TechBytes: Google's E-Book Store

Microsoft Kin cell phone review, parents often friend kids, star in "Star Wars."

ByBrett Levy, Ronnie Reiss and Carrie Halperin
May 05, 2010, 6:41 AM

May 5, 2010— -- Google is ready to get into the eBook business. The company plans to begin selling digital books in late June or July, putting it in direct competition with Amazon, Apple and Barnes and Noble, according to the Wall Street Journal. Google Editions will allow users to read books from a web browser, meaning they could use any device to access their books.

Microsoft is releasing a couple of consumer-focused mobile devices next week. The Kin One and Kin Two will be available exclusively on Verizon Wireless, and are targeted at people who do a lot of social networking. The Wall Street Journal's Katie Boehret said the devices are powered by some great software.

"Some of the features that I like the best are the Kin Loop, which is this home screen which shows all of your latest social networking updates," Boehret said. "Another great feature about Kin is this thing called the studio where any photo or video you ever capture on it immediately gets sent out on the cloud to the studio, which is a web-based repository where you can store all of these photos and videos without doing anything."

The Kin One will cost $49.99 with a two-year contract and mail-in rebate. The Kin Two will sell for $99.99 with contract and rebate.

A growing number of parents are keeping tabs on their kids through social-networking sites. A new survey found that almost half of parents say they are friends with their teenagers on Facebook and other sites. They said it's a good way to learn about their teens.

You can now star in the greatest sci-fi trilogy of all-time. The humor site JibJab has added clips from the first three "Star Wars" movies in its "Starring You" section. That means you can upload a picture of you and your friends, and play the roles of Han, Luke and Leia in funny two-minute recaps of the films. The clips are in honor of the 30th anniversary of the release of "The Empire Strikes Back."

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