Competitive Shopping — the Sense Behind Multiple e-Book Sources

By the middle of this year I expect we’ll have a big selection of e-book readers to choose from. There were dozens of readers on display at the CES 2010 this month, and it seems that every gadget maker is working on one for the market. I am still a firm believer that in the e-book world content is king, and that just having a reader on the market is not that big a deal. A reader with little available content is just a hunk of plastic, consumers want the ability to get the books they crave. Giant e-book sellers like Barnes & Noble (s bks) and Amazon (s amzn) have a big advantage in this area, with each offering hundreds of thousands of titles on their respective online stores. But the formats between the two stores are not compatible, and like any other retail segment competition could help keep prices competitive. Don’t believe that? I was in the market for some new e-book releases, and was surprised to find how widely the prices varied.

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Why Tech May Rebound in 2010

While the economy’s longer-term health remains as uncertain as ever, the outlook for tech is Рfor the next several months, at least Рgetting brighter. Companies feel more comfortable spending on new technology as well as online ads. And consumers are spending more.

Dynamic Pricing Comes to Amazon’s Cloud

Amazon, with its Spot Instances service announced today, is bringing dynamic pricing to the cloud by allowing customers to bid for compute cycles. The move helps Amazon boost margins by ensuring unused capacity doesn’t sit idle, and may even help it charge more for urgent jobs.

Telcos Eye the Cloud

The TM Forum, a standards organization that’s active in the service provider community, is developing standards for cloud best practices and interoperability — a move that could move cloud providers out of the realm of offering cheap infrastructure for startups and into providing enterprise-class services.

Clash of the Titans in the Mobile Ecosystem

New devices, app stores and rising mobile broadband usage continue are changing the way consumers and businesses interact with the cellular infrastructure and even the Internet. This is causing power to shift from the carriers to other players — something carriers are unable to admit.

Will Cyber Monday End With a Bang or a Whimper?

Data so far shows that online spending and visits to online retailers are up this holiday season, but has the spending and traffic hit a peak ahead of Cyber Monday? If so, does it render Black Friday and Cyber Monday moot as indicators for holiday spending?

Streaming Media West Roundup: Internap, Ankeena, HD Cloud

Online video platform providers, CDNs and other media infrastructure companies have gathered in San Jose., Calif., this week for the Streaming Media West conference. Here are some highlights from vendors releasing news on Day One of the show:
Internap Updates Its CDN Offering
After a lengthy silence, Internap (s INAP) is announcing new features to its content delivery network that it believes will help make it competitive again. The features are primarily focused around improved ease of use for its enterprise customers, including new “set and forget” capabilities such as single-upload transcoding and continuous bitrate adjustment. The CDN has also been tweaked to leverage Internap’s Managed Internet Route Optimizer technology, which it claims delivers better performance by making sure that content is delivered from the right point of presence. Finally, the company updated its reporting features to provide more granular analytics.
While Internap has struggled to compete in the CDN market ever since it acquired the assets of Vitalstream two years ago, the company’s VP of marketing, Peter Evans, says the latest update may finally make the company competitive in CDN. “Now we have a product that we’re comfortable standing behind,” Evans said. “Do I think we’re going to go head to head with Akamai (s akam) or Limelight (s llnw)? No. But I do think we can compete with them in an RFP, and I think we can go up against Nos. 3 through 50 in the CDN market.” Read More about Streaming Media West Roundup: Internap, Ankeena, HD Cloud