Monday, December 1, 2014

Win a Free Amazon Fire HD6 and Kindle Basic Touch


Amazon has released an entirely new portfolio of e-readers and tablets in the last few months and most of these devices are not yet available in most international markets. With the upcoming holiday season in full effect we want to do a giveaway of some of the review units. Today we are  happy to announce that we will be doing a raffle style drawing on December 15th 2014 for the Amazon Fire HD6 and the Kindle Basic Touch 2014 model.

Entering is really simply, you need to be subscribed to our YouTube channel and like the Video. Upon doing those two simply things just drop a comment on the video and let us know what one you want and why you want it! We will also pay the shipping no matter where you live in the world.

Win a Free Amazon Fire HD6 and Kindle Basic Touch is a post from: Good e-Reader

Macmillan’s Nature Publishing Group Makes Old Content Free


Macmillan owns 48 different publications that are geared towards science under their Nature Publishing Group umbrella. The publisher has announced that they are now making all content freely available to read in their new online e-reader viewer.

Nature launched in 1869 to provide the public with current scientific information and help scientists share their research. It's now the leading, most cited journal of its kind in the world. Nature keeps researchers and scientists up to date with the latest developments in their field and beyond. And gives 8 million visitors a month access to over 100 prestigious publications and services such as Naturejobs.

Macmillan is using technology from ReadCube, a software platform similar to Apple's iTunes, will be used to host and display read-only versions of the articles’ PDFs. If the initiative becomes popular, it may also boost the prospects of the ReadCube platform, in which Macmillan has a majority investment.

The program basically lets scientists and the public read the digital content as far back as 1869, while personal subscribers get access from 1997 on.  The gambit is with all of this free content available it should hopefully get more paid subscribers. Philip Campbell, the editor-in-chief of Nature and the other Nature-branded journals, has said that Nature‘s internal costs of publishing run at £20,000–30,000  per paper, an extremely high charge.

Annette Thomas, chief executive of Macmillan's Science and Education division, said that the publisher intends the policy as a pilot and will be evaluating it over the coming year. She says that she expects libraries and personal users to continue to subscribe to the journal, but also that scientists would embrace the new sharing model. Other science publishers, such as Wiley, use ReadCube to display preview versions of their papers, so it is possible that the same idea might spread to others.

Macmillan's Nature Publishing Group Makes Old Content Free is a post from: Good e-Reader

Bookeen Cybook Ocean Review

cybook ocean

Bookeen has been teasing the eight inch Cybook Ocean e-reader since last October. The company has experienced numerous setbacks over the course of the year and it has finally hit the market. This device does a solid job reading e-Books but falls short in almost every other department. The e-reader could have been really amazing, back in 2011, but 2014 standards have it being the worst of the year.



The Cybook Ocean has an e-ink Pearl HD capacitive touchscreen display with a resolution of 1024×758. The overall clarity of the screen is fairly industry standard for a six inch device, but on a eight inch model things look a bit pixelated.

One of the elements the Ocean has going for it, is that the screen is entirely flush with the bezel. This allows for a high degree of precision when it comes to turning pages in eBooks or pinching and zooming PDF files.

Underneath the hood is a 800 MHZ processor and 128 MB of RAM. I think the lack of RAM, is one of the things holding this device back. Many of the e-readers released in 2014 at least have 512. You will have around 4 GB of storage and you can elect to increase it further via the MicroSD. One of the big hardware flaws is that there is no SD port on the bottom of the device, instead you have to peel off a rear panel, exposing portions of the motherboard to insert it in.

When it comes to reading, customers have two different options to turn a page. One is to take advantage of the touchscreen, which tends to have ghosting issues and makes the entire page refresh each page you turn. The other method is using the manual page turn keys that are on the bottom of the unit. They are baked into the bezel, much like the new Kindle Voyage handles them.

On a hardware level, the Ocean has a very interesting design with lots of curves and it certainly stands out in a crowd. This is honestly the first touchscreen eight inch e-reader on the market and is being billed to give you more screen real estate to show more text and to make reading manga and comics more robust.



The biggest trend in 2014 when it comes to e-readers has been the embracing of Google Android as the primarily operating system. Icarus, Onyx and Pocketbook have been leveraging the ability for users to install their own e-reading apps, for an unparalleled level of freedom. The Ocean runs Linux, which isn’t normally a problem, but does have a large amount of bugs.

