Layoffs have reportedly begun at AOL’s hyperlocal news community Patch, and could affect up to half of Patch’s 1,000-person workforce. Read more »
E Ink Holdings, the leading provider of e-ink screens to companies like Amazon and Barnes & Noble, just had its worst quarter in four years. But the company says it sees growth in the e-reader market outside the United States. Read more »
Amazon has compiled a list of the funniest fake customer reviews for products like Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon and BIC Cristal for Her Ball Pen. Customers can also nominate the product reviews that they think are funniest. And Amazon links to Maria Popova’s “Modern Masterpieces of Comedic Genius: The Art of the Humorous Amazon Review.” (via Me and My Kindle)
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has sold off its $38 million stake in newspaper publisher Gannett Company and purchased $23 million worth of shares in the Dish Network, according to SEC filings. CNN Money notes that Berkshire Hathaway remains the largest outside shareholder in the Washington Post, which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos recently acquired for $250 million.
It was a bad week for bookstores, at least in the world of punditry. Read more »
Amazon is working with Russian publishers to sign ebook contracts for the launch of the Russian Kindle store, Publishing Perspectives reports. The company has also hired Arkady Vitruk, the former head of leading Russian publisher Azbuka-Atticus, to oversee Kindle Russia.
On Friday afternoon, Apple and the federal government will meet in court to discuss Apple’s punishment in the ebook pricing case. Ahead of that conference, Apple argued for a stay, and the DOJ argued that the publishers have “banded together once again.” Read more »
Google has launched a digital textbooks section of the Play store. So far, the section has fewer textbooks available than Amazon or Barnes & Noble, but the selection should increase over time. Read more »
Nate Silver, whose super popular politics blog FiveThirtyEight is leaving the New York Times and becoming a separate site at ESPN, did a podcast with Bill Simmons. Silver calls the NYT “constrained a lot from its business strategy point of view” and says, “[with] all the traffic the Times has right now, it should be turning a much larger profit… I don’t think you should blame the environmental conditions, so much as maybe your sales staff isn’t that good.” You can download the podcast here and read Deadspin’s wrapup here.
The five publishers in the ebook pricing case object to the DOJ’s proposed punishment for Apple, saying that it would harm them because it aims to prohibit agency pricing for five years. Read more »
Amazon, Kobo and Sony are petitioning the FCC to permanently exempt e-readers from laws requiring electronics to be accessible to the disabled. The companies say that if they were forced to comply with the law, the essential nature of e-readers would change. Read more »
People my age are driving less than they ever have before. Sometimes I want a car, but that’s partly because car-sharing startups haven’t yet taken off in my neighborhood. Read more »
Lots of sites want to integrate retail, but Food52 thinks that cooking offers an ideal opportunity to do so. The site launched its new store, Provisions, on Tuesday. Read more »
Apple vehemently disagrees with the Department of Justice’s proposed remedy in the ebook pricing case. The company also said that the government has no business interfering with the way that the App Store runs. Read more »
Digital subscriptions across the New York Times’ properties are up, but overall revenues fell slightly due to declines in advertising. The company is planning new digital initiatives in the hopes of offsetting those declines. Read more »
Users of Amazon’s fan fiction platform, “Kindle Worlds,” will now be able to sell fan fiction based on Kurt Vonnegut works, the company announced Thursday. Read more »
Amazon’s interview with President Obama is now available free in the Kindle Store. Read more »
J. K. Rowling announced Wednesday that she’ll donate the royalties from The Cuckoo’s Calling, the mystery that she wrote under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, to charity for three years, starting from July 14 — the day she was outed as the book’s author. The charity is the Army Benevolent Fund. In addition, Rowling sued the London law firm that was responsible for giving her secret away (a partner there told his wife’s best friend, who spilled the news on Twitter) and that firm has agreed to make a “substantial donation” to the same charity and pay Rowling’s legal fees.
