kindle news updates – end July

Loads of Kindle and ebook related developments –

  1. The AT&T and Barnes&Noble experiment starts early – B&N customers will get free Internet WiFi access in each of the 777 B&N Stores nationwide. The WiFi wasn’t free until now and might be a good way to test the network before launching B&N Net .
  2. Verizon and Qualcomm formed a joint venture to support networks like WhisperNet. Their joint venture aims to support services running on any network (not just Verizon’s) and is worldwide in scope.
  3. GigaOM reports that LibreDigital just got $15 million funding. The official press release says that LibreDigital works with 6 of the world’s top 10 publishers (including HarperCollins, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Wiley). Its a company that’s been around since 1999.
  4. Google Books is now offering 1 million of its public domain books in the Sony Store. If you’re so inclined, you can download a software that lets you read these on your PC –

    Together with Google, Sony brings you access to over a million public domain books for free.

  5. Apparently every Zappos employee got a free Kindle. I’d be more interested in finding out how the $40 million allocated to employees was portioned out.  

Also a good read – Thomas L Friedman’s 59 is the new 30.

Newspapers begin to charge for content

Newspapers in the US and in the UK are beginning to charge for content again –

  1. Valley Morning Star in South Texas will start charging for online access. As will the Democrat Gazette of Northwest Arkansas
  2. Across the pond, News International affirmed its intent to charge for content. 
  3. In Australia, News Digital Media’s Richard Freudenstein thinks that people will pay for good enough content.  

Although Mr. Freudenstein takes quite a few potshots at bloggers, have to agree with some of his points, particularly –

If a massive story broke, right now – another 9/11 or Victorian Bushfire… what would you do?

My guess is you’d do one of three things – go to a world-class news website, turn on the TV or turn on the radio.

What Mr. Freudenstein has to say is exceptional – for the first time there’s someone in the newspaper industry who not only understands that giving away content is stupid, but also understands that a paid model will work if done right.  

Closing Thoughts – Tom Watson  

Thomas L. Friedman says –

Watson’s run was freaky unusual — a 59-year-old man who had played his opening two rounds in this tournament with a 16-year-old Italian amateur — was able to best the greatest golfers in the world at least a decade after anyone would have dreamt it possible.

Watching this happen actually widened our sense of what any of us is capable of.

It was really interesting because at 29 I’m always feeling this sense of passing of time. To see someone perform so extraordinarily well at 59 puts a smile on my face – still got a lot of years to live. [youtube=]

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