Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Worst eBook Cover Art – July 2015


Indie Authors traditionally have the most tragic e-book cover art. Many writers don’t hire a graphic designer to do something really solid, instead they download images from Google and do it themselves. The end result is a product that is totally cringe worthy, but impossible to turn away.

The list today looks at the growing erotica craze of girls falling in love with the darnedest of things. Two of the most weird feature the Apple iWatch, and an HDMI cable.  I suppose these gadgets gain the power of locomotion and sprout googly eyes, whats not to love?










Yahoo News Digest is Now Compatible with Android Tablets


Yahoo has updated their News Digest app for Android that finally brings support for large screen tablets. The premise of this app is to give you 10 new stories every twelve hours, focusing stories relevant to the UK, US, Canada and international events.

The top Yahoo brass is happy that 40% of all users who have the app installed, access it on a daily basis. The news that Yahoo curates basically give you the gist of a major news item or event. Every story consists of a Yahoo summary, plus several "Atoms," or key quotes, images, videos, Wikipedia excerpts and other material relevant to the story. Since the news on this app is basically a summary each story has close to 10 references, so you can dive deeper into something that rivets you. Twitter also plays apart in the layout with sites such as Cnet, Verge, Reuters all weighing in. The idea is to give you more information than the typical wire service story or single-sourced report.

If you have an Android tablet, give Yahoo News Digest an install and see what all of the hype is about, only on the Good e-Reader App Store.

Step-by-Step Guide for Jailbreaking Kindles Using Serial Port Method

When Amazon released the Kindle Voyage and $79 Kindle Touch last fall, they came with newer software that completely blocked previous jailbreaking methods. It’s the same story with the new Kindle Paperwhite 3, and the older Paperwhites all have the newer software as well. It all started with the release of software version 5.6. To […]

The hottest titles coming this fall from the Baker Publishing Group



Digipalooza is less than two weeks away which means that soon the center of the library world will be downtown Cleveland. We’re excited to have our good friends at the Baker Publishing Group joining us for the conference and so we wanted to share some great titles from their collection coming this fall. Whether you’re attending Digipalooza or not you can add all of these titles by adding this list to your cart in Marketplace.

The Imposter by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Katrina Stoltzfus needs time to heal her broken heart. What she doesn’t need is attention from Andy Miller, a farm hand  who always seems to say the right thing, and be in the right place, at the right time. Is Andy for real, or too good to be true?

Refining Fire by Tracie Peterson

Militine and Thane, who meet while serving Seattle’s poor, both feel tainted by past choices. Can God build something new from the debris of the past?

Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason

At Irish Meadows horse farm, sisters Brianna and Colleen struggle to reconcile their own dreams with their father’s demanding marriage expectations.

The Mistress of Tall Acre by Laura Frantz

In the aftermath of the American Revolution a destitute young woman agrees to a marriage of convenience and becomes Mistress of Tall Acre. But when secrets from her husband’s past are revealed, loyalties and ties are torn asunder.

The Memory Weaver by Jane Kirkpatrick

Eliza  was just a child when she was taken hostage by the Cayuse Indians during a massacre in 1847. Now her  husband wants to make a new start in another territory–the land of her captivity. Can she lay the dark past to rest and move on? Or will her childhood memories always hold her hostage?

Hope Harbor by Irene Hannon Coming home to Hope Harbor wasn’t on Tracy Campbell’s agenda and neither was romance, but when she meets Michael Hunter, everything changes.

Christmas Joy Ride by Melody Carlson Christmas takes on a new jingle when two unlikely companions take off on the adventure of a lifetime along Route 66 in an RV that looks like Santa’s sleigh on steroids.

Gone without a Trace by Patricia Bradley When a high-profile case strikes homicide detective Livy Reynolds as eerily similar to her own cousin’s disappearance, she must work with the distractingly handsome Alex Jennings to solve the mystery.

Trial Run by Thomas Locke In this high-concept thriller, three competing interests race to master a dangerous and mind-bending technology even as time itself twists in unexpected directions. As perception and reality become entangled, no one escapes unscathed.

The Innocent by Ann H. Gabhart At the close of the Civil War in the Shaker village of Harmony Hill, Carlyn Kearny must come to terms with a personal tragedy and find a way to open her heart to love again.

Keeping Christmas by Dan Walsh When years of holiday traditions are threatened, a box of ugly ornaments might be the key to saving one family’s Christmas.

Murder at the Courthouse by A. H. Gabhart Former Chicago police officer Michael Keane has no trouble relaxing into the far less stressful job of deputy sheriff in his small hometown. After all, nothing ever happens in Hidden Springs, Kentucky. Nothing, that is, until a dead body is discovered on the courthouse steps.

Not by Sight by Kate Breslin When a misguided suffragette hands a white feather of cowardice to an English spy, neither could have imagined the dangerous consequences that follow.

