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Archives: August 2010

iPad Is Accepted To Notre Dame

Back in March I wrote about a couple of colleges that had announced plans for providing students with free iPads. At that time none of those colleges disclosed any plans for incorporating the iPads into classes. As classes are starting now on campuses throughout the United States, I have no doubt that iPads are being seen in the classrooms, either officially or unofficially.

One class that is officially using iPads is Corey Angst’s Project Management class at Notre Dame. According to Angst, over the summer the university looked at eReaders and tablet computers to determine how they should be incorporated in the curriculum. Angst’s class was selected for a trial.

Angst is writing a blog for sharing what is being learned during the experience, and among the projects the students will practice managing are presentations to others at Notre Dame on their experiences with the iPad. Angst has already written some interesting observations such as his surprise with how students are touch typing on the screen.

The only formally planned use for the iPads by students is for reading the class textbook provided in eReader format. The eReader software being used does not appear to actually be something like the Kindle or nook apps but instead appears to be an app intended specifically for textbooks. However, Angst notes a big limitation is that you can’t highlight text nor annotate in the book, which I predict will be problematic for students.


YouTube video courtesy of Notre Dame University

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What Is A Tablet?

Last night I wrote about the screen sizes of smartphones, suggesting that smartphone screen sizes will stay around 4 inches. Ironically, today Engadget posted an article about Archos’ plans to launch a number of new tablets based on Android this fall. The new tablets range from one with a 2.8 inch screen to one with a 10 inch screen.

I have a hard time considering a device with a 2.8 inch, 3.2 inch, or 4.3 inch screen a tablet computer. Devices with these screen sizes are more like the iPod Touch than the iPad, and nobody that I know calls the iPod Touch a tablet. Most people consider the iPod Touch a personal media player, even though its support of applications enable it to do much more than consume media.

Actually, I think Apple coined the right phrase for this class of device back in 1993. In my opinion the iPod Touch and the Archos devices I list above are personal digital assistants. Is there anything that the original PDA, the Apple Newton, did that these devices cannot do? They all can run personal information management apps: calendar, contacts, tasks, notes, and more, and they all can connect to the Internet.

I know that there is a stigma associated with the term PDA and therefore I don’t expect the industry to start using it to describe the iPod Touch. At the same time, I think it is wrong to call a device with a 2.8 inch screen a tablet. We all know what a tablet of paper looks like, it is usually 8.5 x 11 inches, though there are slightly smaller and slightly larger tablets. In my opinion a tablet must have a large enough screen, I propose 6 inches or larger, to view a significant amount of content in portrait, and yes, be able write comfortably in digital ink. In other words, a tablet ought to have the approximate size of a piece of paper.

Priority Mail Comes To Gmail

Today Google announced a new feature for Gmail, Priority Inbox. Gmail will automatically determine what are the top priority e-mail messages that you receive and filter them in the Priority Inbox. All other e-mails will be accessible in a general view, and spam will continue to be filtered into the spam folder. To determine which are your priority e-mails, Gmail will monitor the e-mail addresses of the messages that you read and send. Google did not specify whether it will be sorting the priority messages, which would requiring counting the messages read and sent to specific e-mail addresses.

Google did not provide any indication about whether the Priority Inbox feature will find its way to the mobile version of Gmail. In my opinion this type of filtering is even more important on mobile devices on which you want to quickly check messages. If the Priority Inbox is reliable, meaning that my important e-mails don’t fall through to the general view, I would like it to be the default view for Gmail on my Nexus One. Of course, I would prefer that Google provide a setting in Gmail that allows users to specific what default view they prefer.

Priority Inbox will start rolling out to Gmail users over the next two weeks, and we’ll keep watching to see whether Google makes any announcements about whether we will see it in mobile apps.

This Just In: Fox News Seeks Can-Do Online Editor

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logo-foxnews083110.jpgAttention, newshounds! Foxnews.com is on the hunt for a savvy news editor, who can not only edit pieces, but identify compelling stories, too.

