Saturday, August 1, 2015

e Ink and Netronix form a New e-Reader Company


E Ink is best known for their e-paper technology that is found on virtually ever single e-reader on the market. The company has since diversified into digital signage and sees a bright future in this segment. One of the downsides of their business model is that they will develop and sell the technology but they will outsource the manufacturing and assembly to 3rd party companies This is going to change this October when E Ink has officially partnered with Taiwan based Netronix.

The new venture between the two companies will be called NTX Electronics Yangzhou Co. It will be based in the economic and technology development zone in Yangzhou in China's Jiangsu Province. The two companies are betting that a one-stop total solution for e-readers, smart watches, smartphones and digital signage will be a major global player.

Netronix may might be a household name but they are responsible for designing and manufacturing every single Kobo e-reader over the last five years. They also develop internally stock e-readers that showcase their technologies and often offer white-label solutions to Chinese, European and Russian tech companies for resale.

This new partnership will change the landscape of e-readers, digital signage and e-paper screens. E Ink is mainly a RND company and Netronix knows supply chains, logistics and manufacturing. This really means that anyone who wants to get something made using e Ink technology they don’t have to get pawned off to someone else anymore. E Ink and Netronix will handle everything.

Yotaphone is not coming to the US – Where is your Money?


Yota Devices, the company behind the YotaPhone 2 has an unviable business model in trying to enter the US market. The company initiated a crowd sourced campaign on Indiegogo last month, chiefly to explore overall demand. They raised over $250,000 and customers might be out of luck in trying to get their money back, because the Yotaphone is NOT coming to the US after all.

When the Yotaphone 2 was put on Indiegogo to basically explore demand in the US. I was very critical of a campaign whose essence was to see who wanted to buy one as utterly ridiculous for a well funded Matthew G. Kelly
Managing Director, Americas begged me to change my article, because they were trying to raise as much money as possible and did not want the negative publicity.

In an update sent to backers yesterday, Yota Devices has revealed that the logistics of getting the phones in the hands of the US backers would take far too long. Following delays from the manufacturer, the team was forced to cancel the launch as it would interfere with their plans for a 3rd generation model due out in 2016.

Yota Devices is offering backers an international variant of the phone, which unfortunately will not have LTE in the US, or a refund. Currently, the company does not have all the details worked out about how it will refund the customers, but they acknowledged they won’t refund credit cards.

I think Yota is complete garbage in terms of their phone quality, their first generation phone was a dismal failure in the marketplace. The e-ink panel did not even have a touchscreen. The second generation model did have a touchscreen but the lack of e-ink apps made it a flop in the marketplace.

Yota Devices is a fine example of why its so hard to support tech companies that are soliciting funding from Joe Average in order to have a product reach customers. Why did they even bother raising hundreds of thousands of dollars, when they knew they would have manufacturing issues? Are they betting on a large demographic of people not caring they won’t get refunded or have to end up jumping through a million hoops in order to get it?

How to Fix the Something Happened Windows 10 Error

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Many users have been trying to upgrade their computers or tablets to Windows 10, until something happened. No literally, the error message people are receiving says “Something Happened,” talk about the most unhelpful error message ever.  Thankfully you can now fix it.

The root of the problem resides in your language settings and is easily fixed if you’re able to re-download a specific language set.

Users should  go to “Control panel”, “Language and region”, then go to the region for the United States, click “Administrative” and change the language to English (United States). If you live in a region outside of the US, make sure the language pack is correct for wherever you live.

If this does not fix your error, try deleting everything in the temp directory that Microsoft made, C:\$Windows.~BT

This will solve this nagging bug, let me know if you need any help with this error.

eBooks and print can co-exist


Four years ago there was a lot of panic in the book selling industry regarding e-books. The consensus was that digital reading was going to take over and physical books were going to become a relic of some other time and place. In 2015 indie bookstores and national chains all believe that print and digital co-exist, they don’t compete with each other.

The dream of an e-book only world has been severely squashed by a number of notable reports. The Association of American Publishers released their annual data report a few weeks ago and they found that in the first three months of 2015 they have plummeted 7.5% from the same period last year.

Meanwhile, according to the US Census Bureau Brick and mortar bookstore sales are on the rise for the third straight month. May 2015 sales across the board for books, stationary and magazines have increased 0.9%, to $776 million from the same period last year.

Major bookstores all over the world have proclaimed that they used to sell a lot of e-readers and direct customers to their preferred e-book store, but this isn’t the case anymore.  The Kindle "has disappeared to all intents and purposes", said James Daunt the head of Britain's biggest book chain Waterstones. He also reported that print book sales lifted by 5% in December 2014.

Meanwhile, Australian bookseller Jon Page of Page and Pages said "print sales were up 3% last year, which is fantastic because for the last three years we'd actually seen a decline in that time."

In Germany brick-and-mortar bookstores maintained better sales performance than online bookstores for the second year in a row and even gained a higher percentage of overall book sales (49.2% of book sales in 2014 compared to 48.6% in 2013). Online bookstores saw a significant decline of 3.1% in terms of market share.

Large booksellers aren’t the only companies to sell decreased interest in e-books and e-readers, but indie bookstores have noticed this trend as well.  Most of them deal with Kobo, who has been running a hardware and software scheme since 2012.

“It’s not even a drop in the bucket really,” said Arsen Kashkashian, inventory manager at Boulder Bookstore. “Our sales are up for the year and they’re coming from physical books.”  He estimates the store has about 10 customers who regularly purchase e-books, with a few other occasional downloads. “I don’t have exact numbers but let’s say we make $10 off each hardback copy of (Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman”). E-books make 50 cents,” he said.

Many indie bookstores actually see no point to carrying e-readers or e-books.  "We have no plans to sell Kobos at this time," said Bob Ryan, manager of Wakefield Books in Wakefield, R.I. "We understand the popularity of the e-readers, but we're going to cater to the print readers."

Meanwhile, Steven Baum, co-owner of Greetings & Readings in Hunt Valley, Md., which once carried electronics, has no desire to return. "We left that industry when the sales tax was greater than the profit margin," he said. "The Kobo is too little too late. E-book readers are already on a massive decline, because of the tablet."

Other booksellers were soured by the Google experience and decided not to sell Kobo e-readers. "We did the Google thing," said Grant Novak, manager of the Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury, which is not selling e-books.

Indie bookstores and national chains are all in agreement that print has enjoyed a resurgence in the last year, as the novelty of e-books as clearly waned.