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Amazon Launches Textbook Rental Program

Posted: 06 Aug 2012 06:51 PM PDT

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Amazon has been lending out digital textbooks for over a year now and diligent young scholars could save between 30 to 60% by renting them, instead of buying. Due to the success of their digital strategy Amazon has just implemented a new program to lend out physical textbooks as well.

The new textbook rental system allows students to borrow books for a quick semester, which is 130 days. If you need the book longer you can pay a few extra dollars to borrow it for a longer duration. The average price of borrowing the book is between to , which is far more affordable then purchasing them flat out for over 0.00 or more.

If you are the type of person that loves to draw in your textbooks or if stress makes you take a bite out of it, its wise to control yourself. If you damage the book Amazon said that they will charge you the full price at the end of the semester.

This new program is rolling out as a USA exclusive and rates are comparable with Chegg, Kno and Coursesmart. />google_ad_client=”pub-5776314496161013″;google_ad_slot=”5610832462″;google_ad_width=468;google_ad_height=60;

Amazon Launches Textbook Rental Program is a post from: E-Reader News

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NASA’s Curiosity captures awe-inspiring shot of Mount Sharp, uploads video of descent upon Mars

Posted: 06 Aug 2012 06:28 PM PDT

NASA's Curiosity captures aweinspiring shot of Mount Sharp, uploads video of descent upon Mars

NASA’s Curiosity rover hasn’t even been on Mars a full 24 hours, and already the science world is reaping the benefits. Nerds, too, actually. The shot above is the the first high(ish) resolution photo shown to the public from its cameras, depicting a shadow of its top, a peculiar Martian landscape and the three-mile Mount Sharp. Just beyond the break, you’ll find video footage of the intense descent onto Mars’ surface. It’s a low-res stop-motion affair displaying 297 frames as it found its way from space to a foreign land. Trust us — it’s worth the 1:03 time investment.

Continue reading NASA’s Curiosity captures awe-inspiring shot of Mount Sharp, uploads video of descent upon Mars

Filed under: Transportation, Science

NASA’s Curiosity captures awe-inspiring shot of Mount Sharp, uploads video of descent upon Mars originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 06 Aug 2012 20:11:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Amazon Launches their own Games Development Studio

Posted: 06 Aug 2012 05:13 PM PDT

class="size-full wp-image-46589 aligncenter" title="living_classics" src="http://goodereaderimages.goodereader.netdna-cdn.com/blog/uploads/images/living_classics.jpg" alt="" width="402" height="113" />

Amazon has been running its Android Market for over a year now and has seen critical success by offering apps and games. Today the company announced that they have formed their own game development studio called “Amazon Game Studios.”

The first project they have rolled out is a new casual Facebook game called “Living Classics.” The essence of the title is a "moving object game." In the game, a family of foxes have wandered into vibrant, animated illustrations from their favorite books including Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and King Arthur. Players help to reunite the foxes by exploring beautifully illustrated scenes and spotting moving objects. You can visit friends, share rewards you've earned, rediscover famous stories, and reunite fox families

Amazon Game Studios is hiring developers right now for Facebook and Android Games! Check out their first game right now HERE.

Amazon Launches their own Games Development Studio is a post from: E-Reader News

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Apple seeds iOS 6 beta 4 to developers: here’s the changelog

Posted: 06 Aug 2012 04:51 PM PDT

Apple seeds iOS 6 beta 4 to developers here's the changelog

Right around 20 days after iOS 6 beta 3 was beamed out to developers, beta 4 is now making its way into those same hands via an OTA download. We’ve just confirmed that the files are indeed being pushed out, with the changelog showing fixes related to Facebook integration, the Address Book, authorization statues, and Apple TV / Bonjour workflows. You’ll also get a patched-up Dictionary, iTunes and Maps, amongst other things. The entire list of updates is embedded after the break, but we’d recommend a stiff cup of coffee before trying to digest ‘em all.

Update: For the eagle-eyed, yes, this update does indeed remove the YouTube app from the iOS homescreen. If you’re out of the loop, Google owns YouTube. And Apple hasn’t shied away from doing its best to distance iOS from Googlefied apps…

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Continue reading Apple seeds iOS 6 beta 4 to developers: here’s the changelog

Filed under: Cellphones, Software

Apple seeds iOS 6 beta 4 to developers: here’s the changelog originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 06 Aug 2012 14:04:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 UI Demoed On YouTube Video

Posted: 06 Aug 2012 03:38 PM PDT

class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-46560" title="samsung-galaxy-note-10" src="http://goodereaderimages.goodereader.netdna-cdn.com/blog/uploads/images/samsung-galaxy-note-10.jpg" alt="" width="550" height="327" />

The tablet device to look forward to this month is of course the Galaxy Note 10.1 and Samsung has already upped the ante with a new official YouTube presentation that brings forth the virtues of the tablet’s unique UI.

