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Tag: ebook

Kindle Lighted Cover

Posted by KL Tech Muse at 6:17 PM on August 17, 2011

Kindle Lighted Cover I have a Kindle and I grown to love it, however it’s one weakness for me is the lack of a backlight. This means at night even with lights on you need a book light to avoid shadows on the pages. Unfortunately, most book lights that are available are badly made, they are flimsy and don’t stayed hooked to the Kindle and you can’t replace the battery. Even if they work well it is one more thing you have too carry with you on a trip. I had tried a couple which were ok, but I wasn’t totally satisfied. Then I heard someone talking about the Kindle Lighted Cover. I was immediately intrigue since I also needed a book cover for the Kindle.

The Kindle Light cover is made of pebble leather and comes in 7 colors. When you first attach the cover, you have to make sure the hooks in the center are inserted correctly, that took me a little while. It has a great elastic cord that wraps around the cover. When you open the cover you can fold the cover back and use the cord to hold it. You can then hold the Kindle by one hand. In the upper right hand corner of the cover there is a piece of plastic, when you pull it out it becomes the light. The light comes on only when the Kindle is on. It is an LED light and it runs off of the Kindle’s power, so no batteries are required. The light is bright, and covers all the Kindle without a glare. It feels well constructed and pulls out fairly easily from it’s slot.

The biggest problem with the Kindle Lighted Cover is the price, most clip on book lights run from $5.00-$25.00. The Kindle Light Cover is $59.00, which seems like a lot in comparison. However you do get a cover which alone can run from $25.00 to $40.00. Plus since the light runs off the Kindle power so you don’t have to buy replacement batteries, therefore over the long run it should be cheaper. I read some of the reviews on Amazon some people have had problems with the Kindle Lighted Cover shortening the Kindle out, however most of the reviews were positive. If you have recently brought a Kindle and are looking for both a cover and a book light I would recommend the Kindle Lighted Cover.

eBooks Available in Northern Ireland Libraries

Posted by Andrew at 5:14 PM on August 7, 2011

My daughter and I are regular visitors to our local public library. She loves getting new books for bedtime reading and I love reading them to her. Sometimes the simple pleasures are best.

For my own reading, increasingly I’ve been reading ebooks on my Nook, either purchasing from Waterstones or finding free novels elsewhere on the web. Previously I had checked the library’s website for ebook loans but they weren’t available.

However this weekend, a flyer on the library’s noticeboard announced that ebook loans were now available to all members of Northern Irish public libraries. Yay! Apparently the service went live in mid-July according to the press release and it uses the Overdrive platform, which mostly uses Adobe .epub with DRM to loan the ebooks for a few weeks.

I hope the service is a success here, but the ebook reader market in the UK is totally dominated by the Kindle which doesn’t work with .epub. In fact, I don’t know anyone who has an ereader that isn’t a Kindle. There are clients for most of the mobile OSes, such as Android and iOS, so there might be some take up there.

Ok, so a bit of a niche post but I’m just pleased to get books for free!

Barnes & Noble Nook – A UK Perspective

Posted by Andrew at 1:04 AM on May 6, 2011

When it comes to ebook readers, I think it’s fairly safe to say that there are three main contenders in the market – Amazon with the Kindle, Barnes & Noble with the Nook and Sony with the Pocket Reader range. Three contenders in the US market that is. If you live in the UK, your choice is more restricted with only the Amazon Kindle and the Sony Pocket Reader being widely available.

Regrettably, Barnes & Noble don’t exist over here but there are plenty of bookstores such as Waterstones and WHSmith. There are others readers available too, such as the Samsung E60/E65, the Kobo, the iriver Story but I’ve never met anyone who actually has one, whereas I know several people with Kindles and Sony Readers. The latter was previously reviewed on GNC in the autumn.

Like many of my compatriots, I’ve looked longingly at the Nook while on holiday. It seemed to have the best of both worlds – although it has access to a closely integrated store in the same way as the Kindle, it reads the more open epub format like the Sony Pocket Reader can. It doesn’t have the full touchscreen of the Pocket Reader but it does replace the Kindle’s keyboard with a small colour touchscreen, which I like.

