Consuming news ranks, according to a new study conducted by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, among the most popular things adults in the U.S. do with their tablets. Reading news sites and watching news-related video is about as popular as sending and receiving email, for example, and more popular than using social networking services. As the news industry struggles to find viable business models in this new world, though, one number that stands out is the fact that only 14% of U.S. adults have paid for news directly on their tablets.
Between 1947 and 1956, after a chance discovery by a Bedouin shepherd, archaeologist found hundreds of ancient texts written between the third and first century BC in caves near an old settlement not too far away from the Dead Sea. These so-called “Dead Sea Scrolls” feature, among other texts, some of the oldest surviving copies of numerous biblical texts. Written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, they are preserved in a highly secure building in Jerusalem where only a few of the scrolls are ever exhibited at the same time. Now, however, Google, in cooperation with the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, is putting some of the rolls online.
Microsoft today provided developers (and users) with a first detailed look at Windows 8 during its BUILD conference. Steven Sinofsky, who is in charge of the Windows 8 development for Microsoft, provided both consumers and developers with a first look at many of the new features in Windows 8, as well as some of the new hardware devices that will soon run Windows 8.
Google just announced that it is finally launching offline access to Gmail, Google Calendar and Docs. Once upon a time, Google allowed users to access their data offline through Gears, but the company shelved this effort in xxx and never replaced it. Now, Chrome users can install a new plugin from Google that will give them offline access to their Gmail emails once again and Docs and Calendar will use HTML5's ability to cache content on a local machine without the need to install a plugin.
Mozilla is getting ready to officially launch Firefox 6 tomorrow. That's less than two months after the release of Firefox 5 and not even half a year since the launch of Firefox 4. Indeed, there is now some talk in the Firefox community to get rid of version numbersin the user interface altogether. That's not a bad idea. Users really shouldn't have to worry about which version of a given browser they are running and those version numbers have now become mostly irrelevant anyway.
Google today announced that it plans to acquire Motorola Mobility - the Motorola's cellphone and set-top box division - for about $12.5 billion. This is obviously a major deal and suddenly turns Google from a company mostly focused on software into a hardware manufacturer as well. While Google aims to run both businesses separately - and stressed that even Motorola will have to compete for Google's business - the fact that Google's headcount just grew by about 60% shows that this acquisition will have a massive impact on the company in the long run.
The Yandex team launched an alpha version of its new browser today and there are plenty of interesting design ideas here. Overall, it feels like a bit of a hybrid between Safari and Opera Coast. I rather like the tabs at the bottom of the screen, but I'm not sure I could use a browser without a bookmark bar as...