Blockbuster stores meet their endDish shutters 300 Blockbuster video stores and ends the DVDs-by-mail program, Amazon pushes bookstores to sell the Kindle, and Google creates an auto caller ID database for Android.
It's time get nostalgic as we say goodbye to Blockbuster stores. I'm Bridget Carey and this is your CNET Update. It's time to bid farewell to Blockbuster stores. Dish Network which owns Blockbuster announced that it is closing the last 300 retail stores in the U.S. and it's ending the DVDs-by-mail program. But this isn't the end of the Blockbuster name. Dish will continue to run the Blockbuster On Demand streaming video service which competes with Netflix and it will still offer the Blockbuster @Home service for Dish customers. Blockbuster By Mail will end mid-December, but the stores will close by January; however, for those of you that love the experience of driving to a video store and fighting over which movie to rent with your family, you may still find some franchised and licensed stores in the U.S. and abroad that will keep their doors open. And speaking of old media, Amazon introduced a new program that lets independent bookstores sell Kindle devices and accessories. Yeah, Amazon is letting bookstores sell the one product that is destroying their business model and throwing in a bonus 10 percent commission off any e-book that's bought with that Kindle which comes to just $1 per book. You may be wondering what bookstore would want to do this. It's kind of like Wile E. Coyote strapping himself to an Acme rocket. You know nothing good can come of it. Samsung is testing out all sorts of new phone and screen technologies to stay ahead of the smartphone race. This time, Samsung is working on screens that can be folded. Yeah, Samsung CEO told analysts that the company is working on this to happen within the next two years. We currently do have technology to create a screen that's flexible and we've seen that in curved phones and televisions, but folding it in half is a whole other stunt. Google is implementing a new type of automatic caller ID for Android 4.4 KitKat users. Starting next year, if you call an Android phone from a phone number that you have verified in your Google profile, the Android phone will automatically show your name and photo on the screen as the caller ID. Google is basically building a database for caller ID from its users' accounts. It will only display names and profile photos if you have the Discovery Settings switched on. So, it can be turned off if the idea bothers you. When logged on to Google, click your profile icon on the far right and then click on Account. Under phone numbers, click View to change if you want the number discoverable by others. That's your tech news update, but you could find more details on the show blog CNET.com/update, and as always, follow along on Twitter. From our studios in New York, I'm Bridget Carey.