Friday, 9 May 2014

The Digital Reader

The Digital Reader

Amazon Announces New Affiliate Deal with Italian Bookseller Giunti al Punto

Posted: 09 May 2014 05:35 PM PDT

It’s been 4819936081_5b24d10bc7[1]nearly 2 years since Amazon signed an affiliate deal with Waterstones in the UK, and new partners are still few and far between. While Amazon does have a pilot program with the UC Davis bookstore, and a few booksellers have signed up to be affiliates, but you can still count Amazon’s partners on one hand.

And that’s why I am sure Amazon was pleased to announce today that they had found a new partner in Italy.

Leading Italian bookseller Giunti al Punto will soon be joining Amazon in a new online and offline partnership which will see the bookseller carry the Amazon Kindle in its 170 stores. Any Giunti al Punto customer who buys a Kindle will receive five free Kindle ebooks of their choice.

Later this year Giunti al Punto will also be launching a new Amazon-supported retail site where customers will have access to a vast selection of books, physical media products and toys available on

A brief check of the Giunti al Punto website shows that this bookseller doesn’t have an online retail presence, though it does appear that its parent company has a retail site for the books and ebooks it publishes.

Giunti al Punto is a wholly owned subsidiary of Giunti Editore, one of Italy’s oldest publishers, and it is also one of the larger bookstore chains in the country. Between the retail footprint and the lack of an online presence, it is an ideal partner for Amazon. Both companies possess a trait that the other lacks.

Giunti, with its centenary history, and its bookstore chain, among Italy's best known and loved, continue to innovate on behalf of its customers,” said Jorrit Van der Meulen, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “Amazon and Giunti share the same core values: customer obsession and a passion for reading. With its 170 bookstores, Giunti is the ideal partner for Amazon to help Italian readers discover the benefits of digital reading.”

Amazon is following in the footsteps of Kobo, which makes a habit of signing booksellers as a local retail partner. Kobo’s partner in Italy is Mondadori, a publisher that also owns a chain of 350 bookstores. Kobo announced the deal with Mondadori in July 2012 and launched the partnership in October 2012.

In a way, Amazon is playing second fiddle to Kobo in Italy (a unique experience for Amazon).

image by melenama

The post Amazon Announces New Affiliate Deal with Italian Bookseller Giunti al Punto appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Flipboard for iOS Updated With Support for Spanish

Posted: 09 May 2014 09:52 AM PDT

Flipboard flipboard-qu35zm[1]released a new version of their app for the iPad and iPhone this morning. While it’s not as interesting as the beta Android app released earlier this week, it should still prove interesting.

In addition to the usual bug fixes the changelog for the new app mentions that it now supports Spanish. The new Flipboard app is available in iTunes.


According to internet usage statistics, Spanish is one of the more widely used languages on the internet. It’s a distant third to English and Mandarin, but it still outpoints Japanese, .Portuguese, and other languages.

This is the 12th language supported by Flipboard, including English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Traditional Chinese, and Turkish.

The post Flipboard for iOS Updated With Support for Spanish appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 Photos Leak

Posted: 09 May 2014 08:19 AM PDT

tab-s-10.5-frontSamsung’s newest and as yet unannounced Android tablet broke cover today.

SamMobile has posted a couple photos of the new Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5. This tablet, which is expected to have a 10.5″ AMOLED screen, originally leaked on Monday of this week but has yet to be confirmed or announced by Samsung.

According to the leaked specs, the Galaxy Tab S will run Android 4.4 Kitkat on an 8-core Exynos 5 chip, combining four 1.9GHz cores and four 1.3GHz cores as well as a 6-core 533MHz Mali-T628 GPU.

There’s going to be two models, one with a 10.5″ screen and another with an 8.4″ screen. They will have 3GB RAM, an 8MP camera, and a 2.1 MP camera. And as we can see in the photos below, the rear camera will be equipped with an LED flash.

In terms of connectivity, the Galaxy Tab S will offer Wifi, Bluetooth, Glonass, GPS, and an IR blaster. There will also be models with LTE, but current reports say there won’t be a 3G model.

And as you can see in the photos, the Tab S 10.5 looks like the many other 10″ and larger  Android tablets from Samsung. In fact, I am not sure I could tell the difference between this tablet and any of the other models. The lack of a slot for the stylus tells us this is not a Galaxy Note, but that (and the flash on the rear camera) is about its only distinguishing feature.

tab-s-10.5-front tab-s-10.5-back

One of the Tab S line’s other distinguishing features is not obvious in the photos, and that is the fingerprint scanner. Both models will reportedly have a scanner integrated into the home button (just like Apple added a fingerprint scanner to the iPhone 5S).

The leaked specs for the Tab S line tell us that we are looking at a premium line of tablets, with prices expected to be between the Galaxy Note and Galaxy Tab Pro lines. There is no official word on when this tablet will be available.

The post Samsung Galaxy Tab S 10.5 Photos Leak appeared first on The Digital Reader.

