It doesn’t seem to matter how many lists I make, or where exactly I store them, somehow I always end up going to the store and forgetting half of the items I went there for. Amazon gets it (and they would also like to get your business). To that end, the online retail giant has created the Dash Button: a small plastic button, complete with reusable adhesive and a hook, that can be strategically placed near to the important products in your home that require frequent replenishment.
As long as you hold a valid Amazon Prime membership, configuring Dash Buttons only requires that you have the Amazon app on your smartphone (connected to your home Wi-Fi network). Once set-up, a single button press will place your order (with an alert sent to your smartphone that can be cancelled if you happen to change your mind). Fortunately, a built in fail-safe will allow you to cancel your order if you change your mind (and will only respond to the first button press until the first order arrives –so there is no need to worry that more than one member of your family will notice that you are running low on toilet paper).
As an added bonus, Amazon has also opened this service up to developers so dash button technology can be integrated into other hardware and software solutions going forward (think: coffee pots that auto-magically order their own coffee and filters as required).
Over 250 household items are already on board. Watch the promo video (linked below) to learn more.
It may be lazy and even slightly ridiculous, but it also promises to make my life easier.
Thursday, April 2, 2015
The European Commission is funding a new study to understand reading comprehension when it comes to reading digital content, such as e-Books. It starts next week and will be ongoing until until 2017. This is poised to be the most comprehensive research report ever attempted.
The research is being conducted by EU READ, which is a consortium of European reading promotion organisations. The members who belong to the organization makeup scientific and research institutions located in Belgium, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria,Portugal, Stavanger, and Norway.
EU Read is basically just a collective body of people who want to understand, on a fundamental level, how digital reading influences cognition and retention. This warrants a strong scientific body who can run tests on students and then liaison with publishers for their own data and to conduct broad studies.
Likely it won’t be until 2018 before we start to see data start coming from this massive study. Publishers all over the world are going to be interested in their findings because it could have reverberating effects on everything from the way e-book reading apps are constructed to the actual e-book format itself.
There are a multitude of digital formats that people read via apps or online. From e-books to digital magazines, there is no shortage of content that is made available via publishers. What is your favorite digital format? Today, we take a look at the results of a poll we have an over the course of the last two weeks.
229 people took part in our latest poll and we basically asked the question “What Digital Format Do you Enjoy the Most?” The number one result was e-books which captured 65% of the vote, solidifying that the digital novel is here to stay.
The second most prolific digital format is television and movies which garnered 13% of the vote. This demonstrates that digital streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Chruncyroll remain on the upswing.
In the third position is fan-fiction which 6.11% of the voting population noted as their favorite digital format. This makes sense because every month billions of pages are read on services such as Wattpad and Kindle Worlds.
What surprised me was that digital magazines and newspapers did so poorly and clearly did not resonate with the Good e-Reader audience. These two categories combined had 5% of the vote.
Clearly, with newspapers there is a lack of interest in reading the replica edition or utilizing apps to stay informed of the latest news and likely people have switched to aggregation services such as Google News, News 360 and LinkedIn Pulse.
Digital magazines actually fared the worst in our research. Are companies doing it wrong? Are people using services such as Zinio, Pressreader, Magzter or Next Issue for access to unlimited content? I think people are still just buying the print edition and have not switched to digital like people who read e-books.
|Sony’s specialized 13.3-inch E Ink PDF reader keeps getting cheaper and cheaper all the time. The price just dropped by $200, and that’s after a $100 price decrease last October. At $799 from the Sony Store, it’s still not exactly a bargain, but at least Sony’s price-reducing trend is promising. When the Sony DPT-S1 first […]|
Ben: Last week while scouring the web for projects and articles for Pi Weekly, my Friday Raspberry Pi email round-up, I came across Rapanui, who were using a Raspberry Pi to provide a rather unique service: you tweet a picture to @tshirtplease and it automatically creates a product page for you and others to buy a t-shirt with that picture on it. I immediately contacted them for more information and Mart offered to write it up for us!
Over to Mart…
Rapanui is a fashion brand that makes clothes from more sustainable materials in a wind powered factory. To keep our prices down, we do a lot of automation and digital systems. The internet of things inspired us as a vision for the future of fashion – so over the past year or so we have been developing ways for other people to connect to our factory on the Isle of Wight. Our idea was – what if a whole factory could be plugged into the IoT and anyone (or any thing!) could connect to it to get clothes made.
