Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Funimation Now Available on PS4


The app ball is finally rolling for the Playstation 4! After attaining Youtube, HBO and most recently Spotify, anime fans can now get their fun filled anime thirst quenched by the new Funimation streaming service available in the PS4 app store!

With a large roster of animes to choose from, the new app brings you the option on your viewing preference for anime, allowing you to choose between the dubbed and subbed versions. The new app is free to download and Funimation offers a free 14 day trial to it’s subscription service. After the the trial is over, you can subscribe for as low as $4.95, for the sub pass subscription or $7.95 a month for the all access pass.

Now what’s the difference between the passes? Well, the sub pass gives you access to all subtitled content, access to all 720p and high definition 1080p shows as well as viewing as simulcast animes right after they air in Japan, a full week before they can be viewed for free! However the All access pass has all the goodness that I stated before only now you have access to all English dubbed animes as well, giving you the option to view thousands of episodes, movies, and extras! As well as streaming of English dubbed series that are available within weeks of the broadcast in Japan! And don’t forget, you also get some cool Funimation Store promotions too, so be on the look out for those! There is also an option for the yearly pass that goes for $39.95, saving 37% on the sub pass or $59.95, saving 33% for the all access pass!

The Funimation app for PS3 has also been upgraded to match the PS4 so now PS3 users can now enjoy the greatly improved search functions and episode queues so you can continue watching your favourite shows across devices. Streaming services are also available on Xbox360, all Ipod devices, Android, Amazon Kindle and even on the Roku! Xbox One fans will have to wait a bit as there is no current news just when it will be released, but hold tight anime fans, it’ll be here before you know!

Funimation Now Available on PS4 is a post from: Good e-Reader

Pocketbook Evaluates the Lighting System in Many Top e-Readers


One of the big innovations in the e-reader industry was the advent of built in lightning called “frontlight.” The Barnes and Noble Nook with Glowlight was the first model to include this technology in late 2013 and the rest of the industry embraced it quickly. With all of the different e-readers on the market how do you know your model has a really good light system? We have been extensively documenting it for many years on our YouTube channel but Pocketbook has taken a scientific approach.

Pocketbook has just released a new technical document that takes a look at high frequency ripples throughout the entire brightness range. To be honest, I have never seen so many e-readers documented at once and look at things like the Ripple frequency or Ripple coefficient.

The e-readers Pocketbook evaluates in this test include the Tolino Vision 2, Kobo Aura H2O, Kobo Aura, Kindle Voyage, Cybook Odyssey HD, and the Pocketbook Sense.

Pocketbook Evaluates the Lighting System in Many Top e-Readers is a post from: Good e-Reader

Changing Anime Trends Over Time


After taking another look at Pacific Rim and the genre that inspired it, I came to realise I hadn’t seen any new mecha anime around recently. It struck me as odd, as when I was in middle school, you couldn't turn around a corner without coming face to face with a new giant robot. Mecha, it seems, has gone out of fashion. It made me wonder if this change was a permanent thing, or if the mecha genre will make another rise in a few years and we'll all enjoy the giant robots enough to make us sick once again. Looking back on the history of anime to do some research, I found a certain pattern in the popularity.

The term 'anime' itself refers to all animation that comes from Japan, and by that definition, anime has been in production since the early 1910's. It has been used as war propaganda, commercials, and educational films. Unlike the large budget that goes into Western animation, production of anime in Japan suffered under limited conditions. It wasn't until the 60's, with the emergence of series like Astro Boy and the success of Toei Animation studios, that the familiar style of anime we recognise today came about.

Since then, it has seemed as though every few years, certain genres tend to go in and out of fashion. Trends hit highs and they hit lows, and a genre that had several successful series five years ago may have only a few now.

When the regular anime series seemed to hit its rhythm, the first few genres that emerged as the most popular were those in the realm of science fiction. In the eighties, one of the first new genres that came to attention was the space opera, no doubt in part inspired by the success of Star Wars. Space Battleship Yamato and Mobile Suit Gundam were two of the most popular and recognisable anime of the time. The former is often cited as being the first space opera anime, and was reworked several times over the course of the eighties to further capitalise on the genre's success.

In the nineties, anime changed seeming to carry a lighter, younger feel. This was partially as the darker, more controversial anime such as Cowboy Bebop and Neon Genesis Evangelion were being edited and censored. In addition, the era followed the international success of Akira, and more people were watching anime across the world. This also meant that it was the anime suited for Western Saturday morning cartoons that had great success, such as Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, and Digimon. It is also thanks to Sailor Moon that the following ten years saw the rise of the magical girl, a genre that had always been around but rarely saw such success. In the aftermath of Sailor Moon came Cardcaptor Sakura, Shugo Chara, Pretty Cure and the like. The genre even reached around the globe to other nations of animation, such as France's W.I.T.C.H. novels and Italy's popular animated series Winx Club.

Following this lighter trend, anime took another turn for the dark. Evangelion inspired another round of the mecha subgenre, with series like Eureka Seven and Code Geass using religion and imperialism as backdrops. Dragon Ball Z was replaced by Fullmetal Alchemist, and the most popular and well-known anime of the time was Death Note – so popular that its influence still lingers on to this day.

