In an antitrust lawsuit filed last April, federal prosecutors accused Apple and five book publishers of conspiring to artificially hike prices. The same day, the Justice Department announced it had reached settlements with three publishers but said Apple and the other two publishers had opted to fight the charges. Lagardere SCA's Hachette Book Group, News Corp.'s HarperCollins Publishers, and Simon & Schuster (owned by CBS, which publishes CNET) agreed to settle. … Read more
Tablets are great and all, but if you're mostly into reading, it's hard to beat an e-reader. Eye-friendly screens, ultra-light designs, amazing battery life -- the perks go on and on.
And let's not forget price. Amazon's entry-level Kindle is now down to $69. But here's an even more wallet-friendly option: Best Buy has the Kobo Mini e-reader for $59.99 shipped (plus sales tax). That's for the white model; the black one literally sold out while I was writing this post.
So that's only a $10 difference, right? And when you factor … Read more
I have always found the marriage thing fascinating.
Though I've never managed it myself, I have been best man five times. This has brought me up close to the deep-seated neuroses surrounding the happy day.
What should the happy couple wear? What color should the flowers be? Should there be a vegetarian option? And, of course, most vital, who should be invited?
I had always imagined that those not invited would accept the slight with good grace or permanent spite.
I had also imagined that those who didn't quite make the cut would at least be offered a … Read more
When I heard about Amazon Coins, the company's virtual currency for making Kindle Fire app and in-app purchases starting in May, I immediately grew worried.
Amazon's customer focus, something I find sorely absent at money-extraction engines such as airlines and banks, has kept me loyal for years. I'm concerned, though, that the Amazon Coins program is a step in the wrong direction for Amazon customers.
In short, I don't like the inflexibility, costs, changeable rules, and risks that can be attached to virtual currency. I dislike it when there's a special form of money that … Read more
Microsoft is ratcheting up its attacks on Google with a campaign urging users of the Web giant's e-mail service to dump Gmail for its own Outlook.com over privacy concerns.
In its national campaign titled "Don't get scroogled by Gmail," Microsoft dredges up an old issue with Google's free e-mail service: Google scans users' e-mails to determine relevant advertisements to place alongside the messages.
Microsoft says a study it commissioned found that 70 percent of consumers polled were unaware that major e-mail providers "routinely" scan e-mail to sell ads and that nearly 90 … Read more
Online consumers may one day be able to sell or trade their digital items to other users, at least if a new Amazon patent comes to fruition.
Granted to the retail giant on January 29, the patent dubbed "Secondary market for digital objects" describes an electronic marketplace for swapping digital items.
You'd start off by housing your purchased music, videos, apps, and e-books in your own online storage space, just as many of us do today. When you get tired of listening to the same songs or reading the same books, you can move those items to … Read more
Google has signed a deal to acquire e-commerce-solutions company Channel Intelligence for $125 million in cash.
Channel's parent company, ICG, announced the deal today.
Channel's technologies are designed to boost the sale of products online. The company offers a Facebook platform, product search engines, and other services created for companies looking to improve product sales. Channel, based near Orlando, Fla., claims that it "drives $2 billion in sales annually in referred sales online in computing products, home improvement products, appliances, consumer electronics, toys and a variety of other consumer packaged goods."
Google is obviously no stranger … Read more
A little more than a year after introducing its self-publishing book software, Apple is heavily promoting some works that were made using it.
The company today began promoting some of those titles in a new section called "Breakout Books" which rounds up books that have high user ratings. That spans across three genres: romance; sci-fi and fantasy; and mysteries and thrillers, along with a collection of other titles.
For the first time ever, worldwide e-commerce sales exceeded $1 trillion, according to new data from research firm eMarketer.
The first $1 trillion mark was reached in 2012, with sales up 21.1 percent from the previous year, according to eMarketer. The company said that it expects e-commerce sales to grow this year by 18.3 percent to end 2013 at $1.3 trillion in worldwide sales.
In addition, the company expects North America to lose its position as the leading e-commerce market to the Asia-Pacific region. Last year, Asia-Pacific's share of total e-commerce spending was 30.5 percent, … Read more
It is possible for an online business to endure.
It's even possible for an online business to have the same ad campaign for more than a few clicks of the mouse and the clock.
So during the third quarter of today's roughhouse foot-fest, you will see E*Trade's baby again. Yes, yet again.
While CareerBuilder's chimps have departed the Super Bowl arena, this little tyke is still offering his wise, non-Madoffian assessment of how you can ensure people won't make off with your money.
E*Trade's little ones have captured hearts in ways that … Read more