Recently, we have refined and packaged that service as a public API that app / web developers can integrate into their projects. It's free to use: An app can send through an image, and we'll reply with a link to buy that image on a t-shirt.
Many of our jobs are created through apprenticeships or vocational training. Sometimes IT projects can take months and it's hard for new apprentices to see the light at the end of the tunnel! We wanted to launch a fun, fast project for our apprentices to get results, learn from and build confidence.
Around the same time as launching the service, we had an interesting meeting with @andysc who works at IBM. He introduced us to Node-RED and gave us a lot of helpful pointers.
We'd heard about Raspberry Pi but hadn't committed to trying it as we normally work with web based PHP type coding, and it seemed a bit alien to us. Andy invited us along to the Blackgang Chine Pi Jam, so we let one of our web developers out for the day and amazingly, he came back with a Raspi guitar pedal and an expertise in robotic dinosaurs…
We immediately purchased a bunch of Raspberry Pis, soldering irons and accessories and put aside some time. Our idea was to see if we could connect a Raspberry Pi to our factory API via twitter.
The result in a surprisingly fast 10 hours is @tshirtplease – a twitter account that is connected to a Raspberry Pi which is sat in our IT office running Node-RED around the clock.
It uses the Twitter API to find all mentions of @tshirtplease. If a tweet has an image attached, we make a call to the Rapanui API which returns a link. The URL loads a product: Their image on a t-shirt. People can share that product, or buy it if they like it.
@tshirtplease also accepts certain hashtags as options. For example #womens returns the image on a women's top (instead of the default unisex t-shirt). #edit is cool – It returns a link to our studio where they can tweak their design a bit.
For us, previously spectators of the Raspi community, actually trying it has exceeded our expectations. Yes it was fun, educational and interesting. But what was surprising was the speed with which we got through it thanks to Node-Red, and the potential for genuine manufacturing applications. We now have more Raspi projects running various operations around our factory collecting and processing data.
We're only just getting started on our journey with Raspberry Pi. I would suggest to anyone who is interested but hasn't tried it – get one! Get node red. And get stuck in.
Update: Some meta recursion going on now…
Winter is coming…Alright let's hope winter is actually on its way out. The newest season of Game of Thrones is set to release in April, and I cannot wait.
But since wait we must, here are some streaming videos for the lovers of high fantasy, sword play, and gratuitous violence. Speaking of waiting, George R.R. Martin is still working on The Winds of Winter, (sorry for the reminder) so be patient and in the meantime, get addicted to some of these books instead!
Kristin Milks is a Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive
Last month, conference partner Penguin Random House awarded 10 scholarships to cover the cost of registration to Digipalooza. A big congratulations goes out to the five public library professionals and five school librarians and media specialists selected as winners of the 2015 Penguin Random House Digipalooza scholarship!
• Jill Graboski, Assistant Director at Newton Free Library, member of Minuteman Library Network (MA)
Scholarship winners will be recognized at Digipalooza and are invited to an exclusive cocktail event during the conference with the sponsor. Thanks to our conference partner Penguin Random House for making this scholarship opportunity possible and thank you to everyone that took the time to enter!
Digipalooza registration is open now to all OverDrive library and school partners and includes admission to conference sessions, meals, and entrance to special events, including an evening of dinner, dancing and access to all exhibits at the historic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Space is limited so register soon! Learn more about the program, networking opportunities, and registration at http://digipalooza.com and keep an eye out for more updates in the coming weeks!
Melissa Marin is a Marketing Specialist at OverDrive and wants to see all of you at Digipalooza this August.
HarperCollins is one of the largest publishers in the world and they might soon be pulling all of their e-books and print titles from Amazon. The contract between these two companies is set to expire soon and HC is refusing to sign the new deal.
The contract presented to HarperCollins was the same contract recently signed by Simon & Schuster, Hachette, and Macmillan, Amazon confirmed.
It is very risky to not sign a new deal with Amazon, since the Seattle company controls 75% of the digital book market in North America and 95% of the United Kingdom.
I think HarperCollins may want the same publicity that Hachette got when their six month contract with Amazon dominated headlines and permeated into popular culture.
Likely the lack of HarperCollins e-books on Amazon will drive readers to their own website where they sell e-books. They established it in 2013 and sought to have some measure of control over their own titles. Most people are unaware they can buy them from the publisher directly and they might bring their business to companies such as Barnes and Noble and Kobo. In addition, Entitle, Oyster and Scribd, three of the leading Netflix for e-books websites may get an influx of paid subscriptions.