Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Windows Phone to Support Android Apps: Maybe, Probably


Microsoft has started to finally enjoy a little mobile marketplace success in the form of app development, but they are still circling the drain when it comes to creating a must-have smartphone or tablet. This isn’t to say they have given up: Windows 10 promises to be truly innovative and exciting (whenever it actually hits the streets). Too little, too late? Perhaps… but what if Microsoft’s new operating system also let you take advantage of Android apps? Now that’s a concept worth considering.

Rumour mills are spinning once again, suggesting Microsoft will buddy up with Android –though nothing is official yet (and some reports indicate this would be a last-resort move).

So would the addition of Android support indicate defeat for Microsoft, or brilliance? On the surface it may seem like compromising, but ultimately it may mean getting larger numbers of Microsoft-platformed hardware into the hands of consumers. If that happens, native Windows-based apps would likely be welcomed over ported Android apps.

Some developers are voicing concerns to the contrary, stating that by allowing Android apps on the mobile Windows platform, enthusiasm for native app development for Microsoft will be killed.

But let’s be realistic. Microsoft already has difficult attracting and keeping developers for their platform… why not take any opportunity they can to sell more units and gain marketshare?

Windows Phone to Support Android Apps: Maybe, Probably is a post from: Good e-Reader

Microsoft Replacing Internet Explorer with a New Browser


After all the pain Internet Explorer caused Microsoft years ago, it seems strange they would ever consider offering anything other than their flagship web browser. Of course, the tech giant of yester-year may also be starting to realize that their antiquated ways of thinking may just mean their demise… so as part of the new Microsoft, Windows 10 will feature a sparkly new web browser code-named Spartan.

While it appears the biggest change from Internet Explorer to Spartan will be the overall weight of the software (with the new web browser more closely resembling Google’s Chrome or Mozilla’s Firefox). We don’t know much more about Spartan just yet, but it would make sense that Microsoft is targeting mobile users browsing the web from smartphones and tablets.

If there are any of you out there who actually love and use Internet Explorer (I am sorry), but have no fear –it appears Microsoft isn’t abandoning one browser in favour of another. This is equal parts good and bad: nice they aren’t forcing users into something new, but the company has never really excelled at supporting large and diverse product catalogues.

Microsoft Replacing Internet Explorer with a New Browser is a post from: Good e-Reader

Crunchyroll Streaming Service is Down


The Crunchyroll streaming service has been down the last few days as the company is a victim of a massive DDOS attack. This is the same type of Distributed Denial of Service that plagued Sony and Microsoft gaming networks for approximately three days around Christmas.

The online media service Crunchyroll  is likely the largest company in the world that exclusively shows anime and mange television episodes and movies. Most of their content is aimed at people outside of Japan, because the vast majority are subtitled.  The streaming company has over 400,000 reported paid subscribers — doubling its total in about one and a half years. Crunchyroll previously announced that it had over 200,000 subscribers at Tokyo International Anime Fair in March 2013.

The companies apps for iOS, Android, Roku, Apple TV and everything else went down late Monday evening. It is currently unknown whether or not Lizard Squad is also responsible for this attack.

One of the big concerns from the  Crunchyroll user base is what will happen to the weekly simulcast release schedule? Will everything be delayed a few days? Will the company is posting all of the new content as soon as the server situation as been stabilized? No one really knows at this point.

Crunchyroll Streaming Service is Down is a post from: Good e-Reader

Top 10 Best Manga of 2014


In Japanese culture, Manga is quintessentially apart of everyday life. It is ridiciously easy to buy one on the way to work and read it in a single day. Here in North America, things become a little bit more difficult, as bookstores often have a very paltry selection. This has given rise to digital distribution as an avenue for explosive growth. Viz, Crunchyroll, Manga Rock and a number of other apps make downloading and reading content very efficent.

The purpose of the top 10 manga list of 2014 is to give you a sense of what these are all about. Not only are they available in manga form, but most also have television shows that are available to watch via Crunchyroll or without subtitles in Japan. Maybe you will find a compelling read!

