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Friday Five: 11/02-11/06

Happy Friday! Here's a roundup of this week's industry news.

Amazon Opens Brick-and-Mortar BookStore - The International Business Times

This week Amazon opened a brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle. The store is a physical embodiment of Amazon’s online book store. Inside, shoppers will find books facing out with their covers showing and ratings and reviews next to every book. There are also no prices since Amazon book prices fluctuate online. Shoppers must scan their books to check the current price.

Why No Love For Twitter’s Hearts - NPR

Everybody had something to say about Twitter changing their star icon to a heart this week.  While Twitter said that the heart represented a shift in making favorites more significant, the online community’s reaction was less favorable. An NPR poll gauged that 78 percent of their 2,400 respondents wanted the star back.

The New York Times’ Virtual Reality App Is Here- And It’s Very, Very Cool - Gizmodo

The New York Times is the first newspaper to bring virtual reality to the news. New York Times readers who get the Sunday paper will receive cardboard virtual reality glasses that work with their smartphones. They’ll need to download the New York Times virtual reality app to view the stories. This new app also features the first New York Times virtual reality film, titled “The Displaced.” The film follows three children affected by the global refugee crisis.

Review: Pebble Time Round - WIRED

The reviews are out for the new Pebble smartwatch,Time Round. As indicated in the name, it’s a round watch, a stark difference from the big square designs common to other smartwatches. As the review says, Time Round is all about guiding you through your day. It’s not trying to be a computer on your wrist. Though Pebble works with Android and IOS, it’ much better suited to Android as Android phones allow for customizable notifications. But one great thing about Time Round, according to the review: great battery life!

Expedia to Acquire HomeAway for 3.9B - Gigaom

Travel giant Expedia is acquiring HomeAway, an Austin based vacation rental service similar to Airbnb. HomeAway is focused on renting entire homes as opposed to the couch or one room options on Airbnb. As the trend towards the sharing economy becomes stronger, this acquisition is an interesting - and smart - move by Expedia.

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