Monday, August 3, 2015

Japanese Readers Spend the Most Money on e-Books


Digital Books may have hit the proverbial glass ceiling in North America but across the world they are starting to really catch on. This is most evident in Japan, where readers are spending the most amount of money on e-Books.

According to a new research report by Statista, Japanese readers have spent the most money on e-books per individual user, around $86.50. Following closely behind are digital readers in the U.K.  who have spent on average $84.00. In contrast readers based in the United States will spend on average $46 on e-books.

Are you surprised that the average Japanese reader spends the most money on e-books? You shouldn’t because the digital publishing industry in Japan classifies manga as an e-book and all of the sales they garner gets lumped together alongside e-books.

In Japan manga accounts for 80% of all digital book sales.  It's not hard to see the appeal. Digital manga can be taken on the go, kept on a slim device instead of hauling books in a bag. And with a generation already glued to their smartphones, it almost seems easier to read digitally.

I read a report recently about the stark contrast between the US comic book industry and Japanese Manga.  If a single comic sells over 100,000 copies in the US it is considered a bestseller.  But over in Japan things get really crazy. One Piece sold 11,885,957 copies in 2014, while Attack on Titan proved to be quite popular, selling 11,728,368 titles. Haikyu!! managed to sell a staggering 8,283,709 copies and upstart Tokyo Ghoul sold over 6,946,203.

How to Wirelessly Send Web Pages, Documents & eBooks to Kindles

A surprising number of Kindle users out there still don’t know how to send ebooks, web pages and personal documents to their Kindle ereaders, Fire tablets, and Kindle apps wirelessly using any of Amazon’s send-to-Kindle apps or email. So this article is going to outline how to do just that. Email Delivery The email delivery […]

Textbook Prices Have Increased 1,041% Since 1977

Your child might be attending college or university for the first time this fall and before they attend their first class they might be schooled first in economics.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, textbook prices have risen over three times the rate of inflation from January 1977 to June 2015, a 1,041% increase. This is because textbooks are sold like drugs.

Modern textbook sales are much akin to the pharmaceutical sales model where the publishers spend their time wooing the decision makers to adopt their product. In this case, it’s professors instead of doctors. Unlike drugs though, there’s no textbook insurance to cover the out of pocket costs.

“Professors are not price-sensitive and they then assign and students have no say,” said Ariel Diaz, CEO of Boundless, a free and low-cost textbook publisher.


How can students not break the bank buying textbooks? Many of them are renting the digital versions via Chegg, TextbookRush, Amazon or Google. Not only can you rent it from these companies but you can purchase it outright from these same companies or dedicated educational ecosystems like Coursesmart and save 60% off the print price.

It makes really good sense to buy the digital version right? I mean you save a ton of money, but students are notoriously persistent to the entire premise. For example, a recent pilot study from the University of Washington showed that about 25% of students who were given free versions of digital textbooks still went out and purchased a physical copy of the same book.

Hewlett Packard also conducted a survey last winter, talking to 527 students at San Jose State. 57% of the respondents said they prefer the standard textbook, while a paltry 21% said they prefer the digital variant.

Whether you buy an overpriced textbook or rent one, there is a secret way to save some money. In 2009 a new IRS provision was established that that allows students and parents to qualify for a $2,500 textbook and course material tax credit by filling out IRS form 8863 and filing it with their taxes.

Kindle Sale: $49 Kindle Touch, $79 Fire HD 7, & More

It’s been awhile since any Kindles were on sale (expect for Prime Day, and these deals are just as good so what was the point?). This week there are some pretty good savings to be had if you’re in the market for a cheap new Kindle ereader or Fire tablet. Amazon’s authorized retailers like Best […]

Pimoroni is 3

For Pimoroni’s second birthday, we finally outgrew the old spring-storage workshop in Neepsend.

After hunting for a while, we found a new home near the train station in Sheffield. The new Pirate Ship is almost 8,000 sq ft of workshop and office that works pretty well for us, especially since it’s close to Street Food Chef and the Rutland Arms.

We’ve been here a year now and can say we’ve finally settled in. In fact we’ve almost filled the place, since we’ve continued growing at the same pace as the two previous years. This is pretty amazing, and means we’re now providing employment to more than 20 people.


