Libor-ated: U.S. prosecutors are preparing to file criminal charges this fall in the Libor-rigging scandal, and employees at more than one bank are said to be implicated, Bloomberg reports. (Earlier in the week, John Carney looked at what types of criminal charges might be filed, and writes that decades-long sentences could Read More
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is famous for changing the way we shop for books (and a lot of other stuff), shaking up entire industries in the process. He’s less well known for “The 10,000 Year Clock,” the 200-foot-tall clock designed to outlast human civilization, into which he’s sunk $42 M., according to the Wall Street Read More
Computers. What are they good for? To make human errors more pervasive and therefore funnier, for one. Consider this Nook version of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace, in which, according to blogger Philip Howard (hat tip Ars Technica), every instance of the word “kindled” has been replaced with “Nookd.”
A scientific survey done by the crack researchers at Amazon.com revealed yesterday that the city that reads the most (i.e. buys the most books from Amazon.com) happens to be Alexandria, V.A. Though it should be noted that quality counts a little over quantity: the majority of books bought–er–read by the D.C. suburbanites happen to be Fifty Shades of Grey-style romance novels. Not exactly The Art of Fielding, if you catch our drift.
But who are we to judge? Out of the top cities listed for voracious reading Amazon.com accounts, New York didn’t even break the Top 20.
off the record
Shortly after Amazon yanked 5,000 Independent Publishers Group titles off its virtual shelves in a contract dispute, the retail giant offered an olive branch of sorts to the world of letters: a $25,000 grant to the Los Angeles Review of Books, the non-profit online literary review that planted a flag in the scorched earth of Sunday books supplements in 2011.
“It’s a pittance for them,” said Steve Wasserman, former editor of the shuttered Los Angeles Times Book Review, who nonetheless applauded Amazon’s recognition of LARB.
“Criticism is the oxygen of literature,” he said. “I’m happy to see the establishment of something of really grand ambition.”
Big isn’t always better!
Best Buy did a monstrous belly flop in the pool of big retailers last Thursday, reporting a $2.6 billion quarter loss and sending tidal waves to similar retailers. Best Buy, along with many of its retailing rivals, is shifting their focus to opening smaller locations. We are facing down the end of the big box story, according to Bloomberg.
Fordham University published their Fourth Quarter 2011 V-Positive Report, which measures the Consumer Value Index. The methodology is based off of a few psychological theories that reflect the “understanding of the motivation to consume.” In short: a thousand people are surveyed at the end of the year and answer several attributes for each of the seven domains.
Tag management company TagMan is on the prowl for new office space, and the company has conscripted CresaPartners’ Jack Petrie to aide in their hunt, he told The Commercial Observer Monday.
TagMan, which currently leases an office space at 260 W. 35th Street, is citing a growing headcount and a future demand for larger space as its reasons for the impending move, Mr. Petrie (pictured) said yesterday morning.
This morning, a writer named Farhad Manjoo wrote an article for Slate called “Don’t Support Your Local Bookseller.” Mr. Manjoo called your local independent booksellers the “least efficient, least user-friendly, and most mistakenly mythologized local establishments you can find.”
Oren Teicher, CEO of the American Booksellers Association, has written an acerbic open letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos about the company’s campaign to encourage shoppers to compare prices in retail stores with those at Amazon. The promotion, which starts tomorrow and lasts 24 hours, gives shoppers 5 percent discounts if they use their smart phones to compare prices and then purchase products through Amazon. Books were not included in the promotion, but since books are still a big part of what Amazon does, indie booksellers apparently saw it as a threat.
“We suppose we should be flattered that an online sales behemoth needs a Main Street retail showroom,” writes Mr. Teicher. “Forgive us if we’re not.”