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Posts tagged The Digital Reader

Adobe Digital Editions 4.0 tells Adobe what books you’re reading
October 7, 2014 | 6:10 pm

imageYesterday, Nate broke quite a story over on The Digital Reader about Adobe Digital Editions 4.0 sending information in the clear about the e-books you read. It got picked up by The Passive Voice, Ars Technica, GigaOm, TechDirt, Slashdot, BoingBoing, the list goes on and on. Congrats on the scoop, Nate! (Frankly, I’m amazed his blog is still up, given all the traffic this has to be sending his way.) He posted another story today indicating that the bug doesn’t seem to affect prior versions. Effectively, ADE 4.0 gathers up a bunch of information on the books you open...

Kindle Voyage sells out!
September 23, 2014 | 12:25 pm

Kindle VoyageNate at The Digital Reader has this brief piece in which he reports that the Kindle Voyage has sold out in its first four days, and is now back-ordered. From the story: "A quick check of the Kindle Voyage page on Amazon this morning has revealed that several of the Kindle Voyage models have been delayed as late as the second week of December. While the 3G+ads model is still scheduled to ship in October, the other three options have been pushed back at least a month (there’s also a quota of two per customer)." In other Kindle Voyage news, a poster at...

Reinventing the Bookstore
July 7, 2014 | 6:25 pm

bookstoreThanks to Nate at The Digital Reader for his fascinating recap of an article from a magazine called 'More Intelligent Life' which offers a series of concepts for reinventing the physical bookstore. The concepts had some interesting ideas in them, such as customizable reading areas, and book displays elevated to high art. Some of the ideas are not terribly practical though, and I'm not sure how they could be realistically implemented into the bookstore of today. So, assuming that your goal is a) to keep the retail floor space actually profitable and b) to do so in an actually manageable and...

Overdrive segregating Smashwords books. Disappointed but not surprised
June 19, 2014 | 12:25 pm

overdrive logoNate at The Digital Reader has a story about an author discovering that books from Smashwords have been segregated in the Overdrive system. According to the article, author Maria Schneider made the discovery when she talked to a librarian friend to make sure they were available. Well. Smashwords does ship the books to Overdrive. HOWEVER, in order for the librarian to even FIND the books in the list, she had to spend a lot of time researching. None of the usual methods worked: Title, nope. Author name, nope. OH. Turns out there is a box on overdrive underneath some other menu…labeled “Self-published.” Once she FOUND...

What will I do with my Nook Simple Touch now?
February 19, 2014 | 10:25 am

nook simple touchI wonder if my Nook Simple Touch will become a collector’s item. Most likely, it will just be exactly what it is now – a gadget collecting dust with the battery killed off long ago. I haven’t used my NST in months, maybe even a year. So, it was not surprising when I read on The Digital Reader that Barnes & Noble discontinued the Nook Touch. I didn’t have any major issues with my NST, but once I got my Google Nexus 7 two summers ago, it became my little computer away from my laptop, including an e-reader, RSS reader, Candy Crusher, Facebook...

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...

Writers Need To Think Like Business Owners
December 27, 2013 | 6:44 pm

writersNate at The Digital Reader drew my attention to the current round of "Amazon is going to cut their royalty rate to 35%" hand wringing. And to Hugh Howey's excellent response. The reason I said "current round of hand wringing" is because I've seen this before. Someone on KBoards said it comes around about every three months, which sounds about right. I agree with Nate's conclusions and Howey's response.  I don't think it's likely to happen, at least not soon. So we can stop worrying about this, for the moment, and aim our energies at looking at writing as a small...

How to Kill a School Library
December 6, 2013 | 4:39 pm

school libraryThanks to Nate at The Digital Reader for sending this article my way. It's from a website called The School Library Journal, and it's called "How to Kill a School Library in Ten Easy Steps." I bet you could probably guess most of the steps without even reading the article: fire the librarian, replace them with clerks or volunteers. rush kids in and out of there, off-load the professional development library specialists used to provide to Pinterest and Google... I read this article with a sad, sinking feeling. My own well-meaning school has seen many of these shifts happen. We lost...

Debating the Digital Textbook Issue—Again
October 8, 2013 | 5:33 pm

Thanks to Nate at The Digital Reader for sending my way two stories in as many days about the digital textbook issue. In the first, he outlines some reasons behind the 'growing resistance' to digital textbooks, including poor navigation features, inadequate study extras and internet requirements which limit student use. In the second, he profiles a North Carolina school district whose difficulty with the actual devices pre-empted any further use, textbook or otherwise. So, what's going on here? A few things: 1) Most educators don't know squat about IT. Why was that North Carolina school district paying $200 per YEAR for off-brand...

iPads in Schools-A Debacle or Not?
October 5, 2013 | 2:51 pm

Kids using iPads in school Nate at The Digital Reader has posted a good little recap of the 'iPads in schools' debacle that's been making the news. The short version is that the Los Angeles Unified School District spent a whack of money buying iPads for student use, then had to recall them when the students hacked them to get around the security controls which prevented them from doing anything unauthorized. I've sat on this story for a few days because, as an educator myself, I wasn't quite sure how I was meant to respond. When I wrote about a similar issue earlier this year---it was...

