Google scales back e-book affiliates program, drops some users

When Google launched the program, retailers, bloggers, book publishers and other website owners earned referral fees ranging from 6 to 10 percent of a book’s selling price, depending on the number of sales referred. That was a higher rate than the one offered through Amazon’s referral program…

Facebook plans to release a new premium ads product Feb. 29

Facebook is planning to upgrade its premium ads on February 29, with the goal of boosting performance by 40 to 80 percent, according to documents obtained by iStrategyLabs’ Peter Corbett.

What does HD Voice sound like on a mobile VoIP call?

Here in the U.S., we’re lagging behind nations where HD Voice has been implemented. Thanks to Bria for Android, and its support for wideband audio codecs, I’m now starting to get a taste of this higher voice quality and recorded a demo for you to hear.

Do we want textbooks to live in Apple’s walled garden?

Apple’s new textbook offering and book-authoring software are attractive, and the idea of digital textbooks makes sense, but they are both locked to Apple’s walled-garden ecosystem. That may be fine for music and movies and games like Angry Birds, but is it appropriate for educational material?

Everspin takes MRAM to Dell, LSI and beyond

Everspin, the spin-out of Freescale Semiconductor attempting to make magnetic random access memory work, said it had shipped 4 million MRAM devices in 2011 and that Dell and LSI use its products. It also has a plan to take on the giant DRAM market.

Today in Green IT: The case for SSDs in data centers

Analysts at IDC have projected that the dollar per gigabyte price barrier for solid state drives should fall by the second half of this year. What does that mean for data centers, where many operators want to bring down energy usage while speeding up web serving?

Apple’s iPad tops 3 billion downloads

Apple’s iPad is far and away the high water mark when it comes to tablet applications, and a new report Wednesday says it just passed an impressive milestone. Users of Apple’s 9.7-inch touchscreen device are said to have downloaded approximately 3 billion apps in total.

HTC unlocks Androids even from AT&T and Verizon

Delivering on a promise, HTC is offering a software tool to unlock its Android devices that launched after Sept. 2011, allowing users to install custom software. The supported phone list doesn’t include AT&T or Verizon models, but the tool is working on some from these carriers.

Spread the word: Math is the new sexiness in IT

If big data does indeed write the screenplay for the movie about the next generation of business, the climax will be that mathematicians take the prom queen home. If students want high-paying jobs with the coolest companies around, they’d better heed that prediction.

Hey devs, APIs are good for you.

Adding a good API to your web service can result in a 70-percent increase in traffic, according to a survey out this week from a tech research firm. The survey laid out the business and technical reasons companies use APIs and how well they work.