People! Having jobs! Because of your awesome support for Pimoroni! This amazes us :D

We now have Rick who runs the packing department. Matt and Kelly are the new shop team. Connor has joined Production to spend more time with laser cutters, and we of course have Phil “Gadgetoid” joining Jon and Paul in development.


We also had our first work experience peeps this summer, with Ben Dunicliffe and Amy Mather spending a week helping out the Pirates.

As well as expanding the Robot Lab and Lasertorium to make Flotilla (getting really close to being finished) and our awesome HATs, our shop has grown as Raspberry Pi and Making get more popular. The Raspi 2 launch was a really intense couple of weeks and everyone worked their heinie off to make sure people got their stuff as quickly as possible.

We’ve also managed to do some events again somehow, and appear at Maker Faires around the world, Deer Shed Festival, Picademy, and of course the occasional MegaJam, Cam Jam and Birthday Party.


Our plan is to continue the trend and keep making awesome things, and growing to become as awesome in Europe as Adafruit and Sparkfun are in the USA! We still barely have time to breathe on the average Pimoroni day. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

We’ve saved up a few special things for our birthday to celebrate, and so, from today, as well as getting a whopping 15% off, you can also order these shiny new things:


After finally delivering the Picade a year after the Kickstarter ended we were happy never to see another one for a while. We felt we let the community down a bit, as people were always asking when it was going to be released.


Our guilt finally got the better of us, and so we dusted off the plans, refined the PCB and got serious about it.


The results is the Picade you can actually buy. It has a kickass PCB made by Ragworm (who else!) which has a novel 3-colour solder-mask/silk on top, the first we’ve made or seen.


We’ve also made a smaller ‘Console’ version, which is perfect for a Raspi 2 and your HDMI screen. It houses the PCB, Pi, audio and controls in a neat, more portable box.

Piano HAT

Zack Igielman got talking to us after making his PiPiano on IndieGoGo. He wanted to make it a thing, but didn’t particularly want to spend time going through the production process, which we can really appreciate. Hardware is hard.


We gave it the full Pimoroni art-treatment, and the result is the Piano HAT. Possibly our shiniest board.

Pibow Tangerine

We made some custom Pibows for the Ubuntu Orange Matchbox. Lovely people. We liked the colour so much we decided to release it as an official Pibow colour: the Pibow Tangerine (rhymes with Yellow Submarine).


Coupe Royale

The purple A+ Coupé has made the jump to join the other Coupés for the Raspi 2 and B+. Everyone loves purple.

We also have a couple of other little surprises coming over the next few days, just to keep you interested :D

Again, thanks for believing in us and supporting us! We’ll keep making awesome stuff in piratical fashion. Arrrr!

– The Pirates of Pimoroni

The post Pimoroni is 3 appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Do Books Need a Rating System for Kids?


Seven out of ten Americans expect librarians to prevent children from borrowing materials that are inappropriate for their age. This puts librarians in the role of a gatekeeper and many of them are now calling for a rating system for books. They cite that movies, music and video games all have age ratings and books should too.

The Harris Poll surveyed over 2,244 adults last March and they found the vast majority of respondents want a book rating system, instead of banning books outright. Three-fifths of Americans believe children should not be able to get books containing explicit language from school libraries , while half say the same of books with references to violence.

Some people disagree that books need a rating system. “Books can be a safe way for young people to explore edgier, sensitive, or complicated topics, and they provide parents the opportunity to help their teens grow and understand these kinds of sensitive issues,” says Beth Yoke, executive director of the Young Adult Library Services Association, an offshoot of the American Library Association. “ALA’s interpretation on any rating system for books is that it’s censorship.”

I think Beth Yorke is completely wrong. Censorship is when an authority (usually government) suppresses speech or communication. Simply using a rating system to describe content is not censorship. Movies and TV shows, all have a rating system, and while market forces might encourage or discourage content of a certain rating, market forces are not systematic censorship by a controlling body. Movie ratings have not prevented R movies from being made, and TV ratings have not prevented True Blood or Game of Thrones from becoming hit shows.

Books need a rating system in order to have our children reading age appropriate material. This would make millions of librarians jobs far easier when loaning out physical copies at their branch, but more importantly e-books.