Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Best Buy Marketplace Coming to Canada


The Best Buy Marketplace launched in the United States in 2011 and was designed to compete against Amazon. Unlike eBay where anyone can list anything, the Marketplace is chiefly for companies looking to sell their wares. The service is poised to expand to Canada in the coming weeks and Canadian tech companies will be able to list their commercial electronics.

Third-party sellers on the Canadian version of the Best Buy Marketplace will handle product shipping and returns. Customers will use the same single shopping cart and checkout process.

One of the big reasons why the Best Buy Marketplace is launching in Canada is primarily attributed to the elimination of the Future Shop brand. 66 Future Shop stores are closing and 65 will be converted to Best Buy. As a result of this consolidation, approximately 500 full-time and 1,000 part-time positions will be eliminated. Everything is now under the Best Buy banner and its easier to promote and market a singular online marketplace.

We have heard from sources within Best Buy that the preliminary groundwork is all laid out and it should be launching in the next few weeks.

Best Buy Marketplace Coming to Canada is a post from: Good e-Reader

Digital Audiobook Usage on the Rise in Canada


In 2007 a paltry 3,073 audiobook titles were produced and this figure rose exponentially to over 12,000 published in 2011. In 2013 many industry experts proclaimed that over 20,000 audiobooks were now available and in 2014 over 35,000 were released by major publishers and companies like Audible.

The global audiobook industry is currently worth 2.6 billion dollars and part of the reason why we have seen a dramatic increase in profitability is due to digital. In a recent  New York Times piece, they said "In the first eight months of 2014, sales were up 28% over the same period last year, far outstripping the growth of e-books, which rose 6%"

The audiobook industry in the US and UK are fairly well documented, but Canada tends get lost in the shuffle. Booknet Canada seeks to remedy this situation with a comprehensive report on digital usage. Apparently 76% of Canadians only listen to the digital audiobook format and women account for 57% of the audience.


Many audiobook users are actually purchasing the digital edition after they have read the print or e-book variant. 36% of the respondents stated that they generally read first and listen second. Meanwhile the majority of the respondents stated they want to see more bundling with the e-book and audiobook format.


I won’t bore you with a summary of the 22 page report, but what I found that was the most interesting was how Canadian libraries are starting to see massive digital usage. Most of the big libraries in Canada have seen a 50% increase year on year in audiobook loans. Overdrive, likely the largest content provider indicated downloads have increased 38% in 2014, outpacing the 32% increase in eBook downloads.

Digital Audiobook Usage on the Rise in Canada is a post from: Good e-Reader

OverDrive Periodicals drive circulation growth

Earlier this year, OverDrive went live with our digital magazine service, OverDrive Periodicals, offering over 1,000 magazines and newspapers, through our relationship with Barnes and Noble NOOK. The collection includes the best coverage of the top 200 circulating magazines including: Glamour, The New Yorker, USA Today, WIRED, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Bon Appetit and more.   You can review the full list of magazines and newspapers by logging into Marketplace.

OverDrive Periodicals are available on the same platform as your other digital content (Periodicals, Streaming Video, eBooks and Audiobooks —which proved to be a key decision making factor for our early adopter libraries.  Now that we have several months of service across the library partners who have added OverDrive Periodicals, we have observed some promising trends:

  • OverDrive Periodicals drive above average circulation growth across the digital catalog. The top 30 highest circulating libraries averaged circulation growth of 13.7% from January through March of 2015.  Of that top 30, those who added Periodicals averaged 22.3% circulation growth in the same timeframe.
  • OverDrive Periodicals provide value on a cost per circ basis: Average annualized cost per circulation of OverDrive Periodicals is $0.27.
  • OverDrive Periodicals engage customers with your service and your collection. Patrons who come to an OverDrive site looking for an eBook or Audiobook have shown a high propensity to interact with Periodical collections.  Patrons who come to an OverDrive site to borrow Periodicals have shown a high propensity to interact with additional formats, including Streaming Video.

