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More on the iPhone 5

The introduction of the iPhone 5 is obviously the biggest tech story of the week so here is just a bit more info on the subject. The iPhone 5 become available for pre-sale on Friday at 12 AM west coast time and the allotment of phones available sold out in the first hour* so people are certainly interested in Apple’s new iPhone! With that interest in mind, the first article is from the New York Times bits blog, is titled Answers to Your Questions About Apple’s iPhone 5, and focuses on answering iPhone set up questions as compared to simply highlighting the features of the phone. So if you’re interested in buying an iPhone 5 and aren’t sure which carrier to go with you may want to check it out.

Here’s the link:

And likewise, here’s a link to a PC World article titled Which iPhone 5 Carrier Should You Choose? That discusses the pros and cons of each iPhone carrier:

And as much as I love Apple products I know some people are rather anti-Apple and prefer to buy cell phones from other manufactures; with that in mind, here’s a link to an Information Week article titled 5 Alternatives to the Apple iPhone which offers a few solid suggestions as to which non-Apple phones would be good ones to buy. Here’s the link:

And along those same lines here’s a link to a September 4 CNET site review page for the top smart phones, granted one is the iPhone but the other four are not!

Have a great Saturday!

Linda R.


*According to multiple sources including the following Washington Post article

Apple’s iPhone 5 pre-orders sold out; plus a look at the phone’s pros and cons

Tech at the Library & Two Questions For Readers!

I usually relay tech news in this blog. However, I thought I’d try something different today and inquire if everyone out there in cyber-land is aware of the tech materials, programs and services our public library, and indeed most public libraries, offer patrons today.

The Southeast Steuben County Library has always strived to offer patrons the best materials, programs and services possible. And offering excellent materials, programs and services in the early twenty first century translates into us offering more than traditional books, programming and on site research assistance to our patrons. Today we offer patrons a multifaceted array of tech related materials and services.

The library offers patrons the following free tech related items and services:

  • Access to e-books through our Digital Catalog
  • Access to a growing number of videos and music titles via our Digital Catalog
  • Access to circulating e-readers with pre-loaded bestsellers
  • Access to tech assistance (You can call and make an appointment to sit down with a member of the library’s tech staff and go over tech question – so if you just got a new e-reader, PC or tablet or other device and have questions about how to use it – call us! We’re here to help. We also have some insight on the best e-reading devices to use to check out free library e-books — just ask us!)
  • Tech programs and workshops (including upcoming ones on how to use the iPad, how to use a digital camera, how to use Microsoft Publisher, how to use Microsoft Excel and one showcasing video streaming players in the form of the Apple TV and Roku player.

And Access to credible databases including:

  • Academic One File (useful if you’re for kids and adults doing academic research)
  • The Business & Company Resource Center (useful if you’re researching a company)
  • The Chilton Library (think of this database as all the Chilton Auto Repair Manuals in the library – accessible online!)
  • Ebsco Animals (useful for kids doing research for school projects or anyone who wishes to know more about animals)
  • Funk & Wagnalls New World Encyclopedia (use to check simple facts)
  • Grolier Online (offers articles, audio and video clips on a wide range of subjects – useful for students or adults doing research)
  • Health Reference Center (useful for anyone doing research on medical/health related topics)
  • Heritage Quest (a genealogical research database for those looking into their family history)
  • Literature Resource Center (a database that offers articles and biographies about authors, books etc.)
  • New York State Newspapers (a database that allows you to search for articles found in New York State newspapers on a cornucopia of topics)
  • OCLC First Search (a database that allows patrons to search for books owned by libraries across the globe)
  • Talking Tumble Books (this database offers free audiobooks for children and adults as well as multi-lingual titles)
  • Twayne Authors (If you’re interested in information about a specific author – this is the database for you!)

