Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Kindle Voyage – Hands on with Family Sharing and Wordwise


In late November the Amazon Kindle Voyage e-reader received a massive firmware update. It brought new features like Kindle Family Sharing and Wordwise. What exactly are these new features all about? Today, we give you all a comprehensive hands on review of all of the new features found in the biggest Kindle update ever.

Wordwise is basically a thesaurus of sorts that superimposes itself in the books you are reading. It gives alternative meanings to words such as “rampart” or “idiosyncrasy”  right on the page that contains them.  Family Sharing is a cool option, you can share any  content purchased between Amazon accounts on the same e-reader. There is two adults and four children available to share eBooks, magazines or newspapers.

One of the cool things is Kindle Unlimited, this a program that once opted in, will allow you to have your kid use the Kindle Voyage and download anything they want, at no extra cost. Parents basically establish a password and say GO! The store and all of the advanced features are locked out, so the child can only download new books and look at their reading  achievements.

Finally, I like about the Author. This is a cool function that shows you a picture of them, and other books they wrote. If a book you are reading is especially compelling, you can opt into being notified via email when a new title is available. In addition, you can mark the book as currently being read on GoodReads.

There are a ton of other updates included, in this video we go over every single one of them. If you are sitting on the fence, not knowing if you should buy the Voyage, you might be swayed over with everything you will witness today.

Kindle Voyage – Hands on with Family Sharing and Wordwise is a post from: Good e-Reader

Massive New Update Available for the Sony Digital Paper


Sony has unveiled the first major firmware update for their 13.3 inch Digital Paper e-reader. It brings a number of notable enhancements such as the ability to lock your device with a password  and encrypt it for total security. They have also changed the way the toolbar is presented, it used to be on the top, its now on the side. This small move makes the task manager work easier than before and makes navigating between  multi-page documents much more intuitive.

Whenever e-paper devices get firmware updates, its often difficult to get a sense of all the new features by just reading a list. Today, Good e-Reader has filmed a comprehensive hands on review, to give you a sense of all the new updates and how it affects your workflow.

Massive New Update Available for the Sony Digital Paper is a post from: Good e-Reader

Italy and Malta Slash e-Book VAT


Starting in early 2015  the VAT readers will pay will be dependent on the country they live in, rather than the originating country of the online bookstore. This will dramatically increase the amount of money people are spending to read eBooks. Italy and Malta though, are rising to the challenge and preemptively lowering the VAT before 2015.

Italy has lowered the VAT on e-Books from the standard 22% to 4% so it matches the rate imposed on printed books. Meanwhile, Malta has decided to cut its VAT on e-books from 18% to 5%, also so it is in line with print. In both cases the changes come in on 1st January 2015.

Italy and Malta now join Luxembourg and France, as having one of the lowest VAT rates in Europe, which charge 3% and 5% respectively. The United Kingdom on the other hand charges 20% VAT, which is making a number of digital readers angry, because they will have to pay more money for  the same books in early 2015.

Italy and Malta Slash e-Book VAT is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kindle Android App 4.8 Update Adds New Features

Amazon updated the Kindle for Android app yesterday to version 4.8.0. The update brings some new features to Android that have been available on other Kindle devices and apps for years. The main change is the addition of X-Ray, an exclusive Kindle feature that displays additional information regarding characters, places, and terms mentioned in an […]

Pilot a Chinook Rescue Helicopter in Dustoff Vietnam for Android


There are plenty of war games available for Android, but none come immediately to mind that allow you to pilot a rescue helicopter. The developers of Dustoff Vietnam want you to know a little bit about how it feels to be a hero, saving the lives of soldiers in the field under fire.

Built in voxel, cubic style (made famous by titles like Minecraft), Dustoff Vietnam is far from simplistic; utilize 3 rescue helicopters (each with different handling, strengths, and weaknesses) combined with 3 different weapons to guide your way through 16 unique missions set in a variety of weather conditions and times of day (consider the pixelated, animated beauty of storms and heavy rains during sunset in the jungles of Vietnam). Swamps, hidden caves, and mine systems add to the difficulty of the game –keeping you engaged long after your first extraction.

Controlling your Chinook helicopter is one of those things that is very easy to learn but takes some time to master. The first few times I tried to rescue hostages from the prison of war camps, it began with success and ended with complete failure as I crashed into the ground. Not to worry though, this game is 100% kid friendly… nobody is ever really killed (even the enemies just run away).

