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E-readers

ePub and other sacrileges on the Voyage and Paperwhite: Easy jail-breaks ahead?
June 27, 2015 | 2:51 am

VoyageRootNathan ran a great write-up on the challenges of rooting the Kindle Voyage, the Paperwhite and other recent Kindles. He was following up on a how-to video on taking the Voyage apart. Meanwhile, at MobileRead, buzz persists about hacking the recent-model Kindles. Remember, Kindles are little linux beasts. Amazon has tried to turn them into corporate creatures. Now the open source community wants Paperwhites and the rest to be free again to run such applications as Cool Reader without hassles for even the knowledgeable. Among other things, Cool Reader can display ePub, the nonproprietary standard. Jail-breaking, aka letting you modify the equipment you paid for, isn't for wimpy, of course. You don't...

Australian e-book site e-book.com.au to close down
June 18, 2015 | 2:22 pm

e-book.com.au.logoAustralian e-book advocacy site e-book.com.au has announced it will close down at the end of June, 2015. Although we have only mentioned the site a couple of times on TeleRead as nearly as I can tell, the site has been in existence since 2001—a year longer than TeleRead—and has covered e-books and e-book advocacy from an Australian perspective during that time, as well as providing links to free e-book resources. [Thanks to Chris for this wonderful piece of e-book history! Just to clarify one detail, TeleRead predates e-book.com.au by years---see my publisher's note below with documenting links. - D.R.] Site founder...

E-book-lovers vs. proprietary formats (yes, P is still evil)
June 6, 2015 | 11:28 am

Cumbres_&_Toltec_trainTeleRead writers traditionally have been strong supporters of e-book standards. No blinking. No hesitation. ePub is the way to go in most cases. The majority of us have just hated proprietary formats even though companies like Amazon make them hard to avoid. Proprietary formats remind us of the time when trains commonly ran on tracks of different gauges. But as TeleRead’s owner, I've made it clear we don't have party lines.  And today’s beautifully written essay from Chris Meadows, my friend and much-appreciated colleague, illustrates this. Mind you, Chris isn't directly cheering proprietary formats. He...

E-books on your Windows phone: Try free Freda app—offering text to speech and easy downloads of free books
June 2, 2015 | 6:05 am

fredavideo  A free e-reading app called Freda might be just the ticket for your Windows phone. Freda already shines by Windows Phone e-reading standards. It’s won an average of 4.5 stars out of 5 from 1,384 customers of the Windows Phone Store. Perhaps when a Win 10 update rolls around for the app itself, Freda will be still better. Versions come in English, German, French, Chinese and several other languages. The above video from XDA TV is not up entirely to date but will still help you understand the app’s possibilities. As described by Turnipsoft Limited, here are some goodies: Reads ePub (DRM-free), HTML, and...

Summer time and the stealin’ is easy: How do you protect your Kindle, iDevice or other goody? Ever been ripped off?
May 29, 2015 | 9:18 am

pickpocketA relative of mine took her Kindle to the beach. She got a tan. The Kindle got a new owner. Soon my relative discovered that someone had bought a foreign-language magazine with it. So, with summer vacations coming up, what anti-theft tips can you share with fellow members of the TeleRead community? Last September, Nathan over at TheeBookReader.com reminded Kindle owners of the need to call Amazon first and then deregister your Kindle. Other tips? And how about other popular devices, ranging from iPhones and iPads to Android phones (fodder for pickpockets?)? Are you using remote-disable apps and...

Cheap blind-friendly E Ink Kindles with read-aloud and audio nav capabilities: A how-to for Amazon
February 9, 2015 | 2:25 pm

Shaun Kane at RobotFestI hope that Amazon’s CEO never becomes a blind visionary. But if Jeff Bezos’s eyes should ever go downhill in a serious way---a risk for millions of aging baby boomers---he could still enjoy e-books on inexpensive E Ink Kindles. All he has to do is follow advice from Shaun K. Kane, the Colorado computer scientist in the photo, who has devoted years to accessibility issues. In the case of dedicated e-reading devices from Amazon, that doesn’t just mean the read-aloud which the earlier E Ink Kindles offered before the company yanked the feature away (despite Jeff’s original ballyhoo of text to speech, introduced...

The K-12 and economic cases for a national digital library endowment
January 24, 2015 | 11:00 am

President Obama wants expanded broadband, as indicated in his State of the Union address---a laudable goal. But what to use it for, beyond such purposes as, say, the faster downloading of YouTubes? Here's the latest version of LibraryCity’s call for a national digital library endowment and intertwined public and academic library systems online. Short of time? Read an executive summary. – D.R. The average 15-to-19-year-old in the U.S. spends only six minutes a day reading for fun, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What’s more, a just-released report from Scholastic, discussed later in this commentary, warns that the number of...

Want read-aloud in Kindles and other readers? Use FCC’s easy online form by Jan. 9
January 3, 2015 | 2:52 pm

Amazon CEO Jeff BezosUpdate: See the most recent version of the LibraryCity post with mention of an unofficial Jan. 9 deadline and a link to the FCC's easy comment form. You need to submit formally. Please e-mail the FCC ASAP. The agency deals with accessibility matters and will soon make an important accessibility decision affecting Kindles along with other e-readers. Don’t delay! For years, I’ve been publicly begging Amazon to stop muting its E Ink machines and restore text to speech in the future. I may even have been the first commentator to break the news about the Paperwhite’s lack of TTS. This isn’t mere rhetoric. I sold my...

