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Freemium Apps (and Apple, Google, Amazon, Gameloft) Come Under Fire

Mon May 19, 2014

Fed up of so-called Freemium apps where you are free to download but have to make In-App Purchases (IAP) to actually use the app (usually games)?

Apparently there are many of you out there complaining about this.

Now, mind you, with some of these games, you can actually play quite a bit before being required to shell out money to play further or to have an enhanced playing experience. They give you a feel for the game and whether you really like it or not. If you were then required to shell out, say $2.94 to buy the full version, no one would really complain. But paying $0.99 for an extra game character gets expensive real quick and you could end up paying in excess of $5/$10 for a game, a price you would never agree to in the first place. Parents who downloaded these Freemium games did not realize their children could so easily buy extra characters at the cost of $0.99 a character. It adds up real fast.

In fact, Apple settled a lawsuit earlier this year to reimburse parents whose kids spent insane amounts of money on in-app purchases.

But that is not what the investigation is about this time.

Now, Italian antitrust authorities have Apple, Google, Amazon and Gameloft in their direct fire sight; they are investigating alleged misleading advertisements claiming the mobile game apps are free when they actually require in-app purchases in order to be played beyond a certain point.

Case in point, I downloaded Microsoft Office Cloud apps (and other office productivity apps) and was under the impression they were free. Imagine my surprise to find out they are not (and I had wasted my time). Should other companies, like Microsoft, be also included in the investigation?

So, do you think Freemium apps (whether games, productivity, office, photo) should be listed alongside (really) free apps in the App Store? Or, are they misleading consumers?

via Cult of Mac


Does Amazon Know Which Camera You Will Buy Even Before You Do?

Mon January 20, 2014

It’s called “anticipatory shipping,” and Amazon has a patent on it. In a nutshell, it is a method to start delivering packages even before customers click “buy.”

See, Amazon believes that it has enough data on its customers that it can safely ship your next package before you order it. That data comes from previous orders, product searches, wish lists, shopping-cart contents, returns and even how long an Internet user’s cursor hovers over an item.

I guess if it makes a mistake and ships too many of one product (say, camera) to the wrong zip code, you could expect a fire sales of that item in your area. Yeah! :-)

Or, you could see a drone hover outside your door with a package you did not order (yet) and a bill to hand over your credit card, or else… :-(

Could we be entering a brave scary New World where businesses know where we live, what we watch, eat and do — and now even what we intend to buy (even before we click the buy button)?

Read the article at: wsj.


Kindle Lights A Fire Under the iPad

Wed September 28, 2011

From kindle

Amazon is accepting pre-order of its new Kindle Fire [QuickPrice Check], a 7-inch full-color Multi-touch tablet with Wi-Fi. The Kindle Fire will be released on November 15, 2011 and will for now ship from and sold by Amazon Digital Services, U.S. only.

I don’t know if it’s the slick marketing or simply the Amazon Kindle name, but it looks like a winner already — and I bet Apple will regret it did not introduce a 7-in. iPad first. No doubt, one will be forthcoming at a matching price.

Unlike the original Kindle which was basically an e-Reader, the new Kindle Fire plays movies, apps, games, music, reading and Amazon’s new cloud-accelerated web browser. Regretably, there’s no camera.

Here are the main features:

  • 18 million movies, TV shows, songs, magazines, and books
  • Amazon Appstore – thousands of popular apps and games
  • Ultra-fast web browsing – Amazon Silk
  • Free cloud storage for all your Amazon content
  • Vibrant color touchscreen with extra-wide viewing angle
  • Fast, powerful dual-core processor
  • Amazon Prime members enjoy unlimited, instant streaming of over 10,000 popular movies and TV shows

Pre-order the Amazon Kindle Fire [QuickPrice Check] now.

Continue Reading »


Apple iCloud: This Cloud Is About To Rain

Tue June 7, 2011

Apple’s announcement of its iCloud offering is game-changing. Public cloud computing has been available for a while now but has never taken off in a big way; it was primarily relegated to corporate uses and never meant to be so broad reaching as the iCloud proposes to be.

Since users of Apple devices have no choice but to use iCloud, the latter is immediately upon arrival a runaway success. Every music bought on iTune, every picture taken with the iPhone (which by the way will sport a “shutter release button” in the guise of the volume control), and presumably more (I can’t believe Apple will stop at these; what about books, software, etc.) will automatically reside in iCloud.

Continue Reading »

Featured Site

Brazil’s National Indian Foundation releases Pictures of Uncontacted Tribe

Wed February 2, 2011
Brazil's Uncontacted Tribe - © Gleison Miranda/FUNAI/Survival

Brazil's Uncontacted Tribe - © Gleison Miranda/FUNAI/Survival

Brazil’s National Indian Foundation has released pictures of Brazil’s uncontacted tribe to Survival International in an effort to ramp up pressure on Peru to crack down on illegal loggers in its region of the Amazon. In one picture we can clearly see some of their food staples: manioc (cassava), papaya and banana.

See more pictures at: Survival International.

Learn more at: Uncontacted Tribes

Source: CNN

Fun Stuff

Kindle for PC

Sat November 28, 2009

You can now read Kindle books on your computer. Amazon is providing a free download of its new Kindle for PC software. You can sync with your Kindle or even download free Kindle books and read them on your PC (Windows 7, Vista and XP).

[ Download Kindle for PC ]

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