Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Amazon Kindle Voyage Not Available in Canada Due to a Patent


The Amazon Kindle Voyage e-reader first became available at the tail end of 2014. This device is really exciting because it features a high resolution display and innovative technologies such as Haptic feedback. Many Canadians have wanted to buy this device in the retail environment or online, but it hasn’t become available yet. This is primarily due to an outstanding patent that the Federal government has yet to approve.

Amazon originally filed Patent 2750759 in 2010 and it has never been approved or disapproved by the Canadian government. In January 2015 Amazon filed for a reexamination in the hopes that they could secure a definitive answer to make the Voyage available. There hasn’t been any movement yet regarding this issue and likely this iteration of the Kindle will never come to Canada.

So what exactly is Haptic feedback? Haptic technology, haptics, or kinesthetic communication, is tactile feedback technology which recreates the sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, or motions to the user. Most people who had an old Android phone four or five years ago experienced this when they clicked on the home or settings buttons and felt a little buzz. Amazon incorporated this technology at the expense of eliminating physical page turn buttons. The Seattle company dubbed the experience Page Press.

Likely the main reason why the government has not approved this patent is because many old phones and tablets use Haptic feedback and it may set a bad prescient for future innovation if Amazon repackages it and gives it a different name.

How to Install the Kindle Bookerly Font on your Kobo


A few months ago Amazon released a new font called Bookerly and it is a big step towards better typography. It is the first typeface designed for the Kindle for scratch and solves a longstanding problems with text justification, kerning, drop caps, image positioning, and more. The big problem though, its only on limited devices, such as the Kindle Paperwhite. So how do you get the font file and install it on your Kobo?

  1. In order to install the Bookerly font on your Kobo e-reader you need to download the file from the Good e-Reader Forum.
  2. Next you want to unzip the file using WINZIP or your favorite file extracting program.  There should be four files in the extracted folder.
  3. Plug the Kobo into your computer  via the USB cable and use Windows Explorer to open up the device.  You want to then create a directory called  "fonts" if none exists.  This folder must NOT be created inside any other folder such as in the .Kobo folder.  It must be created in the main area where all your eBooks and welcome guides are.
  4. Copy and paste all of the files into the Kobo Font folder, you don’t need to make a directory within a directory. Simply just drag and drop all four files into the font folder you created.
  5. Eject your Kobo and wait for it to finish processing.  Then turn it off and back on.  Now you should be able to choose from your selection of new fonts when you open up an e-book and access the font menu.

People Turn to Facebook and Twitter for Daily News


Do you visit dedicated websites anymore or are you reading the daily news on Facebook and Twitter? If you are turning to social media you are not alone, Pew has just released a new report that states 63% of US Facebook and Twitter users rely on the social networks as news sources, which is a  11% increase from two years ago.

These findings come at a time when the two social media platforms are increasing their emphasis on news. Twitter is soon set to unveil its long-rumored news feature, "Project Lightning." The feature will allow anyone, whether they are a Twitter user or not, to view a feed of tweets, images and videos about live events as they happen, curated by a bevy of new employees with "newsroom experience." And, in early 2015, Twitter purchased and launched the live video-streaming app Periscope, further highlighting their focus on providing information about live events as they happen. Meanwhile, in May, Facebook launched Instant Articles, a trial project that allows media companies to publish stories directly to the Facebook platform instead of linking to outside sites, and, in late June, Facebook started introducing its "Trending" sidebar to allow users to filter by topic and see only trending news about politics, science and technology, sports or entertainment.

I think the crux of this report is that more people are using social media more than ever for their daily news fix. The Pew report highlights that people tend to read individual articles from magazines or newspapers on Facebook, where Twitter is more indicative to breaking news coverage and following individual journalists.

Celebrating #JimmyV: Raising awareness for cancer research

Every year in the middle of July ESPN host's their annual award show, the ESPY's. The show honors the best athletes and athletic moments of the year but the most meaningful awards of the night are The Arthur Ashe Courage Award and the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance. The Arthur Ashe award is given to a person whose actions transcend sports. The first recipient was Jim Valvano, the coach who the Jimmy V award for Perseverance was named after. Coach Valvano's acceptance speech is perhaps the most famous in recent history and certainly the most meaningful as it launched The V Foundation for cancer research.

ESPN now considers the day of the ESPYs as #JimmyV day where they auction off prizes and experiences to raise money for the V foundation. Valvano's motivational words to make sure you "Don't give up, don't ever give up." have touched millions. Someone else who Jimmy V inspired was Stuart Scott, who received the Perseverance Award for the way he battled cancer until the final days of his life.

Stuart also left a lasting legacy and memory during his acceptance speech when he reminded the world that, "When you die, that does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer by how you live, why you live, and the manner in which you live. So live. Fight like hell. And when you get too tired to fight, lay down and rest and let somebody else fight for you."