And my two questions for our patrons are:

  1. Did you know we offer all the above digital materials and services? (If not – please pass the word on!)


2. What digital materials, tech programs and services would you like to see our library offer? (And feel free just to state a specific e-book title or pitch an idea for a tech program etc. Thanks!)

And in relation to my two questions, please do feel free to go wildly off topic and pitch any suggestions that come to mind! We like feedback here in library land…

Have a great day!

Linda R.

iPhone 5 & New iPod Touch & Nano

And now that today really is Wednesday I can say…Apple introduced the iPhone 5 today and also offered a look at a new iPod Touch and Nano!

The new iPhone 5 is half an inch larger than previous iPhone models with a 4” Retina Display.  The iPhone 5 also features a faster chip, extra microphones, new camera features and a smaller dock connector. The iPhone 5 will be available in black or white and in three sizes: 16GB for $199, 32GB for $299 and 64GB for $399. It will go on sale on September 21.

The new iPod Touch will also offer a 4” Retina Display and all the non-cell phone bells and whistles that are included with the iPhone 5. Additionally of note, the new iPod Touch will be available in the following colors:  silver, black, red, yellow or blue. You’ll be able to pre-order the new iPod Touch via Apple’s website starting Thursday, September 14 and you’ll be able to buy a 32GB model for $299 or a 64GB model for $399.

Both the iPhone 5 and the new iPod Touch will feature Apple’s iOS 6 which includes a number of new features like a new maps app, updated Siri functionality and the ability to do video chatting via FaceTime on 3G networks.

Apple has also updated its iPod Nano to offer a 16 GB player with 2.5” touch screen that supports widescreen video and a new home button. The Nano will be available in white, purple, black, blue, green, yellow or pink/red and will, like the iPod Touch, be available for pre-order this Thursday.

And as you might imagine there are tons of news stories online regarding the iPhone 5 and the new iPods and related new features – here are two:

1. A CNET overview of the iPhone 5 found at:

2. A Macworld article titled Apple Shows Off iPod Touch Nano Updates that offers more information on the new and improved iPod Touch and iPod Nano found at:

And of course you can get information to straight from the horse’s mouth as it were – via the Apple website found at:

Have a great day!

Linda R.


Apologies, iPad Mini, Five Things To Do With An Old Kindle Fire & New Ways To Watch TV

Apologies: Hi everyone, I apologize for getting the dates wrong in my earlier posting of today! The Apple Press Event to introduce the iPhone 5 is actually tomorrow – Wednesday, September 12. For some reason I was thinking it was Wednesday but of course it is not. It is still Tuesday.

So we won’t know anything official about the iPhone 5, new iPods or any other Apple items until tomorrow. That being said here a links to a few interesting tech articles to tide us all over.

iPad Mini: The first article is from CNET, it is titled iPad Mini What We Expect, and discusses the widely rumored introduction of a smaller iPad that may be introduced tomorrow but is more likely to see the light of day at a later press event so as not to steal any thunder from the iPhone 5 release.

Here’s the link:

Five Things To Do With An Old Kindle Fire: The second link is to a CNET Top 5 video where host Donald Bell offers us ten things we can do with our old Kindle Fires – if we are updating to a new model in lieu of last Amazon unveiling new Kindle Fire models last week:

Here’s the link:

New Ways To Watch TV: And a final article is from USA Today, is titled Traditional TV services continue steady decline, and discusses how more people are watching television shows and movies in non-traditional (i.e. not via TV cable connections) via mobile devices like smart phones, tablets, laptops and media streaming devices. Here’s the link:

Have a great day!

Linda R.

