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The Blackberry Playbook is still relevant for a small segment of tablet owners. It was the only tablet Blackberry ever released and even though its getting long in the tooth, people still swear by it. One of the most common tasks any longtime user will have done is sideloading their own apps. When you use 3rd party tools like DDPB or the Chrome plugin some apps don’t work and you get errors. The most common ones is -9 and -12, but does that even mean?

Blackberry ceased to support the Playbook with firmware updates and does not maintain their app store anymore. This puts the tablet owners in a position of having to convert the the files themselves and manually load them on their device. The process is easy with the online tools we downloaded, that allow anyone to take an APK file and convert to a Blackberry friendly BAR file.

The most common error code users see when installing apps is Error code -12. This means that the app was designed for a higher version of Android and will not work on the Playbook. The Playbook only has an Android 2.3 emulator, so anything that is not backwards compatible will fail to install.

Error code -9 means that specific libraries are not available and are required for the app to function. This can be due to the app needing an external Data file (OBB) or it may require Google Services to run.

If you are new to converting apps or sideloading in your own apps not only for the Playbook, but ANY Blackberry 10 enabled device, see what all of the fuss is about.

Categories : Tablet PC News
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Yahoo has been totally revising the way they show digital content on some of their biggest properties. They have adopted a unified magazine layout to  Travel, Movies, Health and Food which makes it seem fresh and modern. Yahoo DIY is the latest magazine to launch and will appeal to enthusiasts looking for ideas for their next project.

Yahoo DIY will initially focus on news items, slideshows, listicles, and original videos. They will evaluate how each one of these segments performs and make editorial changes as needed. This is uncharted terrority for Yahoo, so they brought in Katie Brown who used to do a television show on Create TV.

The DIY videos will probably require the most work. The company is currently planning three series: “Daily Made” shows off solutions for common household problems, “Home Made” provides crafters with how-to tips, and “Katie Made” offers a sneak peek inside the Editor-in-Chief’s own quirky DIY projects.

It remains to be seen if Yahoo can make this concept work, as DIY enthusiasts are fairly loyal to their forum communities and platforms. Likely, the search engine giant is looking for novel concepts to see what sticks and eventually kill off the low performers.

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Wacom is employed by serious art creators in the comic and gaming industry, everyday thousands of artists are penciling, inking, coloring, lettering or simply cleaning up traditionally illustrated scanned artwork. In order to broaden their customer base and really show what their technology can do for digital comics, Wacom is partnering with a ton of great artists to release a 32 page digital anthology.

Pressure/Sensitivity is the name of the new comic and it will feature original, creator-owned short stories by Meredith Gran (Octopus Pie, Marceline and the Scream Queens), Ming Doyle (The Kitchen, Mara), Giannis Milonogiannis (Old City Blues, Prophet, All-New Ultimates) and one more still-to-be announced. All of the interior comics goodness comes wrapped in a cover by artist Ulises Farinas (Gamma, Judge Dredd: Mega City Two) and colorist Ryan Hill (Terrible Lizard, Stumptown).

The comic anthology will be available in early 2015 and  Wacom is going to be teasing its community with behind the scenes looks at the creation process.

Categories : Digital Comic News
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Japan first enjoyed Secret of Mana back in 1993, at a time when this real-time, top-down view battle system was truly unique and innovative. Add to that the ring command menu system that the game introduced: allowing players to user items, change weapons and perform all of their requisite actions without the need to switch screens. With thanks to the developers at Square Enix, Android games can experience some of the same joy we felt at our Nintendo consoles all those years ago.

Don’t be fooled, this title is ported but not really upgraded (aside from accommodating 360-degree movement and a touch-screen interface, unless you decide to employ peripheral controllers). The graphics are still delightfully old-school, which is a style that is very hip and popular these days.

The story behind the game focuses on the mystical power of Mana, encouraging you to befriend the eight elementals who wield all of nature’s forces.