A wide variety of OverDrive partners have added OverDrive Periodicals, including:

The data points are clear. If you're seeking the strongest ROI in digital magazines, as well as a lift in your overall circulation, add OverDrive Periodicals to your digital library today. To start providing your users access to digital magazines and newspapers simply contact your OverDrive Collection Development Specialist.


Title availability may vary by geographic location



Crunchyroll Adds Fruit of Grisaia second season and I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying 2nd Season


As the new spring season is upon us, plenty of new and wonderful animes will soon be airing on Crunchyrolls simulcast! Two new anime’s from the Fruit of Grisaia franchise as well as the 2nd season for the popular I can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying: 2nd Thread will be added to the Crunchyroll rosters!

The Labyrinth of Grisaia is a 60 minute broadcast special and will air April 12th 2015 at 12:35 pm Pacific time. The Eden of Grisaia will be set to broadcast every Sunday Starting on April 19th at 10:00 am pacific time for it’s premium members, which will become free to watch one week later.

Story Summary

Based on the Japanese Visual Novel by Frontwing, The Fruit of Grisaia takes place in Mihama Academy, a prison-like school built to preserve fruit that have fallen too far from it’s tree. It is home to five female students who live their lives idly within the walls of the school. Although when Kazami Yuuji, the first male student to enroll at Mihama, arrives, the controlled rhythm of Mihama become off balance. Could Yuji be the one to get the girls to get a hold of their lives once more or will the ghosts from their pasts prove too steep to over overcome? Or does Yuji have a secret even heavier than the others?

The Labyrinth of Grisaia will be a 60 minute specieal episode featuring the main character’s past and a collection of sequels for the five female characters.

If it sounds interesting to you, you can go ahead and watch Season 1 right now and be ripe and ready for the second season!

Ready to watch more hijinks by everyone’s favorite newly weds? Voice Actors Yukari Tamura and Kenichi Suzumura are back to reprise their roles as Kaoru and Hajime, as well as singing the opening theme: "Yuruganu Futari ~Ai no Sanka~". The animation will be handled again by Seven, with director Shinpei Nagai also returning to write the script! I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying 2nd Thread is set to broadcast every Thursday starting on April 2nd, at 11:30 AM Pacific Time for Premium members, and free members will be able to watch one week later.


Story Summary

The series revolves around the daily lives of Kaoru, a hard working office lady and her otaku husband, Hajime. Using popular anime and otaku tropes and in-jokes, the characters explore the conflicts and similarities between daily and otaku life in urban Japan.

If you want to get caught up before the new season starts up, you can go ahead and view the first one here!

Crunchyroll Adds Fruit of Grisaia second season and I Can’t Understand What My Husband is Saying 2nd Season is a post from: Good e-Reader

Magzter Digital Magazine App Adds New Titles to Unlimited Subscription Plan

Just as ebook distributors competed for readers by offering the best in content, pricing, devices, and compatibility, digital magazine providers are also upping the ante when it comes to vying for consumer loyalty. That’s why one of the relative newcomers in the digital magazine space, Magzter, has already signed more than 25 million customers since launching Magzter GOLD in January of this year.

Unlike heavier platforms that can really only provide value to consumers through deals with libraries or other businesses that wish to offer content, Magzter GOLD is built and priced with the individual subscriber in mind. That’s why it’s $9.99-a-month plan, similar in price to all-you-can-read ebook subscription services, offers unlimited access to its catalog of over 5,000 magazines, comic books, and ebooks.

"Since launching Magzter GOLD in late-January, we've seen a threefold increase in the number of magazines and pages read, and a similar increase in overall user engagement," said Girish Ramdas, CEO & Co-Founder of Magzter, in a press release. "Publishers are quickly taking note of these impressive metrics as the 'all-you-can-read' model proves capable of delivering a substantial ROI. We're thrilled to welcome major titles and publishers like American Media Inc., Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Entrepreneur and The Atlantic, and we look forward to entering additional publisher partnerships as we continue to expand our offering throughout the year."

“With over 25 million users worldwide, we offer unmatched global scale for publishers and they continue to sign on,” added Vijay Radhakrishnan, President & Co-Founder of Magzter. “The ‘all-you-can-eat’ model is an increasingly popular format for all media, from movies to music, and magazine publishers can’t ignore the demand. With our userbase, technology and content, we expect even more to join our newsstand in the coming weeks.”

