Monday, April 6, 2015

Apple Watch Pre-Orders Begin at 12:01AM PT on April 10

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It’s almost here! Pre-orders for the much-anticipated Apple Watch will begin on Friday, April 10 at 12:01AM Pacific Time. Apple updated the Apple Watch page of their online store today to reflect the pre-order date and time (and build excitement, which is something they are especially good at).

Pre-orders will go-live simultaneously in all of the first-wave launch locations:

  • U.S. and Canada: 12:01AM (Pacific Time)
  • U.K.: 8:01AM
  • Germany: 9:01AM
  • France: 9:01AM
  • Australia: 5:01AM
  • Hong Kong: 3:01AM
  • China: 3:01AM
  • Japan 3:01AM

If the past is any indication, Apple will likely take the store down at 9PM just prior to the first orders. If you would like to save time, hit the Apple Store ahead of time and check all of the possible configurations (when you click the heart icon next to the one you want, it will be in your account and ready for pre-order).

Apple Watch Pre-Orders Begin at 12:01AM PT on April 10 is a post from: Good e-Reader

Microsoft Set to Deliver Unlocked Surface 3 LTE

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Microsoft is full of surprises these days, the latest of which was delivered when their Surface team fielded questions during a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) session. Fans of the Surface tablet were curious whether there would be a model with 3G/LTE that wasn’t locked to a carrier –the official answer to which was yes (though the timeframe given carried the typical Microsoft ‘sometime in the future’ response). Regardless, this is good news for those who have been waiting patiently for an unlocked Windows tablet.

Nothing else worthy of mention came out of the AMA session –though when they were asked about plans for the (hopefully) upcoming Surface 4 tablet, their response was “nothing” (literally). If they have learned anything from Apple, this is a wise way to steer the course.

So far there hasn’t been an official announcement from Microsoft’s PR department on this unlocked Surface tablet news.

Microsoft Set to Deliver Unlocked Surface 3 LTE is a post from: Good e-Reader

New Kobo Glo HD e-Reader Available May 1st

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Kobo has a new e-reader that they are going to be releasing May 1st 2015. The device is being billed as the Kobo Glo HD and will be retailing for around $149. This device was designed to heavily compete against the Amazon Kindle Voyage, giving readers a reason to stick with, or switch to the Kobo brand.

The brand new Kobo Glo HD features a six inch e-ink Carta screen with a resolution of 1448×1072 and 300 PPI. It has the same front-lit display as the Kobo Aura H2O, so you will be able to read in low-light conditions or complete darkness.

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I think Kobo is doing a great job with offering the same type of hardware as the Kindle Voyage, at a fraction of the price. The one thing Kobo has always done really well is make great devices that have basic options for the average users, but really extensive options for the more tech literate.

The Kobo Glo HD features the same dynamic home screen as prior models. It showcases the last twelve books you have purchased and gives you shortcuts based on the last 12 things you have opened, such as the  internet browser.  I really dig this feature, because commonly accessed functions are easily found, instead of being buried in sub-menus.

Kobo will likely be making a major announcement in the next few days, but the product is already available for pre-order in  New Zealand and Australia. In addition there is a new product overview video produced by Kobo, you can check it out below.


New Kobo Glo HD e-Reader Available May 1st is a post from: Good e-Reader

How Do Amazon-Publisher Disputes Affect Authors and Readers?

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It was only a year ago that the publishing industry sat riveted as it waited to see how the storm between Amazon and publisher Hachette was going to play out. Hachette wanted new terms in light of the DOJ price fixing investigation, and Amazon wasn’t about to budge. And with a 95% control of the ebook market, it’s easy to see why Amazon didn’t think freezing its sales of Hachette titles could possibly spiral out into a flaming pile of contract negotiation.

Once that fiasco was resolved, other publishers were quick to jump aboard the “we set our own prices” bandwagon, and other issues between Amazon and members of the Big Five arose. But the latest in the battle parade, HarperCollins, doesn’t seem as keen to accept the deal that Amazon is holding out.

While both groups have been stereotypically mute about what exactly this contract involves, Amazon has stated that it’s the same contract terms that the other members have agreed to. HarperCollins is holding out for something else, something that a few sources have said may involve access to the sales data that Amazon gathers. Amazon does not release customer data, and with good reason; HarperCollins has been steadily building an ebook sales channel while encouraging consumers to shop at other outlets besides Amazon. With access to the names and email addresses of Amazon’s customers who’ve bought HarperCollins’ titles, the publisher could make a run for selling directly to the consumer with the push of a MailChimp button.