The tablet, being the big brother to the already successful Galaxy Note comes bundled with a stylus which we knew would be able to do some amazing stuff, aided suitably with the UI Samsung has designed for the tablet device. The tablet together with its stylus is so designed to allow for operating simultaneously on multiple apps at the same time. So whether you are listening to music or working on your business presentation presentation, all of it can be performed with elan with the stylus provided.

Another nice feature to look forward to on the Galaxy Note 10.1 is the ability to re-size the on-screen keyboard. This is specially useful when working on multiple apps at the same time and the keyboard is relevant to just one of the apps. In fact, there seems innumerable ways the stylus can be put to use, all thanks to the UI that the tablet has been endowed with. It has got a lot of things to offer a diverse group, be it students, researchers, entrepreneurs, artists, fashion designers or just the casual users.

Of course, there are the underlying hardware bits on the other side of the 10.1 inch display that too contributes generously to the spectacularity of the entire package. So the 1.4 Ghz quad-core Exynos processor together with the 2 GB RAM ensures things are quick and smooth with the Galaxy Note 10.1. The tablet right now runs Android 4.0 ICS though the Jelly Beaan update shouldn’t be too far away. Also, the tablet will go on sale with Wi-Fi only and 3G version with a LTE version to join later in the day.

However, with so much on offer with the Galaxy Note 10.1, the last piece of the puzzle will always be the pricing strategy Samsung adopts for the tablet. If its makers err on this, it will be hard to find buyers for the tablet no matter how capable it might be.

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id="pressrelease-content-46491" class="pressrelease-content" style="display: none;"> style="text-align: left;">SAMSUNG GALAXY NOTE 10.1 AVAILABLE GLOBALLY IN AUGUST

Samsung inspires a culture of active content creation, productivity and learning

London UK, August 6 2012 – Samsung today announced the launch of the Galaxy Note 10.1, an extension of the Galaxy Note category. The Galaxy Note 10.1 offers the functionality and precision of a pen and paper on a 10.1-inch large display, which will enable people to amplify their creativity, productivity, and learning ability.

Providing an intuitive experience and armed with a 1.4 GHz quad-core processor and 2GB RAM for enhanced performance, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is designed to simplify the process of capturing ideas, accessing information and multi-tasking, making each easier and faster and allowing people to express their ideas in an efficient way.

Simon Stanford, Vice President, UK & IRE Telecommunications & Networks Division, Samsung UK and Ireland said: “Following the success of the very first Galaxy Note which we launched at the end of last year, we’re delighted that our UK customers will now be able to experience the evolution of this device for themselves. The Galaxy Note 10.1 is a product we are very excited about and will offer our customers a new way to use and experience a tablet device. As well as being able to consume content such as videos, photos, document and the Internet, the Galaxy Note 10.1 also gives them the power to produce, create and customise that same content – something they won’t get from any other product on the market.”

The Galaxy Note 10.1 incorporates key intuitive features and capabilities such as side-by-side multitasking. This is thanks to its ‘Multiscreen’ on a 10.1-inch large screen; unique S Pen with a variety of S Note templates and productive tools (Shape Match and Formula Match); Learning Hub* for accessing educational curricula and Adobe’s premium creative application Photoshop® Touch.

True Multi-Tasking with Multiscreen feature

With the Galaxy Note 10.1′s Multiscreen feature, it’s possible to use two different applications side-by-side simultaneously. So Web pages and videos can be viewed, or applications launched using one half of the screen, at the same time as the other half is used for writing or sketching ideas with the S Pen. What’s more, customers can capture and crop images, and paste them onto the other screen to make personal notes. The Multiscreen feature allows people to be more productive and efficient whilst also enjoying multimedia content. Galaxy Note 10.1 brings a new culture of creation through the owner’s own notes, and enables an entirely new experience to improve productivity and enjoyment.

S Pen & S Note for Personalised and Organised Note-taking

Featuring its advanced 6.5mm S Pen, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is optimised for the creation of personalised and expressive content in the most natural and intuitive way. The S Pen’s feel and functionality are specifically designed for an optimal experience on the 10.1-inch screen. The S Pen is embedded directly in the device and, when removed, automatically launches specially optimised applications, including S Note, S Planner, Crayon physics, Adobe® Photoshop® Touch, and Polaris Office.

