Thursday, March 19, 2015

How to Install Flash on your Kindle Fire or Alternative Android Tablet


Adobe has discontinued Flash support and many modern tablets do not have Flash enabled, instead rely on HTML5. Many websites such as Twitch and others depend on Flash to play video and music. The Amazon line of Fire tablets do not have Adobe Flash support by default and users must install it themselves. Today, we take a look at how you can install it on your tablet.

Kindle Fire

If you have any model of the Kindle Fire line of tablets, before you can install Flash, you need to enable unknown sources. This basically allows you to install your own apps, separate from the Amazon App Store.

1. If you are using the Kindle Fire or Kindle Fire HD: Go to Settings -> Devices -> Allow Installation of Applications – Check this option

2. If you are using the Kindle Fire HDX: Go to Settings -> Applications -> Apps from Unknown Sources – Check this option

3. Next you want to open your Silk internet browser and visit this link

4. Install the app and Flash is now loaded on your Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD or HDX.

Android Tablets

If you are using the stock internet browser on a new Android tablet, chances are it doesn’t have Flash. The Chrome Browser and Dolphin browser actually have a Flash Player built into it. So you can simply download it from Google Play.  Lower end tablets often do not have the Google App Store and deal with a smaller one. If this is the case, you need to do the following;

1) Tap the clock on the taskbar, tap the popout that appears, and then tap Settings.

2) Scroll down the list and tap Security, then on the right, scroll down and tap Unknown sources.

3) Tap OK on the prompt that appears.

4) Download Flash

Any internet browser you use from now on will have Flash support.

How to Install Flash on your Kindle Fire or Alternative Android Tablet is a post from: Good e-Reader

Top Literary Prizes Unfavorable to Asian Authors


Nury Vittachi, chairman of the Asia Pacific Writers and Translators Association said that the Man Booker Prize and Pulitzer Prize are unfavorable for Asian authors.  He might have a point because the former is limited to works published in the United Kingdom, while the Pulitzer is only for authors with American passports.  This has prompted the creation of the World Readers’ Award.

The award will pay an author $10,000 for a book printed or translated to English. A judging panel, made up of members of the association, will select about 12 books in the next eight weeks and the public will be asked to vote on the shortlisted works. The voting is actually a sham, as the judges basically said their voice has little to no bearing on the definitive selection of the winner.

It will be interesting to see if this award will have longstanding appeal. There are many awards, but seldom do they hold the public’s interest for more than a few weeks.

Top Literary Prizes Unfavorable to Asian Authors is a post from: Good e-Reader

How Will People Read Books 20 Years from Now?


In the last ten years we have seen a dramatic shift from exclusively reading the print editions of books to the e-book. e-Readers, smartphones and tablets have all gained mainstream acceptance and many apps have been developed to optimize the overall experience. Today, Good e-Reader Research looks at how our reading habits might change 20 years from now.

Over the course of the last two weeks we ran a poll on Good e-Reader, asking people to look into the crystal ball and weigh in on how the majority of readers will be consuming books 20 years from now.  441 people from Canada, US and UK all participated in the research.

The number one result with 18% of the vote was the quintessential e-reader. E Ink is very easy on the eyes and is the only technology to mimic real paper. Since 2007 Amazon and Sony have led the innovation race and in the last few years the prices on the hardware have dramatically fallen.

In the second position we have print as the dominant format of choice, capturing 13.83% of the vote. Considering how print has the dominant format for hundreds of years, likely things won’t really be changing too much in the two decades.

Narrowly attaining the 3rd position in user voting were multimedia tablets, who garnered 13.38% of the vote. Seriously, tablets got two votes less than print books, which was very surprising. The rise of the iPad and Android based devices has generated a billion dollar app development industry, where thousands of high quality reading apps can be downloaded at a click of a button. Apps are the primarily distribution method for e-book subscription services such as Scribd and Oyster.

The rest of the field was really close, with a few votes separating the other options. Smartphones ( 9.3%), Virtual Reality (7.26%),  Library (6.12%) and online (7.03%) rounded off the list. Surprisingly, the zombie apocalypse option attained 8.62% of the vote, giving credence that people might be too busy trying to survive instead of reading a book.

I think what surprised me the most was that smartphones were not as popular as I would have thought. Considering there are more smartphones in the world than any other device, people simply aren’t using them to read novels.

How Will People Read Books 20 Years from Now? is a post from: Good e-Reader

A message to our library and school partners from Steve Potash

Dear OverDrive Library & School Partners,

OverDrive announced today that Rakuten, Inc. has agreed to acquire OverDrive from Insight Venture Partners, our private equity partner and majority owner since 2010.   In a few weeks after the sale is complete, we will be part Rakuten USA, the US operating division of Rakuten, Inc. As you are an important partner of OverDrive, I am excited to share this news and describe what this will mean for you and your readers. Our announcement and FAQs can be found here.

