Emerging Tech: This magazine app knows what you like

screner

You’ve got an iPad and all the pop­u­lar magazine, con­tent, read­ing apps like Reed­er, Flip­board, Pulse, and FLUD. Well now there’s a new one using tech­no­logy from the Uni­ver­sity of Brit­ish Columbia’s Labor­at­ory for Com­pu­ta­tion­al Intel­li­gence.

It’s called Zite, and is it ever cool. But first, the video.

Why I like it
It’s a learn­ing app. Log in to your Google Read­er and Twit­ter account, let Zite per­form a bit of ana­lys­is, and you’ve got con­tent that Zite thinks you’re inter­ested in. And it’s free 🙂

Three essential PDF readers for iPad

A while ago I wrote about ways to read PDF files on your iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad. Well that post is show­ing it’s age, so rather than com­pletely redo it, I thought I’d dis­cuss my cur­rent three top PDF read­ers, and why.

GoodRead­er
GoodRead­er is my first choice, go-to PDF read­er on my iPad.

First off, get­ting files into GoodRead­er. It’s simple, and sup­ports iTunes file trans­fer, Net­work trans­fer via WiFi, or down­load­ing from shared ser­vices such as;

  • Drop­Box
  • Google Apps
  • Mobile Me
  • Sug­ar­Sync
  • FTP serv­ers

Next, it’s under act­ive devel­op­ment, with fre­quent new fea­tures, updates and bug­fixes.

As expec­ted GoodRead­er sup­ports PDF and TXT files, but it can also dis­play all of the most pop­u­lar file types includ­ing:

  • MS Office — .doc, .ppt, .xls and more
  • iWork’08/’09
  • HTML and Safari webarchives
  • High res­ol­u­tion images
  • Audio & Video play­back in some formats

Yes, GoodRead­er is my PDF read­er of choice. But, there are cases where an altern­at­ive is import­ant. Enter…

CloudRead­ers
This is a more simplist­ic app that I use primar­ily for read­ing graph­ic nov­els and com­ic-book files. Some are in PDF format and oth­ers in CBZ or CBR format.

CloudRead­ers allows WiFi upload by run­ning a small serv­er that you con­nect to using your desktop com­puter. Here’s some of the cool­er fea­tures of CloudRead­ers:

  • Multi-task sup­port
  • Rota­tion lock
  • iPhone/iPod/iPad touch sup­port
  • Auto­mat­ic­ally add books when files were trans­ferred via iTune applic­a­tion
  • Auto page align­ment (on iPhone/iPod touch)
  • Smooth­ing (from Set­tings app)
  • Default page-ori­ent­at­in (from Set­tings app)

As a free eRead­er and PDF read­er, it’s a bar­gain. There’s also an in-app pur­chase that allows you to share (via P2P) with oth­er loc­al CloudRead­ers users. Very neat.

Stanza
This is my go-to eBook read­er on the iPad, and has been one I’ve used on the iPod Touch pre­vi­ously.

I’d writ­ten about it here, and it’s still a sol­id app you should check out, espe­cially since it’s free!

How to easily convert almost any eBook to open ePub format

My iPod Touch is also my eBook read­er. I use the Stanza app (recently upgraded), and the Stanza desktop applic­a­tion to get pdf and oth­er formats into my iPod Touch. But Stanza can’t read all formats, and occa­sion­ally an impor­ted file will not dis­play cor­rectly — the lay­out gets messed up.

This is where 2epub.com comes in. This online eBook con­vert­er will take up to 5 eBooks of vari­ous formats (doc, epub, fb2, html, lit, lrf, mobi, odt, pdb, pdf, prc, rtf, txt) and con­vert them to ePub (or fb2, lit, lrf, mobi) format.

Then it’s a simple mat­ter to share the file with Stanza, and send it to my iPod Touch.

I’ve only con­ver­ted a couple of titles so far, but the out­put files have worked like a charm.

2ePub is a very cool and soph­ist­ic­ated applic­a­tion, util­iz­ing a few ‘hid­den’ backend applic­a­tions — accord­ing to the developers:

2EPUB relies on vari­ous open source soft­ware, includ­ing Cal­ibre, Open­Of­fice, Abi­Word, Uno­conv and pdfto­html.
2EPUB can con­vert only those doc­u­ments that were, inten­tion­ally or not, made suit­able for auto­mat­ic con­ver­sion.
So now, when I get a new eBook (in whatever format) I’ll be run­ning it through 2ePub first, to clean it up and make it more shar­able with my vari­ety of hard­ware plat­forms

3 books I’d give as Christmas presents

I’m spend­ing much more time in malls and shops this month — must be the sea­son.  One of my favour­ite places to spend time is a book shop. Any book shop. Some­thing about them just make me happy.

This year, I spot­ted three books that I’m con­sid­er­ing either giv­ing or get­ting for myself, just ’cause they’re so darn cool, for vari­ous reas­ons (Amazon affil­i­ate links):

So I’m curi­ous, what books would you like to give (or get) this Christ­mas?

How to view PDF and other files on your iPhone and iPod Touch

This art­icle was ori­gin­ally writ­ten in April 2009. A few new apps have appeared since then, but one, GoodRead­er is now my daily go-to PDF read­er right now. I touch on a few of the new apps here, includ­ing GoodRead­er, but you’ll be back on this page if you want to check out Stanza — a great eBook read­er.


I have to read a lot of fic­tion in the next few months. A lot of Sci­ence Fic­tion to be pre­cice, and it’s so I can cast an informed bal­lot to help select the best of the genre at this year’s World Sci­ence Fic­tion con­ven­tion (World­Con).

As a mem­ber of World­Con, a pack­et con­tain­ing this year’s nom­in­ees arrived in my inbox earli­er this week. Lots of PDF, RTF, DOC and TXT files, for many diverse cat­egor­ies includ­ing best Nov­el, Novella, etc. Not small files by any stretch.

So, to avoid cull­ing a small forest by print­ing it all out, I decided to try and read them on my iPod Touch. In the past I’ve enjoyed read­ing on my pre­vi­ous port­able device, the Palm T|X, so figured that I should give it a try on the Touch. And that got me won­der­ing, is there an iPhone or iPod Touch app to read pdfs? I’m happy to say the answer is yes, but.

The dilemma, how to get just under 200mb of data on to this little suck­er. Well, I solved it, two ways. Here’s how: Con­tin­ue read­ing “How to view PDF and oth­er files on your iPhone and iPod Touch”