3M is focusing on expansion and the development of new technologies as an avenue of growth during 2015. The company will be previewing some of the new product features for the 3M Cloud Library App and the SelfCheck terminals at the upcoming ALA mid-winter conference.
3M’s investment in new technology and talent is in response to the positive reception of its products. Over 1,000 libraries have upgraded to the 3M SelfCheck QuickConnect Interface. 3M Cloud Library customers have a 95 percent renewal rate, and a 121 percent growth in checkouts from 2013 to 2014. Additionally, 75 percent of 3M Cloud Library customers utilize two eBook systems, a testament to the value of a second system for libraries that would like to increase eBook utilization.
“Our growth and renewal rate shows that libraries are finding outstanding value in 3M Library’s offerings and technology,” said Matt Tempelis, Global Business Manager, 3M Library Systems. “Our intuitive, elegant solutions engage existing and new patrons alike.”
3M has also recently added personnel to support its growth. This includes additions to field sales representatives, portfolio managers, research & development, and technical service staff. These individuals bring tremendous industry experience to the 3M Library Systems team.
“We’re seeing so many great things in the industry, including this commitment from 3M,” said Pat Conley, library director for the Washington County Library in Minnesota. “It’s a really positive sign that big companies are seeing ongoing opportunities in serving libraries.”
The entire notion of Netflix for e-Books has caught on in a big. A few years ago many publishers were resistant to the entire idea and gradually they have all come around. Oyster is one of the leaders in the field of e-book subscription services, where users pay a low monthly fee and get access to thousands of digital books they can read at their leisure. Today, the company is proud to announce that they have reached an agreement with JK Rowling, to have the entire Harry Potter saga available.
For the longest time Rowling was heavily resistant to the idea of digitizing her titles. The main problem was control, she did not want an established publishing company to take a percentage of each sale and wanted to market the books herself. This led to the creation of Pottermore, the only place online where you can buy the digital editions of every Harry Potter book ever written. One of the things that drove its success was that every title was DRM-Free. This allowed readers to easily transfer them to their smartphones, tablets or e-readers and not have to use 3rd party tools or utilities. The Pottermore initiative was spearheaded by Charlie Redmayne and his efforts were such a resounding success that he was soon tapped to be the next CEO of Harper Collins UK.
When Oyster launched in 2013 one of their top ten searches every single month were the Harry Potter books, now the wait is over. All seven main Harry Potter ebooks and three Hogwarts Library eBooks are now available.
Oyster’s Reader Themes will be replaced by “House Themes,” with designs inspired by Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, and readers can tap the Sorting Hat icon to have one chosen at random. The Oyster Review will also be dedicated to Harry Potter from Jan. 28 – 30, featuring unique editorial content celebrating the series, commissioned and authored by Oyster.
Michael Bloomberg is a man on the mission. One of his lifelong goals is purchasing one of the most influential newspapers in the world, the New York Times. A few years ago he formally approached Chairman Arthur Sulzberger about a possible deal, but was told “The New York Times will never be for sale.” Recently the New York Magazine published a speculation piece and for all sense and purposes, Michael’s interest has not waned.
Michael Bloomberg is the former mayor of New York and held the office for three terms. He is considered to be the wealthiest person in New York, whose reported net worth is north of $33 billion, could certainly afford to acquire a publicly traded media company with a market capitalization of a mere $2 billion—even if he had to pay a substantial premium.
Many of the most popular newspapers in the US also proclaimed that they would never be for sale, but look how it all panned out. The Wall Street Journal was not for sale until Rupert Murdoch made an offer that was 67% above their shares’ trading value. The Washington Post wasn’t on the market until Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos came knocking and bought it in August 2013.
The New York Times has been under the gun lately to produce. In October they reported a loss of $9 million compared to a profit of $12.9 million in the third quarter of 2013. The loss was driven, in part, by the cost of buyouts and over 100 layoffs, as well as a capital investment in new products. The company bet big on NYT Opinion, a mobile app dedicated to opinionated content and NYT Now, which was aimed at younger readers. Both had not gained the traction the Times had wanted and were quickly shuttered.
One ally that Bloomberg has in a possible buyout situation is Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, who also expressed an interest in purchasing the Times. Last week, Mr. Slim exercised warrants to become the largest shareholder of the company with a 17% stake and told Reuters last July that his holdings in the company are a “financial investment.” If Bloomberg paid a dramatic above average rate for the company, Slim would make a copious amount of money.