Lets talk about some of the bugs I noticed in the last few days of playing around with it. The first is the keyboard, it is totally unresponsive when it comes to typing and deleting characters. Each alphanumeric entry you make on the keyboard warrants a one second pause. This is essential because there is a small delay after each key is pressed. If you make a mistake, and have to delete a few characters you can’t just hold the delete key. Instead, you have to delete each character one by one, which is incontinent. Oh, there is also no internet browser on this unit at all, even though the box says it has one.

There are a number of advantages though, this e-reader is not totally flawed. It does have over 20 supported languages and a ton of different dictionaries to look up words when reading an eBook. Each one has to be downloaded individually, to look up words you just have to long press a specific word. You can also establish the main UI to reflect whatever language you want, as Bookeen is based in Paris and wants to sell this all over Europe.

E-Reading Experience


The Ocean excels in reading eBooks in EPUB and PDF files, but you have to do certain things to insure the best reading experience. I would recommend never to use the touchscreen, instead rely on the page turn buttons. This will prevent ghosting and full page refreshing.

The main UI of the Ocean lists the book you have opened recently, as well as your progression. It also has an interactive carousel that lists all of the books in your library, showing the cover art. If you click on a book it instantly opens. Alternatively you can open up the library function and view all of your books. You can elect to display the cover art, or go for the traditional list view. Readers who have a super large library can easily use the search function or sort by author.

When you are reading a book, this is where things are great. The large eight inch display shows more text on the screen than the Kindle Voyage or the Kobo H2O. You can augment the size of the font, but you have to click the home button and then the text button and a bunch of options appear. There are eight different font choices and a TON of customization to adjust the font size. Additionally, you can also set the margains and line spacing to your suitable levels.

One feature that I found that was entirely unique to e-ink enabled devices was the nighttime reading mode. Many smartphone and tablet apps all have the ability to get rid of the white background and black text to make your eyes strain less in complete darkness. The Ocean has this mode too, which combined with the front-lit display will make it super easy to read for hours at a time. One bug I noticed was when you used the touchscreen to turn a page in this mode would suddenly turn the background white and text black and then after the refresh mode was over, bring it back. I found this super discombobulating, and found that when you use the page turn button, this error does not occur.

PDF Viewing is a solid experience on the Ocean, you can pinch and zoom and get a particular frame or image showing up correctly. You can help orientate yourself on exactly where you are in the document with the preview pane on the top right hand corner. There is also a “reflow” mode, which will strip away all of the images and CSS elements, giving you more of an eBook experience. Depending on the extensiveness of the PDF file you are viewing, reflow can be hit or miss.

Wrap Up

wrap up

I have been waiting for the Cybook Ocean e-reader to come out for over a year. The final product makes me weep silently on what could have been. On paper, this e-reader should rule. A big vibrant screen, it looks really nice and Bookeen has a storied history in this space.

With a number of firmware updates this e-reader could likely solve all of my biggest problems, since its out right now and people are wondering if they should buy it, I would recommend avoid at all costs.


Large 8 inch screen
Reading Books is solid
UI is stable


Micro SD insertion requires peeling off the back of the device
No internet browser
Nighttime Reading Mode is bugged
The software driven keyboard is woeful and unresponsive
Taking notes and making highlights requires you to jump through 5 different menus

Rating 3.5/10

Bookeen Cybook Ocean Review is a post from: Good e-Reader

Digital Newspaper Consumption Reaches Record Highs


US newspaper digital adoption has hit new peaks this year as more adults have been embracing paid content. This October, roughly 166 million adults accessed newspaper content on digital platforms, such as replica editions and dedicated apps. This equated to a 17% increase over the previous year.

The key growth area in digital newspaper consumption is directly attributed to the refinement of mobile and tablet apps.  Accessing newspapers on a mobile device has seen an increase of 85% year-on-year during October.  This figure should increase further as many media outlets have developed sophisticated app strategies to scale the audience.

We are seeing to see a departure from the paywall strategy that the New York Times pioneered a few years ago and many properties all over the world have been embracing. The problem with paywalls is that it is primarily relevant when accessing the website from a PC and not indicative to a cohesive mobile strategy. Overall, publishers are scrambling to make more money off of digital readers either through paid online strategies or newer advertising mediums like native and branded content.

There are a number of companies that are seeing a massive amount of success in the digital space that have non-conventional business models. Vancouver based Pressreader has been a major player in replica editions and offer access to thousands of internal papers for a low monthly fee. Instead of subscribing to one, you can subscribe to as many as you want, which certainly appeals to ex-pats or business executives traveling and don’t have access to their local paper under conventional means.

