Tagged: Amazon Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Gerrit Eicker 07:00 on 28. December 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Amazon, , , eBook Sellers, , , , ,   

    eBook Sellers 

    The sphere of eBook sellers is growing: from Amazon to tech companies to self-publishers; http://eicker.at/DigitalReading

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 10:11 on 11. March 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Amazon, , , , , , , ,   

    eBooks Pricing 

    pC: Who should control the pricing of eBooks? Publishers or Amazon? http://j.mp/zFvCmg #eBooks http://eicker.at/eBooks

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 14:57 on 7. February 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Amazon, Amazon Store, , , , , , Brick and Click, , , Click and Brick, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Seattle, , , , , , ,   

    Amazon Store? 

    Is Amazon going to open a store in Seattle? Physical bricks around the corner? Clicks to bricks? http://eicker.at/AmazonStore

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 14:57 on 7. February 2012 Permalink | Reply

      GER: “Amazon sources close to the situation have told us that the company is planning on rolling out a retail store in Seattle within the next few months. This project is a test to gauge the market and see if a chain of stores would be profitable. They intend on going with the small boutique route with the main emphasis on books from their growing line of Amazon Exclusives and selling their e-readers and tablets. – Seattle is where Amazon’s main headquarters is based and is known as a fairly tech savvy market. It is a perfect launch location to get some hands on experience in the retail sphere. … The company has already contracted the design layout of the retail location through a shell company, which is not unusual for Amazon. … The store itself is not just selling tangible items like e-readers and tablets, but also their books. Amazon recently started their own publishing division and has locked up many indie and prominent figures to write exclusively for the company. … This is exciting news and Amazon in a great position to make a strong go out of their retail endeavors. They are starting out local and small mainly to test the waters with the new store, but also to figure out how they’re going to avoid paying massive taxes.

      GigaOM: “The move into retail, if it proves true, would be a big turning point for Amazon and one that ultimately makes sense though the move doesn’t seem intuitive considering Amazon’s online roots. … One of the reasons Amazon has shied away from pursuing retail stores is to avoid charging taxes, something it must do in a handful of states. But increasingly, it looks like Amazon is accepting taxes as inevitable and so there may be fewer barriers to moving into a retail stores. … The upside is that Amazon can let people get hands-on with their products, and they can provide a high level of customer service, especially for its Kindle line of tablets and e-readers. … Amazon has signed deals to get Kindles in a lot of existing retail stores but having its own boutiques could be a way to really highlight its products. … I agree that Amazon needs to think about building out its whole service. It’s not an online seller, it’s a seller. And that means you work to provide the best selling experience possible. … The strategy is not going to threaten Walmart any time soon. I don’t think Amazon wants to go the big box route… It could be that the new store remains just a test and not a long-term bet. But I still think it’s likely that we might see local Amazon stores when all is said and done.

      TNW: “If Amazon is to roll this initiative out permanently and further afield, it will have to feel confident that its profits will be bolstered accordingly, so it will be interesting to see how the associated overheads of running a store will be factored in to its launch strategy. Furthermore, this will have implications on its efforts to sidestep states’ sales taxes on the grounds that it operates online. – Back in December, we reported on eBay’s first bricks-and-mortar store in the UK, a boutique that opened for only five days and saw 2,500 customers arrive through its doors. It didn’t have any tills, and it was pretty much a ‘QR code shopping emporium’, with shoppers able to browse over 350 items provided by a selection of the top-rated eBay sellers, with purchases made using mobile devices.”

      RWW: “It’s not a new rumor (it dates as far back as 2009), and it would be a departure from Amazon’s strategy thus far. In December, Launch reported the retail store rumor, adding that Amazon plans to sell its own branded merchandise. Amazon is better known for threatening real-world retail than for promoting it. But Amazon’s moves in the past few months make the strategy seem more sensible. … Amazon has avoided sales taxes by remaining a purely online retailer, giving its customers the incentive of the lowest price. But lately, sales taxes on online purchases have started to seem inevitable, as Amazon’s deal with the state of California shows. Once Amazon resigns itself to sales taxes, that’s one fewer reason not to bring its retail might into physical stores.

      VB: “Rather than being a high-inventory big-box retailer on a Target or Walmart scale, the Amazon store is said to be planned as a boutique carrying high-end, high-profit-margin items as well as the brand’s Kindle line and accessories. – In a way, it would be a bit like the Apple stores one sees in every shopping mall these days, with a few big-ticket goodies in other verticals, as well.”

      TC: “This will also encourage the movement from the agent-publisher-distributor model of book publishing into a direct to consumer model that Amazon will spearhead. … As I said before, the Fire is Amazon’s Trojan Horse. However, rather than the wary hold-outs bringing in Amazon’s market by buying the fire, Amazon will bring the Trojans to their own branded stores.”

      pC: “The report comes at the same time as bookstore chains Barnes und Noble, Books-A-Million and Canada’s Indigo are saying they will not carry Amazon Publishing titles in their stores, though it is unclear how that boycott will actually be carried out.

