Monday, December 29, 2014

Europeans Have Two Weeks To Return Apple iBooks


Apple has quietly amended their return policy for iBooks purchased in the UK, Germany, Italy, France, and many other EU countries. Readers now have up to two weeks to get a full refund, no questions asked through an automated feature.

Apple has maintained a policy that users in European countries did have the right to cancel purchases that were defective or before digital delivery has occurred. In order to get a refund though, it required getting assistance from Apple Support.

The big change in policy is that  even if the e-books are delivered, customers still have the option to get a full refund. Readers have up to two weeks in order to fill out the automated form and get an intimidate refund. There is no need to talk to to Apple support directly.

The changes appear to be related to a new consumer rights directive in the EU that introduced a required 14 calendar day right of cancellation or return period for both goods and services purchased in EAA countries.

Outside of Europe refunds for exceptions like failed delivery of content or technical problems are handled directly by Apple support.  iBooks purchases abide by the "all sales and rentals of products are final” philosophy.

Europeans Have Two Weeks To Return Apple iBooks is a post from: Good e-Reader

Hotels Demenstrate a Willingness to be Tech Savvy


Hotels these days are embracing technology in order to appeal to the seasoned traveler. Instead of having a wake-up call, new touchscreen devices wake you with with melodic sounds. Room keys are a thing of the past, as smartphones are becoming the new norm and when guests enter a room, the curtains open and music plays while climate control switches on.

A Chicago hotel called theWit has pioneered a new way for guests to wake up in the morning. Instead of relying on a call from the front desk the touchscreen display allows you to customize the voice to suit their needs. Some of the stock options include Muddy Waters, Ann Landers or even Chicago villain Al Capone.  The hotel also has motion sensors that reset the thermostat to an energy-efficient temperature when you leave and readjust it to your own setting when you return. There's even a voice that offers a personal greeting when you enter your room, bidding you a good morning, afternoon or evening.

The Peninsula Hong Kong opened in 1928 and just spent $58 million on renovations to make the hotel more digital friendly.The Wi-Fi is fast and complimentary, and all calls (local or international) are free, thanks to the sophisticated in-room VoIP phone system. In addition to Samsung Galaxy tablets that allow guests to control assorted room features and place service requests, rooms boast in-wall touchscreen panels that can control lighting and temperature; in the bathroom, these panels also control entertainment options like TV and music. All electrical outlets are now "world" outlets, meaning you won't need any adapters. Conveniently, a charging dock pops out of the desk, making it easy to juice up all of your devices in one place. In addition, all rooms come equipped with a touchscreen-controlled Nespresso machine, offering complimentary coffee and tea. Perhaps most impressively, every room now sports a 46-inch, 3-D flat-screen television (loaner 3-D glasses and movies can be ordered via the tablets); hi-fi surround-sound system; and Blu-ray.

When guests enter a room at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas the curtains open and music plays while climate control switches on. Everything reverts back to the hotel's setting when they leave the room and returns to the guest's preferences when they come back. Preferences are also recorded and stored for the next visit.

One hotel does something totally amazing, and is sure to impress. At the Hotel 1000 in Seattle they are employing body-heat-detecting infrared sensors let the housekeeping staff know when guests have left their rooms.

The Trump Hotel in Chicago, Shangri-La Hotel, and 3,500 Accor hotels are all offering complimentary digital newspapers to their guests by Pressreader. Thousands of international papers are available business travelers and have the ability to conveniently keep up-to-date with the latest global or hometown news.  In addition to being available to overnight hotel guests all of these locations also give access to visitors attending corporate meetings and events at the hotel.

Not all hotels are including in-room features to lure travelers but some are taking advantage of the technology in your pocket.  At select Starwood hotel brands around the world, guests will no longer have to fumble for their room key card at the bottom of their bag now that the chain has rolled out keyless technology that opens doors with the swipe of a smartphone. Starwood's SPG Keyless program is being called a first for the hotel industry and will roll out to 10 hotels around the world in markets like Beijing, Doha, Hong Kong, New York, and Singapore. Starwood is not the only company experimenting with being able to open your hotel doors with an app. HotelTonight has also developed a mobile app-enabled feature that allows guests to open their doors with a swipe of their phone which is being negotiated with hotels worldwide.

Hotels Demenstrate a Willingness to be Tech Savvy is a post from: Good e-Reader

Kobo Deals: $99 Aura with Free Cover; up to 70% off eBooks

As the holiday shopping season comes to a close, there are still some good deals to be had on Kobo ebooks and some Kobo devices. The original 6-inch Kobo Aura is marked down to $99 as part of Kobo’s Boxing Week Deals. That’s $40 off the regular price. The sale is ongoing at and […]

New Kobo e-Reader to Have a Wacom Display


Sony was legendary in the e-reader business because the vast majority of their e-readers had touchscreen displays and came with a stylus. This appealed not only to casual readers, but people who needed to make highlights and annotations with pinpoint precision. Now that Sony has exited the consumer sector, there is now a void to be filled, and Kobo is aiming to rise to the challenge.

When Kobo starts to design their next generation e-readers, the logistics and manufacturing is actually done by one of their longstanding partners, Netronix. Back in August Netronix was demoing a new e-reader in Taiwan and showed off a new touchscreen device with a Wacom technology. What was most interesting was that the shell containing the new screen was the Kobo Aura HD, which is 6.8 inches and very distinctive.

Wamcom is well known in the industry for making digital pens and touchscreen displays that are often selected by artists. When I worked in the game development industry, almost everyone involved with creating 2D or 3D art, was normally using a stylus. Many of the leading comic book artists, whether they are making print or web-comics also swear by Wacom.

I have heard various rumors coming out of Taiwan that the new Kobo Aura HD will be using a specialized version of Wacam called “WILL.” The Wacom Ink Layer Language (WILL) is an universal inking engine and ink layer framework which connects hardware, software and applications. WILL is a technology that enables high quality digital pen and ink experience. Likely, Kobo will be employing the WILL SDK for its Linux based operating system and integrate it into their reading app and note taking apps.

What I think Kobo is hoping to accomplish is to make a consumer version of the Sony Digital Paper. The DPT-S1 is 13.3 inches and is legendary for its lightweight nature and stylus integration for editing PDF files. It is very expensive, normally retailing for $999.99. I think Kobo really wants to make a 6.8 inch variant and aim it their existing customer base and hopefully give old Sony e-Reader owners a reason to upgrade.

New Kobo e-Reader to Have a Wacom Display is a post from: Good e-Reader

National Digital Library to Launch in Russia


Russia has unveiled new plans to launch a National Digital Library in 2015. The Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky said that the new initiative will transform local libraries into modern information and cultural hubs, adding that citizens' access to the service will be via the internet with a single electronic library ticket.

"Next year we will launch a national electronic library, set to be the largest collection of online texts, books, magazines in Russia" Minister of Culture Vladimir Medinsky told regional governors. "We will send you an approved model of a library, the implementation of which will allow the libraries to be turned into modern information and cultural centres at minimum cost.

The intention behind the National Library is to be able to give smaller branches the ability to offer wireless internet access and tap into e-Books. There are only a few thousand digital editions currently available in most of the modern libraries, such as Moscow and Murmansk.

It is currently unknown who will be providing the e-Books. Currently in Russia most of the libraries only offer academic and historical digital editions. The type of content that is primarily used for educational purposes and not leisure reading.

National Digital Library to Launch in Russia is a post from: Good e-Reader