Attack on Titan – Eren Jaeger lives in city surrounded by monolithic walls. Outside dwell human murdering Titans. For decades members of the Scouting Legion have been the only humans who dared to leave the safety of the walls and gather information on the Titans. Every time they return, many of them are dead. Freedom loving Eren has no greater wish than to join them.

Tokyo Ghoul – Ken Kaneki is a bookworm college student who meets a girl names Rize at a cafe he frequents. They’re the same age and have the same interests, so they quickly become close. Little does Kaneki know that Rize is a ghoul – a kind of monster that lives by hunting and devouring human flesh. When part of her special organ – “the red child” – is transplanted into Kaneki, he becomes a ghoul himself, trapped in a warped world where humans are not the top of the food chain.

Yowamushi Pedal – Sakamichi Onada is a wimpy high school freshman who loves anime. He initially wants to enter the anime club, but winds up joining the cycling club after meeting two classmates who are already famous cyclists. He undertakes the grueling training to compete in races, and discovers his own hidden talent in cycling. This manga has spawned a TV show and various gatherings in Japan where people meet up and cycle together now.

One Piece – Twenty two years ago, the legendary pirate, Gold Roger was executed. His final words told that his treasure known as “One Piece” was hidden somewhere on the Grand Line. This started the Age of Pirates. Now, twenty two years later, seventeen year old Monkey D. Luffy desires to find One Piece, and become the Pirate King. But to do this, he needs a crew.

Haikyu!!- Shōyō Hinata began playing volleyball after seeing the “small giants” who played the sport when he was in elementary school. He suffers a crushing defeat in his first and last tournament in middle school at the hands of his rival Tobio Kageyama. So, Hinata joins Kurasuno High School’s volleyball team, vowing revenge against Kageyama. However, Kageyama is also on Kurasuno’s team. The former rivals form a legendary combo with Hinata’s mobility and Kageyama’s precision ball-handling. Together, they take on the local tournaments and vow to meet Kurasuno’s fated rival school in the nationals.

Ace of Diamond – It is a manga of high school baseball. The main character, who is a pitcher from a country high school, accidentally gets teamed up with a catcher from a school with an elite baseball team. He decides to quit his school to attend the school that this catcher plays…..

Magi – In a fantastic middle-age world where slavery is very common, there are mysterious tall towers named “Dungeon” which mysteriously appeared out of nowhere fourteen years before the story line. Someone who conquers a Dungeon becomes very powerful and wealthy. Our hero Ali Baba is a teenager who works for merchants to support himself. He dreams for conquering a lot of Dungeons and becoming a very rich person. One day, he comes across with a strange young boy named Aladdin who carries a mystical flute with supernatural powers in it. Ali Baba and Aladdin agree to travel their first Dungeon together.

The Seven Deadly Sins – Elizebath sets out to save the Kingdom of Lyons by searching for the infamous group of criminals who tried to overthrow the Kingdom, to ask them to save the Kingdom. She stumbles into a travelling Bar where she meets Meliodas, the owner of the Bar and the Dragon’s Sin of Wrath. After a brief encounter with a Holy Knight, the journey starts, to find the other members of the Seven Deadly Sins and to try and save the Kingdom.

Terra Formars – With Earth quickly becoming uninhabitable due to a swelling population, humans develop a project to terraform Mars, one that involves leaving cockroaches on the planet’s surface. Five hundred years later, Earth sends a team of astronauts to “exterminate” the roaches and prepare Mars for colonization. Once there, however, the astronauts discover that the roaches have rapidly mutated into terrible humanoids, more powerful than any normal human. But the astronauts have been given special, insect-like abilities to deal with the roaches, and a violent struggle for control of the planet ensues.

