August 29, 2000 |
SOFTWARE GIANT Microsoft Corp. and top on-line retailer Amazon.com Inc. yesterday announced they are teaming up to sell digital books, entering what an industry expert called uncharted terrain. "It's not clear when and how this will pay off," said Peter Fader, professor of marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. "The natural analogy is to look at the music industry, and the difficult time that digital and nondigital firms are having trying to figure out how to manage it. " Under the agreement, Amazon would use a customized version of Microsoft's Reader software for downloading and displaying text on a personal computer or handheld device, the companies said.
August 29, 2000 |
Margie Tannenbaum keeps a pile of free paperbacks, three green lawn chairs, and a knee-high evergreen tree outside her used-book store on East High Street to goad the skeptics. The downtown, she said, is on its way back. Opened just two months ago with fewer than 2,000 books, Tannenbaum's Evergreen Bookstore has doubled its inventory, increased sales, and, most important, staked its claim as a pioneer in the borough's quest to infuse new life into its dilapidated downtown.
July 26, 2000 |
In a blow to Amazon.com Inc., the online retailer's president, Joseph Galli, said yesterday that he would join VerticalNet Inc., of Horsham, as president and chief executive officer. Galli, 42, will replace Mark Walsh, who will become VerticalNet's chairman. The changes will be effective tomorrow. The news stirred massive speculation as to why Galli, who joined Amazon from Black & Decker Corp. just 13 months ago, would leave for VerticalNet. Questions also focused on why Walsh, who has been VerticalNet's chief executive for three years, would give up that post.
July 6, 2000 |
Amazon.com and other online book retailers are powerless to summon the owls that deliver mail to Harry Potter and the other wizards-in-training at Hogwarts School. So they are relying on planning and high-tech magic to make sure those who pre-ordered Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire find it on their doorsteps Saturday. (At 752 pages, the fourth installment in the wildly popular Potter series won't slip through a mail slot and may be too hefty to squeeze into a standard-sized mailbox used by Muggles in the nonmagical world.
June 11, 2000 |
The editorial cartoon projected above keynote speaker Jeff Bezos' head in the Grand Ballroom didn't need an explanation, and the founder of Amazon.com didn't provide one. "I can't figure out how you caught malaria," a puzzled doctor says to a feverish, sickly looking patient. "Well," the patient replies, "I did order that mosquito off Amazon.com " The booksellers in the audience laughed, and Bezos chuckled - actually, he honked - with them. Nearly a thousand strong, mainly owners or employees of independent bookstores, they had come early for the opening educational days of BookExpo America, the annual gathering of about 30,000 book-industry professionals held here at McCormick Place last weekend, a rite of spring in which publishers display and sell their fall and winter wares, and booksellers scrutinize and buy them.
May 12, 2000 |
Some entrepreneurs dream of Silicon Valley, maybe of starting the next Amazon.com or Cisco Systems Inc. and becoming the next billionaire. For now, Bohdan Kulchyckyj has more modest aspirations: moving his West Chester start-up into Center City, expanding its base of about 20 customers, and posting annual sales that would equal less than a hour's revenue at many a high-tech heavyweight. "Next year, if we can hit a million dollars, we'd be very, very happy," Kulchyckyj said yesterday during a break from the action at Business Expo 2000, a daylong gathering of businesspeople at the Convention Center sponsored by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.
April 14, 2000 |
Major booksellers are being assailed by leaders of Jewish groups and thousands of customers for stocking a notorious work of anti-Semitism. The book, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, appeared in Europe in the early 20th century and was widely used to stir violence against Jews in czarist Russia and elsewhere. It purports to be the secret minutes of a late-19th century meeting of Zionists plotting to seize control of the world. Historians later exposed it as a fraud. Two small publishers have reissued the book, and online booksellers have begun stocking the slim volume, which has no known author or copyright.
February 23, 2000 |
Here's how the Internet has shifted the power structure in today's business world: Josh Kopelman, 28, starts a small Internet company in Conshohocken last summer called half.com. Straight out of the Donald Trump handbook, Kopelman contacts the town of Halfway, Ore. with an offer officials cannot refuse: Rename the town half.com, Ore., for one year in return for some free computers. The mayor of Halfway agrees. Half.com (population 360) gets a ton of national and international publicity, including ABC News, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the London Times.
February 13, 2000 |
It has always been my policy to avoid making snap judgments about others. That's what I tried to do with the recent rash of cyberterrorism on the Internet. Reading about people who spend their days and nights obsessing over how to zing and zap people in cyberspace, I tried to understand why. What is the point? What do hackers get out of this besides a few laughs and the promise of three hots and a cot? These computer aficionados have used their considerable computing skills to bring Internet businesses and news organizations - among them CNN, Amazon.
December 10, 1999 |
From seemingly every corner came a low-level din. Conveyor belts whirred. Sorters chugged. Automatic labelers pressed on addresses with a steady ka-thunk, spitting out a new package every two seconds. Employees in sneakers and running shoes, computer printouts in hand, scurried among 152 aisles, grabbing books, CDs and videos. At noon Wednesday, a voice on the loudspeaker announced the hourly update: 2,317 orders received; 5,954 shipped. A cheer rang out. They were catching up on a backlog of orders at the company that claims to do things bigger, faster, better than anyone else.