Alternatively, people can easily set their preferred application to be launched instantly. For example, S Note can be launched instantly when the S Pen is taken out from the device. Owners can also tap the screen twice while pressing the S Pen button for quick S Note access via the S Note-dedicated widget, which can be easily moved anywhere on the display, never hindering or obstructing creativity or productivity.

The S Note is a unique tool that enables notes and sketches to be combined with other digital content in ready-to-use templates. The Shape Match and Formula Match features help correct and digitise geometric shapes and solve numeric formulas hand-written with the S Pen. The S Note is also integrated with knowledge search engines so that content can be searched for and information obtained, and then easily drag and dropped onto S Notes without having to switch between screens. Exclusively pre-loaded on Galaxy Note 10.1, the Adobe® Photoshop® Touch application means owners can professionally edit photos with the ease and precision of the S Pen.

Active Learning Experience

The Galaxy Note 10.1 is an ideal learning tool that allows students to take notes directly on an eTextbook whilst in lectures, or research the Web at the same time as writing an essay. Samsung’s Learning Hub service is optimised for Galaxy Note 10.1 allowing owners to access extensive multimedia educational content whatever their age. This content includes eTextbooks, video lectures, interactive coaching and much more, and can be shared with multiple Samsung devices. Furthermore, Learning Hub comes with a learning management system providing schedule management and performance and achievement management tools so students of any age can learn at their own pace.

Superior Hardware Performance

Galaxy Note 10.1 is designed with advanced hardware technology, including a 1.4GHz quad-core processor and 2GB of internal RAM. Seamless multi-tasking, high-standard graphics, and blazing-fast performance without any lag are essential features of the device. The Galaxy Note 10.1 also includes a 5- megapixel main camera and a 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera.

Several other features have been added to the Galaxy Note 10.1, including Smart Stay, which tracks the owner’s eye to ensure that the screen is always on while being looked at; and Pop Up Play, which allows a video to be watched anywhere on the screen while simultaneously running other tasks. With AllShare® Play, content can be shared with a large group in real-time by connecting the Galaxy Note 10.1 to Samsung HD TVs, mobile tablets, laptops, and other consumer electronic devices on the same network. With AllShare Group Cast, people can also share and collaborate on documents, presentations, or images without loading the files separately.

The Galaxy Note 10.1 comes in three connectivity options: WiFi-only and WiFi-and-3G HSPA-Plus connectivity, which are both available at launch, and WiFi-and-LTE which will be available later this year.

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Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 UI Demoed On YouTube Video is a post from: E-Reader News

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YouTube app removed from iOS 6 but not iOS 5 and older; Google working on a standalone version

Posted: 06 Aug 2012 03:16 PM PDT

YouTube app removed from iOS 6 but not iOS 5 and older Google working on a standalone version

Apple just got in touch with us regarding the removal of the YouTube app in the latest beta of iOS 6, and while it wouldn’t say much, it did confirm the obvious: it’s not there for a reason. The licensing deal it had with Google “has ended, but users can still use YouTube via the Safari web app.” The company did affirm, however, that Google “is working” on another version — presumably a standalone app that’ll have to survive the same App Store approval process as Google Drive, Gmail for iOS and the rest of the bunch.

Interestingly, we were told that the YouTube app “would remain on iOS 5 and older,” and that includes iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Granted, the amount of iOS 5 users will dip dramatically in the months following iOS 6′s release this fall, but it leaves open the question of compatibility — will the forthcoming YouTube app for iOS 6 be installable on iOS 5 and older?

All things considered, it’s probably a good thing for consumers. Yes, it’s another play by Apple to distance itself from its biggest mobile OS rival (Maps, anyone?), but it also gives Google the chance to reimagine the YouTube app, and perhaps even design it to showcase a great mobile experience around the company’s huge original content push. Apple wouldn’t comment on the status of Google’s new YouTube app, nor would it speak to whether or not it had even been submitted for approval, but we’re guessing the clock watchers know that September 12th is drawing near.

Update: A YouTube spokesperson has provided us with the following quote: “We are working with Apple to ensure we have the best possible YouTube experience for iOS users.” Not much to go on, really, but reassuring that the company’s actively forging ahead with a new effort. Something tells us it’ll take every opportunity to trumpet the awesomeness of its standalone app after being quietly pushed / left out of the latest iOS 6 beta.

