Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Inkcase Plus Unboxing Video


The Inkcase Plus is a secondary screen for your Android smartphone. It pairs up to your device using Bluetooth and once you install the e-reading app, it functions as a mini e-reader.

This device features a 3.5 inch, 360 x 600 pixel  e-Ink display which is visible in direct sunlight. The low-power screen also only uses electricity when you refresh the page, so it should get up to 10 to 15 days of battery life.

There are a number of apps available for the Inkcase Plus, such as a photo gallery, sports and picture app. My personal favorite is the e-reader app, you can simply load in your own e-Pub books and turn it into a dedicated 3.5 inch digital reader.

Inkcase Plus Unboxing Video is a post from: Good e-Reader

BiblioTech Digital Library Plans to Expand into a Second Location


The Bibliotech Library in Bexar County was the first library ever to forgo books entirely and embrace digital. The branch celebrated its first year of operation last September. Things are working out so well, that the all digital library is expanding into a second location later this year.

During its inaugural year the Bibliotech library has been heralded as a massive success. They had over 136,104 visitors who checked out the library during their first year and 47,514 patrons registered to use the various digital services. The library loaned out 7,147 e-readers and over 102,243 e-book circulations were made since September 2013.

BiblioTech Administrator Laura Cole shed some light on the new location “We will be located in commercial space in a new public housing development. The housing development itself is innovative. It is an energy efficient community with a total of 539 mixed-income units. The development also features 4,200 sf commercial space and 12 live/work units to promote small business. Further, the development promotes walkability with green spaces, walking trails and a plaza to connect residents with the adjacent neighborhoods. The development and its neighborhood are a perfect fit for BiblioTech.”

Laura went on to elaborate the reasoning beyond the selected location “One of the fundamental components of BiblioTech is to provide technology access to underserved areas. A demographic survey of the new location reveals that within a 3 mile radius the median household income is $24,973. The percentage of Latino and African American residents is 95% and only 4% have earned a four year college degree.”

One of the main benefits of an all digital library is that the content can be shared between both locations. The total operating budget of the second location will be a paltry $500,000 for the first year, primarily going to buying more computers, e-readers and hiring staff.

BiblioTech currently deals with more 3rd party e-Book, audiobook, video and academic resources than even Queens or the New York Public Library. Laura said they currently deal with Hoopla for audiobooks, Atomic for software training, Mango for language learning, Comics Plus for comics and graphic novels, 3M Clod Library for e-books and audio books, One Click Digital also for audio books, Image Quest for rights-cleared images, AZ Databases – Search for people and companies, Heritage Quest for Genealogy, Newsbank for digital newspapers and they just subscribed to Ancestry.Com for on-site use at the library.

With all of these different companies having content distribution deals with Bilbiotech,  it opens up a number of opportunities for other digital focused organizations to make their pitch. PressReader would likely be one of the big players who could see solid traction at the second location, their digital newspaper solution has been firmly embraced by hundreds of locations throughout the US, including San Francisco Public.  I could also see Baker and Taylor’s Axis 360 program do quite well.

All digital libraries will be an emerging trend for the next few years. A new initiative in Omaha is taking over a closed down Borders bookstore and converting it into a multi-thousand square foot digital library. They are not just billing it as a place to get e-Books but a nexus where local entrepreneurs can create the next breakout technologies.

Although the Omaha crew have not had formal discussion yet with BiblioTech, many other prospective locations are. “We have been approached by several other cities interested in setting up digital libraries.” said Laura Cole, “we are more than happy to help and share our experiences. We learned a lot – what did right – what we could have done better – things we never considered.”

BiblioTech Digital Library Plans to Expand into a Second Location is a post from: Good e-Reader

3rd Party Amazon Sellers Shipped Two Billion Items in 2014


Amazon had a banner year in 2014 with over two billion items shipped worldwide by 3rd party sellers. This is a staggering number, considering there are only two million registered vendors who use the service.

3rd party sellers accounted for over 40% of all items sold on Amazon over 2014. Products such as books, movies and trading cards were shipped from 100 different countries around the world fulfilled orders to customers in 185 countries.

The e-tailer proclaimed that the largest growth was primarily due to China and Hong Kong-based sellers whose international sales grew 80% year-over-year.

One of the ways sellers have been able to crank up the volume orders on Amazon is due to the Amazon Seller App. It is available for Android, iOS and Fire phone, and makes it easier for sellers on Amazon to quickly manage inventory, source and list new items, and quickly respond to customer inquiries.

It's been a record-setting year for selling on Amazon. We're seeing strong growth from sellers listing their items across our global marketplaces. In fact, there are now more than a billion offers for customers to browse from sellers who are listing items for sale outside their home country," said Peter Faricy, VP for Amazon Marketplace. "The growth of mobile and the introduction of the Amazon Seller App have also been a big win for sellers this year. Sellers are constantly telling us they value the flexibility of managing their businesses on-the-go from their tablets and mobile devices."

3rd Party Amazon Sellers Shipped Two Billion Items in 2014 is a post from: Good e-Reader

e Ink Color Changing Walls Unveiled at CES


e Ink is primarily known for their e-paper displays found on the Kindle, Kobo and Nook e-readers. The company has been trying to diversity their portfolio with niche market uses for their EPD’s. One of the the new ways they managed to pull it off is with color changing walls using a new technology called Prism.

Prism material lets buildings subtly change colors and patterns on the spot, without having to rely the more traditional LCD displays that are found at the O’hare tunnel walls in Chicago. Prism can be configured to respond to people just walking by, setting up Waypoints  or can be used for elaborate art projects.

