Online video service Hulu just announced that it will offer its users content from TED, the high-end conference featuring talks about tech, entertainment and design that makes many of its talks available online in the month following the yearly conference. Starting today, Hulu will feature about 50 of the most popular TED talks. The company promises to add more talks over the coming months, including ones from the upcoming 2011 TED conference. The material from TED will be available for Hulu and Hulu Plus users.
Apple seeded the first preview of OS X 10.7 Lion to its developer community yesterday. This is the first time developers get to play with the next version of Apple’s operating system. The company gave us a first peek at Lion during an event in October last year, but has been rather quiet about it since. We got our hands on a copy of Lion today and decided to give it a try.
Want to know which Netflix movies currently feature subtitles? There is now a page for that. According to Netflix’s chief product officer Neil Hunt, the company currently offers subtitles for about 30% of its catalog and the plan is to bring this feature to “80% of viewing coverage” by the end of the year.
All the major search engines are now working on integrating signals from your own personal network on sites like Facebook and Twitter to enhance their search results. Google launched its latest initiative last week and today Bing is launching the next step in its program to bring more “liked results” to its results pages. Whenever one of you friends has liked a page that appears in your search results on Microsoft's search engine, this fact is now highlighted on Bing and your friends' profile pictures will appear underneath the link.
The Internet is full of great data, but much of it is stuck in spreadsheet-like columns and simply hard to parse. Google and Eyebeam, a non-profit and technology center, want to raise the bar and just announced the launch of its Data Viz Challenge that will award a total of $10,000 to the best visualizations of the tax data provided by WhatWePayFor.com. According to Google, the goal of this contest is to "show everyone how data visualization can be a powerful tool for turning information into understanding."
While Apple's penchant for secrecy contributes to its mystique, it's also responsible for a kind of 21st century Kremlinology where every one of Steve Jobs' words is carefully analyzed for hidden meanings. At times, Jobs will bypass the regular PR channels and respond to email himself.Generally, these emails clear the air when there is some confusion and with regards to Apple's new in-app subscription program, there seems to be plenty of that going around. Just a few days ago, Apple denied an iPhone app from time-shifted reading service Readability because it offered a third-party subscription service without offering Apple's own service at the same time - a restriction of Apple's in-app subscription program that ensures that Apple will get a 30% cut of all subscriptions.
For the last week or so, I've been testing Yobongo, a new app that creates mobile, ad-hoc, location-based chat rooms. Launched by former Justin.tv employees Caleb Elston and David Kasper, the service's iPhone app, which is still in private beta testing, is already being hailed by some as having the potential to be this year's breakout hit at SXSW next month. After testing Yobongo, I'm happy to say that it does indeed have the potential to follow in Twitter's footsteps and take SXSW by storm.
Germany's minister of defense Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg plagiarized large parts of his Ph.D. thesis. This scandal would likely have rocked Germany's political scene even before the Internet, but the massive extend of his academic fraud only became public thanks to a massive crowdsourced effort and the smart use of a Wikia-hosted wiki.
Going from writing for one of the biggest tech blogs in the world to writing my own blog again is obviously quite a change. Not only do I have to manage all the gritty details of my server setup, but not having a few extra sets of eyes around to find interesting stories makes finding breaking news items a bit harder. That said, there is something exhilarating about being your own boss, having full control over what you want to write about and not having to fulfill a certain quote of posts every day.
Just when you thought Net neutrality was going to be the law of the land soon, Washington politics intervene. Now it looks as if the highly charged political atmosphere in Washington could put the enforcement of the FCC's proposed Net neutrality rules on hold or even kill the altogether.
Over the last few weeks, rumors about the possibility of a smaller iPhone model continued to make their rounds in the tech world. According to a new report in the New York Times, however, Apple is "not currently developing a smaller iPhone." Instead, the New York Times' Miguel Helft and Nick Bilton report, Apple's engineers are putting the final touches on the next version of the iPhone.
I'm a jaded tech blogger, but Microsoft's HoloLens project is without doubt the most exciting project to come out of Redmond in years. After years of talk about augmented reality, this may be the first project that actually lives up to the hype.