Friday, July 17, 2015

Do you Love the Nook e-reader?


Do you love the Barnes and Noble Nook e-reader or have you  moved on? We asked 195 people this question as part of  Good e-Reader Research. The results are actually very interesting.

In a recent poll we wanted to know how people felt about the Nook e-reader brand and if they were still loyal to it with all of the ups and downs that have occurred in the last few years. 65% of the vote were actually still surprised B&N still maintained an e-reader portfolio, while 51% still love and support it.  15% of the audience said they still use a Nook tablet, such as the Nook HD or the new Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Nook, while 12% have moved onto competing brands such as Amazon or Kobo.

I actually found it surprising that such a large segment of the hardcore e-reading audience did not realize that B&N still made dedicated e-readers. The last model they released was in October 2013 with the advent of the Nook Glowlight. It is not promoted very well, and has poor retail and online visibility.

Indie Authors Will Soon Be Using AI to Edit their eBooks

tone-analyzerOne of the drawbacks of self-publishing is that you have to pay editors out of your pocket in order to get your e-book ready for distribution. Many of them forgo hiring one altogether and readers often find themselves wading through a ton of spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. There is now an alternative to a human editor, a robot one.

IBM has unveiled the Watson Tone Analyzer,  that allows writers to copy and paste a body of text and the system will perform a “tone check” to analyze three different aspects of it: emotional, social and writing style. Each of those is divided into further categories — for instance, it can tell you if your writing style is confident or tentative, and whether the emotional tone is cheerful, angry or negative. From there, it can give you a breakdown of the overall tone and suggest new words to “fix” it.

The experimental service is currently available for English text input, and is free for exploration. More details about this service, the science behind it, how to use the APIs, and example applications are available in the documentation. You can also try out the service at this demo link.

I think this tool is part thesaurus, dictionary and editor. In the near future a number of self-publishing companies will likely adopt the Watson SDK into their online indie author tool set.

Would You Switch to Nook if B&N Gave You a Nook GlowLight for Free?

Barnes and Noble has been getting a lot of bad press for a long time, especially when it comes to anything related to the Nook portion of their business because it’s always losing them a ton of money with each quarterly report. Most of the problems are of B&N’s own making, like making it so […]

Curate digital collections for your community

jcplReading may be a solitary act but it is one that makes you part of a community. It’s true that when diving into a new book you do so alone, but once you’e finished you’re part of a group of people who have discovered the same book. People who read the same genres and authors share a common bond. They have an immediate connection and conversation starter. You read alone but you get recommendations from librarians, friends and family who have read similar books to what you’ve enjoyed.

As a librarian you have the power to create these unique groups within your community by curating specific digital collections on your OverDrive-powered website.  You can highlight read alike titles based off current bestsellers or you can create collections of titles you own large numbers of copies of that would be perfect for book clubs. You can even create collections for your summer reading programs based on age or grade or approach broader topics like, “Perfect books for your next vacation” or “Books to get your health and fitness on track.”

To start curating collections, log into OverDrive Marketplace and select Switch to Curate from the SHOP drop-down menu (if you don't see theSwitch to Curate option, talk to your Marketplace administrator about getting you "Library site admin" permission).

MCPLOnce you've switched to curate in Marketplace, you'll be able to build collections of titles that you own and then publish them immediately to select locations on your public-facing website. If your public-facing site offers multiple languages, you'll be able to enter a translated name and description for each collection so that you can publish curated collections in every language you offer.

You can find illustrated, step-by-step instructions for creating, editing, publishing, and removing curated collections in the "CURATE" section of the Marketplace User Guide (located in Marketplace under the SUPPORT tab).


Adam Sockel is a Social Media Specialist with OverDrive

Welcoming our new CEO

Liz: As regular readers will know, Raspberry Pi is a charity. We’re split into two parts: the Raspberry Pi Foundation is the charitable body, and it owns Raspberry Pi Trading, the part of the organisation that develops the hardware you all buy. All the profit we make in Raspberry Pi Trading goes straight to the Raspberry Pi Foundation, where it’s spent on our charitable aims.