But this begs the question: how are authors and readers–the very people who are supposed to be at the core of the publishing industry–affected by these types of negotiation disputes? Last summer’s Hachette dispute resulted in open letters from authors and celebrities begging, nay demanding, that consumers stop spending money on Amazon. At the same time, authors spoke out about their livelihoods being disrupted, although most leveraged their complaints at Amazon rather than at the publishers who were taking a hefty percentage of their royalties.

As if authors hadn’t already found enough reason to self-publish, reasons such as creative control, higher royalties, and freedom to publish any type of content they wish, these constant battles with retailers may provide enough reason for more authors to move on. Higher caliber authors who are still commanding large advances, ambitious marketing budgets, and multi-book deals will probably stay comfortably put, but even the midlist authors may have found yet another reason to stop playing around with traditional publishing and go after their own careers.

How Do Amazon-Publisher Disputes Affect Authors and Readers? is a post from: Good e-Reader

Yen Press Announces 11 New Print and Digital Only Titles

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At this weekends Sakura-Con, Yen Press had a vast list of manga licences to announce at their panel on Friday. A few of the popular titles include Wataru Watanabe’s Yowamushi Pedal, which will be released in a two-in-one omnibus as well as Izumi Tsubaki’s Monthly Girl’s Noazaki-kun. Other titles that will be released in print include Akira Haio’s Sakura no Himegoto, Tsuyoshi Watanabe’s Dragon’s Rioting and Olympus Knights and Pinake’s Aldnoah.Zero Season One.

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Yowamushi Pedal
Otaku Sakamichi Onoda has just entered high school school and his plans consist of simply joining the anime club. In order to attain the items he needs for his figure collection, he often goes to the shopping district on an old little commuter bike riddle with steep slopes. Onoda catches the eye of a fellow classmate and in turn ends up joining the competitive sport of bicycle racing.

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Monthly Girl’s Nozaki-Kun
Sakura Chiyo confesses her deep feelings to her classmate Nozaki but due to a misunderstanding, Nozaki simply thinks that she is just a fan of his shojo manga works. It’s up to Sakura to convey her true feelings as their relationship develops.

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Sakura no Himegoto
Aoi comes from a prestigious family while little is known about the mysterious Kei. Thanks to a debt Aoi’s grandfather has to Kei, the two soon develop a master and pet relationship.

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Dragon’s Rioting
After somehow accidentally entering an all girl’s school, RintarĊ finds himself in deep trouble. Having a disease that could potentionally be life threatening when getting aroused wasn’t enough, contending with the girl’s who rule the school the three ‘dragons’, might just be enough to set him on edge.

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Aldnoah.Zero
After many move to Mars, the Princess Asseylum, a royal Martian princess descends onto Earth to attempt to create a treaty between the two planets. A war inevitably breaks out between the two and Martian soldiers begin to descend from the sky, equipped with steel giants, intent on exterminating humanity.

But that’s not all folks! Yen Press will also be licensing 8 more titles as Digital only editions whose titles include:

Servant_x_Service_Manga_Cover_Volume_1
Servant x Service

An office comedy taking place in the health and welfare section of a ward office in a certain city. Newcomers Hasebe Yutaka, Yamagami, Miyoshi Saya and their supervisor Ichimiya Taishi go through the everyday quirks of working at the office.

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Handa-Kun (Barakamon Spinoff)
Sei Handa is highly admired at high school and a skilled calligrapher but despite his popularity, he has began coming to terms with the fact that the whole school hates him.

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The Royal Tutor
The royal tutor is an honourable title throughout the country. But what is a tutor to do when the prince doesn’t want to study?

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Scarlet Empire
High school student Miyasaka Kotetsu, leader of the Sekihoutai, aims to be the top in kendo along with his younger brother

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Today’s Kerberos
A young man that has been traumatized must deal with a box his father brings home one day that contains girls with three strange personalities.

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Unkown
A fantasy storey about a pair of ‘wisemen’ traveling to ensure that wisdom does not fall into the wrong hands.

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When a Magician’s Pupil Smiles (Mahou Tsukai Deshi ga Warau Toki)
Ouka Namae is a boy who lacks emotions. When nothing in his life can give him an kind of feeling, he must track down someone who is important to him to gain emotions.

Yen Press Announces 11 New Print and Digital Only Titles is a post from: Good e-Reader

The Outdated Concept of a “Best Books” List

Charlottes Web
It doesn’t really matter what the list is or what it’s measuring, there’s bound to be a critic and there’s guaranteed to be a sore spot for a book, film, song, or other content that didn’t make the cut. That’s the sentiment behind a really insightful post on The Passive Voice over a list of the best children’s books of all time. The post, which links to an article in The Telegraph that focuses on a BBC Culture poll, outlined the top children’s books of all time, as nominated by critics worldwide and narrowed down to a list of the top twenty-one.

