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The Tesla Model S & Used E-Books: A Possibility?

The Tesla Model S: Many people don’t realize that a hundred years ago when the automobile industry was in its infancy –both electric and gas powered cars were developed. Gas powered cars won that race and as we all know the human race’s widespread use of those cars has since contributed to global warming – which granted is a whole other conversation! But getting back to the subject of electric cars, fast-forward 100 years from the infancy days of automobiles to today—and electric cars are making a comeback. And the Tesla Motor Company is leading the pack as far as manufacturing high class, quality electric cars. Granted Chevy has its Volt and Nissan has its Leaf but both are economy cars when compared to the Tesla models. And the new Tesla Model S is a luxury sedan that raises the proverbial and literal bar! It is a completely electric car that goes from 0 to 60 MPH in 5.6 seconds, is a dream to drive, runs very quietly even when accelerating; features a touch screen dash and beautiful streamlined interiors. The Model S is a gorgeous car both inside and out. CNET offers a great review of the car in an article titled Tesla Model S First Drive Quiet Satisfaction, here’s the link:

And here’s the link to the Model S page on the Tesla Motor Company website:

Used E-Books A Possibility: The European Court of Justice, which is the highest court inEurope, ruled yesterday that the software company Oracle cannot block people from re-selling second hand copies of its software; and this decision has ramifications that go far beyond software!

In our high tech era, media companies that produce, e-books, digital videos and music have sought to restrict how that content can be accessed by purchasers, whether or not purchasers can lend the content in the form of e-books, videos, and music to another person or even whether or not they actual own the digital content they have purchased in the form of e-books, digital videos, digital music* and in the case of the Oracle case – software licenses. Thus, this ruling has the potential to allow purchasers of digital content, including e-books, to actually purchase the e-books (and digital music, videos and software) and then later sell those e-books or other digital media content to another person. Granted, this ruling covers Europe and not theUnited States; however, it is a step in the right director for the digital rights of consumers purchasing digital content.

Here’s the link to a Good Reader article, titled Electronic Readers Used E-Books May Be A Reality Soon, on the subject:

And another from the Financial Times, tilted EU court decision deals blow to Oracle that offers more information on the subject:

And yet a third link to a

Channel Register article on the subject:

Have a great day!

Linda R.

*The word “digital” in this context simply means that the video or music content has been purchased and accessed via a computer and/or the Internet and thus is saved or streamed to a computer or media player – in other words these are non-physical CDs, DVDs or books!

Video Goes Full Circle & Where Are The Paper Maps?

VideoGoes Full Circle: The earliest video screens were very tiny. In the eighteen nineties when commercial videos made their debut; viewers had to watch small videos on very small screens housed inside cabinets called Kinetoscopes. And as time went on video technology advanced and people could go to the movies and watch larger than life characters on the big screen. And of course today, large HDTVs are found in almost every home. And yet more people today are watching smaller videos than at anytime since the pre-cinema, Kinetoscope era. They are watching videos on the go on their tablets and smart phones – and so in a sense watching video has come full circle from the solitary experience of early video watchers who had to squint at the small characters on the screen inside a cabinet, to the communal experience of watching films on the big screen, through the television era and now to an era that combines huge HDTVs in homes with portable small screens to go!

The New York Times has a cool article today that relays the history of video watching from its beginnings in the Victorian Era through today. It is titled Yes, Norma Desmond, the Pictures Are Getting Small Again – here’s the link:

Where Are The Paper Maps? Anyone over the age of, oh, say about 35; will probably remember going on family vacations, back in the day, and pouring over paper maps to see what sites you were going to see in advance or simply using them as a guide to find  your way. Paper maps were plentiful then and seemed to be available free of charge at every gas station and National Park. Fast forward to today and paper maps are scarce and cost money to obtain. And the reason for the coming obsolescence of paper maps is two-fold: A. paper maps cost money to print and B. fewer people than ever before are using paper maps in the smart phone, tablet & GPS era. And that latter point is the larger one of the two! When you can take out your smart phone or tablet or access the GPS system in your car and see exactly where you are, and correspondingly where you want to go – you probably aren’t going to be looking to purchase paper maps; unless of course the maps are for your sixth grader’s geography project!

