Friday, 25 April 2014

The Digital Reader

The Digital Reader

Infographic: Reading Around the World – What Your Country Says About Your Reading Habits

Posted: 25 Apr 2014 04:01 PM PDT

Earlier this week Scribd released a new infographic, “Reading Around the World,” based on some of their most recent international reader data.

Their findings include details like Germans zipping through books faster than any other country in the world, and that Canadians are the most likely to read a book all the way till the end. The infographic also shows that some countries’ favorite books not what you would expect. Some countries’ interests align perfectly with their national identities – others are a bit surprising!


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Why yes, Google Now Will Read Dirty Wikipedia Entries

Posted: 25 Apr 2014 10:51 AM PDT

Here’s a video that will make the 7-year-old inside of some of us giggle.

A redditor discovered yesterday that Google Now , the voice activated version of Google’s search engine will indeed read anything it fins online – including NSFW and inappropriate Wikipedia entries.

I doubt that anyone is surprised by this, and it is certainly not the first video of Google Now saying inappropriate words. After a few minutes googling, I found a similar video where Google Now recited George Carlin’s now infamous 7 dirty words (I am sure there are more, but I don’t care to see them).

Admittedly, that one made me giggle slightly but only because of the historical context. George Carlin couldn’t say them on TV in 1973, but now you can have a foul-mouthed tablet or smartphone say them.

The post Why yes, Google Now Will Read Dirty Wikipedia Entries appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Amazon’s Smartphone Could be an AT&T Exclusive, and Other Crazy Ideas

Posted: 25 Apr 2014 09:08 AM PDT

Hot on bgr-a-phone-1the heels of a leak earlier this week about the Amazon’s smartphone features comes a new report that Amazon’s still unnamed smartphone could be available exclusively on AT&T.

BGR has learned from multiple trusted sources that Amazon is planning to offer a unique wireless data plan alongside its first smartphone, which is set to launch in the coming months.

The plan is tentatively named "Prime Data," and it will be positioned as one of several key selling points for the phone.

Amazon is holding details of the data package very close the chest and as a result, our sources were not able to confirm exactly what the company has in store for Prime Data. Several sources were willing to speculate based on limited knowledge of Amazon's plans, however.

More than one trusted source we spoke with told BGR that Amazon's smartphone could be made available exclusively on AT&T's network in the United States. If that is in fact the case, Prime Data could be the first high-profile deal based on a setup similar to the carrier's new "Sponsored Data" program.

The details about the data plan comes as no surprise, but the speculation that Amazon might offer their smartphone as an exclusive is.

Amazon offered their own budget data plan with the Kindle Fire HD 8.9 when it launched in late 2012, so it would not surprise me if Amazon offered a similar talk+data for the smartphone.

But an AT&T exclusive? I don’t think that’s going to happen – not unless Amazon is getting a big payment from AT&T. And given that Amazon is customer-focused and not in the habit of signing crony deals with telecoms, I don’t see such a deal as a high probability.


The Amazon smartphone is currently expected to launch some time this year, probably in June. The latest rumors say that it is running Android on a SnapDragon CPU with 2GB RAM. It’s supposed to have a 4.7″ screen with a total of 6 cameras (including 4 low-power IR cameras).

The rumors also say that it could have any number of interesting features (one, two, three, four), though it’s not clear that any of the rumored features actually require the 4 IR cameras we have been hearing about.

On a related note, is anyone else puzzled by all the leaks that do not include a mention of the smartphone’s name? Seriously, we’re now on leak 6 or 7 and yet we still don’t know what Amazon plans to call the smartphone. We don’t even know the codename for the phone.

I do have to wonder about the accuracy of all these leaks, given that the leakers don’t have a codename to hang on the smartphone, but perhaps Amazon’s internal security clampdown is to blame. All of these leaks could be coming from outsiders who were shown the phone but not told its name. That makes some sense, I think.


The post Amazon’s Smartphone Could be an AT&T Exclusive, and Other Crazy Ideas appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Szenio Launches a 6″ E-ink eReader in Spain

Posted: 25 Apr 2014 07:44 AM PDT

EREADER_1600DC_BIG_1With Amazon, Kobo, BQ, and other companies selling ebook readers in Spain, one might think that a new company launching new generic looking model is making a mistake.

Szenio would disagree with you. Last week this Spanish smartphone and tablet unveiled their first ebook reader. The 1600DC is a rather bland looking device with a 6″ screen and a 69 euro price tag, or about 10 euros less than the Kindle.

It’s not clear who developed the 1600DC for Szenio (it could be either Netronix or Oaxis), but I can tell you that Szenio did not make the 1600DC; if you zoom in on the image you will see that all of the text is in English.

I also know that the product listing and launch announcement mention that it is running a version of Linux on a 600MHz CPU with 128MB RAM. In terms of storage, it has 2GB Flash storage and a micro SD. The 1600DC also has Wifi, but there s no mention of other features like audio support.

eBook format support includes PDF, Epub, FB2, and CHM, and the DC 1600 can also read txt, rtf, and html files. There is also limited support for image formats, though I’m not sure how useful that will be.

All in all, this is adding up to be a rather unimpressive and bland looking ereader, and I haven’t even gotten to its screen yet.

The 1600DC has a 6″ screen which I am fairly certain is an E-ink screen, and not one of the so called knockoff screens. It has a resolution of 600 x 800, which is far below what can be found on ereaders from Kobo, Amazon, or other device makers, and it comes equipped with a touchscreen (but no frontlight or backlight).

The reason I say that I am fairly certain this is an E-ink screen is that Szenio describes it as a TFT screen. That doesn’t actually tell us whether we are looking at an epaper screen, an LCD screen, or what have you; both types of screens can use a TFT backplane to support different screen materials.

It took me a few days to double check my facts, and now I am fairly certain that this is an E-ink screen. Of course, we won’t know that for sure until user reports come in, but I bet I am right.


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Japanese eBook Retailer Booklive Expands into China

Posted: 25 Apr 2014 06:33 AM PDT

Booklive isAJ201203290039M[1] a name not heard often outside of Japan, but this ebookstore is quietly changing that.

This Japanese company just announced a new retail partner – in China.

Booklive is now powering an ebookstore run by Taobao, the Chinese online marketplace, under the name Taobao reading (or its equivalent in Chinese). Taobao is actually Booklive’s fourth retail partner in China after Tencent, NetEase, and a company whose name I cannot translate.

Booklive sells ebooks and digital comics in Japan, and in China they sell comics that have been translated from the original Japanese. This retailer was launched in 2011, and is owned in part by Hitachi, Toppan, NEC, Toshiba, and the Development Bank of Japan. It offers a catalog of around 90,000 titles which can be read on Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and on Booklive’s own ebook reader, the Lideo.

I happen to own a Lideo, but since it can only read content from Booklive’s own ebookstore I have never really had a chance to review it.


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