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]
As the year draws to an end, it's hard not to look back and think about all the cool apps that I looked at over the last 12 months. I'll talk a little bit about my favorite apps and biggest disappointments in other posts, but I also wanted to highlight some of the coolest apps and Web Services that I use all the time but that didn't get a lot of mainstream (or even tech blog) coverage in the last year and that deserve another look.
Without further ado, here is my list for 2010.
It's been just about a week since Google's Cr-48 prototype ChromeOS netbook appeared on my doorstep. Since then, I've been putting it through its paces, including during a short trip to a press event in Detroit, and it's turned out to be a surprisingly useful machine.
Opera just released the 11th version of its desktop browser for Mac, Windows, FreeBSD and Linux. For a while, Opera was just an also-ran as Firefox and Chrome battled for the speed crown and market share in the browser business. Over the last year or so, however, Opera staged quite a comeback in the desktop arena and version 11 is the current culmination of this work.
Here are the top 5 new features that make Opera 11 worth another look.
Facebook is launching an email service on Monday. While that's only a rumor for now, I think it’s a well substantiated one and there is little doubt in my mind that that's what we are going to get. But this won't be a "Gmail killer" as the project is apparently internally known at Facebook. Sadly, though, the meme that this could really be a Gmail killer is already making its rounds and won't let up until Monday - when exhausted bloggers will likely split into two camps: those who think Facebook just killed Gmail and those who are disappointed that it didn't.
Rumor had it that Apple was about to release the much anticipated iOS 4.2 update this week. While this update will bring new capabilities to the iPhone and iPod touch, iPad users will benefit from this the most, as they will finally get Apple's version of multitasking and folders. For now, though, it looks like Apple users will have to wait a few more days. According to the rumor mill, the current build has a major WiFi bug that could be a show stopper.
Somehow I completely missed the fact that those new blue "shared by" links on Google News results that appeared on my main search results pages a few days were new. Given the pace of the search giant's development cycle, I have to admit that I'm sometimes actually rather confused about what's new and what's been around for a while on Google.
Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg just told a group of aspiring entrepreneurs at Y Combinator's Startup School that he expects to invest most of the money Facebook is currently making back into the business. According to him, it currently "doesn't make sense to make a massive profit," as Facebook is already able to provide the necessary incentives to keep and motivate its employees.
Until today, the New York Times' Editors' Choice iPad app only offered access to a limited number of articles. Now, however, a full-blown NYTimes app has replaced this limited app. The new app offers access to all of the paper's articles, including the weekend magazine and some of the NYTimes' blogs.
To get full access to the content, users do need an NYTimes.com account, however. Unregistered users will only be able to see a limited selection of articles , including the top news stories, most emailed stories, business news and a small selection of videos.
As I'm thinking about the sale of TechCrunch to AOL and Jason Calacanis' ideas for how to take tech reporting to the next level (in the form of an email newsletter), I can't help but think about what the next generation of tech blogs will look like. Since the early days of tech blogging, the field has become more professionalized and the major blogs now have plenty of full- and half-time staffers who ensure that no nuance of the tech world goes uncovered. While Twitter and Facebook have changed the way these publications find readers for their stories (in the early days, RSS feeds used to be a huge source of traffic), the blogs themselves all still look pretty much the same (one exception - at least with regards to their homepage, is the rapidly expanding The Next Web).