Amazon.com Terminates Contracts of California-Based Associates in Light of New Tax

And I never got a dime after all these years…. Amazon just sent this notice indicating that they’ll terminate my contract as a long-time associate/affiliate in light of the passage of the Internet sales tax clause of the state budget approved by the California legislature, requiring Internet-based businesses to pay sales tax on all items sold to state residents. The bill is on Gov. Jerry Brown’s awaiting his signature. C’mon, Jerry… don’t do it!

UPDATE: He signed it. We done been terminated.

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Google I/O 2011 Round-Up: Chromebooks and The Cloud

Google Engineering Director Chris Yerga introduces movie rentals on the Android Marketplace
Google Engineering Director Chris Yerga introduces movie rentals on the Android Marketplace

Google took us further into the digital media future with some compelling announcements at the fourth annual Google I/O developers conference in San Francisco this week. Recent Google I/O keynotes seem silly in retrospect — both Google Wave and Buzz were epic busts. But this year Google narrowed its focuses to it’s strengths, namely the Android mobile operating system and the Chrome browser and operating system. The gist was this: Use Google’s web-based tools and applications, combine with seemingly infinite storage space in the cloud, and bulky hard drives and desktop PC’s will become mere artifacts of our technological evolution. A Google account combined with a device running Android or Chrome OS will be all you need to do [almost] anything.

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Spotify MP3 Downloads: Better than Amazon and iTunes?

Spotify now offers users various packages for purchasing downloads of the tracks already streamable via the service. A single track goes for $1.29 cents a track but for $50 you can download 100 tracks (that’s 50 cents a pop). The one catch being that all credits expire after 30 days (extendable to 90 days depending on ensuing transactions). Each purchased download can be re-downloaded up to four times.

50 cents is a great deal for the savvy investor, however, many users are sure to get got by simply clicking “Get Album” on, say, the new Beastie Boys’ “Hot Sauce Committee Party Two” and pay $14.28 straight up for the 16 tracks.
download beastie boys hot sauce committee via spotify mp3

The downloads come via 7digital in 320 kbps format.

Alternatively, the digital album goes for $7.99 at Amazon (320 kbps mp3), $10.99 on BeastieBoys.com (in multiple formats including lossless plus a bonus remix), and $14.99 at the iTunes store at 256 kbps AAC (incl. 30 minute Fight For Your Right Revisited video download).

When it comes to this particular release — the choices are so varied it could be a toss up. How would you go about purchasing the MP3 download?

Spotify Update Enables MP3 Downloads, iTunes Integration, Better Android Sync

spotify mp3 download packages as low as 50 center per track
click images to embiggenate

Last Friday Spotify rolled out an ambitious software upgrade, making its biggest charge yet in both monetizing its platform and putting the heat on Apple’s iTunes.

Spotify announced the software update on its blog, Twitter, and elsewhere.

The big news: Sweden-based streaming music application Spotify is now selling downloads: $1.29 for one; or purchase 15 downloads for $0.87 each, 40 at $0.63 per, or 100 downloads at $0.50/track. The mp3s are delivered via a partnership with UK-based 7digital.

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Amazon Cloud Crash Makes it Harder to Procrastinate

when amazon's cloud goes down As if the traffic situation isn’t about to be a nightmare IRL with President Obama arriving at LAX around 2:30 p.m., an outage affecting web apps and services dependent on Amazon’s EC2 servers has crashed many of our favorite online procrastinatory tools and destinations.

What does this mean? We haven’t been able to monitor our social networks with Hootsuite, check in on Foursquare, ask questions on Quora, or check in on the real news of the day at Reddit for… going on twelve hours!

When can we freely procrastinate again? Amazon’s latest update asks us to give them “a few hours.” But that’s just a “high-level ballpark estimate.”

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