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MobileRead Week in Review: 01/31 - 02/07

Mobileread - Sat, 02/07/2015 - 6:00am
Previously at MobileRead:

E-Book General - NewsE-Book General - Reading Recommendations

Singularity Kickstarter to Save Old SF Books

Mobileread - Thu, 02/05/2015 - 11:07am
I saw this at Cory Doctorow's fabulous site BoingBoing.

Kickstarting a new life for out-of-print sf classics

Singularity is looking to, once again, rescue out-of-print SF and make them available as free or low cost e-books.

They have met their goal of $15,000, but it's not too late to make a pledge.

Samsung sets smartphone come-back launch date

Geek Zone - Wed, 02/04/2015 - 8:23pm
At the NBR Chris Keall reports Samsung has sent notice of a product launch for March 2. He says there is an assumption the company will take the wraps of its Galaxy S6 smartphone. Geekzone’s Mauricio Freitas also has an invitation. Samsung has not invited me. That’s not as bad as it sounds. The last two […]

EMC introduces VSPEX BLUE hyper-converged infrastructure appliance

Geek Zone - Wed, 02/04/2015 - 3:14am
System comes with embedded integrated management experience, downloadable software titles and secure remote support.

3 out of 4 New Zealand households online according to data from the 2013 Census

Geek Zone - Wed, 02/04/2015 - 2:13am
Three out of every four households at the 2013 Census had Internet access, an increase of 34 percent since 2006, according to census results released by Statistics New Zealand.

Australians Love Affair with eBooks

Mobileread - Tue, 02/03/2015 - 6:26pm
I'm definitely not Australian, but I'm glad of this news!

[more love for ebooks in Australia article]

eBook sales have flattened out or even begun to decrease in North America and the UK. This isn’t the case in Australia though, where in the last two years the industry has seen rapid growth.

Quote: The proportion of Australians aged 18-24 buying eBooks online in any given three-month period has also increased, from 3.9% in 2013 to 5.1% in 2014 — despite being the only age group to have seen a decrease in reading incidence (from 55.3% to 53.3%).
Meanwhile, the 65+ age group showed a growing willingness to adopt this new technology, with the proportion purchasing eBooks rising from 4.1% to 5.4% — a higher proportion than some of the younger age groups that have grown up in the digital age. Reading books in general also increased among this older demographic, from 64.5% to 67.1%. :2thumbsup

Unlimited fibre broadband plans compared

Geek Zone - Tue, 02/03/2015 - 5:10pm
Suddenly unlimited fibre plans are everywhere. They are more affordable than you might expect. Prices start from as little as $75. You’ll be hard pressed to spend twice that amount for even the fastest residential plan. Unlimited data makes sense for both consumers and service providers. For consumers it means no longer worrying about download caps. […]

NZ Tech Podcast 215: Uber vs Google, Sky sport streaming, Raspberry Pi 2, Amazon vs The World

Geek Zone - Tue, 02/03/2015 - 3:32pm
On this episode - WhatsApp is calling, RFID chips inserted into office workers, new OneDrive for Mac and iPhone, Ride-sharing and driverless cars converging, Sky sport online streaming, Raspberry Pi 2 and free Windows 10, Super Bowl No Drone Zone, f... (more in the full post)

Turn your paper books into (Kindle) e-books

Mobileread - Tue, 02/03/2015 - 1:53pm
Amazon has released software called Kindle Convert that enables you to convert printed books into Kindle format, according to this article.

Of course, you still have to go to the trouble of scanning your book, spread by spread or page by page, depending on the book size and your scanner. Way back in the late 90s I used to scan my books and use an OCR program to turn them into digital files that I could read on my Palm Pilot. It was laborious.

Still, for $19 I might try it out. I have a few old books I'd love to read on my devices for which no e-book exists.

Yet ANOTHER Harper Lee Novel!

Mobileread - Tue, 02/03/2015 - 11:34am
This publication pace is HARD to keep up with!

"Go Set A Watchman" what is essentially a sequel to "To Kill A Mockingbird", though written first will be published in July.

Link to story: http://www.sacbee.com/entertainment/...le9010301.html

MasterCard New Zealand says kiwis embracing contactless payments

Geek Zone - Mon, 02/02/2015 - 6:17pm
Kiwis are embracing contactless payments for their everyday expenses as the technology continues to make shopping faster, more convenient and secure, according to new MasterCard research.

