, I realized that it was for a reason. As the story unfolded, I found the writing more engaging. The more you learn about the mystery and the lies that are the core of the book, the more the book opens up, secrets become exposed and things become clearer. Very interesting.

The Jim Henson Biography by Brian Jay Jones
Adam Sockel, Marketing Specialist I
It's a must-read for anyone who grew up with the Muppets or Sesame Street. Reading about how his vision became a reality was fascinating. I highly recommend it.


If you would like more recommendations, we're always happy to create custom lists. Email us at 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.

Onyx Boox AfterGlow 2 Released with Android 4.2 and HD E Ink Screen

There’s another new ebook reader from Onyx that was just released yesterday through (Arta Tech). It’s called the AfterGlow 2. It’s a lot like the Boox T68 and Boox M96, but it’s smaller and comes with newer software and a faster processor. The AfterGlow 2 has a 6-inch E Ink screen with a resolution […]

Scribd Adds Audiobooks to eBook Subscription Plan

Yesterday Scribd, an online ebook subscription service, announced that they have added 30,000 audiobooks to their catalog. The audiobooks are available through Scribd’s monthly service plan that costs $8.99 per month, along with over 400,000 ebook titles. Both audiobooks and ebooks are offered together through the same monthly plan. Once subscribed, users gain unlimited access […]

Blurb Connects Authors with eBook Editors and Other Writing Talent

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Blurb is one of the largest self-publishing services in the world and was originally launched in 2006. The company has assisted eBook authors in launching over three million titles globally and they have launched a new program that will allow them to better compete with Amazon.

Dream Team is a new initiative that will connect aspiring or existing eBook authors with talent to help them take their title to the next level. The online marketplace is a creative hotbed of industry professionals with expertise in copy editing, developmental editing, book design, art direction, illustration, photography, cover design, ghostwriting, ebook conversion, and more.

Here is how it works. Blurb has tapped publishing industry veterans Richard Nash and Molly Barton to handpick and vet the Dream Team collaborators, populating the group with a range of experience that offers a commensurate range of price points. In order to hire anyone in the marketplace you have to be an existing Blurb member and agree to self-publish your title through them. You basically just browse profiles, checking out their rates and connect up with them to ask questions or to hire them. When it comes to payment, this is done outside of Blurb and its up to the talent to determine how they want to be paid, Blurb abstains from the entire payment process.

Blurb makes no money from this. They are simply connectors. The benefit for them is that statistically, when authors have help they more likely to complete their books. Therefore title completion and unit rates will increase.

A marketplace connecting writers with freelance talent was originally pioneered by Amazon with their seminal Creation Exchange platform. Sadly, this only is relevant for audiobooks, connecting writers with producers, mixers and narrators. Blurb might have stumbled upon a unified service to assist authors in all aspects of eBook creation, under a single platform.

Blurb Connects Authors with eBook Editors and Other Writing Talent is a post from: Good e-Reader

Watching an endangered Tuatara hatch

As I type this, Emma is hugging herself and shouting “LOOK AT THE LOVELY BABY!” We believe that every office environment is enriched by biologists.

The little guy/gal in the video above is a Tuatara – and I didn’t have to go to Wikipedia to learn more about them, because Emma is amazingly well-versed in New Zealand’s endemic lizards. One of her friends works in conserving Tuataras, which are endangered, in New Zealand. (Emma says, sadly, that we can’t have one of these in the office – they live for more than a hundred years, and we won’t be around to feed it forever.)


This video was filmed in a specially prepared, laser-cut incubator, with a Pi NoIR camera, hacked together with a DSLR lens. Over at Hackaday, Warren (what’s your surname, Warren? Let us know, and we’ll add it here), the maker, has put together a detailed how-to. He says:

Ok so a few weeks ago I was asked to film the hatching of a endangered species of reptile called a Tuatara. It isn’t often that you get a chance actually be involved in this sort of project. So needless to say I said yup I am happy to do it. Then I was told what the restrictions were….. first problem was they are in an incubator, I was thinking incubator as in the sort we see on TV with windows and such so it would be easy to pop a camera on the side focus thru a window and ta-dah video footage complete, job done, but no! No windows or no light.. The space is a temperature and humidity controlled space. So time to think laterally. I had a friend who used Raspberry pi’s and had rav’d about how cool they were. I had been tinkering with the idea of getting one for home and having a bit of a play.

The results speak for themselves. Thanks Warren; we love it.

New $400 eInk Clock Goes on Sale


ClockOne has debuted a 40 inch clock made of the same e-paper that you would find on your Kindle or Nook e-Reader. The company has just launched a new Kickstarter campaign where you can pre-order one for $400, and  shipments expected to begin in May 2015.

The Clock was designed to not only be a novelty but appeal to thousands of people looking to make a statement with e-paper.  This thing is giant, it clocks in (no pun intended) 40 inches wide, 14 inches tall, and weighs 4.6 pounds. You will need a magnetic wall mount in order to effective graft it into your ideal position. There are a few options in regards to the color options, It comes preassembled with white, pink, orange, green, or blue bezels.

Prior to the Kickstarter campaign, Twelve24 showcased ClockOne prototypes at the International CES tech show, as well as the Dwell on Design and the International Contemporary Furniture Fair design shows. At CES, the company found that people loved the technology (they wanted to know how the shape was cut, and how it was powered), but were completely turned off by the price.

This clock is not aimed at the consumer market and likely will never catch on in a big way. I can see interior designers using it as a statement piece or using it in the office as a topic of conversation.

New $400 eInk Clock Goes on Sale is a post from: Good e-Reader