Review: Epomaker GK68XS Bluetooth mechanical keyboard

Granted that Bluetooth keyboards don’t have any direct connection to ebooks, they are nonetheless an important key to making better use of the tablet that you might have gotten to do various things that include e-reading—such as, for example, going to a picturesque spot to write something that might one day become an ebook.

I’ve reviewed a number of such keyboards for TeleRead, in fact: these models by AmazonBasics and Anker, as well as an Anker keyboard cover for the iPad Mini; Julie reviewed a keyboard by Inateck, also. Which provides me with all the excuse I need to review another, because I think I’ve finally found the nearly perfect Bluetooth tablet keyboard: the Epomaker GK68XS.

I picked it up basically on a whim, when I ran across the Kickstarter funding the project in a Facebook advertisement. The design of the keyboard intrigued me, so I shelled out the cash. Some


Original URL: https://teleread.org/2020/09/15/review-epomaker-gk68xs-bluetooth-mechanical-keyboard/

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The Internet Archive will soon stop honoring robots.txt files

One of the fixtures of the modern web is the robots.txt file—a file intended to notify web-crawling robots what parts of web sites are off-limits to them, so as to avoid reindexing duplicate content or bandwidth-intensive large files. A number of search engines, such as Google, honor robots.txt restrictions, though there’s no technical reason they have to.
Until recently, the Internet Archive has also been honoring the instructions from robots.txt files—but this is just about to change. On the Internet Archive’s announcement blog, Mark Graham explains that robots.txt’s search-indexing functionality is increasingly at odds with the site’s mission to archive the web as it was.
Over time we have observed that the robots.txt files that are geared toward search engine crawlers do not necessarily serve our archival purposes.  Internet Archive’s goal is to create complete “snapshots” of web pages, including the duplicate content and the large versions of files.  We have also seen an upsurge


Original URL: https://teleread.org/2017/04/24/the-internet-archive-will-soon-stop-honoring-robots-txt-files/

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Instapaper makes ‘premium’ services free to all users

My favorite article-clipping service just got even better. A few months ago, Instapaper was acquired by Pinterest, in the usual tech-company deal we see these days when one company thinks that the technology another company developed would make its own products and services even better. Google and Amazon have done this countless times.
But rather than the usual case, in which the acquiring company shuts down the company it just bought (as was the case with Google and Etherpad, or Safari Books Online and Ibis Reader), Instapaper has announced exactly the opposite is happening: not only will Instapaper’s services be continuing, but the add-on services that formerly required paying for a premium account will now be freely available to everyone. Those who’ve already paid for Instapaper premium accounts will have pro-rated refunds coming within the next week or so.
These premium services include zero ads on site or mobile app, full-text search for all


Original URL: https://teleread.org/2016/11/02/instapaper-makes-premium-services-free-to-all-users/

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Latest Raspbian upgrade turbocharges Raspberry experience

TeleRead stalwarts may remember that I adopted a Raspberry Pi 2 Model B as a test bed to try out this tiny but popular ultra-cheap one-card compact computing solution. Initially, I wasn’t impressed, although later I had some better experiences with the hardware. My initial disappointments were based chiefly on the shortcomings of Raspberry’s preferred Raspbian OS. This version of Debian, as I reported previously, offered “painfully slow load times” when using Google Docs and when executing most browser-based tasks. That basically led me to abandon the Raspberry.
Until now. Because Raspberry has whipped up a new desktop environment for Raspbian and its associated hardware called PIXEL, “which now officially stands for ‘Pi Improved Xwindows Environment, Lightweight’.” And improved it certainly is. Not only does the new OS front end look far slicker than older versions, with a fully overhauled Windows-style interface and drop-down menus, it’s also far faster. It’s bigger


Original URL: https://teleread.org/2016/10/20/latest-raspbian-upgrade-turbocharges-raspberry-experience/

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Use Calibre to search dozens of ebook sites at once—both stores and public domain

Even if you’re been around ebooks forever, you may be overlooking one of the easiest ways to search dozens of digital bookstores and public domain sites at once.
It’s the Get Books function of our old friend, the Calibre ebook management program (cost: $0). And as you can see from the screenshot it’s in the top menu bar. You can search by titles, author names, and keywords—and blend your criteria, so that, for example, you can exclude works with identical titles but different writers.
With this approach, your books public domain books can go directly into your Calibre library for immediate reading via the Calibre ebook reader or another program.
That won’t happen with commercial books—your Web browser will direct you to the appropriate store page—but there are other pluses, such as the ability to short by prices. Who knows? “Free” may be at the top of the list. Just keep in mind that copyright laws vary. What’s free in countries with


Original URL: https://teleread.org/2016/10/06/use-calibre-to-search-dozens-of-ebook-sites-at-once-both-stores-and-public-domain/

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Calibre 2.65.1 update: Kobo Aura One, Aura Edition 2 now have a driver

Owners of the new water-proof 7.8-inch Aura One from Kobo will be able to download Calibre 2.65.1 and get a driver that recognize their ereaders.
Hooray! Calibre can convert regular ePub to KePub, the tweak which runs more smoothly on Kobo machines than regular ePub.
Of course, I’d rather that this complication not exist.
What’s more, U.S. users can’t legally convert formats of DRMed books since it’s generally against the law to strip DRM. Root for an EFF lawsuit and also oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty extending this outrage to a bunch of countries without it!
Other features of the update
The update will also get Calibre on speaking terms with the six-inch Aura Edition 2. Like the Kobo One, this ereader will hit the stores next month.You can preorder both devices starting August 30.
Before the update takes effect, you need to do your homework within the Device menu at the top of Calibre and


Original URL: https://teleread.org/2016/08/27/calibre-2-65-1-update-kobo-aura-one-aura-edition-2-now-have-a-driver/

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Hyphen is nearly the best DRM-free ePub reader available for iOS

Why does iOS have so many good plain-vanilla DRM-free ePub reading applications? I already checked out Marvin, whose latest version carries on the tradition of offering a remarkable number of features in a single application. Now I’ve had a look at Hyphen, which is very nearly as good.
Hyphen is available in a free trial version, which limits you to reading the single book you just added, or a full version for $2.99. It’s certainly a worthwhile purchase at the price. My one reservation is that Marvin may make it a touch redundant.
I suppose it just goes to show how impressed I was by Marvin that while I was reading with Hyphen, I kept catching myself thinking, “That’s just like Marvin” or “That’s almost as good as Marvin.” For starters, you can add e-books to the device from Apple’s Cloud Drive, Dropbox, or Google Drive, just as with Marvin. (Though you


Original URL: https://teleread.org/2016/07/05/hyphen-is-nearly-the-best-drm-free-epub-reader-available-for-ios/

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TeleRead 2.0: Why change matters

When I first started writing for TeleRead, it was all about ebooks. They were still a new thing. They needed their own platform. Over the years, TeleRead has evolved to cover other kinds of stories, targeting authors, educators and other tech users with a mix of news and how-tos.
This past year, our esteemed editor David Rothman has called for a return to the ‘ebooks only’ focus, in part to try and improve the site’s SEO and other techie specs. But as a contributor, I’ve really struggled with this change. I’ve found that as people shift their reading format to blogs, RSS feeds, social media and other platforms—and as their device use shifts to tablets, phones and other multi-purpose devices—it’s harder than it used to be to tell what is an ‘ebook story’ and what is not.
When I started writing for TeleRead, there was one place to buy ebooks, and it


Original URL: https://teleread.org/2016/06/24/teleread-2-0-why-change-matters/

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