Friday, July 24, 2015

Amazon Paperwhite 3 vs Kindle Voyage – Glowlight Test


The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 3 is the latest e-reader to hit the market and it has the same screen technology as found on the Kindle Voyage. You might get a very similar reading experience on both of these devices, but once you compare them side by side with the lights out, the Voyage surpasses the Paperwhite 3.

Good e-Reader recently conducted an extensive video comparison between the Amazon Kindle Voyage and the Paperwhite 3. The Voyage provided a superior experience when reading in the dark, because there are fundamental differences between the two models.

The Kindle Voyage screen is totally flush with the bezel, much akin to a smartphone or tablet. This warrants a different approach to the illumination engine because of the way the physical screen is constructed. Peter and I are very sure that Amazon must be using different LED technology because of the way the hardware is constructed. In contrast, the Paperwhite 3 has a small dip between the screen and the bezel, and this model actually uses an older front-lit display.

Want to see for yourself what we mean? Check out the video below.

New Mapping Project Chronicals American Literary Road Trips


There is something uniquely American about hitch hiking across the country or painting a big bus and touring all over the US.  A new mapping project has chronicled famous literary road-trips from authors such as  F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jack Kerouac, Mark Twain and Tom Wolfe.

This project was created by Richard Kreitner and Steven Melendez, the map "includes every place-name reference in 12 books about cross-country travel, from Mark Twain's Roughing It (1872) to Cheryl Strayed's Wild (2012) and maps the authors' routes on top of one another." Each route is peppered with quotations from the book concerned, often with reference to that particular location on the map.

Pocketbook Touch Lux 2 Gets New Firmware


Pocketbook has just updated their Touch Lux 2 e-reader with firmware 5.9. It brings a slew of new features, including a user friendly setup process if you factory reset your device and support for a brand new PDF rendering engine.

New Features

1. User-friendly setup wizard which starts during firmware update or factory reset.
2. PDF Files have been optimized to open quicker and provide a more robust experience. If you have files over 100 MB, the e-reader can now open these properly.
3. Browser app enhancements.
4. Improved general Device performance.
5. Added support of Dyslexic font.


1. Incorrect notes display in books in DjVu format (in some cases).
2. Other minor changes.

Kobo Glo HD e-reader Now Available in Japan


Kobo has just launched their new high resolution e-reader in Japan. The device is available for purchase from the Rakuten Kobo eBook Store and selected online and offline retail stores in Japan. The price of the device is JPN 12,800.

The brand new Kobo Glo HD features a six inch e-ink Carta screen with a resolution of 1448×1072 and 300 PPI. It has the same front-lit display as the Kobo Aura H2O, so you will be able to read in low-light conditions or complete darkness.

Underneath the hood is a 1 GHZ processor and 4 GB of internal storage. When you take the e-reader out of the box for the first time you only have 3.1 GB of memory, primarily because the OS takes up a fair amount of space.

The Japanese version of the Glo HD includes two English-Japanese dictionaries pre-installed. In addition, Kobo has also launched the Kobo Glo HD Support Dial service, in which a team of specialized staff are ready to answer questions on everything from setting up the device to purchasing eBooks. This toll-free service can be used not only by those who have already purchased the device, but also those are considering purchasing it. The first 3,000 customers to purchase the device and log in with their Rakuten membership ID will receive a JPN 2,000 coupon for use on the Rakuten Kobo eBook Store.

Pneumatic tooth fairy

With the expanding global population, Jeff “BabyWrassler” Highsmith realised, the Tooth Fairy is probably finding it tough to keep on top of her job. He decided to help her out with a tooth transportation system using pneumatic tubes, controlled by a Raspberry Pi. This wonderful video is brought to us by Make:

Jeff’s past projects include his older son’s Mission Control Desk and his younger child’s bedroom Apollo Mission. We desperately envy these children.

