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Posts tagged e-readers

TeleRead Links: Talking View-Master, Google Play Books gains note sync, and more
July 20, 2015 | 1:30 am

viewmasterThe Electronic Talking View-Master Was the Original Oculus Rift (Gizmodo) Seen here in an ad dating back to February of 1983, the Electronic Talking View-Master used the same slideshow discs as previous versions of the toy. But they were embedded in a special cartridge alongside a tiny vinyl record that would be played at the same time. The TeleRead Take: It’s interesting looking back at old iterations of technology, isn’t it? Back in the day, when they didn’t have anything like what they wanted to do, they had to invent something completely new. And so we got a...

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...

Morning Links: New $99 Kindle bundle for Kids. iOS vs. Android for e-reading apps. FCC chair’s new digital divide plan.
May 29, 2015 | 7:58 am

kindleforkidsAmazon Debuts A $99 Kindle Bundle For Kids Including An E-Reader, Cover And Warranty (Tech Crunch) This new package includes the combination of a Kindle e-reader, a durable cover, and an extended warranty on the device which protects against spills and drops. The Bundle is being sold for $99, which is a savings of $39.98 if all three items were purchased separately, notes Amazon. The TeleRead take: Yes, this is a price-sensitive market. But next year when parts are cheaper than ever, how about text to speech capabilities for the millions of kids with learning...

Magazine publishers unhappy with Apple Newsstand
October 16, 2014 | 10:01 pm

newsstandDigital magazines for tablets have long had a number of problems, not the least of which being that it’s considerably easier for people to make their own “magazines” via RSS readers or other content aggregators such as Flipboard. But Digiday reports that magazine publishers are finding Apple’s Newsstand app problematic in new ways as well. In iOS 7, Apple changed the way Newsstand worked so users were no longer notified if there was a new issue of their magazine available. It doesn’t let users put shortcuts to their magazines on their home screens either. Its ability to download issues...

Apple bought, shuttered book recommender Booklamp in April
July 26, 2014 | 9:01 pm

MacRumors reports that Apple bought and shut down book-recommendation service Booklamp back in April. Booklamp was intended to be a sort of “Pandora for Books”—it used a similar system of categorizing books based on specific elements—but as I determined when I checked into it last November, it fell pretty far short of actually being useful, for two major reasons: it didn’t have a very big selection due to its opt-in nature, and it couldn’t account for humor. Apple hasn’t been saying much about why it bought the service, but that’s not unexpected. I imagine that, as is usually the...

Whither the Kindle Killer?
May 29, 2014 | 7:01 am

Broken-KindleFound via Slashdot: Larry Press plaintively wonders why nobody’s come up with a “Kindle Killer” yet. He notes a whole host of ways the Kindle falls short of perfection—lack of voice recognition or full interface capability with a computer, for example—and thinks such a device really should be a “low-hanging fruit” for one of the big device makers. I’ll tell you why, Larry. The demand isn’t there. Maybe folks like you who like to get the most out of their devices would want such a thing, but the vast majority of the lowest-common-denominator general public—the ones who actually buy...

Adobe’s change of DRM could end old e-readers’ compatibility with e-book stores
February 3, 2014 | 5:27 pm

Here’s a story Nate covered over on The Digital Reader, that could be important in months to come. Adobe is changing up its DRM format, and as of July, will stop supporting the old format altogether. Any new EPUB e-books sold with Adobe DRM on them will be incompatible with older readers unless they have been upgraded. This really is a pretty big deal. Pretty much every e-reader sold besides Kindle and Nook used Adobe ADEPT e-book DRM. (And I seem to recall even Nook could support ADEPT DRM even though B&N used a slightly different DRM format for...

Should public libraries give away e-book-friendly tablets to poor people? $38 tablet hints of possibilities
January 10, 2014 | 4:54 pm

NextYoung people love suitable paper books, ideally new, that they can own. Could the same idea work for econo-tablets that public libraries gave away to low-income families---with a big, fat, e-book-related icon smack in the middle of the home screens? Yes! Don’t just hand out gizmos, though. Let the tablets come with old-fashioned encouragement from public and school librarians. Technology is no panacea. Kids should be able to own paper books, too, in fact, not just gadgets. But e-book-capable tablets, especially with national digital library systems in place, could multiply the number of books matching students’ precise needs. Paper books could serve as gateways to...

Hybrid LED/e-ink Yotaphone adds FBReader support
December 25, 2013 | 11:47 pm

yotaphone-update-leadWe briefly mentioned the Yotaphone once—a Russian smartphone with an LCD display on the front and an e-ink display on the back. Apparently it’s not going to be available outside of Russia for a while, and not many e-reading applications have been made to take advantage of that e-ink secondary screen. However, Engadget today reports that the phone has been made to support the popular open-source EPUB reader app FBReader. It will even support PDF files with the next version of FBReader. Meanwhile, Yota has been “discussing potential collaboration” with Amazon. It’s easy to imagine that Amazon, having built...

Gizmodo ranks 55 Android smartphones from best to worst
December 19, 2013 | 2:31 pm

If you’re considering investing in an Android smartphone as an e-reading and Internetting device, there are a confusing number of choices. In doing your research, you could do worse than consult this Gizmodo article ranking 55 such phones from best to what-the-heck-is-that-thing. While some of their choices are subjective, it at least gives you a general idea of where a particular phone falls on the spectrum of cool-to-unusable. Not surprisingly, the first-place phone on the list is Google’s Nexus 5. My own phone, a LG Optimus F3, comes in at #41 on the list, under “Unsurvivable Budget Phones (Phones...

Be careful with that e-reader charger! Man arrested for ‘stealing’ pennies of electricity
December 4, 2013 | 8:10 pm

nookchargerPerhaps the headline is a little sensationalistic, as the arrest was over a man plugging in his Nissan Leaf electric car for twenty minutes. That’s a couple of orders of magnitude more power than an e-reader, tablet, or smartphone uses. But given that the amount of electricity he “stole” only came out to a few pennies at most, the arrest is pretty clearly a matter of principle in any case—as the arresting officer said, “a theft is a theft” no matter how little it is. The implication should not be too hard to suss out. In today’s gadget-driven culture,...

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...

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