Thursday, April 23, 2015

Kindle Voyage and Kobo Glo HD Nighttime Reading Test


The Kobo Glo HD and Amazon Kindle Voyage both of front-lit display screens. Five LED lights are on the bottom of the bezel and project light upwards. Today, we compare these two e-readers side by side to definitely answer the question, which one is better.

The Amazon Kindle Voyage has an ambient light sensor that will automatically adjust the brightness of the screen, depending on your environment. Under the shade of a tree, or a dimly lit space, this works very well. In complete darkness though, such as a bedroom with all of the lights turned off, the screen becomes too dark to read effectively. Of course you can manually adjust it to your preference using the slider bar.

The Kobo Glo HD does not have a light sensor but they do have a very novel feature. You can drag your finger down on the left side of the screen to turn the light on or off, and adjust the different levels of brightness. Alternatively you can access the main slider bar from the settings menu.

When both e-readers are at 100% brightness it is very clear from our tests that the Kindle has a background that is pure white. This makes the black font really standout. The Glo HD on the other hand has a cloudy gray background.

In the video below, we demonstrate all of the light ranges so you can get a sense on how they compare against each other. Whether you are in the Amazon or Kobo camp, or just buying an e-reader for the best time, reading in the dark is inevitable.

Kindle Voyage and Kobo Glo HD Nighttime Reading Test is a post from: Good e-Reader

Reese Witherspoon to Narrate Go Set a Watchman Audiobook

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 10:  Actress Reese Witherspoon attends the Great American Songbook event honoring Bryan Lourd at Alice Tully Hall on February 10, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Lincoln Center)

NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 10: Actress Reese Witherspoon attends the Great American Songbook event honoring Bryan Lourd at Alice Tully Hall on February 10, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Lincoln Center)

Oscar winning actress Reese Witherspoon has committed herself to narrating the upcoming Harper Lee audiobook, Go Set a Watchman.

"As a Southerner, it is an honor and a privilege to give voice to the Southern characters who inspired by childhood love of reading, Scout and Atticus Finch," said Witherspoon, who won the best actress Oscar for the role of June Carter in the Johnny Cash biopic Walk the Line. "I am eager for readers to be transported to a pivotal time in American history in the manner that only Harper Lee's gorgeous prose can deliver," she told USA Today.

Over the course of the last five years, audiobooks have become big business for publishers. World War Z hired 21 different voice actors, such as Simon Pegg, Common and Martin Scorsese.  The title rode star power in order to be one of the bestselling audiobooks of all time.

Matthew Thornton explained a bit on how Audible embraces celebrities in order to sell more audiobooks."One of the ways we've worked to improve the overall customer experience of listening to audiobooks is in elevating the quality of audiobook performance—embracing A-List celebrities (among those who've recorded for Audible are Colin Firth, Dustin Hoffman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Kate Winslet and Susan Sarandon) as well as up-and-coming young actors at Juilliard, Yale, Stella Adler and other acting schools where Audible offers narration workshops. We've had great success with celebrity-narrated projects like the Gyllenhaal-narrated The Great Gatsby, Ben Stiller performing The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.  As importantly, high-profile narrators raise the visibility of these terrific listening experiences—something we liken to "theater in your ear"—and raise the visibility of this burgeoning art form."

Reese Witherspoon to Narrate Go Set a Watchman Audiobook is a post from: Good e-Reader

Publishers Target e-book Pirates

minimalistic computers pirates the pirate bay piracy skeletons simple background grey background_wallpaperswa.com_36

The International Publishers Association is taking e-book piracy seriously and has started to target websites offering free downloads. A series of websites have been targeted that have a massive collection of pirated content from 16,000 different publishers.

The IPA has successfully won a judgement for $37 million dollars against Avaxhome and Avaxsearch  which illegally provided access to digital copies of millions of books, as well films, music, games and other copyrighted content. The defendants acknowledged the suit but did not contest the case against them.

Jens Bammel, secretary of the International Publishers Association (IPA), said: “Online piracy is a massive, global problem, posing a significant threat to authors, artists, musicians, producers and publishers. Sites like these deprive creative artists of their livelihoods, destroying jobs and culture. The IPA and its members supported this lawsuit to highlight the scale of international online piracy and the dangers it represents."

The entire publishing industry brought in close to 12 billion dollars in 2012. Sales of eBooks reached $3 billion at the end of 2012, up from $68 million in 2008. Industry experts expect that by 2017, digital will be worth $8.2 billion. This is big money and pirates are starting to capitalize on the demand for free books by leverage advertising networks to rake in millions of dollars a year.

Publishers Target e-book Pirates is a post from: Good e-Reader

Lettuce Turnip the Beet on Gardening Books!

johnny depp animated GIF

SPRINGTIME HAS ARRIVED! That means planting season is nearly here for gardeners. Soon gardens will be bursting with basil, overrun by hidden zucchini, and smelling like summer. But before you begin, take a look at these helpful books to help you plan, decorate, and grow your garden.

The Edible Balcony: Growing fresh produce in small spaces by Alex Mitchell – A companion to the urban gardener or those with little outdoor space for planting. This book discusses the right plants to use according to your space and how to maximize the impact of your plants.

Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louise Riotte – This is a classic gardening book and it is super cool! It's all about what plants do well together. For example, having problems with bugs in your tomatoes? Basil is a natural bug repellent so plant it beside your tomatoes for mosquito and fly free fruit.

Wicked Plants by Amy Stewart – Stewart's popular book about sinister plants and their dirty deeds is a delightful read for anyone wanting to learn what plants to avoid, some famous lore, or histories of dangerous dealings with poisonous plants.