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:39 on 23. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Amazon, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Tablets and eReaders 

    Pew: Tablet and eBook reader ownership nearly double over the holiday gift-giving period; http://eicker.at/TabletseReaders

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:39 on 23. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Pew: “The share of adults in the United States who own tablet computers nearly doubled from 10% to 19% between mid-December and early January and the same surge in growth also applied to e-book readers, which also jumped from 10% to 19% over the same time period. – The number of Americans owning at least one of these digital reading devices jumped from 18% in December to 29% in January. … These findings are striking because they come after a period from mid-2011 into the autumn in which there was not much change in the ownership of tablets and e-book readers. However, as the holiday gift-giving season approached the marketplace for both devices dramatically shifted. In the tablet world, Amazon’s Kindle Fire and Barnes and Noble’s Nook Tablet were introduced at considerably cheaper prices than other tablets. In the e-book reader world, some versions of the Kindle and Nook and other readers fell well below $100.

      Pew: “The surge in ownership of tablet computers was especially notable among those with higher levels of education and those living in households earning more than $75,000. More than a third of those living in households earning more than $75,000 (36%) now own a tablet computer. And almost a third of those with college educations or higher (31%) own the devices. Additionally, those under age 50 saw a particularly significant leap in tablet ownership. … The story with the growth in e-book readers was somewhat different from the story with tablet computers. Ownership of e-readers among women grew more than among men. Those with more education and higher incomes also lead the pack when it comes to e-book ownership, but the gap between them and others isn’t as dramatic.

      NYT: “The holiday season spawned a huge marketing and advertising push for the Nook Tablet, Barnes und Noble’s latest color device, and the Kindle Fire from Amazon. While many consumers bought the costlier Apple iPad at $500, tablets from Barnes und Noble and Amazon cost less than $250, a more tempting price for a Christmas gift. Some black-and-white e-readers cost less than $100. – ‘Publishers are putting a lot of effort into e-books; apps developers are cranking out more and more tools for tablets; libraries and tech companies are making e-books easier to borrow,’ Lee Rainie, director of the Internet and American Life Project, said in an e-mail. ‘So the ecosystem of these devices is making them more valuable.'”

      VB: “Leading the pack is Amazon, which sells a slate of Kindle e-readers and tablets. The online retail giant claimed to have sold units in its Kindle lineup at a rate of one million e-readers per week during the holiday push. … However, money still plays some role in whether or not a given consumer decides to spring for a tablet. – While some demographic factors such as race and gender showed little or no statistically significant variations among tablet owners, education and correlating factors such as income showed strong proportional relationships to tablet and e-reader ownership.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 18:03 on 19. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Amazon, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , iBooks 2, iBooks Author, , , , , , , iTunes U, iTunes U App, , , , Kno, , , , , , , , ,   

    iBooks 2, iBooks Author, iTunes U 

    Apple wants to reinvent textbooks and eBook publishing: iBooks 2, iBooks Author, iTunes U; http://eicker.at/iBooks

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 18:03 on 19. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Apple: “iBooks Textbooks for iPad. – Introducing an entirely new kind of textbook that’s dynamic, current, engrossing, and truly interactive. A textbook created by publishers using a new authoring tool from Apple. A textbook brought to life by iPad. … For hundreds of years, textbooks have put a world of knowledge in the hands of students. But while the way people learn has changed dramatically, the traditional textbook has stayed the same. … Today’s students have grown up completely immersed in technology. iPod, iPad, computer – these are the ways they interact with their world. They need a textbook made for the way they learn. … A Multi-Touch textbook on iPad is a gorgeous, full-screen experience full of interactive diagrams, photos, and videos. No longer limited to static pictures to illustrate the text, now students can dive into an image with interactive captions, rotate a 3D object, or have the answer spring to life in a chapter review. They can flip through a book by simply sliding a finger along the bottom of the screen. Highlighting text, taking notes, searching for content, and finding definitions in the glossary are just as easy. And with all their books on a single iPad, students will have no problem carrying them wherever they go.

      GigaOM: “Textbooks in iBooks 2 also incorporate highlighting, note-taking, and interactive Q&A sections at the end of each chapter, which also provide immediate feedback; no more hunting for a key in a separate book or appendix to see how you did. Notes and highlights are automatically turned into flashcards for study purposes. In short, it looks like Apple has taken a lot of the best aspects of services like Inkling and Kno and integrated them into its own product. – The new textbooks reside in a dedicated iBookstore category, and will offer free samples before you buy. The iBooks 2 app is free, and is available today via the App Store. Textbooks will be priced at $14.99 or less, and initially be aimed at the high school market. That’s some seriously competitive pricing, and Apple’s initial partners are Pearson, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, which together are responsible for 90 percent of textbooks available, according to Schiller.”

      TC: “This move is centered around reinvent the textbook. Schiller explained today that Apple sees textbooks as amazing devices, but they’re heavy, not searchable or durable. According to Apple the iPad is the perfect counter. It’s portable, durable, interactive, searchable, current and capable of containing even richer content. … This announcement puts Kno in a bad position. iBooks 2 packs many of Kno’s prime features into a native iPad app. Kno might have the edge with content, though. The company has long worked with the top education publishers and has an impressive library of textbooks. Kno, as a 3rd party app, has the advantage of being able to embrace other platforms like the web and Android where iBooks 2 will likely remain only on the iPad.

