Amazon Reports 20% Increase in Net Sales (GalleyCat)
The TeleRead Take: More Amazon financials. It’s noteworthy that they don’t break out e-books vs. regular books or other products; they just talk about total sales. And even if (as GalleyCat points out in its third paragraph) Amazon introduced a new Kindle e-ink reader and expanded its kids’ tablet to the UK, that doesn’t necessarily explain the increase. Perhaps there’s more going on here than Michael Perry suggests.
An anonymous reader writes:For those of us who still remember the Hobson’s choice with the 3.21 update of the PS3 firmware, the most recent update to the Nvidia Shield Portable is eerily similar. The update, which is necessary to run recent games and apps that require Android 5.0 APIs, removes some features from the device, and removes the games that were bundled with the device, Sonic 4 Episode II and The Expendables: ReArmed. Nvidia has stressed that it is an optional update, but how many users have been told for months that the update was coming, some of whom may have bought the device after the update was announced, only to find out now they won’t receive all the functionality they paid for? How is it still legal for these companies to advertise and sell a whole product but only deliver part of it?
The TeleRead Take: This is one of those cases where it’s instructive to remember that Slashdot runs on hyperbole and reader aggravation. I have a good friend who owns a Shield, and his take is that the update just removes games he never played anyway (and not because nVidia’s being evil—the games themselves aren’t compatible with the new version of Android, and whose fault is that?) and features (such as Miracast or the original Android browser) that he never used. Which is pretty much the same as it ever is when anything changes in mobile. My friend also noted that most of the sentiment on the nVidia Shield forums ran the same way. Looks like someone is just looking for a reason to get people aggravated to drive more traffic.
Your smartphone was designed to deliver as much value as possible to its manufacturer, carrier and OS vendor, leaving behind the smallest amount of value possible while still making it a product that you’d be willing to pay for and use.
But in south China, the absence of patent and copyright enforcement, combined with enormous manufacturing and design capacity, means that phones for the domestic market are wildly innovative — more than just endless variations on glass-distraction-rectangles. They’re specialized and optimized for many different niches, and designed to beat the telcos at their own game, with as many as four SIM cages to allow you to take advantage of one carrier’s unlimited loss-leader texting; another’s loss-leader data plan, and so on.
The TeleRead Take: This Vimeo video is an interesting look at the amazing variety of different cell phones in use in China. When you see all the different shapes and sizes, even if most of them probably wouldn’t appeal to American users it still shows just how much variety we could have if the companies making them didn’t get in the way. And at least some of them would still be useful for e-reading.
Smoking Gun: MPAA Emails Reveal Plan To Run Anti-Google Smear Campaign Via Today Show And WSJ (Techdirt)
However, in a filing on Thursday, Google revealed one of the few emails that they have been able to get access to so far, and it’s stunning. It’s an email between the MPAA and two of Jim Hood’s top lawyers in the Mississippi AG’s office, discussing the big plan to "hurt" Google. Beyond influencing other Attorneys General (using misleading fake "setups" of searches for "bad" material) and paying for fake anti-Google research, the lawyers from Hood’s office flat out admit that they’re expecting the MPAA and the major studios to have its media arms run a coordinated propaganda campaign of bogus anti-Google stories.
The TeleRead Take: Granted that this story doesn’t have a lot to do with e-books on the face of it, and granted also that Techdirt has been known for gleefully engaging in hyperbole over journalistic integrity in pursuit of its stories. Nonetheless, if the quote the story cites in the next paragraph is true, that would perhaps shed some light on why the Wall Street Journal so gleefully attacked Judge Cote and anti-trust monitor Bromwich in its editorials during the Apple anti-trust affair. (And perhaps why Apple’s lawyers didn’t bring it up themselves during the trial? They knew there was no actual substance behind it?)
I want to have the ability to be funny and serious, but most of all, to be myself online. I should not have to give that up just to be safe. The solution is for social media sites and the police to take threats or jokes about swatting, doxxing, and organized crime seriously. Tweeting about buying a gun and shooting up a school would be taken seriously, and so should the threat of raping, doxxing, swatting or killing someone.
Privacy issues and online harassment are directly linked, and online harassment isn’t going anywhere. My fear is that, in reaction to online harassment, laws will be passed that will break down our civil freedoms and rights online, and that more surveillance will be sold to users under the guise of safety. More surveillance, however, would not have helped me or my mother. A platform that takes harassment and threats seriously instead of treating them like jokes would have.
The TeleRead Take: While it’s pretty long, this piece is one of the better explanations of how the whole Gamergate fiasco operates that I’ve seen in a while. The author’s public disapproval of the movement, and her security research on filters to help harassment victims manage their online experience, unfortunately brought her—and her mother—to the trolls’ attention, and this was the result. This is the world that our new digitally-connected lifestyle has wrought.
That said, I’m not sure how Twitter “[taking] harassment and threats seriously” would have prevented someone on Twitter from calling the police to go to her mother’s house. Twitter doesn’t control the police, after all, nor can it prevent one of its users from calling them on someone they don’t like even if it could have prevented them from saying one word on Twitter itself.