PSA: Bitly Reports That Their Security May Have Been Compromised

Posted: 09 May 2014 06:50 AM PDT

You may bitly-logo-pufferfishJ-300x267[1]have noticed over the past day or so that your Bitly account isn’t working with your Twitter or Facebook accounts any more. There’s a reason for that.

Bitly announced late last night on their blog that they had encountered a security issue:

We have reason to believe that Bitly account credentials have been compromised. We have no indication at this time that any accounts have been accessed without permission. For our users' protection, we have taken proactive steps to ensure the security of all accounts, including disconnecting all users' Facebook and Twitter accounts. All users can safely reconnect these accounts at their next login.

Just to be safe, Bitly has disabled any connection between a user’s Bitly account and their Twitter or Facebook accounts, and Bitly is asking users to log in to the Bitly site and reconnect the accounts.

Here’s what you have to do:

1) Log in to your account and click on 'Your Settings,' then the 'Advanced' tab.

2) At the bottom of the 'Advanced' tab, select 'Reset' next to 'Legacy API key.'

3) Copy down your new API key and change it in all applications. These can include social publishers, share buttons and mobile apps.

4) Go to the 'Profile' tab and reset your password.

5) Disconnect and reconnect any applications that use Bitly. You can check which accounts are connected under the 'Connected Accounts' tab in 'Your Settings.'

In my case, all I had to do was go to the Bitly website, log in, and then try to tweet a link. I was prompted to authorize my twitter account again. It took maybe 10 seconds, tops.

Like many users, I logged in to bitly with my Twitter account, which is why they did not send me a warning email concerning the security breach.  I’m betting that I am not the only person who was surprised when Bitly stopped working, so I thought this was worth a post.

The post PSA: Bitly Reports That Their Security May Have Been Compromised appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Is Amazon Pulling Dirty Tricks with Hachette’s Books? Probably Not

Posted: 09 May 2014 05:57 AM PDT

Amazon, amazon frownthat most nefarious of booksellers, is reportedly up to dirty tricks again.

According to David Streitfeld (writing in the NYTimes), Amazon is having fun at the moment with making it difficult to buy books published by Hachette:

Amazon has begun discouraging customers from buying books by Malcolm Gladwell, Stephen Colbert, J. D. Salinger and other popular writers, a flexing of its muscle as a battle with a publisher spills into the open.

The Internet retailer, which controls more than a third of the book trade in the United States, is marking many books published by Hachette Book Group as not available for at least two or three weeks.

I don’t have enough info to tell you whether this allegation is true or not, but it’s not impossible. What Amazon is described as doing is a new variation on an old industry standard; as you might recall B&N pulled much the same trick last year with Simon & Schuster.

I’m not trying to defend Amazon here, just show that, when it comes to business dealings between two money-grubbing multinational mega-corporations, what Amazon is doing is not all that unusual:

For at least a decade, Amazon has not been shy about throwing its weight around with publishers, demanding bigger discounts and more time to pay its bills. When a publisher balked, it would withdraw the house's titles from its recommendation algorithms.

You could make similar allegations about most if not all major retailers, including Walmart, B&N, Borders – the list is endless.

But that has little to do with whether or not Amazon is pulling the industry standard dirty deed today, which brings me to my main point.

I’m not so sure that the NYTimes article makes a good case to prove that Amazon is Up To Something.

Of the 4 titles cited in the article, all are available on They’re just not available from Amazon itself:

The affected books are a mixture of new and old. A just-published memoir, "Everybody's Got Something," by the "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts, is taking as long as three weeks to ship, customers were told. So is Stephen Colbert's "America Again: Re-becoming the Greatness We Never Weren't."

James Patterson's "Alex Cross, Run" published at the end of February, is taking as much as five weeks. "NYPD Red," by Mr. Patterson and Marshall Karp, will take as much as three weeks. Other Hachette books by the prolific Mr. Patterson are readily available, however.

Of the 4 titles, Amazon has 2 in stock to ship to me today. But all 4 titles are available from marketplace sellers, so I would not necessarily say that the books are not available, which is what the NYTimes article claims. And of the two titles not in stock from Amazon, one is an exceptionally popular memoir, and the last is selling for only a penny plus shipping.

And as you can see in the screenshots, one of the so-called unavailable books (NYPD Red) is only 3 months old and has used copies listed as selling for a penny plus shipping. The other James Patterson title mentioned is also listed as selling for a penny plus shipping as new, and it is only 10  months old.

everybodys got something amazon america again amazon nypd red amazon alex cross run amazon

Those price points aren’t ringing endorsements for the books being terribly popular, so I don’t see why Amazon would keep very many copies in stock.

In short, the NYTimes article may be reporting on actual misdeeds, but they haven’t shown enough evidence to prove that we are seeing anything other than a standard supply situation.

Update: Publisher’s Lunch followed up on this story, and they say that there are far more than 4 titles being affected. Their story is behind a paywall, so I can’t comment.

P.S. And given that this article was written by David Streitfeld, who penned a similarly fact-free anti-Amazon piece last year, I would not trust this piece at all.


The post Is Amazon Pulling Dirty Tricks with Hachette’s Books? Probably Not appeared first on The Digital Reader.

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