      Apple: “iBooks Author.Available free on the Mac App store, iBooks Author is an amazing new app that allows anyone to create beautiful Multi-Touch textbooks – and just about any other kind of book – for iPad. With galleries, video, interactive diagrams, 3D objects, and more, these books bring content to life in ways the printed page never could. … No need to let the blank page scare you. Just start with an Apple-designed templates. Each template has a variety of page layouts to choose from – or create one of your own. … iBooks Author makes it simple to flow in text, graphics, movies, and more, so your book looks exactly the way you want. Drag and drop a Pages or Microsoft Word document to the Book navigator to add it as a new section. Then, when you drag and drop in images, your type automatically flows around them. … iBooks Author has everything you need to create a great-looking book. Add text, shapes, charts, tables, and Multi-Touch widgets anywhere on the page with a single click. Mask images, use alignment guides – even add reflections and shadows. It’s as easy as using a word processor, but powerful enough to design more advanced layouts. … As you’re building your book, check out how it looks by previewing it on your iPad. When it’s just the way you want and you’re ready to publish, iBooks Author helps you submit to the iBookstore for purchase or free download. You can also export it in iBooks format to share on iTunes U or to give to anyone with an iPad.

      GigaOM: “iBooks Author comes with a template choose to help you get started quickly, and then you can click and drag your own media to add images, video, audio and other content to your book. You can even add things like 3-D models, which we saw demoed in the iBooks 2 unveiling earlier, as well as interactive elements like image galleries. … Amazingly, Apple’s iBooks Author is free, and is available today on the Mac App Store. This will definitely help attract content creators to the iBooks platform, and could also seriously impact the ability of competitors to sell publishing suites aimed at doing similar things.

      TC: “All the magic happens in a new OSX application called iBooks Author, which gives users a simple way to integrate different types of media in order to create iBooks of any stripe. What’s more, iBooks Author will be available today for free, so all you aspiring iBook creators can get started post haste. … That’s all well and good, but the real meat here is the ability to add interactive elements to an iBook with minimal headaches. Presentations created in Keynote can be dragged directly into iBook Author for inclusion as an interactive widget, and those who have worked with HTML and JavaScript can create more robust widgets on their own. Also included are a nifty glossary creation tool (essentially a two-click process), and the ability to publish the iBook directly into the store.

      Apple: “iTunes U – If you’re an educator at a university, college, or K-12 school, now you have an easy way to design and distribute complete courses featuring audio, video, books, and other content. And students and lifelong learners can experience your courses for free through a powerful new app for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. … The free iTunes U app gives students access to all the materials for your course in a single place. Right in the app, they can play video or audio lectures. Read books and view presentations. See a list of all the assignments for the course and check them off as they’re completed. And when you send a message or create a new assignment, students receive a push notification with the new information. … The iTunes U app integrates with iBooks, iCloud, and other apps to make it easy for students to keep up with your course. For example, new iBooks Textbooks2 and other books for the course are available right from the app, where students can tap them to start reading the assigned chapter. Notes taken in iBooks are consolidated for easy reviewing in the iTunes U app. If an assignment includes watching part of a video, one tap goes straight to a specific spot in the video. And iTunes U keeps documents, notes, highlights, and bookmarks up to date across multiple devices.

      VB: “I can’t remember the last time anyone was so interested in education technology, but leave it up to Apple to whip up excitement. The company held an ‘education related’ event at New York City’s Guggenheim Museum today, where many expected it to take on the textbook industry with new, interactive e-books. … But Apple isn’t done yet. Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of Internet Software and Services, came on stage to discuss how the company is going to help teachers ‘reinvent the curriculum’ with iTunes U, a service that lets students download lectures and other materials from iTunes. Cue says Apple has seen over 700 million downloads from iTunes U, and that it has mostly been used for lectures. … All of this is very exciting, but it’s strange that Apple made no mention of how students can more easily get a hold of iPads in the classroom. While cool, Apple’s plans to reinvent education could leave a lot of students out in the cold.

      NJL: “The day the bookshelf shook: Four lessons for news orgs from today’s Apple iBooks announcements – The focus was on education, and Apple faces some significant hurdles in getting their products into actual schools (where textbook and technology purchasing are constricted by forces bureaucratic, fiscal, and otherwise). But in truth much of what Apple announced was squarely aimed at further disruption of the publishing industry – in this case, the book publishing industry, already facing disruption from Amazon and ebooks more broadly. … How will news organizations react to that newfound ease of publishing? … In the print book era, deciding to try one of these ideas would involve estimating the potential audience, deciding whether it’s worth investing the time to design it, guessing at a print run, figuring out how to get it in the hands of local retailers, and a host of other complications. But with ebooks – if publishing those ebooks is uncomplicated, just a few more steps than hitting File -> Save As…, built around common templates – what kinds of value could be unlocked? … Once books stop being only finished, whole things – when they can also be works in progress, works in development – the possibilities for journalists open up. … I can’t imagine news organizations need any further evidence that reading is going to keep moving from big screens to smaller ones, from stationary to mobile. But judging by a lot of news sites’ abysmal mobile experiences, maybe they do. So here’s one more data point: Apple’s investing big in a creating a new kind of reading experience for a new kind of content, and they’re completely ignoring every desktop and laptop computer in the universe.

