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Lilbits: Dark Sky goes dark, Pixel 5a, PowerToys v0.20 and game & video streaming updates

The end is here for the Dark Sky app for Android. There’s a new version of Microsoft’s PowerToys app for Windows. Google is already working on the Pixel 5a, even though the Pixel 4a hasn’t officially been announced yet. Microsoft may be in talks to buy TikTok. And Netflix is finally building functionality into its […]

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Rakuten Mini is a 3.6 inch smartphone (for Japan)

Smartphone screens have gotten so big in recent years that we’ve stopped using the awful word “phablet” to describe handsets with nearly tablet-sized screens. Now they’re just called phones. But there may still be a small market (get it?) for phones with smaller screens. Last year TCL launched the Palm Phone with a 3.3 inch […]

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Daily Deals (8-06-2019)

Rakuten is running another of its nearly constant 15-percent off sales, which means you can save that much when you purchase nearly anything the site sells by applying the coupon SAVE15 at checkout. Savings top out at $60, but that’s still enough of a discount to score an Apple iPad mini for $340, a set […]

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Lilbits 350: TCL’s folding smartphone plans revealed (maybe)

If Chinese electronics company TCL may be better known in the US for its TVs than its smartphones, that’s because the company doesn’t use its own name on phones sold in the US. But if you buy a recent BlackBerry smartphone anywhere other than India, you’re probably using a device manufactured by TCL. The company […]

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Daily Deals (10-02-2018)

Online retailer Rakuten is running a 1-day sale on… almost everything. Use the coupon code SAVE15 at checkout and you can save 15 percent on nearly everything available from Rakuten.com. Savings max out at $60 and the coupon isn’t eligible on Kobo devices. But you can save money on laptops, tablets, speakers, headphones, WiFi routers, […]

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Walmart partners with Kobo to sell eBooks, audiobooks, and eReaders

Walmart is getting into the digital book business, but rather than building its own platform from the ground up, the company is partnering with Kobo, the eBook company which was acquired by Japanese retailer Rakuten in 2011. Kobo may not be as well known in the US and Amazon’s Kindle brand or even Barnes & […]

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Rakuten acquires library eBook, audiobook provider OverDrive

The company that bought retail portal Buy.com in 2010 and eBook company Kobo in 2011 is expanding again. Rakuten has announced plans to buy OverDrive for $410 million. OverDrive is an eBook and audiobook distributor that makes digital media available to library patrons, school students, and others. You can use the OverDrive system to borrow or […]

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Kobo stops making tablets, shifts focus to eReaders and apps

Digital bookseller Kobo currently offers a line of eReaders and a line of Android tablets. But moving forward, Kobo president Michael Tamblyn tells The Bookseller that the company plans to focus on eReaders and apps that can run on tablets from other companies. Kobo doesn’t currently plan to continue developing its own tablets. The move makes […]

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Japan’s Rakuten buys Kobo for $315 million

Electronic bookseller Kobo is about to be sold to Japanese internet service company Rakuten. The Japanese firm is going to buy all outstanding shares of the company for $315 million. Currently Canadian bookseller Indigo is the largest shareholder. Kobo’s digital book platform allows customers to purchased eBooks on a wide range of devices in a […]