Thursday, January 8, 2015

Netronix Shows Off 13.3-inch E Ink eReader (Video)

Netronix has a 13.3-inch ereader under development that could be ready for mass production in as little as three months. Netronix is currently looking for distributors for their ultimate note-taking and document-displaying ereader. The device runs Android 4.0.4 and is expected to be upgraded to Android 4.4 KitKat. It’s powered by a i.MX6 Solo Lite […]

The Future of Blinkbox Books Remains Uncertain


Supermarket chain Tesco has been one of the breakouts in the UK eBook arena the last few years with their Blinkbox Books platform. The company had perfectly leveraged their points cards, scanned during checkout, to give big discounts on popular digital titles. The future of this platform looks to be in doubt as Tesco has just sold off their Blinkbox Movies business and broadband solution to Talktalk. 

In a press release issued by TalkTalk they said “Blinkbox is one of the leading on-demand providers of pay content in the UK and works across multiple platforms and devices – both inside and outside the home.  blinkbox’s established technical expertise in multi-platform, multi-device content delivery and incremental content relationships are highly complementary to TalkTalk’s existing strategyof being the best value for money TV provider in the UK, offering customers flexible access to the widest range of free and paid for content.  TalkTalk TV is already the fastest growing TV platform in the UK with over 1.2 million customers and blinkbox will help accelerate the development of our platform by delivering a number of key initiatives significantly faster, such as offering a TV app to customers for in and out of home access to paid-for content across a range of devices.”

It looks like Talktalk had no interest in the Blinkbox books platform and there has been no word yet on whether or not Tesco will shutter this platform for good.

Normally digital bookstores hype their sales or issue press releases to inform the media on their performance. The grocery chain has never corresponded with any of the mainstream digital publishing websites and the only news they generated was last year when they were giving away 1,000 free copies of To Kill A Mockingbird. They normally just leverage in-store promotions in order to keep their shoppers informed. Right now they are running a promotion where if you buy a bestseller paperback in the store, you can get the digital edition for free.

The social media aspect of Blinkbox Books seems to be very active, with their Twitter account generating a ton of content every single day. Their online blog is updated semi regularly but the author events listings are woefully out of date.

The Future of Blinkbox Books Remains Uncertain is a post from: Good e-Reader

Libraries Loan Out 105 Million e-Books in 2014

OverDrive Read on bookshelf

Overdrive is the undisputed leader in facilitating e-Book and audiobook loans in libraries all over the world. The company has just announced that 105 million e-Books were loaned out globally, which is a 32% increase from 2013.

Libraries that do business with Overdrive loaned out 137 million digital assets in 2014, which is a 33% increase from 2013. This not only includes e-Books but audiobooks have been doing quite well with 32 million checkouts in 2014, a 38% increase from the same time last year.

Overdrive also shed some light on what devices proved to be the most popular when accessing content from the public library. The company facilitated a total of 401 million connections, which is a staggering figure. 43% were made on tablets, 36% on desktop and 21% on smartphones. Tablets and smartphones now account for 52% of all checkouts and 64% of all traffic in 2014.

When it comes to libraries purchasing digital content to loan out to patrons, Overdrive certainly isn’t the only game in town. 3M Cloud Library and Baker and Taylor are also forces to be reckoned with, but Overdrive has the largest market share. Smaller companies have disclosed to Good e-Reader over the years that they have an easier time pitching their content distribution system to libraries, if they already do business with Overdrive.

Libraries Loan Out 105 Million e-Books in 2014 is a post from: Good e-Reader

Barnes and Noble Nook Had Another Unprofitable Holiday Season


Barnes and Noble has just announced that their holiday sales for e-readers, tablets and e-Books did not meet expectations. Customers expressed trepidation about the booksellers new line of Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook  devices and did not purchase them in droves like B&N had hoped.

The NOOK segment (including digital content, devices and accessories), had sales of $56 million for the nine-week holiday period, decreasing 55.4% as compared to a year ago.  Device and accessories sales were $28.5 million, a decrease of 67.9% from a year ago.  Digital content sales were $27.4 million, a decline of 25.0% compared to a year ago.

Print books once again were the savior of Barnes and Noble, even though digital did not live up to expectations. The Retail segment, which consists of the Barnes & Noble bookstores had sales of $1.1 billion, increasing 0.2% over the prior year.  Sales benefited from the continued stabilization of physical book sales and growth in the educational toys and games and gift departments.

