Friday, July 31, 2015

Nook Brings Parental Account Management to iOS App


If you have a Barnes and Noble Nook tablet you would have likely have seen the account management system. This was devised so that families who share the same device can better organize their e-books, magazines, newspapers or Android apps. Today, the Nook App for iOS has been updated with the same functionality.

I have always been a fan about the way parent and child accounts have been managed on Nook tablets. Now that it has been ported to iOS, all past purchases can be synced over and new accounts can be established. Sadly, if you do have a Nook tablet the same accounts you have on those devices will not carry over to iOS, you must establish new ones.

The updated app right now is on iOS only, with no word yet if the Android app will see the same system ported over.

How to Upgrade to Windows 10 from Technical Preview


Windows 10 just came out and many people want to upgrade to the latest and greatest, but they have Windows 10 Technical Preview installed. Microsoft won’t let you upgrade to the full version of their new OS, so there are a few steps you need to take.

In order to upgrade to Windows 10 from the technical preview you have to insure that you have your Windows Serial number. Many users bought Windows 8 with the OS installed and there is no evidence of a serial number on a sticker or on your machine.

In order to find out your serial number there is a neat trick you can employ.

Copy and paste the following into a Notepad window:

Set WshShell = CreateObject(“WScript.Shell”)
MsgBox ConvertToKey(WshShell.RegRead(“HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\DigitalProductId”))

Function ConvertToKey(Key)
Const KeyOffset = 52
i = 28
Cur = 0
x = 14
Cur = Cur * 256
Cur = Key(x + KeyOffset) + Cur
Key(x + KeyOffset) = (Cur \ 24) And 255
Cur = Cur Mod 24
x = x -1
Loop While x >= 0
i = i -1
KeyOutput = Mid(Chars, Cur + 1, 1) & KeyOutput
If (((29 – i) Mod 6) = 0) And (i <> -1) Then
i = i -1
KeyOutput = “-” & KeyOutput
End If
Loop While i >= 0
ConvertToKey = KeyOutput
End Function

You'll need to use File -> Save As, change the "Save as type" to "All Files" and then name it productkey.vbs or something similar ending with the vbs extension. We'd recommend saving to the desktop for easy access.

Once you've saved it, you can just double-click and the popup window will show you your product key.

Once you have your product key you can try upgrading your PC to the full version of Windows 10 via our ISO method or forcing Windows to download via Windows Update.

Alternatively if this does not work for you I recommend downgrading your Windows 10 technical preview to Windows 8.1 or Windows 7.  Once you do this you have to use Windows Update to get all of the final updates in order to successfully upgrade to Windows 10.

To get started, open Settings and click Update and Recovery.


Under Update and Recovery, click Recovery option. On  the right side, you will have the option "Go back to a previous version of Windows". Microsoft say you can go back to the version of Windows that used to be on this PC without losing your documents, photos and other personal files.

Previous version

Click on Get started button and you will get a confirmation.


Important things to note:

  • You will not lose any documents, photos and other personal files
  • Any apps installed after upgrading will be lost
  • All changes to personal settings, like themes etc will be lost

Click on the Go back button and Windows will start the downgrade process.

Angry Birds 2 Now Available on Android


The entire Angry Birds franchise is one of the largest of our generation. According to Apple, who by the way are poised to take over Android’s market share this year, people have collectively spent over one million years playing the entire series and this is poised to rise even further with the advent of Angry Birds 2.

The graphics have come a long way and this iteration of the Angry Birds franchise have adopted a more comic book-inspired styling than before. But it’s the landscapes that have seen major changes. There are now weather effects with thrashing rain and rainbows making appearances at times, while the backgrounds themselves have far more depth. Flowers spit out debris from your assault, potentially knocking over other structures; rockets burst into the sky; little green pigs come flying at the screen. Playing on an iPhone 6+, you can really see the enhancements that have been made. And the music is very chirpy and atmospheric too.

One of the most exciting elements about Angry Birds 2 is that it features multi-screen stages. At the beginning of each stage you’re given a set stack of birds. Since it does not refill between stage screens, you’re required to use strategy when picking the bird you want to fire at the pigs next. Yes, you’re allowed to do that now. Many stage screens can be passed using just one, carefully selected bird, but if you carelessly spend all your birds on a single stage screen, you’ll have nothing to clear the rest of the stage with. Unless you manage to win a bird card during the stage. This is done by filling up the so-called destructometer – the more objects you destroy, the higher the meter goes.