Gardening Lab for Kids by Renata Fossen Brown – Don't forget about your kids! Get them outside and playing in the dirt while also learning about how to make, maintain, and harvest their own garden. This book has many more fun activities revolving around nature as well.

Fairy Gardening 101 by Fiona McDonald – The ever popular miniature gardens made for fairies are a delightful craft for adults and children alike!

The Flower Gardener's Bible by Joseph De Sciose, Lewis Hill, Nancy Hill – Want to add color and beauty to your garden? Use this book as a reference point for all your flower needs.

Take a look at other great garden reads here!

Titles may have limited regional or platform availability. Check OverDrive Marketplace to find what is available for you.


Kristin Milks is a Collection Development Analyst with OverDrive

Stream PC games to your TV

Why spend hundreds of quid on a Steam Machine when you can do exactly the same thing with a humble Raspberry Pi? (The B+ is available for $25, which is about £16, at RS Components at the moment, if you’re really on a budget.)

Here are the Possibly Unsafe guys to walk you through setup.

I’ve swiped the instructions below from their YouTube channel:

You’ll first need to install the latest Rasbian from here:

Next download Limelight Embedded. Grab the latest limelight.jar and from here:…

Make sure that your gaming PC has an NVIDIA GTX 600+ graphics card and GeForce Experience installed.

To make things easier, enable SSH on the RPi and tunnel in to the machine. Here are some useful commands:

List compatible PCs
java -jar limelight.jar list

Pair with PC
java -jar limelight.jar pair PC-IP

Map a controller
java -jar limelight.jar map -input /dev/input/eventX

Start streaming
java -jar limelight.jar stream -1080/720 -60fps/30fps PC-IP -app Steam -mapping

Make sure to check the Limelight help file in case things have changed since this post!

Possibly Unsafe’s a rather brilliant channel; I’m making their homemade Sriracha chilli sauce just as soon as I can get my hands on enough habaneros. You can support them via their Patreon if you like the things they do.

OHDELA students become eBook explorers & boost digital circulation

Recently, I attended an open house event for OHDELA (Ohio Distance and Electronic Learning Academy), along with a few colleagues. At the event, parents and students met their teachers, learned about a variety of academic resources offered by the school, and also participated in a "scavenger hunt" for OHDELA's OverDrive digital library. Students that completed the interactive worksheet, along with other activities at the open house, were entered to win a Kindle eReader.

eBook-ExplorationSince OHDELA supports students in grades K-12, OverDrive provided 3 levels of the "scavenger hunt" handout, each with age-appropriate activities designed to lead a student from signing into the digital library, to browsing/searching, and then borrowing and reading a title in OverDrive Read's browser-based format.

Circulation jumped over 500% from the previous month after their event and usage of the digital library has continued to show steady growth. Some other event highlights include:

• Teachers showing students how to search for content by his or her Lexile level.
• Parents discovering the wide variety of digital content available through OverDrive from OHDELA.
• Students browsing through OverDrive Read eBooks and learning how to highlight, take notes, and use the dictionary.

OHDELA used OverDrive's Simple Login to allow a group of students to log in to their School Digital Library and access OverDrive Read eBooks using one easy to remember User ID. Titles borrowed with a Simple Login are returned after 2 hours, thus making it the perfect resource for open house events, training, or short-term usage of digital content in the classroom.

You can host an event like this, too! eBook Exploration handouts are now available to download in the Marketing & Outreach section of the Partner Portal. Look for this new activity idea in the Best of K-12 Marketing Materials folder and under Programming & Events.

Are you interested in learning more about OverDrive Simple Login for your school? Check out the OverDrive Simple Login PDF in the "Best of K-12 Marketing Materials" folder and contact your Account Specialist today for more information.

Melissa Higey is an Account Specialist on the School Partner Services team at OverDrive.

Amazon Destinations Takes on the Travel Industry

Amazon has just gotten serious about its years-long venture into travel offers with the rebranding of its previous travel deals as Amazon Destinations. With the new website and its tie-in to its Amazon Local deal site, Amazon Destinations (like so many other things that Amazon has taken on over the years) is looking to change up how consumers book their travel plans and how hotels and resorts offer special discounts.

In the past, Amazon’s travel offers relied on “flash” deals, meaning it was more like a warehouse for hotels to dump unused hotel rooms and try to spin a buck out of it. These deals enticed the last-minute traveler, but didn’t really have any focus. It was more like a one-time discount would pop across the customer’s screen, and if he happened to have time to go out of town that weekend, everybody would benefit.

Amazon Destinations is trying to make that effort a little more focused and mindful of consumers’ planning ability. One of the chief differences between this type of travel search and some of the more well-known names in the industry is the “near you” aspect to it. Amazon Destinations isn’t the site for you if you’re trying to book a trip to Europe next fall; it’s more like a site that wants to stay on your mobile phone so you can book a last minute fun trip in your state or region. It would be great if Amazon could go back to its roots and somehow connect its new travel focus with the lagging travel book industry, focusing on some of the more out of the way destinations that this site lends itself to.

Of course, the major difference between Amazon Destinations and sites like Orbitz, Expedia, or Travelocity is that lack of airline and other transportation options. That long-distance aspect isn’t Amazon’s focus, as they’re more interested in the “close to home” spur-of-the-moment getaways and how they can help consumer spend money closer to their regions. That’s why hotels and resorts are participating in this venture, along with the new reviews that Amazon is famous for offering on all of its products. But who knows…with the recent FAA approval of Amazon’s Prime Air drone delivery tests, maybe drone travel is in the works? It’s crazy enough to be an Amazon idea, that’s for sure.

Amazon Destinations Takes on the Travel Industry is a post from: Good e-Reader