Publicity stunts can sometimes serve serious ends. That was the case this week, as IBM submitted a highly advanced computing system – four years and $30m in the making – to the rigours of the popular US television quiz show, Jeopardy!
Shazam, the music recognition app that has been enjoying growing success of late selling songs as its user base has passed the 100m mark, now hopes to demonstrate it can sell clothes and other items with a new application of its fingerprinting technology. An ad campaign just launched with the Old Navy clothing chain in the US urges viewers to Shazam the music they hear on TV spots. The app then takes them to a screen identifying the band and song and inviting them not only to watch the music video and get the music for free, but also to shop for the clothes they see in the ad.
Martians – at least the popular science-fiction kind – might have felt quite at home at the annual Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona this week. Google’s green Android robot was everywhere and almost all of the new smartphone and tablet devices that I came across were running one of the Android family of operating systems.
Smartphone makers have been claiming for some time that their products are becoming as powerful as PCs, but with its new Atrix 4G phone, Motorola is actually proving its point by turning it into a laptop. I have been trying the Atrix 4G for the past week, most of the time docking it to a screen-and-keyboard laptop accessory that uses the guts of the Atrix for processing, memory and internet connectivity. The combination is unusual, but on the whole, works well and is being offered by AT&T in the US in an attractive package deal.
Tech news from around the web:
Apple’s new regime for subscriptions to newspapers, magazines and books on the iPad will take many publishers aback but the most interesting standoff is with Amazon.
The two companies have been battling for supremacy on electronic tablets, with Apple’s adoption of the 30 per cent “agency model” having already undermined Amazon’s e-book price regime on the Kindle.
Groupon is stepping up its commitment to Russia and the country’s largest internet group, Mail.ru. The e-commerce site announced on Tuesday it would begin offering deals on Odnoklassniki, one of Mail.ru’s social networking sites, allowing customers to make one-click purchases and follow friends’ shopping habits without ever having to leave the Odnoklassniki site.
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