But a little research showed that Barnes & Noble won’t sell ebooks outside of the USA, so I was reluctant to purchase a Nook in case I ended up with an expensive paperweight.

Further research on the forums suggested that sideloading ebooks onto the Nook worked fine, i.e. copying ebooks via USB, so in the end, I took the risk and imported a Nook back into the UK. I only purchased the wifi version rather than the 3G version as even if the 3G worked (and I doubted it would), there wasn’t going to be much I could do with it if I couldn’t buy directly from Barnes & Noble.

Here’s what I’ve discovered after a few days of playing around.

The good news is the you can easily purchase books from the likes of Waterstone’s and read them on the Nook. The first step is to download and install Adobe’s Digital Editions on to your PC or laptop. When the program is run, you “authorise” the computer to store and manage your DRM’d ebooks (not that you have any at this stage).

Once that’s done, the second step is to go to the ebook store of your choice and purchase what you’d like to read. When you download the purchased books, Adobe’s Digital Editions will automatically launch to receive them and once completed, you can see and read them within the software.

Finally, when you connect your Nook via USB, Adobe Digital Editions will ask you if you want to “authorise” the Nook reader. After accepting this, the Nook appears as another container within Digital Editions and you can then copy your newly purchased ebooks to the Nook. Disconnect the Nook from the PC or laptop and the ebooks will appear in “my library” on the Nook. Select one of your choice and you’re reading. Excellent!

That’s the main concern dealt with so what else is good? I didn’t exhaustively try to break B&N’s regional restrictions but some content, e.g. The Daily blog, is available to be read.

Disappointingly, the built-in web browser doesn’t allow downloads. There are many ebook stores such as SmashWords which offer un-DRM’d ebooks which could be downloaded direct to the Nook because there’s no need for Digital Editions to manage the DRM. Unfortunately, when you try to download anything directly to the Nook, the web browser refuses to do it. A little irritating.

The audio player works ok, though it relies on the small colour screen to select tracks. This is fine if you have a small music collection or you shuffle the playlist, but it’s not great if you have a big collection and want to listen to ZZ Top.

If weight is an issue, Nook is definitely a bit heavier than both the Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader. Folio covers seem to work better on the Kindle with its latching mechanism whereas the Nook seems to rely on “pockets and elastic”.

Overall, I like the Nook. The loss of the connection to the Barnes and Noble shop puts in on a par with the non-Kindle ereaders in the UK and it’s really a choice between the touch screen of the Sonys and the colour navigation screen of the Nook. But the main point of this article is that if you are in the US and you like the look of the Nook, you can be confident that you’ll be able to purchase and read ebooks from bookstores here in the UK.

EnTourage eDGe, a dual screen tablet and ereader

Posted by Andrew at 12:33 PM on February 13, 2011

Jeffrey and Esbjorn hear what Doug Atkinson of enTourage has to say about the Pocket eDGe, a clamshell-style device with dual screens. It has a 7″ TFT tablet screen on one side and a 6″ e-Ink reader screen on the other. And to be clear, it’s not two devices in one, it’s one device with two screens.

The eDGe will be running Android 2.2, though the tablet screen is only a resistive touch screen and hence uses a stylus. 3G RAM, microSD slot, USB port, 2 MP camera, headphone jack and microphone round out the features. The reader supports ePub and PDF. The tablet can play a wide variety of audio and video formats, including mp3 and mp4 respectively.

No doubt it’s an interesting concept with lots of flexibility. If you are interested, it’s on sale now for around $349.

Interview by Jeffrey Powers of The Geekazine Podcast and Esbjorn Larsen of MrNetCast.com.

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CourseSmart Online Text Books

Posted by Andrew at 9:15 AM on January 25, 2011

Andy McCaskey talks to Heather Shelstad, Director of Marketing for CourseSmart. Anyone in education will know that textbooks are expensive and CourseSmart offers a cheaper and more convenient alternative.  CourseSmart is the world’s largest provider of on-line textbooks with around 90% of the current curriculum available at about 60% of the cost. CourseSmart has relationships with many of the major publishers, so new textbooks are available on-line simultaneously with the paper editions.