      RWW: “In his official biography of Apple’s late cofounder, Walter Isaacson revealed that in addition to television and photography, one industry Steve Jobs was hoping to revolutionize next was textbooks, which he saw as being ‘ripe for digital destruction.’ – Today’s demonstration very much echoed Jobs’ vision for textbooks, which he saw as cumbersome, heavy and slow to update. … This is not an all together shocking direction for Apple to move into, considering its somewhat recent foray into e-books with iBooks and how the iPad is already being used for educational purposes. That the tablet form factor makes for a potentially excellent educational tool is not at all a new concept, and it’s one that Apple has already been using to help sell the iPad pretty much since day one.

    • Gerrit Eicker 07:31 on 20. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      RWW: “It’s hard to wrap my brain around the cold cynicism of Apple’s releasing a new tool to democratize the publishing of eBooks today, only to include in the tool’s terms and conditions a prohibition against selling those books anywhere but through Apple’s own bookstore. There’s just something so achingly awful about it. … Here’s section 2b of the End User License Agreement of the new iBook Author program. ‘B. Distribution of your Work. As a condition of this License and provided you are in compliance with its terms, your Work may be distributed as follows: (i) if your Work is provided for free (at no charge), you may distribute the Work by any available means; (ii) if your Work is provided for a fee (including as part of any subscription-based product or service), you may only distribute the Work through Apple and such distribution is subject to the following limitations and conditions: (a) you will be required to enter into a separate written agreement with Apple (or an Apple affiliate or subsidiary) before any commercial distribution of your Work may take place; and (b) Apple may determine for any reason and in its sole discretion not to select your Work for distribution.'”

      GigaOM: “It’s possible that Apple is planning to open up its new iBook textbooks, either by embracing the ePub standard or making it easy to move texts out of its system and into another, so that iBooks can live alongside Inkling textbooks or CourseSmart books or Kno books — but if it is planning to do that, we didn’t hear anything about it on Thursday. All we heard was how Apple wants to do the same thing to the textbook market as it has done to recorded music and mobile gaming: that is, own and control it.

  • Gerrit Eicker 15:12 on 13. January 2012 Permalink
    Tags: , Agility, Amazon, Amazon Elastic MapReduce, , , Apache Hadoop, , , , Big Data Processing, , Business Opportunities, , , , , , , Data Science, , , , , , , , , Microsoft Hadoop, , , , , , , ,   

    Big Data 

    Larger datasets allow better predictive analytics: Big Data is a lot more than business buzz; http://eicker.at/BigData

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 15:12 on 13. January 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Wikipedia: “In information technology, big data consists of datasets that grow so large that they become awkward to work with using on-hand database management tools. Difficulties include capture, storage, search, sharing, analytics, and visualizing. This trend continues because of the benefits of working with larger and larger datasets allowing analysts to ‘spot business trends, prevent diseases, combat crime.’ Though a moving target, current limits are on the order of terabytes, exabytes andzettabytes of data. Scientists regularly encounter this problem in meteorology, genomics, connectomics, complex physics simulations, biological and environmental research, Internet search, finance and business informatics. Data sets also grow in size because they are increasingly being gathered by ubiquitous information-sensing mobile devices, aerial sensory technologies (remote sensing), software logs, cameras, microphones, Radio-frequency identification readers, wireless sensor networks and so on. Every day, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created and 90% of the data in the world today was created within the past two years.

      ATD: “Over the last several years, there has been a massive surge of interest in Big Data Analytics and the groundbreaking opportunities it provides for enterprise information management and decision making. Big Data Analytics is no longer a specialized solution for cutting-edge technology companies – it is evolving into a viable, cost-effective way to store and analyze large volumes of data across many industries. … Big Data technologies like Apache Hadoop provide a framework for large-scale, distributed data storage and processing across clusters of hundreds or even thousands of networked computers. The overall goal is to provide a scalable solution for vast quantities of data … while maintaining reasonable processing times. … The barriers to entry for Big Data analytics are rapidly shrinking. Big Data cloud services like Amazon Elastic MapReduce and Microsoft’s Hadoop distribution for Windows Azure allow companies to spin up Big Data projects without upfront infrastructure costs and allow them to respond quickly to scale-out requirements. … To apply this new technology effectively, it is important to understand its role and when and how to integrate Big Data with the other components of the data warehouse environment. … Hadoop provides an adaptable and robust solution for storing large data volumes and aggregating and applying business rules for on-the-fly analysis that crosses boundaries of traditional ETL and ad-hoc analysis. It is also common for the results of Big Data processing jobs to be automated and loaded into the data warehouse for further transformation, integration and analysis. … Big Data adoption will continue to be driven by large and/or rapidly growing data being captured by automated and digitized business processes. … As we move into the age of Big Data, companies that are able to put this technology to work for them are likely to find significant revenue generating and cost savings opportunities that will differentiate them from their competitors and drive success well into the next decade.”