U.K. consumers are seeing super-low prices on some new ebooks as part of a Barnes & Noble Nook promotion. So far, though, U.S. customers haven’t seen prices like this. Read more »
When President Obama gives a jobs speech from Amazon’s Chattanooga warehouse on Tuesday, he’ll also provide an interview that Amazon plans to publish as a Kindle Single tomorrow. Read more »
Citing unidentified sources, BGR claims it has the specs for the new Kindle Fire HD tablets that Amazon is likely to launch this fall with higher resolution screens. According to BGR: The tablets will feature Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 chips, and the 8.9-inch model will add a rear-facing camera, in addition to the front-facing one. Plus, both the basic Kindle Fire and the two Kindle Fire HDs will reportedly come with three different storage options.
Netflix is making personalized profiles available to some Apple TV users, but the feature won’t launch to everyone until later this summer. Read more »
http://www.bookweb.org/news/aba-criticizes-president%E2%80%99s-choice-venue-jobs-speech American Booksellers Association president Oren Teicher joined the chorus of booksellers and other publishing industry figures criticizing Obama for giving a jobs speech on Tuesday at Amazon’s Chattanooga, Tenn. warehouse. “For more than a decade now, Amazon has flouted sales tax laws in an effort […] Read more »
Some members of the book publishing industry are furious that President Obama is giving a jobs speech from Amazon’s warehouse in Tennessee on Tuesday. Read more »
In response to an Overstock.com promotional campaign to price all of its books at least 10 percent below Amazon, Amazon is slashing hardcover prices to historic lows. Read more »
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/27/technology/the-faithful-embrace-youversion-a-bible-app.html?pagewanted=all YouVersion was the first Bible app in the App Store; since 2008, it’s been downloaded over 100 million times and now includes over 600 Bible translations in 100 languages. “This is a remarkable tech startup by any measure,” Kleiner Perkins partner Chi-Hua Chien says. Read more »
http://www.pearson.com/news/2013/july/pearson-2013-half-year-results.html?article=true Ebooks accounted for 33 percent of Penguin’s U.S. revenue in the first half of 2013, parent company Pearson reported Friday, up from 31 percent this time last year. Worldwide, ebooks made up 21 percent of Penguin’s revenue, up from 19 percent last year. This is […] Read more »
In the U.K., Netflix will stream new episodes of the AMC hit Breaking Bad just a day after they air on cable in the U.S. Read more »
Want a really cheap Web TV box? If you’re in the U.K., you can check out Sky’s Now TV box, which launched Friday and retails for £9.99. Read more »
Amazon announced Q2 earnings Thursday afternoon, delivering a loss of $7 million in a quarter when its stock hit a record high. Read more »
Apple could pay up to $500 million in the ebook pricing case, based on the amounts that settling publishers have paid already. Read more »
On Thursday, Amazon launched a new series on Kindle Singles that will feature long interviews with famous people. The first one is with the president of Israel and was produced in partnership with Tablet Magazine. Read more »
The European Commission has approved a proposed settlement with Penguin in the ebook pricing case, several months after it reached similar agreements with Apple and four publishers. Read more »
Google will start selling and renting digital textbooks through the Play store next month, in a move that could help it compete against Amazon’s Kindle textbook business. Read more »
Hoopla, a new streaming service for libraries, lets patrons borrow digital movies, TV shows, audiobooks and music. The selection isn’t comparable to Netflix, but it is free if you have a card at participating library. Read more »
Many city dwellers rely on online grocery shopping in order to avoid inconvenient urban supermarkets. But this is still one area where I prefer the analog shopping experience. Read more »
Flipboard’s custom magazines have only been available through its mobile apps until now, but on Tuesday the company announced that it is bringing them to the web. Read more »
Penguin’s self-publishing community, Book Country, is launching a digital bookstore where its members can sell their ebooks directly. Read more »
Don’t expect a revamped FiveThirtyEight right away: Nate Silver’s political blog will be hosted by the New York Times through the end of August, and it could be months before ESPN launches the new site, Silver and ESPN president John Skipper said Monday. Read more »
Aereo is launching in Utah in August, ahead of a planned launch in Chicago in September. The company is expanding fast despite facing litigation. Read more »