The Washington Post’s new tablet app

  © Washington Post

Amazon wants to deliver your newspaper.

The Washington Post launched a new app on Thursday, initially available exclusively on Amazon’s Fire tablets, that gives readers two daily editions – morning and evening – plus breaking news updates in between.

It is the first collaboration between the companies since the Post was bought last year by Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive. An ereader version of the paper is already available on Kindle devices. Read more

Hannah Kuchler

amazon kindle fireAmazon founder Jeff Bezos is among the new investors in Lookout, a San Francisco-based mobile security company that just pulled in the largest fundraising by a cyber security company so far this year.

As Amazon promised to be “relentless” in its pursuit of selling everything, Bezos appears to being equally eager to make personal investments in almost every industry. Here are some – but not all – of the investments he has made through his vehicle Bezos Expeditions.

Media: Bezos’ most high profile recent investment was his purchase of the Washington Post, the DC-based newspaper renowned for its role in breaking the news of the Watergate scandal. But he has fingers in other media pies too: in 2013, he took a stake in Business Insider, the loud mouthed financial news site fond of slideshows, and back in 2008 he invested in Twitter, the social media site beloved by journalists. He also has investments in Vessel, a video platform, and Next Door, a social network for neighbours. Read more

by Barney Jopson

Frustrated by not being able to dictate your shopping list to Amazon? Well, even if you weren’t, Jeff Bezos’s company has come up with a solution to the problem you never had.

The Seattle-based online retailer on Friday unveiled a new stapler-sized device called Dash that let’s you speak a list of groceries to your Amazon account, to which it is linked via Wi-Fi. Read more

It’s not just Apple that can generate sales buzz in China for new devices. A couple of weeks on from Amazon’s Kindle launch in China, and the new e-reading devices are becoming hot properties.

The company told beyondbrics in an email that the two Kindle tablets were sold out “almost immediately” and customers are leaving their contact information for the waiting list to be next in line for new stocks.

 Read more

Richard Waters

Why is it that text-to-speech services so often come with that cool-yet-sexy synthesised female voice straight out of a male fantasy?

Ivona, a Polish company, is no exception, judging by this avatar from the company’s website. She is likely to be coming to more Kindle devices soon, following Amazon’s acquisition of the company on Thursday. The most tantalysing question, though: Is Ivona also Amazon’s answer to Siri and a sign that it will soon be in the smartphone business? Read more

What do a spat over the taxes that Google and Amazon pay in the UK and a multinational conference on the internet taking place in Dubai have in common?

On the face of it, not very much. But they are united by at least one thing: a growing awareness of the immense power – and profits – of some of the richest US technology companies. As many countries struggle with their own dire fiscal positions, this conspicuous success has become hard to ignore. Less friendly tax regimes and encroaching regulation are becoming a very real threat.

 Read more

The FT’s latest ebook is about Amazon and its voracious expansion from online book retailer into technological giant.

Is the company a force for good? Can it justify its current stock price? Why does Amazon compete with the companies it provides services to? Will Amazon agree to pay more tax in the UK as Starbucks just agreed to do?

Thanks to everyone who took part in the Q&A. If you have further questions, please post them to Twitter using #FTAmazon. Barney Jopson, the FT’s US retail correspondent, and Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson, global media editor, will answer them here as soon as possible. Read more

As Silicon Valley has boomed, there has been a flurry of public scrutiny of Apple, Google, Microsoft and Facebook. But one company has stayed strangely out of the spotlight: Amazon.

In a new Financial Times ebook, on sale globally today, Barney Jopson and other FT writers lift the lid on a company which has grown from online book business into overlord of a corporate eco-system over which it wields extraordinary power. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Amazon has taken on Apple with a range of new Kindle Fire tablets in different screen sizes that claim better performance and significantly undercut the iPad on price.

At a media event in Santa Monica, California, Jeff Bezos, chief executive,  announced an 8.9in 32Gb Kindle Fire HD tablet (pictured left) that would cost $499 and feature 4G LTE connectivity when it ships on November 20.

