If rumours can be believed, Apple is set to release a new iPhone this fall –equipped with a durable and resilient synthetic sapphire glass screen. If this fancy new screen performs as expected, Apple may just deliver a scratch- and shatter-resistant phone (leaked videos indicate that torsion force isn’t even a problem). Fortunately for Android OEMs, Kyocera has an innovation of their own: Sapphire Shield.
Sapphire is a desirable material because it is incredibly strong, second only to diamonds. Natural sapphires have a blue hue, but lab-created sapphires can be created without the offending chemicals and result in a fully clear material. Aside from being an incredibly durable panel, Sapphire Shield is also affordable to mass produce (something that has always prevented the use of these materials in the past).
Until these new screens are actually in place so they can be tested and tried by users, we won’t be certain which is better –but the idea of having a smartphone (or wearable) that is more difficult to break will appeal to every person that owns one (but may be less appealing for the manufacturers of heavy-duty cases).
Decentralized technologies like BitTorrent allow people to share books, films, music and pictures. The essence is software allows people download a file for multiple sources at the same time. The more users you have sharing the same file, the faster the downloads are for everyone. There are many companies that have their own clients for different operating systems, but the spirit of the software is uniform. Over the past few years one of the original pioneers, Bittorrent, has offered paid downloads and bundes. This has piqued the interest from the digital publishing world, as an avenue to sell audiobooks, ebooks, magazines, newspapers .
Bittorrent has a free and paid system to distribute your digital content. It is tremendously customizable an artist can use to deliver their songs. Instead of paying web-hosting fees or arranging a complex relationship with a streaming service, Bitorrent makes good business sense. Lets say I have a music album, I can give select tracks away for free and offer a few that are paid.
Bittorrent also runs a bundling solution, where companies can offer a few movies, television shows or showcase different artists. Since bundling launched in 2013 free and paid downloads have reached over one hundred million, this is attractive to publishers.
Monthly Bundle site visitors have increased from 2.1 million, to 25 million (+1,095%). 25% of visitors share the content with their network across some social channel. And fans are coming back, over and over again. 75% of Bundles site traffic is coming from returning users.
Bittorrent makes distributing legitimate content fairly compelling. Of the 7,500 films made in 2014, only 100 will ever be seen. Netflix took down 1,800 titles in 2013, and another 470 in January. Things look pretty dire, even if you’re in a position to have your content played. They’re worse if you’re looking to get paid. Youtube, the world’s largest streaming platform, offers artists $1,750 in exchange for a million streams. Being able to tap into an ecosystem for hundreds of millions of people in a global market to distribute copyrighted work is fairly awesome. Moby. Madonna. Cut/Copy. De La Soul. Diplo. Death Grips. Werner Herzog. Hundred Waters. Lee Scratch Perry. Lucy Walker. Joshua Oppenheimer. Gabe Polsky. Public Enemy. Amanda Palmer have all gave away free tunes or charged for it.
Many people are obviously wary that Bittorrent as a distribution method, somehow thinking that it is a haven of piracy and not an avenue for real content. This has resulted in the development of a new system called Pay Gate. Movie Studios and artists use it to monetize their content. Once payment is received using Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Amex or PAYPAL, the Bundle is unlocked and downloading will begin.
Publishers have been the one segment who have not gravitated towards the concept of distributing royalty free content, DRM-Free or otherwise on Bittorrent. Authors such as Tim Ferriss and Megan Lisa Jones both employed torrenting their own books to build awareness on new titles. Publishers on the other hand, have not thrown done on the system yet, but some are in a prime position to make it work.
There are plenty of imprints such as science fiction specialized TOR. They sell their books with no encryption, which makes it perfectly viable to load it on your phone, e-reader and tablet. Pottermore, the publishers behind Harry Potter also do not employ DRM, and instead use digital watermarks.