Shortly before he passed away Stuart Scott wrote his memoirs, a love letter to life itself, inspiring the world to keep fighting or, as Jimmy V would put it, "Don't ever give up."

You can view Stuart's book and many others like it here. Today may be #JimmyV day but these moving stories of battling cancer can raise awareness about the fight of this disease all year long. These books will make you laugh, make you think and very likely, make you cry. But Jimmy V wouldn't have it any other way. As he would put it, "That's a full day."


Adam and Jason Sockel are brothers who work at OverDrive together. Jimmy V is an idol to them both.

Check out the latest titles coming from Penguin Random House


In just a few short week hundreds of librarians will be joining Team OverDrive in Cleveland for Digipalooza for three days of education, networking and fun. We're excited to say that our friends at Penguin Random house will be joining us as well as one of the conferences great sponsors. Whether you can make it to Cleveland or not for the celebration we wanted to share with you the great titles they have coming out in the near future. You can add all of these titles to your collection by adding this list to your cart in Marketplace.

City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg
A big-hearted, boundary-vaulting novel that heralds a remarkable new talent: set in 1970s New York, it is a story outsized in its generosity, warmth, and ambition, its deep feeling for its characters, and its exuberant imagination.
The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young
From a unique new author comes a fast-paced debut, introducing a heroine whose dark visions bring to light secrets that will heal or destroy those around her…

The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra
From the author of National Book Award longlist selection and New York Times bestseller A Constellation of Vital Phenomena come these dazzling, poignant and lyrical interwoven stories about family, sacrifice, the legacy of war and the redemptive power of art.

Slade House by David Mitchell
"Sharp, fast, flat-out spooky, Slade House is such a hypnotic read that you are likely to miss your subway stop in order to keep reading. And by you, I mean me."–Daniel Handler, New York Times bestselling author of We Are Pirates and the Lemony Snicket series

These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
A mystery about deadly secrets and dark truths, These Shallow Graves is set in a gritty 1890s New York and tells the story of a strong young woman and how much she is willing to risk for love, revenge and to uncover the truth.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman
First, survive. Then tell the truth.
The year is 2575, and two rival mega-corporations are at war over a planet that's little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. Check out this intense book trailer!

Voyagers: Project Alpha by D. J. MacHale
Earth is about to go dark. Without a new power source, life as we know it will be toast. A global competition is under way to determine who will join the secret mission that might just save us all. The Voyagers will venture to the far reaches of space, farther than anyone's ever gone before, and they must be prepared to face anything.

The Rose Society by Marie Lu
From New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu comes the second book in the exhilarating Young Elites series. Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.

Appleblossom the Possum by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Fans of E.B. White and Dick King-Smith will adore this heartwarming and funny animal adventure by the award-winning author of Counting by 7s . The audiobook will be narrated by Dustin Hoffman!

We'd like to thank Penguin Random House for sponsoring this great event and showing their support for libraries!

What Would Make You Want to Buy a Kindle Voyage 2?

Now that Amazon has released the Kindle Paperwhite 3, a lot of people don’t think there’s enough extra features on the Kindle Voyage to justify the premium price of $199 and up, especially now that the Paperwhite 3 has the same high resolution 300 ppi E Ink screen as the Voyage, and for $80 less […]

The Kindle Voyage isn’t Sold in Canada for a Good Reason

Ever since the Kindle Voyage was released back in October 2014, Canadians have been wondering when they would be able to purchase Amazon’s premium ebook reader. Then when the Kindle Paperwhite 3 was released last month and it’s been available in Canada since the get-go, people are wondering what’s the deal? Is the Voyage ever […]


Carrie Anne looked over my shoulder when I was researching this post. “I love kids with tools.”

These particular kids with tools are using traditional wooden mallets and punches to make a very special set of punchcards, which they’re reading with a Raspberry Pi that creates a CSV file of 0s and 1s, and then interprets that data in the Minecraft universe.


This workshop project is the work of Gemma May Latham, a collaborative maker, and David Whale, who, with Martin O’Hanlon, wrote the most excellent Adventures in Minecraft. Gemma has a particular interest in the Jacquard loom and punchcard technology, and worked with David to make a Pi-based card reader for kids to import data from a piece of paper into the Minecraft world.

Gemma says:

Housed in a laser cut plywood box, and built using a Pro Micro Arduino, IR LEDs and Phototransistors, the reader is set up to read rows of holes with an additional registration hole at the end for patterns where a row has no punched hole. The reader is then attached to a Raspberry Pi via the USB port allowing for the input of designs into Minecraft Pi via Python.

You can build your own reader; Gemma will be putting instructions online soon (we’ll update this post when she does), and all the code you’ll need is available at David’s GitHub.

There are no words for how much we approve of programming that involves hammers.

The project was a big hit at Liverpool MakeFest – Gemma and David will be running the workshop again on a bigger scale at MOSI MakeFest in Manchester in August, so head along if you’d like to have a play yourself.


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