      ORR: “Big data is data that exceeds the processing capacity of conventional database systems. The data is too big, moves too fast, or doesn’t fit the strictures of your database architectures. To gain value from this data, you must choose an alternative way to process it. .. The hot IT buzzword of 2012, big data has become viable as cost-effective approaches have emerged to tame the volume, velocity and variability of massive data. … The value of big data to an organization falls into two categories: analytical use, and enabling new products. … The emergence of big data into the enterprise brings with it a necessary counterpart: agility. Successfully exploiting the value in big data requires experimentation and exploration. Whether creating new products or looking for ways to gain competitive advantage, the job calls for curiosity and an entrepreneurial outlook. … If you could run that forecast taking into account 300 factors rather than 6, could you predict demand better? – This volume presents the most immediate challenge to conventional IT structures. … The importance of data’s velocity – the increasing rate at which data flows into an organization – has followed a similar pattern to that of volume. … A common theme in big data systems is that the source data is diverse, and doesn’t fall into neat relational structures. It could be text from social networks, image data, a raw feed directly from a sensor source. None of these things come ready for integration into an application. … The phenomenon of big data is closely tied to the emergence of data science, a discipline that combines math, programming and scientific instinct. Benefiting from big data means investing in teams with this skillset, and surrounding them with an organizational willingness to understand and use data for advantage. … If you pick a real business problem, such as how you can change your advertising strategy to increase spend per customer, it will guide your implementation. While big data work benefits from an enterprising spirit, it also benefits strongly from a concrete goal.

      Beye: “What is This Thing Called Big Data? – It’s difficult to avoid big data these days. More correctly, it’s difficult to avoid the phrase ‘big data.’ It has become such an integral part of the sales pitches of so many vendors and the blog posts of so many experts that one might be forced to conclude that big data is all-pervasive. The truth is far more complex. Even a definition of big data is elusive. … Big data is not, in essence, something entirely new. The problem is, to a large extent, one of scale; hence the name. However, the insights we currently have into these categories listed earlier and the different tools and approaches they require must be carried forward into how we handle these same data categories at a larger scale. … As a result, depending on your point of view, big data appears either as a giant wave of business opportunity or a huge precipice of potential technological and management pain.

      Beye: “What is the Importance and Value of Big Data? – Recognizing that big data has long been with us allows us to look at the historical value of big data, as well as current examples. This allows a wider sample of use cases, beyond the Internet giants who are currently leading the field in using big data. This leads us to the identification of value in two broad categories: pattern discovery and process invention. … Clearly, discovering a pattern in, for example, customer behavior may be very interesting, but the real value occurs when we put that discovery to use by changing something that reduces costs or increases sales. … More recently, combining data sets from multiple sources, both related and unrelated, with increasing emphasis on computer logs such as clickstreams and publicly available data sets has become popular. … The second approach to getting business value from big data involves using the data operationally to invent an entirely new process or substantially re-engineer an existing one. … For those contemplating investment in big data, the most important conclusion from this article is to recognize that there are very specific combinations of circumstances in which big data can drive real business value. Sometimes, of course, it is the price for simply staying in the game…

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:53 on 17. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Amazon, , , , , , , , , , , , , Google Code Search, Google Code Search API, , Google Music, , , , , , Google Takeout, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google’s Graveyard III. 

    Google shuts down: Buzz, Jaiku, iGoogle Features, Code Searchgoes music? http://eicker.at/GooglesGraveyard2011

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:53 on 17. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “[W]e recently decided to shut down some products, and turn others into features of existing products. – Here’s the latest update on what’s happening: Code Search, which was designed to help people search for open source code all over the web, will be shut down along with the Code Search API on January 15, 2012. – In a few weeks we’ll shut down Google Buzz and the Buzz API, and focus instead on Google+. While people obviously won’t be able to create new posts after that, they will be able to view their existing content on their Google Profile, and download it using Google Takeout. – Jaiku, a product we acquired in 2007 that let users send updates to friends, will shut down on January 15, 2012. We’ll be working to enable users to export their data from Jaiku. – Several years ago, we gave people the ability to interact socially on iGoogle. With our new focus on Google+, we will remove iGoogle’s social features on January 15, 2012. iGoogle itself, and non-social iGoogle applications, will stay as they are. – The University Research Program for Google Search, which provides API access to our search results for a small number of approved academic researchers, will close on January 15, 2012. – In addition, later today the Google Labs site will shut down, and as previously announced, Boutiques.com and the former Like.com websites will be replaced by Google Product Search. – Changing the world takes focus on the future, and honesty about the past. We learned a lot from products like Buzz, and are putting that learning to work every day in our vision for products like Google+. Our users expect great things from us; today’s announcements let us focus even more on giving them something truly awesome.

      Horowitz: “What did we learn from Buzz? Plenty. We learned privacy is not a feature… it is foundational to the product. And this awareness gave us the resolve to design privacy in from the very beginning, which led to Circles for sharing the right information with the right people, as well as transparency around which parts of your profile can be seen by whom. We also learned how compelling it is to have meaningful conversations with interesting people, which we’re happy to see happening all the time in Google+. – But probably the best lesson we learned is about how to introduce a product. We started very slowly with Google+ – in a limited Field Trial – in order to listen and learn and gather plenty of real-world feedback. Your participation in the process is helping create what Google+ is today.”

