Posts Tagged ‘amazon’

The War for Control of Your Living Room

January 7, 2014  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

All right, so you’ve heard CES is about the wearable Internet this year —the gadgets you whip out at a party or over dinner or (God forbid) in the car. But back in the living room, there’s a war being waged for that much-maligned piece of furniture we all end up in front of sooner or later. Call it the Idiot Box, the Boob Tube or whatever you want—the majority of media consumption still happens in front of the television, and whether it’s gaming, movie watching, Netflix or just listening to the stereo, tech giants are fighting tooth and nail for a seat on your couch. Here’s what they’re bringing to the party. The Champion From Kabletown: Comcast What it is:

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Amazon’s Lovefilm Plunders Second Season of ‘Vikings’ in U.K.

January 6, 2014  |  Variety  |  No Comments

LONDON — Amazon’s streaming service Lovefilm has inked a deal with MGM Television for the exclusive U.K. rights to the second season of Michael Hirst’s Norse epic “Vikings,” which airs on History in the U.S. Lovefilm, which also had the rights to the first season of “Vikings,” will debut the second season Feb. 28. Each... Read more

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You Say Goodbye and We Say Hello

December 31, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

This is the last day of the All Things Digital site, which began life in April of 2007 as a year-round extension of the D conference we launched in 2003. Since then, we have published nearly 40,000 posts and attracted millions of loyal readers. Starting January 2, we’ll have an all-new site and suite of conferences, with a different name and Web address, run as an independent company with great investors and partners. It’s likely you’ll hear a lot about it. But before we go — this will be our last post here, by the way — we want to say we are intensely proud of what we did on this tech and media news and analysis site.

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What You Need to Know About Online Gift-Card Exchanges

December 30, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Chances are you received at least one gift card this week. According to the National Retail Federation, gift-card spending this holiday season was expected to reach an all-time high. Eighty percent of consumers said they planned to buy these oh-so-personal pieces of plastic. But, as we all know, gift cards often go unspent — or half-spent, with a nominal balance left on them for all of retail eternity. So if you’d rather turn them in for cash or another brand-name gift card, this column might help you out. What follows are some possible questions about how online gift-card exchanges work.

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2013 Was a Good Year For Chromebooks

December 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Chromebooks experienced a surge in popularity in 2013, rising from almost nothing to claim about a fifth of the commercial laptop market. This according to NPD Group , who said this week that sales of laptops running Google’s Chrome OS accounted for 21 percent of all commercial preconfigured notebook sales through November 2013. It would seem, then, that Chromebooks have begun to hit their stride. Indeed, Amazon this week said that two out of its three top-selling laptops during the holiday season were Chromebooks designed by Samsung and Acer. The year-over-year growth NPD has charted is significant. And, evidently, it’s coming at Microsoft’s expense, though machines running Windows did account for 34.1 percent of all commercial preconfigured notebook sales during the same period. Said NPD analyst Stephen, “Tepid Windows PC sales allowed brands with a focus on alternative form factors or operating systems, like Apple and Samsung, to capture significant share of a market traditionally dominated by Windows devices.”

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In Wake of Delivery Delays, Amazon Offers Gift Cards to Customers

December 26, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Amazon announced Thursday that it would offer a form of restitution to its aggrieved customers after shipping problems prevented orders from being fulfilled in time for Christmas. The online retail giant is offering $20 gift cards and waiving shipping charges to customers who did not receive their gifts in time for the holiday, as was first reported by the Wall Street Journal . The delays, however, were out of Amazon’s hands. Both UPS and FedEx admitted fault, saying the volume of packages this season far exceeded their expectations. “Demand was much greater than our forecast,” a UPS spokesperson told the Journal. The company also cited inclement weather as a factor in the delays. The snafu comes as retailers like Amazon reported some of the biggest holidays sales seasons ever — though, as always, Amazon declined to give any hard numbers. Daily deals site Groupon also provided an ad hoc form of apology to its slighted customers, offering $25 gift cards to those who didn’t receive their Groupon-related gifts in time

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In Wake of Delivery Delays, Amazon Offers Gift Cards to Customers

December 26, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Amazon announced Thursday that it would offer a form of restitution to its aggrieved customers after shipping problems prevented orders from being fulfilled in time for Christmas. The online retail giant is offering $20 gift cards and waiving shipping charges to customers who did not receive their gifts in time for the holiday, as was first reported by the Wall Street Journal . The delays, however, were out of Amazon’s hands. Both UPS and FedEx admitted fault, saying the volume of packages this season far exceeded their expectations. “Demand was much greater than our forecast,” a UPS spokesperson told the Journal. The company also cited inclement weather as a factor in the delays. The snafu comes as retailers like Amazon reported some of the biggest holidays sales seasons ever — though, as always, Amazon declined to give any hard numbers. Daily deals site Groupon also provided an ad hoc form of apology to its slighted customers, offering $25 gift cards to those who didn’t receive their Groupon-related gifts in time

