Archives: January 2012

8 Beers That Best Describe the Most Popular Social Networks

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Today we raise a glass to Libatious, a social network for beer drinkers that launched today from its headquarters in Brooklyn, NY. The site has a database of beers and breweries from all over the world for users to explore, bookmark and rate – an intriguing blend of Pinterest and Yelp. In the real world, beer and social media go together like soda and pop rocks. Just for fun, here’s a sampling of eight beers to pair with eight different social networks, inspired by beers found on tap at Libatious.

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Amazon Q4 Sales Up 35% To $17.43 Billion

Amazon reported its fourth quarter earnings today and revealed that its net sales increased 35% to $17.43 billion compared with $12.95 billion in fourth quarter 2010.

The company attributed the growth to Kindle sales. According to the press release, “during the nine-week holiday period ending December 31, 2011, Kindle unit sales, including both the Kindle Fire and e-reader devices, increased 177% over the same period last year.”

The Kindle Fire tablet was the best selling product during the quarter. Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com, stated: “We are grateful to the millions of customers who purchased the Kindle Fire and Kindle e-reader devices this holiday season, making Kindle our bestselling product across both the U.S. and Europe. Our millions of third-party sellers had a tremendous holiday season with 65% unit growth and now represent 36% of total units sold.”

Publishers Don’t Think Tablets Are Ideal For Reading

According to a survey from Digital Book World and Forrester Research that was presented at the Digital Book World conference last week, only 31% of publishers think that tablets like the iPad are ideal for reading, this is down from 46% a year ago.

While the book retailers are busy proliferating tablets of their own, publishers aren’t seeing these devices as ideal for reading.  Digital Book World has more: “Only 30% of publishers think reading tablets like the Nook Color and Kindle Fire are an ideal reading platform.”

James L. McQuivey, Ph.D., VP and principal analyst at Forrester, who conducted the survey told DBW just why he thinks publishers are not enthusiastic about tablets. He said: “If you have an iPad and 15 minutes to kill, are you going to do something more cognitively difficult like reading, or something brain-dead simple like going on Facebook or watching a YouTube video?”

Penguin Launches ‘Artist’s Way Toolkit’ App

Penguin has launched a new app to help inspire creativity called Artist’s Way Toolkit.

The free app, which is based on Julia Cameron‘s bestselling novel The Artist’s Way, the app gives readers exercises and meditations to help artists and writers get inspired. The app lets users take notes, photos and listen to soundbites. There is also a social sharing feature.

Penguin has been making their mark in the app space over the last year by creating interactive eBook apps for classic books. They are the publisher behind Jack Kerouac‘s On the Road app and Wreck This App, the digital version of Keri Smith’s bestselling Wreck This Journal. The company also released an app edition of  Ayn Rand‘s Atlas Shrugged.

Asda Now Selling the Kobo Touch for £87

It looks like the UK eReader price war is starting to heat up a little. Go check the Asda website today and you’ll see that they’ve dropped the price of the Kobo Touch.

When they first started carrying the Kobo Touch in early December, Asda priced it at £107. That price prompted WH Smith, Kobo’s new UK ebookstore partner, to drop their price to £99. And today we see Asda’s response.

This is happening rather slower than I expected, but it’s a good sign nonetheless. The UK eReader market is getting as competitive as the US market. In fact, it might actually be more competitve now.

Consider the prices. In the US you can get an ad-supported Kindle for $79 or an ad-supported Kobo Touch for $99 ( $20 difference). But in the UK you can get a Kindle for for £89 or the Kobo Touch for £87. Who knows, we might even see Amazon lower their price in response to Asda and WH Smith.
That would be good for everyone.

LinkedIn’s CardMunch App Scans 2 Million Business Cards

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Career networking sites like LinkedIn were supposed to replace business cards, but exchanging email addresses with a smartphone just isn’t as smooth as handing over the real thing. Last year LinkedIn acquired a mobile business card transcription service called CardMunch to bridge the gap between an in-person meeting and an online connection. Now the network reports that CardMunch has scanned over 2 million cards and counting.

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Tim Cook Responds To Dangerous Conditions In Apple Factories

Apple CEO Tim Cook does not want Apple employees to be working in unsafe working conditions.

Responding to The New York Times‘ investigative report on dangerous working conditions in Apple factories that have led to death and injury, the Apple chief sent out an email to employees last week.

9to5mac.com reposted the email. Cook wrote: “As a company and as individuals, we are defined by our values. Unfortunately some people are questioning Apple’s values today, and I’d like to address this with you directly. We care about every worker in our worldwide supply chain. Any accident is deeply troubling, and any issue with working conditions is cause for concern. Any suggestion that we don’t care is patently false and offensive to us. As you know better than anyone, accusations like these are contrary to our values. It’s not who we are.”