      GigaOM: “Has Google really learned that much from Buzz and Jaiku?Is that because Google wants to be social, or is it because the company wants to be able to including being able to sell you things? The existence of Google+ seems to have more to do with the company’s need to harvest the “social signals” that emerge from such networks in order to improve its search and advertising business – and fend off Facebook – than Google’s desire to create a welcoming environment for social sharing. An engineer for the company described not that long ago how Google has no real interest in social networking for its own sake, but saw it as an information-harvesting strategy.Does Google have an ‘if we build it, they will come’ problem? … The amount of resources that Google is putting into Google+ is admirable, and it is good to focus on one thing, even if it means beheading other services like Buzz and Jaiku – and CEO Larry Page has made it clear that he wants the network to succeed. But wanting something and having it come true are very different things, and Google could well learn another lesson from Google+: that even if you build it, and it is well-designed from an engineering perspective, people may still not come.

      RWW: “Even though Google Buzz wasn’t terribly good at anything, from a user standpoint, we at least enjoyed its developer-centric nature. It was all about open data. That may have been all it had going for it, but that meant something. Its replacement, Google Plus, is awfully slick and smooth and secretive. The few APIs released so far barely enable developers to make anything, much less anything interesting. – Google sure is a busy place. Its whole business is undergoing rapid transformations, even if its quarterly earnings are reported so generally that they seem stable. – Google is spending money and changing shape. It’s launching social networks and buying handset manufacturers. It’s hiring new people, buying new infrastructure, and now it’s shedding old products. When will Google start to break a sweat?

      NYT: “Five months after it introduced a cloud music service with limited capabilities, Google is in negotiations with the major record labels to expand that service and also open an MP3 store that would compete with Apple and Amazon. – According to numerous music executives, Google is eager to open the store in the next several weeks. It would most likely be connected to Google’s existing cloud service, Music Beta, which lets people back up their songs on remote servers and stream them to mobile phones and other devices, said these executives, who all spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were private and continuing. … Music Beta was announced five weeks after Amazon opened a similar unlicensed service, Cloud Drive. – Apple got licenses for iTunes Match, which will instantly link a user’s songs to Apple’s master collection. With an unlicensed service, users must upload each song individually, a process that can take hours or even days.

      RWW: “Google reportedly had a hard time shoring up deals with music labels ahead of the initial launch of Google Music, so they launched it anyway. Traditional content owners have often been wary of Google, who has gained a reputation among some legacy media organizations as being too soft on piracy. The company has extended a few olive branches recently, making public efforts to discourage copyright infringement and buttering up media executives. … Google has an uphill battle to fight if it expects to take on Apple in this space. Amazon might provide a fairer fight. Either way, Google is hoping to bolt additional revenue streams onto its business model, which remains heavily bolstered by the money it makes search advertising.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:18 on 28. September 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , Amazon, Amazon Appstore, Amazon Appstore for Android, , Amazon Prime, , , , , , , , BlackBerry PlayBook, , , , Brand Recognition, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Kindle Touch, Kindle Touch 3G, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Kindle Fire 

    Amazon’s Kindle Fire might finally change the whole publishing industryirrevocable; http://eicker.at/KindleFire

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:19 on 28. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      TC: “On Wednesday morning in New York City, Amazon will unveil the Kindle Fire. Yes, this is the name Amazon has settled on, to help differentiate the product from the e-ink Kindles… It will be a 7-inch backlit display tablet that looks similar to the BlackBerry PlayBook. … [H]aving played with a DVT model myself, I can assure you that it’s better than the PlayBook because the software is better and, more importantly, the content available is much better. … We also originally heard that Amazon Prime would be included, as a big enticement for would-be buyers. That may be off the table for now as well – but it’s not yet clear. It’s possible Amazon will release one version with Prime included for $300 and a version without it for $250. Getting Amazon Prime for $50 would still be a deal, since it’s normally $79 for the year.”

      pC: “The success of the Kindle shows Amazon is prepared to think differently from others and to disrupt its own products – in the Kindle’s case to disrupt the cash cow of print book sales – in order to be innovative and seize early advantage in digital markets. If Amazon’s hardware is undifferentiated and virtually the same as RIM’s PlayBook then Amazon has to differentiate elsewhere with content, experience and business models. Otherwise it will suffer the same fate as RIM’s PlayBook. … Amazon will build a true media tablet. The first true media tablet. The Kindle tablet will focus on the future of all media – TV, movies, music, books, magazines – to enable Amazon to become the dominant digital media retailer. That is Amazon’s ambition.

      Guardian: “Amazon hopes its brand recognition and loyal book-buying customer base will enable it to do battle with Apple, which produced 75% of the tablets sold this year. – Research firm Forrester reckons the Kindle tablet could sell between 3m and 5m units in its first year.”

      VB: “The timing of Amazon’s announcement might have something to do with competition from Barnes and Nobel, which is also allegedly scheduled to announce a new Nook Color tablet that will also retail for $250.”