If you find yourself unable to beat a certain level or have spent many of  your birds you might want to utilize another of Angry Birds 2’s new features – Spells. There are five spells so far you can pick in the game,  the first lets you unleash an air drop of explosive rubber ducks that can pretty much destroy everything in a given area, but later on you’ll pick up a chilli spell that explodes a piggy and his surrounding area or an ice spell that freezes all the constructions in the chapter.

You get a selection of these spells for free, but you can purchase them with in-game crystals and real-world money if you really need to. You can also pick them up as one of your “extra card” perks when you fill the destruction meter.

Angry Birds 2 has also introduced the Arena. This is a very different experience, as it features different leagues, endless levels and special feather rewards separate from the main game. There’s a daily tournament for you to take part in, with some costing crystals or real money to enter. They’re entirely optional, though, so don’t be conned into spending anything to get into a tournament. Just wait until the next day and there might be a free one you can enter. Or you can just carry on with the main game, as there’s plenty to do there.

In the end, this game is amazing and Angry Birds 2 must be played to see how far the series has evolved in the last 13 generations of the series.

The vast majority of users will likely be playing the Android version, which you can download from the Good e-Reader App Store for free.

10 Free Kindle eBooks and eBook Deals – July 31st

It’s time for another weekly roundup of 10 free Kindle ebooks to get your weekend off to a good start. These Kindle ebooks are free as of July 31st, 2015. Please note that most of these titles are free for a limited-time only and will expire in a few days or hours. Owning a Kindle […]

14 Million Copies of Windows 10 Installed in 24 Hours


Yusuf Mehdi of Microsoft has confirmed that over 14 million copies of Windows 10 have been installed all over the world. He noted that not everyone who reserved an upgrade has gotten it yet, but says that people who reserved their copy should be getting it within a few weeks.

Not everyone is happy that Windows 10 is being sent on a staggered release schedule. This is resulting in people becoming quite irate that they reserved it months ago and still are not being able to get the free operating system. We posted a series of instructional videos HERE and HERE that allow you to download it directly from Windows Update or Microsoft.

Speaking of Windows 10 the first large collection of fixes, which Microsoft is calling Service Release 1 (SR1) is due to be released in early August, possibly as early as next week. While SR1 won’t include new features, it will fix some of the issues people have been experiencing with Windows 10.

After the initial patches and updates, Microsoft is working toward a bigger collection of fixes and feature additions for later this year. Tentatively scheduled for October, some of those additions will include a new Messaging app to provide Skype integration and extensions support for the Microsoft Edge browser.

Have you installed Windows 10 yet? Any thoughts on the brand new OS?

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Amazon to Create e-Book Marketplace for New York Schools

The New York City Department of Education is about to approve a $30 million dollar contract with Amazon to create a single, massive ebook marketplace for the city's 1,800 public schools. This deal might dramatically lower the price of textbooks because digital is cheaper than print.

The marketplace, known as "Storefront", will provide low-cost digital versions of textbooks and other assigned books that are accessible via a "variety of devices". Purchased content will be made available on these devices via Amazon's Whispercast platform.

The Amazon contract with the city is over three years, through 2018, at $4.3 million the first year, 2015-2016; $8.6 million the second year, 2016-2017, and $17.2 million the third year, 2017-2018.

New Games of Thrones e-Reading App Appeals to Casual TV Viewers


Many people find that an epic book series is too daunting to even begin and instead watch the TV show. Game of Thrones fits this bill perfectly, far more people have watched the entire series on HBO or downloaded it from the internet. HarperCollins is hoping to appeal to the casual reader by launching a new Game of Thrones app for iOS.

You can think of A Game of Thrones: Get into the Books app, available for Apple products, as a bridge between the books and television series. It will allow viewers to read iconic passages from the show — without risking spoilers. Many of the main characters have passages that tell you more about them and you can even learn what a Direwolf is!

The app will also be updated to keep up with future seasons of the TV show and with upcoming books.

Use the “Featured” tab in Marketplace to see the hottest collections and deals available



Today OverDrive Marketplace was updated to include a brand new “Featured” tab option to help you more easily locate the hottest titles, collections and sales available to library partners. These featured highlights include ongoing publisher and event sales, links to newly added content that is sure to be popular with your users, and even lists of titles hand selected by the librarians on OverDrive’s Collection Team.

These collections will be updated frequently so be sure to check back often to stay up to date with the latest collections and so you don’t miss out on any sales. For additional recommended lists from our staff librarians be sure to check out our recommended lists page on our partner portal.


