If driving to a store and waving your phone by a terminal puts too much sweat on your brow, American Express has launched a new way to part with your money in exchange for physical goods that’s even more effortless. Since last year, Amex Sync has let American Express cardholders earn discounts in return for posting tweets including hashtags about certain products, and now it’s letting them buy things just by tweeting special hashtags. After signing up for the service, users can send out a tweet with a hashtag such as #BuyAmexGiftCard25, reply to the @AmexSync account to confirm their purchase and wait for the package to arrive via free 2-day shipping. As of now, the outfit is offering a $25 American Express gift card for $15, but will being offering up new products, ranging from a Kindle Fire HD to an Xbox 360, with sweetened prices starting February 13 at noon EST. Not a Twitter user? According to AllThingsD, Leslie Berland, Amex’s SVP of digital partnerships and development, says the solution will head to the likes of Facebook and other platforms at some point as well.
Filed under: Internet
Microsoft is gearing up for the launch of its next tablet, the Surface Pro, on Feb. 9.
The Surface Pro comes in two variations, one with 64 GB of storage and one with 128 GB of storage. But as The Verge points out, the amount of free space users actually get is far less.
The 64 GB model will only have about 23 GB of free space, The Verge confirmed with Microsoft. The 128 GB model will have about 83 GB of free space.
Here’s the problem.
Microsoft is marketing the Surface Pro as an alternative to a traditional laptop. It may look like a regular tablet, but the Surface Pro has all the same guts and specs as many regular laptops crammed inside. The Surface Pro also has the full version of Windows 8, meaning it can run older Windows apps designed for Windows 7.
Gripe and moan about it all you like, but public transport is a fundamental part of keeping any big city running—and this data visualization shows just how complex New York City’s public transit setup is.
Put together by YouTube user STLTransit, the video is a visualization of a single day’s public transit, between 4:00am and 4:00am. It’s made possible by the open source General Transit Feed Specification data from the MTA. Personally, I love the way that the routes become obvious as the city wakes up. [YouTube via Verge]
Back in January, YouTube announced that it was launching around 160 channels of fresh, original content, that it would invest in to help it compete with traditional cable and network programming. Less than a year on, it’s axing over half of them.
YouTube injected $200 million into the project, which includes channels like The Onion and Jay-Z’s Life and Times. Seems the rewards haven’t been as forthcoming as they’d like: 60 percent are being axed, and YouTube will cream off 100 percent of incoming revenue from the ones that aren’t renewed.
Image by Rego – d4u.hu under Creative Commons license
Ahead of Google’s Android event on the 29th there’s additional confirmation of a storage upgrade for the Nexus 7, as 32GB units have now been spotted on shelves at US retailers. Seemingly dead-set on matching the LG E960 “Mako” Nexus G for the title of worst-kept secret, we’ve received this photo of a tag for the new unit at a Sam’s Club (with a placeholder price). Reports on Android Central and The Verge also mention hardware spotted at Staples locations, with one person actually succeeding in buying one. All of that follows a listing on the Staples website and one Japanese buyer apparently receiving one early by accident. According to the tags and receipts, the new units are scheduled to go on sale the same day as the Android event, and at the same $249 price of the current 16GB model. Now that the alleged Sony Nexus phone has been exposed as a fake we don’t know if there will be any surprises left, but if you want to buy anything from Google’s brand then patience (or at least shopping around) is probably your best strategy.
32GB Nexus 7 tablets appear at ret! ail with $249 price tag, October 29th street date originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 19 Oct 2012 18:35:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
We don’t get any absolute numbers, so we’re missing part of the picture, but it’s pretty safe to assume Amazon sells a lot of physical books. And its e-book sales have blown away physical book sales.
Chart from The Verge’s live blog.
Amazon has been renting out Kindle editions of textbooks for sometime now, but not all the educational tomes you need may be available in electronic form. And, believe it or not, some people just plain prefer paper to E-ink — especially since its much easier to take notes in the margins. Now many of the more expensive texts on the site also feature a rent option. Most are in the $30 to $60 range and are rented by the semester, which Amazon counts as 130 days. Should you need it for a bit longer, you can extend your rental period by 15 days, but only once. On the plus side, Amazon will pay for the shipping on the return of the books. For more info, check out the FAQ at the source.
Filed under: Misc. Gadgets
Last week US courts ruled in favor of Apple by granting a preliminary injunction against Samsung’s Google-designed smartphone, the Galaxy Nexus. Now, the phone has been pulled from the Google Play store, and Goggle is hurrying to put together a software patch to get around the ban.
The court injunction centers around a patent which Apple holds pertaining to searching multiple areas for information—on a device and elsewhere—through a single search interface. The Verge reports that Google is now putting together, or already has put together, an over-the-air patch to get around the problem.
The Verge is also reporting, however, that the Galaxy Nexus has been pulled from the Play store. It’s not clear whether the stall in sales is due to the injunction, but it seems likely.
Apple has also now posted the $96 million dollar bond required to begin the Galaxy Nexus injunction in earnest—so regardless of what Google and Samsung do, it looks like they have a tough fight ahead of them. [The Verge]
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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