      ATD: “In 2010, magazine publishers got giddy about the prospects of selling their stuff on the iPad. This year’s version of the story: Lots of enthusiasm, tempered with a little bit of skepticism, over Amazon’s new tablet. … Publishers will keep around 70 percent of all Amazon sales, and the retailer will share some customer data with the publishers. … The publishers who are on board with Amazon view their decision to link up as a no-brainer: They want more distribution channels for their stuff, not fewer. And they’ve been begging, unsuccessfully, for a credible competitor to the iPad since April 2010.

      TC: “With the launch of the Kindle Fire tomorrow, I thought it would be fun to write a little bit sci-fi and imagine what the publishing market will look like in the next ten or so years. I’m a strong proponent of the ebook and, as I’ve said again and again, I love books but they’re not going to make it past this decade, at least in most of the developed world. … 2025 – The transition is complete even in most of the developing world. The book is, at best, an artifact and at worst a nuisance. Book collections won’t disappear – hold-outs will exist and a subset of readers will still print books – but generally all publishing will exist digitally.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 17:33 on 28. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      TC: “Amazon Fires $199, 7-Inch Tablet At Apple – The Fire itself is rather characterless and dull. It looks a lot like the 7-inch BlackBerry PlayBook (probably for good reason) and features just enough tech to pass as acceptable. There’s a two-point multitouch screen (the iPad has a 10-point screen), and an unspecified CPU… The most notable change is obviously the multitouch 7-inch LCD rather than an e-ink display, but moreover, the Kindle Fire is a complete storefront for the retailer rather than just an ereader. The tablet features apps for Amazon’s Android Appstore, Kindle store, Amazon MP3, and Prime Instant Video. … Amazon is pricing this model aggressively. Bloomberg is reporting prior to Amazon’s official event that the Kindle Fire hits at just $199 and comes with 30-days of Amazon Prime.”

      TC: “Amazon has revealed a new line of E-Ink Kindles that looks to bolster their ‘traditional’ eReader lineup. The three new models have taken the stage: the $79 Kindle, the $99 Kindle Touch, and the $149 Kindle Touch 3G. – The new super small, non-touch Kindle was announced to appeal to Amazon’s legion of eReading purists. It’s small enough to fit in a pack pocket, and will cost users a scant $79 – customers can order today, and Amazon says it will ship today too.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 11:57 on 29. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      GigaOM: “They say Apple has met its first real tablet competitor. And no, it is not Samsung or Motorola. Instead it is from a company that started out selling books on the Internet: Amazon. And while there is some truth to that assertion, I wouldn’t put a lot of weight in the argument. … With the new Kindles, Amazon has been able to define the hybrid retail environment. … Given that we are increasingly shifting away from buying physical media and are instead opting for digital goods, Amazon is smart in its introducing the new Kindle tablet. … Amazon’s primary business is selling us things – lots of them – and getting them to us as cheaply as possible. And that includes physical and digital goods and services. That is its corporate DNA, and that DNA is going to influence all of its decisions – whether it is redesigning its website or defining new tablets. … The bottom line is that Amazon will be successful – at least more successful than Motorola or HTC – but it won’t come at the expense of Apple’s iPad or Samsung’s Android-based tablets.

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:04 on 20. September 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Amazon, American Express, , , , , Belgium, , , , , Citi, Citi MasterCard, , , , Daily Deal, Discover, , , , , , Google Offers, Google Prepaid, Google Prepaid Card, , Google Wallet PIN, , , , , , , Loyalty Programs, Luxembourg, , , MasterCard, , Mobile Checkout, , , Near Field Communication, , Netherlands, , Nexus S 4G, NFC, NFC Specifications, NFC World Congress, , , Scandinavia, , , Sprint Nexus S 4G, , , , Visa,   

    Google Wallet 

    Google launches Google Wallet on Sprint: checkout wirelessly via Citi MasterCard, Pepaid Card; http://eicker.at/GoogleWallet

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:05 on 20. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Google: “In May we announced Google Wallet – an app that makes your phone your wallet – with Citi, MasterCard, Sprint and First Data. With Google Wallet, you can tap, pay and save using your phone and near field communication (NFC). – We’ve been testing it extensively, and today we’re releasing the first version of the app to Sprint. That means we’re beginning to roll out Google Wallet to all Sprint Nexus S 4G phones through an over-the-air update – just look for the ‘Wallet’ app. … Google Wallet enables you to pay with your Citi MasterCard credit card and the Google Prepaid Card, which can be funded with any of your existing plastic credit cards. As a thanks to early adopters, we’re adding a $10 free bonus to the Google Prepaid Card if you set it up in Google Wallet before the end of the year.”

