The e-reader war is heating up -- and it's quite the page-turner.

Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) announced a touchscreen e-reader on Tuesday. The $139 gadget comes just as a bidding war may be breaking out for the bookseller itself.

Not to be outdone, (Nasdaq: AMZN) cut the price of its 3G Kindle by $25 for buyers willing to put up with Amazon-related promotional offers as screensavers and as home-page ads.

The e-reader market once seemed like a passing fad. Amazon introduced the Kindle four years ago, when it didn't seem likely that bibliophiles would ever give up their physical books. Now, millions of Kindles later, it's no surprise to see someone breaking out an e-reader during a long commute.

Let's see what the next chapter brings.

Briefly in the news
And now let's take a quick look at some of the other stories that shaped our week.

  • TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO) posted a record quarterly profit, but don't get too excited. It would have posted another loss if not for a juicy patent-litigation payment. Although the defection rate appears to be slowing, TiVo can now claim fewer than 2 million couch potatoes among its ranks.
  • Jamba (Nasdaq: JMBA) posted a first-quarter loss, but the smoothie chain did manage to score its second consecutive quarter of positive same-store sales.
  • Toyota (NYSE: TM) and (NYSE: CRM) are teaming up to make driving more social and telematics more personal. Toyota Friend is a private social platform for Toyota owners that will begin rolling out in Japan on's Chatter cloud-based service.
  • Not every consumer-electronics chain has come unplugged. hhgregg (NYSE: HGG) posted a healthy 22% top-line spurt and better-than-expected profitability.  

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

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