Harlequin’s hottest summer reading lists

Ever since I was a little kid, I've always identified summer as the season of reading. Probably from all those years of signing up for my public library's annual summer reading program. These days I still love to spend my summer days reading for hours on end although my book choices have changed as I've gotten older and today I'm going to share with you some of the Harlequin lists that OverDrive has put together for your library!

For those readers looking to have a scorching summer there is the Harlequin Heat list. These books come from the Harlequin Intrigue, Red Hot Reads, and Blaze series and feature titles like The Seduction of Lucy, Her Last Wild Ride, Deceptions and Desires, and My Stallion Heart among others. Our recommended list of Harlequin Heat books are so hot, your patrons will be wanting to reach for some extra sunscreen while reading.

Along with the heat, summer also means a lack of new episodes from favorite primetime medical dramas on television, but luckily the Harlequin Medical Romance list has readers covered. With selections such as The Midwife's Miracle Baby, The Doctor's Society Sweetheart, Summer with a French Surgeon, Firefighter with a Frozen Heart, and Dr. Drop-Dead Gorgeous, the Harlequin Medical Romance list provides the perfect amount of bedside manner.

As a child, summer provided a break from school. As an adult, summer can mean wanting an escape from everyday life and this is where the Harlequin Historical Romance list comes in. Historical fiction gives readers the chance to meet dashing rakes and untamed cowboys while witnessing scandals at court and visiting the western frontier. The Harlequin Historical list lets readers take a vacation without ever leaving the comfort of their home.

Finally, the Harlequin Kimani Imprint list provides titles that are more African-American centric or for readers who want an urban spin on their books. Titles in this list include Red Velvet Kisses, Falling Into Forever, Touch of Paradise, Stallion Magic, and Heat Wave of Desire. Handpicked by us, the titles on the Harlequin Kimani list provide the perfect mix of sweet and sultry for your readers.

Help your readers beat the heat this summer with our carefully curated lists of Harlequin titles!


Jill Grunenwald is a Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive.

10 Free Kobo eBooks and Kobo Discount Codes – July 30th

Below is a roundup of 10 free ebooks from, along with a list of coupon codes for discounts on ebook purchases. Kobo is also running a trivia contest promotion through August 7th where you can get ebook codes for 10%-75% off, and enter to win a new Kobo Glo HD. The 10 Kobo ebooks […]

The MagPi issue 36 is here and we’re in print!

It’s with an almost rude amount of excitement I can announce that issue 36 of the Official Raspberry Pi Magazine, The MagPi, is here!

It’s bigger and – dare I say it – better than ever too, with 100 pages of amazing projects, interviews, features, tutorials and reviews.

Click the pic to buy the print edition from the Swag Store today & have it delivered to your door.

Click the pic to buy the print edition from the Swag Store today & have it delivered to your door.

It’s not just here in the virtual – download your free PDF edition today – sense, though. It’s also here in the physical – take me to the smallest room of the house – sense too.

As of today UK readers can pop to a local branches of WHSmith or their local newsagents and buy the magazine RIGHT NOW for £5.99.

US readers will be able to pick it up from Barnes & Noble or Micro Center in two short weeks (or just grab a copy from the Swag Store).

Click to see everything in the current issue

Click to see everything in the current issue

One of my favourite articles from #36 is Minecraft Splat, which is a multiplayer Raspberry Pi-remake of Nintendo’s modern classic, Splatoon, made in Minecraft Pi. Martin ‘Minecraft‘ O’Hanlon (of fame) kindly agreed to give it a shot for us and he delivered in spades. If you enjoy that, you’re sure to love Adventures in Minecraft, which he co-wrote with The MagPi’s Technical Editor David Whale.

#36_Minecraft Splat

Subscribe today!
If you’d like to subscribe to the print magazine it’s really rather easy. All you need to do is call +44(0)1202 586848 or visit The MagPi Subscriptions site.

You can save up to 25% on the cover price and have it delivered to your door before it even hits store shelves. If you order while the first issue is still on sale, you’ll get issue 36 sent out straight away. 

Also, if you’re a teacher, after school club leader, part of an educational scheme or simply want to horde as many issues as possible (we don’t mind), you’re entitled to a massive discounts on multiple copies. Please let us know and we’ll be happy to help.

It’s free – now and forever
Finally, it’s very important for me to stress that The MagPi is a Creative Commons publication. This means it’s free to download and share in PDF format.

Why bother buying it at all? Well, like the Raspberry Pi itself, all the proceeds of The MagPi magazine are channelled back into the Raspberry Pi Foundation, a UK charity dedicated to making affordable, programmable computers available to everyone, all over the world.

