Friday, January 23, 2015

LibreOffice Viewer for Android Reads Nearly Any Document Type


You may already be familiar with LibreOffice, known for being an incredibly popular open source office application (available for Windows, Mac, and Linux). The good news, is the developers at Collabora are making the move to Android –beginning with a beta version of their LibreOffice Viewer. They warn that it’s not stable (and therefore not recommended for mission critical tasks), but they are also welcoming of all feedback and bug reports in an effort to make this app as successful as possible.

Easily capable of becoming a go-to app, LibreOffice Viewer can handle nearly any document type that is thrown at it:

  • Open Document Format (.odt, .odp, .ods, .ots, .ott, .otp)
  • Microsoft Office 2007/2010/2013 (.docx, .pptx, .xlsx, .dotx, .xltx, .ppsx)
  • Microsoft Office 97/2000/XP/2003 (.doc, .ppt, .xls, .dot, .xlt, .pps)

Functionality is pretty basic at this point, but future releases (available weekly) promise to work with URLs and accessing external SD storage.

Ready to try an alternative for reading documents on your Android devices? Download LibreOffice Viewer Beta for free now!

LibreOffice Viewer for Android Reads Nearly Any Document Type is a post from: Good e-Reader

Need for Digital News Drives Users towards Dedicated Platforms


Internet news devotees have had to become very selective about the articles they read due to the abundance of available content, which has led many to adopt dedicated digital platforms that only display news from sources they choose. Apps like PressReader and Newsbeat have stepped up to fill the gap, and offer customizable options for current news, including region-specific content and categorical selection. Digital newspapers and magazines have also grown in popularity, possibly in relation to the unreliable options flooding social media; OverDrive reported on its growth of digital content yesterday, citing the convenience of access to news through public library portals as a chief patron service.

One platform in particular, Press Reader, released a new video that explains its all-you-can-read digital news model, as well as its emergence as a leading provider of digital newspapers and magazines to the all-important library sector.

Press Reader bills itself to users as a premium content provider, meaning its not the same old headlines that are available scattered across news blogs. This has helped the crucial lending market make a trusted choice in subscribing for their patrons to access digital content.

Need for Digital News Drives Users towards Dedicated Platforms is a post from: Good e-Reader

Story2Go SelfPub Children’s eBook Creator App

The digital revolution and its subsequent self-publishing hey day have perhaps sparked more change in literature and publishing than any event since Gutenberg started tinkering, but for all of the great talk of “equalizing” and breaking down barriers, what industry watchers were really referring to was text-based novels. A number of demographics in the publishing business were left out, such as comic book creators, graphic novelists, children’s book authors, and more.

But as startups began to recognize the self-publishing and digital platform spheres were overloaded with options for authors, a few other companies began quietly meeting the needs that other companies had overlooked. One such market was the image-heavy ebook space, where books had to be converted into apps for consumption in various operating system-specific app stores rather than sold through e-reading sites like Amazon or B&N.

Story2Go, first interviewed by Good e-Reader at Frankfurt Book Fair in 2013, launched at the time with an inexpensive iOS app that allowed authors and creators to essentially build their ebooks with simple drag-and-drop and uploading features, then rely on the bigger guns to actually distribute the book to a variety of app stores. While the process of creating the file isn’t entirely intuitive–this is no “Children’s eBooks for Dummies” level of process–there are clear-cut instructions at each step of the way to help authors along.

For a limited time, the Story2Go app is free in the Apple App Store, and despite the time that the company has producing and distributing books on behalf of authors, the price to distribute is still only a one-time $99 fee for the first platform, and $149 for multiple app stores.

Story2Go SelfPub Children’s eBook Creator App is a post from: Good e-Reader

Looking for some Good Manga to Read?


Book Walker, one of the largest digital bookstores for IOS, android, and PC, owned by Kadokawa, announced today it’s sales ranking of 2014 for 10 categories. They are based on the sales made between December 1, 2013 and November 30th, 2014 from it’s 151,000 titles.

This year the Book Walker award goes to the top selling digital book of 2014 to Mamare Touno’s fantasy adventure series Log Horizon. The series follows Shiroe, a socially awkward gamer and his friends Naotsugu and Akatsuki trapped in an MMORPG with thirty thousand other players that were trapped in the game after an expansion pack gone wrong. Donning their in game avatars, they must face the game world which has now become their reality, while facing challenges and obstacles.

Largely the success of Log Horizon is thanks to the fact it’s digital edition is only excursively available to Book Walker and had the two anime adaptions airing at the same time. Other winners include;

No Game No Life

"Sora and Shiro are two hikikomori step-siblings who are known in the online gaming world as blank who remains as an undefeated group. One day they are challenged to a game of chess by Tet, a god from another reality. Winning the game, they are offered to live in a world that revolves around games, accepting the prize as a joke, they find themselves in a reality called Disboard."

Again My Youth Romantic Comedy is Wrong"

"This story follows loners, Hachiman Hikigaya and the beautiful Yukino Yukinoshita, who despite their varying personalities and ideals offer help and advice to others as part of their school’s service club."