OverDrive has grown significantly in the past decade due to our drive to constantly improve our service and deliver proven value for our library partners. Over the past four years we drew upon resources from Insight Venture Partners and its global portfolio of 90 technology-based companies.  I am very excited about the new technologies, content, and innovations we expect to bring to our library partners and your readers as a result of this transaction. Rakuten is one of the world’s leading Internet services companies. Its business interests include eReading (Kobo), e-commerce (, formerly and EBATES), instant messaging (Viber), and other B2C and B2B businesses in the US, Canada, and around the world. Since 2012, Rakuten ( has been ranked among the world's 'Top 20 Most Innovative Companies' in Forbes magazine's annual list.

This change in ownership will not affect our commitment to connect your readers with books and libraries by supporting all popular devices and apps. We remain committed to continue advancement of open industry standards, deep library integration, and other industry best practices.  We will remain strongly aligned with your mission to uphold reader privacy, library branding and control of lending policies, and local curation of your digital collections. OverDrive will continue to be a strong advocate  for library and school access to the best collections of digital materials with library-friendly terms and new and more flexible access models from publishers.

I will be meeting with library and school directors, management, and staff over the coming weeks and months to further outline our roadmap for 2015 and beyond. As proud members of ALA, we are in close communication with ALA leadership and the technology and information policy and advocacy units.

While competitors or others may speculate what this news may bring, we will continue as before to work hard and provide the best selection, service, device compatibility, with measurable benefits for your communities.

We are preparing to work closely with Kobo (headquartered in Toronto) to add eBooks from their vast supply network of international publishers and content providers. To better serve our Canadian library and school partners, I am also pleased to announce we are preparing to open OverDrive Canada offices in Toronto in the coming months.

I am very proud of the relationships we have developed with many of you, the world's greatest librarians, educators, and public servants. I look forward to making 2015 another record year of enabling service to your communities with increased efficiencies and respect for your resources. My team and I welcome a chance to answer any questions you may have.  If we don't connect before the summer, please plan to schedule a meeting with me and Team OverDrive at the ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco, or consider joining us and hundreds of librarians, educators and publishers this summer in Cleveland for Digipalooza 2015 ( Thank you for your partnership and for the trust you have placed in us.


Best regards,

Steve Potash, CEO OverDrive, Inc.

The First Look at Attack On Titan’s Live Action Movie


After three agonizing months of silence after the release of the Attack on Titan Live Action poster was revealed, and a look at who the main cast will be, we finally get a short sneak peak at the exciting post apocalyptic upcoming feature.

The short teaser was shown on a segment on a Japanese variety show, which after was posted to youtube quite quickly. The movie clip is literally only a few seconds long, but from what we can see, it looks quite good! The Titans look menacing, as they should, an also a look at the collosal Titan which looked amazing! Unfortunately no footage of the 3Dimensional Maneuver gear in action, but it will only be a short wait to summer to find out how everything looks.

The films are directed by Shinji Higuchi (Neon Genesis Evangelion, Kill la Kill). The live action adaption will span across two films which are aimed to be released this summer in Japan. Hajime Isayama has been busy working on the scripts with screenwriter Yuusuke Watanabe ("Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods", "20th Century Boys") and film critic Tomohiro Machiyama.

The manga has inspired spinoffs, a hit anime series, tons of merchandise and video games. It was revealed earlier this month that Sony Pictures Entertainment had registered numerous domain names tied to an "Attack on Titan" movie, suggesting a US version could be in development.

The sneak peak begins at :58 in!

The First Look at Attack On Titan’s Live Action Movie is a post from: Good e-Reader

Rakuten Buys OverDrive; What’s it Mean for Kindle Library Books?

There’s big news in the ebook industry today. Rakuten has announced that they are purchasing OverDrive for 410 million dollars in cash. The acquisition is expected to be finalized next month, April 2015. OverDrive is the leading platform for ebook and audiobook lending to public and school libraries, with over 30,000 supported libraries worldwide. Rakuten, […]

Raspberry Pi Internet doorbell

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a Raspberry Pi used to add useful or entertaining features to a doorbell, but it’s probably the most feature-rich doorbell hack we’ve come across. Amongst other things, Ahmad Khattab’s Internet doorbell can call your phone, send you a text, and stream video of who’s at the door:


It’s a lovely DIY solution to the problem of missed calls and deliveries, and my favourite thing about it is imagining how much you’d pay for a glossy, boxed-up version of it. Ahmad’s costs £17 plus a Raspberry Pi.