Nostalgia doesn’t come cheap, so the $9 price-tag won’t scare many would-be Secret of Mana gamers who remember console gaming from way back when.

Categories : Android News
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A report released by J.D Power and IDC, indicates that Apple is starting to lose tablet market share again (despite remaining at the top of the list of those device manufacturers). The survey also showed that Apple has slipped into the number two slot for customer satisfaction, right behind Amazon (and their line of inexpensive Fire tablets).


Of course, if the survey is to be believed, there is no satisfying these consumers. On one hand they state that Apple isn’t innovating fast enough, but then they say that even with upgraded iPads launched this fall, users are upgrading more slowly.

It is my opinion that Apple doesn’t really care whether people are upgrading their old iPads… not really, anyway. Sure they want users to have iPads (and other iOS devices), and sure they want those users to keep them reasonably current (so they can run the latest operating system version), but hardware isn’t where they make there money. It isn’t where any of these manufacturers make their money. Profit is realized within the app ecosystem –with Apple taking a sizeable portion of the monies charged for apps and their now-famed in-app purchases.

Add to this the fact that market share does not equate to profit share. It’s easy to take a huge number of inexpensive tablets and drop them in the laps of consumers who wouldn’t be Apple customers anyway. That isn’t a loss for Apple.

With the new iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 shipping and the 2014 holiday season just getting started, the results from the next quarter could tell us a little more than these numbers do –which tablets are being wrapped and put under our trees? Which app store sees the most traffic in the early part of the new year?

Categories : Android News
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Flipboard describes itself as being your personal magazine, and that is about as an accurate a picture as they could paint. From the first moment you download the app, there is little question that it is refined and a joy to use –and with a complete redesign and a generous helping of updates, this is even more true now.

By choosing the categories and then the stories within them that you most enjoy, a personal magazine is crafted –from there you can flip through your news in a way that feels very visual and enjoyable. Thanks to the latest round of changes, there are over 30,000 new topics to follow.

If you aren’t sure where to begin, take a stroll through the Daily Edition, featuring articles (complete with breaking news and an accompanying audio track) hand-picked by the Flipboard team each morning by 7 AM.

Content isn’t the only one way that Flipboard has been enhanced. A complete graphic redesign is also ready to be enjoyed, the focus of which being a new top tab bar that allows you to quickly navigate around Flipboard (between those you are following, search, notifications and your profile).

If you still need to try Flipboard: Your News Magazine, download it now and see what you have been missing.

Categories : Android News
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Hockey is very important (and when I say that as a Canadian, you can believe it is true). With the season having gotten underway just a few weeks ago, our appetites are whet and we want more. Fortunately, NHL 2K is now available for Android (a little behind schedule, but we can forgive the developers at 2K Games, Inc).

The game offers three styles of play: 3v3 mini rink mode, turn-based multiplayer shootouts and an immersive My Career Mode. While the 3v3 is fast-paced and challenging, there is something satisfying about My Career Mode –which allows you to invest yourself in a single player as he trains and plays throughout the league.

There are reports of issues with this game not running smoothly on a few devices, but given its origins from a reputable development house I am sure you can expect tha any that exist will be resolved quickly.

If you love hockey, and you have $7.99 USD burning a hole in your digital pocket, download NHL 2K for Android and get your season started!

Categories : Android News
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The Kindle Voyage is the latest generation flagship e-reader from Amazon. Many people find themselves exclusively relying on the online bookstore and are aware they can load in their own PDF files or eBooks from the internet. Today, you will learn how to load in your own books.

First of all, Amazon Kindle e-readers read AZW and MOBI as a primary format that are easily found online. Many European bookstores actually sell eBooks in MOBI format and embed them with digital watermarks to curb piracy. There are also many bookstores and websites all over the internet that sell or allow people to download them. Sure you can buy or download, but whats the step steps?

