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Archives: November 2011

Amazon Supports Online Sales Tax Reform

Earlier today Paul Misener, the Amazon VP for public policy, testified in front of Congress. He wasn’t there to make an offer for Amazon to buy North Dakota (they need the warehouse space); that’s tomorrow. No, Paul was there to speak in favor of passing new laws to close the current loopholes in existing sales tax laws.

Most states require residents to pay a sales tax on all their purchases, but they also require a retailer to collect it. This has led to a rather tricky situation when the retailer is located in another state and thus has no obligation to collect the tax.

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German Bookseller Weltbild is Up For Sale

If you have a few billion euros sitting around, I have deal for you. The eBook and eReader retailer Weltbild is on the market. The Catholic dioceses of Germany have  recently decided to part with their controlling interest in Weltbild.

Weltbild is a German publisher and retailer based in Augsburg. It has over 300 stores in Germany and is widely regarded as one of the biggest media retailers in the country.  Last year it sold over a billion euros via its website and stores and published a large number of books.

While it’s rumored that this is a response to recent press reports that Weltbild is selling porn, the actual revenue from that content is minimal. According to Carel Halff, the board chairman, it’s much more likely that the Church doesn’t want to own a major business. There’s no word yet on who might buy the company.

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A Quick Cheat Sheet to Learning the Chinese Social Networks [Infographic]

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If you follow emerging social networks news, you’ll often find yourself standing face to face with odd terms like “renren” or “sina weibo”, and for some, it’s tough to even begin to understand what they represent.  Fortunately, the folks over at G+ have put together a fantastic infographic looking at social media behavior in China.  From Youku to Jiepang, this one’s got you set.

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‘Fahrenheit 451′ Is Now An eBook

Simon & Schuster has released Ray Bradbury‘s classic science fiction novel about book censorship Fahrenheit 451 as an eBook.

This comes as a surprise, as the 91-year old author has expressed disdain for eBooks in the past. The Associated Press has more: “Bradbury himself has been an emphatic defender of traditional paper texts, saying that e-books ‘smell like burned fuel’ and calling the Internet nothing but ‘a big distraction.’” He seems to have had a change of heart since.

Simon & Schuster’s Jonathan Karp released this statement about the eBook release, calling it, “a rare and wonderful opportunity to continue our relationship with this beloved and canonical author and to bring his works to new a generation of readers and in new formats.”

The eBook is now available in Adobe DRM format directly from the publisher, as well as from all of the major eBook retailers, for $9.99. The publisher is also putting out a new paperback edition for the book in January.

 

Microsoft Office Heading to the iPad?

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The Daily provides an unverified report that Microsoft is planning to develop a version of its Office business app for the iPad. Microsoft Office is, of course, not a single application. It is a collection of office components that includes various combinations of Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, OneNote and other software.
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