Items tagged with Amazon

There’s been a lot of hype surrounding cloud computing lately. Considering all of the great things cloud computing claims to offer, there should be no surprise many of the big tech players are looking to get a piece of the puzzle. The trouble is these companies can’t seem to agree on cloud standards. Several companies are currently working together on a so-called "Open Cloud Manifesto." These companies plan to release a copy of the document on Monday. The purpose of the manifesto is to lay out the standards and practices that should be adhered to in the delivery of cloud computing environments. However, not all of the big tech players are involved in the writing of this manifesto. In the cloud... Read more...
Everything Amazon seems to touch turns to gold, so why should this initiative be any different? In an effort to rival GameStop's highly successful trade-in business, the online e-tailer has launched its very own Video Games Trade-In program. Of note, the program is still listed as "beta" for the moment, but it's completely live and ready to accept any of your mildly stale titles. The process seems simple enough. You select your games that are in "good condition," print a free shipping label and packing slip, send 'em off to Amazon and get an Amazon.com gift certificate in return (which is as good as cash, right?). The problem, however, is just how viable is this model? Industry spectators will... Read more...
Um, Amazon? Not sure if anyone told you, but most of the functionality that was previously reserved for your own Kindle and Kindle 2 e-book readers is now available for free on Apple's white-hot iPhone. Believe it or not, Amazon has somehow certified that a Kindle app be allowed out on the ever-expanding App Store free of charge, though a few limitations are thrown in to be sure.Naturally, anyone who uses the iPhone as their main e-reader will lose out on the more expansion e-ink display, and they'll certainly drain their phone battery a lot faster than normal. Also, it's not currently compatible with Kindle Store newspapers or magazines, and you can't buy books directly from within the application.... Read more...
Back at the end of January, we told you about the expected announcement today of the Kindle 2, the next-gen e-book reader. This morning, Amazon.com confirmed the news at a media event at the Morgan Library and Museum in Manhattan. The upgrades on the Amazon Kindle 2 include:• slimmer design - .36 inches thick, weighing less than 10 ounces• 25 percent more life in the battery• faster page turns• more than seven times more storage (2 GB memory, so those Stephen King or Norman Mailer novels should fit just fine)• sharper images• a new "read-to-me" feature• a five-way controller that eases note-taking and highlighting, as well as switching between articles... Read more...
February 9th is still hours away, but there's little doubt about what Amazon will unveil this coming Monday at a library in New York. A whole gaggle of rather official looking press images have surfaced in the run-up to the event, and they sure look convincing. At this point, it would actually be a shock if Jeff Bezos didn't introduce the second Kindle to the world, and if these shots prove accurate, we'd guess this one will stay just as "sold out" as the original seemed to. Actual specifications about the next-generation e-reader have yet to be revealed, but it's obvious that the device is slimmer, sleeker, sexier and just more attractive than the existing Kindle. We're also told that the unit... Read more...
When Amazon announced today that it would hold a press conference Feb. 9 at the Morgan Library and Museum in Manhattan, the rumors started flying fast and furious, and the consensus seems to be:Kindle 2 is to be released soon.A quick trip over to Amazon.com also shows that the Kindle just happens to be "sold out." How convenient that it isn't likely to ship for another four to six weeks. And the last time Amazon held a press conference in New York City, it was to announce the first Kindle, several folks have pointed out.The existing Kindle allows you to shop for books wirelessly, without Wi-Fi (it uses the same wireless technology as cell phones). More than 225,000 books are currently available... Read more...
How do you stem a state's $15.4 billion budget gap? By implementing the age-old American tradition of creating new taxes, that's how! Because of the current state of the economy and New York State's dire budget woes, New York state residents might be surprised to find that Governor David Paterson's new $121 billion budget proposal looks to tax items and services that have been traditionally been tax free in the state, including digital downloads. According to Ron Deutsch, executive director of the New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness advocacy group, "the governor is nickel-and-diming working class families" with his new budget proposal.At this stage there is no guarantee that Governor Paterson's budget... Read more...
