Shares of Apple Inc. bled more than 10 percent of their value Thursday afternoon amid concerns of a slowing economy, but later recouped a portion of the losses. Meanwhile, Blockbuster is turning to download kiosks to combat iTunes.
US Federal Reserve chariman Ben Bernanke triggered a general plunge in the US stock market on Thursday when commenting that the shrinkage of the US housing industry, a weaker US dollar, and higher oil prices were all combining to put the brakes on the US economy as a whole.
The negative outlook prompted one of the largest sell-offs in recent months for the Dow Jones exchange and hit technology stocks particularly hard, many of whom had previously been climbing upwards at a rapid pace.
Although not the worst-hit in terms of money lost, Apple was particularly vulnerable to investors' fears. The company's stock dropped as much as 11 percent in the day to reach $167.77 before partially recovering near the end of the trading day to reach $175.47, or a drop of 5.8 percent.
Jay-Z refuses iTunes sales of new album
Those looking for Jay-Z's latest album, American Gangster, will have to skip iTunes if they want to buy it online, the rap artist says.
In a statement provided to the press this week and reported by Ars Technica, the musician known legally as Shawn Carter describes the concept of per-song downloads as illogical.
"As movies are not sold scene by scene, this collection will not be sold as individual singles," Jay-Z says.
Instead, iTunes users and iPod owners looking to buy the album will have to turn to CD shops and competing online stores that will sell only the complete album, such as Amazon MP3 or RealNetworks' Rhapsody.
The move adds Jay-Z to the ranks of other artists that insist on whole-album downloads for artistic reasons, which includes Radiohead and other high-profile groups. This resistance is often credited to an insistence on the part of Apple chief Steve Jobs that every song shorter than ten minutes must be available as a stand-alone download.
Blockbuster looks to download kiosks to fight online videos
Faced with the sharp decline of its traditional retail video rental strategy in favor of iTunes, Netflix, and other services that operate partially if not entirely online, Blockbuster is experimenting with the idea of installing kiosks that permit downloads directly to handheld media devices, Electronista writes.
Although most of the details have not been revealed to the public, the stations should be ready in prototype form by the start of 2008 and may include locations outside of Blockbuster's familiar turf, including shopping malls.
The company is also considering digital installments for children at its stores and may tightly integrate recently acquired online video store MovieLink into the main Blockbuster website, according to the report.