MobileRead February Book Club Vote

Mobileread - Sat, 01/31/2015 - 10:31pm
February 2015 MobileRead Book Club Vote

Help us choose a book as the February 2015 eBook for the MobileRead Book Club. The poll will be open for 5 days. There will be no runoff vote unless the voting results a tie, in which case there will be a 3 day run-off poll. This is a visible poll: others can see how you voted. It is You may cast a vote for each book that appeals to you.

We will start the discussion thread for this book on February 20th. Select from the following Official Choices with three nominations each:

• The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Goodreads | Amazon US / Barnes & Noble US / Google Play US / Kobo US / Overdrive UK / Overdrive US

Spoiler: A medical miracle may have bought Hazel a few years, but she’s still a terminal time bomb, suffering from stage IV cancer. At a support group for her illness, she meets fellow cancer survivor Augustus Waters, a boy who pretends to smoke cigarettes and has a prosthetic leg. With a shared obsession for the novel An Imperial Affliction and a similar sense of sarcasm, the two fall in love, despite their inevitable fate. John Green’s story is honest and hilarious, exposing the fear, anger, and sadness that accompanies a terminal illness.

• The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

Patricia Clark Memorial Library: ePub / ePub (Complete Works) / Kindle | Feedbooks / Google Play / ManyBooks / Project Gutenberg

Spoiler: The Age of Innocence (1920) is a novel by Edith Wharton, which won the 1921 Pulitzer Prize. The story occurs among New York City's upper class in the 1870s, before electricity, telephone, and automobiles; when there was a small cluster of old, "aristocratic" Revolutionary War-stock families who ruled New York's social life; when being was better than doing; when occupation and abilities were secondary to blood connections (heredity and family); when reputation and appearances excluded every thing and every one not of one's caste; and when Fifth Avenue was so deserted by nightfall that it was possible to follow Society's comings and goings, by spying who went to what house.

• Ali and Nino: A Love Story by Kurban Said


Spoiler: First published in Vienna in 1937, this classic story of romance and adventure has been compared to Dr. Zhivago and Romeo and Juliet. Its mysterious author was recently the subject of a feature article in the New Yorker, which has inspired a forthcoming biography. Out of print for nearly three decades until the hardcover re-release last year, Ali and Nino is Kurban Said's masterpiece. It is a captivating novel as evocative of the exotic desert landscape as it is of the passion between two people pulled apart by culture, religion, and war.

• Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Amazon Australia

Spoiler: As a child, Kathy – now thirty-one years old – lived at Hailsham, a private school in the scenic English countryside where the children were sheltered from the outside world, brought up to believe that they were special and that their well-being was crucial not only for themselves but for the society they would eventually enter. Kathy had long ago put this idyllic past behind her, but when two of her Hailsham friends come back into her life, she stops resisting the pull of memory.

And so, as her friendship with Ruth is rekindled, and as the feelings that long ago fueled her adolescent crush on Tommy begin to deepen into love, Kathy recalls their years at Hailsham. She describes happy scenes of boys and girls growing up together, unperturbed – even comforted – by their isolation. But she describes other scenes as well: of discord and misunderstanding that hint at a dark secret behind Hailsham’s nurturing facade. With the dawning clarity of hindsight, the three friends are compelled to face the truth about their childhood–and about their lives now.

• Latakia by JF Smith

Amazon Australia / SmashWords

Spoiler: Matthew likes his life in Richmond. He has his friends and his softball and his volunteer work. And he has a very good-looking boyfriend, Brian, who he’s been happily dating for over a year now. So what if his friends tend to question just how good his boyfriend is, and so what if Brian tends to have inexplicable mood swings. And so what if Brian seems to invite Matt’s suspicions on occasion. If he just shows a little faith and trust, he’ll appreciate what he has with Brian the way he should. Right?

But suddenly, Matt finds himself in a desperate life-or-death situation on a trip overseas, and he realizes just how much he misses home, and Brian. He’s luckily rescued by a team of US Spec-Ops Forces, only to find out they’re a bunch of bigoted jerks. Worse, a quirk of his situation forces him to spend time with them that he’d rather not. And that’s when he finds out that first impressions can be misleading. When called upon, he steps up when every fiber of his being tells him not to, and discovers something deep inside himself that he didn’t realize was even there. And his life will never be the same. He finds that he can, after all, make some very overdue changes in his own life.