Digital book sellers have been disappearing in the last few years and major publishers are trying to find away from exclusively relying on Amazon to distribute their books. Publishers can sell their EPUB and PDF books with DRM, and their customers can read them with their favorite e-reader or tablet via Adobe Digital Editions.
There are a ton of gossip in the digital publishing and e-reader sector that transpires every single week. Most of these short snippets simply wouldn’t do as a singular article. Today, we look at all of the little tidbits we have gleaned from interviews and research.
Zinio is at a crossroads in the digital magazine sector. The company has fired most of the staff in their California office. This is where most of the app development and research and development occurs. Most high level staff have now abandoned the company as they try and rekindle some of the success they had when the iPad first came out.
ImCoSys imcoV6L e-reader never really took off in North America, due to FCC certification really coming really late, and the official launch has been continuously delayed. The company has been selling them in Europe for a few months and has attracted investment capital. imCoSys has confirmed they will present a successor model, as well as another world novelty at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. They also said “In the US we are in exclusive discussions with big partners for the successor of the imcoV6L.”
Barnes and Noble will be putting together an announcement in mid-August about the two new Nook Tablets, done in conjunction with Samsung. Likely a media event will happen towards the end of August, where they will do something at Union Square in New York.
PressReader, the Vancouver based digital newspaper company is unveiling PressReader Offline. It is a solution for airplanes, oil rigs, cargo vessels and cruise ships. It basically uses satellite internet in non-peak hours to download newspapers from the internet and then allow anyone on the vessel to download them to their smartphone or tablet via WIFI.
Netherlands based e-reader company Icarus is going to be releasing a six inch and 9.7 inch Open Android ereader around August. It will be running Android 4.2, which is way better than what Onyx is using.
CBS CEO Leslie Moonves met with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos last week to talk about eBooks. There is no definitive word on whether it was the early stage talks on a new contract, something to do with Kindle Unlimited or some sort of bargain about the possible outcome of the Hachette dispute.
On July 22, Flickr will be removing the option to sign in with a Facebook or Google account. You must have a Yahoo account in order to sign in to Flickr.
JK Rowling has said that writing seven more Robert Galbraith is a “no brainer”, describing the Harry Potter novels as “six whodunits and one whydunit” – and admitting her “dirty secret” – that she never reads fantasy.
Pocketbook will be releasing the Ultra e-reader in a few weeks. This e-reader has a camera that they are billing as a tool to make scanlation copies of books and read it on your device. They just made the first waterproof e-reader, the Aqua, available last week.
Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo self-publishing platforms have started to crack down on erotica featuring Sasquatch, minotaurs, aliens, and boar gods.
Every person with a smartphone or tablet has experienced the frustration of a free (but not so free) app; you download it, you install it, you go to run it… and find that it’s so bogged down with ads and purchase options that it’s nearly impossible to use. In North America, many classify these apps as being Freemium. Beginning in September, Google has reached an agreement with the European Union that indicates no title offering in-app purchases (IAP) can be labeled as free.
The approach Google will take involves a change to the way app pricing is listed. Once implemented, a title will not be designated as free unless it also carries no IAP.
While it is easy to understand the motivation behind these changes, the main catalyst appears to be parents whose children have unwittingly racked up serious charges by downloading game add-ons. What isn’t being considered is that no price listing is a replacement for supervision and education: any child capable of entering payment information (even by way of just knowing the password) will download any app they want, regardless of the way a price is listed.
Apple has also been tapped to make these changes, but the company has yet to commit to anything specific, indicating they have no “concrete and immediate solutions”.
Amazon has opened their first the Kindle Pleasure Reading House in Shanghai, China. This is a temporary autonomous pop up store that will be open from July 18 to July 20th and then August 1-3 in Beijing.
The premise of the new Reading House in China is to draw attention to their complete lineup of Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets. They also installed two machines that will give you recommendations based on your favorite books and give you the Kindle book prices online. Amazon has also filled a bookcase with over 1,000 physical books, which they are selling.