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As Amazon’s Stock Hits All-Time High, Warehouse Issues Under Scrutiny

December 21, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

If you’re an Amazon investor, you’re happy these days. The company’s stock price surpassed $400 for the first time ever this week, only five months after it topped $300 per share for the first time. Things are looking up, and the drones haven’t even arrived yet. But inside Amazon, another issue is getting attention: What Bloomberg Businessweek’s Brad Stone referred to earlier this week as “a small but growing drumbeat of dissatisfaction” in its network of warehouses. As Stone first reported earlier this week, about 30 workers in a Delaware Amazon facility will vote next month on whether to hold union elections there. Amazon, which has long fought against unionization at its facilities, has retained the services of a well-known employment law firm, in the event the workers’ union plans move forward. That news was followed later in the week by the story, broken by AllThingsD , about the death of a worker at a facility owned by Amazon, but run by a third-party logistics firm called Genco. Although the victim, who police later identified as 57-year-old Ronald Smith of Irvington, New Jersey, was hired by a temp staffing firm, his death raised questions about the training of such workers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is now investigating the accident. Separately, an ongoing battle between Amazon and some of its German workers who have organized strikes on several occasions over the past year over wages, recently crossed over to U.S. soil. On Monday, a few dozen German union representatives protested outside Amazon’s Seattle warehouses. In many ways, Amazon is on a roll. But certain workplace issues don’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

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AllThingsD Week in Review: Nokia’s Android Phone, Bitcoin Funding and Facebook the Newspaper

December 15, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In case you missed anything, here’s a quick roundup of some of the news that powered AllThingsD this week: Most people think of Facebook as a place to share photos, keep up with friends and family members, or see and share those funny, viral stories and LOLcat pictures. This is not how Facebook thinks of Facebook. Is Nokia really working on an Android-based phone, and would Microsoft really go ahead with such a device? The answer to the first one is definitely yes. And, surprisingly, the answer to the second question may be yes, as well . The saga of Yahoo’s problematic latest Mail product continues: The Yahoo in charge of Mail made some fellow employees a bit upset when he suggested that the company would have to “kick the users hard” in a certain body part to get them to leave. Functionality is returning for many after a recent outage, but up to two weeks of mail may be missing. CEO Marissa Mayer has apologized . Facebook and Twitter let advertisers turn their (free) posts into (paid) “native ads.” Now Google+ is joining the native ad party, too — but there’s a twist . The independent videogame Minecraft is a global sensation, but it almost went down a very different path. In an excerpt from a new book about the game, we learn how Minecraft’s original creator, Markus Persson, almost took a job at Valve .

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Amazon Really, Really Wants to Sell More Kindle Fire HDX Tablets

December 15, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Amazon seems to be selling a lot of its newest Kindle Fire tablets*. But it would like to sell many more .  So here’s Jeff Bezos’ newest pitch : Buy a Kindle Fire HDX tablet today, and we’ll give you nine months to finish paying for it. Amazon started pushing its installment plan program this weekend, by splashing the offer on its home page. The basics: It is letting customers pay for its $229 Kindle Fire HDX 7-inch tablet , or its $379 8.9-inch version , in four-part installment plans. Customers shell out 25 percent of the purchase price – plus tax and shipping charges –  when they buy the gadget, and then spread out the remaining three payments in 90-day increments. There aren’t a lot of catches with the offer — for instance, Amazon isn’t adding any interest charges to its installment plan. But there is one interesting twist spelled out in the relatively fine print: If you don’t cough up the rest of the money, Amazon may semi-brick your tablet: “our remedies will include the right to deregister your Kindle Fire HDX device, which will block your ability to access Amazon content from your Kindle Fire HDX device.” Amazon rolled out its HDX line  earlier this fall. The tablets feature extras like a “Mayday” button which connects users with live support staff, and the ability to download some of the movies and TV shows offered on Amazon’s Prime Instant Video streaming service. The gadgets are supposed to compete with Google’s top-end Nexus tablets and Apple’s iPads, though Walt Mossberg says they’re not there yet . And now, an excellent movie about installment plans: *Though, of course, we have no idea what “a lot” means .

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