Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Barnes and Noble Closing Nook Windows 8 App

Screenshot_24051_100000Windows 8 e-reading app since 2012 that allows users to buy e-books and magazines. It is available in 40 different countries and instead of paying the bookseller directly it’s done via your Microsoft Account. Did you like using this app on your PC, smartphone or tablet? Sadly, its being discontinued and all purchases will be lost.

The largest bookseller in the US has announced that they are closing the Nook app for Windows 8 on August 7th 2015. The only two markets that will have access to it is the US and UK and everyone else will no longer be allowed to open any Nook related content.

An Email was sent out to all international users who have purchased an e-book or magazine. It stated “We recently announced that Barnes & Noble and Microsoft have agreed to terminate their commercial partnership. As a result, payments through your Microsoft account no longer supported. In addition, the NOOK App for Windows will from August 7, 2015 are no longer available outside the United States. This means that your NOOK content can no longer open on a Windows platform.

Our records indicate that you are outside the United States and that you are using your Microsoft account as a payment method in your NOOK App for Windows account. Therefore, you may be eligible for a refund from Microsoft for any purchases you have made with your Microsoft account.”

I think its a cool move to be able to get a refund on any digital content you have purchased if you live outside the US and UK. Normally when something like this happens users just lose everything and the store just disappears.

It is very disappointing that the Nook for Windows 8 app will no longer be available. What is even more damning is that anyone who has a Microsoft Account will not be able to view their content on any Nook e-reader, tablet or Nook for Web, since Microsoft and Nook user accounts or two separate entities.

Get insight into what your students are reading with the new Unique User Activity Report

One student in JulyOverDrive school partners now have access to an even more powerful tool to track usage of their digital content, a crucial component to maximizing student engagement.

The upgraded Unique User Activity report went live in OverDrive Marketplace in June and allows schools to view the digital content borrowing histories of specific students. "This deeper insight provides significant benefits to funding allocation and purchasing, promoting the service and getting to know readers", said OverDrive Collection Development Specialist Renee Lienhard.

The Unique User Activity report lets a school see, for example, that 60 percent of fifth graders are borrowing an eBook on a monthly basis. This data can help in the decision to allocate grants for digital content for these students to support their continued regular usage.

"Schools can also observe via the Unique User Activity report that the students in a specific class haven't borrowed any eBooks recently", Lienhard said. Titles geared specifically toward these students could then be purchased and efforts to promote the service to this group could be enhanced.

Schools are already realizing the existing possibilities offered by the improved Unique User Activity report. Said one OverDrive partner about getting to know her readers better, "Perfect! I'm getting exactly the information I was looking for. It's intriguing to see users who have never come to the library who are huge eBook readers. I don't recognize our number one eBook reader at all! I'm psyched to analyze this data and figure out who is using it and what we can do to encourage more usage."

Contact your OverDrive Account Specialist today to learn more about the new Unique User Activity report in OverDrive Marketplace.

Hundreds of thousands participate in the record setting Big Library Read

During the month of June readers from around the world had unlimited, simultaneous access to Eyes on You by Kate White through their libraries as a part of the Big Library Read program. Over seven thousand libraries joined the event which saw 200,000 checkouts of the title over two weeks, making this the most successful Big Library Read to date. In fact, Eyes On You was borrowed more than the next five most popular titles on OverDrive sites combined in June!

EyesOnYou_AvailableAsE+AUsers weren't just reading the book, however. Hundreds of people joined the discussion board at and hundreds more viewed the Twitter conversation we had with author Kate White. We also noticed that over 400 people were adding Eyes on You to their Goodreads bookshelves each day of the Big Library Read event and many more have been seeking out additional Kate White titles and read-alikes through

While the results of this event have been record setting we know there is always room for improvement. We have created two surveys that you can find at, one for readers and one for librarians. Please take a moment to provide your feedback and share these links with your users so we can continue to improve this digital book club experience. Thanks again for making this Big Library Read the best one yet!