Amazon has feature many people are unaware of. It allows you to send attachments via Email to your Amazon Kindle. If you have have registered an Amazon account and attached your Kindle to do, during the setup, you are half-way done. You need to visit your Account Management Page and then visit Settings. Near the bottom you will see a few email address and the associated devices. It should give your first name and a few random numbers, mine is You can then enter that email has the destination email address and attach any MOBI books you have downloaded from the internet and in a few minutes they will be on your Kindle Basic!

I really like a program called CALIBRE. It does some powerful stuff, like allowing you to add coverart to an eBook you have downloaded that may not have one, or to change the authors name. The feature I dig the most is being able to convert eBooks from one format to another. EPUB is one of the most common book formats out there, and is 100% incompatible with the Kindle. In the video below, I will show you how to convert an EPUB book to a MOBI one and also how to use this program on a very general level.

Finally, many people simply copy books to their Kindle Documents directory via a file manager or Windows Explorer. You can get a sense of the internal directory structure of your e-Reader and where you should be copying books manually.

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LG is quietly refining their flexible e-paper technology and has actually seen some commercial success along the way. New innovations will pave the way for super large screen displays that will transcend into the television arena.

In 2012 LG first entered the flexible e-paper arena and developed a screen that was crafted from a flexible plastic substrate, the display measuring 0.03 inches (0.7 millimeters) thick and weighs 0.5 ounces (13 grams), making it one-third slimmer and half the weight of currently available glass EPD devices. LG also has made it fairly durable with it being able to easily withstand dropping it from up to six feet. The battery life is also fairly amazing with two or three months of usage. Russian based e-reader company Wexler was the only company to adopt the LG technology into their Flex One.

LG has just announced a massive, 18-inch OLED display that can be rolled up into a tight cylinder with a radius of just 3 centimeters (1.2 inches). In addition, LG has mentioned they developed a version that was highly transparent.

The flexible 18-inch OLED display has a fairly paltry resolution that clocks in at 1280×810. The main breakthrough seems to be the use of polyimide for the display’s backplane. Polyimides are strong, flexible plastics that are already used extensively in the electronics industry — for example in the ribbon that attaches a laptop’s display to the motherboard, which is put through huge stresses during thousands of open/close cycles. LG says it achieved “maximum curvature radius” because polyimide allowed for a much thinner and flexible backplane than “conventional plastic.”

Truly flexible e-paper technology that can be rolled up, able to be read and folded up again is the holy grail. It not only can be used in the e-reader sector, but also smartwatches and advertising. The one hindrance in mass adoption is the fact the motherboards, battery, processor, RAM and most other internal components are not designed to be flexible and this will require a monumental effort by the entire supply chain to make a future of flexible e-paper a reality.

Update LG Display, as the first in the industry, showcased a full 5.3 inch HD liquid crystal display (LCD) for smart phones with a bezel thinner than a credit card ( 0.7mm). LG Display will start mass-production next month and will supply this product preferentially to the customers in China where the demand for large-screen smart phones is high.

Neo Edge technology is to completely seal the entire surface and also the edges of an LCD module rather than attaching panel drive board and backlight using a double-sided tape. As it does not involve the usage of plastic guide panels for panel and backlight attachment, bezel width can be minimized. In addition, according to LG Display, Neo Edge technology prevents light leaks and also provides dust and waterproofing functions.

Moreover, as the exposed sides of glass are sealed off with adhesives, it solves the problem of corrosion on the rims of LCD. At the same time, with elasticity generated as adhesives harden, strength, which was pointed out as a shortcoming of thin bezels, has been improved

Categories : E-Paper
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One of the big benefits of e-Ink technology is that it draws no power when a simple static image is being displayed or when you are reading a page in an eBook. The only time power is being drawn is when a full page refresh occurs or if you are interacting with the screen. A new LCD initiative is underway at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. They have developed a new type of LCD screen that works in a similar fashion to e-Ink. It can hold a static image for years, with no power.