Kindle product managers are on hand to explain what the devices do and run small workshops for groups of people to get a taste of how digital books will save them money over the long term. Amazon has also setup a small darkroom, where people can try out the Kindle Paperwhite with Frontlight and also see how the tablets perform in low light conditions. Finally, the company is running a ton of interactive games that will win people prizes of cases, books and lots more.
Amazon first opened their Chinese bookstore in December 2012, but government regulations at the time prevented them from advertising it or selling the hardware. At the time The Director of Digital Publishing Director of Press and Publication Administration Technology Wang Qiang, said that “Amazon opened its Kindle ebook store operation with their license pending, but has not yet approved.” All of this was sorted out within six months and now the Kindle China store currently has over 120,000 paid books and 600 classics.
China is a huge market for Amazon and many of its competitors have failed to enter the market in any meaningful way. These popup stores will at least give Amazon some exposure via the press and bloggers, something they exclusively rely on for their North American operations.
E-Ink Holdings, the company responsible for e-paper found in the Kindle, Kobo, Nook and Sony may become profitable in the second half of 2014. This is mainly attributed to the growing orders for electronic tags from the US and Europe, and increased implementation for e-paper in smartphones and smartwatches.
On average e-Ink has been experiencing consistent quarterly losses in the last few quarters. Recently they reported $19.96 million dollars in the red in the first quarter of 2014.
Self-Published authors often flock to Facebook and Twitter to promote their books and try and get a few sales. A few months ago Amazon and Twitter came together to form an ecommerce solution called Amazon Cart. This allowed indie authors to post links to their Kindle Books and all a reader had to do was use a special hashtag to automatically add the title to their shopping basket. Facebook is trialing a new program that will allow Pages and newsfeeds to be able to sell books and eBooks directly to readers
The new Facebook Buy it Now button will be compatible with desktop or mobile and will allow people to click on ads and Page posts to purchase a product directly from a business, without leaving Facebook. Once you click the button, which is currently being tested with select small business partners in the US, a pop-up will prompt you to confirm payment and shipping info.
Not only is this program relevant for indie authors, but also established ones too. Most authors often use Facebook and Twitter exclusively, and have built up loyal and engaged fans. Instead of directing a user to Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords or a myriad of other sites to fulfill the orders, authors could basically just sell books directly.
There is no word on when this will roll out on a more broader scale. After the series of beta tests, Facebook will evaluate whether the project will be available to the public.
Most people don’t think of copyright law when they think of gripping drama and suspenseful twists and turns, but the truth is copyright is actually quite fascinating. Of course, no one is more fascinated right now than the litigants in a case involving copyright over Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes characters.
To understand the ramifications of a case that is currently working its way through the courts, it’s important to know the history behind a new book by American crime writer Leslie Klinger. Klinger, a known expert on Sherlock Holmes and other classics, has a new book potentially entitled In the Company of Sherlock Holmes, but the heirs to the original author’s estate are contesting the use as it falls under copyright restrictions.
Here’s where it gets fascinating: under copyright law, a work enters the public domain after a set period of time, roughly one hundred years following publication. Muddying the waters somewhat is the distinction between when Sherlock Holmes was published in the UK versus the US. Further confusing the issue is the fact that the Sherlock Holmes novels and stories were published over a multi-year time span, meaning some of the stories are currently in the public domain, and others still are not; the final ten stories, for example, will not become public domain until the end of 2022.
Just to make it even more confusing, lower courts have already ruled on this specific case, and the result of the ruling is actually very interesting. Essentially, modern authors can use any settings, characters, and specific characteristics of the characters that appear in works that are already out from under copyright restriction, but cannot use any details that are still under copyright without permission and paying a licensing fee to the estate. For example, in one of the later works that is still under copyright restriction, it is revealed that Dr. Watson had played rugby for a specific team when he was younger. This little detail comes out in conversation with Holmes, and is not part of the action of the story, however that detail was only revealed in a later work. Therefore, a current author is allowed to use the character Dr. Watson, for example, but cannot state where he played rugby or allude to an old rugby injury.
