It’s been almost a year since the famous Sony hack leaked the personal information of millions of unsuspecting gamers into some of the seedier corners of the Internet, and history is repeating itself again, this time with Microsoft. Those visiting the Microsoft Online Store in India this morning were greeted with the haunting image of Guy Fawkes warning them that this “unsafe system would be baptized”. A hacker group known as the Evil Shadow Team has taken responsibility for the attack, and has even released proof that passwords stored on the server were not encrypted.
Amazon let it be known a few months ago that they planned to rollout an improved royalty model for Kindle sales. Well, now that new option is available to publishers and authors. The new system has authors and publishers receiving 70% of the revenue from a sale. But Amazon isn't giving away money for no reason. Nope, they want something in return.
Amazon stipulates that to qualify for the program, a book must be priced between $2.99 and $9.99, and that that price must be at least 20% lower than the list price for the dead tree edition. The price must also be at or below the cost of the same work on other platforms. Outside of the pricing, publishers will have to make the book available for purchase in all geographical regions the publisher has rights to do so. Lastly, the book cannot have features, like text to speech, disabled.
We hope that publishers are willing to go along with this program. Amazon is looking to encourage them to keep ebook prices reasonable, and make an overall more appealing product. No one wants to spend more on a digital book than they would on a physical version. Do you think publishers will follow Amazon's lead?
Congestion problems on AT&T’s network, particularly in New York and San Francisco are no secret, but the solution they are choosing to help alleviate the strain is a tad unorthodox. It appears as though AT&T may be voluntarily restricting sales of the iPhone to New York residents on its website. Considering that New Yorkers can still march over on foot to any AT&T store, I doubt this will accomplish much, but what makes this story particularly interesting is the answer consumerist.com received when talking with an AT&T customer service representative about the issue.
Daphne: Welcome to AT&T online Sales support. How may I assist you with placing your order today?
Laura: Hi, I was looking at the iPhone 3Gs and the system tells me that I cannot order one in my ZIP code. My zip code is 11231. (Brooklyn, NY) Is this true? Are iPhones no longer available in New York City?
Daphne: I am happy to be helping you today . Yes, this is correct the phone is not offered to you because New York is not ready for the iPhone.
Daphne: You don't have enough towers to handle the phone.
Laura: Thank you for your help. So the phone is not available to people anywhere in the city?
Daphne: Yes this is correct Laura.
So far we haven’t heard anything official from AT&T on the matter, but if the statement “New York is not ready for the iPhone” is the company’s new official tag line, well, lets just say the Verizon ad writes itself.
Microsoft lobbed another artillery shell towards brick and mortar retailers on Thursday with the debut of its new U.S. online marketplace. Microsoft has been slowly expanding its direct to consumer sales channel over the past several months and launched its first pilot program in the UK and Germany back in July. Currently the online marketplace offers everything from Mice and Keyboards to Xbox games and consoles. Landmark PC software products such as Windows and Office will also naturally be made available.
A disproportionately large percentage of our readers have been shopping on Newegg and Tiger Direct for years. And the idea of buying items online isn’t all that unique to most of us. Perhaps the most interesting new feature of the online marketplace however, is the option to download software and install it without the need for the physical media. Downloaded software can be burned by the customer to a DVD, but this process is optional. Microsoft will also allow repeat downloads of its software, and offer remote access to product keys. According to Microsoft’s Trevin Chow; "There is no longer any need to pay for shipping costs and waiting for the big brown truck to drive across the country."
We all know that online software distribution is hardly a novel concept, and people have been downloading productivity software and OS’s such as Open Office and Linux for years. Despite these facts however, this is still a huge step for the Redmond based software giant and a further reminder that internet distribution is here to stay. Let’s just hope they find new ways to compress this stuff. I’m not sure how much more of this my bandwidth cap will take!
SSDs with a 64GB storage capacity fetched close to a grand last year. But their outrageous prices have become subdued with the passage of time. Now, if you act quickly, OCZ’s brand new Core V2 OCZSSD2-2C60G 2.5” 60GB SSD could be yours for $240 – approximately $4/GB. The SSD boasts read speeds of 170MB/sec and write speeds of 98MB/sec. It also features a built-in USB 2.0 port for firmware updates, and can serve as a replacement for your notebook’s HDD.
iTunes has registered more than 5 billion song downloads hitherto and has also emerged as the most frequented online movie store in the world. The increasing popularity of digital distribution channels like iTunes points to the end of the storage-media era - perhaps good riddance.
Apple Ceo Steve Jobs, who himself is a digital distribution champion, must be happy with the fact that iTunes is pioneering the digital distribution revolution. Movie buffs are renting and purchasing 50,000 films every single day from iTunes to go with the amazing feat of 5 billion song downloads.iTunes is Apple's golden goose and Steve Jobs, by the look of it, the fabled King Midas.