Imagine this, Amazon Kindle Store pushing new issues of your daily newspapers right into your Kindle 2 reader. In the commuter train most of the passengers no longer holding the latest issue of their broadsheets but are reading the latest news either on their iPhone, Kindle 2 or even some on their netbooks. Such could be the near future of newspapers and newspaper reading. With the growing popularity of electronic and online copies of newspapers, it seems inevitable that printed newspapers are bound for extinction. Apparently the 24/7 Wall St. also believes so. It even predicted 10 major newspapers which are either bound to stop publishing on print or to go electronic. [Read more…] about 10 Major Newspapers that Might Fold Up or Go Online Soon
The browser wars is starting to heat up again due to some exciting developments in the industry. Last year, Google joined the browser wars with its Google Chrome. Firefox continues to grow and improve. And lately, Apple’s Safari browser for the Mac just released a new version. But wait, these are not just the web browsers available for us to use. There are tons of web browsers actually, each with their own set of features. Here are ten of these other browsers which you may have not heard of before.
Avant Browser – A free web browser with user-friendly interface and multi-tab browsing. Among its key features are online profile storage, autofills, flash animation filters, built-in ad/Pop-up blocker, multi-window browsing, real full-screen mode, built-in search engine, full IE compatibility, and more.
iRider – An elegant multi-page web browser that allows you to browse the web faster with multi-page browsing capability. Specifically iRider lets you fly around a visual map of all the pages and site you’re working with, surf ahead while pages are downloading, select multiple links or favorites and click only once to open all of them, and other useful functionality.
Maxthon – a powerful tabbed browser with rich set of features that provides improved web surfing experience. This web browser’s key features include tabbed browsing, mouse gestures, smart browsing acceleration, magic fill, URL aliasing, anti-freeze, super drag&drop, and more.
Flock – A web browser built from Mozilla Firefox. Having most of Firefox’s useful features, Flock decide to specialize on the social aspect of web browsing. Hence, it’s the most appropriate web browser for bloggers and social networking addicts.
Lunascape – The world’s first triple engine browser that supports IE for the Trident Platform, Firefox for Gecko and Chrome for WebKit. Among its key features include crash protection functionality, mouse gestures, tab browsing, RSS News and blog info, full customization with skins and more.
Runecats Explorer Zeox – A tabbed web browser with the following features; text size changer, mini-web, search drawer and more.
NeoPlanet – A lightweight web browser that lets you control your Internet experience by customizing content channels, select your interests through the Preference Center, powerful e-mail, download manager and quick search features. NeoPlanet is also highly customizable with skins.
Ultrabrowser – Offers a fully customized web browsing solution. It boasts of dual toolbar settings, multiple themes-skin support, integrated pop-up blocker, built-in Google search, multi-search functionality, password-protected web-based bookmark manager, and more.
Shiira – An alternative web browser for Mac users. Based on a Japanese browser, Shiira’s main features include private browsing, built-in search engine, tabbed browsing, customizable drawer that contains bookmarks, RSS reader, and supports PDF viewing.
Don’t look now folks, but it seems there is a new war brewing up in the social sphere (or has it already begun or might have been in existence before?). If you’ve been regularly checking Techmeme (like me), you’ll notice that both Twitter and Facebook have been receiving quite a number of coverage from various tech sites. It’s either a new Twitter app being developed that’s turning the microblogging service into a social networking site, or Facebook introducing a new feature in response to Twitter’s own features. One thing is clear – a war has begun between these two popular social web tools.
Here are some examples of the articles that reference to a Twitter vs. Facebook framework:
- With Twitter Envy, Facebook Adds (Near) Real-time Web Capabilities
- Facebook responds to Twitter, and the rest
- New Facebook follows Twitter and FriendFeed
- New Facebook = Twitter + Friendfeed. For Non Geeks.
and this is my favorite:
To think that those articles are supposed to talk about the new Facebook feature which turns the Facebook profile pages into something more like the usual Facebook member pages, and the rolling out of the new Facebook home page. But I couldn’t blame tech writers for comparing Twitter and Facebook. After all the two are the most popular social sites today. The monthly site metrics produced by various online research companies would prove this.
And in terms of site traffic and membership base, both sites are continuously growing on a daily basis. The funny thing is, while Twitter is trying to become more like a full-featured social networking site, Facebook on the other hand is trying to focus on its micro services.
Amidst all these new features and changes in their features, one can’t help but wonder whether the user’s wants and preferences were actually considered. Personally, I would rather have Facebook maintain its social networking stature rather down going towards being a microblogging service. As for Twitter, it was best when it was just a simple microblogging site and when there were fewer third-party apps that you can use to enhance its capabilities.
But then, it all boils down to one thing – beating the threats imposed by your competitors even if you belong into different niches.