We think it’s important that children and adults from all walks of life have access to the internet and applications, and have the opportunity to learn to code if they want to. We hope you feel the same way.

The Raspberry Pi makes all of this possible and I very much hope The MagPi Magazine helps make it fun.

The post The MagPi issue 36 is here and we’re in print! appeared first on Raspberry Pi. is the first Company to Partner with the Android Auto platform


Many people have started listening to audiobooks while commuting because let’s face it, our music collection is starting to get a bit stale. It might be getting easier to listen to audiobooks in your vehicle with the recent announcement that is partnering with Android Auto.

It is estimated that there will be over 60 million connected cars on the road in five years. BI Intelligence published a report predicting that car-focused telecom, hardware, and software will drive $51 billion in annual revenue by 2018. Connected cars are clearly the way of the future, and is the first audiobooks provider to take advantage of this new and exciting market.

"The experience of using an app while you are on the road is entirely different than using it on a phone or a computer," said Ian Small, General Manager. "We made integration with Android Auto a high priority because we wanted to give drivers the best audiobook experience that this new technology allows. Our goal is to revolutionize the in-car experience, and to make the 100+ hours a year Americans spend commuting to work and 38 hours a year stuck in traffic more enjoyable."

Android Auto is an infotainment operating system that puts maps, music, calls, and text into a car-friendly interface. The app hit the Google Play store in March of 2015 and has a long list of top car companies signed up as partners, including Acura, Maserati, Volkswagen, Audi, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Honda, Hyundai, Jeep, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, Volvo, and more.

In addition to the Android Auto support, is also the only audiobook app to support Apple's new in­-car platform, CarPlay. The company recently released a new version of its iOS app that is fully supported by and optimized for Apple CarPlay. also has relationships with top car manufacturers and its service is available around the world, in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. With a footprint of this breadth and depth, is the leading in-vehicle audiobook provider on the market.

Literary Agents Turn to Twitter to Solicit New Manuscripts


Literary agents are very particular about what type of manuscripts they look at. This is based on the strengths of the publishing company and what they think could sell in today’s climate. Traditionally authors connect up with agents at writing festivals or big events such as Book Expo America. Recently, a few agents from Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh did something unique, they took to Twitter.

Agents representing Curtis Brown and Conville & Walsh received more than 2,000 pitches for books on the first inaugural #PitchCB day. Authors had to sum up their book in 140 characters or less, which is a good indication of how good a writer is, because if you're able to capture an idea in that limit it shows you have a talent with the written word.

The hashtag reached over 5.3 million times and authors from all over the world tried to hype their titles to the agents. The publishers expressed interest in about 100 of them, but it remains doubtful whether any will be signed.

In the last few years agents have had to change their way of thinking, due to the rise of self-publishing. The vast majority of startup authors often just submit their titles to Kindle Direct Publishing and hope for the best. The most successful indies writers such as Joe Konrath, Barry Eisler, and Hugh Howey have powerful, hard-working agents who earn every penny of their 15%. And most of the successful hybrids, like Catherine Ryan Hyde, also have representation from agents who understand the new publishing paradigm.

Using Twitter as a vehicle to discover new writing talent might catch on in the publishing world. A one day event could result in finding and cultivating the next J.K. Rowling or E.L. James.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How to Download Windows 10 Right Now


The vast majority of people who want to upgrade to Windows 10 are finding it ridiculously difficult. Microsoft is not pushing the update to all computers and the Redmond based company has said it might take months for everyone to get pushed the update. Today, we published a workaround that allows you to force download Windows 10 via Windows update but this process is not working correctly for everyone, especially if you are running Windows 7. Today, we have a new way that you can download Windows 10, directly form Microsoft.


The first step is to visit this link from your internet browser. It will allow you to download the Microsoft Windows 10 setup tool. It is important to note that you must download either the 32 or 64 bit version. You can find out what your computer is running by visiting the Control Panel and selecting System.


The next step involves you finding the Media Creation Tool that you just downloaded and clicking on it to open the file. I recommend selecting the option Create Installation for Another PC. You need to select the operating system language and whether or not you want the Windows 10 32 or Windows 10 64 bit.


Next, it will ask you if you want to install Windows 10 via a USB drive or an ISO. I recommend an ISO file because it will download the entire version of Windows 10 directly to your computer. I would recommend downloading the single file to your Desktop, for easy access. It is important to note that this is a VERY large file and could take a few hours to fully download, depending on your internet connection.

