I'm definitely in the figurative 1 percent audiophile group, but I'm not wealthy. I know it might seem old-fashioned, but there was a time not so long ago when all sorts of people listened to music at home over a hi-fi. They weren't necessarily audiophiles, but they had a turntable or CD player, an amplifier or stereo receiver, and a pair of speakers. They also listened in cars, but the home hi-fi was where the bulk of their music collection was. Nowadays audiophiles might be the only people listening -- really listening -- to music at home; … Read more
You can read what you want into this special sale, but discounting certain e-ink Kindles to as low as $47 would seem to indicate that Amazon is starting to clear stock to make room for new models.
Alas, the 40 percent discount on "select Kindle devices and Kindle accessories" is only available to folks who are Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card holders, with the additional restriction of one promo code per customer (and yes, the usual disclaimer that limited quantities are available applies here).
Which Kindles are eligible for the sale? Just the entry-level non touch-screen models. The … Read more
BARCELONA, Spain--Microsoft wants to be known as the people's smartphone company.
The software giant said today that it had lowered the minimum requirements to build a Windows Phone, a move that allows vendors to construct less-expensive devices that can appeal to more budget-conscious customers and first-time smartphone buyers.
The shift represents an attempt to expand Microsoft's addressable market, vital to the company's bid to regain a measure of relevancy in the smartphone business. The company had previously maintained a strict list of specifications that vendors had to follow, which at the time made the devices fairly high-end. … Read more
Big surprise, Google continued to reign over all other U.S. search engines in January with 66.2 percent share, according to data released today by market researcher ComScore.
Not only did Google overshadow all other engines, it also managed to take some of Yahoo's traffic and grow by 0.3 percentage points.
Yahoo did not have it easy last month--users' searches decreased by 0.4 percent putting it at 14.1 percent share. It was the only search engine not to increase share or at least keep the status quo in January.
Over the last year, Yahoo's … Read more
This was an exciting/anxious year in the Internet security community, with big tech firms like Sony and RSA getting hacked, putting consumer data and corporate networks at risk, and with reports of attacks on utilities.
Scary things that go bump in the night are actually happening to computer systems that matter and it's only going to get worse. Here's what I think will happen in 2012.
Malicious Android apps will increase As a target for malicious software, Android is the Microsoft of the mobile platform. Android has more than 50 percent of the smartphone market, eclipsing all … Read more
Many Googlers are spending time working on technology to help Japan in the aftermath of last week's devastating earthquake, tsunami, and developing nuclear crisis. One of the tools being used in the crisis response is Fusion Tables, according to Riku Inoue, product manager at Google and lead for Google Labs. The application is a service that manages large collections of tabular data in the cloud.
In response to the disaster in Japan, Google has set up a multilingual Crisis Response page with resources on emergency hotlines, relief organizations, shelter information, blackout status, donation channels and maps, as well as … Read more
Links from Friday's episode of Loaded:
Google releases its 2010 Zeitgeist with the year's fastest growing and most popular search terms
YouTube will now allow a select group of users to upload video longer than 15 minutes, which used to be the maximum time limit allowed
Yahoo revamps Yahoo Local
A new Pew Research study shows that only 8 percent of online Americans are on TwitterHoward Stern renews his contract with Sirius XM Satellite Radio and will now be available on Sirius mobile phone apps
In what may be a pre-emptive strike against the strong possibility that Apple will reveal a slate-style device on January 27, Amazon has said it will up the royalty for authors and publishers who use the Kindle Digital Text Platform (DTP) to 70 percent of the list price of their e-books. That's a big jump from its current 35 percent royalty rate and not coincidentally, the same number Apple doles out to developers who sell their apps in Apple's App Store.
Starting on June 30, Amazon says that for each Kindle book sold, authors and publishers who select the new 70 percent royalty option will receive 70 percent of the list price, minus delivery costs. This new option will be in addition to and will not replace the existing DTP standard royalty option, which is set at a 65-35 split, with 65 percent going to Amazon.
Amazon didn't have any comment about whether the new pricing was a response to Apple's royalty program for its App Store, which offers thousands of e-books as self-contained apps along with e-reader apps from Amazon (Kindle for iPhone, Stanza), Barnes & Noble, and other e-book stores. But it did say that delivery costs will be based on file size and pricing will be 15 cents per megabyte.
"At today's median DTP file size of 368KB, delivery costs would be less than $0.06 per unit sold," the news release notes. "This new program can thus enable authors and publishers to make more money on every sale. For example, on an $8.99 book an author would make $3.15 with the standard option, and $6.25 with the new 70 percent option."
The announcement also sets some parameters around the 70 percent royalty option. To qualify, books must satisfy the following set of requirements: … Read more
Back in April, we reported that sales for Blu-ray Discs had nearly doubled in the first quarter compared with the year before, according to Adams Media Research. Now the Digital Entertainment Group (DEG) has issued a press release saying that U.S. Blu-ray sales are up 91 percent in the first half of 2009, which indicates that the format is maintaining its growth pace despite the recession.
Blu-ray and digital downloads were a bright spot in the DEG's report. Overall, consumer spending for prerecorded entertainment was down 3.9 percent compared with the same period last year, with net … Read more
Google is looking for ways to make sure its engineers have ways to get their ideas up the food chain before they take them somewhere else.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Google has begun to hold "innovation reviews," where employees can pitch their bosses on their latest idea or product, who then in turn take the idea before Google's ruling triumvirate of CEO Eric Schmidt and co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. It's part of an effort to make sure the ideas conceived in a Google employee's famous "20 percent time" have … Read more