Will the Times sell? It looks highly unlikely, primarily due to the way the company is structured. Poynter outlined the current situation by saying “The structure of the family trust is the heart of the matter . It would be almost impossible unless there was unanimity” among family shareholders to sell the company to an outsider. Even were there a block of dissident family members, stock in the Trust would have to be offered first to the other Class B Trust shareholders before it could go to anyone else.”
The New York Times core business is sound. Their online digital strategy is paying off big time. They basically pioneered the paywall system, that gives people a limited amount of content they can read, before they have to take out a subscription. Over 900,000 people are currently paying for this and via their official line of apps for Android and iOS apps. Third party companies are also lending the assist in generation additional revenue. PressReader is marketing the NYT replica edition to a ravenous audience.
Two of the biggest sites for fans to read the very latest manga online are Viz Manga and Crunchyroll Manga. While both companies offer this type of content, they both offer very different features. While Crunchyroll is known for being a reliable site sourcing all of it’s content from Japan, Viz Manga is the official North American distributor of most manga. Many people getting into manga for the first time might be wondering what site offers the most compelling value proposition? Today, we look into what each company does and what makes the most sense for you, the reader.
Crunchyroll is certainly the more popular option. It has been a go-to for manga readers and anime watchers for years. One of the great things about Crunchyroll is the selection. They keep up with the popular manga, and almost anything you’ve been recommended to watch, they will have. Crunchyroll also offers a forum for their users, either for reviews or to address any questions or concerns. Another reason Crunchyroll has been so popular is the additional feature of watching anime, and this has become even more appealing as Crunchyroll’s Premium membership now gives full access to both anime and manga titles.
Crunchyroll can also be used for free – but with a catch. The quality may not be as high, and you won’t be able to read it until a week after the official release, in comparison to members who can read new chapters just hours after their release in Japan. Another con about using Crunchyroll is there are a wide array of various memberships, and many times people won’t know which to sign up for. It can be confusing, and hard if you don’t know exactly what you want to get.
Viz Manga runs a little differently. They are an offshoot to Viz Media, the company that distributes most of the official English translations of manga, including the popular magazine, Weekly Shonen Jump. Because of this, using Viz Manga allows you to read the magazine. Not only does this involve multiple new manga chapters, but any other specials the magazine could be offering that week, such as artist interviews or new announcements. Viz Manga also offers free previews to some of their titles, allowing reader a taste of what’s in store before they make a commitment.
All of the purchased content from Viz Manga goes directly to the user’s personal library. It gives a feeling of really, truly owning the manga, and you can come back to it any time you want. However, Viz is a bit limited to the titles they have the rights to. Still, it does have a ton of the most popular manga you would want, but also stuff you might not have read before, such as Knights of the Zodiac (Saint Seiya).
Both Viz Manga and Crunchyroll have official apps for Android and iOS, so it makes it easy to read while on the go. As for what’s the best option, it really comes down to what kind of person you are. Crunchyroll might offer the best bang for your buck, being able to subscribe to both their anime and manga service is very compelling. Manga collectors who prefer the feeling of true ownership, or want to read the best new manga as it comes out, will likely go with Viz Manga. If you are hardcore though, you might just want to sign up with both of them! After all, subscribing to these companies puts more money into their pockets, which means more mainstream manga can crossover from Japan and be translated into English.
Some people are really new to anime or have taken a break and have recently come back. There is a ton of content out there right now but what had the best story line? Art style and animation? What was the most engaging to viewers? Well you’ve come to the right place! Here you will get an essential list to the top 10 anime that you should be watching right now!
Puella Magi Madoka Magica
Genre: Magical Girl, Dark Fantasy, Horror
Middle school students Madoka Kaname and her friend Sayaka Meiki encounter a small mysterious creature named Kyubey who offers them an interesting opportunity. A contract in which a girl may have any wish granted in exchange for magical powers and the task to fight against witches. While Madoka struggles to determine if she will make the contract, a transfer student and mysterious magical girl, Akemi Homura, tries to stop Madoka from making the contract at all costs. After meeting an upperclassman at the same school, Mami Tomoe reveals she too is a magical girl and agrees to take the girls witch hunting. When devastating events occur, Madoka has to wonder just what it means to be a magical girl and the perils that it will force them to face.
Attack on Titan
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Post Apocalyptic
Over one hundred years ago, giant humanoid creatures called Titans suddenly appeared and nearly wiped out humanity, devouring everyone without any remorse or reason. What remains of the human race now resides in three enormous concentric walls and inside, humanity has lived in peace. After a seemingly normal day, the wall that protected them for so long has been breached and young Eren Yeager, along with his adopted sister Mikasa Ackerman, rush to find their parents. Eren watches in horror as a titan devours his mother and makes a vow to kill all the titans and enlists in the military with the other survivors from the attack.
Sword Art Online
Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Romance
In 2022, a company has perfected virtual reality. With the use of the Nerve Gear, a virtual reality helmet that stimulates the users five senses through their brain, players can now journey to Sword Art Online, becoming their personas and go on grand adventures. However once players try to log out, it is announced that they are trapped inside a life or death situation. In order to live, you must win the game. To die in the game, means to die in the real world. The main protagonist, Kirito, is a master swordsman who sets out to save the trapped minds of Aincrad with the help of his companion Asuna along with other friends.
Genre: Action, Supernatural, Urban Fantasy
Mikado Ryūgamine, a young boy who yearns for the exciting life of a big city, decides to move to Ikebukuro to attend Raira Academy with his childhood friend Masaomi Kida, who he has not seen since they were young. After the two meet up, they set out at night of the streets of the bustling city. Masaomi warns Mikado of the people he doesn’t want to cross in the city, such as a violent and super humanly strong man named Shizuo Heiwajima, the information broker Izaya Orihara and the mysterious gang known as “The Dollars”. Nervous after the stories his friend tells him, Mikado witnesses an urban legend on his first night in the city, the Headless Rider astride a black motorcycle that occasionally neigh’s like a horse. From then on, the existence of supernatural cases and a gang called the Yellow Scarves will rise to surface, and Ikebukuro will be pushed to it’s limits.
Genre: Occult detective
Ginko is a Mushi Master, travelling from place to place to research and discover more about the mysterious creatures called Mushi. It is implied there are many and have more lifeforms more primitive than “Normal” living things such as animals, plants, fungi and bacteria, also wielding supernatural powers. Ginko sets off on a journey to aid people that have suffered from the Mushi.
Genre: Occult Detective, Romantic Comedy
The story follows Koyomi Araragi, a third year high school student who has become human again after becoming a vampire for a short time. One day, a classmate, the reclusive Hitagi Senjōgahara falls down the stairs into Koyomi’s hands to realize, she was weightless. Despite being threatened to keep away, Koyomi tells her of an old man who helped his problem and could help hers too. After helping Hitagi’s problem, it turns out various other girls in the school will be in need of aid due to their oddities as well.
Genre: Action, Comedy-Drama, Fantasy, Tragedy
Otonashi has lost his memories of his life after his death and finds himself at a high school that acts as limbo to those who have died, where students learn to give up any lingering attachments they may still have from life before passing on. Otonashi then meets Yuri, who invites him to join the Afterlife Battlefront, SSS, an organization she founded and leads a fight against God.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
A young boy named Aladdin travels around a strange land in which mysterious ruins called Dungeons are said to house priceless treasures. Together with his friend Alibaba, a young man he met during his travels, Aladdin strives to conquer all of the Dungeons and obtain their treasures. But little does Aladdin know, that with every Dungeon conquered and every treasure found, he’s closer and closer to learning what fate has in store for him.
Genre: Action, Fantasy
Taking place 10 years before the events in Fate/Stay Night, details the events of the 4th Holy Grail war. The Einzbern family is determined to achieve success after three consecutive failures no mater what the cost. As a result, they have selected a magus killer, Kiritsugu Emiya into their ranks despite his methods and reputation as a mercenary and hitman.
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann
Genre: Action, Comedy, Adventure, Mecha
In a dark future where humanity is oppressed by an army of mutants and forced to live their lives underground, a young orphan unearths a powerful robot. Together a boisterious man named Kamina, a beautiful sharpshooter named Yoko and many other friends, Simon will use rob bots to fight against their oppressors and take back what was one theirs.
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Action, Tragedy
This story follows Kaneki Ken, a college student who barely survives a deadly encounter with Rize Kamishiro, a ghoul, a human-like creature that devours flesh. Kaneki is taken to a hospital in critical condition but upon waking up, discovers that he had somehow underwent surgery to become a half ghoul. With no one else to turn to, he is taken in by the ghouls who manage “Antieku”, a coffee who is run by ghouls will teach him how to deal with his new life.
It hasn’t been that long since the concept of 3D printing seemed more like a dream than it did a reality. Fortunately for those of us who love technology, this isn’t the case anymore. The ability to print in 3D is becoming more affordable, which means many people have even given it a try with their own printers (lucky dogs). If you are among them, and your hardware is made by MakerBot, a new mobile app for Android allows you to monitor and control your device from the palm of your hand (the iOS version has been available for a while longer, so this news was much anticipated).
As long as you are connected to the same wireless network as your MakerBot 3D printer, you can access it to print jobs (using images saved to your library using the MakerBot desktop). In addition, functionality exists to monitor, cancel, or pause printing as required.
Describing the functionality in more detail, MakerBot explains:
“MakerBot Mobile adds a revolutionary layer of convenience and ease to your 3D printing workflow by allowing you to access everything MakerBot from your mobile device and prepare digital designs for 3D printing.
Choose a downloadable digital design from Thingiverse or any 3D model file stored in your MakerBot Cloud Library, then use MakerBot cloud servers to optimize, scale, and slice your design for 3D printing, layer-by-layer. MakerBot Mobile does all the work for you so all you have to do is confirm the print on your MakerBot Replicator 3D Printer”
If you have a Replicator 3D Printer, consider grabbing MakerBot for your Android device and giving it a try.
Microsoft should be celebrating right now with news that their Surface tablet has realized $1.1 billion in revenue during the December quarter. Even though they are still lagging a fair ways behind the competition (with Apple seeing $5.3B in iPad sales during the same period), this dollar value represents a 24% increase year-over-year.
These revenue numbers include more than just units sold, accessories like the optional (but not really) keyboard cover.
In the earnings report presented by Microsoft, the company revealed that there were other successes –the Lumia smartphone had sales of $10.5 million for the quarter, which is a new record for them. Other news wasn’t as good, with only 6.6 million Xbox consoles sold this period (which has been characterized as strong, despite representing an overall decline from the 7.4 million units moved a year earlier).
Reading between the lines, it would seem one thing is clear: Microsoft has more hardware out there in consumer hands now, which means Windows 10 has the potential to reach (and hopefully impress) even more users.
The publishing industry has extolled the virtues of digital publishing–less waste, lower transport and delivery costs, a reduced carbon footprint–especially where periodicals are concerned, but there is more to delivering e-content in the form of newspapers and magazines than simply browsing through a magazine while you wait for the train.
New data on travel, specifically the numbers that pertain to business travel, may provide a correlation between the increase in individual trips and the steady increase in popularity of digital newspaper and magazine apps. Numbers from the Travel Industry Association of America indicate that:
- 3% of business travelers travel outside of the U.S.
- 47% of business travelers reported that their last trip was to attend a meeting, trade show, or convention, as opposed to other activities, such as consulting or making a sales call.
- The average business trip lasts 3.3 nights.
- 20% of business travelers report that they combined work and vacation on their last trip.
- There were 43,900,000 individuals who traveled on business in 1998 — or one out of every five American adults.
- The average business traveler is 42 years old.
- 60% of business travelers are men.
- The average business traveler takes 5.4 trips each year.
- The average business traveler earns an annual salary of $76,100.
- In the 1990’s, there were an average of 200,000,000 business trips taken per year.
- With 25% of business travelers visiting the South Atlantic region of the U.S., it is the most common destination.
With so much travel taking place in far flung destinations when the individual is required to travel, one of the small comforts that airports and hotels have been able to offer is access to internet connectivity and digital magazines and newspapers. This allows the business traveler to connect to content and news from back home, rather than experience the sense of relief from getting away from it all, as when on vacation.
“With todays’ competitive hospitality industry, retention is usually a result of high guest satisfaction,” explains the logic behind digital amenities as offered by digital content app PressReader. “Value added guest amenities, like PressReader, give hoteliers an ideal solution to gain a competitive edge in the market resulting in higher guest satisfaction and repeat visits. With a library of over 2,000 same-day digital newspapers and magazines including the Washington Post, Elle Magazine, Business Traveler, The Globe and Mail and Le Monde, PressReader is a cost-effective luxury amenity that leisure and business travelers alike would appreciate.”