This time last year, most of us would have predicted that Blu-ray and HD-DVD would still be going at it, but even with a victor now declared in the high definition format war, digital downloads and streaming content are ruling the roost, just as Michael Bay prophesized (minus the corporate conspiracy theory). Hoping to become king of the digital hill, Amazon.com is introducing a new online store of TV shows and movies.
What's that you say, Unbox isn't new? That's right, but this isn't Unbox. Amazon Video on Demand departs from the company's first attempt at offering a digital video download service, and this time around, customers will not be required to download special software to the watch programs they buy. And in another departure from Unbox, the new service will extend support beyond just Windows PCs and TiVo set-top boxes.
Find out what else Amazon Video on Demand brings to the table and when it will be available after the jump.
Amazon's Kindle is fast becoming a runaway success, and the eBook reader looks to get even more enticing this fall with two new models. Crunch Gear claims to have the inside scoop on two new Kindles, saying the first one will maintain the same size screen as the original but in a smaller form factor. As the un-named insider puts it, Amazon has "skipped three or four generations" with the new models compared to the original. The second of the new Kindles will reportedly come shaped like a standard 8.5 x 11-inch piece of paper, making it noticeably bigger than first run units.
Both models are expected to come in a variety of colors in an attempt to appeal to a larger audience. But what the insider didn't say is whether or not Amazon plans to implement PDF support and better battery life when using the wireless functionality. If so, will it be enough to get you interested in jumping aboard the eBook scene?
Amazon’s proprietary wireless reading device Kindle has been rather successful. It remained out of stock for months after being launched in November, 2007, despite being criticized heavily for its lack of WiFi, ugly design and limited PDF support. Now it is fast emerging as a popular electronic book reader, if a Time magazine report is to be believed.
A source inside Amazon told Time that Kindle accounts for 12% of sales of the roughly 130k titles that are both available physically and as Kindle downloads. Kindle’s share has doubled from May, when Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos had claimed it to be 6%. It is good to hear that digital distribution threatens to change the landscape of the books publishing industry as well. However, Kindle is far from perfect and its design and features need nothing less than an overhaul.
Linux is moving a little bit more to center this week with Ubuntu Hardy Heron 8.04 Linux distros becoming available at BestBuy.com and Amazon.com for $20. It includes OpenOffice, FireFox, Evolution email, Rhythmbox media player, and MP3 support. While Wal-Mart has offered Linux based computers at their stores on low end PCs and laptops, this marks a first for boxed Linux Distros at consumer electronics stores like Best Buy.
ValuSoft is packaging the OS and it includes printed documentation and 60 days of unlimited customer support.
ValuSoft advertising goes right for the consumer panic button with this line; “You're right in the middle of an important procedure when your computer freezes and crashes, erasing your data and costing you hours of extra work.” We’ll see how well that works on the masses.
The days of tax-free purchases for online shoppers are numbered, feel
many experts. A new law in New York has made sales tax mandatory on
internet purchases. This has widened the grin on the faces of offline
store managers in the state, who expect some internet shoppers to turn
their attention and wallets towards them. New York might have just
shown the way to other states that are deliberating upon ways to tax
Read on to see why this is happening, and whether you'll be affected.
If you’re like us, you’ve bought a lot of traditional media, be it
DVDs, CDs, or—gasp!—books, from Amazon.com over the years yet have
downloaded little or no content from its digital stores. After spending
some time with Unbox—Amazon’s relatively new movie and TV download
service—we’re about ready to start using it regularly. With a broad
selection of inexpensive content and an easy and cheap way to get Unbox
content to your living room, we initially thought this would be the
service to beat—despite a complete lack of HD content.
We’ve long appreciated the concept of the eBook, but we’ve been disappointed in its execution. The old Franklin readers ate batteries, had small screens, and included only a meager selection of books. Sony’s Reader has a better battery life, but the selection of first-run books leaves much to be desired. Amazon’s new Kindle solves many of these problems but introduces an even thornier one.