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Latest from tcjohn

  • How The Big 5 Publishers Hobbled The Amazon Unlimited Launch

    How The Big 5 Publishers Hobbled The Amazon Unlimited Launch

    Amazon Unlimited was dubbed the Netflix of books. That is correct as long as you imagine a Netflix consisting of an endless array of low-budget indie releases and some major small-studio films. In truth, Amazon’s new $9.99 all-you-can-read service features no books by “big 5″ trade publishers, an issue on which Amazon has remained mum. I’ve asked Amazon for… Read More

  • New Search Engine Unmasks The Hackers

    New Search Engine Unmasks The Hackers

    Indexeus.net looks like it could have been a Y Combinator project. With a slick design, snappy copy, and a bitcoin-based payment system, it looks unusually legit. But what the site is hiding is the produce of hundreds of hacking efforts from around the web. I’ve left out the link because it’s unclear if the site may deliver malware now or in the future. You can type it in if… Read More

  • What Kindle Unlimited Means For Authors

    What Kindle Unlimited Means For Authors

    Now that Amazon has uncorked their Kindle Unlimited service I, like many indie authors, was curious. What does this mean for us withered scribes, scribbling away in our garrets and bobbing on the waves of Amazon’s massive literary marketplace? Will I get paid if I join Kindle Unlimited? How do I add my book to the mix? Will I become fabulously rich? Full disclosure: I’ve been… Read More

  • Amazon Officially Announces Kindle Unlimited, Offering Endless Reading And Listening For $9.99 A Month

    Amazon Officially Announces Kindle Unlimited, Offering Endless Reading And Listening For $9.99 A Month

    Amazon officially announced that Kindle Unlimited, an all-you-can eat reading and listening service, that we first mentioned two days ago. Dubbed a “Netflix for books” by our own Darrell Etherington, the service offers over 600,000 books for free reading on Kindle and Kindle-enabled devices as well as thousands of audiobooks from Audible. Books include the Diary of a Wimpy Kid… Read More

  • Riffstation Play Makes It Easy To Play Along With YouTube Music Videos

    Riffstation Play Makes It Easy To Play Along With YouTube Music Videos

    Attention lonely teenagers and the musically proficient adults they become: you can now learn to play any song on YouTube using one of the simplest interfaces I’ve seen in a while. Called Riffstation Play, it is an online app by the makers of Riffstation that gives you the chords and notes for almost any song on the Internet. Read More

  • Sad-Sung

    Sad-Sung

    When we last left Samsung, the company saw sales falling 9 percent and revenue falling by 24 percent. Now a survey by Counterpoint shows that consumers are more interested in picking up last season’s iPhone 5s than the new S5. Read More

  • MIT Students Create An Ice Cream Printer

    MIT Students Create An Ice Cream Printer

    You scream, I scream, we all transform an off-the-shelf Cuisinart soft-serve maker to extrude super-cooled and 3D-printed shells of ice cream! Three students at MIT, Kyle Hounsell, Kristine Bunker, and David Donghyun Kim, have created a homemade ice cream printer that extrudes soft serve and immediately freezes it so that it can be layered on a cooled plate. The system is a proof-of-concept… Read More

  • Onni Is A Smart Baby Monitor Made By A Real Mommy And Daddy Team

    Onni Is A Smart Baby Monitor Made By A Real Mommy And Daddy Team

    Satu Niemelä and Erasmus van Niekerk, the husband and wife team behind the Onni baby monitor, knew what they wanted out of a baby monitor. Instead of a cheap black and white camera they wanted full color HD video and instead of looking like a CCTV camera from the Land of Misfit Toys they wanted the design to be pleasing and the software to be usable and easy to manage. Read More

  • Google Adds Bitcoin Price Conversions

    Google Adds Bitcoin Price Conversions

    One fun Google trick is the ability to type in “5 Euro in USD” and get an acceptably accurate currency conversion in a few seconds. Now, however, you can get your BTC on by simply typing “price of bitcoin” or “X bitcoin to euro.” The feature rolled out yesterday as a reaction to Bing’s addition of BTC pricing in that search engine. Read More

  • It’s Hardware Alley Time!

    It’s Hardware Alley Time!