Alcatel One Touch Hero: The phone I can’t live without?
September 9, 2013 | 3:56 pm

AlcatelNormally I'd give myself a good kicking for picking up a lead from Nate Hoffelder over at The Digital Reader. After all, what kind of lazy journalism is that? But in this case, he may very well have turned me on to the ideal smartphone—one that's going to make a conspicuous difference to my gadget buying plans. According to the Alcatel press materials quoted over at Engadget, the Alcatel One Touch Hero features "a 6" Full HD IPS display, 1.5 GHz Quad Core processor and 13 megapixel camera," as well as a stylus for onscreen input, wireless linking to external displays,...

The Old Reader Strains Under Massive Post-Readerpocalypse Demand
July 30, 2013 | 3:52 pm

The Old ReaderNate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader posted an intriguing tidbit earlier today about The Old Reader, one of the more solid but less-hyped Google Reader alternatives to benefit from Google Reader's demise. But in this paticular case, it seems the benefit turned out to be more of a curse: Since the shutdown of Google Reader was announced, The Old Reader's user base swelled from 10,000 to over 400,000—and it's just too many users for the admins of this 'labor of love' to handle. In a blog post entitled "Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures," they say: "We really want The Old Reader to...

Amazon scrapes bottom, sells books cheaply to public, talks to Democrats
July 29, 2013 | 5:02 pm

AmazonJust when you thought they could sink no lower, Amazon has added fresh offenses to their litany of crimes. So you'd conclude, at any rate, from the scrupulously impartial, limpidly objective coverage of their head-to-head discounting battle with Overstock in The Bookseller and Shelf-Awareness. Indeed, if you believe the latter, all that's keeping those unscrupulous bad hats out of the courts is their overly chummy dealings with the Democrats. Yes, fresh from being pilloried for not discounting enough, Amazon is discounting too much again. Of course, Overstock didn't exactly help the situation by calling Amazon out, specifically advertising its limited-period discount run...

Sockpuppet Scandal! Ectaco Called Out Online
July 26, 2013 | 9:23 pm

EctacoThere's an interesting story brewing at Mobile Read about two user accounts which were banned for 'sock puppet' activities--these were posters who created regular accounts and posted as regular users, but were actually employees at Ectaco who were posting as such and trying to build up buzz for their company. The thread announcing this little bot of detective work has over 3,000 views, with some posters condemning the Ectaco folks and others shrugging and chiding them for being so dumb. Nate at The Digital Reader does some additional digging around and points out that Ectaco's activities were not just limited to Mobile Read;...

Is there more to the college textbook ‘bubble’ than meets the eye?
July 18, 2013 | 3:12 pm

textbooksOver at The Digital Reader, founding editor Nate Hoffelder posted some comments on a report from something called "The Book Industry Study Group," which shows an increase in "piracy" among college students. It isn't clear from the limited info Nate posted just how large the sample group was, how they were polled, or what other questions were asked of them. But I do have some experience in the different possibilities for what might be going on here, and it is far from a straight line between "textbook sales are declining" and "piracy is on the rise." I do agree with Nate that pricing...

Back up your BooksOnBoard purchases, NOW!
April 6, 2013 | 1:00 pm

BooksOnBoard has (hopefully temporarily) shut down their site for new purchases, though you can still download titles from your library. Instead of their usual welcome screen, you will be greeted by this when you attempt to access the site: That sounds concerning but not too worrisome. However, over at The Digital Reader, Nate thinks it's the beginning of the end. He has a detailed article about BooksOnBoard and their recent history of not paying their distributors. His advice, which I will echo, is, "download and back up your library now." If this is just a bump in the road, and they are back...

April Fool’s links from the tech and e-reading cognoscenti
April 1, 2013 | 1:52 pm

I'm always skeptical of articles and posts I read on April 1, for obvious reasons. Sometimes they look plausible enough to pull you in, and this year I decided to share some of the April Fool's posts I've particularly enjoyed this morning. Google, of course, had to have some fun with us by introducing Google Nose. Really, "Photo, auditory, olfactory sensory convergence?" Try saying that three times fast! Ron Charles, from The Washington Post, gives us "Apple Letters," Apple's latest patent. After patenting the page turn, there wasn't much left. Joe Konrath is tired of making too much money and is pulling all...

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