All items tagged with "Amazon"

Apple’s BookLamp acquisition aims to beat Amazon at its own game

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Is Apple vs. Amazon the next “thermonuclear” tech war?

Perhaps not quite yet, but with Amazon moving into smartphones, and Apple choosing to stock the books Amazon refuses to, competition is certainly heating up. That may go some way toward explaining Apple’s acquisition of BookLamp, a startup described as the “Pandora for books,” which offers personalized book recommendations.

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Early reviews very chilly concerning Amazon’s Fire Phone

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos touts Fire Phone's services at the Seattle launch event. But will Amazon's first phone really deliver? Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos touts Fire Phone’s services at the Seattle launch event. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web

Jeff Bezos may be ready to roast the Galaxy and iPhone with his much-discussed Amazon Fire Phone, but judging from the first round of reviews, the handset is more of a damp squib than a firestarter.

Ahead of the smartphone’s launch tomorrow, and with the embargo lifted on the early review unit handsets, we’ve finally got an idea of how Bezos’ intriguing pet project has panned out.

And, unfortunately, “panned” seems to be the right word to describe it.

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Amazon offers unlimited reading with new Kindle subscription

Kindle Unlimited

Today Amazon took the wraps off its Kindle Unlimited subscription, an all-you-can-read plan that was uncovered earlier this week. For $9.99 per month you get access to 600,000 Kindle titles, including “thousands” of audiobooks from Audible.

Everything is available though Amazon’s Kindle apps, including iOS and the Mac.

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Siri’s new partner, a selfie toaster and the rest of this week’s hottest news

Long-time rivals Apple and IBM partnered up this week to work together on enterprise software, but what does this mean for Siri? If Apple’s trusty voice assistant gets together with IBM’s extremely intelligent A.I. Watson, it could be a beautiful “relationship.”

Watch today’s Cult of Mac news roundup to hear all the latest news and rumors about this potential Apple-IBM hookup, possible trouble in the iPhone 6 sapphire glass pipeline, a toaster that burns your selfies into bread and the rest of the week’s biggest stories.

Subscribe to Cult of Mac TV on YouTube to catch all our latest videos.

Apple employees are least attractive among top tech firms

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Apple and Google may reign supreme as the top two tech companies in the U.S., but when it comes to attractiveness, Amazon and Microsoft employees are absolutely slaying them.

After crunching the numbers from its social-networking app for professionals, Hinge found that employees from Amazon are the most sought-after on network, topping both Google, Facebook and Microsoft, with Apple’s young professionals coming in dead last.

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First impressions of Amazon’s Fire Phone plus iMac gets cheaper (and slower) on The CultCast

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There’s a fire in the Amazon! I’m so sorry. Bad jokes aside, on this week’s CultCast we’ll tell you what we love and don’t about Amazon’s much-buzzed debut mobile phone. Plus: the iMac just got a lot cheaper… and slower; another Weibo leak reportedly shows a huge 5.5-inch iPhone 6; the cool additions to iOS 8 and Yosemite’s 2nd betas; this summer’s hottest mens’ bathing suit attire; plus, you asked, we answer—it’s an all-new CultCast Q&A!

Our thanks to TextExpander for supporting this episode! TextExpander for Mac saves you time and effort by expanding short abbreviations into frequently-used text, pictures, code blocks, and more, and it’s an application we use every single day. Try it out for free at Smilesoftware.com/cultcast.

First impressions of Amazon’s Fire Phone plus iMac gets cheaper (and slower) on The CultCast

Click on for the show notes.

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How Fire Phone’s fancy features might take on iPhone 6

After years of work on its first mobile phone, Amazon has finally revealed the Fire Phone. Boasting an extensive recognition system known as Firefly and 3-D features powered by something called Dynamic Perspective, the device is now available for pre-order.

In today’s video we give you an overview of the flashy new device, which was unveiled Wednesday by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, and compare Fire Phone to Apple’s mobile offerings (both the current iPhone 5s and the upcoming iPhone 6).

Subscribe to Cult of Mac TV on YouTube to catch all our latest videos.

Apple discounts the e-books Amazon refuses to stock

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While Amazon’s locked in an ongoing dispute with publishing house Hachette — which has resulted in the publisher’s books being pulled from Amazon’s shelves — Apple’s more than happy to take advantage of the situation.

Apple’s iTunes store is currently promoting a sale on digital versions of popular Hachette titles, which includes upcoming books from the likes of James Patterson and J.K. Rowling.

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Escape Amazon’s evil Kindle empire with the cheeky Kobo Aura

Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Kobo’s ebook reader trumps even the best Kindle on several fronts. Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I just switched from Kindle to Kobo. Why? Amazon. It’s currently extorting publishing house Hachette by delaying orders and refusing to allow pre-orders for certain titles. The exact machinations are secret, but many people agree that Amazon is demanding discounts on ebooks.

I don’t want to see authors forced to get a second job to survive, so I switched. No more Kindle ebooks. I switched to Kobo, which has a great e-ink reader, a deep book catalog, and – most importantly – breakable DRM.

The results are mixed, with ups and downs for both the service and the hardware.

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Amazon expected to unveil smartphone with face-tracking on June 18

An alleged spyshot of Amazon's new phone.

An alleged spyshot of Amazon’s new phone.

Rumors of an Amazon smartphone have been circulating for a long time, but now it looks like the device will finally be shown to the world this month.

Amazon has announced a launch event for a “new device” on June 18th, and it’s probably a phone. Some kind of fancy 3D technology is rumored to be its main selling point, and Amazon has a teaser video that strongly suggest that will be the case.

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