Internet doorbell

This Internet-of-Things device does not come in a fancy case

Ahmad has written some instructions for the benefit of other people who are interested in better living through technology, but not interested in spending a lot of money on things in shiny plastic cases that you can’t open or customise.

OverDrive Acquired by Rakuten, Owners of Kobo

OverDrive is the world’s leading digital content provider of books, movies, music, and more to the public and academic library space. The company basically powers the digital lending capabilities of more than 33,000 separate libraries around the world, as one of their huge innovations was the ability to borrow content through dedicated library apps to any mobile device.

And their reach is about to get even bigger.

Tokyo-based Rakuten, Inc., one of the world’s largest internet service companies, has acquired OverDrive in what is another in a long line of acquisitions dedicated to increasing the global footprint of companies, adding reading focus to its practices, and extending itself into new markets. Rakuten USA, located in Boston, will oversee the stateside operations of OverDrive while long-time CEO and innovator Steve Potash will remain in place.

"I am excited for OverDrive to be part of the dynamic group of market leading e-commerce and digital media companies that Rakuten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani has assembled," said OverDrive CEO Steve Potash. "From OverDrive's world headquarters in northeast Ohio to the 50 countries in which our library and school partners reside, we will continue to connect readers with books and institutions by supporting all users and all popular devices, while promoting open industry standard formats and best practices.  We look forward to working closely with the Rakuten companies toward a mutually beneficial future."

Rakuten’s acquisition of Toronto-based Kobo helped propel the company into an even bigger international standing than it had already enjoyed. Rakuten Kobo has powered the distribution of more than 4 million ebooks across 190 countries through its catalog, so the internet company is no stranger to handling high volumes of ebook content and getting them into readers’ hands. It does this through its own staggering line-up of dedicated e-readers, and through its any-device-compatible platform.

It will be interesting to see how this acquisition furthers both OverDrive and Kobo in the US, but my educated guess is that OverDrive will see better contracts with publishers due to the agreements Rakuten has forged for its Kobo retail catalog. This could mean getting newer and bestselling content into libraries in a far more timely way, while Kobo may power additional library checkout opportunities, especially for self-published titles. While Smashwords has been the powerhouse pioneer for indie authors in its agreement with OverDrive to allow libraries to access the Smashwords catalog, there is still a stigma in place that blocks libraries from seeing this catalog as a viable option for ebook content. Hopefully a joint effort between Smashwords, Rakuten, Kobo, and OverDrive will mean those walls will start to come down.

OverDrive Acquired by Rakuten, Owners of Kobo is a post from: Good e-Reader

Barnes and Noble Remains Committed to Nook


Barnes and Noble remains steadfast in their commitment to selling e-readers and digital content. The company has publicly decreed that they have no intention of selling the brand and want to continue to capitalize on the bookstore chain to promote the hardware.

The entire Nook enterprise has been a loss leader for Barnes and Noble and the company has lost over one billion dollars since 2011. During the last quarterly results released two weeks ago, device sales were down 60% year on year.

Barnes and Noble has been cleaning house in the Nook Media division over the course of the last fourteen months.  Some of the most notable departures included Jim Hilt, head of global eBook sales, and before him digital products director Jamie Iannone, VP of digital products Bill Saperstein and Theresa Horner the VP, of Digital Content.

The one aspect these executives all shared was a tremendous lack of technical expertise and fundamental understanding of the e-reader industry. After all, they were with Barnes and Noble before there was even a Nook brand to begin with. They built up an ecosystem from scratch and ran it into the ground because they failed to innovate. I can’t even crucify them for that, because lets face it, what bookstore chain in the last 30 years has really focused on  innovation anyways?

Barnes and Noble is now focusing on hiring core executives to chart the future direction of Nook from startup and heavy digital backgrounds. The most prominent hire was Doug Carlson, who was the Executive chairman for five years at Zinio. He now has the title of Executive Vice President and CMO of Nook Media. Jeanniey Mullen also came from Zinio where for five years she was the Global Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer and now is VP of Sales of Nook. Kashif Zafar got promoted within the company, he was the Head of Sales for three years and now is the VP of e-books. Prior to that, he actually worked on the ill-fated Skiff e-reader.

The first major project from the new executive team had been the launch of the Nook Audiobook service. There are over 50,000 audiobooks from major publishers available to purchase and the vast majority of them have free samples that range between two and four minutes in length to preview. It is available on Android right now, with an iOS version planned for the springtime. The big plan right now is to get the audiobook app loaded on all of the Samsung 4 Nook tablets and then launch a big marketing campaign in their bookstores.