It was only a few days ago when the whole tech land was disturbed by the release of Amazon’s second generation e-book reader – the Kindle 2. Some of us may still be getting over the buzz created by the Kindle 2 and here comes Amazon again announcing the new Kindle for iPhone application.
The Kindle for the iPhone application tries to mimic what the Kindle does. By installing the application on your iPhone, you can practically purchase kindle electronic files (books, magazines, and newspapers) from the Amazon Kindle Store and have it directly sent to your iPhone. But that is not without any limitation. The process works only if you are within the coverage area of the Kindle’s Whispernet.
Now, that may be appalling for some especially since the iPhone unlike the Kindle is available worldwide. But of course, there is always a walk around. Like if you own a Kindle but you’re outside the Whispernet coverage area, you can always purchase Kindle materials from Amazon and have it downloaded to your PC. This issue is true only for those outside the Whispernet area. But for those within the coverage area, the beauty of the Kindle for the iPhone application is the fact that if you subscribe to a blogs or newspapers, updates and new contents can be automatically push to your iPhone. I don’t know about you, but for me that is absolutely awesome, right?
But the reason for the question in this post’s title has nothing to do with the coverage area but rather on a larger perspective. Is there really a need for a Kindle application for the iPhone? Have Amazon thought about this? What would be the implication of the Kindle iPhone application to the sales of the Amazon Kindle? What is Amazon really promoting, it’s catalog of paid electronic publications or the Kindle.
Certainly, those who are contemplating about getting a Kindle to use it for reading e-books might be having second thoughts now. I mean, what’s the use of getting a Kindle if you can read Kindle books, magazines and other materials on your iPhone?
We’ve all been reading about Amazon’s Kindle 2 e-book reader and how it will affect the publishing industry, more specifically the dying print newspaper market. Many say that in time the Kindle reader would spell the demise of the print media as we know it today. Let’s take a quick look at what the Amazon Kindle can really do.
The Kindle, be it the first or second generation model, allows you to read e-books, e-magazines, and e-newspapers from a diminutive screen anywhere, anytime. You might think that it’s just an iPod loaded with an e-book reader app, but with a larger screen. But what makes the Kindle outstanding is the fact that if you are located in an area covered by the Amazon network, digital content can be pushed automatically to your Kindle reader. And not just ordinary digital contents, but those which you have selected and opted to buy or subscribe to at the Amazon Kindle store. This could range from magazines such as Time and Newsweek, newspapers such as NYT and WSJ, and of course e-books from the Amazon bookstore.
Purchasing digital content from the Kindle Store is fast for as long as you are connected. When you purchase a book, you can opt to have it send wirelessly, and it does so faster than you can immediate. You wouldn’t even notice that the book you purchased will already be in your Kindle. Compare to that to actually going to a bookstore to pick up and interesting book, or ordering it online which will take several weeks to arrive, especially if you are living outside the U.S. The same holds true for newspapers and magazine titles. The Amazon Kindle ensures quick delivery of information.
Now, the question is, will Kindle spell trouble for the dying newspaper industry? Not really. It might reduce the number of print subscribers but not everyone would be willing to spend extra to get the Kindle. While those who are more than willing to spend extra for such a device may not actually be print newspaper readers, or worst don’t read newspapers at all. But with a gadget as cool as the Kindle, it might actually encourage them to start their daily newspaper reading habit.
Rather than killing the gradually dying print newspaper industry, the Kindle reader might actually save it. Of course that is also true with the Kindle’s effect on Amazon’s potential gains as well. Investment bank Collins Stewart predicted revenue of $305 million this year for Amazon, with gross profit amounting to $70 million this year. Not bad, considering the fact that Amazon was just trying to market its main product – printed books and other information material when it created the Amazon Kindle.
Gmail went down yesterday affecting not only Gmail users on the web but also those paying Google apps users in businesses and goverment agencies. The time was exactly around 9:30 am GMT and lasted for almost 2.5 hours according to the Official Google Blog. Fortunately, during the outage most of the U.S.-based users are probably still asleep by then. But for the rest of the Gmail users worldwide, this has certainly cause too much trouble and inconveniences. Luckily, I didn’t notice as I was still on the road when the outage happened.
Anyway, Google is still investigating what caused the Gmail outage. Google’s Site Reliability Manager admitted that this was certainly a rare occurence.
For users of the Gmail web interface who are not paying anything to use Gmail and who were inconvenienced by the outage, they could only sigh in relief now that the service is now back to normal. But for the two hours of productivity that they’ve lost, they can only blame Google but get nothing in return.
While Google Apps users who pays Google to have the Gmail feature, Google is giving you 15-day free access to Google Apps. Not bad for a 2.5-hour service breakdown, right?
So, how were you affected by the Gmail outage? Were you so dependent on Gmail that you almost went on rage when you could not access it yesterday morning?