Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Google Chrome for Mobile and PC Gets Dedicated Reader Mode


Google has been working on a new way to read websites by developing a dedicated Reader Mode for Chrome. This basically strips away most of the website design and advertising in order to provide a more visceral experience. This feature has been available for mobile since late last year but now is available for computers.

If you’re on a smartphone or tablet you can open Google Chrome you can turn on the Reader Mode flag at chrome://flags#enable-reader-mode-toolbar-icon, relaunch and tap on the “Reader mode” icon in the toolbar to try it out.

Reading mode is not available as a built in feature for Chrome for computers right now but you can manually install the extension via the Chromium’s open-source DOM Distiller. Once its installed you should notice a new “Distill page” menu item.

Google is basically trying to bring reading mode into the prime time by making it somewhat difficult for the average user to turn it on. In the meantime, Apple Safari is pretty  well the industry leader when it comes to a solid reading mode on their line of iPhones and iPads.

Google Chrome for Mobile and PC Gets Dedicated Reader Mode is a post from: Good e-Reader

Amazon Firefly Available for Most Fire Tablets

ff_screen2Amazon is pushing out a new firmware update that adds Firefly functionality to the modern line of Fire tablets. This new feature was first unveiled on the Fire smartphone released last year and will be available on 4th generation tablets in the US, UK and Germany in the coming weeks.

Firefly technology allows you to identify real-world items by scanning them with the camera on Fire tablet. These items can include books, videos, music, email addresses, barcodes, QR codes, web addresses, and phone numbers. You can also use the built in microphone to ID songs and videos and pull up their listing on Amazon or their IMDB info.

I always thought Firefly was one of the most compelling features on the Fire Phone, but now that it is available for existing tablet owners its pretty sweet. The update to bring over this functionality is done via wireless internet access or done if you have a model with a data plan.

Amazon Firefly Available for Most Fire Tablets is a post from: Good e-Reader

Get 100 free Chinese eBooks for your digital collection!

china town

To celebrate the Chinese New Year we are excited to offer any library or school 100 free Chinese eBooks when they add the Chinese User Interface to their digital 128156c9544444ad924fe101bbba0b82library website from now until March 31st. OverDrive offers more than a dozen language options, including both traditional and simplified Chinese, that you can add to your library site at no cost as a way to better connect with more of your community.


To add any additional languages to your site simply contact your OverDrive Account Specialist and if you choose to add Chinese you will receive 100 free Chinese titles! You can also shop our Chinese New Year Sale where over 7,000 Chinese titles are currently 30-50% off.

To see how major library and school systems are supporting their Chinese-speaking communities with our multilingual UI check out one of these great sites:



Adam Sockel is a Social Media Specialist with OverDrive

iFixit Launches Repair Page for Android Devices


Nothing sound like a better idea than taking apart your Android phone… well, at least until you actually do it. I still remember the first iPhone I took apart in an effort to replace a cracked screen. Sufficed to say, it didn’t go terribly well. Thankfully the experts at iFixIt have released an online repair kit that should make things a little easier for those of you looking to get under the hood of your Android-powered mobile devices.

Don’t be naive. Smartphones and tablets may look sleek and simple, and no matter how many times you tell yourself that there can’t possibly be that many little bits inside… you will be wrong. These things are filled with microscopic clips and stickers and little screws and wires and ribbon cables and gadgets and gizmos and stuff and such. Breaking inside your Android device should only happen with an exception amount of caution and care. Now, if it’s cracked and basically useless anyway –what the heck! Whynot give it a try?

The iFixIt site is filled with manuals and instructions for a wide variety of makes and models, covering: smartphones, tablets, wear, TV, and video. They also provide sources for buying tools and replacement parts. If my advice means anything, consider picking up the proper prying tools and one of their organizational tools –the magnetic project mat with the dry erase surface is a life-saver when you pull 75 teensy little pieces out of that phone or tablet; I can all but guarantee you won’t remember exactly where you pulled them from, or what their orientation was, in a few hours… which is how long this little project is going to take.

Even if you aren’t looking to repair anything, consider taking a stroll around the iFixIt website –you may gain a whole new appreciation for the complexity of your mobile devices (and understand a little more why they cost as much as they do).

iFixit Launches Repair Page for Android Devices is a post from: Good e-Reader

Tsubasa to Hotaru Romantic Manga Gets More Anime!

The Shueisha Ribon magazine’s April issue is unveiling on March 3rd that Nana Haruta "Tsubasa to Hotaru Shojo" romantic comedy manga is going to be inspiring more anime!

The anime will begin it’s run on March 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th as segments within the chilren’s television program "Oha-Suta" (Good Morning Star) on TV Tokyo. The cast of Kanae Ito as Tsubasa Sonokawa, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Aki Hidaka and Takahiro Sakurai as YĆ«ma Toba will be returning for these new shorts. The magazine also hits that the scenes during the school trip and culture festival will be animated!

