Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jolla Successfully Funds the First Crowdsourced Tablet

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A year after their first smartphone was introduced, Finnish technology company Jolla has successfully funded their IndieGogo project aimed to create a tablet. Looking to raise $380K, supporters have already pledged over $865K (and the campaign doesn’t end until December 9, 2014).

Jolla’s tablet should take specific aim at Apple’s iPad Mini and the recently announced Nokia N1 (though it will not be as thin or have an aluminum-bodied shell), featuring a 7.9-inch display with 2,048 x 1,536 resolution, a quad-core Intel processor, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage… only it will not run iOS or Android –this device will take advantage of the startup’s Sailfish 2.0 operating system (which is able to boast 9 updates, 350 new features, and over 13,000 bugs fixed since their initial release; not to mention compatibility for Android apps).

Several incentives for supporters are being offered, though several have sold out, including among the first to receive a Jolla tablet (for a contribution of $204 USD as long as you live in one of the supported regions: EU, Norway, Switzerland, USA, India, China, Hong Kong, or Russia). For those with less to spend, $10 USD will get your name on the Jolla First Ones webpage.

Until the second quarter of 2015 when these little beauties are expected to ship, we will have to satiate ourselves with the product video created by Jolla.

Jolla Successfully Funds the First Crowdsourced Tablet is a post from: Good e-Reader

Nintendo Launches Free Digital Magazine

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Nintendo Extra is a new digital magazine that was designed to appeal to a younger audience. The first issue includes an introduction to The Legend of Zelda by producer Eiji Aonuma, basic tips for Mario Kart 8, a Captain Toad comic, Pokemon Alpha Sapphire & Omega Ruby features, and the first episode of the ‘Cat Mario Show’.

The new magazine is completely free and is primarily available through the Nintendo official website. There is no word yet if the publication is planned to launch via a series of apps for iOS or Android.Last month we saw the closure of Official Nintendo Magazine and this new endeavor is likely a second attempt to help market core Nintendo properties and appeal to a new demographic.

Nintendo Launches Free Digital Magazine is a post from: Good e-Reader

Weekly eHighlights: Bonus Adult Fiction Edition

There were so many blockbuster authors who had new titles published in our November 6 edition of eHighlights, that we decided to publish a bonus edition to feature some of the other great titles available in time for the Holiday shopping season. In addition, Stephen King, Lisa Scottoline, and others have new books just available, so don't miss any of these excellent titles.

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

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H. G. Adler – The Wall – Random House eBook – PW: One of the best books of the year.

Isabella Alan – Murder, Served Simply – Penguin eBook – Amish Quilt Shop Mystery series.

Donna Alward – Treasure on Lilac Lane – Macmillan eBook – Jewell Cove series.

Keri Arthur – Darkness Falls – Penguin eBook – Dark Angels Series.

Jo Baker – Offcomer – Random House eBook – By the acclaimed author of Longbourne set against the background of the Troubles in Ireland.

Juliet Blackwell – Keeper of the Castle – Penguin eBook – A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery starring reluctant ghostbuster Mel Turner. Bestselling author.

Mike Blakely – A Song to Die For – Macmillan eBook – Booklist starred review. Award winning author. Kirkus: "Topnotch mystery."

Steven Brust – Hawk – Macmillan eBook – Fantasy/Thriller; Vlad Taltos series.

Lucy Burdette – Death with All the Trimmings – Penguin eBook – A Key West Food Critic mystery set at Christmas time.

Andrea Camillieri – The Brewer of Preston – Penguin eBook – From the author of the Commissario Montalbano police procedurals comes a comic novel set in 19th Century Sicily. 50,000 print run.

Joanna Carl – The Chocolate Clown Corpse – Penguin eBook – Chocoholic Mystery series.

Diane Chamberlain – The Silent Sister – Macmillan eBook – Riley was told that her older sister committed suicide. Now it seems that she may be alive. Kirkus: "compulsively readable."

Brock Clarke – The Happiest People in the World – Workman Publishing – "A whiz-bang spy satire." PW starred review.

Barbara Cleverly – Enter Pale Death – Random House eBook – PW starred review.

Cleo Coyle – Once Upon a Grind – Penguin eBook – Coffeehouse Mystery series.

Lauren Dane – Broken Open – Harlequin eBook – Romantic Times: 4 stars,

Tessa Dare – Say Yes to the Marquess – HarperCollins eBook – Castle Ever After series.

Ted Dekker – A. D. 30 – Hachette eBook – Christian thriller – LJ Starred Review, Romantic Times: 4 stars.

