What’s the News: Along with a whole passel of new Kindles, Amazon yesterday announced a new browser to accompany them, named Silk. And it’s got some unusual characteristics that have some crowing about the next big thing in mobile browsing and others wondering about privacy implications.
Rupert Murdoch—head of NewsCorp, the owner of Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post—has just launched The Daily, his “iPad newspaper” built from the ground up. So will people soon be reading original newspaper content on Apple’s slick tablet, and will they being paying for it?
Murdoch and his cohorts stressed that The Daily is, first and foremost, a newspaper. Most content will be released in a single update in the morning, but breaking news will be added throughout the day and could include, for instance, a live feed from Twitter to deliver updates, executive editor Jesse Angelo said. There are two problems with this strategy: one, that most iPad owners don’t use their iPads to access breaking news, and that The Daily, in its current iteration, isn’t really a newspaper; it’s a magazine. [Mashable]
The Daily—available by subscription for a buck a week or $40 for a year—boasts an opinion page, horoscopes, gossip items, and other telltale signs of Murdoch’s love of the old-school newspaper. But, some reviewers note, its carousel layout—similar to iTunes—makes The Daily feel like several disconnected sections rather than a unified whole.
Open the app and you’re presented with a carousel navigation much like “cover flow” in iTunes. I’d imagine the designers felt that was the simplest way to give a good overview of all the content, and subconsciously remind the user that this is an iTunes-style paid content environment – though you can’t burn your existing digital publications and view them through the Daily. [The Guardian]
Google extends its tendrils into new arenas so quickly that it’s difficult to keep up. This week the giant tech company is creating digital art museums, challenging the hackers of the world, letting you play doctor on your tablet, and messing around with fractals.
Google Art Project
Going to an art museum: Sure, it’s a great way to improve your cultural cachet, but it also makes your feet hurt. Fortunately for couch potato art lovers (or those of us who can’t fly all over the world on a whim), Google is bringing some of the world’s greatest museums to you through Art Project, which takes Street View technology into the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Van Gogh Museum, and others.
The level of detail offered up by up to 14 billion pixels is pretty jaw-dropping. Take “The Ambassadors” by Hans Holbein the Younger at the National Gallery in London. It would be easy to ignore the sheet of music that sits on a table in the painting. But with the Google Art Project’s magnification, users can see that the sheet music actually has real music painted onto it. The user can zoom-in and see the individual notes and words with pin-sharp clarity. [Wall Street Journal]
For now just one painting from each of the participating museums is captured in such detail. More could come, and the project’s founder is also seeking a way to capture three-dimensional art, like sculpture.
A Chrome Challenge
For the first time, Google is taking its Chrome browser to Pwn2Own, a competition in which hackers try to break into the major Internet browsers including Firefox and Internet Explorer. And the company is making things a little more interesting, kicking in an additional $20,000 of prize money into the pool.
I know the holidays are over and the long, dark winter months—which bring little to look forward to besides furry meteorologists and the pressure-packed atrociousness of Valentine’s Day—lie ahead. But take heart, America: Shiny new toys are coming. January means it’s time for the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which begins Thursday in Las Vegas. And gadget lust is already at peak volume, with product prognosticators predicting what will be unveiled in 2011.
Tablets. We mean it this time.
2010, certainly, was the year of the iPad—Apple has sold millions of the sleek devices since their April launch. 2011, gadget pros are predicting, will be the year everybody tries to catch up to Apple and the tablet computer market explodes.
While [Apple] is poised to introduce a new model in just a few weeks (barring some manufacturing hiccup), the likes of Microsoft, Blackberry’s RIM, Hewlett-Packard, and Google are gunning for them. A raft of consumer electronics companies, ranging from HDTV leader Vizio to Japanese heavyweight Toshiba to Palm OS owner HP, will introduce their own tablets. These will be in a variety of sizes and price ranges, in the hopes that the right balance will be struck to unseat Apple in the tablet space. [FoxNews.com]