If you’re in the mood for a little mobile war gaming with a twist, download Dustoff Vietnam for your Android device and enjoy epic action with [what the developers accurately describe as] cinematic sound effects.

Pilot a Chinook Rescue Helicopter in Dustoff Vietnam for Android is a post from: Good e-Reader

Is Walmart Going to Buy B&N’s Nook Division?

There’s an article over on TheStreet.com from last week about how Walmart should buy Barnes and Noble’s struggling Nook division. It’s no secret that Barnes and Noble’s Nook business has been on a steady decline since 2012, and so far B&N has been unable to find anyone willing to shell out enough cash to sell […]

Entitle Partners with The Ellen DeGeneres Show for eBook Recommendations Club

Entitle is among a growing group of ebook subscription services where customers get access to a library of ebooks for a monthly fee. Entitle just scored a big partnership with The Ellen DeGeneres Show for a new book club called "Ellen's Book Bar" that provides ebook recommendations. This month’s recommended ebook is Amy Poehler’s Yes […]

Warner Bros. streaming video titles and cost-per-circ now available!


The time has come! Feature films from Warner Bros. Digital Distribution in streaming video format are now available for library lending. Library partners in the OverDrive network in the U.S. and Canada can now offer their communities hundreds of Warner Bros. popular and award-winning movies in addition to the OverDrive digital video catalog of more than 13,000 quality, in-demand streaming videos. The streaming video titles are available to patrons at the same library website as eBooks and audiobooks, streamlining the user experience and maximizing the value of the library collection.

Streaming Video titles now available from Warner Bros. include I Am Sam (Academy Award nomination for Sean Penn), Insomnia (Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank), Almost Heroes (Chris Farley, Matthew Perry), Death to Smoochy (Robin Williams, Edward Norton, Danny Devito), and Natural Born Killers (Woody Harrelson, Golden Globe nomination for director by Oliver Stone, and written by Quentin Tarantino).

"Libraries and their patrons have requested award-winning feature films from the major Hollywood studios and we're extremely gratified to make this a reality," said Karen Estrovich, Director of Collection Development at OverDrive. "We've consistently found new ways to bring new customers to the library, and streaming video delivers – libraries that have added streaming video have experienced increases in circulation and new users."

The Warner Bros. Digital Distribution streaming videos are available under a transactional, cost-per circ access model. This model enables simultaneous use and allows libraries to budget based on checkouts, which is a form of patron-driven acquisition. OverDrive library partners can browse or search for currently available titles in OverDrive Marketplace, and curate their collection to match the unique interests of their communities. As with other content and access models from OverDrive, libraries will set user lending policies for streaming videos to manage costs within their material budgets.

Library patrons across the U.S. and Canada will be able to use PCs, Macs, iPads, iPhones, Android tablets or nearly any connected device to borrow streaming videos from their library. To find a library and to search the OverDrive catalog, readers can visit www.overdrive.com.

Christmas competition – win a B+ and help decorate Pi Towers!

Our intrepid education team spends a lot of the year on the road. In the last six months, Clive, Ben, Carrie Anne, Dave and Rachel have attended more than fifty events on the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s behalf. And in the course of those six months, some of our equipment has started to get a bit tatty.


This is our stand at Maker Faire in New York a few months ago. The banners are getting bendy with overuse.

We use banners, posters, project demonstrations, leaflets and models at events to show people what we do. In January, we’re going to start redesigning our usual show stand to make it more exciting – and this world-wide competition gives everybody under the age of 18 a chance to shape what that stand will look like.

We’re looking for your designs for the things we use to decorate the stand and inform people about the Raspberry Pi and what it can do: we want you to send us your design for a banner or a poster, your blueprint for a project demonstration, a leaflet you’ve written about Raspberry Pi, or anything else associated with Raspberry Pi that you think we can use to make the stand look good. If you send in something that we really love, we’ll work it into a professional version we can use when we go and present.

The people who send us the best 250 ideas (we won’t be able to use them all on our stand, but we’ll consider all of them!) will receive a Pimoroni Raspberry Pi B+ Starter Kit. We also have 100 runners-up prizes.

You could win a kit like this!

All the entries will be displayed on the walls around Pi Towers, so if you see news footage from our offices or one of our own videos, you might spot your own work in the background!

Shortly after taking this picture, Carrie Anne tried to saw Ben's ear off with the sword.

Carrie did some promo photos for her book in front of last year’s posters…

Here's Eben on TV earlier this year, in front of last year's poster competition entries

…and here’s Eben on the news earlier this year, in front of the giant poster wall.