Instead of burning the ISO to a DVD like Microsoft recommends I encourage you to download a specialized ISO program that will virtually mount the image as an independent drive. PowerISO, WinISO or Daemon Tools.


Once the Windows.ISO file has completed its download you want to open the ISO file with one of the programs you just installed to manage them. Next, select the Windows file you just downloaded and open it up. Next, you want to click on the mount button to mount the image as an independent drive. Once you do that, you can click on the setup button and run the upgrade.

Barnes and Noble Offers Nook Tablet Bundle for $149.99


Barnes and Noble has just announced a back to school deal that should appeal to anyone who is looking to purchase a new tablet. The Nations largest bookseller is offering Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook 7 inch for $149.99. This includes a free Kimono Sleeve + a 16GB memory card! This promotion is only available at select Barnes & Noble stores only through 8/22.  You can find a B&N store near you by searching HERE.

Tablet Market Continues to Decline but Apple Remains King


The worldwide tablet market is in serious decline according to the latest figures released by the IDC. In the second quarter of 2015 it fell 7.0% year over year and they also dropped -3.9% compared to the first quarter of 2015.

Apple remains the largest vendor in a declining tablet market, shipping 10.9 million iPads in the second quarter of 2015. Samsung continued to be the second largest tablet vendor with 7.6 million tablets shipped in the second quarter and 17% market share, a 12% year-over-year unit decline. Lenovo, Huawei and LG Electronics rounded off the top five, with 2.5 million, 1.6 million and 1.6 million global tablet shipments in the second quarter respectively. All other tablet vendors had a combined 45.6% market share.

“Longer life cycles, increased competition from other categories such as larger smartphones, combined with the fact that end users can install the latest operating systems on their older tablets has stifled the initial enthusiasm for these devices in the consumer market,” said Jitesh Ubrani, Senior Research Analyst, Worldwide Mobile Device Trackers. “But with newer form factors like 2-in-1s, and added productivity-enabling features like those highlighted in iOS9, vendors should be able to bring new vitality to a market that has lost its momentum.”

Kobo Partners with Book Retailers in Mexico to Expand eReading Market

Yesterday Kobo announced that they’ve partnered with two of Mexico’s top book retailers, Libreria Porrúa and Gandhi, to offer a full range of ebooks, Kobo’s ebook readers and ereading services to customers in Mexico. Libreria Porrúa and Gandhi operate nearly 100 retail bookstores in Mexico. They are competitors but in partnering with Kobo they’ve jointly […]

OverDrive to unveil the latest innovations in digital lending at Digipalooza

At Digipalooza, OverDrive will offer a live demonstration of the "new OverDrive", introducing changes that came about through feedback from our library partners and readers. The new OverDrive will achieve three main pillars of success: Onboard users quickly and easily, engage more deeply with readers, and reach more of the community. These pillars come not only from customer and partner feedback but also our fervent belief in delivering the best user experience for readers.


digip15We believe readers should be able to discover titles they want to enjoy easily and begin reading, listening or watching in one click. We also believe that your readers should be able to quickly discover great, available titles from your collection. If a user places a hold on one of your bestsellers, they should be offered read-alike suggestions to enjoy while they wait. Both Team OverDrive and our library partners feel that signing up to use the library's digital offerings should be simple, enabling users to start reading as quickly as possible. We think that you, the librarian, should control what titles to feature on your site and your users should have the choice to be notified about what you've been adding to your collection. We believe the library is the center of the community and that your OverDrive-powered digital collection should be an extension of that.


The updates and innovations we will be presenting at Digipalooza, and discussing in detail after the conference, come from industry research, collaboration with librarians and from listening to our users. The future of reading isn't years away. It's here and we can't wait to show it to you. It’s not too late to join us. Register now at


Adam Sockel is a Social Media Specialist with OverDrive

Bike computer for the myopic

We found this video titled “Build a better bike computer” at IEEE Spectrum. Gordon, Pi Towers’ resident pro bike racer and mountain bike nutcase (ask him to show you his X-rays some time) demurs: he says (I quote): “That’s big and stupid”.

Gordon also shaves his legs, and says that he wants to fill his bike frame with helium; his cycling needs are the needs of the few.

The rest of us rather liked this Kindle bike hack.

Bike computer

This build uses the Kindle as a display – but, rather than sending information straight to the display, publishes speed, distance, and navigation data to a webpage, which the Kindle’s experimental browser then reads on the hoof  fly wheel. Thanks are due to David Schneider, the mind behind; David, please ignore Gordon. He’s a curmudgeon.