Anita Diamant – The Boston Girl – Simon & Schuster eBook – From the bestselling author of The Red Tent. 85-year-old Addie Baum tells her granddaughter her life story.

Keith Donohue – The Boy Who Drew Monsters – Macmillan eBook – Literary horror from the bestselling author of The Stolen Child.

Eileen Dreyer – Twice Tempted – A Drake's Race Regency. Romantic Times: 4 stars.

Charles Finch – The Laws of Murder – Macmillan eBook and audiobook read by James Langton – A Charles Lennox mystery. Romantic Times: 4 stars.

Christopher Fowler – Bryant & May and the Bleeding Heart – Random House eBook – Think Grumpy Old Men meets CSI. 11th in the series.

Abbi Glines – You Were Mine – The latest in the Rosemary Beach series by the bestselling author.

Molly Gloss – Falling from Horses – Houghton Mifflin Harcourt eBook – Kirkus starred review.

Christopher Golden – Sons of Anarchy: Bratva – Macmillan eBook – Based on the hot TV series. 100,000 print run.

Yannick Grannec – The Goddess of Small Victories – Random House eBook – A historical novel based on the life of Kurt Godel, the famous logician. Booklist starred review.

Andrew Grant – Run – Random House eBook and Books on Tape audiobook read by Jon LindstromTaut thriller for fans of Harlan Coben or Joseph Finder.

Shelley Shepard Gray – Snowfall – HarperCollins eBook – Days of Redemption Amish series Christmas novel.

Timothy Hallinan – For the Dead – Random House eBook – Poke Rafferty thriller series set in Bangkok. Booklist starred review.

Robin Lee Hatcher – Love Without End – Thomas Nelson eBook – Can two single parents get together and risk loving again? Christian fiction by the well known author. King's Meadow series.

Peter James – Want You Dead – Macmillan eBook – Detective Superintendent Roy Grace British mystery series.

Sophie Jordan – An Heiress for All Seasons – HarperCollins eBook – A Debutante Files Christmas novella.

Stephen KingRevival – Simon & Schuster eBook and audiobook read by David Morse – Classic King horror novel spanning five decades. LJ & PW starred reviews.

Rosalind Lauer – A Simple Charity – Lancaster Crossroads Amish series.

T. C. LoTempio – Meow If It's Murder – Penguin ebook – A Nick and Nora Mystery. Nora Charles is an investigative reporter who shares a name with the famous sleuth, but in this case, Nick is her cat.

Charlie Lovett – First Impressions: A Novel of Old Books, Unexpected Love, and Jane Austen – Penguin eBook and Books on Tape audiobook read by Jayne EntwistleFrom the bestselling author of The Bookman's Tale.

James Luceno – Tarkin – Random House eBook – Star Wars series.

Sarah MacLean – Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover – HarperCollins eBook – Rules of Scoundrels Series.

G. M. Malliet – A Demon Summer – Macmillan eBook – Max Tudor mystery series. Agatha Award winning author.

Phillip Margolin – Woman with a Gun – HarperCollins eBook – Thriller by the bestselling author.

Juliet Marillier – Dreamer's Pool – Penguin eBook – A Blackthorn & Grim novel. Magical healer Blackthorn is freed from the executioner and sent on a quest, but she must give up her thoughts of revenge. Galley Chat featured book. Award winning author.

Melania G. Mazzucco – Limbo – Macmillan eBook – An injured Italian soldier returns home just before Christmas to recuperate, review, and try to make sense of her life. LJ & PW starred reviews.

Jack McDevitt – Coming Home – Penguin eBook – Alex Benedict Science Fiction/Mystery.

Monica McInerny – Hello from the Gillespies – Penguin eBook – When an Australian woman writes a truthful Christmas letter instead of the usual platitudes she's sent for the past 33 years, her husband hits "Send" before she can revise it and the family has to cope with the truth. Humorous and charming.

Lindsay McKenna, et al. – Coming Home for Christmas – Harlequin eBook – Three military heroes come home for a romantic Christmas.

Jenn McKinlay – On Borrowed Time – Penguin eBook – Library Lover's Mystery series.

Richard K. Morgan – The Dark Defiles – Random House ebook – Final book in A Land Fit for Heroes trilogy. Bleak dystopian fantasy by one of the best.

David Nicholls – Us – HarperCollins eBook and audiobook read by David HaigBooklist, Kirkus, LJ starred reviews.

Shelly Oria – New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 – Macmillan eBook – Fresh new voice from FS & G.

