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New E-Reading Device – Barnes And Noble Noble Nook Simple Touch With GlowLight

Barnes and Noble has just announced, and is taking pre-orders for, the first dedicated E-Ink E-Reader with an accompanying backlit screen feature.

And if you’re scratching you’re head and wondering what all that means let me explain in a bit more detail! Prior to the creation of this new Barnes & Noble E-Reader there have been two types of E-Readers and tablets that you could read E-Books upon.

The first type of E-Readers feature what is known as E-Ink displays. Devices with E-Ink screens feature black text on a light grey back ground. These readers, and the entry level Kindles and Nooks fall under this category, are great to take to the beach or the lake or to use to read in any outside location because sunlight doesn’t reflect off the screen.  Additionally of note, if you use one of these E-Ink readers in your house then you’ll need to sit next to a lamp just like you would with a traditional print book.

The second type of E-Reading devices feature what is called a backlit display. These E-Reading devices, which include the iPad, Kindle Fire, B&N Nook Color and Nook Tablet as well as a multitude of Android tablets, feature black text on a bright white screen. The text on the bright white screen is reminiscent of what text looks like when you type it into a Microsoft Word document. And this type of E-Reading device isn’t an easy one to use outdoors because sunlight does reflect off the screen making text difficult to read. On the other hand,  these E-Reading devices are great to use indoors because you never have to worry about whether you’re sitting next to the best reading lamp in the house or not. In fact, you can even use these E-Readers with all the lights in a room turned off and you’ll still be able to easily read the text on the screen.

And now Barnes & Noble is coming out with a third type of E-Reading device. Their new E-Reader, which will be available May 1, is called “The Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight. This new E-Reader features an E-Ink display and an option to turn on backlighting so one can both read outdoors and also easily read an E-Book in the house without having a care as to where the best reading lamp in the room is!

If you’re interested in this new Nook B&N has a webpage devoted to it and you can access it by clicking on the following link:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/nook-simple-touch-with-glowlight-barnes-noble/1108046469?ean=9781400501717

Just another E-Reading device to consider should you be interested in taking the E-Reading plunge!

And if you recently purchased an E-Reader and have questions about how to use it please joins us for our next E-Reader workshop – it will be held next Thursday, April 19, 2012 starting at 6 PM.

Linda R.

New Formats Coming To The Library’s Digital Catalog & Imagine Your Future Self

The Library’s Digital Catalog: New digital content is about to be added to the Library’s Digital Catalog!

The Digital Catalog, for those not familiar with it, may be accessed via the Library’s website found at WWW.SSCLIBRARY.ORG and currently shows E-Books and E-Audio Books that may be downloaded and enjoyed on a variety of devices like PCs, smart phones and tablets.

And notably, the Digital Catalog is actually a collective effort. All the member libraries of the Southern Tier Library System may purchase content for the catalog and all patrons of all libraries in the system may check out E-Books and E-Audio Books. And later today the catalog will show two new formats –Videos and Music. The video and music holdings will be added to the Digital Catalog on a monthly basis and will offer library patrons movies to watch and music to listen in addition to the already available E-Books and E-Audio Books.

Here’s a link to the Library’s Digital Catalog where those formats will appear later today:

http://stls.lib.overdrive.com/E244D566-87F8-45B3-9E28-FDFD04E4A855/10/531/en/Default.htm

Imagine Your Virtual Future  Self: NPR offers a neat article today titled Your (Virtual) Future Self Wants You To Save Up. The article has a tech side and practical side as it discusses the process for taking a look at what you’ll look like in 20-30 years by having an actual photo of yourself digitally aged so you get a glimpse into the future and see what you might look like at age 70 or 80. This aging photo process is a means to an end of getting people to save more money to live on in their retirement years. It seems that younger people don’t save enough money towards retirement in large part because they can’t visualize what their older selves will be like. So in essence, young people feel as if they are being asked to save money to assist a stranger and not themselves in their future retirement years. And the aged images of people make those people better able to imagine their future selves as themselves and not as some unknown stranger and thus make them more inclined to save money to assist their future selves in their retirement years.

It is a cool article and has a short accompanying podcast.

Here’s the link:

http://www.npr.org/2012/04/11/150424912/your-virtual-future-self-wants-you-to-save-up?ps=cprs

 

Linda R.

Environmentally Friendly E-Books, Tablets In Every Room & Streaming Video

Environmentally Friendly E-Books: Can E-Books be environmentally friendly? The answer to that question is yes! If you buy an E-Reader read at least 14 E-Books on it before buying a new one then you’ve made your carbon footprint smaller. And that is because the energy and manufacturing costs required to make an E-Reader are then less than the costs of manufacturing 14 paper books. A recent National Geographic article, titled eBooks Help the Environment One Download at a Time, discusses that fact — that reading E-Books can reduce your carbon footprint; because the energy and manufacturing used to create printed paper books actually increases the collective carbon foot print of the human race each year by producing 1.5 metric tons of paper and 8.85 pounds of carbon dioxide for each paper book printed.

