Happy New Year
That’s it, folks. Dig out the noisemakers, throw on some sequins and pop the champagne because 2014 is coming to an end.
But before the ball drops, there are a few things one must do to properly prepare for the new year—create a list of resolutions (i.e. “go to the gym”), watch the latest United States of Pop video and catch up on the tech news of the passing year, to name a few. With the latter in mind, we’ve created a guide to Betabeat’s biggest breaking news of 2014.
Yes, Facebook manipulated your emotions, curved TVs drove us wild and a “potato salad guy” achieved Internet celebrity status. We’re sure Twitter told you all this, so rather than summing up what made the tech blogosphere rounds this year, we’re offering a collection of the biggest and most interesting stories brought to you by yours truly, Betabeat.
For the Love of God Think of the Interns
It looks like Amazon is definitely moving into 7 W. 34th St., but it’s still unclear whether they’ll be opening that rumored brick-and-mortar store.
Rumors surfaced back in October that Amazon was opening a physical retail store in NYC. The store, according to a detailed Wall Street Journal report, would be located at 7 W. 34th St., and open in time for the holiday season — perfect for buying your BFF that Fire Phone they definitely never wanted.
At the time, an Amazon spokesperson wouldn’t confirm whether the rumors were true or false, simply telling Betabeat, “We have made no announcements about a location in Manhattan.”
When most kids decide on their summer internship, they have to ask themselves tough questions: Can I afford to take an unpaid internship? And which potential offer is most likely going to lead to a job down the road?
Young coders, however, are more likely to wonder if $20,000 for the summer is really that much better than $19,000.
When Jessica Shu, a 19-year-old wunderkind at Cornell, was weighing her options for the summer, she wanted to be damn sure of her options. After digging around Reddit, asking colleagues and messaging around, she compiled a list of what Silicon Valley’s hottest companies are offering their interns — or at least were last summer — and posted it to Hackathon Hackers, a student coder community.
Rise of the Drones
There’s something about ebook reading that’s still icky for some finicky readers who fancy themselves intellectuals. Maybe it’s that the ~handfeel~ of an iPad doesn’t stand up to the deckled edges of a Penguin Classics Deluxe edition, or that there’s no street cred from reading Capital in the Twenty-First Century if no one in Caffe Reggio can see the book jacket. But that doesn’t mean these readers can’t be won.
Oyster, an app that’s most often described as being “Netflix for Books,” is launching a literary magazine called The Oyster Review.
The new digital mag is the first brainchild of writer, editorial remixer and famed Internet Person Kevin Nguyen in his new role as Editorial Director for Oyster. Mr. Nguyen joined the startup a few months ago after he was poached from Amazon, where he put together the Best of the Month picks as a books editor.
Every college graduate has poured through entry level job listings that ask for “5+ years experience” and wondered, probably aloud and to his or her nagging family, “How is anyone supposed to get experience if every job already requires experience?” Listen, consider yourself lucky — consider how that conversation goes for drone pilots, whose entire industry didn’t even exist five years ago.
Amazon has open job listings for a “Flight Operations Engineer” who would be based in Cambridge, England. In the truly meaningless fashion of job boards, the job requires “5+ years of relevant aviation experience.”
It’s easy to forget that Oyster, dubbed “The Netflix for Books” by every writer who’s covered them, has only really been around for a year. In that time, they’ve signed on two of the Big Five publishers, built a library of 500,000 books and basically made us forget that Scribd has been trying to contend for exactly the same space.
And at the heart of Oyster’s business is their recommendation engine — a recipe for bringing readers in and hooking them on book after book. On one end of that engine is their editorial offerings — curated collections that go beyond genre and into moods or themes like “The Science of Everyday Life.” This morning, they added more “book list” features, essentially allowing everyone from users to major authors to make their own literary playlists and share them with followers and friends.
It’s unclear if it’s a glitch or just a really weird marketing tactic, but there’s something up with the listing for Taylor Swift’s new album on Amazon.
As you can see in the photo to the left, 1989 costs $9.99 in physical CD form, and $12.49 in MP3 form. That’s standard — MP3s generally cost more than physical discs.
Amazon has spent the better part of two decades wreaking havoc on the publishing industry, which has been decimated by digital innovation. Today’s announcement is the next in a long line of plays — from the massive sales of discount books to the pioneering of ebook sales — to develop a world where traditional Read More
When you run the world’s largest online marketplace with millions upon millions of items, tasteless, even brashly offensive merchandise is bound to make its way onto the site. For Amazon, this means an endless game of whack-a-mole.
The latest series of problematic apparel is a collection of leggings and hot pants covered with depictions of Hindu deities sold through a third party dealer called Yizzam. Rajan Zed, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, lodged a complaint with Amazon that 11 pairs of Yizzam’s leggings with images of Hindu gods like Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu and Muruga were blatantly disrespectful of Hindu practices.
Details regarding Amazon’s rumored Manhattan retail store remain scarce, but what many don’t know is that Amazon has already made brick-and-mortar partnerships in India and is planning to sell in stores in California as well.
Amazon recently signed a deal with Future Group, India’s largest listed retailer, according to The Economic Times. As per the deal, the group will soon begin selling 45 of their own apparel labels on Amazon. Next, Future Group plans to bring in-house brands of home, electronic and food items to the site.