Stories by Paul Boutin

Amazon's near-$500 price tag kills Kindle DX buzz

When it comes to e-readers, the hype machine has gotten ahead of the reality. Earlier this week, photos of the super-slim, sexy Plastic Logic Reader -- not available until next year -- circulated the 'Net and graced a New York Times article on the coming wave of big-screen readers meant to display newspaper, magazine and textbook content.

Facebook 'fbaction.net' phishing attack in progress

A new phishing attack is underway against Facebook users. TechCrunch details the attack, which begins with an email to your inbox that looks like the standard notification of a message from a Facebook friend.

Verizon, Microsoft to launch iPhone killer 'Pink' in 2010

The Wall Street Journal reports as fact, not as "according to sources," that Microsoft has a multimedia touchscreen phone code named Pink. Microsoft and Verizon, the Journal says, plan to launch the phone and an app store early next year specifically as an iPhone competitor.

iPhone apps let amateurs share Apple's buzz

iPhone apps such as Tweetie may or may not make their creators rich. It's safe to say most iPhone app sellers won't be able to quit their day jobs. But that hasn't stopped both geeks and non-geeks alike from pouring their enthusiasm into thinking up, designing, and building iPhone applications that they sell or give away in Apple's <a href="http://www.apple.com/ipodtouch/appstore/">App Store</a>.

Cheap smartphones killing mid-price phones

Nokia's iPhone-wannabe 5800 XpressMusic smartphone is <a href="http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Mobile-and-Wireless/Consumers-Seeking-Cheap-Smartphones-678251/?kc=rss">doing great</a>, analysts say. But Nokia as a whole is expected to report a steep drop in profits for the first quarter of 2009. While the company still dominates with a 40 percent market share, it is expected to see its lead erode while BlackBerry maker Research in Motion gains ground.

Silicon Valley sees its worst year since 2001

There's not much good news for this year's Silicon Valley 150, a tech-sector portfolio created and tracked by the San Jose Mercury News. Most of the companies on the list suffered stomach-churning losses as the economy tanked last year.

Microsoft cuts Live Labs staff by half, refocuses on search

Microsoft has reacted to the global economic slump by reassigning half of its forward-looking Live Labs staff to other projects around the company. The remaining half will focus solely on Microsoft's search products, the area that probably offers Microsoft the most room for revenue growth.

Twitter finally plans to make money

Twitter, the hugely popular messaging service, is regularly mocked for not yet finding a way to make money rather than spend it sending out its members "tweets" to computers and cellphones. Now, a Wall Street Journal report quotes Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, who says the company recently hired a product manager to oversee the development of premium services -- that is, extra features that companies or other users would need to pay for.

U2 dumps iPod for BlackBerry

U2 frontman Bono described Apple's iPod in 2004 as "the most interesting artistic creation in pop since the electric guitar." The band built heavy ties with Apple, appearing live onstage with Steve Jobs and in Apple TV ads performing the hit single "Vertigo." Apple sold U2 iPods and made the band's entire opus available as a one-click download in the iTunes Store. Steve Jobs, known for not touching people, hugged Bono onstage.

Murdoch: Increase in inventory undermines online ad rates

News Corp., which owns MySpace, the Wall Street Journal, and the Fox TV network, reported disappointing quarterly results on Thursday. One problem, chairman Rupert Murdoch said, is that online ads have a different supply-and-demand equation than a printed newspaper or magazine. On MySpace, there aren't a finite number of printed pages for which advertisers can be forced to compete.

Five blog search tools beat Googling five different ways

If you're searching the Internet specifically for blog posts, Google's basic search isn't the best way to do it. Not only will your results be cluttered with non-blog pages, they'll will be skewed toward sites like The Huffington Post that have figured out how to win at search engine optimization to get to the top of Google's results. Google Blog Search is a much better tool for the job. It lets you sort results by a relevance score, or sort by date to display the newest posts.

Market Place

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