Gamestop’s Android Tablet, Report: Apple After Dropbox, Pixel Qi Backed By 3M, IBM’s Watson Becomes Dr. Watson, Groupon Grows

This and more important news from your Fast Company editors, with updates all day.


Amazon Chases Magazine, Book Pubs For Tablet. Amazon’s reported to be chasing content distribution deals for its hotly rumored Android Kindle tablet PC. Subscription and single-copy pricing are said to be on the table, aimed at rivaling the deals Apple has managed for its limited iBookstore. Rumors like this were persistent in the weeks before Apple, another very secretive firm, revealed the iPad. –KE


–Updated 2:15 p.m. EST

[Image: Flickr user notionscapital]

Android Gets Game. Gamestop president Tony Bartel revealed that they are currently testing a Gamestop Android Tablet that will focus on mobile gaming. With the video-game retailer continuing to move into the digital space, with its own game download site and coming game-streaming service, some wonder if the company will limit the tablet’s access to the Android Market and only allow specific Gamestop apps. After the company’s recent move against Deus Ex‘s digital content, such limitations seem inevitable. –KO

–Updated 12:17 p.m. EST

iDropbox? Popular cloud-storage startup Dropbox reportedly turned down an offer from Apple for $800 million, according to Business Insider, citing several “second-hand sources.” Why would Apple be interested in Dropbox? Likely to help bolster iCloud, the service the company is gearing up to launch soon as a ramped-up replacement for its widely panned MobileMe service. And why would Dropbox turn Apple down? Likely because Dropbox recently raised a funding round that would value the startup at $4 billion. –AC


–Updated 11:23 a.m. EST 

Fusion Garage Slashes Tablet Price. Fusion Garage has just slashed $200 off the price of its upcoming 10-inch iPad competitor, the Grid 10 device (recently subject of an innovative, if controversial, PR campaign). The device now starts at $299 for a Wi-Fi-only version, pitched well below the iPad and slightly above the rumored entry price for Amazon’s Kindle tablet. –KE

PixelQi Gets Big 3M Investment. Novel dual-mode screen technology maker PixelQi has just received “major” funding from a big industry player that will let it break through its tech into the mainstream. The backer is none other than 3M, and PixelQi’s founder Mary Lou Jepsen is saying the cash is enough to bring the transreflective daylight readable screens to “mass adoption.” –KE

–Updated 11:00 a.m. EST

IBM’s Watson To Help Your GP. WellPoint, a large U.S. health insurer, has signed a deal to commercially use the smart problem solving code that IBM used to build its Jeopardy-playing Watson artificially intelligent system. The code will help trawl through extensive and complex medical literature and data in terms of symptoms and treatments in order to advise the best course of treatments–helping a physician plan how to help a patient. Trials with select doctors will begin early 2012. –KE


Groupon Grows. Groupon is reported to have grown its revenues 13% through August, from July, up to around $127 million dollars for the month. The core Groupon offering, excluding Groupon Getaways, managed a 10% growth to $111.1 million for the period–following a 10% growth in the number of Groupons sold per deal and 5% boost in the average price. A 2% market share increase is also claimed. The figures come in the wake of news Groupon is considering delaying its planned IPO due to market pressures. –KE

Bartz Leaves Yahoo Board.
Fresh from being fired as CEO, Carol Bartz has also resigned from the
board of the company that fired here for allegedly poor performance
after just 32 months in the job. Bartz is reported to be in line for $14
million in severance fees. It’s expected that the move will cause a
serious shake-up of the company’s board, and thus company operations, in
an attempt to return it to better performance. –KE

Google Invests In Friend Finding. Google Ventures, the investment arm of the search company, has just invested in the $750,000 seed-funding round for a new firm called Echoecho. The firm has a cross-platform app that lets its users query where anyone in their address book is, then reports their location on a map–as a friend-finding service. The move comes days after rumors Apple is building friend-finding into iOS 5, its upcoming software refresh for iPhones and iPads. –KE

 Amazon Plans Prime Book Rental Service. Amazon is reportedly planning an expansion of its Prime fixed-subscription video rental service, part of its Prime system, to include book rentals. Consumers would, for a fixed, low, monthly fee be able to access a library of online books on a temporary “rental” basis. The move comes mere weeks before Amazon is expected to reveal its new Android-powered tablet PC. –KE

–Updated 05:30 a.m. EST



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