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Amazon opens lending library for Kindle readers
by Staff Writers
San Francisco (AFP) Nov 3, 2011

Internet retail giant Amazon.com on Thursday opened a lending library of digital books available free to owners of its popular Kindle electronic readers.

To borrow from the Kindle online library people must be members of Prime, a premium Amazon service that provides free two-day shipping on all items purchased and unlimited streaming of online films and television shows.

The annual subscription fee for Amazon Prime is $79.

"We're introducing a new Prime benefit built for Kindle: The Kindle Owners' Lending Library," said Amazon.com chief executive Jeff Bezos.

"Prime Members now have exclusive access to a huge library of books to read on any Kindle device at no additional cost and with no due dates," he continued.

The library boasted thousands of works including many from New York Times best-seller lists. People can borrow one book each month.

Books in the Amazon library include "The Hunger Games" trilogy by Suzanne Collins and "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen.

Amazon worked out deals to pay publishers fees for lending books.

All Kindle owners recently got access to digital books from public libraries.

Tapjoy calms mobile 'app' storm
San Francisco (AFP) Nov 3, 2011 - Startup Tapjoy on Thursday set out to woo smartphone and tablet computer lovers with a marketplace that makes it easy to find and use applications suited to their tastes.

Tapjoy.com differentiates itself from rivals such as Apple's App Store, the Android Marketplace and GetJar with a personalized recommendation engine and by not charging for mini-programs.

"Apps and content are major drivers of smartphone adoption," Tapjoy chief executive Mihir Shah told AFP.

"But there is a major problem," he continued. "Too much choice."

During the past 18 months, the San Francisco startup has been running in stealth test mode to tune its engine that personalizes recommendations based on what other applications people already have on mobile gadgets.

After recommending applications, Tapjoy lets people use programs free of charge by serving up ads and splitting revenue with publishers or software makers.

Tapjoy's new service supports Apple iOS and devices powered by Google-backed Android operating systems. Tapjoy.com can be accessed from any mobile Web browser.

"Combining an interesting discovery engine with an ad model has really taken off," Shah said.

"If somebody wants to pay for an app, there are wonderful places for that," he continued. "Our business is providing a high-quality ad-funded experience."

Tapjoy already has 35 million people who use it monthly. There are about 10,000 ad-supported applications at Tapjoy.

Apple's App Store boasts more than 550,000 mini programs while the array at the Android Market tops 300,000.

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Tech-obsessed Koreans drive smartphone boom
Seoul (AFP) Nov 2, 2011
Technology-obsessed South Koreans fell in love with the smartphone relatively late, but are making up for lost time at astonishing speed. The number of smartphone subscribers hit 20.1 million late last week in a country of just under 49 million people - compared to 10 million in March this year and fewer than 500,000 only two years ago. With free wireless networks and cutting-edge gadge ... read more

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