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Thursday News: B&N disses desktop downloads, new Kindles to ponder, breakthrough digital textbook for visually impaired students, and interview with Alison Bechdel

Thursday News: B&N disses desktop downloads, new Kindles to ponder, breakthrough...

In the meantime, Mac users can install this older app, and PC users can install this older app.

It’s not as thin as a sheet of paper, but it’s the slimmest Kindle so far at less than 3/10 of a inch thick (7.6mm) and 6.3 ounces. There are software enhancements under the hood as well, including a “Word Wise” feature that shows word definitions and explanations over text, deeper integration with the Amazon-owned Goodreads service, and chapter-by-chapter book synopses in X-Ray that may eliminate the need for Cliffs Notes entirely. –Wired

Traditionally, the abundance of charts, graphs and data visualizations has made it challenging to bring math and science to visually impaired students. And their teachers struggle to transition from printed textbooks to digital instructional materials. With accessibility directly embedded into Reach for the Stars, every student in the classroom can use the same book. Educators don’t have to convert the content to special formats for students with disabilities. –Yahoo Finance

What are your inspirations? You’ve talked a lot about Harriet the Spy — what does she mean to you?

Oh, god, Harriet the Spy! I read that book easily twenty times as a kid. At the time I just thought she was cool, bravely peeping through peoples’ windows and creeping into their dumbwaiters and spying on what they were up to. But as an adult, I realized that she wasn’t so much a spy as a writer, this archetypal writer taking notes on everything around her. When her friends find her, they’re devastated and so is she. As a memoirist, I identify intensely with her peculiar dedication. –NPR

Wednesday News: Samsung Nook releases, broad anti-piracy injunction, Kensington to sell trade paperbacks via BAM, and Colombian student faces jail for copyright infringement

Wednesday News: Samsung Nook releases, broad anti-piracy injunction, Kensington to sell...

According to the info B&N gave out to app developers (link), the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook will have the same specs as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4. Weighing in at 276 grams, the Tab 4 Nook will have a 7? TFT display with a screen resolution of 1280 x 800. It will run Android on a quad-core 1.2GHz Marvell PXA1088 CPU with 1.5GB RAM 2 cameras (3MP and 1.3MP), Wifi, and Bluetooth. And when it comes to storage, the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook will have 8GB internal and a microSD card slot. –The Digital Reader

The preliminary injunction is unique in its kind, both due to its broadness and the fact that it happened without due process. This has several experts worried, including EFF’s Intellectual Property Director Corynne McSherry.

“It’s very worrisome that a court would issue a rapid and broad order affecting speech based on allegations, without careful consideration and an opportunity for the targets to defend themselves,” McSherry tells TorrentFreak. –Torrent Freak

I’m not sure what to think of this, exactly. I’m glad to see publishers partnering with retailers, but $13 trade paperbacks? That feels more like a backward step to me, but I don’t really know how robust the trade market is, especially for books initially intended to be digital-only.

Steven Zacharius, president and CEO of Kensington, said: “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Books-A-Million to extend the readership of these fresh and edgy books. Each of the titles chosen for the Lyrical High Notes program was highly successful in its e-only format, and these special printed editions will give our digital-first authors the retail presence that they deserve.” –Publishers Weekly

Diego Gómez Hoyos posted the 2006 work, about amphibian taxonomy, on Scribd in 2011. An undergraduate at the time, he had hoped that it would help fellow students with their fieldwork. But two years later, in 2013, he was notified that the author of the thesis was suing him for violating copyright laws. His case has now been taken up by the Karisma Foundation, a human rights organization in Bogotá, which has launched a campaign called “Sharing is not a crime”. –Scientific American