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Archives: March 2012

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DOJ May Be Close To Settlement With Apple Over eBook Pricing

The Justice Department is reportedly getting close to a settlement with Apple and the “big six” publishers. Last month, the government agency brought charges against the iPad maker, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, Pearson, Penguin, Macmillan and HarperCollins Publishers, alleging collusion in eBook pricing.

Reuters has more details about the case: “While negotiations are still fluid, the settlement is expected to eliminate Apple’s so-called ‘most favored nation’ status, which had prevented the publishers from selling lower-priced e-books through rival retailers such as Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) or Barnes & Noble Inc (BKS.N), the people said. The deal could also force a shift, at least temporarily, in pricing control from publishers to retailers, one of the people said.”

Paper by FiftyThree: iPad App Toolbox for Writers

The top free iPad app in the Apple App Store is Paper by FiftyThree–an elegant tool for taking notes, sketching or brainstorming ideas on your tablet.

Check it out: “Paper is where ideas begin. It’s the easiest and most beautiful way to create on iPad. Capture your ideas as sketches, diagrams, illustrations, notes or drawings and share them across the web … Paper was designed from the ground up for touch and creating on the go. No fussy buttons, settings or other distractions. Paper works the way you think, like a familiar notebook or journal … Productivity meets beauty. No settings. Always beautiful—like great tools should be. Just pick up a tool and instantly begin to Sketch, Write, Draw, Outline and Color.”

Below, we’ve collected five other free tools for iPad users; they are all popular tools among iPad users.

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Kindle Fire App Gets Location Services (Sans GPS)

TweetCaster, one of the better third party Twitter apps, is now available in the Amazon Appstore, and it brought a useful little feature with it.

Most social networks have made a big deal about letting you share your location along with your activities, but that is a little difficult to do when you’re mobile. Without a GPS unit, it’s  little difficult to do, which is where Skyhook comes in. This Boston based startup has a proprietary tech that allows apps to discern their location based on nearby Wifi networks, and that’s how TweetCaster can dd your location to your tweets.

“Since the current version of the Kindle Fire does not provide location services, we couldn’t provide our users with key location-based functionality,” said Evan Conway, president of OneLouder, makers of TweetCaster. “By adding the Skyhook SDK, our Kindle Fire version of TweetCaster now performs to the same standard as our other versions.”

Skyhook is also providing similar location services for other Kindle Fire apps, including MapQuest, HopStop and deCarta.

Amazon Appstore

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How To Search Google By Reading Level

If you are researching books for younger audiences or just helping a young person try to navigate the Internet, Google has a feature that will let you set the specific reading level on search results.

For instance, a middle school science teacher looking up earthquakes might want different search results than a geologist that wants up-to-date research on a subject. To search Google by reading level, Google has published the following steps:

  1. Click the gear icon gear icon in the top right corner of the search results page.
  2. Click Advanced Search.
  3. Next to “Reading level” within the “Need more tools” section, select your desired reading level (basic, intermediate, or advanced) or choose to show all results annotated with reading levels.

UPDATE: Follow this link for another way to set your Google reading preferences.

AAP & Goodreads Are Running Book Blog Competition

Hey book bloggers, want to get some recognition for your work? The Association of American Publishers and Goodreads have opened the nominations for the Independent Book Blogger Awards. Four winners will get airfare to New York and a three day pass to BookExpo America in June.

The contest is open to bloggers ages 18 and up in the U.S. who dedicate at least 75 percent of their blog content to covering books.  The blog cannot be affiliated with commercial media ties.

The press release explains more about what they are looking for: “There are four categories for submissions:  Adult Fiction, Adult Non-Fiction, Children’s/Young adult and Industry News.  Entries will be judged on such qualities as writing, analysis, design and presentation and reader impact.  Complete details on how to enter, rules and background on the judging process is at Contest terms

You can submit entries through Monday, April 9, 11:59PM. After all of the entries have been received, readers will be able to vote for their favorites from April 10-23. A panel of publishing experts will judge the finalists, and the winners will be announced the week of May 7.

Cubes: Take a Behind-the-Scenes Tour of The Knot

In this episode of “Cubes,” we tour the offices of XO Group Inc., the media company best known for every bride-to-be’s favorite site, The Knot.

The XO Group’s brand-new space in lower Manhattan boasts a fashion runway, a bar with a kegerator, a giant projection screen for playing Xbox Kinect, and a staircase inspired by the ones found in Apple stores. Oh, and it has really good feng shui.

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