Tag Archives: Technology coverage
by Liz Hester
Watch out Netflix. Amazon is moving in, putting more pressure on the streaming movie and television service.
Greg Bensinger had this scoop for the Wall Street Journal:
Amazon.com Inc. plans a free, advertising-supported streaming television and music-video service, a departure from its strategy of offering video only to members of its $99-a-year Prime service, according to people familiar with the matter.
The new service, which could launch in the coming months, likely will feature original series and may include licensed programming, these people said. As part of the project, Amazon has held talks with the creators of “Betas,” a series about a Silicon Valley startup that Amazon produced last year for Prime, these people said.
Amazon also plans to offer free music videos with advertising to people visiting its retail website, two of the people said. A search for Bruce Springsteen CDs, for example, might yield an option to watch the “Born in the U.S.A.” video.
An Amazon spokeswoman had no immediate comment.
The new project is part of a broader push by Amazon to transform itself from a retailer into a multimedia power. The company dominates e-commerce, but it has seen rivals like Google Inc.’s YouTube and Netflix Inc. leap ahead in streaming music and video.
Many have speculated that Amazon’s April 2 press conference will be a debut for a device to stream content. Writing for CNet, David Carnoy had this quick report:
For months, Amazon has been rumored to have a video set-top box in the works to rival the Google Chromecast, Roku, and Apple TV. Well, we may finally get to see it on April 2, as the company has sent out a press invite for an event in New York, where it will discuss “an update to our video business.”
At many of Amazon’s larger press events, CEO Jeff Bezos delivers the presentation, but in this case it appears that Peter Larsen, a vice president in Amazon’s Kindle division, will do the honors.
At this point, it’s unclear what exactly the new device is, though rumors suggest that it will be shaped like a dongle — similar to Google’s Chromecast and Roku’s new Streaming Stick – and be very affordable, with a possible discount for Amazon Prime members.
But Thursday also brought other news for consumers. The New York Times reported in a story by Nick Wingfield that Microsoft was finally going to allow its Office suite on iPads:
One of the most lucrative software franchises in history, Microsoft Office, has finally come to the most influential computing device of the last few years, the iPad.
Microsoft’s new chief executive, Satya Nadella, announced the product at a news conference in San Francisco on Thursday.
At the conference, Mr. Nadella said Microsoft intends to make sure its Office software can work on all major computing devices, including those made by its competitors.
“What motivates us is the reality of our customers,” he said.
Microsoft’s decision to bring Office to the Apple device comes after years of wavering by the company as it mulled over the product’s implications for its own efforts to make a tablet computer. To many people, the move is a refreshing sign of a new Microsoft, one slowly unshackling itself from an era when all of its major decisions were made in deference to Windows, Microsoft’s operating system.
But to skeptics, Office for the iPad is arriving dangerously late.
That’s because the delay has given people who use iPads, especially business professionals, years to get used to using the tablet without Office, a suite of programs that includes Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Start-ups like Evernote, Quip, Smartsheet and Haiku Deck, along with Apple’s own iWork suite of applications, have filled the void left by Microsoft with productivity applications that work on tablets and other devices.
For both of these companies, it’s a story of being left out and playing catch-up in offering various services in high demand for customers. The move by Amazon to an ad-supported model may also be attractive for marketers looking to engage customers, particularly those giving up TV for on-demand content.
Jordan Crook wrote for TechCrunch that Amazon’s plans will be made clear on April 2, but that it has a good chance of capturing the market:
But in a world where everyone is hooked on binge-viewing and on-demand content, Amazon has a good opportunity to push people toward its own video content.
As it stands now, Amazon Instant video is included with your Prime package as a last ditch effort to get you to sign into the Amazon Video app on your Roku or Apple TV, instead of the much more prominent and popular apps like Netflix, HBO Go, and Hulu.
With it’s own Box, Amazon could offer all the same channels as its competitors and give more prominent placement to its own original and licensed content. Or, if they don’t want to tell any of these new devices, they could exclude other content sources and just focus on Amazon Instant Video offerings.
It’s an interesting move for a retailer to move into content. But what’s clear is that consumers are the big winners in both the Microsoft and Amazon moves. More available content will likely drive down prices, while having access to business tools on mobile devices will only make people more productive where they want to be.
by Chris Roush
The following was posted Thursday by Business Insider editor in chief Henry Blodget:
We’re hiring (at least) 5 tech industry reporters (or talented folks who can quickly become tech industry reporters). Not “writers” — although you have to be able to write accurately, quickly, cleanly, and succinctly. Not “opinionators.” Reporters. Professional journalists who know or want to quickly learn what’s important on their beat, develop industry sources (people, documents, feeds, databases, etc.), gather important information about topics that matter, assess the information, and then explain to readers what the information is, why it matters, and what it means. To do this job well, you will have to learn what’s important and why and then share your ever-growing expertise every day. You will have to use your brain and judgement. (We’re not looking for folks to parrot press releases). You don’t necessarily need prior reporting experience or industry expertise, although it will help if you have some. (If you don’t have any, we might start you with a paid internship.) You will probably travel a bit. You will use the telephone and the Internet a lot. This job will be great training and experience for pretty much every other job you might have in your life, including other great jobs in journalism and at Business Insider.
