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.”
Hack Hack Hack Hack It Apart
Researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of Oregon have discovered a way to turn cloud computing into hacker heaven.
Disguising data transfers with URL-truncating services like TinyURL or Bit.ly, researchers found that cloud-based processing power intended to shift computing tasks from laptops, tablets and mobile devices could be converted to crack encoded passwords or used for a large scale denial-of-service attack.
Citing unnamed sources and an internal memo, Reuters reports that Walmart will stop selling Amazon.com’s Kindle line of tablets and e-readers. According to Reuters the memo said Walmart’s decision was in keeping with its general marketing strategy.
Target Corp. ceased selling Amazon devices last Spring, after deciding Amazon’s sales tactics were working against the retailer’s best interests.
There's a Map for That
When you think of Amazon, what comes to mind? Ebooks, next-day delivery and the Kindle probably float to the top, but what about maps? Not so much. But it turns out the online retailer wants to also nudge its way into the map game.
Today Amazon announced the release of the Amazon Maps API in beta, which allows select developers to integrate Amazon’s mapping technology into their own apps on the Kindle Fire.
The Future of the Ebook
Were you watching closely during Amazon’s Kindle press conference? Because if you were, you just saw Jeff Bezos make one of those centuries-long bets his friends are always talking about. Behold, the literary equivalent of the Clock of the Long Now–a bet on a future where ereaders are about as out-of-the-ordinary as a tea kettle or a wristwatch.
There were several interesting details in the publishing portion of the announcements. The good, old-fashioned Kindle ereader got several updates, including a paperwhite background, more fonts, and a backlight that’ll go eight weeks without a charge. All that’ll now set you back a mere $69. The company’s publishing arm also debuted a brand new form, between the single and the full-length book: Kindle Serials, at $1.99 a pop and seamlessly, automatically updated with each new installment.
Charles Dickens would be so proud. (He’d also probably write a great serialized novel about people who work in Amazon fulfillment centers.)
Now that he’s no longer CEO, how does Eric Schmidt spend his days? Well, he’s become really interested in expanding Google to “wacky countries — you know, countries that have problems.” [Foreign Policy]
The FTC is patient: After a minuscule fine for noncooperation with that StreetView investigation, Google is close to coughing up $22.5 million for tracking Safari users. [Businessweek]
The Pentagon wants some cybersecurity legislation. [Washington Post]
The Atlantic is welcome once more on Reddit, the beehive’s point having been made. [The Daily Dot]
Is poor, beleaguered Microsoft facing Surface manufacturing troubles? [ZDNet]
Meanwhile, the Kindle Fire is slimming down to face its newest foe. [PC World]
Amazon.com’s quarterly results are out, and OMFG THEY POSTED A PROFIT DECREASE! Why? Because they priced that fancy new Kindle Fire thing on the cheap, is why. People are freaking out, an analyst gave them a “sell” rating, and their shares are dropping. Are people overreacting?
Aaron Shapiro sees a lot of interesting data as the CEO of Huge, one of the Big Apple’s top digital agencies. The jetsetting Mr. Shapiro just made the Crain’s 2011 “40 Under 40″ list of New York’s young business leaders. His firm oversees campaigns and website redesigns for CNN, Reuters and Pepsi. And right now, Mr. Shapiro said, “The tablet market is the top of my mind.”
There was a reason Jeff Bezos came all the way to New York to unveil Amazon’s new suite of Kindle e-readers and tablet devices. Like the iPad the Kindle is first and foremost a device for consuming media, with the new Kindles going beyond the book to offer music, television and movies as well. And the Big Apple’s high end publishers are thrilled to have a second dance partner for the party beyond Apple.
As the NY Times reports, Amazon’s new Kindle Fire tablet will come with a digital newsstand front-and-center where users can buy magazines and newspapers. To glossy publishers, this sounds like a haven from a digital world dominated by Angry Birds.
A huge new player stepped into the tablet space this morning to challenge the completely dominant reign of Apple’s iPad. Bloomberg had the scoop before the 200-some live bloggers in Hell’s Kitchen could even get started. The device is smaller, seven inches versus ten, and costs just $199 versus the iPad’s $499 price tag.
The Kindle Fire, as Amazon’s tablet device is called, is missing a lot of things. It doesn’t have a camera or microphone, so no Facetime communication is possible. It is WiFi only, which, having used the iPad with AT&T 3G for several months now, we believe is a huge drawback. 3G service makes the tablet a truly mobile device.