Sony eBook Reader software for the Mac

August 27, 2009

Only yesterday I mentioned that Sony were releasing new eBook Readers, today another piece of news from Sony.

I do have the older PRS-505 model and though I have two hundred odd (old) books on there (which came with the device) I haven’t really made best use of the Reader, partly as the software was Windows only and I generally on a day to day basis use a Mac.

So I was pleased to hear today that Sony have released eBook Reader software for the Mac. It was relatively easy to download, install and use.

Might start using the Reader more now…

Download the software from Sony.

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Sony launches challenge to the Kindle

August 26, 2009

sonyebookreader0309

I do like the concept of e-Books and have a Sony e-Book Reader. I also would really like to have an Amazon Kindle, but alas they’re only available in the US.

The BBC News reports on the launch of a new Sony e-Book Reader.

Sony has launched a wireless e-reader which allows users to download electronic books on the go.

Analysts said Sony’s Reader Daily Edition is a direct challenge to Amazon’s best-selling Kindle device.

The $399 (£250) touch-screen device is able to store up to 1,000 novels and can download books over a high-speed mobile network.

It also has an application that can be used to “borrow” books from local libraries for 21 days.

In a recent presentation I gave, I talked about e-Books and how I felt that the Sony e-Book Reader was a first generation device, from which new and better devices would emerge.

By adding connectivity (like the Kindle) Sony has made the e-Book more useful and allows immediate satisfaction, it’s similar to the way that Apple’s iPhone allows you to download music immediately.

Think of the impact of this on the learner, they can be in college, at home, in a coffee shop and they can immediately download to their e-Book reader their assignments, readings, handouts as and when they want or need them.

Regardless of new media, interactivity, in education we still do rely on the printed word, books, journals, handouts. By making them available on an electronic device with a long battery life, it makes it much easier for learners to access information as and when they need it.

I am however slightly disappointed and concerned when I read:

The device will be available in the US from December.

Will we ever get a connected e-Book device in the UK?


Sony enter the netbook market

July 13, 2009

Sony have entered the netbook market with their new W Series.

vaiowseries

Sony are not new to making small laptops, I had the really nice SRX41P back when I worked for the Western Colleges Consortium, and currently have been playing with the P series.

However one thing you could always say about Sony VAIO small laptops was though they were small in size, they were big in price. The SRX41P was nearly £2000, whilst current small models are nearly as expensive.

However the W series is going to be much cheaper, currently $500 in the US, UK pricing has yet to be announced, but I would guess it would be in the £400 mark.

It’s not a netbook that is going to be a real powerhouse. Running Windows XP, 1GB of RAM and a 160GB HDD it’s no different to a lot of netbooks in the market. It has a 10.1″ screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

As well as the ubiquitous Sony Memory Stick Duo slot there is also (like the P series) a SD card slot. Alas like a lot of netbooks it only has a two hour battery life.

It doesn’t look a lot different to other netbooks (well except you can get it in pink) but Sony is a brand that a lot of people trust and therefore I expect it might sell quite well to people who like Sony stuff, get the feeling that they may be disappointed.

Does make you wonder though if Apple will now take the plunge and enter the netbook market?


PSP Phone

June 29, 2009

The iPhone has dominated the thoughts of many, more so with the release of the new iPhone 3GS. I have met many e-learning professionals and lots of them use iPhones and extol the benefits of the iPhone. The same is happening across the country and elsewhere in the world

Reuters reports that

Sony Corp is considering developing a cellphone-game gear hybrid in a bid to better compete with Apple Inc’s highly popular iPod and iPhone.

The PSP is a very popular gaming console, I can’t though see the PSP Phone as an alternative to the iPhone, but more a different beast appealing to a different audience.


Sony PSP Go

June 1, 2009

So is this the new PSP?

newpsp

From the BBC

Video and photos of the PSP Go have been leaked online, revealing a smaller, more lightweight console that has dropped the failed UMD disk format.

Engadget has some leaked stats.

3.8-inch display (resolution is undisclosed)
43 percent lighter than the PSP-3000
16GB of Flash storage
Bluetooth built-in; supports handset tethering and BT headsets
No UMD drive
Memory Stick Micro slot
Full PlayStation Network support (movie and TV rentals / purchases)
Integration with PlayStation 3 (works the same as the PSP-3000 does)

From a learning perspective the 16GB of Flash storage is helpful as anyone who uses the PSP knows that the Memory Stick can sometimes go missing… generally to be found in the card reader of a PC. Alas it uses the small Memory Stick Micro format which means getting another adapter or ensuring that your current card reader can read that format.

Disappointed that there is no built in camera.


Packing

April 22, 2009

Well I have started packing for the Plymouth e-Learning Conference. Well less packing and more charging. I seem to take more and more equipment to conferences these days. Some of it will be used in my workshops, some I will use to blog and twitter, and some I will bring because I think I might use it, but generally don’t.

Apart from the workshop equipment I usually like to have the following on me at conferences (and a jacket with big pockets to carry it all).

Laptop – though I have a selection of micro-laptops or UMPCs I generally always fall back on my reliable MacBook Pro. In the main as it has a decent keyboard, partly as I have a spare battery for it and it has a built in camera.

Phones – normally two, this year three. Not for making phone calls mind you. I have my work Nokia which is what people at work will be able to call and SMS me on. I have my home T-Mobile Nokia N95 which I use for internet, either on the device or configured as a wireless router, a digital camera, a video camera and a broadcast camera using QIK. This year I will also be bringing an iPhone!

Digital Camera – despite having the 5MP Nokia N95 I do like to have a proper digital camera with a proper lense. I would love to bring my Canon DSLR, but it’s too heavy, so I have a little Sony pocket camera which does the job.

Video Camera – I have found my little Panasonic HD camera a great tool for conferences, at the ALT Conference I used it to create a little video that I then edited on my MacBook Pro (another reason to carry that around). Quick and easy to use, and records to SD cards so video clips can be easily transferred to the computer.

MP3 Recorder – I always carry this, thinking I should record some podcasts when I am at the conference and never seem to get round to it… this conference I hope will be different.

Chargers – as batteries never seem to last as long as the conference.

So what do you bring to a conference?


Sony Camcorder with GPS

April 3, 2009

hdr-tg5vI am really starting to see some of the real educational possibilities of GPS and location based learning. One of the key features of using images in location based learning is the ability to add geo-data the images and video taken by a camera.

Sony have announced a new HD Camcorder with GPS capabilities.

Perfect for travelers, this camcorder features a built-in GPS receiver that automatically adjusts your camcorder’s clock to the proper time zone and lets you view your current location on the LCD map display, as well as “tag” your shooting locations. You can view your tagged videos and pictures via the Map Index function or after you’ve downloaded them to your PC.

As with any HD camera, the technical specifications are pretty good.

Capture all the action on your next trip with this ultra-portable, titanium-bodied Handycam® camcorder. It features Full HD 1920 x 1080 video recording, 4MP still shots.

Sony have also moved to solid state media as well.

Record to 16GB embedded flash memory or choose instead to record to removable Memory Stick PRO Duo™ media

Overall an interesting camera, but does GPS add the value for what is still an expensive camera.