E Ink is proclaiming that not only walls and flexible furniture can be adapted to use this technology, but also movable kiosks & exhibits. I think its really important to stand out in the crowd and being able to capture peoples attention with animated colors is really important.

Each of the E Ink-powered Plexiglas tiles are roughly 16-inches by 16-inches and can show off a range of colors. The company is only demonstrating red, white and pink, because its eye catching at CES. I was informed that more colors are available, which leads me to believe they are using re purposed e-Ink Triton technology to provide the color.

Sadly, e Ink is not going to be marketing this stuff directly, instead, it's working with third-party design and material partners to get it in airports or inside corporate buildings.

e Ink Color Changing Walls Unveiled at CES is a post from: Good e-Reader

2014’s top ideas to kick-start digital reading in your school

2015 is here. Whether your school is heading into the second half of or getting ready for a new school year, January and February are great times to promote the eBooks you have available to your students. In 2014 we saw more schools than ever come up with creative ways to build awareness of their eBook offerings, and here are some of the best ideas from the past year:

  • Grand Island Senior High School in Nebraska held a "Books and Bites" campaign where they held a bake sale and all proceeds went to their content budget. If you have titles that were purchased through donations or special funding, you can highlight them by creating and posting a curated collection via Marketplace.
  • Lemon Bay High School in Florida held a device raffle in conjunction with a survey for students, which not only increased their usage, but also gave them valuable information on what their students want to read. We created a custom graphic for them, as well as for Thompson bluedevil_33School District R2-J in Colorado who did a summer reading raffle, to post on their site during the raffle period for increased visibility.
  • The Middle School of Plainville in Connecticut is conducting a Read Right Run program in which students must read 26 books, run 26 miles, and do 26 "right" deeds from October 1, 2014 – April 1, 2015. Their OverDrive-powered website plays a supporting role by giving students easy access to read eBooks that count toward the program at any time, any place.
  • San Dieguito Union High School District in California uses the Simple Login feature to give their students increased access to titles they need for research projects. With physical books or two-three week lending periods of digital titles, sometimes students can't get the books they need. Creating curated collections specifically for the research projects and giving them one-hour checkouts during class ensures that books aren't tied up for weeks at a time (and gets students familiar with the eBook program). For more information on Simple Login, contact your Account Specialist.
  • Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School in Australia decorated their Library Resource Center windows with pictures of book covers, complete with QR codes to give students easy access to borrow from their school's digital collection.
  • The Gilbert School in Connecticut has been bringing their Reading Dog, Gummy Bear, into the classroom. The students love to borrow and read an eBook on their device with Gummy Bear on their lap, seemingly reading along.

Did you have any successful campaigns in 2014, or perhaps one that you're getting ready to roll out? We'd love to hear about them and help in any way that we can. If you have any questions on marketing or promoting digital reading, you can always reach out to your Account Specialist. We also have many resources on the Partners Portal including the seasonal promo kits and program and event ideas like post-holiday training sessions (which would be perfect for right now!). We expect 2015 to be another banner year for our school partners, so let's start it off well together!

A “hello” from a hobbyist-turned-evangelist

Hello! I’m Matt Richardson, the newest member of the Raspberry Pi team. I’m so excited to be on board because I’m such a big Raspberry Pi fan. Ever since I first got my hands on a board in May of 2012, I've been doing a lot with Raspberry Pi. I made projects like this bicycle accessory, I produced videos about Raspberry Pi, wrote articles, gave talks, and even teamed up with a friend to write a book about how to get started with Raspberry Pi. There's still so much that I want to do, which is why I’m so glad to be a part of the team.

A selfie with my first  Raspberry Pi taken in May of 2012.

A selfie with my first Raspberry Pi taken in May of 2012.

Before coming to Raspberry Pi, I was a contributing editor for Make: Magazine, the premier magazine for makers. Raspberry Pi was my beat for a majority of my time there, so I kept an eye on Pi projects, hardware, and accessories. I also had the chance to go to many Maker Faires to give talks and meet fellow makers. As part of my new position, I'll continue to go to Maker Faires, but now I'll help carry the Raspberry Pi banner in an official capacity.

I’m based in San Francisco and as a Raspberry Pi Evangelist, I’ll be responsible for outreach with a focus on the United States. I’ll connect with organizations, talk to people about how they use Raspberry Pi, and make regular appearances here on the blog. If you’d like to connect with me, I’m on Twitter, where I post about Raspberry Pi and all my other interests including technology, making, art, design, travel, airliners, ham radio, television, and a small dash of politics.

I’m looking forward to being involved in all that lies ahead in the realm of Raspberry Pi!

Amazon Sending Customers Reminders about e-Book Settlement Credits


Amazon is sending a new batch new emails reminding customers that they have credits in their account based on the number of e-Books they have purchased from April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012. The reminder should not be taken in earnest because all credits expire March 31, 2015.

If you are a very casual digital book buyer and have a Kindle you should have some credits in your account. Anyone who has purchased an e-Book from Hachette, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Penguin or Macmillan between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012 gets a credit of $3.17 if that book was a New York Times bestseller and a credit of $0.73 if the book was never a NYT bestseller.

The credits can be used to buy any e-book on the Amazon ecosystem and does not have to be used with the particular publishers involved in the court case.

Amazon Sending Customers Reminders about e-Book Settlement Credits is a post from: Good e-Reader