Songbeat has released a new version of its online music search, allowing users to search more engines simultaneously, along with the ability to play, export, and download songs. It can stream from SeeqPod, Project Playlist, Spool.fm, and iAsk, along with downloading music from your last.fm stations. To "download" the music, the Songbeat application records the live stream. According to Songbeat, this method of downloading is legal in Germany, where the company is located. The free version of Songbeat allows 25 song downloads for free, however, to get more users must download the full version of the application for $29.99. Along with the full version, Songbeat hopes to make additional revenue... Read more...
As part of Amazon's AWS service they provide online storage at very low rates via the Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3). S3 combined with the S3 Amazon Firefox Add-on provide an extremely easy to use means to upload files via the Firefox web browser.  Just open the add-on that resides in the lower right portion of Firefox, select (double-click) a destination folder or "bucket" as Amazon calls them and then use windows explorer to browse to the file or files you want to transfer, select them, and then drag and drop into the add-on user interface. You are then presented with upload status bars that show the progress until complete. Voila, your files are now uploaded and available to you or... Read more...
It's the most wonderful time of the year. Actually, while it is the holiday season, it really sucks. Look at the economy, the stock market, job losses, and earnings reports for many companies. But it is the time of the year for tne annual Amazon.com Customers Vote promotion. How does it work? Step 1: Vote. Browse our six rounds of great products, and vote for the ones you'd like to buy at an amazing discount. Step 2: Check E-mail. Check your e-mail the day before each buying round to see if you've been randomly selected to participate in the race to buy. Step 3: Go! If selected, make sure you come back and log-in early on race day. We will have many more participants than deals, so the race is... Read more...
OMG, finally! We're glad to see a retailer as large as Amazon.com has taken some initiative. How many of you are frustrated by blister or clamshell style packaging such as above? The dang things are so annoying that "how-tos" have been written about them. It's easy to get a cut from their sharp edges, so we're not surprised that articles about "safely" opening them has been written. Custom openers have even been developed. Amazon.com is, with its "Frustration-Free Packaging" project, taking a step toward eliminating not just those packs but also things like tiny SD cards packed in large boxes. The project is starting small, with only 19 products from manufacturers including Fisher-Price, Mattel,... Read more...
In a Monday press release, Amazon.com announced that buyers who want to get their hands on some upcoming hot games can upgrade their shipping to be assured they'll get them on release day: Gamers have been asking for it and Amazon has answered the call. Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced that it will offer release-date delivery for "Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09," "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed," "Fable 2" and "Gears of War 2." For $5.98, Amazon customers can upgrade their shipping option for guaranteed delivery of these titles on the first day of availability to all addresses within the continental United States. Additionally, Amazon Prime customers will receive release-date delivery for... Read more...
Amazon customers, watch your e-mail inboxes carefully today. You might be one of the select few who get invited to try out Amazon's new Video On Demand Service, which is scheduled to rollout today for a limited, invitation-only debut. The rest of us schlubs will have to wait until later in the summer to check it out. Unlike Amazon's Unbox service, which is a download-only proposition, Amazon's new Video on Demand service will stream movies and TV shows directly to your computer. Amazon's Unbox service requires proprietary software and runs only on Windows-based computers and TiVo set-top boxes. Right now, our only source of information about the Amazon Video on Demand service is from the New... Read more...
With the so-called "Amazon Tax" taking effect in New York state on Sunday, Overstock.com filed suit Friday against New York, joining Amazon.com, which filed a similar lawsuit in early May.Overstock.com, which is based only in Utah, has no operations in New York, and sells exclusively through the internet, views the new law as unconstitutional under both New York and federal constitutional provisions, including due process clauses under both constitutions and the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution as well. The complaint filed in the New York Supreme Court calls upon the court to issue an injunction and to declare the law unconstitutional. It names as defendants in the suit the New York State... Read more...
On Sunday, June 1st, the so-called "Amazon Tax" will go into effect in New York state. While formerly only retailers with brick-and-mortar stores in a state were required to collect sales tax, New York has enacted a law which forces etailers to collect tax on sales, if they have affiliates which redirect traffic to their sites (e.g., Amazon.com affiliates).Starting June 1, Amazon (AMZN, Fortune 500) will charge a sales tax to shoppers who live in New York, even though the retailer maintains no physical operations in the Empire State.Why the crackdown? With the economy in the tank, the State of New York was getting desperate to fill its budget gap. So it expanded its rules about what constitutes... Read more...