Speaking of audiobooks, this isn’t Barnes and Nobles first foray in selling them. They used to have a small section on their website that sold digital content from Overdrive.  Customers needed to install the Overdrive Media Console app to listen to them, which wasn’t ideal. The two sides decided to part ways in this regard, but formed a new business relationship. In early 2015 Barnes and Noble officially started distributing hundreds of digital newspapers and magazines through Overdrive to thousands of libraries all over the US.

There are no new tablets planned for 2015, so hopefully the primary focus can be on a new Nook e-reader. Likely B&N now realizes that they have to compete with the Voyage and the Kobo H2O in terms of build quality and hardware specs. Anything less will mean a continued loss of sales in the critical US and UK markets.

Barnes and Noble has always run Android on their entire line of Nook e-readers and tablets. They have always heavily skinned it though, so it doesn’t resemble the same type of experience you would have on a Google Nexus or Samsung Galaxy Tab. I would hope that the Nook 2015 edition will have audio capability via a 3.5mm headphone jack in order to leverage their new audiobooks business. They would also be better served on running a more open version of Android, since the big trend of 2014 were companies such as Onyx, Boyue, Icarus and Energy Sistem all releasing e-readers that allowed people to install their own apps. If B&N can re-purpose their existing Android App Store and offer customers an avenue to download content that would be compatible with an e Ink device. It would make their app store relevant again. A fully featured app store on a new Nook e-Reader could be a very compelling value proposition. It could very well be the first mainstream e-reader that allows people to craft their own e-reading experience, with apps that are curated by B&N.

Good e-Reader has proven that it is possible to take an App store that has been designed for fully featured tablets and redesign it exclusively for e-readers. The Good e-Reader App Store for e-ink has been downloaded over 1,000 times in the first week and is a freely available. The app store is also available on all 2014 Icarus e-readers as an option for users to install apps right out of the box. Hopefully Barnes and Noble could follow our lead by taking their own great app store, that took a long time to build up and use it as a marketing gimmick to really sell their next e-reader in vast quantities. Audio and apps would really encourage former Nook users to come back to the brand and give people who have older devices a reason to upgrade.

Barnes and Noble Remains Committed to Nook is a post from: Good e-Reader

Microsoft Wants You to Run Windows 10 on Your (Android) Smartphone


Fewer hardware manufacturers are making Windows-based smartphones, but apparently that isn’t something causing Microsoft to lose sleep. Proving yet again that they are thinking outside of the box and interested in reinventing themselves, Microsoft is working on a ROM that will morph your Android smartphone into a Windows Phone 10 device.

Just to be clear, this isn’t a dual-boot type option. Instead, this ROM will truly offer a native-like Windows 10 experience on your previously-Android-based smartphone.

Microsoft has issued a statement describing their project:

As part of the Windows Insider Program, Microsoft will partner with Xiaomi to offer Windows 10 free downloads to a select group of Xiaomi Mi4 users. Xiaomi Mi4 users will get the ability to flash their phones with the new Windows 10 OS and provide feedback to Xiaomi and Microsoft on their experience. This partnership will allow Xiaomi and Microsoft to get direct user feedback and continue to improve the experience for China. Microsoft is thrilled to see Xiaomi embracing Windows 10 and offering this great value to their customers. We're excited to see the feedback we receive from this audience.

Xiaomi is a leading phone manufacturer in China undergoing significant global expansion. We are excited to partner with them in China and jointly gather feedback from Chinese users on their experience with Windows 10 to jointly collaborate on product and services development for the platform.

Availability will be announced in the months to come.

What do you think of Microsoft’s decision? Other mobile platforms have offered app compatibility with Android, and it’s certainly been done to death in the desktop arena… but this is fairly groundbreaking (I wouldn’t expect Apple to open themselves up to this kind of thing anytime soon –or ever). It isn’t clear how easy it will be to move back to a stock Android built once you’ve installed Windows 10 on your smartphone, but one should expect it can be done without too much weeping or gnashing of teeth.

I tend to think this is a stepping stone of some sort. Microsoft has been making a move toward being all about mobile software and lessening their attempts to break into the proprietary hardware realm (sure the Surface is out there, but it really feels like it’s a secondary priority for them somehow). What is the end-game? It may just be a move to prove their continued relevance. It might be a power move to say to hardware manufacturers that they don’t need their loyalty or commitments. It might just be a way to generate buzz and show themselves as having the most progressive mobile operating system. Heck, reaching further out… it could be a way to position certain technologies for sale. No matter the answer, watching what Microsoft is up to has become interesting once again.

Microsoft Wants You to Run Windows 10 on Your (Android) Smartphone is a post from: Good e-Reader