Weekend Reader

The folks at Twitter have been adding a lot of functionality to the service. Now you can import your Gmail address book to check for fellow Twitter users, as well as do a general search of the network. Purely because they could, they’ve also unveiled something they’re calling Twitter Blocks. A cross between a M.C. Escher painting and a 3D map, Blocks is another way to explore your Twitter relationships.

After years of the same look & feel and stagnant development, Bloglines, the web-based RSS feed reader catches up to the AJAX-loving world and launches a ground-up redesign. Beta, of course. New features include drag & drop editing and a customized start page.

As reported on GigaOM/NewTeeVee and everywhere else, Apple and NBC can’t come to terms and you won’t be able to download NBC shows like Heroes on iTunes this season. Beyond the arguments over pricing and DRM, both companies are taking their war to the streets, issuing press releases in an effort to sway public opinion to their side of the argument. Yesterday, we heard Apple’s side. Today, NBC fights back. On a similar note, watch for Apple to make iPod-related announcements at their special event on September 5.

We may not know whether we want one social network profile to rule them all, but that doesn’t stop startups from trying to create that must-have profile aggregator. Fuser offers a way of combining your email and activity from leading social networks into a single view, ranking your relationships as you go. If you’re interested, CyberNet News has an in-depth look along with a registration code to try the beta. Readr is another new service in a similar space.

It may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but the economic realities of city-wide wifi are causing some municipalities to rethink their plans. Earthlink is no longer willing to foot the bill. AP reports on projects that are in trouble in Chicago, San Francisco and Houston.

Your everyday phone won’t turn into an iPhone because of a new browser, but if you have a supported phone you’ll enjoy the new Opera Mini Beta 4. Like the iPhone, Opera Mini’s browser displays a scaled-down version of the entire page and allows you to quickly zoom in on the part you want to read. Pages are cached within a session for much faster download speeds on slower connections.