Tech wrap: Print publisher bets the ranch on apps

April 1, 2011

Nicholas Callaway, (R) founder of Callaway Digital Arts poses with members of his staff as they hold Apple Ipads displaying Ipad apps that they helped created and publish at the company's headquarters in lower Manhattan during an interview with Reuters in New York, in this picture taken March 7, 2011.Successful childrens’ books publisher Nicholas Callaway believes paper is dead and that digital has come of age, writes Mark Egan. But Callaway isn’t worried that big publishing houses will eat his lunch. “They don’t understand the new medium, they don’t have the rights, they don’t know how to create the product and they don’t know how to get it out to the world,” Callaway told Egan. January e-book sales more than doubled from the same month a year earlier, rising 116 percent to $69.9 million, according to the Association of American Publishers. That topped sales of hardcover books, which fell 11 percent from January 2010 to $49.1 million.

Google will probably have to make some changes to how it does business as a result of antitrust scrutiny, in return for the ability to protect what it regards as its necessary freedom to innovate, writes Steve Lohr of The New York Times.

With all of the buzz around Google and privacy, is it any surprise that the company’s efforts to develop a mobile app that will identify people’s faces in order to access their personal information have stalled?  Experts say the novelty of a face recognition app may help attract early adopters. But policies would need to be uncomplicated and straightforward to keep users from abandoning it over privacy concerns, writes CNN’s Mark Milian.

While Europe’s digital music service Spotify wrangles with music labels for U.S. rights,  Rhapsody, the only profitable music streaming service, has added 100,000 subscribers in the last year and managed to dodge a threat from Apple to charge a 30 percent fee on subscriptions sold through its iPhone app, writes Business Insider’s Matt Rosoff. Rhapsody president Jon Irwin said his company can differentiate itself going forward through his company’s proven and scalable platform, partnerships with companies like Verizon, and a strong editorial presence.

Madden NFL Football video game creator Robin Antonick is suing publisher EA over tens of millions of dollars in owed royalties and potentially billions in profits, claiming that he’s been cut out of the franchise. The first versions of the game were created for the Commodore 64, MS Dos, and Apple II platforms and released in 1988.

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[...] Egan did a nice profile of Nick Callaway, a long-time successful book publisher who says he’s “burned the [...]