That CD you bought from Amazon 10 years ago now appears in your Cloud Player account.
Mega online retailer Amazon is embracing the digital age in a big way. The company today announced the launch of Amazon AutoRip, a retroactive service that provides customers with free MP3 versions of CDs they purchased from Amazon dating all the way back to 1998. For better (2Pac, Aerosmith) or worse (Backstreet Boys, Spice Girls), those tunes you purchased so long ago are automatically added to your Cloud Player library, free of charge.
Throughout the month of January, Amazon is offering its Student Prime members a $50 discount on the Kindle Fire HD 8.9" tablet, bringing the starting price down to $249. That's a pretty good deal that more than offsets the cost of a Student membership, which runs $39 per year. For those who are unfamiliar, Amazon's Prime program offers members free two-day shipping on millions of items with no minimum order, free instant streaming to its catalog of movies and TV shows, and a free Kindle book to borrow each month from the Kindle Owners' Lending Library.
Effective November 1, 2013, Amazon will collect sales tax from 6.6 million Massachusetts residents.
Unfortunately for residents of Massachusetts, Amazon and state officials have struck an agreement for the online retailer to collect sales tax in the state, and no amount of tossing tea into the Boston Harbor is going to change that. If it would, Amazon would probably join in, because terms of the deal could potentially place the company at a competitive disadvantage with other online sellers.
Amazon could hardly contain its excitement over how many Kindle devices it sold on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the busiest offline and online (respectively) shopping days of the year. According to Amazon, the holiday weekend was the "best ever" for the Kindle family, especially Cyber Monday, which ranked as the biggest day ever for Kindle sales worldwide. It was pretty much the same situation last year, which makes it even more impressive that Amazon managed to double its holiday weekend sales record from 2011.
If something like that does happen, it will be a huge financial shot in the arm for Canonical, but to bank on it would be foolish. Canonical isn’t waiting for the proceeds from all those expected shipments to (pleasantly) inundate its coffers, though. In the meantime, it is going to rely on Amazon affiliate commissions to supplement its income.
One of the things we look forward to most when there's a new product launch is the inevitable teardown. Our friends at iFixItare always on the ball, and Amazon'sKindle Fire HD launch is no exception. The product repair site put the Kindle Fire HD (7-inch version) on the operating tablet and tore it open, leaving no part concealed, and discovered that it's not all that difficult to service at home.
In just one more day, Apple is set to announce the iPhone 5, and if you find that about as exciting as watching paint dry, perhaps Amazon has something that's a little more up your alley. For a "very limited time only" (how very limited, we don't know), you can pick up Samsung's flagship Galaxy S III device for a Benjamin ($99.99 shipped), plus a $35 activation fee, provided you agree to a two-year service agreement.
Amazon found itself in a bit of hot water with potential customers last week when it was revealed that new Kindle Fire tablets would ship with home screen ads on by default. The decision to not allow people to purchase a slightly more expensive model without “special offers” flew in the face of the companies pre-existing policies, and represented yet another shift in the company’s ongoing razor and razor blade business model for digital media. In response to all the controversy, Amazon has quickly changed direction, and has agreed to scrap ads for a modest $15 fee.
Amazon may have ignited a price war with the introduction of new Kindle Fire models starting at $159, and $199 (and up) for the HD variants. However, the low prices come with a couple of caveats. First and foremost. every new Kindle Fire tablet comes with what Amazon calls "special offers" that appear on the lock screen. These are essentially ads in the form of money saving offers. Secondly, if you want a wall charger, that's a $10 add-on. Let's take a closer look.
We've known for some time that Amazon was going to announce a new family of Kindle devices, and company CEO Jeff Bezos didn't disappoint when he took to the stage today to introduce this year's models. On the less exciting side of the spectrum, this year's vanilla Kindle eReader is slimmer, lighter, and cheaper than last year's entry-level model, selling for $69 instead of $79. As you move up the chain of devices, however, things get exponentially more interesting.