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June 2012, Week 2

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Media Bit & Bytes - June 12, 2012

 This week in Media Bit & Bytes: Warren Buffett becomes a
 press lord; Amazon acquires publishing houses; a major
 publisher goes bust; keeping revenues flowing for wireless
 calls; what a UN-based agency may mean for the internet; and
 new efforts to get public voices on info tech use heard in
 DC.

 #  #  #

 Why Warren Buffett is Buying Newspapers

 By Jeff John Roberts 

 Paid Content
 May 17, 2012

 http://paidcontent.org/2012/05/17/why-warren-buffett-is-buying-newspapers/

 The Oracle of Omaha acquired his hometown newspaper in
 January and also snapped up the Richmond Times-Dispatch and
 62 other daily and weekly papers like The Goochland Gazette
 and The Bland County Messenger.  Most have small
 circulations in the range of 5,000 - 25,000.  Buffett can
 treat his newspaper fleet as a longer term investment that
 will pay off in three to five years, as they move from print
 to digital. The company can then cut away many of the
 printing, distribution and other legacy costs associated
 with newspapers.

 #  #  #

 Amazon Buys Avalon Books, Publisher in Romance and Mysteries

 By Julie Bosman

 New York Times
 June 4, 2012, 5:46 PM

 http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/04/amazon-buys-avalon-books-publisher-in-romance-and-mysteries/

 Amazon.com has expanded its publishing reach again by
 acquiring Avalon Books, a small, 62-year-old publisher that
 specializes in romance and mysteries.  The purchase includes
 more than 3,000 back-list titles, Amazon said, adding that
 the books will be published under Amazon's imprints based in
 Seattle.  Amazon made a similar move last December when it
 acquired hundreds of titles from Marshall Cavendish
 Children's Books.

 #  # #

 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Files for Bankruptcy

 By Dawn McCarty and Phil Milford

 Bloomberg News
 May 21, 2012

 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-21/houghton-mifflin-harcourt-publishing-files-for-bankruptcy-1-.html

 The filing comes as traditional print-book publishing faces
 growing competition from e-books.  Houghton Mifflin's core
 business, based on the schoolbook market, has seen sharply
 declining state and local funding.

 #  #  #

 Talking Less, Paying More for Cellphone Voice Calls

 By Greg Bensinger

 Wall Street Journal
 June 5, 2012

 http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052702304065704577426760861602618-lMyQjAxMTAyMDAwNTEwNDUyWj.html

 Since the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, the amount of
 time spent making old-fashioned voice calls has fallen every
 year, so cell phone companies are trying to maintain their
 revenues with `unlimited calling' plans.  The move to
 unlimited-only calling plans would simplify options, but as
 customers  spend more time texting and using Internet-based
 calling services such as Skype,  it would  deprive them of
 being able to trade down to cheaper calling rates.

 #  #  #

 Civil Society is Key to the Debate on International Control
 Over the Internet

 By Gigi Sohn

 Public Knowledge.org Blog
 June 04, 2012

 http://publicknowledge.org/blog/civil-society-key-debate-international-contro

 The UN-based International Telecommunication Union (ITU) may
 be given the power to regulate internet access and the
 internet itself.   Despite the fact that the US Government
 and US industry have vocally opposed this outcome, it is US
 civil society that has the biggest role to play to ensure
 that the Internet continues to be open and decentralized.
 The danger is that some of the global regulatory proposals
 could have dramatically bad effects on the internet.

 #  #  #

 Isolationist No More: The Internet Goes to Washington

 By Stacey Higginbotham

 Gigaom
 June 4, 2012

 http://gigaom.com/2012/06/04/isolationist-no-more-the-internet-goes-to-washington/

 No longer will the conversation between Silicon Valley and
 D.C. rely solely on big tech firms like Amazon, Google,
 Facebook and others. The Internet upstarts are hoping they
 can disrupt politics too.

 # # #

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