Happy (Non) Birthday from Kobo

Several times over this past year, I have received strange emails from Barnes and Noble that contained receipts for (very) old purchases, half a press release or notifications, and other assorted mistakes.

Well, Kobo evidently joined the glitch club and sent me an email wishing me a happy birthday and offering me 20% off a select group of titles.

Small problem: My birthday is still over six months away.

According to the email, this offer ends 01-15-2019. I wonder if I can get a rain check?

Anybody else get this or am I the only lucky one?

#oops

Kobo announces Kobo Aura One and revamped Aura Edition 2

Kobo_aura_oneA couple of weeks ago, we got the confirmation that Kobo planned to be releasing a new e-reader in mid-August. Today, Kobo announce not only one, but two new e-readers for their line up.

The big news is the announcement of the Kobo Aura One. The device has a 300 ppi 7.8″ Carta E Ink screen with 8GB of memory. It has an enhanced IPX8 rating making it waterproof for up to 60 minutes in two meters of water. It also features a lighting system called ComfortLight PRO which allows for adjustment of the front-lighting and includes an orange nighttime reading light to cut down on blue light emissions which can interfere with sleep.

One of the most interesting features promised for the new device is the direct integration of OverDrive library software with the Kobo store. OverDrive is owned by Rakuten, Kobo’s parent company and will be available for use in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. The simplification of of library borrowing is a big, big plus in favor of this device.

There are already a few early reviews on the tech sites:

The Kobo Aura One will be available for pre-order on August 30, 2016 for $229.99. It will be available in the US on September 6, 2016.Specs and more info on the product page here.

Also announced today was the Kobo Aura Edition 2  The device has a 212 ppi 6″ Carta E Ink screen and seems to be a newer version of the Aura HD. You can see the specs here. The Aura Edition 2 will retail for $119.99 and will also be available for pre-order on August 30, 2016.

Anybody else excited to see how the OverDrive integration works and if it is coming to the other Kobo devices? That’s the feature I’m the most interested in. How about you?

Daily Links: Kobo downloads, Bendgate, more

From the Digital Reader, How to download Kobo books (including the ones they don’t want you to).

Apple apologizes for IOS 8.0.1, from Mashable and then denies the “Bendgate” problem, fromRecode.

From The Next Web, Google’s latest Chrome build has a hidden game that to play offline.

Cosmixology celebrates Nation Comic Book Day by giving away 25 free comics, from The Digital Reader.

From The Ebook Reader, How to export and edit those Kindle notes and highlights.

Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news.

 

 

Daily Links: Open Road launches series for controversial books

From Publishers Weekly: Open Road launches series for controversial books

From the eBookReader.com: Kobo Website formatting tip on how to identify ePub types

From Teleread: Opening Nook books in Adobe Digital Editions

From Vox (via the Digital Reader): 7 Things the most-highlighted passages from Kindles tell us

From the Digital Reader: Missing in Action: The Kindle Paperwhite 3

Today, Amazon has a Refurbished Kindle Fire HD 8.9 with 4G LTE  as the Bonus Deal of the Day. It is $199 for the 32GB version.This is the older version with the micro-HDMI port and the 4G coverage is set up for AT & T coverage.

Daily Links are interesting links I discover as I go about my online day. The frequency and number of links posted depend upon the daily news.

Dresden Files e-book on sale

dresdenIf you are a fan of urban fantasy, you might be interested in Amazon’s Deal of the Day today. Amazon is offering the first seven of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files series for just $1.99 each. This is a great price; the books normally run much higher. The books are also on sale today at Barnes and Noble for the NOOK and at the Kobo store.

This is a delightful series if you enjoy the genre. Harry Dresden is Chicago’s only professional Wizard. I first watched TV series,  which led me to the books. Now, I always visualize Paul Blackthorne as Harry.  Personally, I find them especially delightful as I live in Northwest Indiana and am quite familiar with Chicago and the surrounding area. One of the books actually had a scene set in the city where I live!  🙂

Penguin Restores Access to Library Books, but…

My, how one day changes things! Penguin has restored access to Kindle versions of their ebooks, but still has concerns, including some that (surprise) need to be worked out with Amazon.  New ebook titles are still not available in OverDrive.

But now, Random House has announced that it is reviewing its own library ebook policies.

As the story evolves, Twitter users are labeling Tweets about the issue with the hashtag #penguinod.

Yesterday (Tuesday) was a day of a lot of speculation on possible reasons for Penguin’s actions. It was also a day of reactions from both librarians and patrons.

An article in the Library Journal’s Digital Shift detailed how complaints from angry patrons surprised librarians who had no advance warning that the books were being pulled. The tension between Penguin and Amazon, along with a past history of difficult negotiations is also cited in the article as a possible reason for the books’ removal from the OverDrive System.

OverDrive’s initial announcement mentioned “security concerns” with the ebooks. The Digital shift article also reported that patrons has stated that, at least in some incidences, books are remaining on the patrons’ Kindles after the lending period is over.

And from Paid Content, there’s a thoughtful article by Laura Hazard Owen that offers answers to its own questions in  Why Might a Publisher Pull Its E-Books From Libraries?

In a piece from Teleread, InfoDocket’s Gary Price points to a February 2011 letter by OverDrive CEO Steve Potash  published on Librarian by Day as a possible explanation for Penguin’s actions:

In addition, our publishing partners have expressed concerns regarding the card issuance policies and qualification of patrons who have access to OverDrive supplied digital content. Addressing these concerns will require OverDrive and our library partners to cooperate to honor geographic and territorial rights for digital book lending, as well as to review and audit policies regarding an eBook borrower’s relationship to the library (i.e. customer lives, works, attends school in service area, etc.). [EMPHASIS ADDED] I can assure you OverDrive is not interested in managing or having any say in your library policies and issues. Select publisher terms and conditions require us to work toward their comfort that the library eBook lending is in compliance with publisher requirements on these topics.

When this letter was originally written back in February during the licensing change demanded by Harper Collins, it seemed that this paragraph seemed squarely directed at concerns over libraries like The Free Library of Philadelphia.

Long before the Kindle allowed library lending, the Free Library had long been discussed on sites like Kindleboards.com and the MobileRead.com forums as a source of library ebooks. The library allowed out-of-state residents to get a library card for a fee.  Users could then use their computers and the OverDrive system to access the ebooks.

Because of its large collection, the Free Library has been very affected by loss of Penguin ebooks and is keeping its patrons updated on its blog.

This whole situation is making it confusing for consumers who have bought or were planning to buy ereaders as gifts for the holidays. The prices of Kindles have come down significantly ($79 for the entry-level e-ink,  $199 for the Kindle Fire). But many consumers have been adamant that lending and library books are an essential part of the equation.

Competitor Barnes and Noble has already announced that its Simple Touch Nook will be only $79 on Black Friday. Kobo is selling its Touch at more retail stores and plans to offer wi-fi Kobo readers for only $59. Ereaders and tablets will likely be big sellers this holiday season.

Sarah from the Smart Bitches, Trashy Books blog did a nice write-up on this whole situation yesterday and summed it up succinctly: ” Holy crap in a sidecar, you cannot make up lunacy this frustrating. I need to read a romance. STAT.”

Yeah, Sarah, save one for me. I am sure we haven’t heard the last of this….