Stories by Paul Boutin

  • Amazon's near-$500 price tag kills Kindle DX buzz

    When it comes to e-readers, the hype machine has gotten ahead of the reality. Earlier this week, photos of the super-slim, sexy Plastic Logic Reader -- not available until next year -- circulated the 'Net and graced a New York Times article on the coming wave of big-screen readers meant to display newspaper, magazine and textbook content.

  • Verizon, Microsoft to launch iPhone killer 'Pink' in 2010

    The Wall Street Journal reports as fact, not as "according to sources," that Microsoft has a multimedia touchscreen phone code named Pink. Microsoft and Verizon, the Journal says, plan to launch the phone and an app store early next year specifically as an iPhone competitor.

  • iPhone apps let amateurs share Apple's buzz

    iPhone apps such as Tweetie may or may not make their creators rich. It's safe to say most iPhone app sellers won't be able to quit their day jobs. But that hasn't stopped both geeks and non-geeks alike from pouring their enthusiasm into thinking up, designing, and building iPhone applications that they sell or give away in Apple's <a href="http://www.apple.com/ipodtouch/appstore/">App Store</a>.

  • Cheap smartphones killing mid-price phones

    Nokia's iPhone-wannabe 5800 XpressMusic smartphone is <a href="http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Mobile-and-Wireless/Consumers-Seeking-Cheap-Smartphones-678251/?kc=rss">doing great</a>, analysts say. But Nokia as a whole is expected to report a steep drop in profits for the first quarter of 2009. While the company still dominates with a 40 percent market share, it is expected to see its lead erode while BlackBerry maker Research in Motion gains ground.

  • Should eBay sell Skype back to its founders?

    Skype founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom are trying to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/11/technology/companies/11skype.html?_r=1">buy back</a> their Internet phone company from eBay, the New York Times reported over the weekend. The pair are said to have approached potential investors for a multi-billion-dollar deal. Here's a summary of the situation:

  • Silicon Valley sees its worst year since 2001

    There's not much good news for this year's Silicon Valley 150, a tech-sector portfolio created and tracked by the San Jose Mercury News. Most of the companies on the list suffered stomach-churning losses as the economy tanked last year.

  • Microsoft cuts Live Labs staff by half, refocuses on search

    Microsoft has reacted to the global economic slump by reassigning half of its forward-looking Live Labs staff to other projects around the company. The remaining half will focus solely on Microsoft's search products, the area that probably offers Microsoft the most room for revenue growth.

  • Five blog search tools beat Googling five different ways

    If you're searching the Internet specifically for blog posts, Google's basic search isn't the best way to do it. Not only will your results be cluttered with non-blog pages, they'll will be skewed toward sites like The Huffington Post that have figured out how to win at search engine optimization to get to the top of Google's results. Google Blog Search is a much better tool for the job. It lets you sort results by a relevance score, or sort by date to display the newest posts.

  • Hammer time at Yahoo under Bartz

    Yahoo's fourth-quarter earnings will be announced on a conference call Tuesday, and it'll most likely be ugly. New CEO Carol Bartz, who two weeks ago began by demanding that everyone give the company "some friggin' breathing room," won't get any breathing room from investors. Instead, she gets to present the results of her predecessor Jerry Yang's final months of underachievement. The only ray of hope most investors have is that Bartz will be more blunt than Yang ever was.

  • Just how much is Twitter's burn rate?

    Relentless biz-blogger Kara Swisher is pushing again for Facebook to acquire Twitter. Twitter will never IPO on its own, she says, and Facebook is Twitter's most natural fit as a parent company.