One thing that content distributors learned early on about digital subscriptions is that eventually consumers can start to question the usefulness of the platform. Whereas unlimited magazine subscriptions make sense in terms of the quick consumption of the issue, ebook subscribers felt the pinch of paying for a service and then not having time to truly take advantage of the unlimited nature of it. Magzter GOLD launched with this obstacle in mind, and therefore also offers a “lite” subscription at only $4.99 a month, which allows subscribers to have unlimited access to only five titles of their choosing.

Magzter Digital Magazine App Adds New Titles to Unlimited Subscription Plan is a post from: Good e-Reader

Reviewing The Wilderness of Ruin

I am a self-professed true crime junkie. I drop everything when my TV is tuned to Investigation Discovery. Ann Rule and Harold Schechter are my superheroes. I am also a bit of a history geek; my undergrad degree is in the subject. When history and true crime intertwine in a single book, it is nerd heaven for this gal; and that's the case with The Wilderness of Ruin by Roseanne Montillo.

The Wilderness of Ruin is a fascinating examination of the crimes and trial of Jesse Pomeroy, America's youngest serial killer and the original bad seed. Pomeroy's atrocious spree of violence took place in late 19th century Boston, a vulnerable town struggling to recover from a devastating fire. In 1872, at the tender age of twelve, Pomeroy abducted younger children for the purpose of torture. These acts of defilement resulted in a sixteen-month stint at the Lyman School for Boys. In 1874, mere months after his release, Jesse mutilated and murdered two children. Given his track record, it did not take Boston police long to pinpoint Pomeroy the culprit. The resulting trial sparked a national debate about mental health and capital punishment.

With sparkling prose and perspicuous description, Montillo has created a supremely readable piece of nonfiction. Montillo maintains the lurid elements of a typical true crime novel while expertly capturing the essence of Gilded Age America. She offers an in-depth view of the tumultuous era by punctuating Jesse Pomeroy's tale with accounts from the likes of Boston fire chief, John Darnell; Herman Melville; and Oliver Wendell Holmes. The gruesomely detailed depictions of Pomeroy's horrific activities are evidence of Montillo's masterful research.

The Wilderness of Ruin will keep you engaged page after grisly page. It is a standout among historical true crime novels. I believe it should be required reading for all who loved Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City.

Michelle Ross is a Collection Development Analyst at OverDrive and she slept with the light on after finishing this book.

First Pi in space

Recently you may have seen some of the awesome things that Dave Akerman has been doing with Raspberry Pi and Balloons. For the eclipse he was able to capture this image from his high altitude payload.

Dave who's been doing high altitude flights for some time has racked up some pretty impressive bragging rights including the first Raspberry Pi (B, A and A+) in near space.

As many of you will also be aware we will be sending a pair of Raspberry Pi B+ to the International Space station later this year as part of our Astro Pi competition.

We felt a little sorry for the Pi B 2, as it's never even been close to space! Having recently joined the education team, and with a little experience in launching a near space flight with my school, I wanted to do something about this. So for the last few weeks I've been working on launching a Pi 2 with a helium balloon and a Pi In The Sky (PITS) board. Here you can see the PITS+ board stacked on my Pi 2 ready for launch.


This morning around 6:00am we launched our payload and sent it soaring to near space! However something quite remarkable happened….

The first part of the flight went well, the payload ascended rapidly and sent back some early flight images.

However, we then we lost contact with the payload at around 10,000m…

About 15 minutes later we re-established contact and were shocked to find it was at 37,000m above ground level! This is a much faster rate of ascent than we'd expected, roughly 6x quicker!

In fact it didn't stop there, and appears to be rising still, the last piece of telemetry data we recieved put the payload at around 113,000m (that's technically outer space!)


We don't know how but the payload appears to have reached escape velocity and is continuing to ascend. We've received a couple of images from the flight and are hoping they keep coming!

Wow! This is the first Pi in Spaaaacceeee……