YouTube app removed from iOS 6 but not iOS 5 and older; Google working on a standalone version originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 06 Aug 2012 15:09:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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YouTube app removed from iOS 6 but not iOS 5 and older; Google working on a standalone version

Posted: 06 Aug 2012 03:16 PM PDT

YouTube app removed from iOS 6 but not iOS 5 and older Google working on a standalone version

Apple just got in touch with us regarding the removal of the YouTube app in the latest beta of iOS 6, and while it wouldn’t say much, it did confirm the obvious: it’s not there for a reason. The licensing deal it had with Google “has ended, but users can still use YouTube via the Safari web app.” The company did affirm, however, that Google “is working” on another version — presumably a standalone app that’ll have to survive the same App Store approval process as Google Drive, Gmail for iOS and the rest of the bunch.

Interestingly, we were told that the YouTube app “would remain on iOS 5 and older,” and that includes iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Granted, the amount of iOS 5 users will dip dramatically in the months following iOS 6′s release this fall, but it leaves open the question of compatibility — will the forthcoming YouTube app for iOS 6 be installable on iOS 5 and older?

All things considered, it’s probably a good thing for consumers. Yes, it’s another play by Apple to distance itself from its biggest mobile OS rival (Maps, anyone?), but it also gives Google the chance to reimagine the YouTube app, and perhaps even design it to showcase a great mobile experience around the company’s huge original content push. Apple wouldn’t comment on the status of Google’s new YouTube app, nor would it speak to whether or not it had even been submitted for approval, but we’re guessing the clock watchers know that September 12th is drawing near.

Update: A YouTube spokesperson has provided us with the following quote: “We are working with Apple to ensure we have the best possible YouTube experience for iOS users.” Not much to go on, really, but reassuring that the company’s actively forging ahead with a new effort. Something tells us it’ll take every opportunity to trumpet the awesomeness of its standalone app after being quietly pushed / left out of the latest iOS 6 beta.

YouTube app removed from iOS 6 but not iOS 5 and older; Google working on a standalone version originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 06 Aug 2012 15:09:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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How to build a high-tech prototype faster than it takes to build a 30-story hotel

Posted: 06 Aug 2012 02:34 PM PDT

I stumbled across a video recently that I thought was pretty amazing. It's a time-lapse video of a 30-story hotel that was built in 15 days.

Mind you, this wasn't a shoddy structure. It's designed to withstand a 9.0 earthquake, along cutting-edge energy efficiency features. How'd they do it? (The longer story from Businessweek is here)

We make 93 percent of the building in our factory. The basic block, a "main board," is 3.9 meters by 15.6 meters (12.8 feet by 51.2 feet) and includes everything from water pipes and ventilation shafts down to floor tiles, lights, even toilets and the kitchen sink.

Building blocks. The principles of "prefabrication", or prefab, for short, have been around for a while now, especially in the realm of architecture and construction. This project just took it to a whole new level. Everything in the building was modularized, trucked out, and assembled. These blocks were strategically unfinished, designed to be connected to other blocks to form the completed structure.

What can hardware and embedded systems design learn from this?

The modular hardware ecosystem has continued to grown, becoming more accessible to an ever-expanding base of developers. With the Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, BeagleBoard, and others, there's an incredible amount of processing capability out there, in an easy to integrate, easy to program, modular form factor.

image

Prefabbed building blocks exist for the Arduino in the form of shields, BeagleBone in the form of capes, and the BeagleBoard in the form of modules. These all make the integration process extremely low overhead – with hot-swappable operating systems bootable from removable media.

image

David Blaza, Vice President of UBM Electronics (the wonderful folks who bring us the Embedded Systems Conference and EETimes) recapped this growing trend in development. Interestingly, it doesn't even have to happen in this particular order anymore…and just about anyone can do it:

1) Outline the concept (5-10 hours). A lot of startups, entrepreneurs, hobbyists, and engineers already have this part nailed down really well. Napkin sketches or Visio flowcharts, the concept is something that comes naturally to inventive minds. It's just useful to whittle down features and ideas to focus the very first prototype.

2) Raise financing – or not (2-3 hours to craft and setup a campaign). This is an optional step these days, but crowdfunding sites Kickstarter and Indiegogo, or peer-to-peer financing sites like Prosper provide an easy, accessible way for individuals to raise money and publicize their projects on the cheap.

3) Pick a hardware platform (3 hours). For me, it's typically come down to a couple main hardware drivers. If I need analog sensors, I'm probably going to involve an Arduino along the way. Then it's a question of what screen size (4.3-inch or 7-inch are common) I'll need, CPU speed, and connectivity. If I know it's going to be fairly integrated (as all the folks asking for a custom tablet are aware), I've usually selected something like the Liquidware Amber.

