Tag Archives: app

Why the NYT-Flipboard deal is a smart move via @om

For the first time, subscribers will be able to access Times content via something other than the NYT’s own site or apps. It may not be a huge revenue generator (at least not in the short term), but it is still an encouraging sign of a traditional media player trying to adapt to a new model.

Starting this Thursday, the Times will provide all of its content — articles, videos, photo slideshows and blog posts — to subscribers who use Flipboard, while non-subscribers will get a free sample of certain articles. Denise Warren, who runs the NYT’s website, said that the deal made sense for the newspaper because it is promoting digital subscriptions, and an analysis of its readership showed that 20 percent of the paper’s subscribers use third-party apps like Flipboard to consume content. Said Warren:

We realized that we have an opportunity to enable this kind of access for paying subscribers, and we thought it was something we ought to try and see how users react to it.

via gigaom.com

Google Outs Google Drive On Its French Blog: Here Are All The Details | TechCrunch

Update: Google Drive is now live.

Assuming the post is genuine – and we have no reason to believe it is not – here is what we now know about Google Drive:

  • as expected, users will get 5GB of free storage space
  • additional space can be bought, of course, starting at 20GB for $4/month
  • Google Drive will be deeply integrated into Google Docs. Indeed, Google calls it the “next evolution” of Google Docs.
  • the web-based file viewer will be able to handle 30 file types, including Photoshop, Illustrator and HD video
  • PC, Mac and Android apps will launch today. An iOS app will launch in the coming weeks.
  • Google promises a 99.9% uptime
  • there will be a focus on search, including some support for OCR and image recognition

Co-Founder of Siri: Assistant launch is a “World-Changing Event”

9to5Mac: Is this Siri ‘Assistant’ a big deal?

Norm: Let me first say I have no knowledge of what Apple plans to do with the Siri purchase. I read the rumors just like everyone else and it appears that Apple is getting ready to reveal what it has done with Siri over the past year and a half (we were actually expecting it at WWDC). Make no mistake: Apple’s ‘mainstreaming’ Artificial Intelligence in the form of a Virtual Personal Assistant is a groundbreaking event. I’d go so far as to say it is a World-Changing event. Right now a few people dabble in partial AI enabled apps like Google Voice Actions, Vlingo or Nuance Go. Siri was many iterations ahead of these technologies, or at least it was two years ago. This is REAL AI with REAL market use. If the rumors are true, Apple will enable millions upon millions of people to interact with machines with natural language. The PAL will get things done and this is only the tip of the iceberg. We’re talking another technology revolution. A new computing paradigm shift.

Watching the keynote, I was pretty disappointed, until the final reveal of the Siri Assistant. I happened to be one of the regular users of Siri before it got picked up by Apple last year, and although it was buggy and clearly called out for deep integration with other apps, the experience was fun and generally produced good results.

I can’t wait to see the Apple-tuned version of this already powerful, exciting application.

Facebook iPad App to Launch at Apple’s iPhone 5 Event

The relationship between the two technology giants is warming up, however, thanks to the shared goal of beating Google — and the simple fact that Facebook and Apple may need each other. The former doesn’t have a mobile platform while Apple doesn’t have a social platform. The culmination of this renewed friendship: the launch of Facebook for iPad at Apple’s iPhone 5 media event.

At this event, our sources also expect Facebook to unveil a new version of Facebook for the iPhone, with design and speed improvements that mimic the iPad app.

Facebook has also been working on a project to bring the Facebook Platform to mobile devices. The project, labeled “Project Spartan” by some (a name not used internally at Facebook, according to one of our sources), is designed to be a platform where developers can bring their Facebook apps to mobile devices via an HTML5 platform.

What we’re hearing is that Apple is actually working with Facebook on perfecting the HTML5 platform. This could also launch at Apple’s upcoming iPhone event, though our sources wouldn’t commit to a specific launch date for the platform. Facebook decided not to launch it at f8, as it didn’t want to water down the announcement of the new Facebook Open Graph and Timeline.

When we said last week that Facebook would be profoundly changed, we weren’t just referring to the new Facebook Open Graph and the “frictionless sharing” touted by Mark Zuckerberg. We were also talking about its secretive effort to become a mobile platform for the social web. And thanks to Apple, it looks like that effort is about to come to fruition.

