AMAZON unveiled Kindle, its new e-book reader on Monday. The device allows users to download e-books from the Amazon store wirelessly using Sprint’s EV-DO network. Over 90,000 books are available, with new releases priced at $9.99 and classics as low as $1.99. The device is already drawing some negative reviews, with several commentators questioning the device’s “ugly duckling” design. Other negatives include a completely proprietary DRM-ed book format, getting nickel-and-dimed every time you receive an email with an attachment, ridiculous charges for simply reading blogs, poor interface and – of course — the $399 price tag. Watch today’s video for a first-take on the “revolutionary” Kindle.
ECHOSTAR is launching the ESPN Interactive Zone on DISH, offering an application that gives viewers the latest scores, news and rankings. The Interactive Zone can launch on top of normal channel content adding an extra layer of interactivity. The DISH Network will also add an interactive Disney Channel that offers character info and games. In related news, talk of a possible buyout deal with AT&T sent EchoStar shares up almost 20%.
MYSPACE will experiment with delivering ad-supported music via its large social network. This March, users will be able to add mobile music distributor Textango as a “friend” and visit the company’s profile to download a new album from the band Pennywise. The album will be released in stores at the same time.
KEVIN MARTIN will receive a letter from 24 House Republicans calling his plan to increase cable regulation “misguided” and “inappropriate.” FCC member Robert McDowell called Martin’s recent moves “a radical departure” for the FCC that has been conducted without the chance for public comment. Rainbow/PUSH Coalition founder Rev. Jesse Jackson has also commented on Martin’s recent actions, calling Martin’s use of the 70/70 rule “deeply disturbing.”
SONY has signed up major advertisers for Crackle, the company’s online video destination. Pepsi, Honda, Vodaphone and others have signed on to sponsor videos appearing on the site. Crackle is enlisting ad agencies and networks to find local advertisers in several international markets.
THE WGA said that CBS News writers have authorized a national strike. Around 500 writers have been working for CBS News without a contract since April 2005, when their former contract expired. 300 writers voted on the strike authorization and 81% supported the move.