Conan Doyle’s estate is attempting to overturn the lower courts’ rulings and sought an “emergency petition” from the Supreme Court, but the court refused to hear arguments in the case, presumably citing that there was nothing in the lower court’s ruling that required a new review. Lawyers for the estate have said they will still move forward with their request for a review, but one of the issues that will be determined in court is who has to foot the bill for this legal battle. As it stands, Klinger (and presumably his publisher) has had to engage his own attorneys to represent him against the suit, and the responsibility for paying his legal fees will also be decided by the court.
Today we look at a number of apps that currently work on the Blackberry Playbook that we either uploaded for the first time or recently updated. All of these apps are confirmed working on the Playbook and we have over 2,400 apps and games currently on our site.
Badoo: Meet New People – Want to have lunch with someone new? See who’s in the same nightclub? Date or find love? Or simply chat with someone nearby? Try Badoo now and meet new guys and girls near you! A free, fun, easy and new way to use social network. Find new people based on where you are now.
Moviefone – Movies & Showtimes – Moviefone is the ultimate app for showtimes, trailers, reviews, exclusive movie clips, and news.
Pemberton Music Festival – Pemberton Music Festival is Canada’s biggest music, comedy and camping festival, happening July 16 – 20, 2014 in the stunning and natural setting of Pemberton, British Columbia. It’s the perfect place to leave the world behind for an incomparable five-day celebration of music, art, food, dancing – and life itself.
POF Free Online Dating – Singles on POF send more than 200 million messages a week, that’s more than all other online dating sites combined! With over 80 million members, POF is the world’s largest dating site! Create your free POF profile today and chat, flirt, and exchange messages with local singles in your area right now, and meet someone special.
SF Globe – SF Globe provides you with the best curated stories that are worth reading on the Internet. Stories on the SF Globe span a variety of topics and aim to inspire, provoke thought, and entertain. Above all, SF Globe readers join a community where members can actively discuss and engage in topics they care about the most.
The Fire Phone was the first ever smartphone Amazon developed and acts as your personal gateway to unbridled internet shopping. Sure Amazon did an exclusive launch in Seattle to unveil it, but the average customer wants to know more about it. Enter a slew of kids shilling it.
So what types of features do kids like on smartphones these days? Apparently they do not care about the screen size or hardware specs. Instead, they are enamoured with their free subscription to Amazon Prime to be able to watch movies and television shows and use apps like Pinterest.
It’s the same in every classroom, in every school, in every subject area. Certain students are “getting it” and engaging with the content, while other students are trailing behind, getting more and more lost and less and less likely to admit it. But a new assessment tool that lets students structure their own questions, responses, and discussion points offers teachers the ability to understand what every student is thinking about the material without having to conduct individualized assessments at every step along the way. Even better, the students are equipped to provide their feedback without calling attention to themselves, making them more likely to engage and offer genuine insight into where they might be lagging.
The Verso App lets students work through teacher-driven material and then respond, while also allowing them to see classmates’ interactions after they complete the material. This equips teachers to know before approaching each lesson where the students are still having trouble with comprehension, as well as know which areas the class has mastered in order to avoid wasting instructional time.
“Using the Verso App, teachers enter the classroom fully aware of students’ questions, ideas, misconceptions and what they are revealing as their individual learning needs,” Collin Wood, CEO of Verso Learning, said in a press release. “Teachers now know what they have to do to support every student in moving forward.”
“Since these responses are anonymous, it gives students the confidence to take risks they may not otherwise take. As they collaborate and reward quality contributions with ‘likes,’ they are giving and receiving feedback and using that feedback to shape their thinking.”
Tools like this one have the power to take today’s digital natives and prepare them for the higher order thinking and technology incorporation that so many state and national curricula around the world are now focusing on. Information on the free app is available from Verso Learning at VersoApp.com.