Kindle library lending feature in beta testing, national launch coming soon


While the Barnes & Noble Nook and the Sony Reader have offered the ability to check out library books in a digital format for a while, Amazon has been slow to roll out support for the function. Announced in April, Amazon partnered with a company called OverDrive that works with over 13,000 public libraries in providing e-book support. Since that announcement, Amazon has been quiet about the development of the relationship as well as the timeline on when the Kindle would be able to access the OverDrive service. As of this week, Amazon started a beta test of the service with public libraries in the Seattle area including the Seattle Public Library.

Amazon-KindleIn order to borrow an e-book from the library and have it delivered onto the Kindle, a user visits the the website of the U.S. library partnered with OverDrive and searches the catalog. Assuming the user has a valid library card, they simply click “Get for Kindle” and the browser is redirected to the corresponding Amazon page. The user can then choose to transfer the book to an authorized Kindle, the free reading app or the Kindle Cloud Reader. However, this service will not work over a 3G connection. The user must have an active Wi-Fi connection to receive the book, otherwise they will be forced to download the e-book to a USB memory stick and transferring the content on a Mac or Windows computer.

According to OverDrive, the Kindle 1, Kindle 2, Kindle DX and Kindle 3 are all supported for accessing e-books through the library portal. E-book’s typically have a check-out time of two weeks before the book becomes unavailable and Amazon sends out reminder emails when the loan expiration date is within three days. Since the library is paying for a license to lend the book, it’s possible for digital copies to be checked out and users will have to place their name on a waiting list to gain access to the most popular titles.

Emerging Tech

Want to work in the stars? Here are six future space jobs you could hold

Ever dreamed of leaving Earth to work in the stars? Here's a list of job titles that might sound like science fiction now, but almost certainly won’t a decade or two in the future.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX is on a hiring spree for its Starlink global internet project

After a string of delays, SpaceX's Starlink project was finally launched last month. Now an analysis of data from SpaceX's job listings shows the company is on a hiring tear, advertising for more and more positions for the project.
Emerging Tech

Ready to roll: Mars 2020 rover fitted with wheels ahead of mission next year

The Mars 2020 rover is getting ready for its trip to the red planet next year. The latest step in readying the rover is installing its wheels and suspension system, which engineers at NASA have been doing this month.
Emerging Tech

You can help search for aliens with an open access release of SETI data

The Breakthrough Initiatives, a program to search for extraterrestrial intelligence, recently analyzed its first three years of radio telescope data. And all of the data collected is being made publicly available in an open data archive.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Illuminated keyboards and a retro gaming console

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

The U.K.’s biggest (and only) asteroid mining company has designs on our skies

Is the founder and CEO of the U.K.'s Asteroid Mining Corporation going to be among the first people to strike it rich in space, or is he just chasing an ambitious but doomed mirage?
Emerging Tech

Tiny galaxy has huge black hole at its center, gives clues to galactic evolution

A Hubble image shows a tiny galaxy which could hold the clue to unraveling a longstanding question about the evolution of galaxies. Despite its small size, it hosts a feature found in much larger galaxies -- a supermassive black hole.
Emerging Tech

Dark matter galaxy crashed into the Milky Way, causing the ripples in its disk

New research suggests hundreds of million of years ago, the Milky Way collided with Antlia 2, a nearby dwarf galaxy dominated by dark matter. The collision caused ripples in the disk of gas around the Milky Way which we still observe today.
Emerging Tech

Uranus’ rings shine brightly but hold a puzzle for astronomers

New images reveal the rings around Uranus, which are almost invisible to most telescopes. But there's a strange puzzle about them -- why they don't contain any small dust-sized particles.
Emerging Tech

U.S. Navy is working on making its fleet invisible to computerized surveillance

The U.S. Navy’s ever-innovative Office of Naval Research is working on a way to turn the United States military fleet invisible. Well, to cutting-edge image-recognition systems, at least.

Apple’s new Seattle campus may mean big things for Siri, artificial intelligence

Apple plans to hire 2,000 more employees for a new Seattle campus, the company announced Monday, with a significant number of those jobs focused on Siri and artificial intelligence.
Emerging Tech

How to watch SpaceX’s most difficult Falcon Heavy launch ever

SpaceX will launch a Falcon Heavy rocket Monday evening in its most challenging launch yet. The launch is scheduled for Monday June 24 at 8:30 p.m. PT, but is dependent on weather conditions. You can watch NASA's livestream with coverage…
Emerging Tech

SpaceX launches Falcon Heavy but loses core booster in crash landing

SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy blazed spectacularly through the Florida sky early Tuesday local time as the world’s largest operational rocket embarked on its third and most challenging mission to date.
Emerging Tech

Self-assembling microrobots can be programmed to form a tiny steerable car

A new type of self-assembling mobile micromachine can be programmed to assemble into different formations -- ranging from a tiny car to a miniature rocket. Here's why that's so exciting.