Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Onyx Boox C67ML with Carta Screen and 2x Storage Released

The Onyx Boox C67ML is a 6-inch ebook reader that runs Android 4.2.2. It first launched back in November 2014. Now a newer version of the C67ML has just launched, and it comes with an upgraded higher contrast E Ink Carta display and twice the internal storage space, 8GB instead of 4GB. The processor has […]

Kindle Voyage vs Kobo Glo HD Comparison Review (+Video)

The Kindle Voyage and Kobo Glo HD are the only two ebook readers on the current market to feature E Ink’s highest resolution Carta displays. With 300 pixels-per-inch, text is sharper and clearer than other ebook reader displays. Both the original Kobo Glo and Kindle Paperwhite have 212 ppi screens, and the Kobo Touch and […]

Court Rules Kindles Are Safe on Aircraft


The US Court of Appeals has thrown out a case stemming from the 2013 decision by the FAA to allow e-readers, smartphones and tablets to be used during all phases of flight.  The Flight Attendants Union has been fighting this saying that people are glued to their devices and not paying attention to safety demonstrations.

The Washington Appeals Court ruled that the FAA has the authority to change its rules, including those for electronics on planes, when it wants to.

Airlines in the US, Canada and Europe have been allowing the use of electronics for a number of years now. It now looks like for the foreseeable future that reading e-books on your Kindle or listening to audiobooks is safe.

Court Rules Kindles Are Safe on Aircraft is a post from: Good e-Reader

Companies Join Forces to Provide Free eBook Reading in Airport

Most travelers don’t count the airport as the best part of their trip, but thanks to a joint effort by BookShout, HarperCollins, and American Express Canada, the wait time might be a little more pleasant. While most airports offer limited free wifi for travelers–usually only offering access to the airport’s own website, a local news site or two, and anything else the actual shops inside the facility provide–this new arrangement will allow travelers to read HarperCollins ebooks while passing the time.

Even better, readers can download up to six ebooks a month for reading through the BookShout app, just for passing through Toronto Pearson International Airport, and can then read those books whenever they wish, including on their flights or upon reaching their destinations.

For their part, HarperCollins will make six new titles per month available, and will rotate out those six titles throughout the year to offer a new ebook selection each month. At launch, the first month’s titles included:

  • David Bezmozgis, The Betrayers
  • David Nicholls, Us
  • Clint Malarchuk, The Crazy Game
  • Daniel Handler, We Are Pirates
  • Thomas King, The Back of the Turtle
  • Lauren B Davis, Against a Darkening Sky

These titles are in addition to some of the more classic works that the publisher is making available, including titles by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Conan Doyle, Lewis Carroll, and George Orwell.

Companies Join Forces to Provide Free eBook Reading in Airport is a post from: Good e-Reader

Perfect your curating skills in preparation for summer reading lists

Manipulation isn't necessarily a bad thing. The flexibility that comes with curated collections lets you control not only groups of titles, but also what students see when they first visit your digital library site. First impressions are important and you always want them to notice something new each time so they're encouraged to return. Since you can create collections that are grouped in any manner you choose, you can always make sure there's something interesting on your home page and/or collections menu.

Now is a great time to hone your curating skills so you can create lists for summer break. Don't have a summer reading program? Create one! If you're looking for additional ideas for collections, Carol Maples and Donna Cook from Central ISD in Pollock, Texas have you covered. They're always coming up with new collections for their students, including:

  • SLJ's Battle of the Kids' Books. This comes out in March and plays off of the March Madness tournament, and is a great way to relate to your students who are into sports.
  • YALSA's Teens' Top Ten. This is one you'll want to have up during the summer so students can read them all and vote for their favorite starting August 15.
  • State reading lists, including Tayshas, Lone Star, and 2×2.
  • Award winning titles like Triple Crown Awards and Bluebonnet.
  • Advanced Placement titles for required reading in AP classes.
  • "Hot n Hurry" – used to highlight popular titles that are time-metered.

These are just a few innovative ways to use the curate feature, and next week we'll be adding a curated list to your drafts in Marketplace. All you have to do is publish it – it doesn't get any easier that that! Be on the lookout for Fantastical Fairy Tales, and we'll announce when it's ready through the blog and as a Marketplace alert (as well as provide instructions for publishing it to your site).

