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Timothy B. Lee

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Posted at 12:45 PM ET, 05/13/2013

The Circuit: Amazon introduces its own currency, Amazon Coins

Amazon creates its own virtual currency: Amazon announced Monday that it’s giving a starter set of “Amazon Coins” to all Kindle Fire users, which will let users buy apps, games and make in-app payments within the company’s own ecosystem.

Amazon is kicking its program off by dropping 500 coins — or roughly $5 — into the accounts of all Kindle Fire users. Users can also get “discounts” if they buy the coins in bulk, Amazon said, and save up to 10 percent on their purchases.

The move may help Amazon increase sales within its own ecosystem and make it easier for developers to make more money off of apps on its mobile store, which in turns makes its platform more attractive for developers.

ABC said to be adding live streaming to apps: ABC is set to launch a local, live-streaming feature in its mobile apps that will let cable subscribers watch ABC programming from anywhere within a station’s local market, the New York Times reported, .

According to the report, the app function is expected to debut this week when network officials meet with advertisers.

Because the feature requires users to sign into their cable subscription accounts, it doesn’t compete head-on with the TV startup Aereo, which lets users watch broadcast television over the Web without a cable subscription for a low monthly fee.. But it does address consumer calls for more flexibility when watching television and for access to live broadcasts, such as sports, over the Web.

Calif. state senator proposes 3D printer regulations: California State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) has said he would like to see regulation to track guns made by 3D printers with access to blueprints for plastic guns, CBS’ Sacramento affiliate reported. Yee said that he’s concerned that those with access to 3D printers are able to make their own weapons, and said while he finds the 3D printing technology impressive, he believes that there must be some regulation.

Last week, a company called Defense Distributed had to take down blueprints for a fully functioning 3D-printed weapon from the Internet at the behest of the U.S. government. According to The Washington Post, the blueprint had been downloaded around 10,000 times.

Musk, Sacks pull out of Fwd.us: The names of Tesla and PayPal co-founder Elon Musk and Yammer chief executive David Sacks have been removed from the “supporters” list on the Web site of Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us group. The news was first reported by Reuters. The group, founded last month, is meant to promote immigration reform but has come under fire recently for its perceived political leanings on the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

The group, in an effort to garner support for its vision on immigration reform, has run ads in support of politicians on both sides of the aisle. Liberal and progressive groups took particular issue with the group’s support of candidates who favor the Keystone pipeline. Those ads prompted several progressive groups, including MoveOn.org, to say they will pull their ads from Facebook.

By  |  12:45 PM ET, 05/13/2013

 
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