Chihayafuru – Chihaya Ayase is a frank and ebullient girl who becomes fascinated by the obscure world of competitive karuta, a card game based on Japanese poetry. Introduced to the aggressive style of the game by a quiet and thoughtful elementary school classmate named Arata Wataya, the two quickly become close friends. They start playing as a group with Taichi Mashima, Chihaya’s smart and athletic childhood friend, until they have to part ways during their middle school years due to several circumstances. As their high school life begins, they meet once again.

Top 10 Best Manga of 2014 is a post from: Good e-Reader

Apple Designs a New Stylus that Digitizes Notes Drawn on Paper


Apple has designed and patented a new stylus that will digitize drawings and notes drawn on physical paper. This will appeal to authors who prefer to write their novels or designers who have a brilliant idea while jotting something down on a napkin.

The new patent Apple was awarded will translate notes written down on papers to an iPhone or iPad. It also details various exchangeable tips for the stylus, including actual ink, markers for a whiteboard, or a rubberized nub akin to most popular tablet styli. The stylus activates when various motion-sensing hardware, including accelerometers, detects when the pen is picked up out of its dock, pressed to a writing surface, or simply turned on manually.

Thanks to motion sensors able to detect a 3D plane, the stylus uses an initial zero point to transmit the movement and flow of handwriting as varying changes in position to the desired computing device. This technology also means an actual surface isn’t needed to transmit data — simply writing notes in the air would suffice. The patent even details ways for users to choose how the data is transmitted, including continuously or at chosen intervals, allowing battery life to be preserved.

I think a smart stylus is a great idea. It would certainly have a place in schools, as students continue to make notes on paper, while preserving a digital backup for editing. I think authors, designers and artists might find this technology especially compelling.

Apple Designs a New Stylus that Digitizes Notes Drawn on Paper is a post from: Good e-Reader

Commonly stolen library books

When I worked in a public library, I was amazed at the amount of books that were stolen or never returned. I came to learn that my library was not unique.

We did some research and polled our Facebook followers asking which books were notorious for being lifted from the shelves. Using the results, we curated a list of the most commonly stolen library books.

One of the great things about eBooks is that they can't be stolen. Consider adding (or replacing) these commonly stolen books with eBooks!

Commonly Stolen Library Books

If you would like more suggestions, the Collection Development Team is available to help create recommended lists. Emailcollectionteam@overdrive.com for more information today!

*Some titles in lists may have limited regional or platform availability.

Rachel Kray is a Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive.

10 libraries exceed 1 million checkouts in 2014 through OverDrive

We’re excited to announce that 2014’s “1 Million Checkout Club” includes 10 public library systems, surpassing the dix lirbaries that accomplished this feat in 2013! Checkouts include all borrowed digital items including eBooks, audiobooks, music, streaming video and periodicals from the library's OverDrive-powered collection and each of the libraries experienced significant year-over-year growth from 2013.

The following libraries have joined the 2014 Million Digital Checkouts Club:

2 Million or more digital checkouts

1 million+

In addition to these independent library systems, several large consortia also achieved the Million Checkout milestone in 2014, including Wisconsin Public Library Consortium (WI), Greater Phoenix Digital Library (AZ), The Ohio Digital Library (OH), Tennessee READS (TN), Digital Downloads – A Library Collaboration (OH), Maryland's Digital Library (MD), Ontario Library Service Consortium (ON),My Media Mall (IL) and North Carolina Digital Library (NC).

Each of these libraries consistently produces large digital checkout numbers by providing their users a robust collection updated frequently with a variety of new releases in a wide range of subjects, with all available formats (eBooks, audiobooks, streaming video and, just recently in some libraries, periodicals) on a single website to streamline the user experience.  In fact, streaming video is the fastest growing format in the digital catalog of many libraries.  In addition, these libraries have demonstrated ongoing success in their marketing efforts to reach more of their communities with specialized sections for kids and teens and multi-lingual website interfaces.

Will your library make the list in 2015? Be sure to keep your collection refreshed often, fill your holds and keep up to date on our latest news and features and you could be the next member of the 1 Million Checkout Club!


Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communications Specialist at OverDrive