On Digital Trends: 5 reasons to liberate your ebooks from their DRM prison
This week, ebook lovers got yet another reminder of why DRM (Digital Rights Management) is terrible for ebooks. While attending a library conference in Singapore, Jim O’Donnell lost access to the titles in his Google Play Books app. Apparently, the app detected that he was in a country where Google Books aren’t available and subsequently denied him access to his books. Stories like this crop up every now and then, each time highlighting some crazy ebook restriction or policy that most people aren’t even aware of. The way things are set up, you kind of need to protect the digital books you buy from the companies that sell them. There are a growing number of ways and reasons why Amazon, Google, or a book publisher might strip you of your digital library.
The best way to protect yourself is to break the DRM on your ebooks for the purpose of keeping a local, personal backup.
In a recent post in the How I Write series over on Barnes & Noble’s Book Blog, author Lauren Oliver mentioned that she wrote most of her first novel on her BlackBerry. This isn’t wholly surprising given how we’ve heard about phone novels for years now (and even seen some published). But when I recently tried to get some writing done on a BlackBerry I found it more difficult than it should be. Read more →
On Digital Trends: Toshiba Excite Write review
The Excite Write offers one of the best pen/tablet writing experiences for Android as well as smooth, speedy performance, but our experience with the Write did come with some inconveniences.
On Digital Trends: How to trade paper for pixels – and keep writing by hand
We all have smartphones, laptops, and tablets, but there are many people who still prefer the feel of pen on paper for taking notes or writing. Making the transition to digital writing isn’t easy and the path is littered with dozens of bad ideas and gadgets. The key is finding the right tools. With that in mind, we’ve created a handy guide to help you out. In the sections ahead, we will go through some of the best digital pens, note-taking apps, and tablets with built-in styli.
On Digital Trends: StandScan ($20) vs. ScanDock ($400): Which smartphone scanner is worth your cash?
Most scanner stands are like the $20 StandScan; simple cardboard (or plastic) tents that collapse or fold up in some way for easy porting and storage. And then there’s the ScanDock, which is in a class of it’s own. This study and more permanent-looking model bills itself as the Post-PC Scanner and promises higher quality. It also costs $400.
The ScanDock is clearly a product someone was clamoring for since it exists thanks to a successful KickStarter campaign. But is it so much better than basic scanner stands that it’s worth the high price? We tested the ScanDock and the StandScan head to head to find out.
The other day I had a Twitter exchange with Dan Seifert of the Verge about my dislike of stock Android. The divergence of opinion on the matter of toggles and notification areas reminded me of a conversation I had a few weeks ago at a Sony event. The electronics arm of the company invited women bloggers to have a conversation about marketing to women. At one point Helena Bell of ChipChick and I hit on what it is about Android that so many people we know find annoying about it: lack of efficiency. The number of taps it takes to do something simple is just silly. And hunting for apps in the Google Play store, who has time for that? I’ve known this is a problem for a while, what I didn’t realize is that whether or not you do seems to depend on whether you’re a man or a woman. Read more →