Thursday News: Klout sells to Lithium, Diesel eBooks closes, Books on Board sues Apple & Big 5, and NASA gives us pretty pictures

Thursday News: Klout sells to Lithium, Diesel eBooks closes, Books on...

Klout acquired for $200 million by Lithium Technologies – Remember when everyone was checking their Klout scores? Well, apparently Klout’s own score has just risen exponentially, with this $200 million acquisition by Lithium, in a mix of cash and private stock. Are people still paying attention to Klout? The whole thing seemed kind of random to me, but I admit I never studied the service in any detail.

Early on, Klout’s scoring process earned controversy. How valuable is an individual’s social pull? Could it be monetized? And how exactly were Klout scores achieved? To wit, at one point, President Obama ranked lower than tech influencer Robert Scoble, an issue that was remedied with a major redesign in 2012 that offered more accurate scores, as well as further transparency into how scores are measured. Since then, Klout has also expanded with Klout for Business, a portal intended offering deeper analytics to brands, as well as content creation aggregation, so users could share articles and posts with their audience. –Fortune/CNN

Diesel eBooks to Close – Although apparently Diesel claims it’s not gone for good, the short notice of their shutdown (and apparently you have until March 31st to back up your books) doesn’t exactly bode well, does it. Nor does the incredibly brief announcement on their website. –Publishers Weekly

Defunct Indie eBook Retailer BooksOnBoard Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against Apple, 5 Publishers – And speaking of Diesel, Books on Board has joined them in filing an antitrust suit against Apple and the Big 5 publishers, arguing, like Diesel, that they were harmed by the collusion. In BOB’s case, they are claiming that “agency” pricing effectively shut them down, and considering my own experience trying to buy books right when the pricing scheme was rolling over into “agency,” that argument doesn’t seem so far fetched.

They’re basically making the same argument as the one Diesel eBooks made when that ebookstore filed its suit a couple weeks ago. Both parties are pointing to the lawsuit which the Department of Justice filed against Apple and the publishers in April 2012. The 5 publishers settled before trial, but Apple lost in July 2013.

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According to the complaint, BooksOnBoard says that before Agency took effect in April 2010, they were the largest independent ebook retailer in the United States, with revenue behind only Amazon and Barnes & Noble. (I think they are exaggerating for effect.)  –The Digital Reader

Galleries: NASA celebrates the Cosmos – And now, a virtual palate cleanser. Enjoy! –