Posts Tagged ‘amazon’

5 Digital Shows Created by Grown-Ups

November 21, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Silicon Valley has a lot of things going for it: advancing technology, an attractive environment for whiz kids, a (weak) stab at meritocracy among its residents, gobs and gobs of cash. But as anybody who's ever worked in the arts will tell you, money cannot buy taste. Frequently it buys whatever the opposite of taste is . Thus, the learning curve has been incredibly steep for video companies desperate to produce the elusive "premium content" that will command the kind of money that TV advertising moves every season, or, in the case of subscriber-only services, the kind of buzz that generates subscribers to pay-TV networks. At first, video services seemed to believe that "premium" meant "not cat videos," but after wave after wave of unbearable vanity projects

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10 Brands That Changed the World [Video]

November 20, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

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E-Reader vs. iPad

November 20, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Q: My wife started reading e-books downloaded from the library on her iPad 2. Indoors the print is very readable, but it loses some of the sharpness in bright light. Some of her friends suggested the Kindle Paperwhite as a better reader in all types of light. What is your opinion? A: All current color tablets use a screen technology that washes out in sunlight and can become almost unreadable in direct, bright sunlight. The Kindle monochrome e-readers, including the Paperwhite, use a different technology that does well in all kinds of light. However, I have never noticed any degradation of screen readability on iPads or other quality color tablets in bright indoor light. Q: Is it fair to say that the iPad Air, like its predecessors, is designed more for content consumption than content creation, and that someone who really needs a computer but also wants a tablet (and can’t afford both) would do better with something like the new Surface? A: The iPad can be a fine productivity and creativity tool, with or without an accessory keyboard, depending on the app you are using. Business email and calendars, or the editing of office documents, work fine on the iPad, as do many drawing applications.

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iPad Mini’s Color Range Still a Shade Shy of the Best

November 18, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Anandtech With the next-generation iPad mini with Retina display, Apple managed to create a device identical to its sibling, the iPad Air, in most ways, save size. The two tablets run the same A7 chip and use the same cameras — front and back. They feature the same design, and they are nearly equivalent in performance and battery life. But they do differ in one important area: Color accuracy. Two new analyses of the Retina iPad mini display reveal that the device has the same color gamut as the now year-old standard iPad mini. That means its color range is narrower than that of not just the iPad Air, but rival tablets like the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HDX 8.9. According to Anandtech’s tests of the Retina mini , the device’s Delta-E — a measurement that represents the “distance” between the color a display is told to reproduce and the color it actually shows — is much higher than that of the iPad Air. The Retina mini scored an average Delta-E of 6.5, compared to 2.4 for the iPad Air (and 3.3 for Google’s Nexus 7). This isn’t a huge deficit; the Retina mini’s display still looks great, but as Anandtech observes, it lacks the same visual punch you get from the iPad Air (compare the reds in the Retina mini and iPad Air above). Anandtech DisplayMate reached a similar conclusion in its analysis of mini tablet displays . The firm ranked the Retina mini last in a display shootout with the Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HDX 7, and criticized Apple for leaving it with the same small color gamut as the original iPad mini and even older iPad 2. “That is inexcusable for a current generation premium tablet,” DisplayMate President Ray Soneira said. “The big differences in color gamut between the Kindle Fire HDX 7 and Nexus 7 and the much smaller 63 percent gamut in the iPad mini Retina display were quite obvious and easy to see in the side-by-side viewing tests.

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Google Continues to Fill Out iOS App Catalog With Music App

November 15, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

“A couple weeks from now we will launch Google Play Music All Access for iOS,” said Google Apps head Sundar Pichai at our D11 conference in May. A couple weeks … five months … what’s the difference? The app actually launched today . “It just took us a little longer than we thought to bring it up to the level of polish,” product manager Brandon Bilinski told the Verge . The app has many of the features of its Android equivalent, but lacks a crucial one: The ability to buy songs. But that’s normal these days — the Kindle app for iOS doesn’t let users buy books, either. Neither Amazon nor Google wants to pay Apple the 30 percent commission it commands on in-app purchases.

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LivingSocial to Run Discount Promotions in Wake of 40-Hour Outage

November 14, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

How low can LivingSocial’s prices go? In a bid to make amends for a rare 40-hour outage that crippled its website, apps and merchant center on Tuesday and Wednesday, LivingSocial is running promotions for U.S. and Canadian shoppers this weekend. On Friday, U.S. and Canadian customers can get 25 percent off local and travel deals by using the promo codes HEART25 and HEART25CA, respectively.