Godzilla vs. Megatron.

Banjo – Social Networking on the Go

Banjo has three main goals. One is to connect you to your social networking friends you didn’t know were nearby – for example, a friend from Facebook or Twitter, killing time at the airport, only a few gates away from you. It also wants to hep you find out what’s going on nearby by providing access to status updates and tweets from everyone around you, in a radius you specify. It also provides you with a way to virtually visit other locations, even when you’re far away, to see what’s going on with the people there.

This last feature seems custom-built for journalists, we think. Imagine being able to provide the app with the name of a location where bombs have just been dropped, an earthquake has occurred, or a plane has just crashed.

Sounds vaguely similar to Sonar – I’m going to be giving this one a spin all week long.

Symantec: Facebook Security Flaw Could Have Compromised User Information

Symantec has published a report claiming that for several years nearly 100,000 Facebook apps have been leaking access codes belonging to millions of users’ profiles.

Symantec’s report says that an app security flaw may have given advertisers and other third parties access to Facebook users’ profiles, though a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement that there is “no evidence” of this occurring.

Writes Symantec:

We estimate that as of April 2011, close to 100,000 applications were enabling this leakage. We estimate that over the years, hundreds of thousands of applications may have inadvertently leaked millions of access tokens to third parties.

Symantec compares these “access tokens” to spare keys that let apps interact with your profile.

With reQall Rover, Your Phone is a Personal Secretary by @om

ReQall Rover, currently in private beta, is the newest software from the folks behind reQall, a natural language memo service spun off from MIT’s Media Lab, that helps manage personal information. And in under 90 seconds, it just told me some key data about my upcoming day. The weather helps me choose my clothes. I know what my first appointment is, understand what my email queue is like, and I learned that a Facebook friend takes photos of popcorn showers. OK, so maybe that last bit isn’t important, but you get the idea. This Voice Summary feature is available on demand with a button tap or can be scheduled up to three times per day in the software.

I’ve been using the software for nearly a week, and I can already see huge potential because it aggregates important data from the various web services I already use. That may be the best description of how reQall Rover works: combining natural language processing with APIs from third-party services, it delivers personalized information to keep me on track, ranging from upcoming appointments, action items, local trending terms on Twitter, traffic nearby, and more. Upcoming appointments generate information on meeting attendees through LinkedIn and other sources. You can also speak to the software to ask questions as it builds up a database of web links and user-generated answers.

In terms of data services, reQall is leveraging some of the top-tier data stores through available APIs, but Rover can be an information platform for others as well. Other companies that capture user data can provide an API to reQall for inclusion in the software, then users can choose to personalize their experience with that data. There’s little point to re-creating the wheel when it comes to data, Sunil Vemuri, chief product officer at reQall, told me via a Skype video chat:

We’re good at natural language processing and using it to keep information manageable, but we’re not experts on real estate, for example. Zillow is a leader here, so if we could use an API from their service, reQall Rover could alert me of nearby homes for sale as I drive through a new neighborhood.

The approach makes sense, because no one company is likely to be an expert on all forms of data, although we’re sure to discuss that at our Big Data event later this month. Google may have the most information when it comes to general search, for example, but if I were home shopping, I’d hit Zillow over Google any day. And third-party services that offer an API bring a win-win for everyone: Rover users gain more pertinent information, and companies that provide such data are likely to see more people use the service to make it better in the first place

Time Warner Pulls Channels From iPad App

Time Warner Cable on Thursday abruptly removed several channels, including MTV and FX, from its app that replicates the TV viewing experience on an iPad, after receiving complaints from three major media companies, Viacom, Discovery Communications and the News Corporation.

The companies have claimed that the iPad app is a contract violation — in part because they want cable companies like Time Warner Cable to pay them more for the privilege to stream their channels to portable devices. Viacom and the News Corporation had sent cease-and-desist letters to Time Warner Cable in recent days.

The debate over the app boils down to this question: When companies like Time Warner Cable buy the rights to beam channels to customers’ television sets, do those rights extend to new screens like iPads? After all, computers, iPads and mobile phones can all act as TV screens.

via mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com (slightly edited for clarity)

As TechCrunch says, “Why can’t I just watch the damn television on my internets??!” -> Greedy network execs. Duh!