It’s no surprise that EB White’s 1953 Newbery Honor title Charlotte’s Web was the number one pick. It’s a beloved classic in which good and animal love triumph, and has been adapted for both live-action film and animated feature, as well as enjoyed a sequel. But the rest of the list has caused more than a little head scratching, and some very insightful readers have explained wherein the problems lie.

The complete list includes (in order):

  1. Charlotte's Web – EB White
  2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
  3. Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak
  4. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  5. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
  6. The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  7. Winnie-the-Pooh – AA Milne
  8. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
  9. A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula Le Guin
  10. A Wrinkle in Time – Madeline L'Engle
  11. The Little House on the Prairie – Laura Ingalls Wilder
  12. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
  13. From The Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler – EL Koenigsburg
  14. The Phantom Tollbooth – Norton Juster
  15. His Dark Materials trilogy – Philip Pullman
  16. Matilda – Roald Dahl
  17. Harriet the Spy – Louise Fitzhugh
  18. Pippi Longstocking – Astrid Lindgren
  19. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
  20. Goodnight Moon – Margaret Wise Brown and Pat Hancock
  21. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

As you can see, it’s not hard to understand where the problem begins for many readers who criticized this list. First, there’s only one title(s) on the list that was published after 1990, and that’s Philip Pullman’s trilogy. This led to a lot of criticism due to the fact that adults are thinking back to their own early reading experiences and declaring their own attempts at learning to read and beginning to love books, then deciding that the way it all came together for them must make it the best.

What’s more telling is what’s not listed. Where are the Dr. Seuss titles? The Harry Potter series? Shel Silverstein? Patricia Polacco or Laura Numeroff? Kate DiCamillo and her entire canon of work? More than that, where are the more internationally diverse authors? If these books were nominated by critics around the world as the poll stated, how is it there were no books written by authors from anywhere other than the United States or Europe? Where are the books written and devoured by today’s young and emergent readers, books who’ve had the power to transform literacy education in the way that Seuss has, or have brought to light historical and human rights issues the way Polacco’s have?

One commenter on the Passive Voice blog post pointed out a very telling comparison to the formation of this kind of list and the current state of publishing, and that’s the “gatekeeper” mentality. These books were deemed worthy of the honor of best books for children, although admittedly it was based on the critics’ own opinions. That’s the unfortunate nature of traditional publishing, which is this opinion-based mechanism in which a small number of individuals have the authority to determine what the public will read. It’s a model that authors are turning away from, and hopefully readers will at least take with a grain of salt when determining which books are the best.

The Outdated Concept of a “Best Books” List is a post from: Good e-Reader

The top 10 reasons to preorder titles in OverDrive Marketplace

Recently we announced that the ability to preorder titles up to six months in advance in OverDrive Marketplace was now live. This provides your library countless new opportunities to be the first stop for your users when looking for their next great read. Here are our top ten reasons to start preordering titles today:

1. Be the Go-To Source for Upcoming Titles
Patrons will discover new titles through YOU, their most favorite eBook resource. Don't make them go to retail sites. Keep them in your house!

2. Increase Your Circulation
Most readers want the new stuff. Make sure they find it. Get the titles live and use Curated Lists to promote them.

3. Make Your Patrons Happy
You know they want this. Just give it to them already. People love their libraries. Keep delivering more and more cool stuff so they stay happy!

4. Up Your Cred
You're the smartest book nerds around. Make sure your patrons know it. Tell them that Stephen King and Mary Higgins Clark have new books coming before their friends hear the news.

5. Watch the Pudding
If the proof is in the pudding, then prove it to yourself. Buy a copy of some hot titles and watch the holds build before your very eyes. You'll have plenty of time to add copies before the street date, and no worries about messing up the catalogers' workflow if you do it this way.

6. The Best and Busiest Libraries Do It
Ask top libraries and you'll find that they routinely do this with their print books. We're so happy to finally be able to offer the option for your digital collection as well.

7. Save the Time of the Reader
When a reader hears of a new book, don't make them jot it down and keep coming back to see if they can place that hold. They want to place the hold right now, forget it and move on.

8. You Don't Have to Worry about Changing Prices or the Budget
Your library won't be invoiced for these titles until the street date. So feel free to order a title even if it's from next year.

9. Align Your Print and Digital Purchases
You already do this in the print arena. Streamlining your digital purchasing is a no-brainer. Order all formats at the same time.

