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Friday News: More on the Apple-Beats deal, Amazon Germany delays shipments, BEA 2014, and eBay’s new fashion research

Friday News: More on the Apple-Beats deal, Amazon Germany delays shipments,...

Apple’s Beats deal is bad news for these two companies - So now that the Apple – Beats deal is officially confirmed, the predictions shift into full gear. Will Beats bring Apple back to its glory days? Will it end up being an expensive flop? And what about other online services?

Yahoo Tech Reporter Aaron Pressman says this deal is not welcome news for Pandora and Spotify. “If you’re Pandora or Spotify – which maybe was heading towards an IPO – if you’re an investor in those companies, you’re pretty bummed out,” said Pressman. “This is not good for you.” — Yahoo News

Amazon Strategy Raises Hackles in Germany - Perhaps on the strength of Amazon’s share of the ebook market in Germany — which is substantial — the company is now delaying shipments for books from German publisher Bonnier Media Group. Similar to the early stages of Amazon’s US battle with Hachette, the situation in Germany has emerged from negotiations between Amazon and one of Germany’s largest publishers over the sharing of ebook profits.

Yet in a country where shopping hours are also tightly controlled by the government, Germans are becoming increasingly accustomed to the ease and independence of ordering books at all hours and having them delivered to their front doors.

Germany’s book-order business, including online sales, grew by 4 percent last year to 2.7 billion euros, or $3.7 billion, according to the Federation of Mail-Order Booksellers. Amazon towered above its competitors, controlling more than half of the German market, with sales of €1.9 billion. — New York Times

BEA 2014: Strong Traffic, Talk of Amazon-Hachette - Even BEA, which is currently underway in New York City, is preoccupied with talk of the Amazon-Hachette conflict. Along with flourishing attendance, a tribute to Maya Angelou, and presentation of the Indie Champion Award to James Patterson, people were talking about the battle. Patterson, especially, was outspoken, insisting that publishers must remain afloat to “support good literature,” and noting that profit margins in publishing are not enormous:

As Patterson sees it, readers and the bookselling community must step up in order to safeguard the future of our literature. He spoke about how this “economic war” will affect grocery stores, libraries, and bookstores. “Ultimately it will put thousands of mom-and-pops out of business. If Amazon’s not a monopoly, it’s the beginning of one. If this is to be the new American way, this has to be changed, by law if necessary.” He wanted the media and authors groups to take up this topic. “It’s a worthy subject of this BEA.”

Patrick Hughes, Fulcrum’s marketing and sales director, was also vocal on the subject of Amazon, and completely unsympathetic toward Hachette. “I can’t complain, there’s nothing better out there,” he said. “Amazon is our largest customer.” He continued: “One international corporate behemoth complaining about another international corporate behemoth—I have absolutely no sympathy.” — Publishers Weekly

In order to chase down fashion recommendations, eBay turns to neurological data - The use of algorithms to try to predict consumer choices and recommend merchandise is not a new concept, but eBay is taking the process a step further, it seems, by using neurological research to attempt to figure out what consumers want to wear, and thus, buy. Creepy or cool? Or maybe both?

Fashion taste is a fickle thing, but scientists have long pursued the neurological causes behind our aesthetic choices. We are still far from understanding the motives, but MIT Technology Review reports that a team at eBay Research Labs in San Jose is using neurology research and in-person opinions to help craft an algorithm that determines fashion combinations — ideally to be used to recommend clothing during shopping experiences. — Gigaom

Thursday News: RIP Maya Angelou, Tor’s new DRM-free imprint, LeVar Burton Kickstarts Reading Rainbow, and books featuring bookworms

Thursday News: RIP Maya Angelou, Tor’s new DRM-free imprint, LeVar Burton...

[Tor founder Tom] Doherty confirmed that after two years Tor Books had yet to see any downside to their decision. Distributing ebooks sans DRM has not increased the number of pirated ebooks or visibly decreased sales of Tor titles, thus proving that DRM serves no actual purpose other than locking consumers into existing retail channels. –The Digital Reader

The Kickstarter is looking to raise $1 million and wants to accomplish three goals: bringing Reading Rainbow to the web, creating a version meant for teachers’ use in classrooms, and setting up a not-for-profit with the goal of giving Reading Rainbow away to low-income schools for free. Other schools and individual families will still be able to use Reading Rainbow on the web, but they’ll have to pay a subscription to access it — for personal use of the iPad app, that’s about $60 per year. –The Verge