In recent years, the trend seems to be a balance between light and dark. Take the summer of 2013, when the two anime most talked about were Attack on Titan and Free! – Iwatobi Swim Club. One is a gritty, bloody, post-apocalyptic story filled with death and disturbing imagery. The other is a fun, light-hearted, sports anime where the saddest thing to happen is a character can't swim in an upcoming race. Yet both series are equally as popular, influential, and seem to share a lot of the same fans. The current trend seems to be taking things to the extreme – no matter if the extreme is controversial and dark, or silly and raunchy, or an extreme sports match.

Why does it happen this way? Why do styles of anime go out and come in, like changing fashion trends? It simply depends on what the audience wants. Seeing too much of one thing makes a person sick of it, and after a time the collective public longs for something new. The mecha genre is not popular now. Eureka Seven AO, the sequel to the ever-popular mecha Eureka Seven, was nowhere near as successful as its predecessor. But there has been a time before when mecha wasn't popular, and there will be a time when it makes another roaring return. The same goes for any of your favourite genres. If you haven't been noticing them recently, sit back. Give them some time. Like the shoulder pads, they'll be back.

Changing Anime Trends Over Time is a post from: Good e-Reader

The Digital Bookmobile is coming back!

Today, April 15th, is National Bookmobile Day which makes it the perfect time to announce that OverDrive's Digital Bookmobile will be returning for another trip across the United States! The tour will run from June through October, including a stop in Cleveland during Digipalooza so all attendees can see the 74-foot, state of the art tractor-trailer in person.

Utah DBM 073If you're interested in having the Digital Bookmobile come to your community to help promote your library's digital collection simply click the "contact" button at to reach out to our Events Team. Tour dates will fill up fast so be sure to let us know if you'd like us to come to your city ASAP.

The Digital Bookmobile has traveled to 48 states and four Canadian provinces, welcoming over 150,000 visitors from hundreds of communities through its doors and introducing them to all the digital resources their library has to offer through OverDrive. We want to help you raise awareness amongst your community by offering the unique experience that only the Digital Bookmobile can provide. As always, this service is offered from OverDrive at no cost to our library and school partners.

We're looking forward to bringing Team OverDrive to your library or school this year!


Trajectory’s New Publishing Agreements Bring eBooks to Chinese Smartphones

A new agreement announced ahead of this year’s London Book Fair just made the world of international publishing a little bit smaller. eBook distributor and discoverability platform Trajectory has inked a deal with the third largest smartphone producer in the world, Xiaomi, to bring publisher content to the company’s 150 million customers. This agreement will bring Macmillan, Gardner Books, MIT Press, and other publishers’ titles to this market.

"We are excited to add Xiaomi to our authorized list of eBook retailers in China," said Trajectory CEO Jim Bryant in a press release. ‘This new partnership compliments our strategy to establish relations with every relevant eBook sales channel in the world and to help our publishing partners reach new markets. Trajectory's discoverability technology is a part of the new agreement with Xiaomi. All of the English-language eBooks that we will be submitting will arrive with keywords generated through our Natural Language Processing Engine in English and in Chinese with inter-catalog recommendations.”

More than its multi-lingual catalog of titles, Trajectory will also be bringing its search tool to the Chinese reading market. The tool, Natural Language Processing Engine (NLPE), aids in book discovery using a specific keyword algorithm, and functions across multiple languages, regardless of what language the reader searches.

"China is one of the most important publishing markets in the world and our multi-channel approach is well suited for publishers wanting to reach a global market. Xiaomi is an exceptionally strong partner with its focus on all international markets," said Scott Beatty, Trajectory's Chief Content Officer. "Reaching readers simply through a handful of eBook retailers is not sufficient. A multi-channel, multi-device, global approach serves both readers and publishers in the most efficient manner."

Trajectory’s New Publishing Agreements Bring eBooks to Chinese Smartphones is a post from: Good e-Reader

Python in Education – free e-book from O’Reilly

This week PyCon is going on in Montreal – it’s the big worldwide Python conference – and for the occasion, O’Reilly asked our friend Nicholas Tollervey to write a free short book on Python in Education.


Click to download the book for free

The book tells the story of Python, why Python is a good language for learning, how its community gives great support, and covers Raspberry Pi as a case study.

You've probably heard about the computing revolution in schools, and perhaps you've even heard of the Raspberry Pi. The Python programming language is at the center of these fundamental changes in computing education. Whether you're a programmer, teacher, student, or parent, this report arms you with the facts and information you need to understand where Python sits within this context.

Author Nicholas Tollervey takes you through the features that make Python appropriate for education, and explains how an active Python community supports educational outreach. You'll also learn how Raspberry Pi is inspiring a new generation of programmers – with Python's help.

Nicholas visited Pi Towers in February to speak to Carrie Anne, Eben and me about why we think Python is suited to education. He asked Eben how the idea for the Raspberry Pi hardware came about and why there was a need for an affordable hackable device. He asked us about the Python libraries those in the community provided (particularly RPi.GPIO and picamera) that we consider part of our infrastructure for education and hobbyist users alike; and about the sorts of projects that engage, empower and inspire young learners – and of course the way they learn and progress. We discussed Minecraft Pi, hardware projects, Astro Pi, PyPy, teacher training and more.

Read more on teaching with Python from Nicholas and download the book for free from O’Reilly.