GeekWire Radio: Amazon vs. author, Xbox One first take, and favorite iPad apps

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We’ve assembled the GeekWire news team in the studio for this week’s episode of the GeekWire radio show and podcast, with reporters Taylor Soper and Blair Hanley Frank joining John Cook and me for a discussion of the week’s news, along with some of the highlights from the past week on the site.

geekwire_podcastListen to the show via the audio player below or directly via this MP3 file.

First up, we dive into the extraordinary back-and-forth between Amazon and Brad Stone, the author of the new book about the company, “The Everything Store.” Starting with a one-star review from MacKenzie Bezos, the wife of the Amazon founder, the company this week unleashed a public-relations barrage against the book.

We offer up some theories on what’s happening here, but in short, we’ve never seen anything like this before from Amazon. The company was able to cite some factual errors (which Stone has promised to correct in digital form and future print versions).

But the book still stands as an authoritative and balanced account of the company’s history, and all the news coverage generated by Amazon’s criticism ultimately elevated its profile.

From there, we move on to a discussion of the Xbox One, the new console from Microsoft, which is launching in a couple of weeks for $499. Taylor and I got a sneak peek of the console this week with a demo on the Microsoft campus, and we share our impressions of the features we saw — including the fast user-account switching, Skype integration, the side-by-side “Snap” feature, and voice commands.

But is this console (bundled with the next-generation Kinect) worth nearly $500? Especially when Sony’s new PS4 will be selling for $400? We’re divided on that topic, and we discuss our thoughts in the second segment.

App of the Week: Xfinity TV Go for iOS and Android. This is an updated version of Comcast’s app with new live television viewing options. We’re still waiting for that mobile cloud DVR, but until then, there’s this.

Favorite iPad apps: Here is Blair’s rundown of his latest favorite iPad apps, with new iPad Air users in mind.

Name that Tech Tune: The answer to last week’s challenge. (Yes, I gave a hint on last week’s show when I asked John and Andru Edwards if they were “lost” in trying to find the answer.)

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