Yonder Mountain String Band – Franklin’s Tower (cover)
Monday Morning Quarterbacking:
Amazon’s Fire Phone has had some time to sink in.
“[W]hile Amazon’s app store has grown to 240,000 apps, that’s still about 25 percent of what an iPhone or standard Android user can choose from. The company says it will fill some holes by adding popular apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Uber, and it also says it has new developer software that makes it a snap to convert standard Android apps to work with the phone’s new features. But that depends on how eagerly developers embrace the Fire phone — a big question.
“Finally, there’s price. Despite rumors that the Fire phone would sell for much less than Apple’s and Samsung’s top models, it sells for about the same amounts: $200 subsidized, with a two-year contract, and $650, unsubsidized, with no contract.
“There is a major caveat on pricing. The base model comes with twice the memory of the base iPhone, and for an unspecified but limited, time, Amazon is throwing in a free year of its $99-a-year Prime service. But consumers are likely to focus more on the big-dollar figures.
“So, yes, the Fire phone is about buying other stuff from Amazon, for sure. But it’s also about becoming the next big smartphone platform.”
Amazon’s Smartphone Ambitions Go Beyond Making Shopping Easier : Re/code
“Bezos keeps throwing free movies, free songs, and free books at us, but I’m bored. Sure, they have the cheapest prices around and I love my Amazon Prime but if the idea is to hook me into the Amazon ecosystem through hardware, Bezos and company needs to do a lot better.”
Amazon’s phone is its biggest recent misstep : Dear Author
“Basically, in addition to being a smartphone, it sounds like Fire Phone is like a tricorder”
Firefly: Amazon’s Fire Phone Can Identify Almost Anything : Gizmodo
The Hidden Agenda of Amazon’s New Phone : Wired Business
Today’s Book Recommendation is The Cell Phone: An Anthropology of Communication by Heather Horst and Daniel Miller (paperback, isbn 9781845204013)
“…traces the impact of the cell phone from personal issues of loneliness and depression to the global concerns of the modern economy and the trans-national family. As the technology of social networking, the cell phone has become central to establishing and maintaining relationships in areas from religion to love. The Cell Phone presents the first detailed ethnography of the impact of this new technology through the exploration of the cell phone’s role in everyday lives.”
You might also consider Is My Cell Phone Bugged?: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Mobile Conversations Private by Kevin D. Murray (9781934572887) or You Can Hear Me Now: How Microloans and Cell Phones are Connecting the World’s Poor to the Global Economy by Nicholas P. Sullivan (9780787986094)
Of course you can buy those on Amazon.
A Rare Peek Inside Amazon’s Massive Wish-Fulfilling Machine : Wired Business
Disney is reshaping ‘Star Wars’ in the model of Marvel : Quartz
The Book Binders: Rescuing Books One Spine at a Time : Lit Reactor
Ocean Plastic Is Home to a Surpisingly Large Variety of Life : Motherboard
Sharp solar cells can reach 60 percent efficiency : SlashGear
Don’t just learn to code—learn to keep learning : Quartz
Cities and Citizens:
“Technology start-ups, business incubators, reinvigorated neighborhoods full of renovated warehouses, platoons of dynamic young residents with disposable income and coding skills. The signifiers of urban success listed in a recent Brookings study called ‘The Rise of Innovation Districts: A New Geography of Innovation in America’ all sound fairly positive. After all, isn’t this the central dream of our times, to take an underutilized chunk of capital and transform it into useful profitability, whether that’s a former train station or a really great URL?”
Does Innovation Always Lead to Gentrification? : Pacific Standard, via Planetizen – Planetizen spun the title of the article, too: “Is the Innovation Economy a Cover for Gentrification?”
Diary entry for 23 June:
I’m not sure if I should be keeping a daily diary, or pouring the thought/effort into longer columns. Obviously, for the past couple of weeks I’ve been focused elsewhere; we’ll see if the pendulum swings back.
In the long run I suppose it doesn’t matter because I’m keeping this space (and the tag) available for additional editorials on the links, when needed. [sign off] —M.
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