Once upon a time, you might tell your children, there were buildings called libraries. A resident of a city or town, you would explain, could walk into one and borrow books--for free!
Libraries aren't likely to fade into history just yet, of course, but the possibility is more plausible given Amazon's discussions about offering an annual subscription plan for e-book access described in a Wall Street Journal report yesterday.
Brash and quirky Groupon is arguably one of the fastest-growing Web juggernauts ever. But recent doubts about its IPO, along with soaring marketing costs, a steep traffic decline, executive departures, and a lawsuit filed against the company by its own sales reps have people questioning whether Groupon--and indeed, the daily-deals phenomenon it touched off--are showing signs of flaming out.
Amazon is reportedly planning a Netflix-like subscription service for e-books, in a move that would be another perk for Amazon Prime subscribers.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon is in talks with book publishers about subscription access to a library of e-books. Now, there are a bevy of issues with this concept. The Journal notes that publishers are wary and the latest titles may be excluded--just like with Netflix's streaming service.
For Amazon, this e-book library is likely to be lumped in with its Amazon Prime services. Today, you pay Amazon $79 a year and you get unlimited … Read more
Netflix can now digest FroYo and Gingerbread. Or maybe it's the other way around.... Regardless, the video-streaming service's Android app now works on all devices running version 2.2 or 2.3, which would be the vast majority of Android phones and a number of tablets. Honeycomb users still get no red-envelope love, however.
Version 1.4 of the app dropped into the Android Market yesterday. Up until this version, Netflix had been compatible with a much smaller number of devices, with the development team tackling each device one at a time. In fact, when the app for Android first debuted in May, it was only functional on five devices.
Back then the company said it was having a hard time dealing with the notorious problem of Android fragmentation and had to "qualify phones" one at a time.
With subsequent releases, the number of compatible devices grew to 9 and then 24, and now it's everything except gadgets being used by the poor souls still stuck on Android 2.1, and the majority of Honeycomb tablets. According to Google's statistics, more than 82 percent of Android users are on FroYo or Gingerbread.
The app is free, but naturally you'll have to pony up $7.99 a month for the privilege of streaming "Cars 2" to your Droid 2. Trust me, your 2-year-old will love you for it.… Read more
If you had to start life all over again today, what would be the things you'd need the most?
A roof over your brains, surely. A bed, perhaps. Running water, too. How about a toilet that worked?
I ask this perhaps unnecessary question because of a survey conducted by London's Science Museum. Scientists always care about people, so they asked 3,000 of them what things in this fair world they couldn't live without.
Because people are insane optimists, the one thing that these respondents claimed they couldn't live without was sunshine.
As tomorrow's September 11 anniversary dominates headlines and a former Air Force One pilot recalls his nervousness during the attacks, Japan is in damage-control mode over the posting of President Obama's flight plan to an air traffic controller's personal blog.
Japan's Transportation Ministry said today that an air traffic controller at the Tokyo International Airport at Haneda could be charged for leaking national secrets, the New York Times reports.
The controller posted detailed flight plans for Air Force One--plans usually kept secret--regarding a visit to Asia by President Obama in November. He also posted information about an American military drone that was taking radiation readings near the earthquake-hobbled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Japanese officials said they learned of the leak Monday.
The controller apparently posted the 12 pages of information simply to show his friends, the Times reports, in what seems to be yet another example of someone displaying remarkable cluelessness as to the sensitivity of data and the public nature of the Web.
Earlier this week, a prestigious hospital confirmed that a spreadsheet containing private patient data had wound up online as, it seems, a component of a student's homework assignment. And the Times points out that the flight plan leak recalls an episode in 2007 when a Japanese Navy officer copied classified data about a U.S. radar system and handed it out on CD-ROMs to classmates at his naval school. … Read more
It is well accepted that, if there were commercial gain involved, Google might not be averse to peering inside the most intimate parts of your life.
However, sometimes the company manages to cast its gaze without even realizing just how close to you it is.
I am sure some will be grateful to the always generous Smoking Gun for leading them (in a SFW way) to a street in Miami, where a woman is standing outside her front door naked. (The story of these interesting pixels was originally broken by the Random Pixels blog)
One Motorola Mobility is worth 100 Zagats. That's the latest rate on the Google currency exchange, from a company that acquires historic brands with as much gusto as Jay Leno scoops up vintage rides at an antique car show.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Mountain View, Calif.-based Google paid $125 million for the legendary restaurant review company, or about 1 percent the proposed purchase price for Motorola, which Google came to terms with last month.
Zagat put itself on the block three years ago. Back then its estimated value was $200 million, but apparently there were … Read more