Here’s a link to the National Geographic article if you’d like to read more on this subject:

http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/04/10/ebooks-help-the-environment-one-download-at-a-time/

Tablets In Every Room: A new Time article, titled A Tablet in Every Room: How to ‘Think Different’ About the Future, discusses how tablet usage is increasing and what people do, and can do, with tablets in every room of their house. For example, tablets are gaining in popularity as kitchen helpers since they provide recipes, cooking apps and allow cooks to access the internet for information regarding ingredients, recipes or anything else related to cooking. And people are increasingly using tablets in their living rooms to look up information and access E-Books and games via apps. So people are looking up information about things like that new TV series or movie that they’ve just heard about or to answer questions about programs they are watching like – “Who is that actress I just saw in that old episode of Hill Street Blues? And why does she look familiar?”

Here’s the link to the Time article:

http://techland.time.com/2012/04/09/one-in-every-room-how-to-think-different-about-the-future-of-tablets/

Streaming Video: USA Today offers an article, titled Streaming Video Options, which discusses how you can cheaply access movies and TV shows by streaming them from the Internet to the TV in your living room. You can stream video, by a wireless or in some cases plugged in Internet connection, by utilizing a number of devices including a Roku Player (a small media streaming device) , an Apple TV (another small media streaming device), Blu-Ray and regular DVD players and new HDTVs among other devices. Here’s the link to the USA Today story:

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/story/2012-04-09/streaming-video-options/54136024/1

Department of Justice vs. Apple & Publishers E-Book Update: As an addendum, It has just been reported by the New York Times that U.S. Justice Department is indeed going to see Apple and several of the largest publishers in the U.S., Simon & Schuster, Hachette, HarperCollins and Penguin, for violating Federal anti-trust laws by colluding to raise the price of E-Books by adopting the so called Agency Model which dictates that booksellers cannot set the price they use to sell E-Books instead they must accept the price the publishers set.

Here’s a link to that article:

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/11/justice-files-suit-against-apple-and-publishers-over-e-book-pricing/?hp

 

Carole King’s New Memoir & Legendary Demos Album

Today I’m going to go wildly off the tech topic of this blog and briefly discuss the new Carole King memoir titled Natural Born Woman and upcoming new album titled Legendary Demos. Carole was of course, a part of the classic Brill Building songwriting group of the early sixties and has been writing and recording great songs for decades. Carole’s classic hits include:  Chains, Hi-De-Ho, I’m Into Something Good, It’s Too Late, Jazzman, The Loco-Motion, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, One Fine Day, Pleasant Valley Sunday, So Far Away, Take Good Care Of My Baby, Up On The Roof, Will You Love Me Tomorrow and You’ve Got A Friend.

King’s new memoir, A Natural Woman, chronicles her long and creative musical career. She also has a new album coming out April 24, titled The Legendary Demos that features some of the songs she wrote, or co-wrote, in the sixties that were famously recorded by other artists who used her demos as blue prints for their versions of the songs.

The album will include the following songs:

1. Pleasant Valley Sunday (Recorded by The Monkees),

2. So Goes Love (Recorded by The Monkees),

3. Take Good Care of My Baby (Recorded by Bobby Vee),

4. (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (Recorded by Aretha Franklin),

5. Like Little Children,

6. Beautiful (Later recorded by Carole for the Tapestry album),

7. Crying In the Rain (Recorded by The Everly Brothers),

8. Way Over Yonder (Later recorded by Carole for the Tapestry album),

9. Yours Until Tomorrow (Recorded by Cher and Gene Pitney),

10. It’s Too Late (Later recorded by Carole for the Tapestry album),

11. Tapestry (Obviously later recorded by Carole for her Tapestry album!),

12. Just Once In My Life (Recorded by the Righteous Brothers)

& 13. You’ve Got a Friend (Recorded by James Taylor).

Carole’s memoir is being added to the library’s catalog and will be requestable, via StarCat, shortly.

And the Legendary Demos CD will be arriving in about two weeks and will be available to circulate shortly thereafter.

And if you’d rather just be added to the list for either item, the book or the CD, you can also just send an email to me at: reimerl@stls.org and I’ll put your name on the list for whichever item you’d like to peruse!

And on a final note, here’s a link to a short NPR article and podcast with Carole titled Carole King, From Doo-Wopper To Chart Topper that allows you to hear Carole discuss her memoir in her own words:

http://www.npr.org/2012/04/10/150287626/carole-king-from-co-sine-to-chart-topper?ps=cprs

Linda R.