Tony Park – The Delta – Macmillan eBook – A fast moving thriller set in South Africa with a female mercenary as the protagonist. Kirkus & LJ starred reviews.

Arturo Perez-Reverte РThe Siege РRandom House eBook РJust as Napoleon's army lays siege to Cadiz in 1811, bodies of dead women begin turning up and Police Comisario Rogelio Tizón has been assigned the case.

Hannah Pittard – Reunion – Hachette eBook – A family reunites after the death of the father. Award winning author.

Ruth Rendell – The Girl Next Door – Simon & Schuster eBook and audiobook read by Ric Jerrom – Six decades after a group of children dug a secret tunnel, a tin box is found inside it containing the skeleton hands of a man and a woman. Multiple award winning author. Booklist starred review.

Imogen Robertson – The Paris Winter – Macmillan eBook – Three young women in 1909 Paris become embroiled in a criminal plot. Kirkus & LJ starred reviews.

Renee Rosen – What the Lady Wants: A Novel of Marshall Field and the Gilded Age – Blackstone audiobook read by Kirsten PotterBy the acclaimed author of Dollface. In 19th Century Chicago, retail tycoon Marshall Field makes his fortune.

Lisa Scottoline – Betrayed – Macmillan eBook – Scottline returns to her popular Rosato & Associates series after several years of writing standalones. Bestselling author.

Kazuaki Takano – Genocide of One – Hachette Digital eBook – The internationally bestselling author from Japan is back with a new thriller. PW starred review.

Lalita Tademy – Citizen's Creek – Simon & Schuster eBook – The story of a little known time in American history: Tom is sold as a slave to an Indian chief. By the bestselling author of the Oprah Pick Cane River.

Sheri S. Tepper – Fish Tails – HarperCollins eBook – By a science fiction master. What happens when the waters rise enough that a planet has no land left?

Paige Tyler – Her Lone Wolf – Sourcebooks eBook – a paranormal military romance.

Fred Venturini – The Heart Does Not Grow Back– Macmillan eBook – From a new voice in literary SF about a small town nobody who develops a superpower in the wake of tragedy.

Elaine Viets – A Dog Gone Murder – Penguin eBook – Josie Marcus Mystery Shopper series. By the Agatha and Anthony Award winner.

Urban Waite – Sometimes the Wolf – HarperCollins eBook – This thriller got starred reviews from Booklist and LJ.

Charles G. West – Trial at Fort Keogh– Penguin eBook – An easy going ranch foreman finds himself targeted by crooked lawmen in this Western.

Dennis Wheatley – The Fabulous Valley – Bloomsbury eBook – A devious patriarch leaves his family a valley of diamonds in the Kalahari. Now they just have to find it.

F. Paul Wilson – Fear City – Macmillan eBook – New entry in the Repairman Jack series.

Geographical rights may vary by title

Amazon Fire Stick Launches Today and Discounts Kindles

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Amazon is gearing up for the holidays by slashing some of the prices on their tablets and also positioning themselves to push lots of Fire TV sticks.

The Fire TV Stick is a cheap alternative to the Fire TV system that launched earlier this year. In essence, the $39 stick connects to the HDMI port on your HDTV for instant access to movies, TV shows, music, photos, apps, and games. It features a dual-core processor, 2x the memory of Chromecast, dual-band, dual-antenna (MIMO) Wi-Fi, and exclusive features like ASAP for instant streaming. Plus, it comes with a remote control for simple and easy navigation. You can also use the free Fire TV Remote App for Fire phone, Android phones, and coming soon to iPhone to search using just your voice.

The Amazon branded stick is shipping today, but new orders might be a bit delayed, due to the sheer amount of people opting to try out this new system.

Amazon is also discounting some of their tablets. The new Fire HD 7 normally costs $139 and is now on sale for $119, also the variant released last year, the seven inch HDX is only $179.99.

Also, if you are thinking of subscribing to Amazon Prime for the first time or renewing your membership you can get a $40 discount on the new Basic Touch 2014 model. Simply start/renew your membership and then add the product to your cart for the free voucher.

Amazon Fire Stick Launches Today and Discounts Kindles is a post from: Good e-Reader

B&N Nook Glowlight Now $99

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The Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight is the only e-Ink based reader the bookseller is currently marketing. It normally costs $119.99, but starting November 21st, it will be discounted to $99.99 and this price point seems to be locked in stone for the rest of the year.

Barnes and Noble is also having a “Discovery Week” sale this weekend where lots of things are being discounted store wide in order to get a jump start on buying gifts for the holidays. In a limited time promotion from November 21 to November 23rd the recently launched Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK devices have new low prices. You can pickup the seven inch version for $149.99 (after a $50 instant rebate) or purchase the 10.1 inch variant for $249.99 (after a $100 instant rebate).

