Monday, November 10, 2014

HP Stream 7 will make a Good e-Reader


When you think of tablets doubling as an e-reader,  Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo or even Apple may come to mind. Seldom do you think of HP as being relevant when it comes to reading any sort of digital material. This might change with the advent of the HP Slate 7, a fully fledged Windows tablet that costs $99.99.

The HP Stream 7, is apart of a new range that is seeking to make Windows 8.1 relevant. It features a seven inch screen with a resolution of 1280 x 800, as well as Intel Atom Z3735G with Intel HD Graphics (1.8 GHz, 2 MB cache, 4 cores), 1 GB RAM and 32GB of storage. Of course, this device has WIFI, Bluetooth, a Micro USB and Micro SD support to enhance the memory further.

HP is starting Black Friday early with a new exclusive to Microsoft Store, the Stream 7 Signature Edition variant. It comes protected with premium, free anti-virus software that never expires. And best of all, it comes without any annoying junkware or trialware, giving you peace of mind that your tablet will always be clean, fast, and protected.

Developers have slowly been adopting the Microsoft Store with a ton of apps for reading eBooks, comics, manga, digital magazines and newspapers. This might be a totally viable tablet that costs $100 less than the new Kindle Voyage.

HP Stream 7 will make a Good e-Reader is a post from: Good e-Reader

Card Readers are Showing Entrepreneurs to Think Local


When young artists and small business owners are just starting out they tend to sell their content on platforms with the largest audience. Amazon Marketplace, Alibaba, eBay, and ETSY are all the most notable examples of being able to reach a huge audience and generate revenue without the need to setup a dedicated website and maintain strong social media. The downfall of these sites is that you may be known in a small niche segment online, but are completely unknown in your own backyard.

I see small business owners and young entrepreneurs feel lost and deflated because they never get to meet their customers face to face and seldom do you ever see jubilation or a simple smile. Normally a customer dispute and angry emails are the everyday norm and it's rare that someone actually sends you a thank you email. I think in order to broaden your base and have a sense of real world accomplishment you have to get out there and develop a local presence.

The one big concern about selling local is getting a distribution deal through an existing store and requires a lot of wheeling and dealing. If you live in a small town, your prospects might be bleak, which is why they turned online in the first place.

A number of artists and authors end up going on tours to conventions or trade shows to get their name out there. I know a number of self-published authors that religiously visit the Romance Writers of America show and sell their books directly. The one big problem is people really don't carry a lot of cash around on them and instead rely on their credit and debit cards. I hear lots of authors complaining that the process of selling directly to readers is too hard.

This problem has been remedied by mobile credit card readers such as Square that can not only process payments directly on your tablet or smartphone directly with customers, but can also be used online in conjunction with your Shopify account to take orders.

I really recommend if you're a young writer or artist trying to make a name for yourself, don't rely entirely on the online world. You need to meet your target base directly and cultivate relationships and get that sense of satisfaction that someone is legitimately excited about what you got.

Card Readers are Showing Entrepreneurs to Think Local is a post from: Good e-Reader

Sony Developing New DRM to Make Used eBooks Viable


Sony is developing a new form of digital rights management to combat Adobes stranglehold on on the eBook market. The new encryption system will have an SDK that can be integrated into any existing e-reader or mobile app. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of this new security system is a viable platform in which eBooks can be resold.

Adobe Digital Editions is the current industry standard when it comes to eBooks having a layer of security to curb piracy. If you purchase a digital title from one store and want to load it onto your favorite e-reader or tablet you have to download and install the ADE Software, make an account and enter your credit card details. This software is also required for people who borrow eBooks from the library and aren’t using an official app from 3M, Baker & Taylor or Overdrive.

The new Sony encryption system has been a product of three years of development at Sony DADC. This is a Sony subsidiary that primarily focuses on the development of storage media (CDs, DVDs, Blu-Rays), but in addition offers Digital Rights Management Services. 

Sony plans on making their new eBook encryption system very appealing towards publishers and e-reader manufactures. The developed a brand new SDK that will play nice with any 3rd party reading app on Android, iOS or Windows. It also can integrated directly into any e-reader on the market. The key selling points of the Sony DRM are; to make eBook rentals viable, to lend an eBook to a friend easier, to define a clear path of ownership, better pay per chapter (metered) support and the ability to resell a book.

The big problem in the eBook industry right now is the lack of clear ownership. When you click the BUY button on Amazon, Apple, Kobo, or Google you are simply licensing the book and it is never truly yours. Sony wants to change this and define a clear path of ownership, this will allow people to sell a used eBook and it will actually physically disappear from the original owners account.

Sony plans on shopping their new DRM system in the spring of 2015 and will likely be conducting private meetings at notable events like the London Book Fair, Book Expo America and IDPF gatherings. I have heard from a reputable source that Sony already has six publishers locked up and will be leveraging those relationship in order to establish new ones.

Sony Developing New DRM to Make Used eBooks Viable is a post from: Good e-Reader

Listen up! Narrated eBooks now available

With the most recent release of OverDrive Read, we’ve introduced eBooks that are enhanced with embedded audio. This new feature means that you can get eBooks (through OverDrive Read) that deliver professional narration along with the text.

