Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Linkedin Pulse Gets Totally Redesigned and It’s Horrible


The Pulse Reader app from Linkedin is one of the most popular e-reading apps out there. It allows you to quickly add in your favorite news websites and easily check out the top stories. The major selling point was being able to create dedicated pages where you can establish genres. So you could have a page devoted to tech news, another gaming news and quickly switch between all the different sites you follow. This ends today, Linkedin has pushed out an entirely new user experience for Android and the iPhone.

When you start the new app, you’ll be served topical news stories from a variety of established news sources, such as the New York Times. All of the content is curated by a number of editors that will insure there is always new content available.

Linkedin is hoping that you will log into the app using your social user credentials and it will then server you news items written by people in your network. Not many people in my network have time to write just on Linkedin, since most of them run big companies, but there are always the content SEO spammers.

The most immediately noticeable thing is the new cards-based interface, that hass been designed to enable users to skim through lots of content quickly. Don't like a story? Dismiss it. Want to read a story later? Save it. Like the author of the article? Follow them. All these interactions will continuously refine your content recommendations.

If you have been a longtime Pulse user the standard way of doing things is gone forever. All of the different publications you follow are intermixed on the main page with the curated content served by Linkedin. You can no longer follow a ton of different publications, instead you have to visit their “page” individually. This makes it very taxing if you read a lot of different sites on a daily basis.


The old way to organize your news is gone forever.

I think this new design was a way for Linkedin to force their own content down users throats, at the expensive of customization and ease of use. It seems the company does not want their existing users, they want new users. They want the type that want to read mainstream stories and who casually read a blog or two.

Linkedin has alienated all of their users with one app update. I suggest avoid updating the Pulse client for Android and the iPhone at all costs.

Oyster Prioritizes Nighttime Reading


Oyster is one of the largest e-book subscription services in the US and they want to encourage you to read at night. Traditionally the bright screens on your smartphone or tablet make this difficult, but the company has just released a new feature called Lumin, which automatically adjusts your device’s light levels based on the time of day. The result, they say, is better sleep and less eye strain — good news for habitual late-night readers.

Lumin simply doesn’t adjust the brightness of your screen, but  reduces the amount of blue light it’s emitting. This is actually a bigger deal than most people realize, as its been statistically proven that blue light suppresses melatonin.


So what is melatonin and why is it a big deal? Melatonin is a hormone produced by the pineal gland at night and under conditions of darkness in both diurnal and nocturnal species. It is a "timing messenger," signaling nighttime information throughout the body. Exposure to light at night, especially short-wavelength light, can slow or even cease nocturnal melatonin production. Suppression of melatonin by light at night results in circadian disruption and has been implicated in sleep disturbances, increased risk for diabetes and obesity, as well as increased risk for more serious diseases, such as breast cancer, if circadian disruption occurs for many consecutive years, such as in nightshift workers.

The new Lumin feature is available for both Android and iOS for US residents.

Amazon Enhances the Resolution of the Kindle Paperwhite 2


Amazon tends to release new e-readers every single year, encouraging people to upgrade their old devices and buy the latest and greatest. The Seattle company is doing something very different this go around, instead of an entirely new device they have upgraded the Kindle Paperwhite 2 in a big way.

Amazon has just announced that they have increased the resolution on the Paperwhite 2 from 1024x 768 and 212 PPI to 1448×1072 and 300 PPI.  You can basically say that the new model of the Paperwhite 2 has the same type of display as the $199 Kindle Voyage, at a fraction of the price. The Voyage is currently retailing for $199, whereas the new Paperwhite 2 model is only $139.

In addition to the resolution upgrade, Amazon also introduced support for their new custom font, Bookerly. The new typography and layout improvements are available on over half a million books, including many best sellers, with thousands more being added every week. The features will be delivered as part of a free, over-the-air software update in the coming weeks.

The new version of the Paperwhite 2 will be sold as the Paperwhite 2015 edition in black. It is available to ship at the end of June from Amazon and will retail for $139.99. It will not be possible to order the older model anymore.

Discover the future of digital lending at ALA in San Francisco

On June 25th the library world will descend upon The Bay Area as the American Library Association's annual conference will take place in San Francisco. During the five day conference OverDrive will take part in meetings, panels and presentations showing our partners what's to come in the world of digital lending.

Throughout the conference Team OverDrive will be in booth #2541 presenting the latest innovations for users including OverDrive Listen, our browser-based audiobook platform, and Periodicals, our digital magazines and newspapers that have proven to be a key factor in increasing library circulation. Librarians will also get the opportunity to see a preview of the new OverDrive, which will provide an unparalleled user experience through deeper engagement, faster searching and greater recommendations catered to their interests.

We will also demonstrate how OverDrive is striving to reach all corners of your library community through our industry leading narrated eBooks and fixed layout titles for children, browser based eBooks, audiobooks and streaming video content, community language titles and much more. If you're heading to ALA next week be sure to stop by booth #2541 to learn about the latest innovations as well as have a chance to win devices from OverDrive. We're looking forward to seeing you in San Fran!

Amazon Introduces New Kindle Paperwhite with 300 ppi Display

Amazon has just announced the upcoming release of an upgraded Kindle Paperwhite that features a 300 ppi E Ink screen. The new Kindle Paperwhite is up for pre-order at Amazon. The official released date for the new device is June 30th. What’s especially nice about the upgrade is that Amazon is still using the old […]

Special Edition eHighlights—Summer Audiobooks

Warmer weather has finally arrived and with it, hopefully, comes some leisure time for you and your patrons. What better way to stay entertained on a road trip or while waiting at the airport than by listening to a wonderful audiobook?

It is for that reason that OverDrive’s Collection Development Analysts have created this list of the hottest audibooks to enjoy this summer. New titles from Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Judy Blume, Harper Lee, Kathy Reichs, Stephen King, James Patterson, Ernest Cline and many more are sure to fly off your digital shelves!

To find a complete list of our catalogs at any time, check our Catalogs Page.


Diddyborg metal edition

We had some special visitors at Pi Towers a few weeks ago: the PiBorg folks, makers of some pretty terrifying Pi-based robots. Here’s Eben, charging off into the sunset on their largest robot.

We made sure he got off before it did this.

We love PiBorg’s robots. They’re totally uncompromising, the build quality is something else (these little guys are as solid as a dalek’s six-pack), and they’re ultra-controllable, with six independent motors.


DiddyBorg Metal Edition is made in a limited run of forty, with bigger motors, bigger batteries and more power than the regular Diddyborg. (And more metal. Did we mention the metal?) It can climb 45ยบ slopes, tow smaller objects, and you can steer it like a tank. I love this thing. Its superpowers include:

  • Autonomous ball following
  • Autonomous Recon run
  • 6 axis Playstation 3 remote control (bluetooth module required)
  • Controlling via other computers on a network

Here’s Eben again, this time using a DiddyBorg Metal Edition in a domestic setting.

If DiddyBorg Metal Edition is outside your price bracket, PiBorg also have a range of other robots, and everything you need to build your own, all the way from motor controllers to soldering irons. Check out their store; it’s the sort of place that’ll give you ideas.

PiBorg shot a very metal DiddyBorg Metal Edition video to accompany the release of their limited run. Enjoy!

The post Diddyborg metal edition appeared first on Raspberry Pi.