The Washington Post


Online video: Barnes and Noble announced Tuesday that it’s releasing its own streaming video service to compete with Amazon’s Instant Video and Apple’s iTunes. The move could strengthen the Nook’s position against Apple’s iPad and Amazon’s Kindle Fire, but will also give Barnes and Noble a second way to expand its own ecosystem beyond Nook readers and tablets.

The company is also working with Hollywood’s UltraViolet system to include the option to put digital versions of UltraViolet Blu-ray and DVD purchases in the Nook Video cloud.

Bloomberg reported that cable companies are also reportedly looking to diversify their services by courting video-game publishers.

Citing unnamed sources with “knowledge of the matter,” the report says that cable companies are looking to companies such as Electronic Arts to establish partnerships that will horn in on markets held by Sony’s PlayStation 3, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Nintendo’s Wii U.

Foxconn back up and running: Foxconn, the electronics company that produces components and gadgets for prominent companies including Apple, has resumed production at its Taiyuan plant in northern China.

The one-day disruption is not expected to have a large impact on the supply lines of the company’s clients, which include prominent electronics companies such as Apple, Microsoft, Dell and HP. The Taiyuan plant makes components for cars, consumer electronics and precision moldings.

As the Associated Press reported, the Foxconn workers’ actions underscore growing tensions in China’s labor force that are aggravated by a slowing economy.

The New York-based group China Labor Watch alleges that Foxconn workers are subjected to a combination of low wages, poor treatment from guards and little to no rest while working — pressure-cooker conditions that increase the likelihood of major problems.

Google Fiber: Google’s efforts to bring high-speed gigabit Internet to Kansas City, at times, stands at odds with the entertainment industry, according to a report from the Kansas City Star’s Scott Canon.

For example, he said, Google has had problems signing content creators to its cable package. The company faced drawn-out deliberations with Disney to include ESPN in its offerings and, the report said, has yet to reach deals with HBO and other popular sports, news and entertainment channels.

To succeed, Canon writes, Google must convince customers that they need the super-fast Internet speeds and convince others in the industry that there’s a financial advantage to signing on with Google Fiber.

Donuts and ICANN: Donuts Inc. was the most prolific applicant when the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers opened its doors for business on new top-level domains. But, as The Washington Post reported, the company’s reputation has raised some red flags among critics who worry that granting Donuts those applications could lead to a rise in questionable Web sites.

Donuts Inc. told The Post that it will be able to run the new domains responsibly.

The expansion of top-level domains, proponents say, will open new frontiers for Internet innovation, but critics charge that it will also increase burdens on existing copyright holders and potentially confuse consumers.

The Federal Trade Commission has suggested that ICANN launch a smaller pilot program for the service, citing concerns with how consumers will parse sites with health- or child-themed suffixes. ICANN has said it has measures in place to prevent possible abuses.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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