Barnes & Noble Cuts GlowLight Nook Price To $129 As Amazon Prepares To Ship Its Backlit Kindles

glowlight

Amazon’s shiny new Kindle Paperwhite will start trickling out of the company’s myriad warehouses in short order, but it seems e-reading rival Barnes & Noble won’t let Amazon set foot in the illuminated e-reader market unanswered.

To that end, BN has announced that it has cut the price of its conceptually-similar Nook SimpleTouch with GlowLight from $ 139 to $ 119 — the same price as Amazon’s ad-supported Paperwhite model.

It’s easy to look at the move as a kneejerk reaction to Amazon’s impending Paperwhite Kindle launch, but Barnes & Noble claims it’s anything but. Apparently, the price cut has apparently been in the works for “months” now as part of the company’s planning, though I’ve got to wonder if Amazon’s announcement earlier this month may have helped force BN’s hand a bit. After all, Barnes & Noble has gotten to be pretty good at using price cuts to try and disrupt some of Amazon’s thunder — as Kindle Fire HD rumors picked up steam last August, BN cut the prices of its Nook Tablet line. Of course, Barnes now has some neat new tablets to push as we head into the holidays, but the move at least keeps those older tablets in competition with Amazon’s earlier Fire.

BN may have just made the cut official, but a few retailers were perhaps a bit too quick to pull the trigger. Target and Walmart (two companies that have coincidentally dropped Amazon’s e-readers from their inventory) both acknowledged the Glowlight-enabled Nook’s updated price yesterday. Now the BN site reflects that pricing change as well, and just in time — the country’s annual bout of holiday shopping hysteria is just around the corner, and this move toward pricing parity should force consumers to weigh their e-reading options based on each device’s merits rather than which would hurt their wallets the least.


TechCrunch » Gadgets

Pew Pew Pew! iPhone 5 Destroyed By Lasers [Video]

laseriphone

I’ve avoided posting videos of people shooting the iPhone with bullets, dropping iPhones into squirrel pens, and ingesting and then excreting iPhones because I think such videos are wasteful and pointless. But this video is a little too cool not to post.

It shows 6 Watts of pure Wicked Lasers fun being pointed at the center of an iPhone 5 screen and then, to add insult to injury, they drop a superhot flashlight onto the screen, essentially destroying the LCD. Arguably, this is the worst waste of an iPhone possible, but I do really like lasers.

We’ve looked at Wicked Lasers quite a bit over the years and barring their tendency to cause permanent eye damage and/or blindness I find their products to be pretty cool, especially now that they’ve proven that the iPhone has no external defenses and can be destroyed by shooting photon torpedoes down a small exhaust port.


TechCrunch » Gadgets

New Zealand Prime Minister Apologizes To Kim Dotcom As Megaupload Nears Relaunch

3dea73f8c0ea11e1aebc1231381b647a_7

“Headlines from Britain to Malaysia, France to China, Germany to Brazil, Australia to the US. An apology can go a long way,” said Kim Dotcom in a recent tweet. It’s true. This comes after the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key issued a rather frank apology to the internet mogul saying, “I apologize to Mr Dotcom. I apologize to New Zealanders because every New Zealander… is entitled to be protected from the law when it comes to the GCSB, and we failed to provide that appropriate protection for him.”

PM John Key is of course referring to the spying conducted by the New Zealand government which lead to the dramatic take-down of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom. As it turns out, members of the New Zealand government conducted the invasive investigation under the pretense Dotcom was a foreign nationalist when in fact he had acquired residency status, thus affording him the rights of the country.

As TorrentFreak points out, a report issued by New Zealand’s Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Paul Neazor found that a NZ security service did indeed wrongfully spy on Kim Dotcom and associate Bram van der Kolk. Apparently there was confusion about Dotcom’s residency status.

“As this matter went along what was discovered in the case of Dotcom and associated people was that resident status had been obtained on their behalf under the Immigration Act 1987 and carried forward under the later 2009 Act. It was understood incorrectly by the GCSB that a further step in the immigration process would have to be taken before Dotcom and associates had protection against interception of communications,” Neazor wrote. “The illegality arose because of changes in the Immigration Act wording and some confusion about which category Dotcom was in thereafter.”

It’s unclear where this leaves the case against Dotcom and Megaupload. The US is still seeking extradition however as time passes, this seems even more unlikely. Dotcom took to twitter following the apology and called on President Obama to “be good, fix the Megaupload mess, be the Internet hero, win another term with Mega users & I help Hollywood.”

As the trial sits in the court, it’s been said that Megaupload is about to relaunch its service. Once the most popular online data lockers, Megaupload will no doubt attempt to regain its swagger and users; Megabox will no doubt be a big part of the new Megaupload.


TechCrunch » Gadgets

Watch Google’s Eric Schmidt Dance Gangnam Style

359682-schmidt-gagnam

Yep. This really happened on a recent Asian business trip to help launch the Nexus 7. Good for Schmidt. Homeboy knows how to have fun. Next up, Steve Ballmer doing the Macarena.


TechCrunch » Gadgets

Apple’s Whole Hardware History In A 3-Minute Video

apple-gallery10_1470400b

Apple has made a lot of stuff, like a lot. One enterprising fan, August Brandels, has created a three-and-a-half minute video that provides a good overview of most of that stuff, cut from various Apple commercials and promotional spots, and tied to a pulse-pounding soundtrack that actually really leaves you feeling fired up. The video isn’t chronological and it doesn’t include everything, but for longtime Apple fans, it’s a nice trip down memory lane that brings you right up to the present with the iPhone 5 and Retina MacBook Pro.


TechCrunch » Gadgets