Amazon’s bestselling laptop is open source!


This from ZDNet:

The bottom line is Windows 8 PC and laptop sales have been slow. So, what, according to Amazon, in this winter of Windows 8 discontent has been the best selling laptop? It’s Samsung’s ARM-powered, Linux-based Chromebook.

Now, I don’t have a Chromebook, so I can’t give you a review, but of the 660 reviews on Amazon over 375 are 5 stars!

I know a lot of libraries loan out laptops, maybe if your library couldn’t afford to do so before, you might want to give the Chromebook a look.

Target to Price Match with Amazon

Target Logo

Looks like physical retailers are going to compete with Amazon by matching prices! This from Gizmodo:

What’s not ideal for Target is you walking into one of their local stores, testing all of the camcorders, and then buying your pick on Amazon because it’s almost inevitably cheaper there. To combat the problem Target is turning its holiday price-matching policy, which started in November and ended on December 16, into a permanent fixture. The company will now match online prices from retailers like, Wal-Mart and Best Buy.

Read more.

Shopping at Macy’s this holiday?


We totally need this in our libraries! Macy’s has rolled out a new feature to its iPhone app (I don’t see any mention of Android so I won’t be using it) that allows for in door navigation using GPS.

Macy’s has added a new feature to its iPhone app that provides indoor turn-by-turn directions for its massive flagship location in New York City’s Herald Square, courtesy of Meridian, the software startup behind an indoor GPS platform.

Learn more from Mashable.

Gifting Kindle Books


I’ve been a Nook user until I switched to my Nexus 7. Now I can read Nook or Kindle books. I’ve updated my Amazon wishlist for Christmas, but was wondering how my friends and/or family would be able to buy me kindle books so I did a little research. For those of you who are new to the giving and receiving of ebook gifts, this guide might be helpful. Basically it boils down to this:

To gift a Kindle book, click the Give as a Gift button located under the Buy button on Kindle Store product detail pages. You can also gift Kindle books through your recipient’s Amazon Wishlist.

Make sure you share this resource with your patrons, friends and family!

Amazon Lockers in Staples


Amazon has struck a deal with Staples where they will put lockers in Staples stores and Amazon customers can stop in and pick up their orders. It’s handy if you know you won’t be home to meet the delivery person or if you are ordering holiday presents and the person they’re for is at home.

Staples have teamed up with Amazon to give the online powerhouse a little brick and mortar feel. According to a Staples’ spokeswoman, “Amazon Lockers” will be installed at the company’s US stores.

The lockers help Amazon customers avoid the hassle of missed deliveries. Online shoppers can opt to have packages sent to participating stores, and Amazon sends them an e-mail containing a pickup code. The company gives you a three day window to grab a package after it’s delivered. Simply take your code to the store locker, enter it on the corresponding touchscreen, and pick up your purchase.

Learn more on Ars Technica.

IL2012: Retail & Technology Trends

The Loop Business Model

Up first for me this morning is a talk about baseball and shopping! :)

Seriously though, the speakers were from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and were talking to us about parallels between retail and libraries and what we can learn from the retail industry.

Consumers have changed! People are using mobile devices while in stores today. We’re scanning barcodes and checking prices online to find the greatest deal while in the store. This scares retailers (with good reason). This empowers the consumer and makes them need advertising less to make decisions. We’re using the Internet to research our purchases now.

The decision making process has changed from a funnel …

to a more of a loop (according to the Harvard Business Review) …

This change is primarily because of millennials and those of us using the Internet in the palm of our hands to shop. Retailers are paying attention to this. Shopping is now done in many new/different ways:

  • Ecommerce
  • M-Commerce (mobile)
  • Web-nflueced sales
  • cross channel commerce
  • shopping 3.0
  • Omni-channel retailing

So, retailers are getting more in to social experiences with shopping. Tools that the speakers mentioned included: Pinterest, Milo, Yelp, and Shopkick.

Another way retailers are responding to these changes is in the design of their physical stores. Target now has city versions that are smaller to fit in urban spaces – many retailers are doing this now. Swivel is a completely virtual dressing room where you pick what you want to try on from a screen and see what it looks like on you (I personally don’t know how much I’d trust something like this … and I kinda like to feel the clothes on me and in my hands). Another new style of store is the “pop up store” and libraries are doing this kind of thing as well. San Francisco PL has pop up libraries and Projekt Ingeborg puts up QR codes around town (if I understood right) that link to open access content.

Something else we’re seeing in stores is augmented reality. You can try on an outfit, stand in front of a mirror and it will show you the outfit in different colors. Topshop partnered with Kinect to let you stand in front of the mirror and see yourself in different outfits.

When it comes to hand held devices, users are looking for apps, not mobile websites, they want easy one click access to content. We’re also looking for tools that let us store all of our cards on our mobile device and simply scan our phones in the store to make purchases or use our loyalty cards (it would be great to do the same thing with our library cards).

Some stores doing neat things include Neiman Marcus (touch screen device that will tell you more about the product), Macys (the endless aisle that shows you items that are not actually in the store), and Warby Parker (does pop up shops that have computers that scan your face and recommend glasses for your face shape).

The key is personalization and interactivity. Amazon recommendations has been around forever, but is a good example of this. An example of this in libraryland is BookPyschic from the Portland Public Library and LibraryThing. Other cool library innovations include the Type-Truck, augmented reality apps (in museums let you see more info on art or show you pieces not in the museum), makerspaces, Art House Co-op, ShelvAR, and DIY History.

Information Today Inc. Book Sale

Information Today, Inc. is offering a one-time discount to all of our customers, friends, and family. From now through Monday, January 16, 2012, receive 40% off all book purchases made through the Information Today, Inc. website. The discount is good on an unlimited number of orders placed during the sale period—and with more than 150 titles available on our website, there’s something for everyone.

To get the discount, use the promo code ITIHOLIDAY at the check out on our online store.

Deals & Freebies

Yesterday I was stumbling around the web and came across a site I hadn’t heard of before called 101 Free Tech Books. They have a raffle once a month and give away print tech books (not e-books) to the winners. If you’ve bought a book on programming or computers lately you know that these books can add up in cost pretty quickly. I haven’t won anything yet, so I don’t know how easy it is to snag one of these books, but it seems like a pretty awesome idea and worth giving it a try to get free books!

This second site isn’t so much technology related, but I have recently become a fan of a pretty cool deal site called Groupon and thought that some of you might find it interesting. Basically you sign up to get deals in your area, called Groupons (like coupons for a group) and if enough people promise to buy the Groupon the deal is on. I recently got a Groupon for $110 worth of photobooks for only $25 (a technology-ish type deal).

Finally and most awesome – if you want to learn more about finding deals and saving money you should checkout my friend Rachel and her awesome Mashup Mom site & her newest book Point, Click, and Save.