Amazon

Apple TV vs. Amazon Fire TV: Which one should you get?

Fire TV, is Amazon's answer to the Apple TV, and to other options like the Roku 3 and the Google Chromecast. Fire TV brings Amazon Instant Video, Showtime Anytime, and tons of games to your big screen TV. Of course it won't play iTunes content, which means anything you've bought on your iPhone or iPad is of no help to you. If you're not big on iTunes, or if you just want to try something new, could the Fire TV be a better choice?

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Apple scores 100% clean energy score in Greenpeace cloud report

Greenpeace has published a report on the renewable energy used by major internet companies, including those active in the mobile space. Topping the list is Apple, which apparently runs iCloud and iTunes on 100% green electricity. It’s got a massive solar farm powering its North Carolina data center, and plans for geothermal and solar power for its upcoming Nevada data center. Oregon and California data centers are already being powered through wind energy partners.

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Amazon announces Fire TV, yet another streaming box — ships today for $99

If you haven't been able to decide yet between the myriad options for streaming boxes, Amazon has yet another new option for you: Fire TV. The new box, announced today, does TV and movies, music, and gaming. And not just from Amazon's own sources — most of the familiar third-party streaming sources that you know and love are included too. The Fire TV box is shipping today for $99.

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Amazon sets April 2nd event, likely a media streamer for your TV

Today Amazon sent out an invitation for an event on April 2nd, and by all expectations we'd be surprised if we didn't see a TV media streamer announced. The invite — sent to TechCrunch and others — simply reads "Please join us for an update on our video business". It also displays a couch (a living room staple, if you were not aware) and popcorn (which, you know, people eat while watching things).

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Amazon offers Kindle e-book buyers antitrust settlement credit - did you get yours?

Amazon.com has begun to notify customers who have purchased Kindle e-books from various publishers that they're entitled to a credit, as a result of the legal settlements reached with various e-book publishers in antitrust lawsuits.

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LOVEFiLM Instant becoming Amazon Prime Instant Video in the UK and Germany

Amazon's European based LOVEFiLM Instant online video service is to merge with Amazon Prime to become Prime Instant Video beginning February 26. The move echoes the way Amazon handles its business in the U.S. and anyone new to Amazon Prime in the next 5 days will lock in a special deal price of just £49 per year. After that the price rises to £79.

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Horizontal vs. vertical lock-in: Until DRM dies, iTunes is no worse than Google or Amazon

Horizontal lock-ins are harder to see than vertical ones. When you buy a movie or TV show or book from iTunes, you know it'll only work on Apple devices. If you own anything else, all that content might as well be dead to you. When you buy a movie or TV show or book from Amazon or Google, however, it can feel like a safer investment, like you can play it anywhere and on anything. But it only seems that way. The truth is, you can only ever play your content on the devices the content and service provider — any provider — allows you to play them on, and only for as long as they allow it. We're just as locked to Google's will and servers, and Amazon's, and anyone else's. And we will be until such time as DRM (Digital Rights Management) is dead.

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How anti-Apple, pro-Amazon manipulations have resulted in less competition, higher ebook prices

Sometimes when there's smoke, there's just smoke. And sometimes there are Kindles full of fire. Following the Wall Street Journal's scathing opinion piece last month, another media outlet is now asking questions about the conduct of the Department of Justice, the judge, and the external monitor. Kathleen Sharp goes so far as to call Amazon's crusade "bogus" in her headline on Slate:

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Why can I gift internationally with Amazon... but not iTunes?

Earlier today Apple enabled iBooks gifting. It's been a long time coming. Steve Jobs introduced the iBookstore alongside the original iPad in 2010, and it's taken until well after the 5th generation, iPad Air, shipped in 2013 for gifting to become available. I was ecstatic at first, because I'd been "forced" to use Amazon's Kindle service to gift ebooks until now. Finally, I thought, I could gift iBooks. But I thought too soon. Apple and iTunes, I quickly remembered, only allows gifting to someone who uses the same regional account you do. So, for example, I can only gift an iBook - or iTunes song or movie or App Store app or whatever - from the iTunes Canada store my account is in, to someone who also uses the iTunes Canada store. That eliminates a ton of my friends who just happen to live in the U.S., the U.K., and elsewhere. Amazon, by contrast, not only lets me use my Amazon.ca account to login to Amazon.ca or Amazon.co.uk, but it lets me gift Kindle books, send gift certificates, and even order real material goods, for friends in those countries. In this increasingly important way, Amazon is absolutely pantsing Apple and iTunes.

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Amazon offering 12 days of Kindle book deals starting now

Amazon has kicked off a new 12 days of book deals valid not only on print books, but also on Kindle eBooks. The promotion is said to cover popular and best selling titles, with different deals being offered every day.

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