Here’s a link to an NPR/Associated Press article titled GPS, Apps Make Paper Maps Harder To Find that offers a cool history of American map usage in recent years – and how it has changed!

Linda R.

Google’s Nexus 7, iPad Mini & How to Upgrade Your PC to Windows 8 Metro

Google’s Nexus 7: Last week Google unveiled a new 7” tablet called the Nexus 7. And this week the critical reviews are in and are mostly positive. The Nexus 7, like Amazon’s Kindle Fire is a 7”, 8 GB tablet*.* Granted, the Kindle Fire allows casual tablet users to read/write e-mail, surf the web and use a few Amazon Kindle apps; but otherwise emphasizes users buying content from Amazon in the form of TV shows, movies, music and e-books to watch, read and listen to respectively on the Kindle Fire.

However, in contrast, The Nexus 7 truly is a tablet – translation – using it will allow you to do much more than what you can do with a Kindle Fire. For $199 you get a 7” Wi-Fi tablet with a very clear screen, Bluetooth capability (“Bluetooth” meaning you can wirelessly connect a keyboard, mouse or other compatible Wi-Fi connecting input device to the tablet), external speakers, a front facing camera for video chats, a battery with nine hour life and a GPS function.  This new tablet has received critical tech acclaim from many corners and pasted below are links to two of those shining critical reviews; the first, titled A Tablet To Rival The Leader, from the noted New York Times tech guru David Pogue, and the second titled “Nexus 7 review: the best $200 tablet you can buy” from Endgadget tech reviewer Tim Stevens:

Click here for the Pogue review:

And here for the Tim Stevens review:

And here, for a third review that I just found on CNN, titled Nexus 7 best Android Tablet Yet:

iPad Mini Tablet: There have been unconfirmed tech rumors for months that Apple has been working on a smaller iPad than the 9.7” version that is available now. Apple spokesmen have so far refrained from commenting when asked about these rumors; however, today the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Asian component suppliers have said they are preparing to manufacturer glass screens for Apple that are smaller tablet screens.

The brief Wall Street Journal article on this subject, titled Apple Preps for Smaller Tablet: Parts Makers in Asia Gear Up to Produce Device With Smaller Screen Than iPad, can be found at this link:

How to Upgrade to Windows 8 Metro: Windows 8 is slated to be released this fall. And Information Week has produced a nice article, titled Windows 8 Upgrade FAQ: How To Go Metro: Microsoft is pulling out all the stops to get PC users onto its new OS; here’s what you need to know,  that offers you information on how you can upgrade to Windows 8. Essentially, you can upgrade your Windows PC to Windows 8 if your PC meets the upgrade standards (some of which like memory, sound/video card installed etc. vary by computer) and if your computer is currently running Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7. And if your current desktop or laptop bites the dust before this fall and you need a new one, you’ll be eligible for an upgrade to Windows 8 for only $14.99.

Here’s a link the Information Week article:

Linda R.

*You can upgrade to a 16 GB Nexus 7 for an extra $50 — $249 – in contrast Amazon has only one Kindle Fire Model. 

Digital Shifts, How Technology Becomes Invisible and the New Google Glasses

I already posted a light posting today on Algonquin e-books but I just came across a really cool article in Bits, the New York Times Tech blog! The article, titled Disruptions: Next Step for Technology Is Becoming the Background, discusses some of the evolutionary milestones of technology and their impact on western civilization. The author, Nick Bilton, discusses how technology is a huge deal when new ground breaking technological products are first introduced, but then that the technology becomes a seamless part of life, becoming woven into the tapestry of people’s daily lives, and isn’t noticed. He uses the analogy of the introduction of the printing press with moveable type in the 15th century and, correspondingly, the evolution of cheap paper that made it possible for light printed books, which could be easily carried around by the average person, to be cheaply made. And this in turn, had a huge impact on the population of Europe as the level of literacy rose and ideas put into print could be easily communicated to more people than ever before. And at first the new technology, in the form of access to cheap printed books, was a novelty but eventually it simply became the norm.