Arpeggio of Blue Steel

“By 2039, global warming had cause sea levels to rise and large amount of territory to be lost. A group of warships clad in mist appear in every corner of the ocean and begin attacking himan ships. Seven years later, a humanoid life form that pilots a sub appears before Gunzo Chihaya and offers her assistants to man kind.”

Appraisal Case Files of the Omnicompetent Q

"Featuring the heroine Riko Rinda, an appraiser with an incomparable gift for instantly seeing through all mitigating facts and circumstances to the true value and essence of whatever is presented to her for assessment."

Invaders of the Six-Tatami Mat Room?!

"Kōtarō Satomi decided to live on his own at the beginning of his high school life and chose Room 106 of Corona House due to cheap rent. Unfortunately Kōtarō soon discovers that numerous other supernatual girls also want his room for various reasons and aren’t willing to back down. As a result, Kōtarō and the girls find themselves forced to live together as they try to settle who will end up with the room. "

Knights of Sidonia

"The story follows Nagate, a low-born youth in a society of genetically engineered humans, refugees that escaped the destruction of Earth one thousand years earlier and now occupy the massive ship Sidonia. When Nagate’s talent as a pilot is revealed he becomes one of Sidonia’s elite defenders against the Gauna, shapeshifting aliens bent on eliminating humans from existence."

Tokyo Ghoul Remastered

"Strange murders are happening in Tokyo. Due to liquid evidence at the scene, police conclude the attacks are result of of ‘eater’ type ghouls. Friends, Kaneki and Hide come up with the idea that ghouls are imitating humans so thats why they have never seen one. Little did they know that their theory will become a reality."

Okitegami Kyoko no Bobiroku

"This story follows a detective named Kyōko Okitegam who is also known as the forgetful detective. She forgets everything in a day but can solve cases the same day. An unlucky yung man named Yakusuke Kakushidate somehow ends up as the suspect in every caseand he always asks for the detective for help.

Looking for some Good Manga to Read? is a post from: Good e-Reader

There will be 700 Million Pirated e-Books in 2018


Many publishers often think their current Digital Rights Management solutions are enough to combat e-book piracy. This is why the vast majority end up using Digital Watermarks or Adobe DRM in order to make it hard to upload material you have purchased to file sharing websites. Rightscorp, likely the biggest anti-piracy player in movies, music and television shows told Good e-Reader that “we estimate that there were 500 million e-Books distributed in the United States on peer-to-peer networks in 2013 and this will grow to 700 million by 2018.”

Rightscorp has developed digital loss prevention technology that tracks copyright infringement and ensures that owners and creators are rightfully paid for their IP. They developed extensive tracking analytics that allows them to see what content is being distributed through Bittorrent and file sharing sites and then goes after the people involved. In April 2014 they made the company decision to market their services to the publishing industry and actively go after eBook pirates.

Business is booming for Rightscorp right now. The company has just announced that it has closed over 170,000 cases of copyright infringement to date, up 40,000 since November 2014, representing an approximate 30% growth within a 2 month period. They have received settlement payments from subscribers of more than 200 ISPs and has approval to collect on over 1.5 million copyrights.

We are firing on all cylinders and have been able to consistently generate growth on many of our operational metrics,” said Christopher Sabec, CEO of Rightscorp. “The latest count includes more than 1,000 cases closed on the Comcast and Google Fiber networks, which control the largest markets in the U.S. It seems clear that the entire industry is now beginning to recognize our solution as the most effective in preserving the rights of copyright holders – artists and content owners. We will continue to work hard to protect those who create and own intellectual property.”

Overall, the publishing industry is not really concerned with eBook piracy. Many of the top companies such as HarperCollins, Hachette, S&S and Penguin have told me that piracy is a minor blip on the radar and does not hamper sales to any discernible degree. They all admit it is an extreme minority of tech savvy individuals and statistically people who pirate eBooks tend to be the biggest purchasers of digital content. There has even been some notable authors such as Tim Ferris that harnessed the power of Bitorrent to promote his book, the 4 Hour Chef. He recently said "Torrent conversion is NUTS. Of 210,000 downloads earlier this week, more than 85,000 clicked through "Support the Author" to the book's Amazon page. We all had to triple and quadruple check that to believe it.

Sales of eBooks reached $3 billion at the end of 2012, up from $68 million in 2008 according to a recent article posted onYahoo! Finance. The article also cited that Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon, said that "Kindle owners buy more books now than they did before they owned an e-Reader". PricewaterhouseCoopers estimates "consumer eBooks will drive $8.2 billion in sales by 2017, surpassing projected print book sales, which it thinks will shrink by more than half during that period."

Rightscorp has not seen the traction in the e-Book space as they have with other media. The company has told me that “While Rightscorp has closed some cases with e-Books, we do not yet have large catalogs of e-Books like we have with movies, television and music.”

This goes to show that publishers believe in the power of DRM to such a large degree that they don’t really care to go after e-book pirates at this stage in the game.  They are more concerned with Amazon having too much power in e-book sales and distribution and trying to find alternative avenues to generate revenue, such as  e-Book subscription websites like Scribd and Oyster.

