Booting Up: It’s Devilishly Difficult to Sell Christian Video Games, Apparently

It's tough out there.

Today the NYPD will release harmless, odorless gases into several subway stations, to test how a real airborne event would unfold. What, you mean the piss smell isn’t some decades-long experiment? [New York Daily News]

The woman who oversees development of Google’s developer tools is a part-time vintner, single mom and apparent badass. (Don’t read the comments.) [Wired]

Did you know that there’s a company dedicated to making video games based on the apocalyptic Christian fiction series “Left Behind”? Apparently Satan’s been hard at work on their finances, because it’s not going to so well. [Quartz]

Pat Roberson would like a “vomit” button on Facebook, so he could accurately express his feelings about the gays. Conveniently, that would allow the rest of us to accurately express our feelings about Pat Roberston. [Huffington Post]

With the company’s ereader division losing major moola, Barnes and Noble’s digital wonderboy CEO William Lynch has resigned. You gave it your best shot, dude. [New York Times]


Booting Up: Now Rumors Have Facebook Thinking of Buying Waze

Google's possible new purchase.

Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer earned $68.6 million last year. Think about that while you’re scraping together change to refill your metrocard. :( [Bloomberg]

Rumor has it that Facebook is looking into buying mobile map app Waze for up to $1B. Waze really gets around–last we heard it was dating Apple. [TechCrunch]

Microsoft might be mulling a $1 billion purchase of Nook Media LLC, its joint venture with Barnes and Noble. Ask not for whom the bell tolls, guys. [TechCrunch]

Time and Google have teamed up to produce Timelapse, a new package that shows how the Earth’s surface has changed over the last thirty years. (Spoiler: Not for the better, if you like nature.)  [Time]

Can’t patent software in New Zealand any more, sorry. [Forbes]

The Future of the Ebook

Live Fast, Die Young: E-Readers Are On the Decline

Days of yore. (Photo: kodomut

Let’s hope the various e-reader makers gathered their rosebuds while they could, because it seems the heyday of the e-reader is already passing. The Wall Street Journal reports that, according to one market researcher, e-reader shipments dropped 28 percent this year, to 19.9 million from 27.7 million in 2011.

On an anecdotal level, can you think of a single person who requested an e-reader as a holiday gift? Compare that to the number of people who got new phones or tablets. Read More


Booting Up: Google Hires a Go-To Government Guy for Self-Driving Cars

(Source: Steve Jurvetson via Wikipedia)

Ron Medford, the deputy director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration–and the man who was “instrumental in getting distracted driving recognized as a national safety concern”– is moving to Google to be Director of Safety for Self-Driving Cars. [Wired]

The CEO of Barnes and Noble doesn’t much read physical books any more. [Business Insider]

Yahoo is reportedly considering ponying up just $20 million for, which still gets something like  24 million monthly uniques. [AllThingsD]

Here’s a good reminder that even after the first wave of press coverage, entrepreneurship is still a long, hard slog. [Vinicius Vacanti]

Color is shutting down. Really, this time. [Business Insider]

The Future of the Ebook

Barnes and Noble’s Nook Sales Suggest Microsoft Has Bet on the Wrong Horse Once Again

Look upon my works ye mighty and despair. (Photo:

The numbers are in for Barnes and Noble’s most recent quarter, and matters could definitely be better. Let’s put it this way: When a company’s bottom line is bouyed by the runaway popularity of a raunchy romance–rather than by sales of the devices to which it’s devoted a ludicrous amount of in-store floor space–it’s probably not a particularly encouraging sign.

It’s got to be especially discouraging, however, for Microsoft. Back in April, the company agreed to invest $300 million in “NEWCO,” the subsidiary Barnes and Noble is creating from its Nook and college businesses. We can’t imagine the staid software company entered into the agreement in hopes of receiving a BDSM boost to its bottom line.

Here’s the spin that Barnes and Noble CEO William Lynch put on the company’s earnings, chirping away about the 50 Shades frenzy: Read More

The Future of the Ebook

Amazon Knows How Many Times You Read that Sex Scene, You Pervert


It’s a common refrain (one that’ll be especially familiar to, let’s say, romance fans): Hey, isn’t it great that, once you get a Kindle/Nook/iPad, no one can see what you’re reading? Now we’re forever free from those awkward subway moments when we pull out our trashy novel and realize it’s a little too lurid for the L train on a Saturday night.

Well, a bit of bad news for the bookish and private. The Wall Street Journal would like you to know that whoever sold you that ebook–whether it’s Amazon, Apple, or whoever–actually is paying attention to what you read. For one thing, maybe be careful what you highlight? Read More

The Future of the Nook

Barnes and Noble’s Ebook Business Gets A Cash Infusion–From Microsoft

Barnes and Noble's flagship. (

Things have been looking awfully upbeat for Amazon lately, with the DOJ taking exception to the $9.99-price-point-busting agency pricing model,  which was designed in part to give publishers more leverage with the online bookseller. But for once, this morning brings some potentially positive news for a beleaguered competitor: Barnes & Noble will partner with Microsoft in the creation of a new subsidiary formed from its digital and College businesses. What’s MSFT bringing to the table? Cash money, honey.  Read More