The Potter’s Lady by Judith Miller Rose McKay has plenty of ideas on how to make her family’s newly acquired pottery business a success–too many ideas, in long-time employee Rylan Campbell’s opinion. But can these two put aside their differences and work together to win an important design contest?

Vendetta by Lisa Harris Detective Nikki Boyd’s Missing Persons Task Force is desperately searching the Smoky Mountains for a missing girl when the case becomes very personal–and deadly.

In Good Company by Jen Turano

Millie and Everett are eager to prove themselves–as a nanny and a society gentleman, respectively. They both have one last chance . . . each other.

A Bride at Last by Melissa Jagears

Silas and Kate both harbor resentment over failed mail-order engagements. But for the sake of a motherless boy, can they move beyond past hurts?

Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin

In 1941 as America teeters on the brink of World War II, Mary Stirling and Ensign Jim Avery work together to expose a saboteur. Will the dangers they encounter draw them together or tear them apart?

To Capture Her Heart by Rebecca DeMarino

Kidnapped by a rival tribe, a Montauk princess must choose between loyalty to the Dutch soldier who rescues her and the Englishman who has loved her from the start.

A Reason to Stay by Kellie Coates Gilbert

A Houston news anchor and a bass fishing champion are newlyweds on the brink of divorce until a tragedy stops them in their tracks.

Last Chance Hero by Cathleen Armstrong

Doctor Jessica McLeod and Coach Andy Ryan have nothing in common until they join forces to help a high school football player achieve his dreams.

We'd like to thank the Baker Publishing Group for sponsoring this great event and showing their support for libraries!

Pigeon Pi

By day, Robert Threet is a systems manager at the University of  Southern Indiana in Evansville. But when he’s not knee-deep in network hardware, he races homing pigeons.

Credit: Robert Threet

Credit: Robert Threet

Pigeon racing, which I’d always thought was the preserve of people from the north of England with flat caps and whippets (calm yourselves, commenters: my granddad was a man from the north of England with a flat cap – no whippets – and his friends were all over this stuff; budgie shows, too) turns out to have a following in the USA as well.

Things are far more sophisticated than they were when I was a kid. Back in the 70s when my Granddad’s friends were racing, each pigeon carried a little removable rubber ring around its ankle matching the unique number on a permanent band fitted when the pigeon was a chick. The rubber band was collected manually and logged when the pigeon arrived back at its loft by placing it in a special compartment in a pigeon clock, which stamped a piece of paper with the time. I was never allowed to touch one of these endlessly fascinating pigeon clocks, and they’ve always been objects of mystery – I was really chuffed when researching this post to find that a giant database of the things exists.

1955 Jundes pigeon clock. Click image to view at the Pigeon Clock Museum.

1955 Jundes pigeon clock. Click image to view at the Pigeon Clock Museum.

Nowadays, the pigeons are kitted out with RFID tags, and counted in by an electronic clock.  The pigeons race over distances between 300 and 500 miles, depending on age and experience. Pigeons belonging to a number of different racers all start at the same location, and fly back to their home lofts. The lofts’ GPS coordinates are taken, and used to calculate the distance flown. The pigeon with the best yards-per-minute score overall wins the race.

What does this have to do with Robert Threet in Indiana? Robert has been using a Raspberry Pi to augment the pigeon experience. Whenever one of his own pigeons arrives back in the loft after a race, a Raspberry Pi (which he also uses to monitor weather and the temperature conditions in the loft) uses a motion detector to trigger a camera, so each bird gets a photo-finish.

Robert plans to set the Pi up to automatically tweet those pictures, but for now, there’s a problem: his WiFi doesn’t extend to the pigeon loft. Please drop us a line when your setup is tweeting, Robert (as opposed to cooing softly); we’d love to be able to watch what your pigeons are doing.

The post Pigeon Pi appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

New Hotel in Tokyo Allows you to Sleep in a Bookstore


Many bookstores in Tokyo have adopted cafes so you could have a drink and read some interesting new titles. If you are simply having tea, your eyelids could get droopy and sometimes you doze off. When the location closes, you are normally kicked out, since bookstores aren’t open 24 hours a day. What if you could get the best of both worlds, a bookstore that encourages you to sleep?

Set to open this September, Book and Bed is a cooperation between designers Suppose Design Office, bookstore-cum-publisher Shibuya Publishing Booksellers, and real estate boutique R-Store.

The one big selling point behind this new operation is you don’t have your own private room,  but has a communal vibe. Suppose Design Office's bookshelves have bunks you can crawl into, capsule hotel-style. And like a capsule hotel, these are not exactly private rooms, but I suppose if you are dreaming of dozing off in a bookstore, you are OK with that.

There is no word yet on how they are handling showers, washrooms and changing areas, likely it will be all shared, hostel style. There isn’t any information yet on if it will be c0-ed or not, or whether everyone will share the same space.

