President Obama will host an online chat today starting at 11:30am Eastern at whitehouse.gov. This is another digital first for the Obama team. In related news, President Obama has restarted his Twitter account. Yesterday President Obama issued his first tweet since January 19th, the eve of the inauguration, asking followers if they had questions about the economy.
Twitter has confirmed that they plan to sell commercial accounts to power users. Paid power users will receive "more features" than normal users, though the company has yet to specify exactly what those features are. Most likely these features will include analytics and data mining, in order for companies to know exactly who is reading their tweets and to track what others are saying about their company.
IBM announced that they will cut approximately 5,000 US jobs. While the company is laying off US workers, it plans to expand its workforce in India, noting that many of the lost jobs in the states will now be handled by Indians. This is the second time International Business Machines has announced massive layoffs in 2009, bringing this years total to nearly 10,000.
The NTIA has begun sending out DTV conversion box coupons again. The program, which practically went bankrupt, has resumed sending $40 vouchers to mail boxes across the country. The move comes just three months before the new transition to digital television, June 12th.
In an attempt to keep up with Amazon's Kindle program, Barnes & Noble will launch a free e-book reader application for the BlackBerry. The move comes as RIM, the manufacturer of the popular smart phone, plans to make the screens on BlackBerry's larger, effectively making them easier to read. However, Barnes & Noble does not have any immediate plans to issue its own e-book reader, and will not be launching an e-book store until the second half of 2009.
Shelly Palmer is a consultant and the host of MediaBytes a daily show featuring news you can use about technology, media & entertainment. He is Managing Director of Advanced Media Ventures Group LLC and the author of Television Disrupted: The Transition from Network to Networked TV (2008, York House Press). Shelly is also President of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, NY (the organization that bestows the coveted Emmy® Awards). You can join the MediaBytes mailing list here. Shelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.