The post Bike computer for the myopic appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

How to Force Download Windows 10 for PC or Tablet


Microsoft has confirmed that Windows 10 will be sent out via a staggered release and it might take months for all countries to be able to download it for their PC and tablet. Obviously you want to get this right away and I have found a way to force your computer or tablet to download Windows 10, bypassing any restriction that Microsoft has enforced for your device.


First of all you want to opt into the Get Windows 10 program. For the last few months a little icon has been on your notification bar and you are basically telling Microsoft you want to download it as soon as its available.


Next you want to make sure your computer is setup for automatic updates. You get to this screen while in your Control Panel. When you are in the control panel you can simply copy/paste this link Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Windows Update\Change settings


In order to force Windows 10 to download to your Microsoft Surface tablet or your PC you need to delete everything found in the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download directory. This will NOT adversely effect your computer and is critical for this force download system to work.


Once you have deleted everything in this folder you want to hit the Windows Button and launch your Command Prompt. I recommend launching it as Administrator. Once you are there type in wuauclt.exe /updatenow


The final step is to now search for updates using the Windows Update Tool and it should automatically start downloading Windows 10 your computer or Windows 8 tablet.

Wrap Up

Microsoft has said that US customers are getting priority to download the full and complete version of Windows 10 first. Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries should be getting it in the next week. Tablets running Windows 7 or Windows 8 are the last ones to receive the update, but if you do all of the above steps you are basically forcing Microsoft to serve you the next available download! I did this on my end in Canada and it worked.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Kobo Starts Selling e-readers and eBooks in Mexico


Mexico is a country that many companies are bullish about because it has over 100 million mobile phones and half of the population is under 27. This has prompted Kobo to enter the market, striking partnerships with numerous bookstores to have their e-readers available to purchase.

Kobo will power the eBookstore for both publisher and retailer Libreria Porrúa, with nearly 70 bookstores in Mexico and, Gandhi, the chain of nearly 30 stores. While the two retailers are competitors in other areas of business, they have jointly created a new service called Orbile, powered by Kobo, to offer a unified e-Reading service to Mexican readers.

The newly created digital bookstoree will be open for business in September 2015, offering a full and rich catalog with more than 70,000 titles in Spanish, within a total of 4 million titles. Kobo will also be creating a new co-branded e-reading app for Android and iOS if people don’t want to buy the hardware.

DDR meets the Simon game

Back in the heady days of the late ’90s, a number of my friends and fellow students were irritatingly good at Dance Dance Revolution. They devoted countless hours to it, and carried on earnest and lengthy discussions about technique. So I can feel only gratitude that this appealing crossover wasn’t around to further detain their attention.

Uberdam Cavaletti teaches computing at a professional training school in Xanxerê, Brazil, where each year they hold an event to show off projects the students have been working on. Last year one of these projects involved a Raspberry Pi, a DDR-style platform and a much older electronic game.

DDR Simon game

The starting point for Uberdam, his colleagues and students was Simon, a compelling game from the late 1970s in which players had to press coloured buttons to replicate increasingly complex sequences displayed by the device. A Python clone of this game, Simulate by Al Sweigart, already existed; Uberdam’s class had the idea of allowing a player to use their feet to play, instead of a keyboard and mouse.

A Raspberry Pi displays the sequence for the player to replicate via a projector, and capacitive sensors underneath the coloured platform detect steps, allowing the Pi to check the player’s performance.

There’s more about the game in Uberdam’s blog post (in Portuguese); I first spotted it in Hackaday’s piece.

Meanwhile, if you like the idea of making your own electronic games, you don’t need heaps of experience; in the Make section of our free resources you can find out how to make a Sweet Shop Reaction Game using Scratch and a Quick Reaction Game using Python, both great places to start!

The post DDR meets the Simon game appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Where to Buy Kindle Devices and Content Listed by Country

Sometimes I like to browse through Amazon’s Kindle-related help section to find new article ideas (coming up with new topics to write about every day isn’t easy) and today I came across some helpful information about where users can purchase Kindle devices and content listed by country, including a list of all the retail stores […]

Digipalooza ‘15 is almost here!

On Wednesday August 5th, hundreds of librarians and publishers will join Team OverDrive in Cleveland, Ohio for Digipalooza, the 5th international user group conference. Librarians, staff and media specialists from public libraries and schools around the world will participate in informative and interactive sessions covering topics such as the state of the digital media industry, collection development and Readers' Advisory tips, best practices for increasing awareness, usage, and customer engagement, and will be among the first to preview the innovations on the road map for OverDrive in the next year.