I think this is an excellent idea, a hotel, cafe and bookstore blended together where you can buy books and lounge around. This might make an excellent location to meet fellow bibliophiles or a meeting place for a book club.

How to Know if you are a Book Nerd


Book Nerds are a different breed of readers from anyone else. Book Nerds when borrowing a book from someone who dog ears the pages have to actively restrain themselves from smoothing out all of their corners…because “It’s not my book. It’s not my book. It’s not my book….GAAAAHHH! How do you know if you are a Book Nerd or not? Check out these 11 graphs.

The Evolution of Front-Lit e-Reader Displays


The vast majority of e-readers on the market pack technology that allows you to read in the dark. Unlike a smartphone or tablet that have light that shines into your eyes, front-lit displays have five LED lights built into the bottom of the bezel that project light upwards. How does this technology really work? Today Good e-Reader investigates.

e-Readers first became popular in 2007 when Amazon released the first generation Kindle. This e-reader and all others that came after it, use technology from e-ink, called e-paper. E-paper displays have advantages such as a pleasant reading experience, extremely low power-consumption and provide users with the ability to read in sunlight. Because it is reflective it just gets brighter when you sit in a brighter environment – for example outside. But e-paper displays – like real paper – are impossible to use in a dimly lit room or during a flight when lights are out.


This all changed in 2008 when Sony unveiled front-lit technology for the first time with the advent of the PRS-700. It incorporated LED lights on the side of the bezel that projected light across the screen. Because this technology was so new, Sony did not implement it properly and the end user experience was a pale blue hue, and was not very indicative of a quality reading experience. This device also did not sell very well, because of the $400 price tag. Sony had such a negative outcry from their growing base of e-reader owners that it vowed never again to include light in any of their future devices.

Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight on the Left, Kobo Glo on the Right

Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight on the Left, Kobo Glo on the Right

It wasn’t until 2012 that the next e-reader had a front-lit display and it was the Barnes and Noble Simple Touch with Glowlight. The nations largest bookseller was trying everything they could possibly do to differentiate themselves from Amazon, Kobo and Sony.

When this device first came out Barnes & Noble said that the GlowLight technology was designed in-house at the company’s office in Palo Alto, Calif., and has a patent pending. Instead of having the light on the sides of the bezel, like the Sony model did, B&N included five LED lights on the top of the bezel, that projected light downwards. You activate the light by holding down the Nook button on the front and shut it off the same way. You can also dim the light to avoid bothering a bed partner who’s trying to sleep.

Later on in 2012 Amazon and Kobo both got into the front-lit game with the Kobo Glo and Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. These two companies refined what Barnes and Noble did, by including the LED lights on the bottom of the bezel, and projected light upwards. This was a winning formula and something all future e-readers adopted going forward.

Amazon finally got Light Right


The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite got light right. All prior models had a noticeable blue hue to the screen, and this was something nobody could figure out until the folks at LAB126 figured it out.

Amazon has not revealed exactly how (because it is patented) but broadly speaking it works by using a light guide layer that is located underneath the anti-glare layer. The LEDs (light emitting diodes) are placed at one of the edges and light is then guided out on the light guide layer and down from the top into the e-paper display with the use of a light diffuser. The light diffuser's purpose is to distribute light evenly on the screen which is done by having tiny holes in the layer. Closest to the LED source the holes are farther away and further away from the light source the tiny holes are more concentrated. This is necessary because the LEDs are placed at one edge only.


Previous generations of the Kindle used an infrared touch technology where infrared sensors where placed at the edge of the bezel. Infrared touch technology is far slower and more inaccurate. The Kindle Paperwhite was the first Amazon branded e-reader to feature a capacitive touchscreen display, which warranted a different way to approach the lighting system. This is more or less why Amazon currently leads the pack because most of the industry still uses infrared lighting (Kobo Glo HD, Nook Glowlight etc).

Front-Lit Displays – a closely guarded secret

Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo all have different ways of approaching front-lit displays and they all have their own patents for the technology. Not a single one of them would speak on the record about the evolutionary growth of their LED lighting systems and what has changed from the first model to include LED lights to the latest and greatest. Not even e-Ink, the company responsible for developing e-paper displays and controllers would speak about it. 3rd party manufacturers that churn out whitelabel e-readers that companies like Onyx, Pocketbook and Icarus would also not comment.

Why is front-lit displays such a closely guarded secret in the industry? Nobody really knows and the companies involved in the development space keep this close to the vest. This is honestly so weird, I have been covering e-readers since 2008 and I know everything about the hardware. From who makes the RAM and processors to batteries. Who makes front-lit displays? How many different generations have passed from the first to the current? These are questions nobody will answer, either on or off the record.

After careful analyzation there has been a few major benchmarks or generations of front-light. The first was the Sony PRS-700, the second was the Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight, the 3rd was the Kindle Paperwhite and the 4th is what is on the market today.

Check out for yourselves how lighting on e-readers has changed.