• Barnes & Noble: From Book Store To Nook Store
    Barnes & Noble may be planning to close more stores in the next few years, but it's ramping up its digital book business. The company recently said it plans to build 1,000-square-foot boutiques in all of its stores to boost promotion of its Nook e-book reader. By replacing the modest Nook counters now found at B&N outlets with something more like separate Nook stores within stores, the company is clearly doubling down on its advantage over e-book competitors like Amazon and Sony in giving consumers ample opportunity to demo its e-reader before purchase.
  • Will Apple Gain From Oracle-Google Fight?
    With Oracle Corp. suing Google for patent and copyright infringement over its use of Java software in Android, the stage is set for a battle of true Silicon Valley superpowers. Depending on how much they want to spend on litigation, it could be the intellectual property equivalent of an irresistible force meeting an immovable object.
  • The Kids Won't Flock To Uncle Rupert's Digital Tabloid
    Rupert Murdoch plans to roll out a new national digital newspaper distributed through mobile handsets and connected devices including the iPad. According to a Los Angeles Times story today, the News Corp.-owned newspaper would target a general readership and compete with the likes of USA Today and The New York Times.
  • ComScore: 8% Of U.S. Smartphone Users On Twitter
    In new data released Thursday, comScore said Twitter is gaining ground among smartphone owners, with 8% of high-end phone users in the U.S. tweeting away. But that level of penetration (4.2 million people) still seems quite low given Twitter has 100 million users worldwide. .
  • Could Ex-Apple Exec Help Amazon's Hardware Push?
    Startled by the onslaught of companies entering the digital content arena, Amazon is looking beyond the Kindle to create other gadgets to keep up with the competition, according to a New York Times blog post Tuesday. That effort, led by Amazon's Lab 126 unit, would focus on making consumer devices that would allow seamless purchasing of Amazon content including its digital books, as well as music and movie rentals and purchases. But can Amazon prove itself more than a one-trick pony as a hardware maker?
  • Skype IPO Puts Faith In Freemium Model, Advertising Not So Much
    Skype's filing today for a $100 million IPO highlights the company's reliance on the freemium model to build a huge user base and start to make money. It counts on a small proportion of users accessing its paid services to subsidize the vast majority of customers who use only the free Internet-based calling service Skype is best known for.
  • Android Invasion Puts Squeeze On Apple
    In case anyone missed any of the slew of research reports out this week underscoring the fast-growing market share of Android, Google CEO Eric Schmidt boasted at a tech conference Wednesday that some 200,000 Android-based phones are being sold each day. That's double the total two months ago. "It looks like Android is not just phenomenal but incredibly phenomenal in its growth rate. God knows how long that will continue," he told audience members. Thanks for clarifying the difference between "phenomenal" and "incredibly phenomenal," Eric.
  • RIM Should Capitalize On BlackBerry Security Issue
    Things aren't looking so good for BlackBerry-maker Research in Motion. The company is tussling over security and privacy issues with countries including the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and India. The European Commission this week selected the iPhone and HTC phones over the BlackBerry for its employees. And RIM's highly anticipated answer to the iPhone and the latest Android phones -- the Torch 9800 -- is getting mixed early reviews.
  • Facebook Finds Its Voice Via Vonage
    As one of the early VoIP-providers, Vonage in recent years has seen its prospects diminish, with skads of other companies including Verizon and Comcast offering competing VoIP services -- and the likes of Google, Yahoo and magicJack-creator YMAX launching still other Web-based calling options. So what's a once high-flying VoIP provider to do to regain some luster? Friend Facebook, the hottest company around.
  • Portals' Desktop Decline Is Mobile Future
    The Nielsen findings released Monday showing share of time spent on social networks and games blowing way past time spent on Web portals are a harbinger of things to come in mobile. Portals are still the second most popular online activity in mobile behind email, but social networks are closing fast.
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