 

Thin Interactive Displays Are Coming!

Imagine a world in which very thin interactive displays can be placed on almost any flat surface you can think of; on backpacks, coffee mugs, on kitchen counters, bathroom mirrors, car dash boards, kitchen cabinets or bedroom closet doors as well as any flat surface in your office.

In this new interactive display world you’ll be able to read an instant text message from a co-worker, that appears on your bathroom mirror while you’re brushing your hair, and will be able to instantly respond yes or no to your available to attend a business meeting that day with a new start time, talk to your mother on your very thin cell phone or via a video display on your kitchen counter as well as via the large HD 3-D wall size television display in your living room, read the news on your coffee mug and where you can pick up directions in a new town simply by waving your cell phone in front of a map display of the town you’re visiting.

That new display world is coming! Speculation is that it will arrive sometime in the next ten years as display glass and plastics get thinner. A recent USA Today article, titled “Flexible displays bend what’s possible for computers,” discusses this new thin display technology and Corning Inc. even has two super cool videos posted on the YouTube website that show how this new display glass will revolutionize the way we live. The Corning Inc. videos are called “A Day Made of Glass” and “A Day Made of Glass 2.”

The USA Today article is found at the following link:

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/story/2012-04-05/flexible-displays-computing-screens/54064128/1

 

The first A Day Made of Glass video clip is found as this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Cf7IL_eZ38

 

And the second Corning Inc. video, A Day Made of Glass 2, is found at this link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZkHpNnXLB0

 

And I’ve just discovered Corning put out a new video on Gorilla Glass just last week which shows another glimpse into the near display future. It is found at the following link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypQEHNDayRk

 

Linda R.

 

Self Published YA Authors, Google Virtual Reality Glasses & E-Books Again!

Self-Published Young Adult Authors: First a little background info! Prior to the advent of the E-Book era if a writer wanted to publish a book he or she had to either personally foot the rather expensive bill to have a small number of copies of the book printed and then be responsible for distributing those copies – that is the writer was personally responsible for selling the books; or, the writer had to convince a publisher that his or her book deserved to be published and would sell and then the publisher, once convinced, would be responsible for the manufacture and selling of the book.

The pre-E-Book era publishing process was to say the least a time consuming and challenging one and a process that not every author could manage to partake of – if you couldn’t get a publisher to agree to sell your book and you couldn’t afford to self publish the book than you simply wouldn’t get your book published no matter how well written that book might be.  Today all of that is changing, because the E-Book format and the Internet when combined translate to writers being able to very inexpensively publish their work in the E-Book format and then easily sell their E-Book through online E-Booksellers like Amazon. This new process has several benefits! It is relatively inexpensive, meaning that almost anyone can afford to self publish their book as an E-Book and once published the E-Books is available for sale online so the E-Book may be seen and purchased by millions of people across the globe. So in essence the author’s work is accessible to more people than ever before. And several authors like Amanda Hocking and the non-philosopher author John Locke have made millions of dollars by self-publishing their E-Books. Sometimes the E-Books are so popular and sell so well that after they’ve been self-published as E-Books they are picked up by a large publisher to be sold as printed books. This was the case with Amanda Hocking and is currently the case with the British author E.L. James whose “Fifty Shades” trilogy of books is so popular that all three titles are in the top five of the New York Times Bestsellers list!

With that background in mind, there is a new group of self-published authors emerging – young adult self-published authors. And by “young adult” I don’t mean authors who write books for young adults, although most of the E-Books in question are intended for that audience, I mean E-Books actually written and self published by young adults! Granted, usually the young adults need a little help from their parents in coming up with money to self publish their works; however, the cost can be relatively minimal even less than $500. And this growing group of creative authors includes a number of young writers profiled in a recent New York Times article, titled “Young Writer’s Dazzle Publisher (Mom & Dad).” Those writers include: twelve year old Ajla Dizdarevic who has published two books of poetry, 14-year-old Ben Heckman who has published two books about a fictional rock band named “Black Velvet;” high school student Elizabeth Hinges whose first novel “The Last Dove” has recently been published by Xlibris, middle school student Camille Mancuso whose first book, titled “Through the Eyes of Eak,” has been recently been published and 15-year-old Mac Bowers whose first book “Running Scared” was also just published.  You can search for all of those young authors on Amazon and find their books for sale. And that just goes to show one of the major benefits to being able to self publish E-Books — that anyone can write a book and get it published today and if people like the work, and say so via word of online mouth, than that E-Book can sell well thus getting the authors works out into the hands of E-Readers across the globe.

