Crime and Punishment
Today’s edition of “Unruly Teens” comes from Ballston, Va. where the first Kindle-related quarrel might have been recorded.
The Arlington County Police Department reports that a 16-year-old hit allegedly his mother over the head with a frying pan after she refused to let him borrow her Kindle. While it’s unknown what kind of Kindle it was and whether the kid was just really eager to start reading The Circle, we do know that the incident happened earlier this month in the Arlington suburb.
The Future of the Ebook
Have you tried searching Amazon for anything other than a specific book lately? Don’t, because your results will be clogged with crap. Try finding a half-decent romance novel and it’ll become instantly clear why GoodReads has gotten so popular–keyword searches are full of poorly written pornography with hideous covers.
But the flood of poorly vetted self-published work poses much, much bigger problems for booksellers. Take, for instance, British bookseller W.H. Smith, which was recently found to be carrying titles like Daddy Rapes the Virgin Daughter in the Attic and Amber’s Rape By Her Parolee Father. A search for “daddy” would return eye-searing results, inspiring a shitstorm across the pond in the U.K.
Leave it to Bezos
Betabeat has long harbored a not-so-secret suspicion that Jeff Bezos might actually be Lex Luthor. Well, fire up your word processor and get ready to write some crossover fanfic, because a new profile in Bloomberg Businessweek, excerpted from a coming book by writer Brad Stone, essentially confirms at least one major overlap: Jeff Bezos loves pitching a good fit at his henchmen.
Apparently some of his employees call his angry fits “nutters.” Take this anecdote of his response to a poorly planned-out update: “He called me a ‘complete f------ idiot’ and said he had no idea why he hired idiots like me at the company, and said, ‘I need you to clean up your organization.”
Here’s your new complex: You only generate 55 cents of ad revenue for Twitter. Facebook gets $1.55 per user. [Quartz]
Adobe smartly thought that yesterday was a good time to disclose that a security breach affected three million of its customers’ credit card numbers and passwords. [AllThingsD]
Amazon is readying a streaming device to add to your dusty, set-top device platter that looks longingly at your TV. [Wall Street Journal]
CNN doxxed the voice of Siri and all it got was a woman from suburban Atlanta. [CNN]
Apple purchased personal assistant startup Cue to better compete against Google Now. [TechCrunch]
C'est la guerre
Americans are fond of wringing their hands over Amazon’s seemingly endless, Borg-like growth. Is there any hope for bookstores when Prime membership enables you to get free two-day shipping on cheap, brand-new hardcovers?
France, though, isn’t simply nattering anxiously. No, France is taking action. Legislators from the ruling Socialist Party and the conservative UMP have Read More
today in travel
As the Federal Aviation Authority continues to reevaluate its archaic in-flight electronic rules, it might add another distraction to its list: Wi-Fi.
The panel decided that Wi-Fi can be utilized during all portions of the flight — from “gate to gate”– because the airplanes “are going to be just fine.” That goes against its longstanding current rules that using electronics or on-board Wi-Fi disrupts the cockpit’s electronics and could cause chaos. Cellular use after the pilot says to turn off your phones would still remain banned.
Tis the season for Amazon to staff up for the holidays. It’s planning to hire 70,000 workers–an increase of 40 percent from last year. [USA Today]
Facebook has tweaked its settings for Graph Search…again. Now posts on your profile that aren’t made private are openly searchable. Or something. [VentureBeat]
Zynga and Bang With Friends have settled their trademark dispute although terms weren’t disclosed. However, BWF is hinting at their new future at TheNextBang.com. [AllThingsD]
Manhattan and the outer boroughs is going to be blanketed in even more free Wi-Fi by December. [The Verge]
Science and tech departments, like NASA, will be largely affected by today’s government shutdown. [CNet]
Amazon founder, CEO and bajillionaire Jeffrey P. Bezos casually purchased the Washington Post for a cool $250 million not too long ago, and now he’s soliciting advice on what to do with such a decrepit artifact.
Mr. Bezos has been out press-pimping the new Amazon Fire, which, at $379, is the perfect Christmas gift for the whole family. This led him to the Today show, where he mused, “Someday … I think printed newspapers on actual paper will be a luxury item, sort of like how people still have horses but it’s not their primary way of commuting to the office.”
Leave it to Bezos
Bad news for those of us with lousy, package-stealing neighbors: Bloomberg News reports that Staples and RadioShack have both pulled out of Amazon’s lockers program. Corporate HQ probably wasn’t thrilled about inviting their scariest competitor into their stores to begin with, and the experiment just didn’t generate the cash to make it worth taking a viper to their breast.
There’s a little more money in Long Island City today. Songza, which offers up playlists to suit your every mood, just announced a $4.7 million round of funding from a small mob of investors, including Lerer Ventures, Amazon.com, Scooter Braun, William Morris Endeavor, Deep Fork Capital, Metamorphic Ventures, Troy Carter, Gary Vaynerchuk, and others.