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Amazon Convinces Postal Service to Start Making Sunday Deliveries

November 11, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

It turns out that not only is the U.S. Postal Service delivering on Saturdays, but under a new deal with Amazon, they will be making some deliveries on Sunday as well. Announced, fittingly, on Sunday evening, Amazon said that Prime customers in New York and Los Angeles can now get packages delivered via the local postman on Sundays. Amazon said the service will expand to “a large portion of the U.S. population” next year, including those in Dallas, Houston, New Orleans and Phoenix, among other cities. “If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can order a backpack for your child on Friday and be packing it for them Sunday night,” Amazon VP Dave Clark said in a statement. “We’re excited that now every day is an Amazon delivery day and we know our Prime members, who voraciously shop on Amazon, will love the additional convenience they will experience as part of this new service.” A statement from the post office suggests the service may not be limited to Amazon. “As online shopping continues to increase, the Postal Service is very happy to offer shippers like Amazon the option of having packages delivered on Sunday,” said Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe. “With this new service, the Postal Service is now delivering packages seven days a week in select cities. Customers can expect the same reliable and valued service that the Postal Service currently provides.” An Amazon representative said that the Sunday service is currently only available to Amazon customers.

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Realities of Performance Appraisal

November 9, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Much has been written recently about performance ratings and management at some large and successful companies. Amazon has surfaced as a company implementing OLRs, organization and leadership reviews, which target the least effective 10% of an organization for appropriate action. Yahoo recently implemented QPRs, quarterly performance reviews, which rates people as “misses” or “occasionally misses” among other ratings. And just so we don’t think this is something unique to tech, every year about this time Wall St firms begin the annual bonus process which is filled with any number of legendary dysfunctions given the massive sums of money in play. Even the Air Force has a legendary process for feedback and appraisal. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Realities of Performance Appraisal

November 9, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Much has been written recently about performance ratings and management at some large and successful companies. Amazon has surfaced as a company implementing OLRs, organization and leadership reviews, which target the least effective 10% of an organization for appropriate action. Yahoo recently implemented QPRs, quarterly performance reviews, which rates people as “misses” or “occasionally misses” among other ratings. And just so we don’t think this is something unique to tech, every year about this time Wall St firms begin the annual bonus process which is filled with any number of legendary dysfunctions given the massive sums of money in play. Even the Air Force has a legendary process for feedback and appraisal. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Sports Programming Dominates the Living Room

November 8, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Image copyright Jonathan G In the era of digital media, content is king, and sports content is the king of kings. The sports industry reaches a larger market than music, movies and episodic television combined. Sports content also plays a major role in consumers’ choices about television service providers, the checks they write each month to pay for their broadcast content, as well as the decisions to upgrade the televisions in their homes. Recent developments have cast a spotlight on the ever-increasing value of sports content. First, sports are more popular than ever. According to a Kantar Sports Media study in 2012 , 170 million adults — 71 percent of the U.S. population — identify themselves as sports fans. Second, given heavy competition from the increasing number of content providers, major networks, such as CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC, are looking for additional content that can drive advertiser-friendly demographics — read: Sports, in significant numbers. Third, TV service providers, fearful of consumers “cutting the cord” in favor of services such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, realize they can get a competitive advantage with both live and differentiated content — again, chiefly sports. This new sports-centered media landscape has shifted the balance of power between sports broadcasters and TV service providers. Those who hold the rights to broadcast sports programming enjoy tremendous negotiating leverage that they use to extract an increasing amount of money from the television service providers. For example, in the recent public feud between CBS and Time Warner Cable, a dispute over broadcast fees led to a lengthy blackout of CBS content for Time Warner customers. Although a broad swath of CBS programming was at stake, it was clear that the ultimate bargaining chip all along was NFL programming, which CBS held the rights to broadcast. TWC had no choice but to bow to the pressure of CBS before the NFL regular season started. The TWC-CBS dispute illustrates a larger trend: The sports bill has gone way up for the television service providers, and there’s no apparent end in sight. TV providers collectively will be paying over $17.2 billion for access to sports content this year from the rights holders (source: SNL Kagan). Even more notably, these deals are structured to last multiple years, sometimes decades, so the total liability for providers is well beyond $100 billion. In one well-documented example, DirecTV shelled out $4 billion to the NFL for the exclusive rights to Sunday Ticket for only a four-year term extension. The price for sports rights continues to escalate as these contracts come up for renewal.

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