To enter, have your parent or guardian print out this form and fill it in, and mail your design and the form to:

Raspberry Pi Christmas Competition
Mount Pleasant House
Huntingdon Road

Please note that we cannot accept entries that do not have parent/guardian contact details and signature. We are not accepting electronic entries – we want your original work to display on our walls!

The closing date is January 10. We’ll be sending out prizes at the end of January. All entrants must be under 18.

Comics Plus App Adds Current Slate of DC Titles


Whether you are a seasoned comic-reading veteran, or you just like the idea of picking up a graphic novel or two… finding the perfect digital reader is always a challenge. Fortunately, Comics Plus offers you a full-featured app with access to over 7000 titles arranged on their virtual shelves (with over 100 available to download free to get you started). All of the biggest publishers are represented in Comics Plus, from Archie Comics straight to Zeta Comics –and thanks to a recent update, the DC Universe is represented as well!

Adding heroes like Batman to the lineup wasn’t the only update this go-around, users of Comics Plus can also expect to enjoy an enhanced uView reading experience that promises to fit every title to your device’s screen without the need for spinning, flipping, or zooming!

Comics Plus is full-featured besides these enhancements, with: high-end search functions (allowing for sorting by brand or publisher), graphic novel rentals (giving users the chance to give a new franchise a try before making a more significant investment), in-app parental controls (so you can hide adult content using a personal pincode)… and best of all, the ability to import your personal collection (in ePub, PDF, CBR, and CBZ formats)!

Comics Plus is the kind of portal-style comic reader that makes it easy to use as your go-to app. Even diehard fans that like to read new releases as quickly as possible are taken care of here –new comics are available multiple times a week, with day and date digital releases available every Wednesday.

If you are ready to spend some quality time with your favourite comic super heroes, download Comics Plus and settle in.

Comics Plus App Adds Current Slate of DC Titles is a post from: Good e-Reader

The Restaurant Industry is Embracing Tablets in a Big Way


The restaurant industry is starting to embrace tablets to not only to provide digital menus, but also entertainment, reading and the ability to pay your bills. Many start ups and established players are trying to take advantage of the billion dollar US industry.

Silicon Valley-based E la Carte scored a big win last year when it signed an agreement with Applebees to provide 100,000 tableside tablets. Customers can use the Android-based devices to browse and add items to a cart, as if they were online shopping, and then pay their bill when the meal is over. In November the company negotiated a deal with  200 U.S. Johnny Rockets locations.  One of the interesting things about this deal was not only can customers pay from the tablets, but replace the original tabletop jukeboxes with the new digital solution. During the pilot with Rockets, the restaurants saw an 11.2% improvement in table turn time – one of the key factors restaurants are looking at when considering a tablet investment.

Chili's Grill & Bar have also embraced tablets provided by Dallas company called Ziosk. The restaurant chain was so happy with their trial at 180 locations last year that they have implemented 48,000 tablets at most of its 1,266 U.S. restaurants. Ziosk says that their terminals can boost impulse orders at the start of the meal by 20%—especially when photos of appetizers are streaming across monitors. They are also boosting dessert sales with vibrant  pictures of molten chocolate cake and other sweets pop up while diners are still on the main course. Dessert sales are up about 20% at Chili’s and customers are ordering more coffee, too.

Tablets in restaurants are going far beyond allowing people to order digitally and to get a visual indication on the menu items. They are starting to provide the ability to keep small children occupied with all of the games they want to play for .99 or keeping solitary individuals with reading solutions.

One of the quintessential activities at a restaurant is to read the local paper. Keeping yourself abreast of the latest local news, is important, but many locations have suspended carrying the local paper due to the sheer amount of people bringing in their own e-readers, smartphones or tablets.  Vancouver based PressReader has developed a two prong solution, one retro and one fairly modern. The one I really like is a print on demand service that will allow restaurants to order any of PressReaders 2,000+ newspapers and have them delivered every day. This is a cost effective solution if they want to carry international editions such as the Washington Post, Business Traveler, South China Morning Post and Le Monde. The more modern service is hooking locations up with a wireless hotspot, giving customers access to thousands of newspapers that they can access on their own devices.

One of the exciting things about the PressReader solution is that people who love reading the paper on their lunch break don’t actually have to subscribe to the print or digital edition. As long as they are visiting a restaurant with an active PressReader subscription, it adds extra value.

The Restaurant Industry is Embracing Tablets in a Big Way is a post from: Good e-Reader