    It’s Hardware Alleyin’ time and we want to see you in San Francisco for Disrupt SF 2014, our annual celebration of all things startup. It’s a great time. You get to meet great funders and VCs, and I’d love to meet you. Hardware is my favorite thing in the world and you’re some of my favorite people. What is Hardware Alley? It’s a celebration of hardware… Read More

  • Time Is Running Out For Extra Early Bird Disrupt Tickets

    Time Is Running Out For Extra Early Bird Disrupt Tickets

    Time is almost up for the extra early bird pricing for Disrupt SF on September 8-10. Our extra early bird sale price cuts $250 off the price of the already discounted early bird price, hence the name “extra” early bird special. Read More

  • Tokyo-Based Artist Arrested For 3D Printing Her Vagina

    Tokyo-Based Artist Arrested For 3D Printing Her Vagina

    A 42-year-old artist named Megumi Igarashi has been arrested in Tokyo for transmitting 3D models of her vagina which, under Japanese obscenity laws, is considered illegal. She sent the files via email to customers who bought copies on her website. She was raising money to build a vagina-shaped boat. The files in question are, to be clear, fairly stylized representations of the female form, as… Read More

  • WTF
    Product Guy Tries To Cancel Comcast Service, Hilarity Ensues

    Product Guy Tries To Cancel Comcast Service, Hilarity Ensues

    If there’s one guy in the world who knows whether or not he wants to cancel his Comcast service, it’s Ryan Block. The former head of Engadget, founder of GDGT, and now product dude at AOL, Block probably knows exactly why he wants to cancel his Comcast service and, presumably, he’s not going to tell you or a Comcast service rep who refuses to take “No” for an answer. Read More

  • Researchers Create A Flying Drone That Can Light Your Snapshots

    Researchers Create A Flying Drone That Can Light Your Snapshots

    Is there anything flying quadcopters can’t do (besides give birth to human babies… yet?) Researchers at MIT and Cornell have created a flying flash rig that connects a light meter, photographic flash, and continuous light source so that photographers can get perfect shots from any angle. Read More

  • Beer: The Best Use Of Crowdfunding Or The Most Best Use Of Crowdfunding?

    Beer: The Best Use Of Crowdfunding Or The Most Best Use Of Crowdfunding?

    As a man who loves his water, malt, and hops, it’s inspiring to see the high-tech process of crowdfunding be applied to the re-creation of early microbrews. To wit: the daughter of legendary microbrewer Jack McAuliffe is attempting to bring back one of the first microbrews in America, New Albion Ale. McAuliffe, the elusive grandfather of the craft beer movement, first founded his brewery… Read More

  • Bitcoin Mining Company Buys Critical Site To Improve Search Results

    Bitcoin Mining Company Buys Critical Site To Improve Search Results

    You’ll be excused for not being aware of Buttcoin.org, a bitcoin site that has been critical of both the endlessly optimistic spirit of the bitcoin community and, more important, of the broken hardware users have received from so-called bitcoin mining providers. One company, Butterfly Labs, decided to turn that double frown upside-down, so to speak, and purchased the site outright in… Read More

  • Crooks Reanimate A Dead Botnet To Target High-Value Bank Accounts

    Crooks Reanimate A Dead Botnet To Target High-Value Bank Accounts

    In something that sounds like the plot of a Hollywood movie, hackers have reanimated an apparently dead botnet called Gameover Zeus even as malware researchers dismantled the previous version of the network. The botnet, essentially a collection of zombie computers that can be activated to perform denial of service attacks on banks and other financial firms in order to hide thefts from… Read More

  • Kids Can Now Teach Robots To Play Angry Birds – For Science!

    Kids Can Now Teach Robots To Play Angry Birds – For Science!

    In what must be the cutest example of human-robot interaction I’ve seen in recent months, researchers at Georgia Tech are helping kids teach robots how to play Angry Birds and, in the process, help the kids regain muscle movement and control. The process is fairly simple. Kids play games and a little two-legged robot watches. The robot keeps an eye on the score, recreates what the child… Read More

  • The Orange Maker Spins The Plate To Make Better 3D Prints

    The Orange Maker Spins The Plate To Make Better 3D Prints

    We’ve just passed the stage where 3D printers themselves were exotic devices of magic and wonder, and now individual types of 3D printers are exotic devices of magic and wonder. To wit: Orange Maker. This stereolithographic (SLA) printer is fairly standard – a UV light shoots through a special liquid which hardens into an object. However, thanks to a spinning print base, the… Read More

  • This Humanoid Robot Uses Walking Sticks To Climb Over Rubble

    This Humanoid Robot Uses Walking Sticks To Climb Over Rubble

    Oussama Khatib and Shu-Yun Chung have brought us the SupraPed. Khatib and Chung, researchers at Stanford, are working on a system to allow bipedal robots extra stability by giving them a pair of walking sticks. Unlike us weak humans, however, the robots will bend and twist in all sorts of ways to get across chasms or over large obstacles. Read More