The very first adaption of Haruta’s manga was a special that was screened at last year’s Ribon Fest 2014 event.

The story follows Tsubasa Sonokawa, a 15 year old girl who falls in love with her upperclassman after saving her at a train station, where she fainted from Anemia. Tsubasa thought the meeting was fate and began to visit him at his class every day however, he told her that her feelings were too "heavy". She once again meets another boy after taking over her friend’s job as a boy’s basketball team manager. Tsubasa learns that she might have more of a connection with this boy named Aki than she first thought.

Haruta began the manga in 2013, and Shueisha will ship the fourth compiled volume of the manga in Japan on March 13th. The first chapter is available to read for free on Ribon’s official website!

Tsubasa to Hotaru Romantic Manga Gets More Anime! is a post from: Good e-Reader

First Round of Reader-Selected Kindle Scout Titles Ready for Pre-Order

Amazon is always on the lookout for ways to improve both the reading and the publishing experiences, and the introduction of Kindle Scout is no exception. The process, which is aimed at helping uncover worthy books, levels the playing field in a number of ways by allowing reading consumers to have a say in the selection process.

"Since we opened our doors we've been busy weighing the feedback of over 29,000 enthusiastic Scouts who have nominated the books they want to read next," said Dina Hilal, general manager for Kindle Scout. "These first 10 titles signal a new option for authors, who can choose to have their books discovered and supported by Amazon customers even before they are published."

Kindle Scout’s process allows authors to submit their titles to the platform and then have Scouts nominate them for publication. Once a book is accepted, it goes on to be published by the digital Kindle Press imprint, in exchange for which the author receives 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions, and featured Amazon marketing. While some critics may say that the authors are forfeiting 20% of their potential royalties (given the 70% offered through simple KDP self-publishing), the advance and marketing options are slated to make up for that. Further, the book will have a following of readers before it ever reaches the digital shelf, thereby increasing its likelihood of sales.

"Having Eddie & Sunny chosen for publication by Kindle Press has been nothing short of a dream come true," said author Stacey Cochran. "The reader enthusiasm galvanized during the Kindle Scout campaign was exciting beyond anything else I've experienced as a writer, but the thing that's been most surprising in all of this is the community experience and friendships I've made with the other writers I've come to know through Kindle Scout after connecting on social media."

Amazon provided some interesting data on the behaviors of these so-called Scouts who look for newly submitted titles:

  • 9 – The average number of excerpts a Scout considers before nominating a title to be published
  • 3 – The number of minutes it took the fastest author to submit a manuscript to Kindle Scout
  • 31 – The average number of days in which a Kindle Scout author receives a publishing decision after submitting a book
  • $25,000 – If a Kindle Press author does not earn at least this amount during his 5-year contract, he can request his rights back
  • 10 – The highest number of free Kindle books an individual Scout has earned for nominating books to date

The long-standing Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards (ABNA) were put on hold this year as the company works through this more inclusive opportunity. Rather than having one single winner in each of a handful of categories, the ongoing process stands to make exponentially more titles available to readers. For a list of the ten titles that are currently available for pre-order due to nominations by Kindle Scouts, click HERE.

First Round of Reader-Selected Kindle Scout Titles Ready for Pre-Order is a post from: Good e-Reader

Amazon to Publish First 10 Kindle Scout eBooks

Yesterday Amazon announced that they will be publishing their first wave of ebooks next week selected through the Kindle Scout program. About four months back, Amazon launched the Kindle Scout program that gives authors the opportunity to submit unpublished work where readers choose which titles they want to see published based on reading a sample. […]

Announcement: Creative Technologists 2015-16

Hey everyone!

After much preparation we are super happy to announce an exciting new project from the Raspberry Pi Foundation.


Creative Technologists

The Raspberry Pi Creative Technologists is a mentoring programme for creative people interested in technology aged 16 – 21 years old. If your passion is the creative arts, and you’re wondering how you can use technology to enhance that, this is for you.

Ben and I are heading up the programme, and the first year will run from April 2015 to April 2016. We will provide individual and group mentoring via online video chats, industry networking and technical support. It’s free to participate. As well as costs of food, travel and accommodation, each participant will also receive a Raspberry Pi 2 starter kit and a £300 materials grant, and the group will receive a £1000 grant for exhibition costs.

Applications are now open and the deadline is 9am on 31st March 2015.

We are both certified Arts Award Gold Advisers – so participants will have the opportunity to complete Trinity College London's Arts Award Gold accreditation; a Level 3 Award, a QCF credit value of 15, and 35 UCAS points.

We will also have some amazing partners helping us out with mentoring and site visits: Victoria and Albert Museum Digital Programmes, Writers’ Centre Norwich, FutureEverything, Pimoroni, Saladhouse and Hellicar&Lewis.

For full details on the programme, and how to apply, visit the new Creative Technologists page.