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Archives: April 2011

Amazon Now Offering New Free Kindle App – Dots & Boxes

Amazon is offering a new version of the classic connect the dots game for you to play on your Kindle. You can play against your Kindle on just the one game Board, and you have 3 difficulty levels.

This is the 7th free app from Amazon for your Kindle, and like all Kindle app it’s only available in the US.


BISG Study Finds eBook Adoption Rises

The Book Industry Study Group (BISG) released its second installment of the Consumer Attitudes Toward E-Book Reading survey and found that the percentage of print book consumers who say they download eBooks rose from 5% in October 2010 to almost13% in January 2011.

The study also found that despite a drop in hardcover sales, spending on books rose in the past six months. The study found 44% of respondents reporting higher unit purchases and 34% reporting higher overall spending on a combination of print books and e-books.

Scott Lubeck, BISG’s Executive Director commented: “This on-going BISG baseline study of consumer behavior toward e-books and e-book reading devices is essential to understanding both the velocity of change and its significance to every stakeholder in the book industry.”

TouchyBooks And UNICEF Release Kids App For Japan

App maker TouchyBooks has teamed up with the UNICEF office in Spain to create Momotaro – an interactive book app that teaches kids the importance of helping people in need.

App maker TouchyBooks has teamed up with the UNICEF office in Spain to create Momotaro – an interactive book app that teaches kids the importance of helping people in need.

Here is more from the app’s description: “Long ago in the mysterious lands of Japan, a small boy is found floating down a large river, sleeping inside a giant peach. The old man and woman who find him, name the little boy ‘Momotaro’, and so begins a wondrous story. As the years pass, Momotaro grows strong and brave, loved by all around him, until one day a tragedy strikes. An evil demon enters the village and steals all the food and wealth owned by the villagers. Momotaro bravely takes it upon himself to retrieve what was taken by the demon and sets out on a journey.”

The app is available in the app store for $1.99 with all profits being donated to fund UNICEF’s disaster relief efforts for children in Japan.


California is a Read State

The University of Southern California and the Los Angeles Times have recently released the results of a survey. 80% of respondents have read a book for fun in the past month, with half that number reading 3 or more books a month.

Three in ten Californians report spending 7 hours a week reading books, and 17% devote more than ten hours a week.

The results go on to show that about 1 in 5 of the Californians surveyed own an eReader, and 96% of owners read the same amount or more books than they did before. That includes a third who affirm that that they do read more since buying an eReader.

via USC

Kindle Corruption Possible, But Not Likely

Earlier this week a ZDNET blogger discovered links to what seemed like spam sites within an eBook that he had purchased in the Kindle store.

This made us wonder if an eReader could get corrupted if you downloaded an eBook with bad links. We went to Q&A social networking site Quora and posed the question to software engineer Guido Bartolucci, who spent almost a decade as Senior Software Engineer at We asked: “Is there any risk of an eReader getting corrupted if a Kindle file contained malicious links?”

Bartolucci responded: “Yes, it is certainly possibly, just like it’s possible for your computer getting corrupted from following a malicious link. But it’s very unlikely as the Kindle is running a locked down version of Linux and the reader software doesn’t do much.”

So while it doesn’t seem like it is likely to happen, the possibility still exists.


South Park Spoofs The iPad

In its season premiere last night, the animated comedy South Park took on Apple and the iPad.

The story spoofs the controversy around “locationgate,” when the character Eric Cartman says, “That’s just a rumor, they don’t really track you,” but is then found by Apple executives who take his blood, saying it is part of the agreement.

The episode goes on to compare Apple with the gore film The Human Centipede. I won’t giveaway the rest, but you can watch the episode here.

Nosy Crow Is Running App Giveaway Contest

App publisher Nosy Crow is running a contest for the chance to win a free Three Little Pigs app. The app maker will give out 20 apps — 10 iPad and 10 iPhone — to those that best answer a series of questions about their favorite characters in the Three Little Pigs story.

Here is the list of questions from the Nosy Crow blog:

1. Who is your favorite character in the story of The Three Little Pigs and why?

2. What’s your favorite memory of reading The Three Little Pigs either as a child, or to your own children (or grandchildren, nephews, nieces, neighbours)

3. Why do you you think your children (or grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbours…) will like this app?

Entrants must post responses in the  comments below the Nosy Crow blog post. The contest runs through 1 pm EST on Saturday 30th April.

Check Out the iPad – From 1994

The PaleoFuture blog has dug up a promo video made in 1994. It shows a tablet-like device for reading newspapers and magazines. This particular concept was developed by the Information Design Lab at the University of Washington. It’s a little surprising how much it gets right.


Publishers Join eBay Auction Fundraiser

Publishers Albert Whitman & Company, Chronicle Books, Gibbs Smith Publishers and Running Press have all teamed up to participate in National Doodle Day – a fundraiser for the NF Network, the non-profit people affected by Neurofibromatosis.

For the fundraiser, celebrities create doodles which are auctioned off on eBay, the proceeds going to the cause. The publishers have invited children’s book authors and illustrators to contribute doodles. Contributors include: Daniel Pinkwater, Annie Barrows, Tom Lichtenheld, Calef Brown, Peter Reynolds, Eric Carle, Jon Scieszka, Mo Willems and Lydia Bastianich.

You can check out the doodles at The auction goes live on eBay on May 12th.

The publishers will help promote these auctions through in-store events in Chicago, Salt Lake City, and Sausalito.

Debut Novel Exceeds 400 Thousand Downloads Through BitTorrent

It’s been 4 weeks since BitTorrent published its first novel, Captive,and the novel has been exceptionally popular. According to the tracker, the novel has been downloaded a total of 423 thousand times.

Captive is the latest step in BitTorrent’s Artist Spotlight program. the Artist Spotlight was launched at the beginning of the year, and it has already released music, movies, and episodic content. All releases can be freely downloaded over  BitTorrent.

Captive is available as a free download in PDF and Epub.