I for one am very disappointed that Nook e-Books and e-reader sales continue to tank for the company. It is very hard to compete against the Kindle Voyage and Kobo H20 which sold in record numbers all December long. It also helped that many industry news and review websites gushed over these two devices and did not really hype any of B&N consumer electronics.

I would recommend if Barnes and Noble released a new e-reader in 2015 they should push it out at the end of October, in order to take advantage of all the positive press going into the holiday season. The last e-reader they issued, the Nook Glowlight came out at the beginning of 2014 and lost momentum towards the end of the year.

Barnes and Noble Nook Had Another Unprofitable Holiday Season is a post from: Good e-Reader

Piano stairs

At a Princeton hackathon a while back, Bonnie Eisenman did something rather wonderful to a flight of stairs using a Raspberry Pi, some lights, an Arduino and a handful of photoresistors.

Bonnie, I can’t believe you only won second prize. This is amazing.

A while later, Bonnie made build instructions and code available on Instructables – and since then, some other people have been posting video of their own staircase piano hacks.

This one, from Alyssa Zachariah, is from Halloween, when she made the stairs up to her front door into a piano for trick-and-treating kids.

And there are home applications too: here’s William Kreutinger’s family staircase, piano-fied.

There’s a little soldering involved, but soldering is easy, and this is not a hard build – in fact, it’d make a really good first project if you’re new to hardware hacking. Fancy making one yourself? Head over to Instructables for a how-to, and let us know how you get on!

The 2014 Holiday Season was a Big Test for e-reader Usage on Airlines


In late 2013 the FAA amended their policy to allow e-readers and tablets to be used gate to gate. It took almost a full year for the vast majority of airlines to officially adopt electronics usage but this year was the first major holiday season where travelers were able to read their e-books, digital magazines and newspapers in all phases of air travel.

Since the travel restrictions on e-readers, tablets and smartphones were lifted over 31 airlines have adopted the use of electronics and those companies account for 95% of all commercial traffic in the US.  Australia, Canada and most of Europe have also relaxed their restrictions on the usage of electronics on flights, but exact numbers on airline adoption rates are unknown.

Many airlines have rushed to offer e-Book, digital magazine and digital newspaper services in their lounges and computer terminals aboard the aircraft.  The intention behind most of these moves is to sell digital content to travelers and earn commissions on the sales.  Others give the content away for free as an added incentive to book your travel with them.

Jetblue partnered with HarperCollins to provide excerpts from a selection of bestselling eBooks, and each digital sample will include buy buttons to a variety of retailers. Excerpted titles include Flesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell, Yes Please by Amy Poehler, Endgame: The Calling by James Frey and Nils Johnson-Shelton, and Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses by James Dean. Purchased titles are synced automatically via WIFI to a users reader or tablet.

Newspaper and Magazine company PressReader offers their content in Virgin Australia lounges, which allows guests to access over 3,000 publications. They have also ironed out an agreement with flyDubai to have about a hundred papers available in the in-flight entertainment system to read in the air. Prior to takeoff guests can use their own devices to download thousands of issues for free and can read them whenever they want.

Although travelers have and airlines have been quick to embrace e-reading on air flights, the 60,000 person strong Association of Flight Attendants has filed a lawsuit against the FAA. In a legal filing they said that the FAA "acted improperly" and failed to follow proper protocol implementing the changes. A lawyer for the Association of Flight Attendants has argued that portable electronic devices distract passengers from safety announcements and can "become dangerous projectiles."

Its doubtful whether or not the lawsuit has any merit, the three judges presiding over the case are not going to countermand the relaxed restrictions. In a recent statement by Judge Harry T. Edwards he said "Airlines have always had discretion on how to handle this."

U.S. airlines carried 574.3 million system wide (domestic and international) scheduled service passengers during the first nine months of 2014. Exact statistics for the holiday season should be available within the next month. According to Twitter and Facebook social metrics, many travelers were very happy with being able to use their electronics gate to gate this year. Listening to music while taking off and landing remained one of the most popular ways travelers alleviated the stress of flying.

The 2014 Holiday Season was a Big Test for e-reader Usage on Airlines is a post from: Good e-Reader