There will be 700 Million Pirated e-Books in 2018 is a post from: Good e-Reader

“Zuckerbook” review: The End of Power

Mark Zuckerberg is a visionary in many things, always looking to the next hot trend to get all of us addicted to, which is why he made such news two weeks ago when he announced his newest venture: reading. His Facebook group A Year of Books will announce a new book to read every two weeks, then provide an open forum for discussion, even bringing in the author for live Facebook Q & As when possible.

This is ambitious for Zuckerberg, as he has chosen to concentrate on books that foster thought and learning, especially about ideas and peoples with which many may not be familiar. Also, this should be a great way for all of us to learn some new things and become a New Year's reading resolution. As a lover of all kinds of challenges, I will be reading along with the A Year of Books list (in my head, I have dubbed them "Zuckerbooks"), and keeping all of you informed as I go! So join me as we start on this year's book journey.

For the first entry of the year, Zuckerberg chose The End of Power by Moisés Naím, former executive director of the World Bank, Venezula's Minister of Trade and Industry, and editor of Foreign Policy. Naím currently is a Distinguished Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, along with writing columns for many different publications. Needless to say, when it comes to international relations/politics and economics, the guy really knows what he is talking about.

I confess, this was not a book that I would have picked up on my own. While I did minor in Political Science when I was in undergrad, I have not read a good poli-sci book in quite some time, so I was a bit intimidated. Imagine my surprise when I found Naím's text to be not only interesting, but incredibly readable as well! The chapters all ended with a bit of a "cliffhanger," causing the reader to need to keep moving. Every time I finished chapter, I was shocked at how quickly it had come, as he really is a master of pace.

Naím really did his homework on this one, and he harkens back centuries and across the globe to build his argument: power is more decentralized than ever, and this change has both good and bad consequences. His premise is well thought out and well-articulated, and really does give the reader a great deal to think about, or in my case, a great deal to bring up in almost every conversation I have with friends, family, and coworkers, to the point where I wonder if they will stop talking to me soon…

This book club starts strong and shows that Zuckerberg is out to broaden our reading, our discussion, and our outlook on the world. Whether or not you agree with Naím's ideas of the power revolution due to "The More," "The Mobility," and "The Mentality" of current society, you cannot help but be drawn in to his strong writing and his passion for his arguments.

Meghan Volchko is a Collection Development Analyst at OverDrive and is looking forward to adding lots of good wrinkles to her brain over the next year.

Thirty-five Pixels, powered by Raspberry Pi

Creative Director and Interactive Developer Michael Newman was tapped by UCLA Extension to design their 2015 winter course catalog cover. To accompany his work, he also designed, developed, and built a Raspberry Pi-powered interactive installation called Thirty-five Pixels which is currently on display at UCLA Extension’s 1010 Westwood building through the 2015 Winter Quarter.

Michael Newman along with his installation Thirty-five Pixels in situ.

Michael Newman along with his installation Thirty-five Pixels in situ.

Although it uses a single 50″ LCD HDTV mounted vertically, the masking on the piece gives the effect of a 7 by 5 matrix of individual circular displays. On the inspiration for the design, Michael says:

Using the mantra "Play, Learn, Explore, Connect" I have created a framework which abstracts my experiments into a visual experience. First exploring physical media, such as black and white ping pong balls and CNC controlled devices, I iterated through a variety of concepts and ultimately developed a digital mechanism that can display both simple, dot matrix style data, and complex data and images simultaneously.

Thirty-five Pixels runs on a Raspberry Pi Model B+ and uses a camera module for motion detection and image capture. The piece is also Internet-connected so that users all over the world can interact with it and control what it displays. It can pull content from Twitter, Instagram, and other media such as past course catalog covers.

You can try out the remote interface here and also watch a camera’s view of the piece to see how you have an effect on it. Michael wrote about Thirty-five Pixels on his portfolio site, which I encourage you to look at for technical details and for some of his other fantastic work.

Kindle for PC Now Available in Japan


Amazon launched their Japanese e-Book store in 2012  and in order to read e-books,  manga or comic books you basically needed to use the dedicated Kindle app for Android or iOS.  Now users have another option, Kindle for PC has officially launched in Japan.

The premise of Kindle for PC is to keep your content synchronized across multiple devices. It also allows for a ton of versatility for Japanese text and displays anything you would buy from the Amazon digital bookstore.  All of your purchases will be able to be viewed in both landscape and portrait mode.  Customization options include changing the background color, font size, font type and access the dictionary.

Amazon launched the Kindle Cloud Reader in Japan last September, this is their online based HTML5 e-reading app. It was fairly limiting, because it was relegated to only reading novels, not magazines, newspapers or manga.

The debut of Kindle for PC comes at an opportune time for Amazon. Earlier in the month the company launched Kindle Free Manga Magazine. This is a platform that has a revolving pool of single issues and magazines, all available for free.  The initial lineup includes the recent issue of Shueisha's Grand Jump magazine, as well as Manga Action, Comic Ran Twins, Comic Zero-Sum, Manga Box service, and Square Enix's Hobo Gekkan Otameshi Gangan.

Kindle for PC Now Available in Japan is a post from: Good e-Reader