Frederic Lardinois founded SiliconFilter in 2011. Before starting this site, he wrote about 1,500 articles for ReadWriteWeb. His areas of interest are consumer web and mobile apps, as well as Internet-connected devices like cars, smart sensors and toasters.
You can reach him at [email protected]
Given how many links your Twitter friends likely post to their timelines every day, it's almost inevitable that you will miss some very interesting stories. What if there was a piece of software that could learn which stories you are most interested in and highlight those for you, no matter when they were posted? I often use my6sense's mobile apps to catch these stories, but starting today, you can also use the company's Google Chrome plugin that integrates directly into Twitter's own website.
The latest beta version of Firefox 4 introduces lots of bug fixes and other improvements, but most importantly, it introduces Mozilla's new opt-out mechanism for ad tracking. What this feature does is add a message to the messages your browser send to the web server when it requests pages that lets the server know that users do not want to be tracked.
Last month, Google launched an Android app for Google Translate, which allows users to write or speak a phrase in one language and then read or hear a translation in another. Today, Google also launched a native iPhone version of this tool, which works surprisingly well. The app accepts voice input in 15 languages (including German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Chinese and Japanese), as well as text inputs in over 50 languages. Spoken translations are available for 23 languages.
It isn't quite the Pacman doodle, but today's version of Google's iconic logo introduces a whole new degree of interactivity to the animated logos the company sometimes produces for special occasions. Just in time for Jules Verne's 183rd birthday, the company produced a whimsical logo that allows you to steer the submarine from Verne's famous 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with the help of your laptop's or tablet's built-in accelerometer. You can also play along by using the keyboard.
Gmail's Priority Inbox has been a major hit for Google and, according to the company's own research, saves its users a lot of time. Until now, though, it was only available in the desktop and Android version of Google's email service. Starting today, however, you can also access in the Gmail mobile web app on most mobile browsers that support HTML5. These include early Android devices that don't natively support Priority Inbox yet, as well as Apple iOS devices (version 3 and up).
When it finally ships later this year, Firefox 4 will have gone through at least twelve beta releases since. The first beta was released in July 2010 and the final release is now set for around later this month. Going forward, however, Mozilla's director of firefox development Mike Beltzner envisions a very different release schedule. Indeed, if it is up to Beltzner, we will see Firefox 4, 5, 6, and 7 later this year as the organization changes the way it defines major versions and ships updates.
Saturday's are usually slow days in the tech news world, but thanks to a new survey (PDF) from online research firm uSamp that argues that 44% of Verizon Android users and 26% of AT&T iPhone users will wait in line to get a Verizon iPhone on the first day it goes on sale, we have something fun to chat about.
During the last half of 2010, according to AdAge, which got a sneak peak at the Audit Bureau of Circulations' semiannual circulation report, Wired was one of the few magazines that actually saw single-copy sales increase. The magazine's sales were up 28.2% in the second half of 2010. In total, Wired sold an average of 105,614 copies, which includes an average of 27,000 iPad editions.
Do you ever log on to an open WiFi network that isn't yours? You're not alone. While in late 2008, only about 18% of U.S. Internet users admitted to borrowing WiFi from open networks, that number has now grown to 32%. According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, a non-profit trade organization, far too few consumers take the necessary steps to protect their networks today.
News Corp. today launched The Daily, the first new national newspaper in the U.S. that is specifically designed for the iPad. At the launch even in New York today, News Corp. founder Rupert Murdoch argued that The Daily will give his company the ability to innovate in the tablet age and introduce readers to a "fresh and robust new voice." For the first two weeks, the Daily will be available for free, courtesy of Verizon. After that, a subscription will cost $0.99 per week or $40 per year (there is no monthly subscription option). You can now download the app from Apple's App Store.
Given that, according to Apple, there are already over 9,000 news apps out there and news apps have been downloaded over 2 million times, can the Daily really make a splash in this market? To find out, we took a closer look at the app.
To buy a Kindle book and read it on your iOS device, you can't use an in-app bookstore. Instead, you have to go to Amazon's website to buy your book. The same holds true for virtually every other iOS e-book reader. Yesterday, however, Apple rejected Sony's e-reader app for the iPhone, arguing that apps that offer users to buy content outside of the app also have to make their virtual goods available through in-app purchases (read: purchases that allow Apple to take its 30% cut)
There is a scandal brewing in the tech world this morning that has the potential to greatly tarnish the reputation of Bing, Microsoft's Google-challenger. According to Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan, Google thinks that Microsoft is copying some of its search results. That's about as serious an allegation as there can be in the search engine world. In an early statement, Stefan Weitz, Microsoft's director of Bing does not deny this, but notes that Bing uses "multiple signals and approaches" when thinking about ranking.
Arc90s Readability bookmarklet has long been a staple of my online experience. Once installed, the Readability bookmarklet allows you to see a beautifully typeset, pure text view of any article you are looking at. The service wipes away all the distractions from the site - but for publishers, that can also make it harder to monetize traffic. Today, Arc90 launched a new version of Readability that goes far beyond its earliest incarnation. This new version introduces Instapaper-like reading lists and a micropayment system that pays publishers based on how often its users used the tool on their sites.
I guess it was only a matter of time. Yesterday, I wrote about Noor, the last Egyptian ISP that was still working, despite the government ordering all other ISPs to shut down. Now, Egypt's last conduit to the Internet has been shut down as well.