Amazon, Hachette Settle Long-Running Dispute Over E-Books

Amazon and Hachette have finally resolved their ongoing public dispute, which began back in January. Hachette will now have the ability to set its own prices for e-books and print books, but will be offered incentives for selling at lower prices. Despite yesterday’s announcement, seen by most as a victory for Hachette (in the short term), Amazon still controls almost half of today’s book trade. In addition, the long-running dispute showed the industry that Amazon is not afraid to use its power to affect sales. Continue reading Amazon, Hachette Settle Long-Running Dispute Over E-Books

Alibaba Raises $21.8 Billion in IPO: Ready to Take On Google

The Alibaba Group, China’s leading e-commerce operator, raised nearly $21.8 billion in its initial stock sale yesterday. While not the biggest initial public offering to-date, Alibaba did have one of the strongest stock sales on record, surpassing those for Facebook and General Motors. When it begins trading today on the New York Stock Exchange, it is poised to become one of the world’s most impressive Internet powerhouses, a compelling blend of Amazon, eBay, Google and other tech giants. Continue reading Alibaba Raises $21.8 Billion in IPO: Ready to Take On Google

Encrypted Communication Tools Seeking Mainstream Users

Apps and other products that enable encrypted communication are on the rise. Even tech giants like Google and Yahoo have promised to give encrypted sites a higher ranking in search results and to start encrypting emails. However, the creators of encryption apps, such as ProtonMail or Bleep, are still looking for mainstream users, not just gadget enthusiasts or security-conscious professionals. These companies are targeting mainstream users concerned about their privacy. Continue reading Encrypted Communication Tools Seeking Mainstream Users

Tech and Pay TV Companies Are Changing How We Watch TV

Intel is one of many companies currently developing home entertainment technologies that could significantly change how viewers interact with TV. Tech companies are integrating advanced features and controls in TV connected devices, from voice activation, DVR and cloud storage sync. Other companies such as cable providers and manufacturers are also introducing advanced TV technologies as well. However, obstacles will come from content licensing. Continue reading Tech and Pay TV Companies Are Changing How We Watch TV

Mobile World Congress: GSMA Says Time for NFC is Now

At the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, there was a clear message sent by the GSMA, the congress’s organizing body: Near Field Communication (NFC) might finally be ready to have its day. That message may be hard to believe, considering NFC has been on the cusp of breaking through for nearly a decade and still has yet to achieve mainstream adoption. However, the technology was everywhere at this year’s MWC. Continue reading Mobile World Congress: GSMA Says Time for NFC is Now

Will Big Data Help Shape the Next Market Winners and Losers?

  • Forrester Research defines big data as “techniques and technologies that make handling data at extreme scale affordable.” The research firm estimates that companies effectively utilize less than 5 percent of available data, and further suggests that big data will help companies use information to dominate the competition in their market.
  • “It seems that every week another vendor slaps ‘big data’ into its marketing material – and it’s going to get worse,” writes Forrester analyst Brian Hopkins for Forbes. “Should you look beyond the vendor hype and pay attention? Absolutely yes! Why? Because big data has the potential to shape your market’s next winners and losers.”
  • Big data is not only concerned with the volume of information but also in velocity, variety and variability of data, since “data is usually generated so fast that you need to constantly capture more of it to be valuable for some decisions.”
  • The write-up in Forbes is promoting Forrester’s new report, “Expand Your Digital Horizon With Big Data.” From the executive summary: “At extreme scale, traditional data management and business intelligence (BI) become impractical, and your business does not get what it demands — more insight to drive greater business performance. Big data helps firms work with extremes to deliver value from data cost-effectively.
  • However CIOs must understand that this is not business as usual. In fact, big data will disrupt the data management landscape by changing fundamental notions about data governance and IT delivery. Take the time to understand big data as well as its implications and begin a balanced approach that considers more than just the technology hype.”

Will Amazon Be a Contender in the Tablet War? Forrester Says Yes

  • Amazon’s tablet PC is widely expected to be ready for release this fall and, according to Forrester Research, will “completely disrupt the status quo.”
  • Forrester analysts predict the tablet will provide competition for Apple’s iPad and could sell as many as 5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2011.
  • The report suggests Amazon’s success will depend on pricing the device below $300 (paidContent points out that Amazon has yet to officially confirm it will even release a tablet).
  • Forrester believes an Amazon tablet will prove popular based on the company’s “willingness to sell hardware at a loss combined with the strength of its brand, content, cloud infrastructure, and commerce assets.”
  • If successful, an Amazon tablet could significantly boost the competitive profile of Google’s Android operating system.

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