Philip is the new Chief Executive Officer of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, working with Eben, who remains CEO of Raspberry Pi Trading. He’s been here for two weeks now, and he’s already got us all very excited about the direction he’s taking the organisation in. Here’s Philip to tell you what he’s been up to. Welcome Philip: we’re so glad you’ve joined us!

As I come to the end of my first couple of weeks as the newest member of the Raspberry Pi team, I wanted to write a quick blog post to say a big thank you to everyone who has made me feel so welcome.

Philip "please crop out my shorts" Colligan, mid-meeting

Philip “please crop out my shorts” Colligan, mid-meeting. (He’s the one on the right.)

In many ways, arriving at the Raspberry Pi Foundation feels more like joining a community than starting a new job. Ever since Liz announced my appointment on this blog at the end of April, I've been inundated with good wishes and offers of help from people from all sorts of backgrounds who have been inspired by Raspberry Pi. From volunteer activists to the CEOs of multi-national businesses, the openness and generosity I've experienced in these first few weeks has been humbling. Thank you.

It's been a whirlwind of meeting people and learning as much as I can.  Some highlights:

  • Joining the judges of Astro Pi – our competition for kids to run experiments on a Raspberry Pi that we're putting on the International Space Station (ISS).  It's all possible because of our friends at the UK Space Agency and the UK's first astronaut in 25 years, Major Tim Peake. Seriously though: a Raspberry Pi on the space station running experiments written by school kids. How cool is that?
  • Attending Picademy – our teacher training programme – at Pi Towers in Cambridge. Not only did I get to see the Foundation team in action (and they are awesome by the way), but I got to join an amazing group of 30 primary and secondary teachers as they came up with creative ideas to bring digital making into the classroom. Brilliant.
  • Hanging out at CamJam – the Cambridge Raspberry Jam – with my seven-year-old son. OK, this is cheating a bit because it happened a few weeks before I started, but it was a great introduction to the community of makers in Cambridge, and I am looking forward to meeting more of you at Jams across the UK and internationally.  My son loved it and can't wait for the Pi Wars robot competition later this year.

And I'm already blown away by the incredible range of projects that are being powered by the Raspberry Pi. Nature cameras, weather stations, art installations, robot gardeners, beer brewing kits – I've heard stories of people all over the world using the Raspberry Pi to solve problems, have fun and learn new skills.

I've also been out and about meeting the other organisations that are part of this growing movement to get young people involved in computing and digital making – Code Club, Apps for Good, Coder Dojo, Freeformers and Computing at School – hearing about the great work they're doing and cooking up plans for future collaborations.

All that and I managed to find the toilets and only set off the office burglar alarm once.  A busy first couple of weeks, and a great start to my induction into the Raspberry Pi community.

One of my main jobs over the next couple of months is to lead a process to map out the next stage of the Foundation's development. A bit like the Raspberry Pi itself, we're small but we've got huge potential.

And in much the same way that the community has shaped the development of the hardware and software, I want to make sure that the community shapes the development of the Foundation and helps us realise that potential. 

More to follow on that shortly. In the meantime, please get in touch and let me know what you think, show off your awesome projects or just point me at things I should see or read. 


The post Welcoming our new CEO appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Angry Birds 2 out on Android July 30

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If you can’t get enough for our fowl weather friends, there is a new version of Angry Birds due out July 30th. The Angry Birds franchise has over 3 billion game downloads, millions of fans across the globe, multiple mashups and spin-offs, collaborations and cartoons.

Rovio has not stated which app stores Angry Birds 2 is coming to on July 30th, but it’s safe to expect a fairly comprehensive, simultaneous launch across iOS, Android, Amazon and the Good e-Reader App Store.

The big question is whether Angry Birds 2 can recapture the magic of the original, as well as the attention. Angry Birds is still a highly known franchise, but the reality is it's not nearly as popular as it once was and many players have switched to new franchises. Games like Monument Valley, Device 6, Minecraft, Crossy Road, Goat Simulator, or Five Nights at Freddy’s offers new experiences.