New e-reader that integrates with the Google eBooks platform

PC Speed on July 14, 2011 – 6:01 am -

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The iriver Story HD e-reader is the 1st e-reader integrated with the Google eBooks platform. This will allow readers to buy and read Google eBooks over Wi-Fi. It will be available at Target for $140. It is lightweight and thin with a high-resolution E Ink screen and a QWERTY keyboard.

It includes over-the-air access to hundreds of thousands of Google eBooks for sale and more than three million for free. With the Story HD you can now browse, buy and read Google e-Books with the reader through Wi-Fi. You don’t have to download and transfer them from computer to e-reader with a cord.

The Google eBooks platform is open to all publishers, retailers and manufacturers. Manufacturers like iriver can use Google Books APIs and services to connect their devices to the full Google eBooks catalog. You can also store your personal ebooks library in the cloud and move them from laptop to tablet to smartphone to e-reader.Google Blog

Twitter is causing Hollywood stars to flop

PC Speed on July 12, 2011 – 6:34 am -

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Twitter is getting some of the blame for star-driven movies to do poor. Once, the lofty reputation of stars would carry a sub-standard movie through its opening weekend and possibly. The bad reviews would take a while to trickle out to the public. It would definitely be harder to degrade fan loyalty. But movie goers today will tweet witty negative criticisms from the theater. A Twitter assault can crush a movie in a matter of minutes. A star’s track record has no bearing in the Twitterverse.

Many recent big-name movies can’t get out of the red. Larry Crowne – the Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts would be Hollywood gold in the old days but is failing to set box offices And How Do You Know?, a comedy with Jack Nicholson and Reese Witherspoon looks unlikely to survive the Twitter assault and earn its $80m cost.Guardian

Publishing hit with crime wave due to plummeting print sales.

PC Speed on July 11, 2011 – 6:19 am -

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As paperback book sales continue to drop, several publishing companies are launching mystery imprints in hopes of gaining a footprint in the hot crime-fiction market. Newcomers range from small independent publishers to big established players. Little, Brown has started a suspense imprint Mulholland. Amazon and digital media company Open Road have also started new digital crime imprints.

Mulholland has been looking outside the normal literary channels. They are working with Hollywood producers, movie and tv writers, graphic novelists and even videogame creators. They published a digital collection of short stories based on c the videogame L.A. Noire. Wall Street Journal

World of Warcraft will be available for free.

PC Speed on July 5, 2011 – 6:09 am -

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World of Warcraft will be free for new players. It will give away the first 20 levels which is the game’s beginning content. The free content is an attempt to attract new players for the wildly popular game. If new players want to continue playing past the 20th level, they will be able to play the first 20 levels free but will have to purchase all 3 expansions as well as the original game. Blizzard Entertainment recently dropped the price for an original copy of the game and the first expansion to twenty-dollars, but the other expansions are still priced at around thirty-five dollars.

World of Warcraft tried free trial programs in the past, including a two day trial and a one-week trial. But they figured that removing the time limit because it give causal players a chance at the virtual world on the their own schedule. Venture Beat

Google’s new social network fills the desperate need to separate your personal stuff and work – Facebook is just too flat.

PC Speed on July 1, 2011 – 6:21 am -

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We all know that Facebook has some severe limitation on segregating friends. It flattens our social relationships into one big group. It’s very difficult to organize friends into family, school friends, work, etc.. Facebook tries to advocate a strict “one person, one account” policy. If you want to separate the two, you have to use the page feature. Which looks a lot like one person – two accounts.

Google+ represents Google’s 4th attempt at social networking. It looks like Google+ may be right this time. It’s easy to understand and is built on the circles feature. You choose friends and organize them into different “circles,” or groups, based on friends, family, work and so on. Last night they rolled it out and had to stop the crowds from overwhelming the system. Salon

Pope tweets to the masses.

PC Speed on June 30, 2011 – 6:38 am -

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The Pope just caught up with the Dalai Lama in the field of social networking. The Dalai Lama has been using Tweeting to his followers since early 2010. This week was the 1st time Pope Benedict XVI used the site, signing under the Vatican’s account.

He did not use one of the Cardinals or Bishops to do his virtual twetting. There is a picture of the Pope typing the tweet into an iPad as an archbishop looks on. His first message a sales pitch for his news site. Here is the Tweet.

Dear Friends, I just launched Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI. Salon

Zuckerberg Is Now Richer Than The Google Dudes – Amazing numbers

PC Speed on June 29, 2011 – 6:38 am -

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Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth shot up past $18 Billion from $13.5 billion in one day – thanks to a private stock transaction that valued the stock at $30 a share. Today he becomes the richest tech titan in the world behind Bill Gates and Larry Ellison. He had already shot past Apple’s Steve Jobs last fall and has now passed the Google dudes.

Google shares dropped about 18%. Sergey Brin and Larry Page’s fortunes are now estimated to have dropped to around $16 billion, down from $20 billion. But the Facebook fortunes seemed to be dwindling. In the US, the site may have lost its cool. Forbes

U.S. movie studios rely on Russian ticket sales to grow revenue.

PC Speed on June 27, 2011 – 6:19 am -

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Only a decade ago Russia had a handful of movie theatres, but now it has become an area of enormous growth. It has become so important that the new Transformers movie has opened in Russia with a Premiere that was fit for Hollywood. According to some research, there aren’t enough theaters in Russia to meet the demand.

Increased ticket in Russia and other countries comes as U.S. and Canada revenues has flattened. Overseas ticket buyers now represent 70% of Hollywood’s box-office revenue. It is quite possible for a movie to be flat in the U.S. and yet still be a hit overseas. For example, Angelina Jolie -Johnny Depp thriller “The Tourist” earned only $68 million domestically after its December debut. But the movie, did over $200 million overseas. LA Times

How to reach your mobile customers

PC Speed on June 24, 2011 – 6:43 am -

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Its all about using the location-based technologies built into smartphones. If businesses can find a customer’s current location in relation to their service or product then the retailer has potential to reach out to those customers with a timely messages.

The big issue is whether the customer will agree to participate in such a marketing plan. Companies need to offer some incentive that has a high enough value to get the customers to participate. Retailers should use unpublicized deals, on-the-spot discounts or added rewards.

AT&T is using a location-based marketing system called Placecast. It creates ShopAlerts to grab mobile customers’ attention. They use geo-fences around retailers’ locations – these area broadcast highly targeted messages when a potential customer is within the perimeter of the particular store. CNBC

Businesses scrambling to protect their trademarks after new changes to web suffixes – expect a “name grab”

PC Speed on June 21, 2011 – 6:19 am -

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Businesses should be concerned about how to protect their names on the internet after the internet governing body has decided to allow the creation of 1000s of web suffixes in addition to .com and .net.Even though the starting price of such a domain is $500,000, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers will allow companies and cities to create customized domain names – such as .pepsi or .london

The actual cost for certain domain names will be enormous as parties will fight for contested names. Some are expect to trigger huge legal fights. Companies are also concerned the ruling will increase “cybersquatting”, where trademark names are snapped up by internet opportunists. Financial Times