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Facebook deal means virtual 'credits' can be bought in shops

Patterson first to top one million in e-book sales: Hachette
Washington (AFP) July 7, 2010 - US thriller writer James Patterson has become the first novelist to sell more than one million electronic books, according to his publisher, Hachette Book Group. Hachette Book Group said the best-selling author of "Kiss the Girls," "Along Came a Spider" and other titles in the Alex Cross series has sold a total of 1.14 million e-books. "Things have really changed in the digital space," Patterson said in a statement. "With more and more people reading on iPads, Kindles, and Nooks, taking time to create interesting, user-friendly, enhanced e-book editions is becoming more and more important," he said.

"And if e-books get people who might otherwise not be reading to pick up a book, then that makes me happy," he said. Amazon did not reply to a request from AFP for sales figures but Patterson's books have frequently featured on the bestseller list in the Kindle store. His book "Private" is currently number seven on the list of bestsellers in the Kindle store. Hachette Book Group said Patterson's books have sold more than 205 million copies worldwide in print.
by Staff Writers
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) July 8, 2010
Facebook signed a deal with a Malaysian company on Thursday allowing a virtual currency for online games and services to be sold at retail shops across Asia for the first time.

The social-networking giant teamed up with payment service provider MOL AccessPortal to allow customers to buy Facebook Credits, a virtual currency used to buy gifts and virtual goods in many games and applications on Facebook.

Many Facebook users prefer to buy physical cards that they can then use online as credit, and MOL's 500,000 outlets at 7-Eleven stores and cybercafes across the Asia-Pacific region will sell these cards.

Vaughan Smith, Facebook's business and corporate development director, said the company wants developers and website owners to provide content for the site.

"We want to make it very easy for people to make lots of money building on top of Facebook," he told reporters.

"What we want to do is create a virtual currency which makes it very simple and straightforward for our users to buy services when they are using games and services on Facebook."

The companies will also launch a Facebook Gift Card in Malaysia and Singapore on a trial basis before a global rollout.

Ganesh Kumar Bangah, head of MOL Global, which owns MOL AccessPortal, said that only two percent of people playing online games in Asia actually pay, 80 percent of which is through physical cards.

The Facebook deal is aimed at increasing this revenue.

Last December, MOL Global, which is controlled by Malaysian tycoon Vincent Tan, purchased online social networking pioneer Friendster for 38 million dollars.




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Wake up, check Facebook
Washington (AFP) July 7, 2010
Americans are increasingly obsessed with Facebook and many young women check their page even before using the bathroom in the morning, according to a poll released on Wednesday. Thirty-four percent of the women aged 18 to 34 surveyed by Lightspeed Research for Oxygen Media said checking Facebook was the first thing they did in the morning, even before washing their face or brushing their tee ... read more

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