Another company seeing success is Netherlands based Blendle, who  recently attained three million dollars from the NY Times and and German media giant Axel Springer. The company launched in 2013 and has been billing themselves as the iTunes of news. This has been a hot topic for quite a few years already, and this pay-for-what-you-read model is a huge step forward.  The Blendle service has attracted over 130,000 registered users in just over a year, by partnering up with hundreds of  news agencies and pay them a percentage of every article that is read. Each news item price is established by the publisher, so the pricing is not consistent, but everything is really cheap.

Digital Newspaper Consumption Reaches Record Highs is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kobo has No Plans for Audiobooks, Yet..


There has been swirling rumors and speculation today about Kobo getting involved in the audiobook space. This was primarily due to a number of placeholder entries in their digital bookstore that had meta data that alluded to HarperCollins Audio.

Kobo has confirmed to Good e-Reader today that they have no plans currently to enter the audiobook space. The fact that some books had no cover art and mentioned Harper Audio was due to bad metadata that was sourced by HarperCollins on a number of new eBooks. Kobo has told me that they were unaware of this data issue until Good e-Reader brought it to their attention. The company said tat this error is being solved internally within the next few weeks by the development team.

I think audiobooks is the only missing piece to the global content offerings that Kobo currently sells. The rise of audio publishing is directly proportionate to the rise of digital distribution. In 2007 a paltry 3,073 titles were available and rose exponentially to over 20,000 published titles in 2013. The entire industry is said to be worth over two billion dollars, which is a huge jump from $480 million in retail sales in 1997.

Kobo has No Plans for Audiobooks, Yet.. is a post from: Good e-Reader

Awesome Aussie list


Ever since I watched Crocodile Dundee as a child, I have been fascinated with Australia. The more I learn about the country, the more I grow to love it – especially the literature. My first Australian novel was The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough. It is an epic family saga that you just can't put down. Other fantastic Australian titles include: The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey, and The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas. Add some awesome Aussie lit to your collection with these Marketplace lists:

2014 Prime Minister's Literary Award

2014 Stella Prize Longlist

Australia's Favorite Novelists

Australian YA
Michelle Ross is an MLIS Analyst at OverDrive.

Cyber Monday Deals for eBooks and Tablets

Cyber Monday is upon us and there are a number of ebooks on sale today, along with a few good deals on tablets. Unfortunately there’s not really any ebook readers on sale for Cyber Monday. Just the same $99 Kobo Aura deal that’s carrying over from Black Friday. Amazon has even stopped most of their […]

iData Truck: an Internet of Things lorry

Andy Proctor drives a container delivery truck. He’s embedded a Raspberry Pi in the dashboard and turned the truck into an IoT device – saving time on updating his office on his movements, and learning Python and some electronics at the same time.truckproject

Andy says on his blog:

When we have the container loaded at the customer’s address we have to phone in and when it's been unloaded do the same.  We also let the office know when we have our shipping container lowered on the trailer or lifted off at the port.  This normally means going through the switchboard to an operator and passing him simple information 4-5 times a day (with 50 trucks).  They then update the software and then book the container with the next location, so I've automated it and learned how to use Python Programming.

Andy explains how everything works in this video.

We asked him on Twitter whether code and schematics are available: he said not yet, but he is planning on building a new website soon to host them.

Andy, if you’re ever in Cambridge with your truck, please let us know. We’d love to have a closer look! In the meantime, we’re going to be watching Andy’s truck’s progress via its Twitter feed, which publicly tweets every event that it logs.

Nook UK Launches Online Christmas Shop


Barnes and Noble has unveiled a new program for their United Kingdom online Nook bookstore. It primarily focuses on the curation and editorial aspect of book discovery, ensuring that you will find your next big great read quickly.

The Nook Online Christmas Shop features curated book lists and great offers to help customers discover the best books for the Christmas season. The site features a special Christmas sale, with prices starting as low as 59p on a wide range of select popular books, as well a list of the NOOK Editor's Choice of the Best 100 Books of 2014.

"Christmas is a busy time for everyone so this year we really focused on making the NOOK Christmas Shop the only place readers need to visit to find all of the best books at fantastic value," said Colin Eustace, General Manager, Barnes & Noble S.à.r.l. "We're also thrilled to head into this Christmas shopping season with our critically acclaimed new NOOK GlowLight eReader, which will make the perfect present for everyone in the family and is available at a great value of only £89 at our retail partners nationwide."

Check out the full press release below, it has six different lists of some really great books. I have read at least 15 of them, so you could likely by five at random and feel amazing.

Nook UK Launches Online Christmas Shop is a post from: Good e-Reader