      Google: “Google Wallet is a mobile app that will make your phone your wallet. It stores virtual versions of your existing plastic cards on your phone, along with your coupons, and eventually, loyalty and gift cards. Our intention is that Google Wallet will be an open mobile wallet holding all the cards and coupons you keep in your leather wallet today. … NFC is a wireless technology that enables data transmission between two objects when they are brought within a few inches of each other. Smartphones enabled with NFC technology can exchange data with other NFC enabled devices or read information from smart tags embedded in posters, stickers, and other products. … Google Checkout is a service that enables merchants to accept and process online payments. Google Wallet, on the other hand, is a mobile app that enables users to tap and pay at physical, brick and mortar stores. … The Google Prepaid Card allows you to use Google Wallet even if you don’t have an eligible Citi MasterCard. It is a virtual card powered by MasterCard and Money Network. You can fund this prepaid card with any of your existing plastic credit cards. And since it’s purely virtual, you won’t get a physical plastic card in the mail. You can tap and pay immediately after funds are added.”

      TC: “Bummed by the limited launch? Don’t be. This somewhat-cautious approach is really the only way they could do it: NFC is still a relatively new technology, with a complicated network of partners, and, most importantly, involves your money. Google is really the first company with the power to move the world towards NFC – but even for them, it’s going to be something of an uphill battle, and they’ll have to take things one small step at a time. – Fortunately, Google also just announced their next (small step) huge leap: support for Visa, Discover, and American Express cards.

      pC: “For the moment, Google Offers is only available in cities in the U.S. That means the purchase of the Daily Deal site could give Google an easy route to ramping up the service in Europe as well. … In May, when Wallet and Offers were announced by Stephanie Tilenius, Google’s VP of commerce, she described how Wallet would be about more than just payments, and would also be used for loyalty programs, check-ins and other transactions. … Google is not the only one working in these areas: on the deals front it is already competing against dominant Groupon, big LivingSocial, and fast-rising Amazon, among many others.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:20 on 5. September 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Amazon, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Kindle vs. iPad 

    Amazon will offer a Kindle Tablet on Android: at $250 it might become a challenge for the iPad; http://eicker.at/KindleVSiPad

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:21 on 5. September 2011 Permalink | Reply

      TC, Siegler: “Amazon’s Kindle Tablet Is Very Real. I’ve Seen It, Played With It. … It’s called simply the ‘Amazon Kindle’. But it’s not like any Kindle you’ve seen before. It displays content in full color. It has a 7-inch capacitive touch screen. And it runs Android. … Again, the device is a 7-inch tablet with a capacitive touch screen. It is multi-touch, but from what I saw, I believe the reports that it relies on a two-finger multi-touch (instead of 10-finger, like the iPad uses) are accurate. This will be the first Kindle with a full-color screen. And yes, it is back-lit. There is no e-ink to be found anywhere on this device.So how much will the 7-inch Kindle cost? $250. – Yes, Amazon has been able to trim the cost of the device to half of the entry-level iPad. And it will be the same price as Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color, which this will very obviously compete with directly. Both have 7-inch color touch screens. Both run Android. … The interface is all Amazon and Kindle. It’s black, dark blue, and a bunch of orange. … But the key for Amazon is just how deeply integrated all of their services are. Amazon’s content store is always just one click away. The book reader is a Kindle app (which looks similar to how it does on Android and iOS now). … Oh and one more thing: Amazon has been working on a multi-touch screen/e-ink hybrid tablet device. But that’s nowhere near completion, I’m told. So for now, this new Kindle will have to do.”

      TC: “I threw together the mockup above based on what he shared with me. … From this, we’ve learned at least one thing: competing with the iPad by trying to be the iPad.. doesn’t really work. … But they’re not. Rather than taking on Apple on their own court, they’re moving to keep a lock on a game they’re already kicking butt at (the e-reader market), while upping the odds that anyone weighing ‘iPad or Kindle?’ will be swayed in their favor. By launching with a 7” tablet (and only a 7” tablet), Amazon is making it clear: they don’t want the Kindle tablet to be the iPad. They want it to be everything the iPad is not. – They want it to be small, and comfortable to read in bed. This is a Kindle, after all. For many folks who just want something to read in bed or throw into their bag to read on the train, the iPad’s nearly 10-inch display can feel a bit gigantic. – They want it to be cheap.”

      GigaOM: “Instead of a full-fledged Android tablet, Amazon’s new Kindle slate runs a forked version of Android under the hood that no user is likely to ever see. – The 7-inch tablet takes a cue from the Barnes & Noble Nook Color; arguably the most successful non-iPad tablet if it fits your definition of one, and likely to see a hardware refresh soon. Amazon’s tablet will use a completely customized interface, not have Google apps of any kind, nor will it access the Android Market. It will run apps from Amazon’s AppStore. … Those wanting something smaller than a tablet but bigger than a standard phone may be more interested in the newly announced Samsung Note.”

      VB: “So what of the rumored 10-inch Amazon tablet? That device, which is said to run a quad-core processor and be a more direct competitor to the iPad, is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of next year if the 7-inch tablet does well enough. – Amazon may forgo releasing a touchscreen version of the traditional Kindle, Siegler says, but that’s still speculation so far. Intriguingly, he also says that Amazon is working on a multi-touch tablet/e-reader hybrid device that runs on an E-Ink screen.”

      pC: “Even if Amazon is cutting out some bells and whistles out of its tablet, it is offering users a lot more: a host of usable cloud services; some free services; and a low price. This may finally turn out to be the Android(ish) tablet fit to fight the iPad stronghold.”

c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel