As developers for tablets and smartphones we like to keep abreast of the latest mobile technology developments . This is a daily digest of mobile development and related technology news gathered from the BBC, the New York Times, New Scientist and the Globe and Mail to name a few. We scour the web for articles concerning, iPhone, iPad and android development, iOS and android operating systems as well as general articles on advances in mobile technology. We hope you find this useful and that it helps to keep you up to date with the latest technology developments.
- Apple Seeds OS X Mavericks 10.9.5 Beta 1 to Developers
In what will likely be its last significant update, Apple has seeded OS X Mavericks 10.9.5 Beta 1 to their developer community today. The beta is available exclusively through the Apple Developer portal and is accompanied by a beta version of Safari 7.0.6. As we all know, OS X Yosemite will supersede Mavericks in […]
The post Apple Seeds OS X Mavericks 10.9.5 Beta 1 to Developers appeared first on AlliOSNews.
- Samsung profit hit by phone slowdown
Profits at Samsung Electronics fall 20% in the second quarter, hurt mainly by a slowdown in smartphone sales and a strong Korean currency.
- FCC Chair Asks Verizon To Explain 'Disturbing' Plan to Slow Wireless Speeds
The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday called Verizon’s new plan to reduce speeds for certain data-guzzling wireless customers “deeply troubling” and asked the company to justify the policy.
Verizon said last week it would begin slowing speeds for wireless customers with unlimited data plans who stream large amounts of high-definition video on their phones. The company said the policy would start in October and would only apply to customers who are in the top 5 percent of data users and are connected to cell towers with high demand.
The company said the policy was for “network management” and told customers they could switch from an unlimited plan to a usage-based plan, which would not be affected. Usage-based plans, however, are subject to data caps and financial penalties for customers who exceed them. Such plans have become a lucrative part of many wireless carriers’ business models.
In a letter Wednesday to Verizon Wireless, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said he found the company’s new policy “disturbing” and suggested it may be a “loophole designed to enhance your revenue streams.”
Wheeler asked the company to explain how the new policy does not violate rules the company agreed to follow when it was given permission to use the wireless spectrum to offer 4G wireless service. Under those rules, Verizon is barred from interfering with customers’ wireless experience, except for “reasonable network management” like maintaining security and reducing congestion. Verizon could be fined up to $1.5 million if it is found to be violating FCC rules, according to an agency spokeswoman.
“It is disturbing to me that Verizon Wireless would base its ‘network management’ on distinctions among its customers’ data plans, rather than on network architecture or technology,” Wheeler wrote.
“I know of no past Commission statement that would treat as ‘reasonable network management’ a decision to slow traffic to a user who has paid, after all, for ‘unlimited’ service,” he added.
The rules Wheeler cited are unrelated to the debate over net neutrality, the idea that Internet providers treat all Web content the same.
Verizon wireless spokesman Thomas Pica declined to comment on Wheeler’s letter, saying the company had not yet reviewed it.
“However, what we announced last week was a highly targeted and very limited network optimization effort, only targeting cell cites experiencing high demand,” Pica said in an email. “The purpose is to ensure there is capacity for everyone in those limited circumstances, and that high users don’t limit capacity for others.”
- Broken robots 'learn to keep going'
Engineers take a step towards having machines that can operate even when they are damaged by developing a robot that can teach itself to walk, even with a broken leg.
- Can one bad blog blight a business?
Can firms defend themselves against irate reviews?
- Shakira Dethrones Volkswagen's 'The Force' As Most Shared Ad Of All Time
The force is no longer with the Darth Vader kid.
The Volkswagen ad “The Force,” which featured a child dressed as the iconic Star Wars character, was dethroned as the most shared ad of all time by Shakira’s “trackvertising” World Cup video with Activia, according to marketing technology company Unruly.
The pint-size galactic menace premiered during the 2011 Super Bowl and in those three years has been shared 5,372,945 times via Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere according to Unruly’s data. The Colombian singer, however, beat those numbers in a little over two months.
Shak produced her World Cup-inspired video for her single “La La La” in collaboration with Activia yogurt, and in support of the World Food Program. The video shows the company’s logo at the beginning and the end but also subtly features extras drawing the brand’s iconic smile on their stomachs throughout the production.
Since its debut on May 22, the “La La La” music video has garnered 5,375,756 shares. The collaboration is what Unruly is calling “the most successful example of a brand capitalizing on the growing trend of ‘trackvertising,’ where a brand and musical artist co-release a video which is both a musical track and advertisement.”
The video’s partnership with the UN’s World Food Program has also helped millions of children. A link below the YouTube video connects viewers to a page where they can donate towards the organization’s mission to provide nutritious school meals across the world.
Currently, the website says it has been able to provide 3,719, 250 meals thanks to the partnership.
“It is fantastic to see such a positive response for the video,” Activia’s global marketing director Nicolas Frerejean told Unruly. “Reaching more than 250 million views and becoming the Most Shared Ad of All Time in just two months is incredible! We are delighted that we have been able to relay our message of support to the World Food Programme through the video ‘La La La (Brazil 2014).’ Partnering with Shakira to support the School Meals initiative is a great fit between Activia’s beliefs in good nutrition for all and the engagement that Shakira has demonstrated for a long time to support access for every child to quality education.”
The video’s success should come as no surprise considering Shakira was recently crowned the most liked person on Facebook, with over 100 million followers.
“I can interact meaningfully with [fans] on a regular basis. And the response is immediate,” the singer told the Wall Street Journal. “[Having the most popular Facebook page] is something I never necessarily anticipated but a really welcoming and heartwarming surprise.”
Say good-bye to Kid Vader below and hello to Shakira’s reigning “trackvertisement” above.
- A Dad's Hysterical Attempt at Decoding Hashtags
Explaining “what you do” to your parents is not exactly easy when you work in social media. I know, I know — Facebook is now considered “your mom’s social media outlet,” but even if she does have a profile (which mine does not), she still likely thinks all a social media manager does is play around on Facebook and Twitter all day. Being in the field myself, I know that’s the furthest thing from the truth.
When I attempt to explain what I’m doing at work to my parents, they try their best to understand, but I know they have no idea what I just said to them. In an effort to educate my parents about social media and show how different generations use it, I asked my 60-year-old dad to define the following popular hashtags. And even I couldn’t have imagined all of the glorious, absurd things he came up with.
Dad’s answer: To Be Tagged (At least he’s speaking “social media lingo” here.)
Correct answer: Throwback Thursday
Dad’s answer: Over Out, Totally Done (But, we’re just getting started with this, Dad.)
Correct answer: Outfit of the Day
Dad’s answer: Your Love (Yes, just “your love.”)
Correct answer: You Only Live Once
Dad’s answer: For Our Mutual Offering
Correct answer: Fear of Missing Out
Dad’s answer: Will Call Wednesday (My pops really likes events, apparently.)
Correct answer: Woman Crush Wednesday
Dad’s answer: Man Crush Monday (I gave him a hint on this one, but you go, dad!)
Correct answer: Man Crush Monday
Dad’s answer: Totally Foul Mood
Correct answer: Total Frat Move
Dad’s answer: Fun For Family (I’m having fun…)
Correct answer: Follow For Follow
Dad’s answer: Sign My Hat
Correct answer: Shaking My Head
Dad’s answer: I Caught You Messaging Internally
Correct answer: In Case You Missed It
Well, he got one correct at least, right? When I read off the correct answer coupled with his awesomely wrong responses, we all had a good laugh. I think it’s apparent that my dad knows less about social media (and my job) than he thought. Now that he does know what these popular hashtags mean, it won’t be long before we see his outfit of the day. Either way, he was a good sport about the whole thing. #FunForFamily
- New Kindle Feature Suggested By The Onion Would Actually Solve Glaring Problem With E-Readers
The rise of e-readers may have made the success of books like Fifty Shades Of Grey possible by allowing people to read privately in public, but that doesn’t mean that privacy doesn’t come with its own set of problems.
Simply put, if you’re making your way through James Joyce’s Ulysses, you want people to know you’re making your way through James Joyce’s Ulysses. Showing off a little is your right as a book reader.
But e-readers make it so that the titles you’re reading are visible only to you — a clear design flaw for proud members of the literati.
Thankfully, satirical news site The Onion came up with the perfect solution in the video above.
In addition to being thinner and smarter, The Onion’s redesigned Kindle would also “loudly and repeatedly announce the title of the book you’re reading so that everyone knows how smart you are.” So whether you’re chapters-deep in Vonnegut or paging your way through Murakami, you (and your incredible taste in literature) are set.
“You know, I wasn’t planning on getting a tablet. I love that feeling of paper in your hands as you angle the cover for everyone to see, but this Kindle is just as good,” says Brandon Soloner, (fake) Kindle Flare user.
The Onion also imagines what Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz would (probably not) say if the product was released: “The only thing that matters is getting my work into the hands of readers, so they can impress strangers and maybe sleep with someone who thinks they’re interesting.”
Prepare your e-bookshelves, readers. This Kindle Flare is starting to sound like a really good idea.
- Amazon Will Pay You $1 To Choose Slow Shipping
One of the best things about being an Amazon Prime member is getting free, two-day shipping.
Prime members with a little patience, however, are now getting an extra benefit: $1.
Starting Wednesday, prime members who choose “No-Rush” shipping on any order will get a $1 credit for Amazon’s Instant Video> service.
You can watch the videos on your computer, phone, tablet or via a streaming video device like a Roku. Your “No-Rush” order will arrive in 5-7 business days.
The promotion is a brilliant way for Amazon to get people more comfortable with downloading movies and TV shows from its service, or, put another way, get more people into Amazon’s “content ecosystem.” If you’ve spent a few months getting discounts on downloads, and built up an Amazon library of movies and shows, then you may be more likely to go back to Amazon for full price purchases — instead of, say, iTunes, which has similar stuff.
Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Timothy Stenovec contributed reporting.
- Westboro Baptist Church Will Protest Pretty Much Every Tech Company
The Westboro Baptist Church is heading out on a “God Hates the Media Tour,” with plans to picket pretty much every major technology company in Silicon Valley.
ValleyWag noted WBC’s announcement on Wednesday. The quasi-religious group, known for its vitriolic anti-gay rhetoric and picketing of funerals, will kick off its latest crusade on Aug. 12. Facebook, Google and Apple headquarters are just a few of the sites on the docket.
From a July 25 press release about the stunt:
God hates the media; in all its forms. God did not set these social media networks in place to facilitate perverts pursuing their divers filth; nor do they exist for paedophile grooming, spreading sodomite agenda, other wicked political ropaganda or propagating mountains of false doctrine. On the contrary, all these media platforms have one purpose; to spread the gospel far and wide. Though you labour in vain to demonize and stop the words we speak; you only succeed causing more people to see, hear and be convicted [all sic].
The WBC’s rationale behind the slew of tech protests is muddled.
In a release about the Apple picket, the group calls the company’s late co-founder, Steve Jobs, “a rich, proud fool who now inhabits hell.” The group is also protesting YouTube, because the site “has a long history of removing videos and comments that are biblically accurate.”
Even Reddit is a target of the Aug. 12 event, because the site’s late co-founder, Aaron Swartz, was “a poster boy for this online community: a fag, an atheist and a thief.”
Before the tour begins, however, WBC will host a Reddit AMA on Aug. 10. We’re expecting a level-headed and informative exchange of ideas.
See the full press release below.
- 16 Instagram Accounts Every Pit Bull Lover Should Follow
It’s #PitBullWeek here at HuffPost, a time to celebrate the often overlooked and under-appreciated pups that many have come to know and love.
While many shelter pets are in need of a loving forever home (if you’re looking for a new companion, check out these adoption sites, or head to your local shelter), not all of us are in a place to adopt just yet. So, if you don’t have your own pit bull handy to cover you in kisses, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best pibble-related Instagram accounts out there to help you get your fix.
HuffPost Green is launching a week-long, community-driven effort to bust the myths and raise awareness about pit bulls, a maligned “breed” that often bears the brunt of dated, discriminatory legislation that can make it near impossible for these dogs to find a forever home. You can follow along with HuffPost Pit Bull Week here, or on Facebook and Twitter where we’ll be using the hashtag #PitBullWeek.
- Tor attack may have unmasked users
Users of the “dark net” service Tor who visited hidden websites may have had their identities revealed by a five-month long cyber-attack.
- The Milky Way Galaxy May Be Way Less Massive Than We Thought It Was
Surprise! Our home galaxy is no pipsqueak, but it isn’t nearly as massive as scientists used to think.
Astronomers often refer to the neighboring Andromeda galaxy, which is around 2.6 million light-years away from us, as the “twin galaxy” of our own Milky Way. But a new study indicates that the two galaxies are quite different when it comes to mass. The research, from an international team of scientists, shows that the Milky Way is about half as massive as Andromeda.
“We always suspected that Andromeda is more massive than the Milky Way, but weighing both galaxies simultaneously proved to be extremely challenging,” researcher Dr. Jorge Peñarrubia, an astrophysics lecturer at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, said in a written statement. “Our study combined recent measurements of the relative motion between our galaxy and Andromeda with the largest catalogue of nearby galaxies ever compiled to make this possible.”
Some previous studies indicated that the Milky Way is more massive than Andromeda, but the researchers said that these studies measured only the mass of the inner regions of our galaxy neighbor and not the outer regions.
For the new study, the researchers measured the speed, position, and motion of nearby smaller galaxies. Then they used those measurements to arrive at an estimate of the shape and mass of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies.
“By studying two massive galaxies that are close to each other and the galaxies that surround them, we can take what we know about gravity and pair that with what we know about expansion to get an accurate account of the mass contained in each galaxy,” one of the researchers, Dr. Matthew Walker, an assistant professor of physics at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, said in a written statement. “This is the first time we’ve been able to measure these two things simultaneously.”
And the mass of a galaxy includes its dark matter as well as its ordinary, visible matter. Dark matter appears invisible because it doesn’t absorb, reflect, or emit light — but scientists know it exists because they see its gravitational effects in the universe.
Dark matter makes up 90 percent of each galaxy’s mass, according to the researchers. But, they say, Andromeda contains twice as much dark matter as the Milky Way.
“Most of the weight of these galaxies is present in the form of invisible dark matter,” Dr. Yin-Zhe Ma, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of British Columbia in Canada, who was also involved in the study, said in a written statement. “We don’t know much about dark matter so this discovery means we’ll get a chance to study it from within our own galaxy.”
The new study was published in the current issue of the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.
- Teen Behind Hilarious Celeb Parody Photos: Ignore Bullies And 'Embrace Difference'
Liam Martin is Instagram’s teen version of “Weird Al” Yankovic.
His cheeky celebrity tributes toe the line between parody and promotion, but the results are so funny it ultimately doesn’t matter if they’re an homage or not — and the Internet seems to agree. Under the handle @waverider_, the 17-year-old New Zealander has amassed more than 1.5 million Instagram followers, largely by riffing on iconic celebrity portraits.
SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOS
Liam told The Huffington Post he first started with the celebrity riffs after dressing up like the Little Mermaid. “The photo was a success and really seemed to entertain people,” he said. “So I decided to keep doing that.”
Despite his apparent popularity, Martin, who describes himself as “very weird and open,” is an outspoken advocate against online bullying.
“Doing what I do generates a backlash of negative comments,” he told HuffPost. “People need to be careful about what they say to others and embrace difference, as opposed to trying to destroy it.”
In a five-minute YouTube video posted last year, Liam spoke out against bullying, self harm and suicide, telling Buzzfeed he hopes to help people feel more comfortable in their own skin.
Check out some of Liam’s cheeky parodies, below:
For more, visit Liam’s Instagram page.
- 11 Ways To Lose All Your Friends On Social Media
Social media affords you the chance to be a wonderful mix of creative, connected and ever-so-slightly self-centered. The right balance keeps your friends and followers up-to-date on your life without being overwhelming. Sadly, this is a lot easier said than done. Here are some ways that you may be falling towards the more annoying side of the spectrum, arranged by social network.
1. Writing on your best friend’s wall too often
We know you two are texting (or sitting next to each other) while you’re writing on each other’s walls, so are five posts a day really necessary? We’re totally happy that you’ve found your soulmate and everything, but try to keep these posts to a minimum.
2. Changing your profile picture every day
We understand that you have daily profile picture remorse and feel the need to switch back and forth between your four most recent defaults, but don’t punish the rest of us for your indecision. Pick one and just stick to it for a little while. You look great, we promise.
3. Instagramming every meal you eat
Everybody thinks to themselves, “Food Instagrams are so annoying, but I just can’t help myself on this one. This _____ looks so delicious, I have to Insta it!” No, you don’t. That is what foodporndaily.com is for. So unless you’re absolutely dying to Instagram the cookie cake you just spent your Friday night baking, please refrain.
4. Two in one day
This is self-explanatory. If you’re Instagramming two pictures in one day (and it’s not your birthday or some seriously special occasion), you know what you’re doing isn’t right. Restrain yourself. You can Instagram the second one tomorrow.
5. Inside joke captions
We want to like this picture of you and your friend because it’s cute, but if you make the caption something really cryptic and inside joke-y, we feel like we’re out of the loop and probably won’t toss it a like. So proceed at your own risk.
6. Ten in a row with zero responses
If you’re sending out a bunch of mass snaps to someone who never responds, it may be time to take them off the go-to list. It’s possible they enjoy them and just can’t match your level of wittiness with a response, but better to be safe than sorry. Save your hilarity for those that respond.
7. 400-second Snapchat stories
Yes, we have seen this. No one is interesting enough for 400 seconds of snaps. Edit this down, we beg of you.
8. Legitimate conversation over Snapchat
Why are you trying to make plans with me over Snapchat? You have my number. There’s no reason to send me a selfie with a caption that says “Wanna hang out tonight?” Just text me — it makes infinitely more sense.
9. Extremely vague tweets
You know this isn’t a diary, right? People are supposed to be able to understand what you’re referring to in your tweet. So tweeting something that is supposed to seem intriguing and dramatic like, “It’s the worst when this happens,” or “OMG so excited, 3 more hours!” will only frustrate your followers. We will favorite your tweet when you elaborate.
Subtweeting is when you tweet at someone but you don’t tag them. This is sort of like vague tweets, except kind of worse, because you’re attempting to be vague, but in reality it’s clear who you’re talking about. For example, “I hope you’re happy with her.” Here it’s clear that the tweeter is referring to her ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend, and it’s making us sort of uncomfortable. Avoid if at all possible.
11. Changing your name so many times on Twitter that we don’t know who you are
If it takes us over 30 seconds to figure out who you are every time you tweet, you have gone too far. There’s nothing wrong with your real name. Or that nickname that you’ve had forever. But keep it at that.
Obviously, we are all guilty of these bad habits from time to time. It’s easy to slip when you’re bored or having a particularly great time with your friends. That said, if we can ban together and try to eliminate these social media faux-pas, it will be a happier world for all.
- Snapchat, A Company That Has Never Made Any 'Money,' Is Valued At $10 Billion
Snapchat, the company behind the app that made disappearing photos cool, is in talks with Chinese investors about an investment that would value the company at $10 billion, Bloomberg News is reporting.
That number, if you didn’t catch it the first time, is a one followed by 10 zeros. Coincidentally, $0 is the exact amount of revenue this company has generated in its existence, as far as we know. Welcome to the tech industry.
According to Bloomberg, the group of investors includes Alibaba, the mega-success Internet company that’s essentially the Chinese version of Amazon. These guys aren’t dumb. The reason Snapchat or any other company without a way of making money raises funding is that investors expect them to be super-profitable someday.
A Snapchat spokesperson declined to comment on the valuation when reached by email.
Brushing off early, big-dollar offers is a large part of how Facebook became Facebook and Google became Google. Coincidentally, both of those companies reportedly tried to buy Snapchat for $3 billion and $4 billion, respectively. Snapchat is said to have turned down both offers.
It’s hard to reconcile what money means to regular folk — who spend 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. collecting it to feed and bathe themselves — with what money means in Silicon Valley. Burger King and Western Union, which don’t get to breathe the air under California’s tech bubble, must sell hamburgers or process wire transfers to justify their own $10 billion valuations.
Even in Silicon Valley terms, $10 billion is a crazy big number. Airbnb and Dropbox are also valued at $10 billion, based on their most recent rounds of funding this year. Small difference between those two and Snapchat: They have revenue, and Snapchat doesn’t.
After enduring mockery for turning down billions to hold onto his little disappearing-photo app, Snapchat’s 24-year-old CEO Evan Spiegel suddenly looks like the smartest guy in the room. The only thing we can mock him about now are the misogynistic emails from his fraternity days in college.
Could he be building a new Facebook or Google? Maybe. But there’s another possible fate. In 2010, Groupon’s Andrew Mason turned down a $6 billion overture from Google. Today, Mason, who has since been fired from Groupon, is a self-employed musician.
This story was updated with a reply from Snapchat.
- New 'Interstellar' Trailer Is Out Of This World Amazing
Christopher Nolan surprised Comic-Con attendees last week by premiering the new trailer for his forthcoming feature “Interstellar,” and now hoi polloi can experience the fun all on their own. Paramount released a new teaser for “Interstellar” on Wednesday, one day after a snazzy new website for the film appeared. This one looks incredible, mysterious and thrilling. Nolan mentioned “2001: A Space Odyssey” during his Comic-Con appearance, so that should give fans a baseline of what to anticipate. Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain and your blown mind star in “Interstellar,” which arrives in theaters on Nov. 7. Watch the trailer over at the “Interstellar” website by punching in the access code “7201969″ (the date of the moon landing). An official embeddable version of the “Interstellar” trailer will be available on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET, but it’s up on YouTube here now in an unofficial capacity.
- Amazon Finally Explains Why It's Fighting A Big Publisher
Amazon is finally opening up about its fight with publisher Hachette.
The two companies have been embroiled in contentious negotiations over e-book pricing for months. Until now, no one was talking about the specifics of the deal.
In a post on the Kindle forum Tuesday afternoon, Amazon said it wants to lower the price of most e-books it sells to $9.99. Thirty percent of the sale would go to Amazon, 35 percent to the author, and the remaining 35 percent would go to the publisher.
“A key objective is lower e-book prices,” the message, signed by the Amazon Books Team, said. The company added that $14.99 and $19.99 for e-book titles are “unjustifiably high” prices because the digital books don’t have the same printing, warehousing, transportation or other costs bound books do. “E-books can be and should be less expensive,” Amazon said.
In the Kindle forum note, Amazon said it thinks Hachette isn’t giving enough of the profits from e-books to authors. “But ultimately that is not our call,” the company wrote. Amazon’s proposed solution is to lower prices, which it says will mean more money all around because customers will buy more books.
According to the company, customers would buy 1.74 copies of an e-book priced at $9.99 for every copy of an e-book priced at $14.99. When a lot of e-books are sold — Amazon used 100,000 copies as an example — that math works out in favor of everyone, at least according to Amazon.
“[I]f customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000,” Amazon said. “So, at $9.99, the total pie is bigger,” Amazon noted.
Amazon also said the lower prices are necessary to compete against “mobile games, television, movies, Facebook, blogs, free news sites and more.”
Michael Pietsch, the Hachette Book Group CEO, offered the publisher’s take on the controversy to The New York Times earlier this month. “This controversy shouldn’t be misinterpreted,” Pietsch said. “It’s all about Amazon trying to make more money.” Hachette didn’t return a request for comment on Wednesday morning.
Amazon’s unusual disclosure about the terms it seeks from Hachette comes after months of stalled negotiations with the publisher, the fourth-largest in the country. To pressure Hachette, Amazon earlier this year removed pre-sale buttons on some Hachette titles and delayed shipping times on others. The company even took the drastic step in May of recommending that customers order Hachette titles at other bookstores.
Authors have mixed feelings about the dispute. Some independent authors, who’ve benefitted from Amazon’s self-publishing platform, have come out in support of the giant retailer. “Major publishers like Hachette have a long history of treating authors and readers poorly,” reads a petition, spearheaded by Hugh Howey, an independent author. “Amazon, on the other hand, has built its reputation on valuing authors and readers dearly. The two companies didn’t simultaneously change directions overnight.”
But some big-name bestselling authors, like Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver and James Patterson, say they’re stuck in the middle, and have asked Amazon in an open letter to “resolve its dispute with Hachette without hurting authors and without blocking or otherwise delaying the sale of books to its customers.” Hundreds of them have urged their readers to email Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos “to change his mind.”
Amazon’s stock is down almost 20 percent this year, and the company is under intense pressure from shareholders to make more profit. It posted losses last quarter of $126 million, even though it reported revenue of $19.34 billion. The company said that it expects to lose between $410 million and $810 million this quarter.
Novelist Roxana Robinson, who is president of the Authors Guild, said she doesn’t buy Amazon’s claim that lower prices for eBooks will lead to more sales.
“They don’t include any sources for the study that they cite, so it’s unclear how they reached the numbers they put forth,” Robinson said by phone Wednesday. “The idea of simply lowering eBook prices over and over isn’t necessarily good for all authors.”
“Amazon keeps promoting the idea that an eBook should cost much, much less than a hardcover because the cost of producing it is so much lower. But what they aren’t acknowledging is that an eBook represents an enormous amount of time from the authors,” Robinson said. “It’s an investment of time and intellectual energy from the author, and time and money from the publisher.”
This article has been updated with comment from the Authors Guild.
- 'Sharknado 2' Is Set To Break The Internet, Twitter Be Warned
Last year, the buzz around “Sharknado” blew us all away, and now that the sequel is upon us, star Ian Ziering warned the “nerds” over at Twitter headquarters, to get “those servers backed up because a storm is coming … and it’s a huge ‘Sharknado’ wave,” he told Mashable.
Reports say that the first “Sharknado” generated more than 600,000 tweets mere hours after it aired, peaking at more than 5,000 tweets per minute, according to The Hollywood Reporter. To put it in perspective, some numbers indicate that’s more than double the Red Wedding episode of “Game of Thrones.”
Now, with “Sharknado 2: The Second One” adding even more famous names like Vivica A. Fox, Kari Wuhrer and Mark McGrath and going all out on promotions with dedicated programing on Syfy, a Comic-Con panel and more, this time Twitter might not make it out alive.
#Sharknado2TheSecondOne already started trending more than 12 hours before the premiere. Check out some of the best tweets and a live stream below:
— Michelle Beadle (@MichelleDBeadle) July 30, 2014
Do I need to watch Sharknado before I watch #Sharknado2TheSecondOne to understand the plot?
— Nick Kremydas (@Kremydas) July 29, 2014
— Alex Hoover (@hoover_has_not) July 29, 2014
— Belen De Leon (@Belen_DeLeon) July 30, 2014
— Jennifer Wilkerson (@_jenneryy) July 30, 2014
If you’re not watching #Sharknado2TheSecondOne tonight are you even alive?
— Kyle Zimmermann (@kdzimmermann) July 30, 2014
Trying to be prepared for Twitter crashing when #Sharknado2TheSecondOne airs tonight.
— BrianDau (@BrianDau) July 30, 2014
It’s the day of the #Sharknado2TheSecondOne premiere but my phone does not have a shark emoji. How am I supposed to express my excitement?
— Erica Lockerbie (@eLockerbie) July 30, 2014
Happy #Sharknado2TheSecondOne Day!
— Saira (@SairaSherman) July 30, 2014
If you’re excited about #Sharknado2TheSecondOne you need to get your life together
— Matt Walker (@walk1nine) July 30, 2014
“Sharknado 2: The Second One” premieres Wednesday, July 30, at 9:00 p.m. ET on Syfy.