10. Maximize Metered Access
Build holds on metered access titles and order the correct number of copies all at once near the street date. The meter doesn't start until the title is live, so you can minimize the confusing multiple expiration dates for those books a year or two from now.

Convinced yet? Check out these carts of the hottest titles to easily get started with Preorders:

Hottest Books of April
Hottest Books of April (Kids & Teens)

Hottest Books of May
*Hottest Books of May (Kids & Teens)*

Hottest Books of June
*Hottest Books of June (Kids & Teens)*

Hottest Books of July
*Hottest Books of July (Kids & Teens)*

Hottest Books of August
*Hottest Books of August (Kids & Teens)*

Hottest Books of Fall
*Hottest Books of Fall (Kids & Teens)*

Hottest Books of the Next Six Months

 

Cindy Orr is a Digital Collection Advisor with OverDrive

The Evolution of Mobile Online Casino Gaming in the US

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Online casinos that could only ever be accessed using a PC or laptop can now be accessed using most modern smartphone & tablet devices. Since Apple launched the iPhone back in 2007 and since Google first entered the market with the Android in 2008, most leading online casino software providers have been busy developing their content for use with these handheld devices and US players can now find plenty of secure mobile casinos to play at. US players who are interested in playing at online casinos using their mobile devices should visit TopCasinos.com who list US player accepting brands that offer mobile gaming.

Many of today's best US mobile casinos are powered by Rival Gaming, Realtime Gaming and/or Betsoft Gaming, whereas players from most other countries also usually have access to Microgaming, Playtech, NetEnt and IGT Interactive powered mobile casinos. The first ever mobile casinos were rather basic looking, especially when you compare them to today's mobile casinos, but the technology is constantly evolving and today's players only ever have access to the very latest in cutting edge mobile casino technology.

US players can now visit a growing number of fully licensed mobile casinos and enjoy HD quality games with state of the art touchscreen technology and responsive player controls. The latest mobile casino games have lots of stunning animated sequences with 3D rendered graphics and impressive sound effects for players to enjoy. The mobile networks offer stable connections which allow you to enjoy the games uninterrupted and even if you do lose your connection mid-game, the next time you launch that game you will be taken to the exact same point from where you were cut off.

HTML5 mobile casino technology became the new standard platform for mobile devices back in 2010 and this led to a massive increase in the number of mobile casino games that were available and HTML5 mobile games could now run on any HTML5 compatible smartphone or tablet device. When the first US mobile casinos became available just over five years ago, players could only find less than ten games, but in 2015 this number has grown to more than 50 individual mobile casino games and new games continue to arrive every month.

Real money mobile casino gambling is legal in the US, but the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) still prohibits numerous financial institutions from processing transactions at online gambling sites (both at desktop & mobile gaming sites). This means that US players often have very few payment methods available. However, a growing number of US states have started taking a more relaxed approach towards online gambling and you can now find that most top-rated US mobile casinos that operated within these states do now provide a sufficient number of reliable US online payment options.

The best thing to do before signing up to a mobile casino would be to check that your local, state and federal laws do allow you to gamble at that particular mobile casino. You could also check with the mobile casino's customer support. The support is usually toll-free for US players and you can generally contact the casino via telephone, email and/or live chat.

Today's best US mobile casinos are easy to navigate thanks to the highly sophisticated and user-friendly interfaces. They are free to sign up to and when you open a new account at any US-friendly mobile casino you will receive a guaranteed new player welcome bonus. This sign up bonus could be a matching deposit bonus or a no deposit bonus. Modern US mobile casinos also usually run the best fraud prevention software which keeps your account details and funds in safe hands at all times.

You can visit a mobile casino directly from Android device or directly from your our iPhone or iPad and it is possible to use your device's QR Reader to scan the QR code that you see at an online casino and this will also enable you to access the mobile casino. Don't forget that if you already have an account with the desktop version of an online casino but you want to start playing from your mobile device, you can use the exact same login details without having to open a new account.

Once you have signed in to a mobile casino for the every first time, simply click on a game that you like the look of and then it should launch in just seconds. US players can enjoy a variety of mobile slots, table & card games, video pokers, instant win games and much more and some of the best titles to keep an eye out for when playing from your mobile device include Aladdin's Wishes, Blackjack, Builder Beaver, Caesar's Empire, Jackpot Cleopatra's Gold, Count Spectacular, Coyote Cash, Crystal Waters, Naughty or Nice and T-Rex.

The Evolution of Mobile Online Casino Gaming in the US is a post from: Good e-Reader