LeVar Burton discusses Reading Rainbow TV show cancelation, plans for Kickstarter
June 5, 2014 | 12:49 pm

The Reading Rainbow Kickstarter has reached about $3.5 million, and the velocity of increase has slowed considerably. I still think it has the potential to make 10 if it does well over the course of the month, especially when it gets the end-of-Kickstarter boost. But even if it makes its $5 million stretch goal, that will be something. LeVar Burton has been interviewed by Think Progress, and he took the opportunity to dispel a few rumors about why the show was canceled, and discuss how the show originally got started and how the money from the Kickstarter will be...

Holiday Searches That Led to TeleRead
December 26, 2013 | 4:26 pm

holiday searchesI admit it. I'm a geek, and I love using my Google Analytics app on my Nexus 7. I often check it multiple times a day to see how the site is doing and which stories are performing well. We didn't post many stories yesterday, but our site numbers were pretty good. I was curious to see which stories performed well. I thought it would be an interesting insight into what people were reading on Christmas Day. By the way, it wasn't the stories we posted yesterday. Those performed miserably. There were the (for us) usual suspects. The Streaming Amazon Instant Video...

Can You Use Electronic Devices On Airplanes During Takeoff and Landing? Soon, Yes!
October 31, 2013 | 3:00 pm

can you use electronic devices on airplanesSanity has finally prevailed in the hallowed halls of the FAA. Today they announced the loosening of restrictions. So, by the end of the year, the answer to the question, "can you use electronic devices on airplanes" will be "Yes!" Can you tell I'm pretty happy about this? Of course, this is the FAA, which is a government agency, so there are caveats. Changes to the policies are by airline, and some airlines will be slower to adopt the new guidelines than others. I suspect some loud, but respectful, complaining will speed on the laggards. Phone calls remain banned (which is fine...

First all-digital public library system a hit in Bexar County, Texas—with hundreds of e-reader gizmos and an eager young crew to explain them
October 20, 2013 | 1:11 pm

bibliotechLast year LibraryCity.org knocked the library system in Rockford, Illinois, for planning to spend around a quarter of its $1.19-million collection budget on e-books. A third of Rockfordians were living below the poverty line in 2009 by one estimate. And yet the local library initially wanted to start out with just 50 Kindle e-readers---hardly the best solution for people too poor or technophobic to buy and use e-book devices. The local NAACP and other groups yelled foul, just as they should have. So what’s happening down in Bexar County, Texas? BiblioTech, the world’s first all-digital public library system, opened there September 14...

How to get the most out of library ebooks via the right gadget, text to speech, and otherwise
October 18, 2013 | 6:26 pm

FireVergeWant to hear text to speech from free library ebooks on your 50-mile commute? Even if you own an Android machine and the usual OverDrive app can’t do “read-aloud” unless audiobooks count? Also, what if you haven’t even bought an e-reading gizmo for library use, but want to? Which model to go with? In those cases and others, the guidance here is for you. Most tips will work even with low-cost, no-name tablets. But let’s pay special attention to the new Kindle Fire HDXes. They are among the top choices if you care more about reading than about tech and can stomach...

Poll: More than one-third say they are reading more books because of reading devices
October 7, 2013 | 3:47 pm

E-readers and tablets have changed the way we read. It’s a simple statement, one that is surely to be true. But the question that needs to be asked is ‘how.’ USA Today and Bookish have attempted to answer that question by conducting a survey of 1,000 people across the United States. They also added a supplemental poll with 819 e-reader and tablet owners. The biggest change showed 40 percent of those surveyed say they own a tablet or e-reader, which is up from 18 percent in a 2011 Pew poll, according to USA Today. Of those, 35 percent report reading more books over...

New Kindle Lineup Faster, Lighter and More Locked Down
September 25, 2013 | 4:02 pm

Amazon announced a series of new Kindle tablets yesterday. Some of the intriguing features of this new lineup include a faster processor, improved battery life and a slimmer, lighter profile. As for the 'lowlight,' these tablets are more integrated than ever into the Amazon ecosystem, and that can be both a feature and a curse. A few examples: 1) Goodreads Integration Now that Amazon owns Goodreads, they will be integrating it into all of their software interfaces, for both the tablets and the e-ink readers. That's great, if you like Goodreads! But what if you'd rather use a different social book site?...

Morning Roundup: Facebook ‘likes’ and the first amendment; E-readers ‘more effective’ for some dyslexic readers; more
September 20, 2013 | 8:42 am

Cloud Customers Have Bigger Worries than NSA Gate (GigaOM) Nirvanix’ fast shutdown spooks current and would-be cloud storage customers more than the prospect of government spying. At least for now. *** Questions (and Answers) from the Society of Scholarly Publishing (The Scholarly Kitchen) Consider today’s post a bit of shameless self-promotion if you will, but at last summer’s SSP meeting many attendees were shanghaied into a side room and asked about their experiences and thoughts on scholarly publishing. The results are below: *** Yes, a Facebook 'Like' is Protected by the First Amendment (Techdirt) Last year we wrote about a troubling case, in which a district court...

Booktrack Combines Music with your E-Books
September 12, 2013 | 1:30 pm

I am a daily commuter, and as such I always my e-reader with me so that I have something to read on my daily train rides. However, the train is far from a quiet library, and as a result I have gotten in the habit of listening to music while simultaneously reading. However, it's no easy task finding the right music to complement your book let alone amplify it. That's where Booktrack comes in. In short, Booktrack is a digital publishing tool that enables bloggers, artists and writers to self-publish their work with corresponding soundtracks. Writers can choose from a catalogue...

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