On Friday morning, keynote speaker and popular author Jane Green will take the stage. Jane Green is the author of hot new release Summer Secrets, along with fifteen other New York Times bestsellers, and recently participated in a Twitter chat with us to get everyone excited for Digipalooza.

At Digipalooza, we know how to balance education, networking and fun. We kick off our conference this year with a Digipalooza first – an evening at OverDrive's Blue Sky Campus here in beautiful Cleveland, Ohio. Attendees will dine on free food from area food trucks, get the chance to tour our building and the Digital Bookmobile, enjoy entertainment, games and time to mingle and network.

The next night, Digipalooza will rock the house at an exclusive event at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum, which includes transportation, dinner, drinks, live music and unlimited access to the museum. The Rock Hall will only be open for our guests that evening so this is an opportunity to see a world famous attraction without the usual crowd!

If you're joining us for Digipalooza, we wish you safe travels and look forward to seeing you next week. An attendee checklist of what to pack, how to get here and other helpful tips is available on our website, along with a parking guide, a preview of our conference program and links to Cleveland tourism resources. Whether you'll be in attendance or not, you can join the conversation on Twitter by using #digip15.

If you haven't registered yet, what are you waiting for? Due to high demand, we have opened a few additional registration spots for those last minute decisions. Register today and don't miss your chance to participate in the digital media conference of the year!

Questions? Contact us at


Melissa Marin is a Marketing Specialist with OverDrive.

HarperCollins announces I CAN READ sale for libraries this September


We’re excited to announce that one of our Digipalooza sponsors, HarperCollins, will be launching their I CAN READ campaign in September with a sale on numerous great children’s titles in OverDrive Marketplace. In the sale list you’ll find loads of books for beginner readers including classic children’s characters like Splat the CatAxel the Truck, Frog and ToadFancy Nancy, Pete the Cat and Minnie and Moo!

You’ll also find some great narrated eBooks that will introduce your young readers to some of pop culture’s favorite superheroes. Get early readers excited about the library as they read along with the following enhanced eBook titles:

– The alien conqueror Starro has returned to enslave planet Earth. Can the Justice League stop the evil starfish before it’s too late?

Superman Classic: I Am Superman – Superman is in his Fortress of Solitude when Lex Luthor puts all of Metropolis in danger. Can Superman fly back to the city in time to stop Lex and save the day?

Batman Classic: Reptile Rampage – A Gotham City hospital is being terrorized by Killer Croc, and it’s up to Batman to save the day! Can the Caped Crusader clean the city sewers of this rotten reptile?

Wonder Woman Classic: I Am Wonder Woman – Meet Diana, Princess of the Amazons, and discover how she becomes the amazing Wonder Woman!

Batman Classic: Dawn of the Dynamic DuoThe twisted troublemaker Two-Face is back in Gotham City, and Batman and Robin have to stop him. Read all about their first adventure as the Dynamic Duo!

The I CAN READ sale kicks off in September but you can get these titles now by adding this list to your cart in OverDrive Marketplace. We’d like to thank HarperCollins for being a sponsoring partner at Digipalooza!

Adam Sockel is a Social Media Specialist with OverDrive

Monday, July 27, 2015

Kobo Starts New Twitter Account to Hype e-Book Deals


If you are looking to save some money on e-books Kobo has you covered. The company has just launched a new Twitter account that puts the priority on deals and discounts. From the looks of things they are not limiting their digital promos in just one country, but hype things that readers in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom would like to read.

Every few weeks Kobo sends out a newsletter or quietly offers promotional codes in different countries. This has spawned countless message board threads and people sharing links on Reditt. I think what Kobo is hoping to do is have more control over distributing deals and being able to amass a cadre of Twitter followers at the same time.

Sydney Australia Unveils First e Ink Traffic Sign


The Australian Road and Maritime Services has installed e-paper traffic signs on Sydney roads, representing the first time that electronic e ink, a technology best known from e-book readers and smart watches, has been used in traffic signage.

E Ink has partnered up with Visionect to have 15 solar powered parking and road signs distributed all over the capital of New South Wales. One of the great things about this technology is that the displays draw no power while still displaying critical data. If the Australian Road and Maritime Services needs to update anything they can simply push out the new data directly to the sign, since each one has a 3G internet connection.

When nighttime inevitably arrives each sign has the same front-lit technology found on the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite or the Kobo Glo HD. This will allow motorists to be able to continue to read all of the information.


Traffic signage might be a huge industry that e Ink can garner a ton of revenue from. It has been reported that the city Los Angeles puts up 558,000 temporary parking restrictions signs every year to the cost of $9.5 million – a strain on staff and resources that can be reduced by implementing permanent e-paper signs with content easily customizable via cellular networks.