The post Pneumatic tooth fairy appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

White Onyx Boox M96 Now Down to $318

The Onyx Boox M96 is the only 9.7-inch ebook reader available on the current market, aside from older outdated models and a few obsure models only available in certain parts of Asia. A lack of options doesn’t usually equate to a lower price point since their isn’t any competition to compete with, but in this […]

You can now merge end user barcodes and IDs

We at OverDrive strive to give the people what they want which is why we are thrilled to introduce a new end-user support tool, in OverDrive Marketplace, that allows library and school staff to easily merge activity from one barcode to another. Just think, all those new cards your library issues can now be merged, easily and most importantly, quickly without delay to your end users! They can continue to borrow their favorite digital titles using their new ID/Card/Barcode/Username etc. without hassle.

The tool to merge barcode activity has been a popular request among our partners and will help your staff act quickly to ensure end users retain all OverDrive activity (checkouts, holds, wish lists, etc.). You'll find the new tool in the End-user support section on the Support tab in Marketplace. Like the other end-user support features, "End-user support" permission is required to access it.

The tool allows barcodes to be merged one at a time. When a user is issued a new barcode, simply enter the original barcode and the new barcode within the tool. (If your library uses a value other than barcode for user verification (e.g. record ID, username, token ID), enter that value.) Search, verify you've selected the correct barcodes, and click Merge. After merging, activity will be associated with the new barcode immediately. Easy as that!

If you have any questions about this exciting new feature, please contact your Collection Specialist today!

Christina Samek is a Launch Specialist with OverDrive.

Major Publishers Might Revise eBook Pricing for Libraries


The Association of American Publishers has just released their annual data report and e-book sales are not doing that great. In the first three months of 2015 they have plummeted 7.5% from the same period last year. In all of 2014 e-books have more or less stabilize with only 3% growth from the year prior and this is forcing publishers to evaluate their policies on selling e-books to libraries.

Libraries right now are at the mercy of publishers and these companies can charge whatever they want. The new Michael Connelly novel Burning Room costs $14.99 on Amazon, but  libraries are paying $106.00 per copy.  John Grisham's Grey Mountain costs $15.99 for a retail edition, but costs libraries $85.00. Some publishers make libraries repurchase the title after 25 loans, while others have them expire after one year. There is little consistency with the pricing, but hopefully this will change.

Publishers are very aware of new entrants to the market that are bucking the trend of e-book distribution. Hoopla has an innovative model that has their entire catalog of books and comics available for online library lending, but the library only pays for the titles that are checked out.  Freading, Total BooX, and BiblioBoard also have interesting business models.

Major publishers have certainly not been asleep at the wheel and letting these small companies gain a meaningful foothold in the library space. This has prompted them to take more risks and experiment with new pilot projects.

One of the most successful was the Overdrive Big Library Read project that started in 2013 when the company partnered with Sourcebooks. It made the title  The Four Corners of the Sky by Michael Malone, available simultaneously to all patrons of over 3,500 OverDrive partner libraries. The book could be downloaded an unlimited number of times. This program was so successful that it prompted HarperCollins to contribute four different titles over the last two years and they continue to sponsor the event, even now.

Back in April Simon & Schuster announced that it will donate a free electronic copy of Academy Award–winning producer Brian Grazer's new book, A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life, to school and public libraries for every  ebook or hardcover book sold at retail, up to 5,000 copies. The promotion was coordinated by Overdrive and was a resounding success.

Ultimately pilot projects are a great way for the publishers and libraries to promote a few titles in tandem with each other, but the high e-book prices to maintain a proper collection is draining the libraries budgets at an alarming rate. This has prompted a new coalition in Canada to be formed that is trying to bring public awareness to just how bad things are getting. For the first time ever all of the major organizations, which include The Toronto Public Library, Canadian Library Council, Ontario Library Association and the Canadian Library Association are seeking government intervention to adopt a uniform set of standards for publishers to follow.

There is no denying that for the last few years the steady growth of consumer e-book sales have either stagnated or halted completely.  Publishers need libraries now, more than ever to keep the digital gravy train rolling. This will result in more pilot projects and lower prices on books, in order to sell more of them.