What Matt doesn’t realize is that the bond of brotherhood runs both ways. And he winds up changing the lives of several of the men on that Spec-Ops team as much as they changed his.

All it takes is faith and trust.

• Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy

Amazon Australia

Spoiler: The most important things in Simon Murray’s life are football, friends, and film—in that order. His friends despair of him ever meeting someone, but despite his loneliness, Simon is cautious about looking for more. Then his best friends drag him to a party, where he barges into a football conversation and ends up defending the honour of star forward Declan Tyler—unaware that the athlete is present. In that first awkward meeting, neither man has any idea they will change each other's lives forever.

Like his entire family, Simon revels in living in Melbourne, the home of Australian Rules football and mecca for serious fans. There, players are treated like gods—until they do something to fall out of public favour. This year, the public is taking Declan to task for suffering injuries outside his control, so Simon's support is a bright spot.

But as Simon and Declan fumble toward a relationship, keeping Declan's homosexuality a secret from well-meaning friends and an increasingly suspicious media becomes difficult. Nothing can stay hidden forever. Soon Declan will have to choose between the career he loves and the man he wants, and Simon has never been known to make things easy—for himself or for others.

• Echoes by Maeve Binchy

Goodreads | Amazon UK / Amazon US / Barnes & Noble UK / Barnes & Noble US / Kobo

Spoiler: From Goodreads:

"It was sometimes called the echo cave, and if you shouted your question loud enough in the right direction, you got an answer instead of an echo..."

Clare and David--divided as children by a rigid social code that branded her as shanty Irish and him as gentry...brought together as adults by a desire that knew no class, no barriers, only the urgent hunger of two people destined to love--and ready to defy a world determined to keep them apart.

Even at fifteen, David Power knew the echo would answer eleven-year-old Clare O'Brien's dearest wish, to win a school prize. But it was years before Dr. Power's cherished only son saw in the huckster's daughter the answer to his own heart's desire.

Here in Castlebay, perched precariously on the seaside cliffs, the lines between them were clearly drawn. Clare's only hope is to leave the town where time stopped, propelled by scholarships to Dublin, fueled by her own drive and brilliance, far from the insular, gossipy world of Castlebay and those in its thrall... Angela O'Hara, beautiful, isolated, a teacher trapped in the convent school, who risks everything to help Clare escape... Gerry Doyle, the town charmer who finds in Clare the woman he vows to have at any price... Caroline Nolan, the beautiful, rich outsider who comes to plunder...

For Clare, that was before the wild freedom of Dublin, and love. And David. Before fate drove them back to Castlebay, and the past...

• Fighting Redemption by Kate McCarthy


Spoiler: Ryan Kendall is broken. He understands pain. He knows the hand of violence and the ache of loss. He knows what it means to fail those who need you. Being broken doesn’t stop him wanting the one thing he can’t have; Finlay Tanner. Her smile is sweet and her future bright. She’s the girl he grew up with, the girl he loves, the girl he protects from the world, and from himself.

• Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Patricia Clark Memorial Library: Kindle | Kobo

Spoiler: No synopsis provided.

The nominations are now closed.

Acronis True Image Unlimited 2015 review

Geek Zone - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 5:03pm
In my view Acronis True image has been for years the gold standard for PC image backups. For me it all started with Norton Ghost but since Symantec retired that product Acronis True Image software took that space.

NZ Tech Podcast 214: Windows 10, Hololens, Security wars - Google vs Apple vs Microsoft, Spark vs Vodafone

Geek Zone - Wed, 01/28/2015 - 5:59am
This week we discuss security wars between Google, Apple and Microsoft, upcoming changes at Spark & Vodafone including Chris Quin stepping down as CEO of Spark Home, Mobile, Business. We also discuss Cloudflare NZ, Protools free and spent more... (more in the full post)

NZ Tech Podcast: A trip to CES in Las Vegas with Paul Spain

Geek Zone - Thu, 01/22/2015 - 5:00am
Paul Spain invites you to join him as he talks with a fascinating mix of exhibitors at the world's biggest tech event - CES 2015. Hear about NZ's Performance Labs, a tiny new robot, Mercedes-Benz new concept car, gadgets for kids, sport tech, smart ... (more in the full post)