B&N Nook Glowlight Now $99 is a post from: Good e-Reader

B&N Launches Nook Audiobooks App, Comes With 2 Free Audiobooks

Barnes and Noble has announced the release of a new audiobook app for Android phones and tablets called NOOK Audiobooks. B&N claims that their audiobook catalog consists of over 50,000 titles, with free samples available on a wide selection of them. B&N is emphasizing a no-commitment type of selling environment, unlike Audible.com’s monthly subscription plans […]

B&N Drops Nook GlowLight to $99; Weekend Sale on Nook Galaxy Tablets

Barnes and Noble released a press release today announcing a permanent price drop on the Nook GlowLight and a weekend sale on Nook Galaxy tablets. The Nook GlowLight turned one year old this month. Since its release it has sold for $119, the same price as the base Kindle Paperwhite. As of November 21st, the […]

A collection of Pis

Liz: Today’s guest post comes from Alex Eames, who runs the rather wonderful RasPi.TV. He’s been furtling through his drawers, and has discovered he owns a surprising number of Raspberry Pi variants. Thanks Alex! 

Now we have the A+, I thought it'd be a good time to celebrate its 'birth' by having a rundown of the various mass-produced models of Raspberry Pi.

I had a look through my collection and was somewhat surprised to see that I have 10 different variants of Raspberry Pi now. There is one I don't have, but more about that later. Here's the family photo. You can click it for a higher resolution version.

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Rev 1 Model B

In row 1, column 1 we have the Rev 1 model B. Although I was up early on 29th February 2012, I didn't get one of the first 10,000 Pis produced. This was delivered in May 2012. It's a Farnell variant (I have an RS one as well, but it does full-time duty as my weather station). This was the original type of Pi to hit the market. It has 256 Mb RAM and polyfuses on the USB.

Rev 1 Model B – With Links

In row 1, column 2 you'll see a slightly later variant of Rev 1 model B. This one has 0 Ohm links instead of polyfuses. It helped to overcome some of the voltage drop issues associated with the original Rev 1, but it introduced the "hot-swapping USB devices will now reboot your Pi" issue, which was fixed in the B+.

Rev 2 Model B (China)

Row 2, column 1. Here we have an early Rev 2 Pi. This one was manufactured in China. It originally had a sticker on saying "made in China", but I took it off. This one was bought some time around October 2012. The Rev 2 model B has 512 Mb RAM (apart from a few early ones which had 256 Mb), mounting holes and two headers called P5 and P6.

Rev 2 Model B (UK)

Row 2, column 2. This is a much later Rev 2 Pi, made at SONY in Wales, UK.

Chinese Red Pi Rev 2 Model B

Row 3, column 1. This is one of the Red Pis made especially for the Chinese market. They are not allowed to be sold in the UK, but if you import one yourself that's not a problem. It is manufactured to a less stringent spec than the ones at SONY, and is not EMC tested. Therefore it bears no CE/FCC marks.

Limited Edition Blue Pi Rev 2 Model B

Row 3, column 2. I'm not going to go into how I got hold of this. Suffice it to say it was not at all easy, but no laws were broken, and nobody got hurt. RS had 1000 of these made in March 2013 as a special limited anniversary edition to use as prizes and awards to people who've made a special contribution to education etc. I know of about 5 or 6 people who have them. (At least two of those people traded for them.) They are extremely hard to get. They come in a presentation box with a certificate. I have #0041. Other than their blueness, they are a Rev 2 model B Pi.

Model A

Row 1, Column 3 is a model A. The PCB is identical to the Rev 2 model B, but it has only one USB port, no ethernet port, no USB/ethernet chip and 256 Mb RAM. The $25 model A was released in February 2013. On the day I got mine, the day after launch, I made a quick and dirty "I've got mine first" video, part of which ended up on BBC Click. The model A sold about 100k units. Demand for it was outstripped by the model B, although at one point CPC was offering a brilliant deal on a camera module and model A for £25 (I snagged a couple of those).

Compute Module

Row 2, column 3 is the Compute Module, sitting atop the Compute Module development board. This was launched 23 June 2014 as a way to enable industrial use of the Pi in a more convenient form factor. The module is made so it fits in a SODIMM connector and is essentially the BCM 2835, its 512 Mb RAM and 4 Gb of eMMC flash memory with all available GPIO ports broken out. It costs $30 when bought by the hundred.

