Technology News Headlines for July 23 2012 ( Monday )

DOJ Will Proceed With E-book Settlement Against Apple, Publishers
Via PaidContent: The Department of Justice announced today that it will keep as-is the settlement it imposed on Apple and five publishers in a hotly debated legal standoff involving the pricing of e-books. After a series of investigations, in the spring of this year, the DOJ filed an anti-trust case against Apple and five publishers for uncompetitively setting the price of e-books too high. The motion drew out an extensive backlash from Apple and its publishing partners, with some, like the Authors Guild, arguing that the settlement would further increase Amazon's existing dominance in the e-book selling space. The anti-DOJ sentiments grew to include political voices like New York senator Chuck Schumer, who vented his disapproval in a Wall Street Journal opinion column in mid-June. The DOJ today published a document addressing the 868 public comments it recieved in response to the settlement, saying that it wouldn't budge.

Is Amazon Making A 10-inch Tablet?
Amazon is getting ready to introduce new tablets, Staples' president of U.S. retail, Demos Parneros, told Reuters Monday.

Parneros said the online retailer will introduce five or six new tablet SKUs, or stock-keeping units, including those for a 10-inch tablet model. That's not necessarily the same as five or six new tablets because each version of a device gets its own SKU. The 16GB iPhone 4s, for instance, has a different SKU than the 32GB iPhone 4s.

As Amazon's line of E Ink Kindles has proved, hardware is a good vehicle for selling content. A hit tablet could help Amazon gain market share in electronically delivered music and video in the same way its Kindles have helped establish the company as a leading distributor of ebooks.

That's why moving further into the hardware business makes sense for Amazon. But can Amazon, which released its first Kindle just five years ago, continue to compete with veterans like Apple and Samsung on their turf? So far no company has been able to shake the iPad's dominance over the market, but the hotter race for tablet makers is the No. 2 spot, and as of May the Kindle Fire had snagged more than half of the Android market.

Rumors have predicted Amazon's next hardware release will embody everything from a thinner Kindle Fire 2 to a smartphone that competes with Apple's iPhone. The company may divulge more during a second-quarter earnings call planned for Thursday.

Facebook Invests Record Amount In Lobbyists
Second quarter 2012 lobbying figures have been announced—and there's big news for the tech sector: Facebook announced their highest Washington spending records in history.

According to the National Journal's Josh Smith, Facebook and Google are embracing lobbying to a never-before-seen degree. Facebook spent $960,000 on lobbyists between April and June 2012, while Google spent $3.9 million. This is an all-time high for Facebook, and a large amount for Google--though not as much as they spent fighting SOPA in 2011.

Despite the new CISPA bill weaving its way through Congress that has the internet civil liberty crowd up in arms, Google hasn't lobbied against it much. However, Facebook has been actively investing in lobbying efforts related to their massive customer database and overseas expansion. For context, Fortune's Philip Elmer-DeWitt notes that Google outspent Apple on lobbying nearly 10-1.

iZettle Card Reader Begins Beta Tests Of An Android App

iZettle, a two-year old Swedish company called the "Square of Europe" is launching an Android app in beta to follow its iOS model already out in the wild. iZettle's beta test is in partnership with Samsung, and accessed through an app in Samsung's Apps store. Though it is currently only available for Samsung Galaxy models and the Samsung Note in Sweden, iZettle says they are working on extending the Android compatibility beyond Sweden, and beyond Samsung's phones. Like the Square reader, the iZettle dongle reads credit card information for a smartphone, but, as TheNextWeb explains, the tech inside can read data off the highly secure chip found in most European cards, rather than access the old-fashioned magnetic strip data that Square uses. iZettle has been expanding across northern Europe, with a pilot program launched in the U.K. in May.

Twitter And NBC Universal Partner Up To Cover The Olympics
Twitter is joining forces with NBC Universal to report events from the Olympics. An extensively curated collection of tweets from athletes (and their families), fans, and NBC reporters, will be funnelled onto NBC's Olympics coverage home page, the Wall Street Journal reports, with Twitter being labelled as the "official narrator" for live Olympic events. A member of Twitter's tweet herding squad will also join NBC's social media team. Twitter's coverage will add to the Olympics content NBC is already collecting via its new deal with Facebook and through another deal with social media discovery engine Shazam. For Twitter, the partnership with NBC will help restake its claim to be the top spot for social media chatter around broadcast TV--a position that was being, some argued, threatened by the NBC-Facebook deal. Also, as the Journal points out, the high-profile event could help Twitter establish a broader following and help it make money through the ad partnerships it has in place.

Amazon Opening London Office For Digital Streaming TV
Amazon has bought an 8-floor, 47,000 square-foot office in London in an area dubbed "TechCity" and "Silicon Roundabout" because of its density of high-tech enterprises and startups. The building will be home for the firm's Digital Media Development center, and Amazon notes that Britain has been in the lead for on-demand streaming rental of movies and TV content over the Net. Amazon's current LoveFilm and Pushbutton streaming services will be moved to the building, and then more staff will be hired to push Amazon's efforts onward. Local rival BSkyB last week unveiled its digital download service NowTV and reported increased profits. Meanwhile the BBC's iPlayer, arguably among the boldest international moves to promote streaming TV, achieved one million international downloads last week.
Tags: , ,

About author

Make it happen !!


Leave a Reply