Weekend Wrap-Up: Google, Barnes & Noble Join Forces; U.S. Department of Transportation May Re-Ban Calls in Flight
Happy Sunday, folks! It’s time for another edition of the Weekend Wrap-Up, where we run down some of the top stories from the past week. We’re in the late summer doldrums, where not a lot of major happenings are taking place, but we did track down four stories that are worth catching up on.
Let’s get to it.
Google and Barnes & Noble Join Forces to Sell Books
Same-day delivery is all the rage these days, though it’s only shown up in a couple of cities through a small number of online retailers. Amazon has been getting into this area, and Google recently followed suit with Google Shopping Express. This past week, we learned that Google is taking things one step further by partnering with Barnes & Noble to do same-day delivery of books in several cities: Manhattan NYC, West Los Angeles, and the San Francisco Bay area. We’ll share more on this interesting partnership when we have it.
If you were looking forward to making phone calls on your flight, finally, pause your excitement — the U.S. Department of Transportation seems poised to re-ban calls during flights. The justification? “Consumer protection.” I personally don’t understand the ban and why people are so bothered by phone calls during flight, as no such bans exist for those who ride a train or bus. But it appears the government will at least get a fight from airlines, who would like to make decisions on phone calls themselves.
Windows 8.1 Update Coming, Could Be the Last
How do you know Windows 9 is around the corner? When we’re told that a Windows 8.1 update is on the way, and it could be the last. The update, according to sources, will reportedly add some smaller design changes to the OS but wouldn’t add any substantial features or any major changes. Once this update is out, it seems likely that Microsoft will start moving on from Windows 8 and 8.1, instead opting to look ahead toward Windows 9. And, based on the way things have gone with Microsoft’s Windows 8 experiment, can you blame them?
Games Won’t Be Removed from the EA Access “Vault”
EA shocked the hell out of me by introducing a new Xbox-only service that actually isn’t a bad deal: EA Access. The service, reported on by our own Brian Rubin, gives you access to a “Vault” of EA-published games and a 10% discount on digital EA goods for $4.99 a month or $29.99 a year. A question from a lot of gamers, though, was “How long will games remain in the EA Access Vault?” According to EA COO Peter Moore, once games go into the Vault, they won’t ever come out. This means that EA Access could become an even better deal if EA adds titles on a regular basis.
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