The New York Times article that chronicles the young adult authors mentioned can be found at the following link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/us/young-writers-find-a-devoted-publisher-thanks-mom-and-dad.html

And Amazon’s Self Publishing Page can be found at this link:

https://kdp.amazon.com/self-publishing/signin

Google VA Glasses: I’ve mentioned the Google Augmented Reality Glasses in this blog before. And they are cool! This is upcoming cutting edge technology that will change how we live. And Google has very helpfully come out with a video that shows you how these eye-glasses will work! The glasses can overlay information about locality you are currently in and receive messages, both audio and video, from other people connected to the Internet. So if you’re lost you could ask for a map, if you’re running late you can send a hand free message to a co-worker letting them know you’ll be late, if you’d like to take a hands free picture of something you see you can and you can even show other people you contact what you are looking at – like a beautiful sunset. So you might say I’m just a little enthusiastic about the possibilities these glasses will provide!

Here’s the link which offers the video and an accompanying CNET article, titled “Google: Yep, we’re testing augmented-reality glasses:”

http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57409331-76/google-yep-were-testing-augmented-reality-glasses/?tag=mncol;txt

PEW Research Center E-Book Report: And on the E-Book front there is a new PEW Research Center report on the growing popularity of reading of E-Books. PEW is reputable research organization if you’re not familiar with it, and the report is interesting for a number of reasons but my favorite reason is one that I personally aware of! And that is the fact that if you own an E-Reader or E-Reading device like a smart phone, iPad or Motorola Xoom you tend to read more books simply because you can access and download a new E-Book in a matter of seconds. So if you just read a great New York Times book review or heard a glowing NPR review of a new book you can be reading that book within seconds via an E-Reading device like a Kindle, Nook or iPad! And that is not to mention the great gift of being able to make every E-Book a large print book! No more squinting at the text on the page to read it! Make that font size 18 please!  I love that aspect of E-Reading!

Here’s a link to the PEW report titled “The Rise of E-Reading”:

http://pewresearch.org/pubs/2236/ebook-reading-print-books-tablets-ereaders

Have a great weekend everyone!

Linda R.

NPR Podcasts With A Touch of Classic Rock!

Have you ever been gotten in your car and turned on your radio only to catch the end of a really fascinating radio show? If so then you may want to check out a number of neat podcasts that are available for online for free. And if you’re wondering what on Earth is a podcast? The answer to that is that a podcast is a recorded radio program that you can access from the Internet and even subscribe to via your portable Wi-Fi device or computer so you never miss a show!

There are many podcasts available online and through apps stores including the following great free NPR podcasts which are updated weekly:

NPR Books Podcast: Check out this podcast to find out about new and upcoming book releases:

http://www.npr.org/rss/podcast/podcast_detail.php?siteId=89697155

 

NPR Car Talk Podcast: Check out this podcast for the humor of the hosts and to learn more about how to fix cars or determine what is wrong with a car:

http://www.npr.org/rss/podcast/podcast_detail.php?siteId=9911203

 

NPR Music Podcast: This podcast showcases critically acclaimed music from artists of all kinds including some of the best musicians in the jazz, country, rock, classical and popular music genres:

http://www.npr.org/rss/podcast/podcast_detail.php?siteId=4819384

 

NPR Planet Money Podcast: This podcasts features stories relating to economics, politics and current events:

http://www.npr.org/templates/archives/archive.php?thingId=127413729

 

NPR Popular Culture Podcast: NPR notes that this podcast offers:  “Perspectives on the cultural landscape: stories, interviews and reviews from Morning Edition, All Things Considered and other award-winning NPR programs:” It is always an interesting listen!

http://www.npr.org/rss/podcast/podcast_detail.php?siteId=4985904

 

NPR Technology Podcast: Listen to this podcast to keep up on what is new and exciting in the tech world:

http://www.npr.org/rss/podcast/podcast_detail.php?siteId=4819382

 

NPR Science Friday Podcast: This Friday favorite focuses on science stories of all kinds:

http://www.npr.org/rss/podcast/podcast_detail.php?siteId=13994790

 

And on a non-NPR podcast note if you are a classic rock fan you should check out the fun Roots Rock Radio podcasts produced weekly by Richard Taylor and found at  http://rrradio.com/ — You are guaranteed a fun time and there is not a synthesizer or drum machine in sight (or sound)!

And if you are a music fan and have a smart phone or tablet NPR even has a music app titled NPR Music – it can be found in Apple’s iTunes store so if you have an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch you can download the app and listen to a smorgasbord of music of many genres.

 

And on a final note, if you do own an Apple device you can always the music store (iTunes) and simply search for “NPR” and you’ll find a whole host of free NPR podcasts to listen to!

 

Linda R.