And then the author then goes on to discuss the new Internet connecting Google glasses and how that type of technology will transform our society and eventually become a seamless part of our daily lives. If you’re not familiar with the Google eyeglasses, usually referred to simply as Google glasses (no prescription required!), they connect to the Internet and allow you the option of scanning an area for information about it, taking hand free photos, making hands free phone calls, dictating hand free emails and connecting to the Internet and vocally searching for information which will then be displayed on the glasses.

Here’s the link to the cool article:

Linda R.

Algonquin E-Book Sale for Fans of the Great Outdoors!

Summertime is the prefect time to read books about the great outdoors whether they are books about gardens, birds or simply books that focus on the flavors of nature! And in keeping with that natural theme Algonquin Books is offering gardeners, birders and lovers of the outdoors in general a super low price on seven of their prime e-book titles:

1. The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey,

2) Settled in the Wind by Susan Hand Shetterley,

3) 100 Birds and How They Got Their Names by Diana Wells,

4) The Earth Moved by Amy Stewart,

5) From the Ground up by Amy Stewart,

6) Lives of the Trees by Diana Wells

7) The Writer in the Garden by Jane Garmey.

The e-books are on sale through the end of July and can be purchased from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, Google and Indiebound.

Here’s a link to the Algonquin Books blog that offers an in-depth summary of each book:

And just a reminder the Southeast Steuben County Library will be closed on Wednesday in observance of the 4th of July. Regular hours resume Thursday, July 5th. 

Have a great 4th of July everyone!

Linda R. 

Next iPad Workshop – Thursday, July 12, 2012

On an upcoming tech program note, our next iPad Workshop will be held at 6 PM on Thursday, July 12th.

We always have a good time at our iPad workshops; we take a look at basic iPad functions like how to download apps from the app store, how to organize your apps, how to put your apps in folders and how to change the settings on your iPad.

Questions are welcomed as answering questions is a great way for everyone to learn – including me!

And a highlight of each workshop is the suggested app list that I go over – I open suggested apps up, project them to the big screen in our Community Room and show you how they work! The app presentation features some cool apps in categories like sports, entertainment, news and games – and every time I host this workshop someone attending always brings at least one more really great app to my attention!

Join us!

The workshop runs from 6-7ish (or whatever time we’re done).

And you can register at the library in person, by telephone 607-936-3713 or by sending me an email: REIMERL@STLS.ORG

Linda R. 

Chrome Browser Now Available for iPad & iPhone & Library E-Books: Part IV

Chrome Browser Now Available for iPad & iPhone: Google Chrome iPad & iPhone users rejoice! There is finally an app for that! You can now download the free Google Chrome Browser for your iPhone or iPad from the app store. So if you like Chrome and have been eagerly awaiting its introduction as an Apple’s app – now is the time to download it!

Library E-Books: Part IV: Today’s library e-book posting is going to focus on how you download free library e-books to Barnes & Noble’s Nooks.

And I’m going to jump right into this subject by repeating what I said earlier last week about DRM and also noting two things you need to have access to before you begin the get-free-library-e-books-on-a-Nook process.

1) DRM: DRM, also known as Digital Rights Management software, is the reason that the download process for library e-books contains so many steps; and in fact, more steps if you have a Nook than if you have a Kindle or tablet. DRM is a restrictive software built into e-books at the insistence of publishers as an anti-piracy tool. And basically DRM locks library e-books and you have to go through a process to unlock the library e-books before you can read them. And in the case of the STLS Digital Catalog the software you need to unlock the e-books is called Adobe Digital Editions.

2) Two Things You Have Need To Have Access To Before You Begin The Get Free Library E-Books On A Nook Process: You have to have your own computer and you have to have an Internet connection. If you’ve read all the postings last week about public library e-books you may wonder why you need your own PC to check library e-books out to a Nook – because you don’t need that if you own a Kindle. And the reason for that is because Amazon actually unlocks the DRM software on library e-books sent to Kindles – that occurs when you log into the Amazon website. With Nooks you have to unlock the e-books yourself and that is why you need to have your own Internet connected computer and also why you have to download the Adobe Digital Editions software.