We’re hiring 1 great business editor. You need to be able to hire and manage a great team, including teaching them how to figure out what’s important, develop sources, gather information, analyze information, write accurately, quickly, cleanly, and succinctly, and produce awesome graphics (visual storytelling). And you need to edit your team’s work and make sure it’s great.
To be clear:
Your job will be to gather and analyze important business information (reporting) and then explain and show why the information is important and what it means. Your job will not just be to “write articles,” although you might occasionally choose to share the information that way. Your job will also not be to generate page views or “traffic.” You will need to care deeply whether your readers are reading, valuing, and sharing what you write, of course, but the raw volume of that readership will not be important.
Please send your resume, links to stuff you have written (and reported!), and a note to our Assistant Managing Editor, Lyndsay Hemphill (firstname.lastname@example.org).
by Chris Roush
Kara Swisher of Re/code writes about the tech news site’s new reporter, Dawn Chmielewski.
Swisher writes, “Now, we are adding to the beat with the addition of Dawn Chmielewski to cover mobile, devices and digital media computing for Re/code from the Los Angeles area.
“She is a veteran journalist, most recently at the Los Angeles Times, where she worked for eight years as an entertainment writer responsible for covering two of the world’s largest media conglomerates, Disney and News Corp. (now 21st Century Fox). More recently, she has turned her attention to digital media — profiling new players shaking up the Hollywood status quo.
“Prior to the Times, she worked as a technology reporter and personal technology columnist for the San Jose Mercury News, where she chronicled Apple’s renaissance and the rise of file-sharing networks. Chmielewski also previously worked at the Orange County Register, the Patriot Ledger and the Watertown Daily Times. She graduated from Utica College of Syracuse University.
“We are thrilled to add her expertise to Re/code, joining the best group of tech reporters and editors around (IMHO).”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
The Las Vegas Sun is looking for a technology reporter with ambition, will and flexibility to produce compelling, unique content for a range of innovative digital and print products.
A successful candidate must be abreast of the latest developments in technology with a primary focus on technology’s role in business and economic development of the region. A secondary, but very important, focus will be on technology’s impact on our lives and localizing technology (and device) news for the Las Vegas audience.
A solid working knowledge of general trends in technology, infrastructure, legal and practical concerns surrounding technology and the entertaining side of technology are desirable. The goal for this writer will be to produce stories for a general audience that illuminates and engages the reader and create a lively picture our technological landscape.
With dynamic developments in our role in internet infrastructure, web startups, medical technology developments and gaming technology, Las Vegas stands poised to become a major player in tech going forward. We are seeking a person to chronicle what promises to be an extremely dynamic area of coverage.
In addition to the daily Sun print publication and its website, lasvegassun.com, the reporter will produce stories for The Sunday, a new weekly print publication offering graphically rich news stories, features and lifestyle content.
Please submit resumes with writing samples and the subject line “Technology Reporter” to: email@example.com
by Chris Roush
Patrick McGovern, who founded International Data Corp. in 1964 and pretty much gave birth to the IT press industry with the launch of Computerworld three years later, died on Wednesday, reports Barb Darrow of GigaOm.com
Darrow writes, “Many tech reporters and editors (including this one) got their start writing for an IDG publication — NetworkWorld, InfoWorld, PCWorld CIO, CSO and the IDG News Service followed ComputerWorld. The tally rose to 300 publications, 460 websites, and 700 events. McGovern saw huge opportunities abroad; in 1980 IDG was among the first U.S. companies to form a joint venture with a partner in the People’s Republic of China. That globalism is still evident, as IDG has a presence in 97 countries.
“McGovern also built an IT research powerhouse in International Data Corp., which now employs about 600 people. He also bucked the trend by not taking his company public — a controversial decision over the years.
“Current and former employers remember how McGovern used to personally deliver Christmas bonus checks to employees in all the U.S. offices. Somehow he managed to keep a personal touch even as the company moved to more spacious quarters in Framingham, adding offices in Silicon Valley, and San Francisco. “Uncle Pat” also was known for sending reporters postcards to compliment them on specific stories.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Bekah Grant, who was a technology reporter for VentureBeat, writes about her job on Medium.com.
Grant writes, “I wrote an average of 5 posts a day, churning out nearly 1,740 articles over the course of 20 months. That is, by all objective standards, insane.
“Busy days were a blur of furious typing, rushed calls, and ignoring everything that wasn’t news (like food and water). There would be days with 20 funding announcements, on top of everything else we covered. VB writers could have a post up in 15 minutes if the situation demanded. Online publishing is a horse race and speed is critical.
