Snubbing Google and its popular mapping service, Amazon has reportedly chosen Nokia Oyj to power the mapping function of its new Kindle Fire. “The world's largest Internet retailer, which says its 9-month-old Kindle Fire now accounts for one in five U.S. tablet sales, has teamed up with Nokia on mapping,” Reuters reports, citing sources. Amazon is expected to debut at least one new version of the Kindle Fire next Thursday.
In Stockholm, HBO plans to let regional customers access its programming without requiring that they have a pay-TV subscription. Heralding the move as a victory for cord-cutters everywhere, Variety reports: “The pay-TV network disclosed its plans earlier this month to move into Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark via a joint venture with Parsifal Intl.” No word yet if and when HBO plans to launch a similar service stateside.
Facebook is reportedly preparing an option for advertisers to target users by email address, user ID or phone number. Inside Facebook -- whom sources previously was working with some premium advertisers to target audiences by email address -- spotted the new ad-targeting options in the Power Editor tool, this week. They have since been removed from the system. If and when they officially launch, “these are powerful new opportunities for businesses to reach their existing customers and leads,” Inside Facebook stresses.
Coming off a successfully streamed summer Olympics, Adobe this week rolled out new features to support the “TV Everywhere” movement. “The company counted more than 88 million authenticated streams during the [Olympic] games,” writes Engadget. “Now it says it can make things better for cable companies and their customers to get viewing on mobiles with Adobe Pass 2.0, which includes technology like automatic authentication, which was tested on Comcast and Cablevision customers during he Olympics.”
Consumers have never gotten too excited over Windows phones, and, according to Bernstein Research analyst Pierre Ferragu, that’s not likely to change. “The lack of consumer interest for Windows-based phones has been very consistent in marketing surveys we have carried out across the globe over the last several years,” Ferragu wrote in a research note, this week, as reported by BGR.com. “The situation of Windows in mobile phones is now very unlikely to revert.” As such, Ferragu said it about time to short Bernstein’s position on Windows hardware partner Nokia.
Reddit is the talk of the Technorati, today, after hosting a surprise question-and-answer session between President Obama and its online community. The only downside is that the Condé Nast-owned social media service experienced some outages in the wake of the Q&A -- but a Web site could have worse problems. “Obama is certainly no stranger to social media,” The Washington Post notes. “Last year, the president hosted a Twitter town hall, a LinkedIn townhall, and also answered Facebook users’ questions.”
Google has picked up a patent for detecting specific objects -- inanimate or otherwise -- in digital video. “Google has already been working on patents that could pick out faces and song melodies in our YouTube clips,” Engadget notes, adding that an accurate object identifier could be “the ultimate too.” Needless to say, the technology could make video data immensely more sortable and seachable.
Before you go searching for that new TV, or the address of that Turkish café, Google will remind you that it’s grandpa’s birthday. Yes, “A new feature has been released that shows birthday reminders directly on the most prized real estate that the search giant has -- the Google.com homescreen,” reports Marketing Daily. Google+ users will still be able to choose whom to share their birthday data with.
Despite her busy schedule, Katherine Boehret has recently been test-driving TiVo’s new set-top-box, TiVo Stream. Set to launch in early September -- and retail for $130 -- the box streams content from one’s TiVo to up to four mobile devices in their home at HD quality. What did Boehret think of the service? “I’m dreading sending it back,” she admits. Yet, if consumers don’t already own one of TiVo’s Premiere models, Boehret notes that the cost of the new service could prove prohibitive.
Unlike most Web platforms, Craigslist has thrived despite (perhaps due to) its aversion to feature and design updates. Bucking that trend, the online bulletin board is embedding maps in certain real estate listings. As CNet reports: “The maps, which appear on housing ads in the San Francisco Bay Area and Portland, Oregon, harness data from OpenStreetMap, a service that offers free maps of the world compiled and edited by volunteers.”