We highly recommend adding custom collections to your site if you're not taking advantage of the curate feature. Refreshing your collection by adding new purchases is one of the best ways to increase circulation. For schools with tight budgets, curating your existing titles in new collections is a great way to manipulate (maybe enrich? Does that sound better?) your home page and refresh your collection. Instructions on how to curate can be found on page 59 of the Marketplace User Guide, and ask your Account Specialist for more help.

Astro Pi flight case

You can’t just take a Raspberry Pi into space in your pocket or an old soft scoop ice cream tub. It’s too spiky for one thing. What you need is a block of aluminium the size of your head and some mad milling skills to make the best Pi case ever. Dave Honess explains:

The latest update to the Astro Pi project is the unveiling of the Astro Pi aluminium flight case that British ESA Astronaut Tim Peake will be using on the ISS. This will not be available to the public to buy because we’re only making a small number of them. We may however, in due course, release an object file so schools with a 3D printer can print one themselves.

The Astro Pi flight case.

The Astro Pi flight case.

The image below was taken from the CAD software that we used to model the case. The real thing will be made from 6061 grade aluminium which is standard for aerospace applications.

This is the top view showing the opening for the LED matrix and joystick along with a quad of buttons with an adjacent pair. The face on the right is used to attach it to a Bogen arm so that the Astro Pi can be held in place, for example if the crew want to aim the camera out of the cupola window.

The hole next to the joystick is to allow air to flow inside and reach the temperature, pressure and humidity sensors.


The design may surprise you because it’s so big a bulky. It satisfies the safety requirements that ESA and NASA have in place for small payloads aboard the ISS though!

This is not a 3d rendering.

This is not a 3d rendering!

The most important of these requirements is touch temperature. There is a rule that any surface, that the crew can touch, must not reach or exceed 45 degrees Celsius. Our Jonathan Bell and SSTL’s Nimal Navarathinam did extensive thermal simulations to work out this design. That’s really hard maths to you and me!


In space the process of convection doesn’t happen. On Earth the air warmed by a Pi CPU will rise as colder air is pulled down by gravity. On the ISS the air warmed by a CPU just stays there and bakes it. So the case has been designed for thermal dissipation in mind. There is a guaranteed level of airflow within all of the ISS modules which makes this possible.

Those pillars on the base each dissipate about 0.1 Watts of heat. All of them combined with the surface area of the case ensure that the Astro Pi can never get anywhere near 45 degrees. Inside the case the Raspberry Pi is thermally joined to the aluminium by way of a heat conductive boss / slug.


The view above shows the hole for the camera module in the middle too. So make a mental note that the camera faces in the opposite direction to the LED matrix when in flight configuration. You can also see the corner bolts that hold the two halves of the case together.


The ISS crew are also really fond of bungee cords, the kind you might use for camping or mountaineering with those hooks on the ends, and so the four corner columns have holes to allow bungee cords to be used to lash the Astro Pi to whatever they want.


So that’s about it for now. The only thing left to tell you is that we’ve now reached and successfully passed phase two of the flight safety process with ESA. So it’s only phase three to go now before we get the mighty flight safety certificate that says we can go on the Soyuz rocket with Tim! Between now and the phase three review all the testing will occur at SSTL and Airbus Defence and Space.

Here is a brief summary of the tests we have to do:

RTC (real time clock) Battery

  • Measurement of open circuit voltage and loaded voltage
  • Vacuum exposure test (450 mmHg for 2 hours)
  • Post vacuum inspection for leaks and deformation
  • Post vacuum measurement of open circuit voltage and loaded voltage

Flight Hardware

  • Operation checks (verify it boots and functions correctly)
  • Power integration test (using an ISS mains AC inverter)
  • Thermal test (stress the Astro Pi to cause maximum current consumption / heat dissipation and measure touch temperature)
  • Vacuum thermal test (same as the above but in a vacuum)
  • Off gassing assessment (determination of off gassing products from materials and assembled articles to be used inside the ISS modules)
  • EMC test
  • Vibration test (Soyuz launch vehicle conditions)

Keep an eye on social media over the coming weeks for as it happens updates!

Thanks for reading.

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