Tabeo Tablet for Kids & iPad Workshop on Wednesday

Tabeo Tablet for Kids: Toys ‘R’ Us is introducing a new tablet called the Tabeo made just for kids. The tablet, which goes on sale on October 21, will feature Wi-Fi connectivity, parental controls, a HDMI input, a front facing camera, 50 pre-loaded games, apps and pre-loaded educational e-books. This tablet would be a nice first tablet for kids and can be pre-ordered from the Toys ‘R’ Us website.

iPad Workshop on Wednesday: The library is hosting a one hour iPad workshop on Wednesday (9-12-12). The workshop is part of our new One Hour Wednesday Tech series that offers a brief introduction to tech items each week – just enough to get you started! And if any workshop attendees would like more information on the subject of the week – this week the iPad – they can make an appointment to meet one-on-one with one of the library’s tech staff to sit down and go over any additional questions – it is a free service so check it out! And if you’d like to sign up for the one hour workshop please call the library at 936-3713 ext. 502 to register.

Have a great day!

Linda R.

Sources cited:

CNET article: Toys ‘R’ Us unwraps $150 Tabeo tablet for kids. Accessed: September 10, 2012:$150-tabeo-tablet-for-kids/

Southeast Steuben County Library Calendar of Events. Accessed: September 10, 2012

Toys ‘R’ Us Website: Tabeo. Accessed: September 10, 2012:


New Kindle Fires & Kindle Paperwhite

Wow, I just got back from a short vacation and not only is it rip-roaring busy in library land today but additionally Amazon has introduced multiple new tablets. The new tablets consist of three new Kindle Fires and a new e-ink Kindle with a built-in lighting system called the Kindle Paperwhite.

The new Kindles are:

1. The Kindle Fire: This is the new entry-level Kindle Fire. It features a 7” screen, is Wi-Fi only, features 1024×600 pixel screen resolution (a higher screen resolution than the 1st generation Kindle Fire), has stereo speakers and 8 GB of storage. Price: $159.

2. The Kindle Fire HD: This version features a 7” screen, is Wi-Fi only, has a front facing video camera for video calls, offers 1280×800 pixel screen resolution, has Dolby Audio dual-driver stereo speakers and either 16 or 32 GB of storage. The 16 GB model costs $299 and the 32 GB model is $369.

3. The Kindle Fire HD 4G: This Kindle features an 8.9” screen, a front facing camera for video calls, 1920×1200 pixel screen resolution, has Dolby Audio dual-driver stereo speakers and either 32 or 64 GB of storage. The 32 GB version costs $499 and the 64 GB version is $599. Additionally of note regarding the 4G cellular connectivity Amazon states that “Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ offers the most affordable 4G tablet data package. Amazon’s 12 month 4G data package includes 250 MB a month of blazing fast 4G data, 20 GB of additional Cloud Drive storage, and $10 Amazon Appstore promotional credit, all for a one-time payment of only $49.99, no monthly payments required. If you need more data, additional 3 GB and 5 GB data plans are also available for purchase. You can sign up for a data plan right from your device.” So you can in essence tack another $49.95 onto the price of whichever of the two Kindle Fire HD 4G model you pick if you decide to purchase the Kindle Fire HD 4G.

4. The Kindle Paperwhite: And the e-ink Kindle Paperwhite is Wi-Fi only, features a built in lighting system (like the Barnes & Noble Glowlight) and a higher screen resolution than previous e-ink Kindle models. In fact, Amazon says of the screen resolution of the Paperwhite that it offers: “62% more pixels for unsurpassed resolution.”  Additionally of note, this Kindle costs $139 for the add free version or $119 for the “Special Offers” version that features screen saver adds. 

And you can find more information on all the new Kindle models at the Amazon website located at WWW.AMAZON.COM

And the Gizmodo tech site has a nice overview of the new models in the aptly named article Amazon’s New Kindle Avalanche Everything You Need to Know:

And if you’re in the market to buy a new tablet – or even your first tablet you may want to wait a bit despite Amazon’s new offerings as there are other new tablets forthcoming that may be even better than the ones Amazon introduced today. Google has, of course, already introduced its Nexus 7 tablet which has gained good reviews for its features and $199 price tag. Microsoft is coming out with its Surface tablet in October and Apple is likely to introduce a 7 or 8” Apple Mini iPad also in October. And just to add my two cents worth – I’m sure the Amazon’s HD 4G tablet is quite nice, and granted I haven’t seen it yet; however, if you’re spending more than $499 on tablet – I would still suggest you check out an iPad. You can come to the library and sit down with one of ours to test drive it before you buy it!