Audiobooks are catching on like Wildfire


The Audio Publishers Association released the results from their annual sales survey, conducted by the independent research firm Management Practice in the spring of 2015, which revealed that the audiobook industry is continuing to expand in sales as well as the number of titles being published in the format.

Based on information from responding publishers, the APA estimates that audiobook sales in 2014 totaled more than $1.47 billion, up 13.5% over 2013. Unit sales were also up 19.5%, nearly five times the increase of the overall book trade industry (4.2% as reported by the Association of American Publishers in June 2015).

Additionally, 1,032 more titles were published on audio than in the previous year — bringing the number of audiobooks published in 2014 up to 25,787. The growth of the industry is largely due to the growing popularity of the digital download and increasing awareness and profile for the audiobook format. Sales of digital downloads continue to rise – showing an increase of 7.3% in dollars and a full 10% in units sold from the previous year.

Year                   # of Audiobook Titles Published

2014                            25,787

2013                            24,755

2012                            16, 309

2011                            7,237

2010                            6,200


While adult titles continue to account for 87% of sales, children and young adult titles are on the rise with a 3.7% increase in sales from 2013 to 2014. The APA's recent consumer behavior study revealed a strong demand for titles for younger listeners, with 36% of respondents reporting listening to children's or YA audiobooks.

Fiction continues to represent the vast majority of audiobooks sold with roughly 77.4% of audios being fiction vs. 22.6% non-fiction. The unabridged format continues to dominate with 91% of audios sold being in this format.

How Using and Renting Kindle eTextbooks Works (Video)

Amazon offers a number of Kindle eTextbooks to rent and buy in the Kindle Store. Many of them are just basically regular nonfiction ebooks, but some carry a specific eTextbook designation that adds some extra features. Many of the eTextbooks are available like regular Kindle ebooks on Kindle ereaders, Fire tablets, and Kindle apps for […]

Image Comics and graphic novels are now available in Marketplace

aImage Comics have arrived! If you're not aware of them, just know they have some of the best graphic novel content out there including The Walking Dead. For all those who are preparing their safe houses and stocking up on zombie killing devices or if you're waiting for Season 6 of The Walking Dead to premier, OverDrive has your perfect reading material.

Also, OverDrive now has one of the most exciting comic series of the past couple of years, Saga by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples. This series has won several awards and is a phenomenal space opera in the vein of Star Wars with a mix of Game of Thrones and Romeo & Juliet. One cannot do it justice in a blog, but know that your patrons want it, and you should probably read it if you're at all interested in any of the above topics.

Be sure to check out all the great content from Image and also take a look at other Adult Comics/Graphic Novels.


Kristin Milks is a Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive

Attend a Picademy@Google in Birmingham

This year we’ve seen an explosion of Raspberry Pi Certified Educators thanks to the number of free teacher training events called ‘Picademy’ that we’ve been able to facilitate. Aside from our own in-house training, there have been five regional Picademies, three of which have taken place in Google’s Digital Garage in Leeds. Thanks to the generosity of, we are able to offer even more continuing professional development opportunities to educators, this time in Birmingham!


Picademy will be awesome at the new Google Digital Garage Birmingham!

Picademy@Google is for classroom teachers of any subject at primary, secondary or post-16 level. The courses and workshops in Leeds are run by renowned community member Les Pounder, who gives much of his time to helping adults and children create weird and wonderful projects. You may have seen some of his Picademy work on Twitter recently.

Picademy@Google Birmingham will be every bit as good! Highly regarded community member, Minecraft wizard, and creator of stuff about code Martin O’Hanlon will be leading teachers across a diamond block path to Raspberry Pi enlightenment. Here he is doing his best Steve impression:


Martin was at the venue for the launch and said:

The opening of the Google Digital Garage at the Library of Birmingham was a great event attended by Eileen Naughton, MD of Google UK and Ireland, and Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The venue is incredible and it’s really exciting to be able to use this amazing space to bring Picademy to Birmingham – opening up the opportunity to teachers across the West Midlands to get the benefit of the Raspberry Pi Foundation’s free CPD course.

All our training events in Birmingham will take place at the latest Google Digital Garage inside Birmingham Library, and are completely free to attend. If you are interested in take part and becoming a Raspberry Pi Certified Educator, please complete this form. The following dates are available:

  • 27th – 28th August
  • 1st – 2nd October
  • 2nd – 3rd November
  • 7th – 8th December

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