An upgraded version of the original Kindle Fire sets a new low $159 price point for a 7in tablet from major manufacturers. The Fire undercuts Google and Asus’s $199 Nexus 7 and challenges Apple, which is rumoured to be launching a mini-iPad in October.  International availability for the Fire was announced for the first time. Read more

Amazon’s launch of a textbook rental service on Tuesday reads as major competition for the likes of Chegg and Kno, both known for their pure-play focus on providing digital and, in Chegg’s case, physical textbooks for college students, writes Constance Nuttall.

But the two are expanding their playbooks to deal with increased competition – Kno announced a pre-college service on Tuesday, while Dan Rosensweig,  Chegg chief executive, spoke to us about its service becoming much more than renting textbooks. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has become the centre of bid speculation. The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft and Nokia had, in recent months, considered the idea of making a joint bid for RIM, people familiar with the matter told the newspaper. Meanwhile, Reuters says that online retailer Amazon had hired an investment bank in the summer to review a potential merger, but did not make a formal offer. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Amazon is to release an over-the-air software update to its latest tablet computer, the Kindle Fire, The New York Times reports. News of the uprgade comes as complaints about the tablet’s features and usability are on the rise. Among the complaints, the NYT reports, are:

  • There is no external volume control.
  • The off switch is easy to hit by accident.
  • Web pages take a long time to load.
  • There is no privacy on the device.
  • The touch screen is frequently hesitant.

 Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Google’s Chrome web browser overtook Mozilla Firefox in terms of global usage for the first time in November, research company StatCounter reports. Chrome’s browser market share hit 25.69% in November, beating Firefox’s 25.23% share with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer continuing to dominate, holding a 40.63% share. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Apple has said in a statement that it has found a few bugs that are affecting the battery life of its latest iPhone devices running iOS 5, AllThingsD reports. Apple has said it will issue a software update in a few weeks.

Amazon is launching a book lending service for Kindle and Kindle Fire owners who are also subscribers of Amazon Prime, ReadWriteWeb reports.  Read more

Tech news from around the web:

YouTube has launched Merch Store, a feature where YouTube’s music partners will be able to sell artist merchandise, digital downloads, concert tickets and other experiences to fans and visitors, TechCrunch reports. The online video sharing site has also announced partnerships with a number of companies to launch the service: Topspin is being used to help in sales of merchandise, while Songkick will be involved in concert tickets and iTunes and Amazon will look after transactions for music downloads. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Research by Barclays has found that the Amazon’s Kindle E-readers will outsell the full-colour Kindle Fire in 2012, PaidContent reports. Barclays estimates that Amazon will sell 15.3m Kindle Fire tablets and 23.5m Kindle e-readers next year. Read more

amazon kindle fireAmazon entered the tablet battle this week, unveiling the Kindle Fire, a $199 tablet that will run on Google’s Android operating system.

While news of Amazon’s tablet was long-rumoured, the unexpected price point caused quite a stir with some commentators. Others saw the Fire as a game changing device for media consumption. Read more

Richard Waters

Could there be a lawsuit over the Fire in Amazon’s future?

This was what Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel, had to say when I caught up with him shortly after the launch of the device on Wednesday: “We have yet to see an Android device in the market that does not infringe on our patents.” Read more

Tech news from around the web:

Amazon is in discussions with book publishers about a Netflix-style service for digital books, in which customers would pay an annual fee to access a library of content, the Wall Street Journal reports. Amazon would offer book publishers a fee for participating in the service, sources told the WSJ. Read more

Tech news from around the web: is testing an in-store pick-up service in a partnership with 7-Eleven, according to Geekwire. A delivery locker, currently being tested in Seattle, would allow customers to pick up their packages at the stores.

Chicago-based National Louis University will offer a Groupon for nearly 60% off tuition for its entry-level graduate teaching course, Mashable says. The deal, set to go live on Tuesday and will be open to up to 25 buyers, will discount the cost of the course from $2,232 to $950. Read more