4) Pick a software platform (3 hours). Linux or Android? Being more open than other operating systems, it's a little easier to get a stack going and piggyback off code, kernels and drivers that are out there.

5) Buy it (1-3 days). First I usually buy the mainboard (like a BeagleBoard or Pandaboard), along with any complementary modules I'll need for that platform. It's worth doing a little planning ahead to buy some spare cables, too, since there's nothing more frustrating than sitting around with hardware, and not having that USB or HDMI micro cable to test things out.

6) Build it (5 days). Hardware "assembly" should be fairly straightforward, with clear, standardized pinouts (as attested to by the Arduino pin-spacing hullabahoo of late 2009). I find that USB is pretty versatile and ideal for easy connectivity, but that's the subject of a different post.

If all goes well, assembling the hardware should be a 1-2 hour activity – max! Getting the OS running the way you want it to shouldn't take too long, but it depends on how customized your kernel has to be.

Then it's time to develop the app. Bringing out data over serial is a favorite activity (Android Ambrosia tutorial here), as is building a GUI. Adobe AIR is also excellent for simulating application mockups for a presentation.

7) Tell the world (4 hours). Ready for the big screen? Like Step 1, this final step comes naturally to most entrepreneurs – between blogging, emailing well-connected folks, posting to Twitter and Facebook, the evangelizing is usually everyone's favorite part.

Building a complex prototype has never been easier or more accessible. What's your experience with modular development? Post thoughts and questions to comments, or just email me at justin dot huynh at liquidware dot com

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Out of Print Develops new e-Reader Jackets

Posted: 06 Aug 2012 02:04 PM PDT

class="size-full wp-image-46569 aligncenter" title="Out of Print eBook Jackets" src="http://goodereaderimages.goodereader.netdna-cdn.com/blog/uploads/images/covers.jpg" alt="" width="640" height="342" />

Out of Print, the company that brought us t-shirts and tote bags to soothe our literary souls is bringing iconic book cover art to our ereaders.

To fund the new project, Out of Print turned to Kickstarter and an enthusiastic response from backers and bibliophiles.

As Todd Lawton, of Out of Print beams, "We couldn’t have dreamed a better reaction by the Kickstarter community."

To say the least, the Kickstarter and ebook communities responded with pledges far surpassing the initial goal of ,000.  With more than a week remaining, hundreds of backers have already contributed three times the project goal, and there's still time to join the Kickstarter project for Out of Print's ebook covers.

Covers are already planned for initial production to fit the iPad, Kindle Fire, and Nexus 7.  Lawton adds "We are currently in the process of planning our initial productions run and getting everything in place based on the Kickstarter campaign.  Once the campaign ends on 8/18, we will contact everyone who preordered a cover to find out which style each customer wants.  After the style requests have been made we expect the first delivery to take place around the middle of September for iPad and Kindle Fire.  The Nexus 7 will be available a little later (October)."

At launch, the following cover designs will be available.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald /> Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen /> Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison /> Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut /> A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess /> The Wonderful Wizard of OZ by L. Frank Baum /> Moby Dick by Herman Melville /> Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov /> On the Road by Jack Kerouac /> Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Per Out of Print's Kickstarter project, "Each hardcover case features original book cover art licensed by Out of Print, printed on book fabric that will naturally wear and look better the more you use it. Inside our case, your eBook device is well-protected with a form-fitting cradle (designed by an MIT mechanical engineer) with design elements that allow for easy access to all important buttons and ports."

Photos and specifications are also available on the Kickstarter project page, so shoppers can start planning ahead for that special gift for ebook lovers.

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Do you live in San Francisco? Do you want to write for Engadget?

Posted: 06 Aug 2012 01:42 PM PDT

Do you live in San Francisco Do you want to write for Engadget

Oh sure, you love gadgets — but do you have the chops to write about them? We’d love to know if you think you do, because we’re looking to actually pay people to do this stuff. Professional writing experience, particularly in our industry, is greatly preferred. That said, what we really care about is that you can write skillfully about gadgets with wit, concision, authority and blinding speed, even if you haven’t cut your teeth in the press just yet. Oh, and being obsessed with Engadget is good, too. We’re looking for an editor in the San Francisco area.

Want to apply? Read on.

Continue reading Do you live in San Francisco? Do you want to write for Engadget?

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Do you live in San Francisco? Do you want to write for Engadget? originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 06 Aug 2012 15:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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