Here’s a sample of Spork, by Kyo Maclear and Isabelle Arsenault. Click Start narration to see how it works:

Some of these eBooks include a full-blown soundtrack with sound effects, like Mud Puddle by Robert Munsch:

These two samples aren’t just narrated; they’re also examples of fixed-layout eBooks. “Fixed layout” means that a publisher can design the digital pages of each eBook so that they look just like the ones in the print version, with every word and picture in its proper place. These look best in the full-screen preview mode so you get a two-page spread.

In these two samples, each word is highlighted as the narrator reads. This works with many narrated titles (depending on the publisher), and is great for helping developing readers learn because they can simultaneously hear and read each word as a story progresses.

The narrated titles we offer are high-quality productions that have been tested for quality before being made available for sale. Randy Travis, John Lithgow, and Robert Munsch are just a few of the great narrators we offer. Heck, we’ve even got Ray Charles (yes, that Ray Charles) reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin and John Archambault!

You can find narrated titles by filtering your advanced search results by the special feature “Embedded audio” in the OverDrive MarketPlace. We’ve also compiled a list (you’ll need to be signed into MarketPlace to view this link). If you want to keep track of what’s getting updated in OverDrive Read in the future, you can check out our “What’s New?” help article (which we update regularly) for more information. OverDrive Help also has you covered with articles specifically for narrated eBooks that include the basic “how-tos” and compatibility information.

With that, I bid you, happy reading! Er . . . listening? Both? In any case, go out and enjoy some eBooks! I’m off to partake of the dulcet tones of Mr. Ray Charles.

Quinton Lawman is a Technical Writer at OverDrive.

New Fire HDX 8.9 has Dynamic Light Control to Mimic the Look of Paper (Video)

I’ll admit, when Amazon announced their new lineup of Kindle ereaders and Fire tablets for this year, I barely paid any attention whatsoever to the new Fire HDX 8.9. I was too interested in the Kindle Voyage and new 6-inch Fire HD to care much about a Fire HDX with only a couple upgrades from […]

Investors Satisfied with Blackberry 10 Fire Sale


Blackberry is undergoing a resurgence under the leadership of John Chen and the fruits of their new strategy are resonating well with investors. No one really knows how many Blackberry Passport devices were sold, but 200,000 units were gone right away. The main Blackberry website has been sold out every day of the week since launch and the upcoming Classic phone is highly anticipated with its core customers.


Blackberry is trying to liquidate their current inventory of older phones by having a fire sale during the month of November. The BlackBerry’s Q10 price dropped one hundred dollars to $199, ahead of the release of the Classic. Likely, Blackberry saw no need for a single keyboard device competing for the same market. The Classic features the inclusion of navigation buttons and trackpad, something that was missing from the Q10.

The Z30 price drop is very dramatic and the phone itself was a victim of bad timing. When it got released the Blackberry leadership was changing and the company did not allocate enough of a marketing budget to run any kind of sustained media campaign. Can this be a sign to come that the company might be developing a phablet type of device?

The two devices Blackberry is getting behind and pushing in a big way is the Passport and Classic. I like the fact it hearkens back to the glory days of Blackberry, where all of their phones had a great keyboard.

According to SeekingAlpha “Investors are not convinced shares of BlackBerry should trade above the $10.50 level. There are still concerns of falling revenue from the services division. The company will make up for the drop first through BES 12 subscriptions. On the hardware sales side, speculation of strong Passport sales could finally push shares towards back to the $15 level. This is unlikely in the short-term. BlackBerry still needs a phablet or a tablet-like smart phone. This signals the company is confident with the BBOS 10.3 release. More importantly, it implies BlackBerry is confident demand for its family of devices will improve now, and heading into 2015.”

Investors Satisfied with Blackberry 10 Fire Sale is a post from: Good e-Reader

Raspberry Pi Model A+ on sale now at $20

When we announced the Model B+ back in July, we said that we’d also be producing a lower-cost variant, analogous to the original Model A. Since then, James has been beavering away, and today we’re pleased to announce the release of the Raspberry Pi Model A+ at a new low price of $20.

Smaller, lower-power and with added Andrew Jackson

Smaller, more energy-efficient and crazy-affordable

Like the Model A, the Model A+ uses the BCM2835 application processor and has 256MB RAM, but it is significantly smaller (65mm in length, versus 86mm for the Model A), consumes less power, and inherits the many improvements that we made to the Model B+, including:

  • More GPIO. The GPIO header has grown to 40 pins. The Model A+ is compatible with the HAT standard for add-on boards.
  • Micro SD. The old friction-fit SD card socket has been replaced with a much nicer push-push micro SD version.
  • Better audio. The audio circuit incorporates a dedicated low-noise power supply.

Bokeh dokeh

When we announced Raspberry Pi back in 2011, the idea of producing an “ARM GNU/Linux box for $25″ seemed ambitious, so it’s pretty mind-bending to be able to knock another $5 off the cost while continuing to build it here in the UK, at the same Sony factory in South Wales we use to manufacture the Model B+. You can buy the Model A+ today from our partners Farnell/element14/Newark.

We handed out a very few preview units to some people we know with video cameras and microphones. Here’s what they had to say: