Welcome to another Good e-Reader Roundtable discussion with Michael and Peter. The topic today is what is the better operating system overall, Android or iOS? The two tech stalwarts talk about personal experiences with them both and make some valid points.
One of the real benefits of the Apple ecosystem is the first party developer support. If you want to deliver magazines, newspapers or games, you only have a few screen sizes and resolutions to choose from. You rarely deal with aspect ratio problems and get the content as they intended. Android on the other hand has so many different screen sizes and resolution, that you encounter errors more often.
Android on the other hand allows for more customization options in the form of keyboards, widgets, live wallpapers and launchers. You get more freedom to craft your own experience.
Yahoo is making a big play to be the default search engine to iOS 7 and above. The company currently powers the Weather and Stock apps on iPads and iPhones the world over.
A new report states that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer is preparing detailed presentations to present to high level Apple executives showing what its new mobile search product could look like. There are a pair of internal projects, code-named “Fast Break” and “Curveball”, that are part of Yahoo’s redesign of its mobile search engine for iOS.
Microsoft Bing currently integrated with Siri to be the search engine of choice when internet results are dispatched to users. Bing is also one of the user selectable options for Safari. The two companies are basically in the middle of a ten year deal and Yahoo wants to replace Microsoft.
Residents of the US, Canada and Australia have early access to a new feature on eBook discovery website GoodReads. In the largest single act of synergy since Amazon purchased GoodReads last year, customers can now have all of their Kindle Books synced automatically to their bookshelf.
How do you know if you have this new feature? You’ll see the Add Amazon Book Purchases link in the Tools list on the left hand side of the My Books page (and a small announcement at the top of the page). Click on either link and you will be asked to sign in to your Amazon account. You’ll then see your Amazon book purchases. You can go through and rate each book and select the appropriate shelf for it. GoodReads gives you full control over which books to add, so you can avoid adding any books bought as gifts or anything else. Any book not rated or added to a shelf will not be added to Goodreads.
Members in the U.S., Canada, and Australia can also use the Add Your Amazon Books option on Goodreads on Kindle Paperwhite (first and second generation devices) and the new Kindle Fires. This is great for people who have installed the latest firmware updates to give you access to GoodReads right on your tablet or e-reader.
The world of Harry Potter is very real to some people, so real in fact that there are live Quidditch matches and yes, college teams. Even better, these college and fan teams actually have a Quidditch World Cup competition, taking place in Florida. the fact that none of the players has a flying broom is not a deterrent.
This year, for the seventh World Cup, author and inventor of flying Quidditch JK Rowling reported on the match, commentating as Ginny Weasley, long time fan of the sport. Her reports can be found posted on the Pottermore website. Of course, these would be news reports, under the sports section, so fans must go to the Daily Prophet office on Diagon Alley in order to find the updates.
According to a press release from the team at Pottermore, “To deliver the reports, Pottermore has opened a brand new location on Pottermore.com – the offices in Diagon Alley of the fictional wizarding newspaper the Daily Prophet, which fans can visit for the first time and discover this exclusive new writing from J.K. Rowling.
“The posts begin with a report on the opening ceremony of the 2014 Quidditch World Cup. With characteristic humour, Rowling describes how the international teams’ mascots, magical creatures from the world of Harry Potter, took part in the ceremony and caused havoc for their handlers.
We find out why more than 300 crowd members are suffering from shock, broken bones and bites following the ceremony, and why failure to bring their usual mascots, a troupe of performing trolls, caused a great deal of trouble for the Norwegian delegation. A ‘live’ match report details the thrilling action between Norway and Ivory Coast in the first match of the tournament.”
This is not the first time Rowling has written more information about the wizard game, as two pieces of writing on the game were posted earlier this year. The live version may be more exciting to fans than the wizard rendition, as it has been featured in popular films like The Internship and the Disney Channel show “Jessie.”
There has been a number of Papyre e-readers available in Europe for quite sometime. It has never really been a household name because its normally found in Spain. Their earlier devices suffered from sluggish performance and ugly aesthetics. The new Papyre 630 is breaking this mold and might be a solid device to look at if you are interested in loading in your own books.
The Papyre 630 has a six inch e Ink Pearl HD display screen with a resolution of 1024 X 758 pixels. One thing readers will dig is the inclusion of a full touchscreen display and physical page turn keys that will appeal to right or left handed readers. This edition will let you read in the dark with the built in front-lit, interesting enough the LED lights are on the bottom of the screen, similar to the Nook design.
Underneath the hood is a 1.2 GHZ single core processor, and 4 GB of internal memory. There is support for an SD Card, so you can expand it if carrying a copious amount of books appeals to you.
When it comes to reading, you have support for DRM ePub or PDF eBooks that are purchased from other retailers. You can also download and load them in yourself, the formats supported are TXT, PDF, EPUB, PDB, FB2, RTF, MOBI. Its nice to see a reader that will read a Kindle friendly format, in MOBI.
There is no store loaded on the device to buy digital books from. Instead, the company that makes the e-reader, Grammata, has a web-based store. This forces you to rely on the WIFI and internet browser to download books from the online store or use other websites or even Dropbox. You can buy this e-reader now for 119 euros.
In the end, this device will likely appeal to people who want a simple e-reader with no defined store. If you don’t like the other major e-reader brands, this might work for you. If you buy it for someone who is not tech savvy, I would recommend just load it up with books.
Amazon has introduced new functionality for Kindle ereaders and tablets with Cloud Drive. Starting today, all personal documents that you have archived in your Kindle Library will be available to access, delete, organize, and share from your Amazon Cloud Drive. You can see these documents in a new “My Send-to-Kindle Docs” folder on Amazon Cloud Drive alongside all of your saved content, such as photos and personal videos.
The syncing of personal documents is done automatically and requires no management on the users part. Also starting today, new documents that you save to the cloud with Send to Kindle will be kept in their native format (e.g. MS Word, RTF, TXT) so you can access them anywhere from Amazon Cloud Drive.
Amazon recognizes that often their customers use the send to kindle plugins for major web-browsers to send interesting bookmarks or RSS feeds to their device. The company is also keenly aware that most of their users get heavily invested in their ecosystem and have more than one in the household. Being able to sync your documents and user uploaded content into your main account means you can access it on the existing hardware but also the new Amazon Smartphone.
Texet has bucked the trend of the standard six inch e-reader in Russia with the advent of the eight inch TB-418FL. The company has released numerous e-readers over the course of the last few years and this one is the best one yet.
The Texet TB-418FL features a eight inch screen with a resolution of 1024×768. It has a the same front-lit display that Amazon and Kobo employ in their latest generation models. It has a 800MHZ processor and 4 GB of internal storage. There is no WIFI or built in bookstore, instead customers are reliant in loading in their own eBooks. It does support a myriad of formats including DOC, DJVU, TXT, PDF, EPUB, PDB, FB2, HTML, RTF, MOBI, CHM.
The vast majority of e-readers in Russia have no established ecosystem to purchase books. The market is plagued by rampant piracy and Pocketbook is the only major player that actually runs a bookstore, but tend to just have copyright free editions. iMobilco is currently one of the most notable digital bookstores in Russia and currently has 20% of the market. The largest entity is LitRes, which is the most dominant and controls 60% of the market. Sergei Anuriev, the general director of LitRes, believes that by 2015 the entire ebook segment will increase to 5%, which will be equivalent of $90 million in sales.
One of the main reasons digital sales are so paltry is because of piracy. Eksmo, Russia’s largest publishing house, recently commented that 95% of all ebooks are pirate copies. This results in close to $120 million in losses for the entire digital publishing industry. It is currently estimated that between 100,000-110,000 titles are available as pirated editions, compared to just 60,000 available legally.
The Texet TB-418FL is available now and costs 7499 rubles.
A revolution in writing and publishing conferences will kick off tomorrow in Charleston, South Carolina, one that is working to bridge all aspects of the publishing industries to better enable professionals of every kind. Alongside self-publishing mainstays like Hugh Howey, Nook Press, and Bibliocrunch will be speakers like Stephanie Bowen of Sourcebooks and Tracey Adams of Adams Literary. Algonquin Books Executive Editor Chuck Adams will speak, as well as Penguin Random House’s Executive Editor Tracey Bernstein. Also on hand to present will be Amanda Barbara, founder of Pubslush, a crowdfunding platform for self-published authors.
The fairly evenly split representatives from both aspects of the industry demonstrates one of the factors that makes this conference unique. Unless there will be a stripe painted down the middle of the conference, relegating the traditional industry to one side and the self-publishing industry to the other, the intention of the event is to empower anyone who has any involvement at all in the world of books to better understand the nature of the industry in its current climate.
Tonight, Bibliocrunch‘s weekly Twitter chat, #IndieChat, will feature PubSmartCon speaker and industry expert Porter Anderson, as well as PubSmartcon’s Kathy Meis. The event begins at 9pm ET under the indie chat hashtag.
Good e-Reader will be covering the event, with an eye especially on understanding how events like this are bridging the gap. The traditional industry, while maybe not yet embracing indie publishing, has certainly come a long way from the days in which a vanity press-produced title was the kiss of death for an author’s future publishing career; it’s now becoming more and more common for publishers to seek out authors whose titles that have a proven following thanks to self-publishing. At the same time, the attitudes the once permeated the self-publishing industry, namely complete and unwavering artistic control and a feeling of isolation, are falling away as authors look to the traditional industry professionals for information and guidance.
A complete list of conference speakers and events can be found HERE.
Amazon customers in Sweden will have to wait it out to begin buying their discounted goods and books from Amazon.se. The current owner of the domain, a fifty-seven-year-old small businesswoman, won’t sell it, despite reports of repeated attempts from the retail giant to purchase it.
The domain, purchased in 1997 by a Stockholm-based advertising agency called Amazon AB, doesn’t actually lead to a website, but rather to a landing page that simply states it is under construction. This has caused many critics to accuse the woman of holding the domain hostage, as so-called domain squatters have done in the past; these people–whether thugs who drive up the price or smart business people who capitalize on their foresight by purchasing domains before anyone needs them–typically sell to the business or person who wants that domain for a nice profit.
What many vocal opponents who are crying “selfish” have forgotten is that it’s not uncommon for businesses to buy the various domains associated with their company names in order to protect their brands and prevent confusion for their customers. It’s highly likely that the ad agency’s clients would accidentally find themselves on the local Amazon retail portal instead of the agency should the sale of the domain go through.
Amazon has already been at work making headway into the region. The retailer recently inked a deal with a Scandinavian book distributor, Bokrondellen, to begin selling Swedish books through its other country-based domains. At this time, Swedish book customers can register through one of the other domains for book purchasing, despite Amazon’s attempts to initiate a Swedish domain.
We live in a world of tremendous political upheaval and lobbying groups consistently push their own agenda. When it comes to digital books, they are less immune to being edited or certain passages, words or phrases being replaced and substituted with something else. How do we know our eBooks are not being altered when we buy them from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo or iBooks?
Mark Twain’s classic novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was first published in 1884. There are over 200 racial slurs spread throughout the book and it has been disappearing from grade school curricula across the USA, relegated to optional reading lists, or banned outright. Alabama-based publisher, NewSouth books published in 2011 a new edition of the book that replaced certain words with more politically correct ones. The publisher went on a PR speaking tour of libraries and schools to hype the fact this particular version of the book is acceptable to be sold.
One of the big proponents that contribute to the overall problem is open sourced books that are royalty free and not have a copyright. Many publishers such as Penguin resell them as Penguin Classics, and other companies like Project Gutenberg give them away for free. Public domain books can be edited or changed without reason and then resold and distributed through other self-publishing platforms. There are no gatekeepers, no one to make the judgement call if this is best practice.
Many European countries actively erect barriers to combat the problem of changing words in a book. They have what’s known as a moral rights that has no time limit. So you are not allowed to significantly change work and publish it even if the commercial copyright has expired. Moral rights have had a less robust tradition in the United States. Copyright law in the United States emphasizes protection of financial reward over protection of creative attribution.
In a recent thread at the e-reading website MobileRead one user explained their reasons of changing the fabric of a book “I recently uploaded The Queen of Hearts (a collection of novels written in the 1850s) by Wilkie Collins to the MR library. As well as changing ‘gayety’ to ‘gaiety’ and ‘gayly’ to ‘gaily’ I also changed ‘gay’ to ‘light-hearted’. I did this because the English language has changed in the last 150 odd years. In our day ‘a gay man’ would almost certainly be read as ‘a homosexual man,’ and this is simply not what Collins meant – he would have used a different term if he had dared to mention a character’s sexual orientation at all. I did add a note to the posting that I had updated spelling and hyphenation – I also changed ‘to-day’ to ‘today’ for example.”
We are experiencing turbulent times when books are banned and publishers want to push out their own sanitized versions. Others merely clean up old English with modern day English to make books more accessible. Many people believe making any edits is a horrible violation of the author’s work and a disservice to readers. I lean towards that mentality primarily due to respecting literary history.