If hired, you’ll publish Fox News originals, freelance submissions and wire service stories while managing the presentation of the site’s news sections. You should know how to crop a photo with your eyes closed (well, not literally); create attention-grabbing and SEO-friendly headlines; and be prepared to pitch and write breaking pieces.

Naturally, you’ll need experience at a daily news site or publication and superior writing and editing skills. You should be on top of current events, have a flexible working schedule (you’re dealing with news after all) and know a little HTML and Photoshop. Think you have what it takes? Apply here.

What Every Social Media Marketer Should Know About Kony

Kony-LogoKony Solutions provides a suite of products and support services designed to enable large brands to design, develop, deploy and manage feature-rich mobile applications in less time and at lower costs. Kony’s proprietary Write Once, Run Everywhere single application definition enables applications to be created just once, in a device independent manner and deployed across multiple channels.

After the jump – what you need to know about the Kony Mobile Applications Platform. Read more

Borders eReaders Not On Sale Yet

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TechCunch is reporting that Borders is running a sale on the Kobo and the Aluratek eReaders. There is no evidence of this yet on the Borders site. As of 2:30 PM ET, the Kobo remained priced at $149.99 and the Alutrek remains at $119.99, but this is possible, so we are keeping a close eye on it.

The Kobo and the Alutrek have not come down in price this summer and with the new Kindles shipping this week, it would make sense for Borders to try to steal away some of those buyers.

Also, Borders just began selling the new Velocity Cruz eReader and tablet. These new readers are more expensive, but much sleeker and with color screens. They ship in September and October and Borders may need to make room in their warehouse.

If you hear of an update or see the sale price in the Borders store, let us know in the comments.

YouTube Star Slams List of Top Grossing YouTubers

Greg Benson

Greg BensonLast week Business Insider released a list of the 10 top grossing YouTube stars, based on estimated statistics and analytics from TubeMogul. Following the release of the list Greg Benson of Mediocre Films, who is the seventh highest YouTube earner according to Business Insider, called out the publication saying that there is no way their statistics are correct. Benson uploaded a YouTube video response to the article saying, “Everything in the article appears to be wrong”.
Read more

WattPad Updates eBook App For Blackberry Torch

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eBook community WattPad has updated their eBook app for the new BlackBerry Torch bringing their digital book library to the new smartphone.

Berryreview.com has more: “If you have been looking for another eBook app for your BlackBerry Torch check out WattPad at www.wattpad.com or in App World. Their app has some nice features like MobiPocket giving you control of the font size and color adjustment capabilities as well as an auto-scroll function for hands-free reading, something I miss in MobiPocket.”

Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Borders also have eReader apps available for blackberries.

Digg Names Amazon.com Exec Matt Williams CEO

DiggLogo.jpgDigg turned to Amazon.com for its new CEO, tapping the e-commerce giant’s general manager of consumer payments, Matt Williams, as the replacement for former CEO Jay Adelson, with current CEO Kevin Rose to assume the title of chief architect, TechCrunch reports.

Williams has been with Amazon.com since 1999, holding posts including GM of its Webstore, director of tech alliances, director of community and cross-merchandising, and director of auctions and marketplace, according to TechCrunch.

Rose assumed the CEO role from Adelson in April.

MySpace Taps Former AOL Exec Tom Cox as Senior VP, Business Development

MySpaceTomCox.jpgFormer AOL vice president of business development Tom Cox joined MySpace as senior VP of business development, where he will oversee crafting and implementing the social network’s business strategy, as well as identifying and negotiating critical partnerships.

Cox most recently was principal and co-founder of executive-level consulting firm Stratique Partners.

While at AOL, he directed partnership activities supporting core consumer experiences including portals, communications, social networking, voice, and video, along with overseeing the acquisition of Weblogs, and playing a critical role in crafting AOL’s open Web strategy.

Prior to AOL, Cox worked with several early-stage companies, as well as within the investment banking and interactive divisions of Friedman, Billings, Ramsey.