Amazon agreed today to buy book-recommendation site Goodreads for an undisclosed amount.
The San Francisco-based company should provide Amazon with another way to get readers to buy books from it, both digitally and from its warehouses. Amazon said it also plans to use Goodreads to help authors find readers who might not otherwise know about them.
"Goodreads has helped change how we discover and discuss books and, with Kindle, Amazon has helped expand reading around the world," Russ Grandinetti, Amazon vice president of Kindle Content, said in a statement. "In addition, both Amazon and Goodreads have helped … Read more
New York state's highest court today ruled that out-of-state online retailers must charge state tax on New York State customers. Now it gets interesting since the 4-1 judgment by the New York State Court of Appeals makes it all the more likely that the question will get an airing, sooner rather than later, in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Along with New York, eight other states have similar laws on the books ending the hidden tax break people got when buying products from companies on the Internet. Those statutes require the states in question to collect sales tax … Read more
Amazon has added another comedy TV show pilot to its original programming lineup -- and this time it's about Silicon Valley startups.
The series, called "Betas," centers on four computer geeks and "their quest for nerd fame as they attempt to crack the ultimate code." This brings the total number of pilots slated for production on Amazon's Prime video service to 14. The episodes will air on Amazon Prime Instant for free so customers can offer feedback on which pilots Amazon's production group, Amazon Studios, should make into a season-long series.
The creatives … Read more
Late next year, as we're glued to our screens watching Netflix's newest original TV series, will the online-movie powerhouse somehow be tapping our bodies' electrical energy and selling it to evil machines?
If the credentials of the show's creators are any indication, that's a distinct possibility.
"Sense8," a sci-fi show Netflix describes as a "global tale of minds linked and souls hunted," is the brainchild of the Wachowskis -- aka sibling duo Andy and Lana Wachowski, the masterminds behind "The Matrix" movies. The 10-episode first season of "Sense8" will be available for streaming in late 2014, Netflix announced today.… Read more
Here's one that can't come as a surprise to the legal team at Amazon.com: Pinterest is fighting Amazon's bid to win the contract to control the .pin generic top-level-domain, or gTLD.
Among the reasons for Pinterest's objections: Domain names on .pin -- clothes.pin, say, or whatever Amazon has in mind -- would cause confusion and violate the trademarks that Pinterest holds on the term "pin." Those trademarks include "the standalone PIN trademark and a family of PIN-formative marks, including Pinterest, PIN It, P, and others," according to the complaint -- … Read more
The e-commerce giant today said it has expanded its X-Ray for movies feature to TV shows, providing real-time access to actor bios when watching a show. Just tap on the Kindle Fire screen while watching "Downtown Abbey," for example, and a drop-down menu of the actors appearing in the current scene appears. Viewers then can select whichever actors they're interested in to see their bios. X-Ray draws its … Read more
Walmart plans to test a locker system at some of its retail locations this summer, the company said today.
The system, unveiled at a press event at the company's Silicon Valley headquarters this morning (via Reuters), will let people purchase items online, then pick them up in stores -- enabling customers to skip lines and guaranteeing that an item is in stock.
Amazon began a similar practice last year, in an effort to sell goods to people with hard-to-ship-to addresses. By shipping it to a locker, there's also a potential to save on shipping costs, and get items … Read more
A report from AllThingsD said several potential purchasers have reached out to Hulu's corporate owners, though none have made a formal offer. The site lists Ross Levinsohn, the former interim Yahoo who now works for Guggenheim Partners, as one potential acquirer. Yahoo and Amazon are a couple of others that have "kicked the tires," AllThingsD said.
Hulu, Yahoo, and Guggenheim Partners declined to comment. We've contacted Levinsohn and Amazon and will update the report when we have more information. … Read more