Weekly Tech Roundup
TechCrunch is close to releasing its web device. It’s a $200 computing device that has no harddrive and about a 2 hour battery. It is designed to allow you to surf the web and access information from the cloud. I’m not convinced it is terribly useable but I could be wrong.
[I]t is for reading emails and the news, watching videos on Hulu, YouTube, etc., listening to streaming music on MySpace Music and imeem, and doing video chat via tokbox. The hardware would consist of netbook appropriate chipsets (Intel Atom or Via Nano), at least a 12 inch screen, a camera for photos and video, speakers and a microphone. Add a single USB port, power in and sound out, and you’re done
Rumors are getting increasingly louder that Amazon will debut a large screen device before the end of the year. This is speculated to be a device aimed at the educational market.
Newspapers, desperate to monetize and stay relevant, are combining related articles into “newsbooks” that are sold as ebooks. I bought the Newsweek magazine articles on Obama compiled in the book, A Long Time Coming, so maybe it’s a feasible idea.
iTunes stripped off the DRM of every song in its library, but upped the price of many of its most popular tunes by over 30%. Now Amazon and Wal-mart are following suit. I could have sworn that Medialoper suggested (on Twitter) that this is something we might watch for as it relates to ebooks. As an aside, I still remain highly offended by the prices of Simon & Schuster’s ebooks. The digital equivalent of the mass markets are being priced at $14 and $9.99.
Amazon is making the Kindle App available for Blackberry users. All users of the iPhone/iTouch and Blackberry should note that a) your books cannot be downloaded to your computer (which is not true if you own the actual Kindle device) and b) access can be cut off to your Kindle content can be cut off from you at anytime for any reasons. One reader has reported that his Amazon account was suspended for excessive returns and this suspension locked him out of his Kindle content altogether.
Mike Shatzkin has a mini report on the state of publishing today. Vertical integration is on the rise; agents will have to rethink their roles and become more career managers; ebooks aren’t making the money now that publishers are putting out in terms of digital production. This article is short and a must read.
Barnes and Noble is rumored to have an ebook reader coming out “soon.” Given that it acquired Fictionwise and Fictionwise was in talks with Plastic Logic, I’m guessing it’s a Plastic Logic device. I hope, though, it is not the big business sized device. Maybe BN will come out with two sizes: one aimed at the business, newspaper crowd; and one aimed at the commercial fiction crowd. The device is also rumored to have a wireless or cellular connection. If it does, Sony really needs to step up its game to remain relevant.