Amazon has a new service that allows shopping via cell phone, just in case you are having a shopping fix moment and can’t wait to get home or the nearest mall. TextBuyIt is fairly simple. Type in a keyword to 262966 (AMAZON) and they will send you a list of matches. Choose and select the appropriate number. Get more search results by using “m” for a total of 8 selections, “xd” for details, “h” for help, and “x” to purchase. After ordering, they will call you back so you can confirm or cancel. We like using Amazon and even though we doubt that we would use it on the fly, it may be the shape of things to come when computers and cell phones eventually become one.
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That’s right. You can get the first 15 episodes of HBO’s “In Treatment” starring Gabriel Byrne at no charge. We assume that the freebies are being used to attract a larger fan base. Whatever the reason, free is free. You need a TiVo Series 2 or 3 or Amazon’s Unbox Video Player. The Amazon download process is simple but will only work with Windows XP SP2/Vista. The show is also available through iTunes and HBO’s site.
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Now that we have given you PC Mag’s suggestions for Superbowl Sunday, which HDTVs are actually the public’s choice? According to Amazon, these are their top sellers (with prices):
- Samsung’s 2007 model LNT5265F ($2,199)
- Sharp AQUOS LC32D62U 32 and 42-inch ($889) ($1,349)
- Samsung model LNT4665F ($1,674)
- Toshiba 42HL167 42-inch Regza LCD HDTV ($1,299)
- Sony 32-inch Class BRAVIA S-Series LCD HDTV ($899)
- Sharp AQUOS LC32D62U 46-inch ($1,799)
- Sony KDL-40XBR2 40-inch Bravia XBR LCD HDTV ($1,499)
- Samsung LNT4661F 46-inch LCD HDTV ($1,549)
- Samsung LNT5271F 52-inch LCD HDTV($2,652)
We dig that the prices get lower all the time, but not that the choices will now be twice as extensive.
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Here’s a quick news bite for anyone looking for a holiday gift for that entertainment junkie in their life (or, for that matter, for themselves) - Amazon is selling the TiVo HD unit at $249.99. That’s $50 off the regular price of $299.99, or a smooth 17% off. Sure, it’s no Series 3, we know, but still, it is TiVo in all it’s HD goodness. We aren’t sure how long this one is going to last, so jump on it quick if you want it.<
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Since the odds are slim to none that you can give a Kindle for Christmas, you may be able to opt for the Sony Reader, which has taken advantage of the situation and is offering 100 Classics from its Connect e-store. Simply purchase the device before January 31, have the recipient set up an account, and she/he will be credited for the amount. As a nice side note, the Reader is only $279.99 with free shipping, so that makes it a savings of $100.00 over the Kindle. You may not be able to access the Wall St. Journal, but since each Classic costs merely $2.00 apiece, that’s a lot of Shakespeare for the money.
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AOL has decided to give up its pay-for-download service and allow Amazon to sell the movies via its Unbox service. Although AOL’s service has only been around a year, it let everyone know last Friday when it displayed a banner for Unbox after a click on its movie tab. We are certain that Amazon is thrilled that it has one more coup and AOL must be relieved to be following in the footsteps of Google, who discontinued the same service in August to concentrate on its baby, YouTube.
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The Amazon Kindle has been the talk of the gadget town for the past week or so. If by chance you missed it, the Kindle is Amazon’s foray into the ebook reader space. The device sports free EV-DO, which Amazon calls it’s “WhisperNet” service, which allows you to purchase and download an e-book from just about anywhere - no computer required. We were able to get our hands on one recently, and as is our custom, we snapped up a bunch of Kindle unboxing photos. We liked the art on the box, and what was inside wasn’t overburdening at all - just the Kindle itself, along with a charge cable and USB cable. Oh, and instructions, but those don’t count since no one looks at them anyway - plus, when you start up the Kindle, it boots right into the instructional “Welcome to the Kindle” e-book. Fancy. Anyhoo, click on over to our Amazon Kindle unboxing gallery for the goods.
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Gallery: Unboxing the Amazon Kindle
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Although it has been around for about 3 years, CEO and President of Amazon Jeff Bezo is hyper-touting the Kindle, the book size device that can store up to 200 books in its memory, as well as newspapers, magazines, and blogs. We watched Mr. Bezo explain its virtues Monday night on the Canadian “Charlie Rose Show,” such as its being able to handle multiple books at a time, free first chapter previews, an included Oxford English Dictionary, auto-page memory, and 30 hour recharge time.
He also mentioned that most of the 90,000 books that you can download are on best seller lists and are only $9.95 apiece. The only thing he didn’t mention were its rivals, the Sony e-reader and Illiad, and the exorbitant price of $399.99.
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Are you the type that faithfully buys a lotto ticket every week in the hopes of being the one in a billion to become instantly rich? This should be right up your alley. Amazon is offering 18 products that you can bid on by one vote per round. If you are fortunate enough to be picked at random, you will win the item at the end of 6 rounds.
Last year, lucky winners of the Customer Vote got an Xbox 360 Core for $100.00 and a Wii and PS3 at MSRP. Because there was a site overload last year, the company has worked to make sure the same problems will not happen during the promotion this time around. The items will be on display at Amazon beginning this Thursday and voting is to commence on Thanksgiving, Nov. 22, and will run through the 28th. Grab a turkey drumstick and let the games begin.
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The e-commerce giant Amazon.com has launched their own music service: AmazonMP3. AmazonMP3 now offers DRM-free tracks in the MP3 format from a variety of artists on their website. Amazon has chosen the widely supported MP3 file format which ensures comparability with iPods, Zunes, most modern cell phones, and virtually any computer or digital audio player users wish to use.
The MP3 files weigh in at 256kbit so they won’t sound quite as good as iTunes 256kbit AAC files, but certainly will sound good enough for anyone but the most golden-eared audiophile. The fact that the MP3 files are DRM-free ensures not only broad compatibility, but also that users won’t ever have to worry about authentication or license revocation. It is currently unknown if Amazon will be adding audio fingerprints or other watermarks to the music to tie an individual file to the downloader to help cut into piracy.
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