Daily Tidbits: Amazon, Overstock get knocked down by N.Y. court

The two online retailers have lost their appeal to avoid collecting sales tax in New York state.

A New York State court judge denied on Monday Amazon.com and Overstock.com's attempt to avoid lawmaker demands that the online retailers collect sales tax from New York state residents, even though the companies don't have a physical presence in the state. Neither company has commented on the decision, but there is a strong possibility that the case could move into the Court of Appeals as Amazon and Overstock continue their fight.

CollegeWikis, an online group for college students to send messages and create their own groups based on class year, dorm, or courses, has become Regroup.com. More importantly, the service also announced Tuesday that it's now integrated with Facebook Connect and that users can finally create private groups. The site's redesign and new features are live now.

KickApps, the online video player and social media platform, announced Tuesday the release of KickApps App Studio, which will provide drag-and-drop widget and video player services to users who wish to add third-party tools. According to the company, its users can create "highly customized" embeddable Flash applications using drag-and-drop functionality. And through KickApps' new partnership with Yahoo and Meebo, users can integrate Meebo Rooms and Yahoo Maps into their widget. KickApps says that more third-party partnerships are on the way. Plug-in APIs will be available in the second quarter.

iPhone developer Gorloch Interactive announced Tuesday that it has launched Boombox, a music streaming service for the iPhone and iPod Touch that uses Blip.fm's song library. Users are able to create playlists and purchase those songs from iTunes. The app is free and available now on iTunes.

The Washington Post announced Tuesday that it will provide live video coverage of President-elect Barack Obama's inaugural events on January 20. The show will start at 5 a.m. PST when the Obama family leaves the Blair House and conclude when the inauguration parade is complete. Post reporters using cell phone video cameras will talk with those on-hand and include the interviews in the live recording.

About the author

Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.

 

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