In a stunning gesture of support for EXCLUSIVE airplane journalism, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is leading a $5 million round in Business Insider, the web property helmed by Henry Blodget. The news comes following a detailed New Yorker profile of Mr. Blodget, who launched Business Insider after being banned from the securities industry for civil securities fraud.
The Future of the Ebook
As if anyone in the publishing industry needed another reason to view Amazon with suspicion and alarm: Today the goliath announced it’s acquiring literary-themed social networking site Goodreads. Head for your bunkers; we’ve just gone to End of Publishing DefCon 1.
No sooner did Netflix announce its new science fiction show Sense8 than Amazon made its own original content announcement: The company will be developing Betas, a comedy pilot about startup nerds. This is in addition to the recently green-lit Zombieland show, confirmed two days ago.
Take THAT, Reed Hastings!
Turns out having a book on the top of Amazon’s bestseller list does not make you an automatic millionaire. [Salon]
After the announcement that Google Reader would shut down in July, more than 500,000 users have already migrated to Feedly. [The Verge]
Foursquare is reportedly close to closing a Series D round that would value it at less than the valuation from its Series C. [TechCrunch]
According to his lawyer, Matthew Keys’ legal defense is going to be that he was doing work as an undercover investigative journalist. Oh, we can flout the law under the guise of “journalism!”? Brb, going to loot the Apple store. [The Next Web]
An NYU student has invented a gel that can help stop bleeding in wounds. But can it mend college’s primary injury: broken hearts? [New York Post]
The Future of the Ebook
Hey, you know what sounds like a great idea? Giving the juggernaut Amazon any more of a stranglehold on the book business. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Author’s Guild, the Association of American Publishers and those poor bastards at Barnes & Noble are all raising hue and cry in opposition to Amazon’s attempt to stake out such generic top-level domains as “.book” and “.read,” saying it’s a threat to competition.
The clusterfuck that is the Sim City launch keeps on giving, as Amazon had to take down Electronic Arts’ new version of the classic game from its store for almost the entire day (now its back up, albeit with a huge warning about the problems), amid continued issues with the game’s DRM protections that have made the game virtually unplayable.
NYC Hackathon Goes Sandy Themed Since the NYC tech community basically lost their minds during the week without power that was Hurricane Sandy, the theme of this year’s Disruptor Cup Hackathon, which kicked off yesterday, will be emergency preparedness
According to a former Apple ad man, Apple considered naming its phone offering a bunch of really terrible names before settling on iPhone. These names include “Telepod,” “Mobi” and “Tripod.” Whoever convinced them to go with iPhone is basically a hero. [9 to 5 Mac]
Here is another story about the origin of emoji, which made this Android phone owner only slightly more bitter. [The Verge]
Google is working to build a competitor to the wondrous Amazon Prime, with a same-day delivery service called Google Shopping Express. Wonder whatever happened to eBay Now? [TechCrunch]
Oh good, Microsoft’s Scroogled campaign is here to stay. [CNET]
The Boston Startup School is launching a branch in New York called the Startup Institute. [The Next Web]
It appears that people just really, really love deep discounts and free shipping. Wired reports that, according to a new Harris Interactive poll, Amazon is actually the number-one most respected company in America. Apple, Disney, Google (?!) and Johnson & Johnson made up the rest of the top five.
Amazon apparently “trounced” Disney in the category of emotional appeal, which makes us wonder whether everyone has just forgotten how much we all cried during the movie Dumbo.
Even the people who ran the poll sound astounded that Amazon took home the top prize:
The Future of the Ebook
When four of the biggest publishers in the U.S. worked with Apple to create a new model of book sales, one that allowed them to set a minimum price on ebook sales, it was clearly meant to buck Amazon’s stubbon insistence on charging $9.99 even for the newest releases. What wasn’t so clear was the legality of the move. Matters settled into an uneasy truce until April, when the Justice Department accused them all of colluding to fix prices.
Now Macmillan, the last of the book businesses still fighting, has finally caved. As part of the settlement, the company has agreed to let booksellers (i.e. Amazon) resume their previous cost-cutting.
But just because you settle doesn’t mean you have to say you’re sorry.