OSMC stable release

Liz: We first met Sam Nazarko early in 2012 when he was still at school, in the sixth form. He’d been working on a packaged version of XBMC, the open-source media player, specifically built for the Raspberry Pi. He called it Raspbmc: he’d created a way to boot your Raspberry Pi straight into a really slick media player. 


Since then, Raspbmc and XBMC have both been renamed (they’re OSMC and Kodi respectively), and OSMC has gone…well, it’s become enormously successful. Sam’s just finished university, OSMC has nearly half a million users, and it’s just reached a milestone: its stable release (you’ll find it in NOOBS, or you can download it at Here’s Sam to tell you some more.

It was a Wednesday in April 2012 and the postman had come early. I saw the letter and instantly knew what it was. I was in Upper Sixth at the time (Liz interjects: for people outside the UK, that’s the final year of high school), and I had been waiting to get my hands on one of these for months. Here it was, a Raspberry Pi! That was the first (and only) day that I ever skipped school.

I had done some work with the 1st generation Apple TV, and spotting the new form factor, low cost and low power consumption of the Pi, I was excited. I started work on Raspbmc and for two years it amassed an astounding amount of users.

But I never expected Raspbmc to grow to the size it did — it was never really designed to support such a large deployment. I learned a lot developing it and knew that it was time to start fresh. In June of last year, I decided to start the OSMC project. XBMC, now known as Kodi was renaming and I decided to follow suit.


I knew that we could make Raspbmc even better. During the development of the project, more and more people joined the team and got involved. Today we have over a dozen regular volunteers. Even though OSMC has just announced its stable release, it’s already being used regularly by 450,000 users. If someone had told me that Raspbmc or OSMC were going to be so widely adopted 3 years ago, I wouldn’t have believed them. Still, didn’t you say you were going to only produce 4,000 Pis Liz?

Liz: 2,000, actually. We…lacked vision.

OSMC is based on Debian Jessie and we’ve made sure it’s optimised for all Raspberry Pi models, old or new. If you haven’t used Raspbmc in a while and have yet to try OSMC, I hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised with OSMC. We’ve worked hard to improve performance, stability, the update system and hardware compatibility.

Thanks to the Raspberry Pi Foundation for their support.


The post OSMC stable release appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Samsung Gets a Patent for Writing on PDF Files


Samsung has just filed for a patent that will change the course of the PDF format forever. Write on PDF is new functionality that will allow a user to write, edit and save a PDF file. Well, its not really new, companies have been doing it for years, such as the Sony Digital Paper or a myriad of apps. Samsung though, wants the patent so it can likely sue all of their competition and try to cornerstone the market with their new Galaxy Note 5.

The Samsung patent filing states that it is for a “Computer application software for mobile phones, smart phones, tablet computers, portable media players and handheld computers enabling users to annotate and save PDF documents, images and files; computer application software for mobile phones, smart phones, tablet computers, portable media players and handheld computers enabling users to and annotate and save electronic documents, images and files in electronic, computer readable file format.”

It really sounds to me that Samsung wants to control the PDF market for anyone that wants to edit a file, save it and access it later. This will affect competing hardware vendors, app developers, students and the technical workforce.

Samsung has filed this patent to include in their upcoming Galaxy Note 5 smartphone and they are seeking to make the entire writing experience far easier. Right now its fairly convoluted process with users having to firstly activate the Screen Write feature using their S-Pen. Then, they will have to take a picture of the PDF they want to take notes on before they can finally write on the PDF. The new patent will make it so they can just write on any PDF file and save it.

Samsung has also filed for another patent that features the S-Pen that can be ejected automatically. Currenly, you’d have to manually push the pen out of the smartphone in order to use it, which can sometimes be a hassle especially for those in situations where one hand is all that’s temporarily free. With this future product, if approved, the user only has to make a gesture or to you voice control and the S-Pen will then be ejected so you can use to your heart’s content.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that this Note 5 will be a super viable option for anyone that wants a mobile phone that is a PDF editing machine. I just think that the company will start filing litigation against Sony for their Digital Paper or popular apps such as ezPDF Reader or Repligo.