Heather shows off the iPad’s virtual bookshelf client that takes advantage of the iPad’s touch screen to provide real-world functionality such as sticky notes and annotations. The on-line world can provide a richer experience than a traditional book, with links to other resources across the Internet but a new feature coming soon will be the ability to download and store chapters or whole books for reference off-line.

Any web browser can be used to read etexts at CourseSmart but there are specific clients for iPads, iPhones and Android devices.

Interview by Andy McCaskey of SDR News.

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Pandigital Android Tablet and Colour eReader

Posted by Andrew at 6:00 AM on January 4, 2011

Pandigital today added a 9″ colour Android tablet with wireless 3G connectivity to its existing line of Multimedia Novels. Aimed at the ereader market, this is Pandigital’s first integrated wireless device offering access to Barnes & Noble’s ebookstore across AT&T’s network without contract.

The tablet has a 9″ full colour touch-screen LCD display which when coupled with Android allows a huge range of applications to be downloaded and enjoyed by the customer, including surfing the web, viewing photos, watching movies and many other activities (although it cannot access the Android Market).  It also makes the Multimedia Novel perfect for reading ebooks, colour magazines and children’s stories.

By providing access via AT&T’s 3G network to Barnes & Noble’s NookBook store, the Multimedia Novel has access to over 2 million ebooks, newspapers and magazines most priced at $9.99 or less.  There are also over a million free classics available.

“The Pandigital Multimedia Novel line became incredibly popular in 2010 thanks to its breadth of features, top-notch ereading experience, and affordability,” said John Clough, president, Pandigital. “Our new 9-inch Android multimedia tablet and color ereader promises to move this experience ahead dramatically with its large touchscreen for enhanced viewing, versatile Android platform, and connected ebookstore with broad wireless coverage provided by AT&T.”

Under the hood, the tablet is powered by an ARM 11 processor and comes with 2GB of internal memory plus an integrated SDHC card reader.  Wired connectivity is via a mini-USB port. Wireless connectivity via 3G and wifi. Screen resolution is 480 x 800.

The Pandigital Multimedia Novel (R90A200) will be available from several national retailers in January with a suggested retail price of $279.

An E-Library for E-Books

Posted by GNC at 11:50 PM on November 1, 2009

Another e-book reader is rumored to be in the works  and this one is by Creative.  And the promises are broad with a color screen, media, music, the moon.  Of course this is right on the heels of Barne’s and Nobles Android powered e-book.  Did I forget Apple  who has long been rumored to be working on a tablet style device that will reinvent media once again?  I confess that I put more faith in Apple’s ability to bring success, if I have any at all.

I have fingered the Kindle and I have browsed the iPhone/iPod Touch e-reader applications.  And I still don’t own, or have plans to own an e-reader.  Why?  Books are expensive.  Buying and e-reader so I can buy e-books is still expensive.  If I am tempted to read after a day at work and at the computer, I don’t want to look at another digital screen.  If I need something to read, I hesitate to pull the trigger on a $12 book that I will finish in a week.  I’m struggling.

1214060_58827580 2-250rdCould or should there be a reinventing of the library?  Your town probably still has one.  It is an old technology where you can check out books for free (or a nominal membership fee), and then bring them back.  I must admit I’m shocked that the print industry didn’t sue the libraries for lost profit years ago.  What about a library system for e-books?  Could it work?  How?  Amazon allows two Kindle’s to share a single account, and that works great for family.  Apple is demonstrating the technology with its online video rental system.  You rent it, download it, and then it disappears.  Certainly it could be done.  I would even pay to rent a book.

Well Creative, I hope your e-reader convinces me, but I’m not sure it’s possible without a revamp from the print industry.  Maybe Apple will come through and convince me to pay $700 for a tablet so I can purchase really snazzy media to read, but I don’t see it.