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Tech News: Will Amazon Try to Resuscitate the CD?

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Plus, Google's executive director tells North Korean officials to lower Internet barriers

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This column brings you the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on the world of technology every day.

CNET
Link: Amazon to Launch Auto Rip, an Effort to Sex Up CDs

"The compact disc has long been left for dead by most tech-savvy music fans, but Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) apparently still sees some life left in the format.

"Amazon managers are expected to announce soon that CD buyers from now on will automatically receive copies of the same tracks stored in their Amazon cloud, free of charge, multiple sources with knowledge of the plan told CNET. The cloud-stored tunes can then be accessed from Web-enabled devices."

The Wall Street Journal
Link: Google's Schmidt Presses North Korea on Web Barriers

"Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt said he told North Korean officials that they must drop barriers to global Internet access if they hope to develop their economy.

"'As the world becomes increasingly connected, their decision to be virtually isolated is very much going to affect their physical world,' he told reporters in Beijing on Thursday, as he returned from a three-day trip to North Korea with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson. He added that it would 'make it harder for them to catch up economically. We made that alternative very, very clear.'"

VentureBeat
Link: Amazon and Samsung Are Running Away With the Battle for Android Tablet Market Share

"Given the huge number of Android-based tablets on the market, you'd think the Android hardware market for tablets would be massively fragmented.

"But according to new data that app analytics and ad service Datalytics is publishing tomorrow, that's not what's happening. Rather, the big tabs are getting the lion's share of the market, increasing their lead on other tablets.

"That's especially true for Amazon's Kindle Fire and Samsung's (PINK:SSNLF) stable of tablets.

ZDNet
Link: Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile Will Carry BlackBerry 10 Phones

"Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM), the maker of the BlackBerry smartphone, has the support of the three major US cellular carriers, including Verizon (NYSE:VZ), AT&T (NYSE:T), and T-Mobile, once the platform launches later this month.

"The support and interest by carriers signals confidence in the new BlackBerry 10 platform, which includes a radical new operating system and platform, and a bevy of new devices.

"RIM will release six devices this year -- after a delay of more than a quarter after delays hit the company's production -- including a touch-screen phone and a QWERTY-keyboard device that will be announced at the company's launch on January 30."

AllThingsD
Link: Big Blue Is Still the Big Dog of Patents

"Computing giant IBM (NYSE:IBM) has retained its position as the company granted the most patents in the year. It's the 20th consecutive year that IBM has done so.

"IBM said today that it was granted 6,478 patents in 2012, which is also a record. The company has about 8,000 researchers and inventors working in 46 states in the US and 35 countries around the world. The full tally of patents over 20 years amounts to nearly 67,000."

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
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