This Week’s Top Story:
The much awaited and highly speculated Kindle Fire came to life on Wednesday with exciting new game-changing features. The new device offers full media capability and shows off extremely innovative technology. Kindle Fire works off a split-browser being labeled as Amazon Silk. The data is being crunched and optimized on the EC2 compute cloud and then being sent to the Kindle screen. The cloud has a limitless cache of the sites you visit frequently and the ability to cut down significantly on page load time.
Another remarkable feature of the Kindle Fire is that it runs Android, but with a custom UI built around it. The Kindle Fire is currently available for pre-order for $199. Delivery will start on Nov. 15.
During the Kindle event, Amazon also released the new keyboard-less Kindle Touch. The Touch will be a smaller, lighter device than the current model and includes a feature called X-Ray, which provides context on a particular subject from Wikipedia.
Google Analytics launched a new tool this week that provides real-time traffic data, allowing Google to compete with sites like Chartbeat that already offer this functionality. In addition, Analytics launched a premium paid service, which includes a customer service component and more data about return on ad spend.
Earlier this week it was announced that new Spotify users would be required to have a Facebook account. This decision is likely born of Spotify’s integration with Facebook which posts the music being listened to on Facebook. In a more recent update however, Spotify does allow for ‘Private Listening’ functionality on the desktop app, which will temporarily disable auto-publishing.
Netflix has been getting it pretty bad in the news lately, and they’re working hard to redeem the reputation of their online streaming service since Starz decided not to renew their contract. Last week, Netflix signed a deal with the Discovery Channel and now they’ve secured Dreamworks as well.
Social bookmarking site Delicious got a brand new website with a unique feature called ‘stacks.’ The tool, which is being described as ‘playlists for web,’ essentially allows groupings of websites that fit a certain theme or category.
Small businesses are getting a big boost from Facebook, which announced a $10 million dollar fund to be split among 200,000 small businesses. Each company will get $50 in free advertising credits to use on Facebook starting in January 2012.
Be on the Lookout:
After months of speculation and rumors about the iPhone 5, Apple has finally announced Oct. 5 as the date for the iPhone 5 event, and Tim Cook’s first time taking the stage in Steve Jobs’ spotlight.
Klout will be getting some competition fr0m social influence measuring site Kred. Early reports indicate that Kred will focus mostly on an individual’s influence on Twitter.
Dish Network will be launching a Blockbuster-branded streaming and DVD rental services, similar to the structure formerly used by Netflix. For $10 a month starting Oct. 1, Dish customers can subscribe to the service and have instant access to 3,000 movies online and 10,000 by rental.
Founder and former editor of TechCrunch Mike Arrington has formed his own blog, Uncrunched. Posts are minimal at this point and the template simple with a pixelated but obvious header: a photo of Arrington’s notorious green Unpaid Blogger shirt. Content is minimal still, but rest assured we’re not the only techies waiting for Arrington’s next move.