“When a story breaks, you could take a couple hours to do research, call to sources, and write a contextualized, edited piece — but by that time, 5 of your competitors will have posted on the story. You will look slow and readers will have moved onto the next thing. The reality is that original reporting and careful editing fall by the wayside in the desire to be fast.
“Volume is also key. Most of the tech news sites post something at least once an hour and throughout the night, even when there isn’t news. Fresh content keeps people coming back to the site again and again, regardless of its quality.
“The need for speed and volume is primary driven by one thing — pageviews. Pageviews are what sell advertisements, and advertisements are what keep most online publications running — particularly the small independent ones. Are they a good barometer for quality? No, but the reality of online journalism is that you need pageviews to survive.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, who recently launched the independent technology news and reviews site Re/code, will be honored by Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at the eighth annual Mirror Awards ceremony, to be held June 4 in New York City.
The pair, who earlier created and produced All Things D, will receive the i-3 award for impact, innovation and influence.
Mossberg was the author and creator of the weekly Personal Technology column in The Wall Street Journal, which appeared every week from 1991 through 2013.
With Kara Swisher, he was also the co-creator and co-producer of the technology industry’s most prestigious annual conference, D: All Things Digital, and the co-executive editor of the technology website allthingsd.com, which extended the experience of the D Conference to the web.
The i-3 award is given to individuals or organizations that have made a profound impact on the media landscape or have captured the public’s imagination about the potential or importance of the media in a unique way. Past recipients include the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation (2012); Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai, co-founders of Foursquare (2011); Twitter (2010); Obama for America New Media Department/Blue State Digital (2009); and CNN/YouTube (2008).
The Mirror Awards are the most important awards for recognizing excellence in media industry reporting. Established by the Newhouse School at Syracuse University in 2006, the awards honor the reporters, editors and teams of writers who hold a mirror to their own industry for the public’s benefit.
by Chris Roush
David Leonhardt, who is operating the pending New York Times‘ web-only operation The Upshot, sent out the following staff announcement:
In November 2010, when Google seemed to be flying high, Claire Cain Miller wrote a front-page story in The Times about the company’s behind-the-scenes struggle to retain talent. She described its engineers as “chafing under the growing bureaucracy.” Google was not happy about the story. A company spokeswoman called Claire’s editor and demanded that she be taken off the beat.
Claire stayed on the beat, of course. And less than two months later, Google announced it was replacing its chief executive in an attempt to reinvigorate the company.
In almost six years on the tech beat at The Times, Claire has proven herself to be smart, tough and versatile. She has written a delightful profile of a Twitter founder and a much-discussed piece about its lack of female board members. She knows everyone who matters in Silicon Valley, including those who are normally hard to reach. She has helped make The Times a leader in technology coverage while also finding time to write about education and other subjects.
Now Claire is joining The Upshot, our new venture dedicated to demystifying politics, policy and other subjects — including the defining role that technology plays in shaping our economy, our culture and our daily lives. Beyond technology, Claire will also write regularly about the fascinating and crucial issues surrounding gender, work and family. Given my own interest in these issues — and longtime admiration of Claire’s work — I feel tremendously lucky that she’s on our team.
A native of Portland, Ore., Claire came to The Times from Forbes after stints working at the Council of Foreign Relations and doing research for Steven Brill. For The Upshot, she will be based in San Francisco, where she will continue to share with visiting staffers her encyclopedic knowledge not only of the tech industry but also of the best places to eat.
by Chris Roush
Qualifications of the ideal candidate:
You should be an excellent writer and an assiduous editor. You should want to edit, but not exclusively. You should be interested in technology, but not exclusively. You should love journalism and working on the web.
This job provides tremendous flexibility to pursue your own interests.
To apply, go here.
by Chris Roush
Tech news site CNET has hired veteran technology journalist Connie Guglielmo as editor-in-chief of CNET News.
Connie will direct all operational and editorial aspects of CNET’s global news team – from breaking news to thoughtful analysis and insightful features. She will work alongside Lindsey Turrentine, editor-in-chief of CNET Reviews.
“Connie is a stellar reporter and editor with two decades of experience breaking some of the biggest stories in the industry and simultaneously leading high-performing editorial teams,” said Mark Larkin, senior vice president and general manager of CBS Interactive’s technology group, in a statement. “It is this unique blend of exceptional reportorial and leadership skills that makes Connie the perfect choice to head CNET News. Together, Connie and Lindsey will continue to deliver what our audience expects: the best news and reviews, unmatched by any outlet in the industry.”
Guglielmo joins CNET from Forbes, where for the last two years she has written cover stories, interviewed notable CEOs and helped direct the team’s technology coverage nationwide.
She also spent seven years as a financial reporter and enterprise editor for Bloomberg, where her stories and her team’s coverage of the most-important publicly traded companies moved markets.
Additionally, Guglielmo served as the Silicon Valley Bureau Chief for Interactive Week – a position she presided over during the dotcom bust. She has also served as a news editor for MacWeek, and as vice president of corporate communications for HP.
Read more here.