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On e-Reader Tech News we track down the latest e-Reader news. We will keep you up to date with whats hot in the bestsellers section, including books, ebooks and blogs... and we will also bring you great e-reader tips and tricks along with reviews for the latest devices and accessories.

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February 2012
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Daily Deals: Slumberland and Radiant HD

Slumberland: A Novel

Today Amazon unveils a new Kindle book deal: Slumberland: A Novel by Paul Beatty just for $1.99.

Critical darling Paul Beatty’s highly original, widely praised novel of race, identity, and underground music. After creating the perfect beat, DJ Darky goes in search of Charles Stone, a little know avant-garde jazzman, to play over his sonic masterpiece. His quest brings him to a recently unified Berlin, where he stumbles through the city’s dreamy streets ruminating about race, sex, love, Teutonic gods , the prevent defense, and Wynton Marsalis in search of his artistic-and spiritual-other.

Ferocious, bombastic, and laugh-out-loud funny, Slumberland is vintage Paul Beatty and belongs on the shelf next to Jonathan Lethem, Colson Whitehead, and Junot Diaz.

Some words about the Author

Paul Beatty is the author of two novels, Tuff and The White Boy Shuffle, and two books of poetry, Big Bank Take Little Bank and Joker, Joker, Deuce. He is the editor of Hokum: An Anthology of African- American Humor. He lives in New York City.

 

Radiant HD

Today only you can get the following game for free: Radiant HD

Radiant HD gives you arcade shoot ’em up goodness the way you like it, blending retro tropes like limited movement (right and left only) with modern takes on the genre such as upgradeable weapons and on-screen power-ups.

Battle on one of three difficulty settings through a three-part story with over 100 levels. Collect power-ups, upgrade an impressive arsenal, and dodge your foes to stay alive. Destroy over 10 huge bosses like the Planet Cruncher, the Hunters, and the Supervisor. The challenges may be steep, but the power at your disposal is staggering.

Blasting asteroids, groups of baddies, and larger enemies can reveal credits in 25, 50, and 100 increments. Collect these and every few stages you’ll get a chance to spend them on upgrades to your guns. Each weapon can go up to level 10, and the rate of fire and number of rounds fired with each shot will improve as you buy upgrades. Invest wisely in each of these interchangeable extensions like you would in a role-playing game to smooth out your weaknesses and prepare for any challenge that may come your way.

Radiant HD doesn’t just ask you to dodge rocks and return enemy fire; it rewards you for your destruction and smooth moves with helpful power-ups. Like collecting credits, other power-ups may appear when you destroy your enemies. Unlike credits, though, these goodies will sate your need for instant gratification.

This HD version of Radiant is optimized for tablets and high-end handsets (Galaxy Tab, Galaxy S, DROID, Desire, Incredible, myTouch 4G, G2, EVO, Nexus One, Nexus S, etc.). Try the non-HD version if you have a lower-spec device.

Amazon Kindle Borrowing Scares Penguin Away From Helping Libraries

Obviously there has often been a bit of strain in the relationship between publishers and libraries, much of the time with arguments along the same lines as those currently used against media piracy, but eBooks have been an especially touchy issue.  To illustrate how serious they are about disliking eBooks in general and the Kindle in particular, with regard to lending at least, Penguin has chosen to abandon eBook availability in libraries entirely for the time being.  This is hardly the first time a major publisher or even Penguin in particular has reacted publicly against eBook lending, but it could be the first time there was anything resembling a sane rationale behind it.

At the moment, the vast majority of libraries in the US offer any eBooks they have available to borrow using the OverDrive service.  As essentially the only major platform that libraries have the option of using, pulling out of OverDrive means pulling out of libraries.  Unfortunately, publishers see the partnership that this service has developed with Amazon to provide Kindle compatibility as being damaging.  Currently when a Kindle owner wants to borrow a library book, they pass through Amazon’s web page.  This allows the retailer an opportunity to offer suggestions or advertisements and thereby potentially monetize library lending.  There is ample evidence that publishers really dislike Amazon and the Kindle platform in general already, and this extra bit of opportunity is even more of a problem than the already distasteful fact that libraries let people read without spending money.

Sadly, this could spur some of the competition for OverDrive into a more prominent position.  3M, for example, is working on ways to take a part of that market for themselves with a new service by giving publishers more of what they want in terms of control.  What do publishers want?  Mostly they want things complicated.  An oft-expressed complaint about eBook lending is that it is too fluid.  Borrowers should be required, they maintain, to be at the library when they borrow at the very least and even that is a minimum standard.  As much friction as possible is desired so that eBooks do not become more convenient than paper books.  The 3M example is particularly relevant since they are discussing offering kiosks that users would be required to use any time they want to borrow an eBook.  While it defeats the point for many people, these publishers would generally prefer them not to borrow in the first place anyway.

Now, pulling out of OverDrive over Amazon’s sales opportunities makes sense in a few ways given the concern about the company’s increasing influence and the fact that other OverDrive partners don’t have similar options.  By offering no alternatives and openly embracing a philosophy of obstruction regarding eReading as a whole, however, Penguin is sending a message to their customers that they just don’t care who gets hurt by their sluggish reaction to new media.  They want to drive people away from the Kindle by making life harder for Kindle users, but really this just damages their own position.  Making a move like this without offering libraries other options was at best premature.