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Posts tagged Apple

PACER to restore ten years of deleted records; is still obnoxiously expensive
September 20, 2014 | 9:37 am

pacerLogoI thought I’d mentioned this at the time it happened, but I apparently didn’t. Last month, the court records database PACER deleted ten years’ worth of electronic federal court documents in the course of a hardware update. This sparked an immediate backlash from lawmakers. Now Ars Technica reports that the US government Administrative Office of the Courts will return most of those files to the database by the end of October. It’s nice that they’re doing the right thing, but the shortcomings of the PACER system are aggravating. The system charges ten cents per downloaded page, including for lists...

Why NOT self-publish exclusively through Amazon?
September 19, 2014 | 7:50 pm

I first saw a post by Hugh Howey discussing the potential cost versus befits of going exclusive with Amazon a few days ago. I was thinking of saying something about it, but it kind of takes on added significance with the news about Barnes & Noble removing the “Download” button from its e-book library. Howey’s post is worth reading, but lends itself to easy summarizing. Essentially, Amazon provides a number of added benefits and incentives to writers who publish exclusively via Amazon either temporarily or continually: free giveaway days, or inclusion in e-book subscription services such as the...

Apple Watch shows Cupertino has lost the plot
September 18, 2014 | 12:25 pm

AppleFor anyone following the checkered history of digital wearables and smartwatches, the advent of the Apple Watch drips with bathos. It's like watching a flabby, ageing Mr. Incredible-style former superhero lumber up for the big confrontation, only to discover it's all over. Apple's days of identifying and defining entire new consumer product categories are long in the past. The window was wide open for years, well signposted, speculated on - and Apple missed it. Financial markets and analysts alike were less than overwhelmed by the Apple Watch and the companion iPhone 6. The Register tracked Apple's stock price initially hiking to $102.92...

Apple event impressions
September 9, 2014 | 3:08 pm

apple patent for itimeI've been watching the Verge live blog of the Apple event, and the new iPhones do look like nice devices. Big surprise. They are larger. As all the leaks indicated, the iPhone 6 comes in a 4.7" (starting at $199 on contract) and a 5.5" variety ($299 on contract). For those of you who still want a smaller phone, the 5S and 5C aren't going away. Last year's phones are now the budget versions at $99 and free, respectively. So are the new phones revolutionary? I'd say not. They are nice, yes. I think many people will appreciate the larger size....

Morning Links: Roundup of new Nook reviews. Apple working on payment system
September 1, 2014 | 9:00 am

nookRoundup: Galaxy Tab 4 Nook Reviews (The Digital Reader) Unfortunately for both B&N and for potential buyers, there weren’t very many blogs interested in writing a review for this tablet. I only found 5 actual reviews (not counting the fake review posted by Publishers Weekly), which is far fewer than the dozen reviews I found for the Fire Phone. *** Apple Partnering With American Express On New iPhone Payments System (re/code) Apple has reached an agreement with American Express to work together on its new iPhone payments system, according to sources familiar with the talks. American Express is one of several partners Apple will need...

Smartphone shipments hit 300 million says IDC
August 15, 2014 | 6:12 pm

IDC_logoThe latest figures in the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker show the global smartphone market hitting a new record high, with a sharp hike on last year's figures. According to the data, "vendors shipped a total of 301.3 million smartphones worldwide in 2Q14, up 25.3 percent from the 240.5 million units shipped in the second quarter of 2013" - the first time shipments have risen over 300 million. This comes from the same research house that a short time ago noted a decline in tablet shipments amid an explosion in the popularity of phablets. Judging from these...

Interesting discovery about the Kindle for iOS app
August 5, 2014 | 3:08 pm

No link to Amazon in Kindle appObviously, I'm aware of the lack of a Kindle Store button in my Kindle for iOS app. However, I recently discovered the hoops Amazon is jumping through to avoid the possibility of paying the in-app purchase fee to Apple. I was re-reading the fantastic book, [easyazon-link asin="0385528752" locale="us"]Switch[/easyazon-link] by Chip and Dan Heath (highly recommended), and they referenced another book which sounded interesting. I knew I'd not be able to look it up directly in the iPad app, but I thought I could sneak around the restrictions by highlighting the text and bringing up the Google search function in the app. Aha!...

Morning Roundup: Manga buzz at Comic Com. Apple content delivery system is live
August 1, 2014 | 9:00 am

mangaManga Buzz is Strong at Comic-Con 2014 (PW) Once again, pop culture fandom congregated en masse at the San Diego Convention Center for Comic-Con International 2014, including plenty of fans looking for manga and anime. *** Hachette Bends But Doesn’t Break in Face of Amazon ‘Punitive Action’ (Digital Book World) In its first half numbers, which came out today, French media conglomerate Hachette Livre reported that Hachette Books Group, its U.S. division, generated 5.6% more revenue in the first half of 2014 than it did in the prior year. This, the report stated, despite a drop in ebook sales “reflecting market trend, fewer movie...

Apple bought, shuttered book recommender Booklamp in April
July 26, 2014 | 9:01 pm

MacRumors reports that Apple bought and shut down book-recommendation service Booklamp back in April. Booklamp was intended to be a sort of “Pandora for Books”—it used a similar system of categorizing books based on specific elements—but as I determined when I checked into it last November, it fell pretty far short of actually being useful, for two major reasons: it didn’t have a very big selection due to its opt-in nature, and it couldn’t account for humor. Apple hasn’t been saying much about why it bought the service, but that’s not unexpected. I imagine that, as is usually the...

Morning Roundup: Apple patent for iTime. Why Amazon terrifies publishers and more
July 23, 2014 | 9:00 am

apple patent for itimeKindle Unlimited's Two-Tier System Makes Some Authors Second-Class Citizens (Digital Book World) Whenever I speak about a situation where an entity (retailers or publishers) treat authors poorly the answer is always the same: “because they can.” *** Why Amazon Terrifies Publishers: Let's Look at Royalty Statements (Forbes) Like many authors, I’ve been struggling to decode all the noise coming  from Amazon and traditional book publishers, in hopes of figuring out which side is right in this long-running quarrel. The breakthrough moment for me came earlier this month, with the arrival of a new royalty statement from my New York agent. *** Amazon Makes Plea to Authors...

Morning Roundup: Publishers are as bad as Amazon, Final bill for Apple price-fixing
July 17, 2014 | 9:00 am

Apple price fixingMicrosoft Layoffs- Thursday's the Day (GigaOM) The company, as reported, needs to slim down after its $7.17 billion buyout of Nokia and to focus on key “CloudOS” and productivity tools across devices. The cuts are expected to be substantial — insiders expected up to 10 percent of employees will lose their jobs, which would be a deep cut for Microsoft. *** More Speculation on the Final Bill for Apple's Price-Fixing Problems (GoodEReader) News was announced yesterday from the lawyers for the plaintiffs in one of Apple’s side lawsuits over ebook pricing that the grand total the company could have to pay out to consumers...

Weekend Roundup: Used eBook site face lawsuit. Apple updates iPod Touch lineup
June 28, 2014 | 11:07 am

ipod touchUsed eBook Website Faces Lawsuit in Europe (The Digital Reader) The used ebook marketplace Tom Kabinet is only a week old but it is already facing legal challenges to its business model. *** Should Canadian Courts Get to Decide What the World Sees Online? (Michael Geist) The ruling provides the sense that the court felt that its reach needed to match Google's global footprint. While there is much to be said for asserting jurisdiction over Google - if it does business in Canada, then Canadian law should apply - attempts to extend blocking orders to a global audience could lead to a run on...