Internet years go by fast. Way back in ancient web history --2001-- Borders books thought it was a good idea to ally themselves with a fast-growing web portal called Amazon.com. Perhaps you've heard of it. I'm sure it seemed like an interesting sideline revenue stream to Borders enormous brick-and-mortar book sales at the time. Borders has now finally woken up to the fact that Amazon is basically putting Borders' regular stores out of business, and they're trying to recapture sales revenue currently lost to the Internet by launching their own e-commerce site, borders.com. “The decision to partner with Amazon, at the time it was made, was made I think for very good reasons,” said Kevin Ertell,... Read more...
The State of New York enacted a statute requiring Amazon.com to collect NY sales taxes on orders going to New York State residents. Technically, all Internet sales have long been subject to sales tax; the NY consumer was supposed to report such purchases and pay tax on them. You can imagine how little tax was collected by relying on consumers to drop a dime on themselves on their yearly tax returns. So New York decided to make it Amazon's problem to keep track of and collect taxes from New York residents. How did they turn Amazon into a New York retailer overnight?Generally, only those companies that have a physical presence — like an office or store — in the state where the purchase is made... Read more...
Yes, the end is nigh.  Not only has New York State's "Amazon Tax" been signed into law, it will take effect on June 1st.New York Internet shoppers, take note: in five weeks, sales tax-free shopping will end on many Web sites thanks to rewritten state rules that are trying to force Internet retailers to collect.At Chrono Tech Watches in White Plains, Jerry Nally is glad the clock is ticking on many Internet retailers that don't charge New York sales tax. Nally says those so-called "e-tailers" steal his customers."They'll come in our store, look at our product, touch it, play with it, look at the warranties, then go back to the web and buy it tax free," says Nally.The fact of the matter is,... Read more...
Filling out our California income tax this year, we laughed when we came upon the "Use Tax" section. Did we buy anything from out-of-state retailers that we owed California sales tax for? Of course we didn't! But whether or not we did, New York state is close to closing that loophole for its residents with the so-called "Amazon Tax."The so-called "Amazon tax" closes a loophole for Internet retailers who derive sales through affiliate programs in which Web site owners place a link to the merchant on their site and earn a commission on sales made from referrals. In lobbying for the bill, the industry group representing New York retailers had argued that the exemption from the sales-tax collection... Read more...
Fortunately Amazon.com launched this service on 4/2, or we might have wondered ...In less than a minute and using only text messages, Amazon.com customers can find the product they are looking for and complete a purchase using TextBuyIt. Simply send a text message to "AMAZON" (262966) with the name of the product, search term or a UPC or ISBN code, and, within seconds, Amazon replies with the product or products that match the search, along with prices. To buy an item, customers simply reply to the text message by entering the unique single digit number next to the item they want. Customers will then receive a short phone call from Amazon with the final details of their order and asking them... Read more...
When Amazon.com opened its software download service in early January, it seemed curious that they would create a downloader app if they didn't have something larger in mind. A job posting on Gamasutra suggests Amazon will soon start a PC game download store to compliment Unbox, its video-on-demand service, and the site's MP3 download store. The job posting asks programmer/engineers to apply to become a part of the Software and Video Games Digital Technology Team at Amazon, which is "responsible for digital distribution of software and video game products from the Amazon website, including the newly launched Amazon Software Download store."This is precisely what we have anticipated, though not... Read more...
When Amazon MP3 launched last year, you can bet it was looked upon by Apple as just another minor threat to iTunes' dominance. But with the signing of Sony BMG, Amazon is the only retailer selling DRM-free music from all four major music labels. And now it's a major threat.Today Amazon announced that Amazon MP3 is going global, spreading DRM-free music worldwide. "We have received thousands of e-mails from Amazon customers around the world asking us when we will make Amazon MP3 available outside of the U.S. They can't wait to choose from the biggest selection of high-quality, low-priced DRM-free MP3 music downloads which play on virtually any music device they own today or will own in the future,"... Read more...
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