 Have a great evening everyone!

Linda R.

Kindle App Upgrade, Amazon Prime Versus Netflix, Californian Legislature Approves Self Driving Cars & New Kindle Fire To Be Introduced Next Week

Kindle App Upgrade : Amazon has updated its Kindle App for iOS (aka Apple) mobile devices. The new features include advanced highlighting, a new brightness control and the ability to change the backlight background from the usual white backlighting to sepia (a shade of beige) or black (with white letters).

CNET offers an in-depth article on the subject today titled Kindle ios app is now easier on the eyes and can be accessed via the following link:

Amazon Prime Versus Netflix: Head New York Times tech guru David Pogue offers a comparison of video streaming via Netflix or Amazon. In essence, Pogue notes that both services offer unlimited streaming of video content from their streaming video libraries, Netflix for $7.99 a month and Amazon for $79.99 per year, and that the bulk of their titles which do number in the thousands are several years old. What Pogue doesn’t mention something is this video streamer knows well and that is that with Netflix what they have in their streaming video catalog is what they have – there is nothing else you can access. In contrast, Amazon offers streaming video fans the option to purchase and/or rent new movies and new TV episodes so if there is a new episode of Mad Men or Downton Abbey you can see that episode within 24 hours of its TV broadcast by purchasing it.

The New York Times article is titled Potluck for the Eyeballs: Amazon’s Streaming Service. Here’s the link:

Californian Legislature Approves Self Driving Cars: You may have heard that Google has developed a self driving car also known as an “autonomous car.” The car drives by an advanced computer system and additional high tech bells and whistles that allow the car to know where it is and sense where other vehicles or obstacles in the road are and is much safer in theory than human driven car because it has the proverbial eyes in the back of its head (and on all sides too!). Google has been testing its self driving cars for quite a while, with actual non-driving-the-car humans in the car, in California and Nevada and the California Legislature has just approved a law that will if approved by the governor allow these cars to operate sans humans on California roads. The Ars Technica article is titled Robot cars on public roads? California says yes and can be accessed via the following link:

And here’s a link to a related Forbes article that discusses how some of the self-driving car options are already being built into cars today. For example, the 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL sport-utility vehicle has an built in scanning device that will stop the car of the car’s computer system sense the driver is about to back into an object. Here’s the link to the article titled Cars That Can Drive Themselves Are Still A Ways Off; Cars That Can Stop Themselves Are Already On Sale:

And another related article from 360 Yale titled Self-Driving Cars: Coming Soon to a Highway Near You which is cool because it offers a few practical illustrations of how self-driving car technology would benefit one and all:

New Kindle Fire To Be Introduced Next Week: Amazon has completely sold out of its popular Kindle Fire tablets. This is usual in the tech world – that is to sell through the old model before the new model of a tech item is released. And next week Amazon is holding a press event to introduce new products which will most assuredly include a new and improve (and possible larger) Kindle Fire.

Here’s a link to a Washington Post article on the subject, with a super long title! Titled Fire’s gone out: Amazon says Kindle Fire is sold out, as announcement of new model expected:

And on a final tech note — the library will be closed tomorrow for cleaning and staff development. We’ll be open our usual hours on Saturday, closed on Monday, September 3 for the Labor Day holiday and will re-open at 9 AM on Thursday.

And on another hours note — our fall/winter/spring hours start September 9, 2012 and they are:

Monday 10-6 pm
Tuesday 10-8 pm
Wednesday 10-6 pm
Thursday 10-8 pm
Friday 10-6 pm
Saturday 10-4 pm
Sunday 11-4 pm

Linda R.