Model B+

Row 3, column 3 is the model B+. This was launched on 14 July 2014 and was a major change in form factor. Rounded corners, corner mount holes, 40 GPIO pins, 4 USB ports, improved power circuitry and a complete layout redesign. The B+ was announced as the 'final revision' of the B. So it would appear that it's going to be with us for some time.

Model A+

In row 4, all by itself we have the shiny new Raspberry Pi A+, launched 10 November 2014. It's essentially the same as a B+ with the USB end cut off. It's the smallest, lightest, cheapest, and least power-hungry Pi of all so far. It's 23g, $20 and uses just half a Watt at idle.

So Which One Don't I Have?

I don't have a Rev 2 256 MB variant. If you have one and would like to trade or sell it to me, I'd be happy to hear from you (alex AT raspi.tv).

I believe there is also now a red Chinese B+ I've not got one of those, but it's only a matter of time. I wonder if there will be a red A+ at some point too? We Just Don't Know!

 

 

Barnes and Noble Puts a Priority on Audiobooks

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Barnes and Noble has formally unveiled their Nook Audiobook app for Android. The Nations largest bookseller is putting a company wide priority on the audio experience. This is the first time they have ever got serious about it and they intend on marketing it towards the types of people who buy books on a regular basis or have never listed to one before.

There are over 50,000 audiobooks from major publishers available to purchase and the vast majority of them have free samples that range between two and four minutes in length to preview. As part of the launch promotion every week there will be five free audiobooks and new users to the platform can download two for free. There is no signup required or credit card needed for the account in order to take advantage of this promotion. The titles were exclusively vetted to span multiple genres and picked especially for the overall quality of the narration. During the first week the following titles will be available; Charlotte's Web by E.B. White, Ender’s Game (Ender Quintet #1) by Orson Scott Card, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Heist (Fox and O’Hare Series #1) by Janet Evanovich and Seabiscuit by Lauren Hillenbrand.

Kashif Zafar, Vice President of US Digital Content at NOOK Media told Good e-Reader exclusively “The mission of the design was to be very crisp and engage the broad mainstream audiobook customer. This was one of the first apps we built from the ground up and we feel it provides a user friendly experience.

Barnes and Noble is sourcing their compete audiobook collection from Findaway World via their Acoustik imprint. This is the same organization that powers the vast majority of libraries digital catalogs.

This is not the first time the bookseller has got involved in audiobooks. For the last few years they sold them exclusively online and the titles were provided by Overdrive. When customers purchased an audio edition they had to download the Media Console app and had to register an account. Kashif mentioned that this distracted from the overall user experience and was quietly killed a few months ago.

The Nook Audiobook app will be made available via a firmware update for the Nook HD, Nook HD+ and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 7 and 10.1 inch models in the coming weeks. Kashif made it very clear that the marketing efforts behind the app is simply not pushing it out to the devices and hoping for the best. “We are implementing a marketing program across all of our bookstores to really drive home the fact we are serious about audiobooks. We also encouraging our publishing partners to advertise it across their own networks.”

I got a chance to play around with the final release version of the Android app as apart of the soft-launch program. I actually found it really intuitive to use, it doesn’t bog you down with advanced features, but makes listening and purchasing new content really easy. The main store features the aforementioned free content any user can download. There are a few sections that are curated by the new Nook Audio team and there will be seasonal themes and update provided every few weeks. There is also a featured audiobook of the week, which offers a tremendous discount.

When you listen to an audiobook, you don’t have the advanced features that Audible has. You can’t adjust the speed of the playbook to read faster or slower, you are stuck with the default setting. This isn’t all bad, as much I as do use the iTunes and Audible Players I have never adjusted the narration speed, but some people do, so it bears mentioning. You also are limited to two simultaneous downloads at a time, but once the first chapter is is complete you can listen to the book as its downloading.

The Nook Audiobook App is available as a free download from Google Play but is only available for US customers. You can download it from our own Good e-Reader App Store if you live outside the US. I found that living in Canada you can buy and listen to audiobooks, so there seems to be no geographical restrictions on content. Kashif also wanted to make clear that an iOS version should be available by the end of the year and a Windows 8 iteration might be launched sometime in the new year. There is no timeline for official expansion into the UK.

The entry into the audiobook market is perfect timing for Barnes and Noble. It perfectly rounds off their Nook Media catalog so they now sell everything a reader could possibly want. Apps, eBooks, comics, graphic novels, magazines, music, newspapers, and video.

Barnes and Noble Puts a Priority on Audiobooks is a post from: Good e-Reader