As expected, Apple on Tuesday introduced variable pricing on iTunes, meaning that some popular tracks now cost $1.29 instead of $0.99. Less expected: Amazon.com has followed Apple into the fray. Scroll down today's list of top downloads, and you'll see a few tracks at $1.29.
The controversy regarding the text-to-speech function offered by Amazon.com's Kindle 2 digital book reader appears to be heating up again.
Groups advocating for the blind and reading disabled on Tuesday held a protest at the Manhattan offices of the Authors Guild. The guild was very vocal in opposing the text-to-speech technology in the Kindle. The group, which represents 4,000 authors, argued that the Kindle infringes on copyright and could hurt audio book sales.
The whole debate seemed to be over in February when Amazon appeared to give in. The Web's largest retailer said it had decided … Read more
The DS has a new add-on that includes a pedometer to help you measure your walking. We don't know if it will slim down the Mii that got fat ignoring Wii Fit. Australia is going on an all-fiber diet for their Internet needs, and the AP wants everyone to stop linking to them. OK! Careful what you wish for?Listen now: Download today's podcast Episode 947
Healthcare records: Google gets pharmacies, MS hospitals http://news.cnet.com/8301-1001_3-10213205-92.html http://arstechnica.com/business/news/2009/04/healthcare-records-google-gets-pharmacies-ms-hospitals.ars
Australia to build a fiber network for all http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/08/technology/internet/08broadband.html?partner=rss&emc=rss… Read more
The NPD Group just sent out some interesting statistics, based on a study conducted by its music-tracking service.
"In 2008, 87 percent of digital-music buyers in the U.S. used iTunes to download music, versus just 16 percent who used Amazon MP3," according to a spokesman for the research group. (Those surveyed could list more than one store.)
On the face of it, the study's numbers don't sound so bad.
Russ Crupnick, an NPD analyst agreed that they should encourage Amazon. For one, the online retailer's music store is in second place only 18 months … Read more
Raise your hand if this sounds familiar: you have just under $25 worth of stuff in your Amazon shopping cart--not quite enough to qualify for free shipping--so you go trolling the site for something small and inexpensive to tip the scales.
Of course, finding the right something is never easy, so you decide to treat yourself to an item on your wish list...and end up spending way more than you'd planned. Amazing how easy it is to justify spending money to save money, no?
Superfiller makes it a snap to find "filler" items that bring your … Read more
The debate about the validity of internal cloud implementations has raged on for some time now, with some claiming that cloud computing and wholly owned infrastructure don't mix, and others pointing out that applying "on demand," "at scale," and "multitennant" to enterprise IT data centers offers unique advantages to those who have already made that investment. It has been difficult, however, to do an objective comparison of the two approaches--until now.
The announcement on Thursday of Amazon's new Hadoop-based Elastic MapReduce service, combined with the introduction of a commercial Hadoop distribution from start-up Cloudera, … Read more
This was originally posted at ZDNet's Between the Lines.
A correction has been made to this story. See details below.
Amazon on Thursday announced a new cloud computing service that uses Hadoop, a free software framework, to crunch tons of data.
The service, called Amazon Elastic MapReduce, is designed for businesses, researchers and analysts trying to conduct data intensive number crunching (statement). Hadoop, which is used by companies like Yahoo, is trying to be pushed into the enterprise data center by start-ups like Cloudera.
Correction, 7:15 a.m. PDT: This story initially miscast Google's connection to Hadoop. … Read more
Updated to include links to Opencloudmanifesto.org.
The discussion of the document has been muted, in part because the document is not a standards declaration or contract attached to any action or entity. Instead, it serves as a simple statement of principles that … Read more
Blockbuster and TiVo announced a deal Wednesday that will make between 5,000 and 10,000 films available to TiVo users. Customers will be able to rent ($4) or buy ($20) films, including current major titles. It's about time: Netflix and Amazon's on-demand services are already available on TiVo. Netflix offers approximately 12,000 older and less compelling titles on the box, but Netflix users don't need to pay anything beyond their monthly fee to access movies on the DVR. Those who want to use Amazon's service, which already offers most of the films Blockbuster will stream, pay about the same rental fees as Blockbuster will charge.
I've called Blockbuster to task on its late release of contemporary technology, but I wanted to give the company a chance to respond, so I discussed what I consider Blockbuster's shortcomings with its newly installed senior vice president of digital entertainment, Kevin Lewis.
Lewis contends that his company is more than just a movie rental chain. He says Blockbuster is an entertainment retailer, which is why it wanted to make its service available to TiVo users.
"We are the only entertainment retailer with the ability to serve you a movie where you want, when you want it, how you want," Lewis said. "Whether it's at one of our stores, through virtual kiosks, or via downloads on a box like the TiVo, we can provide you with the most robust service." He told me that unlike Netflix, Amazon, and any other competitor, Blockbuster has the opportunity to service its customers across multiple channels, making its deal with TiVo all the more compelling.
"We recognize that our consumers don't act the same way every time because their needs are different," Lewis said. "Because of that, we plan to go wherever the consumer goes. And although Netflix and Amazon are already on the TiVo box, when we get there, users will know that we're the only company of the three that can offer them a movie no matter how they want it. Our competitors don't have that multi-channel capability. It's our special sauce."… Read more
Cloud computing is the first major IT market disruption that has taken place in the world of open source software, "the wisdom of crowds" and the community collaboration revolution of Web 2.0. The concept of the cloud is trying to grow and evolve in an atmosphere in which technologists expect input on the technology they are being asked to rely on, and IT management expects input on the strategies they are being asked to adopt.