The University has developed Optical Rewritable liquid crystal technology that carries no electrodes and uses polarizer’s as a substitute. It will show images in full color, but not draw any power as the image is shown. This would be tremendously beneficial to luggage tags, grocery price-tags or even in the next generation of color e-reader.

There are many benefits to what this technology is capable of, in regards to previous screens made by Pixel QI or Plastic Logic. First of all, the lack of electrodes means the ORWLCD panel can be much thinner than a conventional LCD. It also uses much less power, requires no plastic substrate, is simpler to construct, and therefore cheaper to manufacturer for mass production.

The technology as a whole is going one step further, by incorporating 3D elements. The report states “The whole panel has been divided into three parts with different image appearance. One for the left eye, a second for the right eye, and a third for the background and front of the image. The complete 3D image with a good light printer can be updated on the ORWLCD panel in one step and thereafter could be permanently stored without consuming any power. With the feasibility of one-step 3D image writing, wide-viewing angles, high contrast and low power consumption, this technology is suitable for many applications.”

I would kill for an e-reader for full color LCD that had the battery life of e-Ink. The one problem I have with reading on an Android tablet or iPad is that I have to charge it on a daily basis. This ORWLCD does have promise, but whether it gets out of the research and development phase is another matter entirely.

Categories : E-Paper
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Amazon and Kobo have been battling all over the world to attain new readers and promote their own distinctive ecosystem. Amazon especially has been building out their media empire by key acquisitions of GoodReads and Comixology, and boosting up their catalog of audiobooks via Audible. When it comes to dedicated e-ink based devices, they tend to do one thing really well, which is to read eBooks. Today, we look at both companies flagship models going into the holiday season and to check out how they perform.

The Kobo Aura H2O is the first waterproof e-reader issued by a mainstream company. The main benefit is that you can bring it in  your backyard, bathtub, beach, or bus and not have to worry about it getting destroyed. It is truly the first e-reader that you can take with you anywhere.

The Voyage is being billed as an e-reader packed with innovation. It has Page Press technology that incorporates  haptic feedback to turn the pages of  whatever you are reading. It also has an ambient light sensor to automatically adjust the illumination levels on the front-lit display.

Our comparison video outlines the hardware specs of both devices and what makes them both entirely unique. In addition, you can get a sense on how the DPI and resolution factor in when placing the same eBook and PDF file on each unit. Finally, we also test the front-lit technology, to get a sense on how reading in the dark plays out and how this affects the reading experience.

Basically, if you are thinking of upgrading to either of these devices or buying your very first digital reader, you don’t want to miss this.

Categories : e-Reader News
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Amazon has released a totally new product line for their Fire tablets, which is getting most of the mainstream media attention. Flying under the radar is the Kindle Basic and Kindle Voyage, two e-ink based readers. Today, we take a look at both devices to give you a sense on what they are capable of and the main differences.

Categories : e-reader, e-Reader News
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Amazon has just signed a deal to purchase Comedy service Rooftop Media. The ten person company will be joining Audible in an effort to boost the catalog with new content. Audible founder and Chief Executive Donald Katz said in a statement on Monday the company had been attracted by Rooftop’s content as well as its pool of comic talent.

Rooftop does something very unique in the recording industry. They setup shop in comedy clubs all over the US and record the sets of established names and up and coming talent.  They attain the full licenses and own the digital rights to thousands of hours of comedy, which is broadcast either live or later on demand. The company’s media partners include Apple and Yahoo, and they stream it out via Sirius, Rdio, Hulu, Spotify and Pandora. 

Audible has been struggling with the Comedy category of their audiobook store and currently has 3,300 titles. With the addition of content from Rooftop, it should easily double what they have now.

Audible was acquired by Amazon in 2008 for $300 million. Bringing Rooftop under the e-commerce giant’s umbrella also boosts the company’s growing digital media business, which includes video and music services through Amazon Prime and original television production via Amazon Studios. Amazon also recently acquired live gaming streamer Twitch.

Categories : Audiobooks
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