So before you can begin the regular process of downloading free library e-books to a Nook – and that is the process you will use in the future – you have to go through a preparation process.

And the preparation process is to go to your Internet connected computer and:

1) Go to the library’s website found at: SSCLIBRARY.ORG

2) Click on the STLS Digital Catalog link  –  found at the right hand side of the page – about half way down the page (The Digital Catalog home page will display)

3) Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page until you see a box labeled “Digital Book Software.” And underneath that you should see a link that says “Adobe® Digital Editions For Adobe eBooks”

4) Click on the Adobe® Digital Editions For Adobe eBooks link and the Help – Software – Adobe eBooks page will display

5) Click on the Download Adobe Digital Editions link or icon and the download process will start – you’ll be re-directed to the Adobe Digital Editions site.

6) Follow the prompts until the download process and the create-Adobe-account process is complete.

7) The Adobe Digital Editions icon will then display on your desktop

Note: During the download process you will be required to create a free Adobe Digital Editions account and the Adobe Digital Editions software will download to your computer. If you find this a complex process please do feel free to call the library and make an appointment to sit down with a staff member who will assist you in setting up your Adobe Digital Editions account and in checking our your first library e-books and getting them onto your Nook

And once you’ve downloaded the Adobe Digital Editions software and registered a free Adobe Digital Editions account then the future process to check out library e-books to your Nook is:

1) Plug your Nook into your computer and it should appear as a plugged in e-reading device within the Adobe Digital Editions Window.

2) Open the Adobe Digital Editions software on your computer (the icon looks like a book and if you just downloaded the software it should already be open)

3) Open a web browser and go to the library’s website: SSCLIBRARY.ORG

4) Click on the STLS Digital Catalog link (this is the same link we used to get to the Digital Catalog home page before…) and the Digital Catalog will display

5) Look for a e-book you’d like to read (EPUB or PDF format – and EPUB is preferable)

6) Click the Add to Cart link and the My Cart page will display.

7) Click the Proceed to checkout link and the Sign in page will display

8) Sign in by selecting the Southern Tier Library System from the drop down box, entering your library card number in Library card number box, entering your PIN number in the PIN box (your PIN numbers is initially the last four digits of your telephone number) and clicking on the gray Sign in button; the Check Out page will display

9) Click on the Confirm check out button and the Download page will display

10) Click on the gray Download button (and depending upon which version of Windows you are using you may have to open downloaded e-book file via the status bar (likely with Windows 7) or the e-book may just open in the Adobe Digital Editions window; the Adobe Digital Editions window should open and the Reading view will display

11) Click on the Library View link – the icon appears as three books standing straight up and is found in the top left hand corner of the Adobe Digital Editions window (right under the name of the window – “Adobe Digital Editions;” the Library View will display

12) Move your cursor until it is right over the top of the e-book and then press down and hold your left mouse button down and move it leftward across the window until it is right over the top of your Nook (your Nook should be in the column at the left hand side of the page – the e-book will be transferred to your Nook with DRM software unlocked

13) Unplug your Nook

14) With most Nook models you will find the e-book in your documents folder – and you can then begin reading it!

As this is a long process –and the library has actually created a video to assist Nook users in obtaining library  e-books! And the video does show you step-by-step how to go through the preparation process by downloading the Adobe Digital Editions software and then it goes through the entire check out process – so please do check it out! The only little thing to note is that we have changed the title of the link to the Digital Catalog on our home page – it now says “STLS Digital Catalog” and in the video it is seen under the old title of “E-Books and Audio Books” – we updated the link when we added video and music formats to the catalog – so if  you just remember that one little thing that has been changed – the video will easily guide you through the process of checking out e-books to your Nook!

Here’s the link to the library’s Youtube page where you can access the video – it is in the section titled “How to videos from SSC Library” and is simply titled “How To Check Library E-Books Out To A Nook:”

Linda R.