Apple’s Message to Publishers: Content Is King

This week Apple caused a storm by announcing their new iOS App Store terms and conditions for publishers. In a nutshell; long-awaited in-app subscriptions are here, and publishers are worried about their bottom lines. But maybe what they should be thinking about is content.

Opera Submits Browser App…But Who Cares?

I don’t use any browser on my iPhone (s aapl) other than Mobile Safari. And, unless you have a jailbroken iPhone, neither do you.

That’s because Apple’s webkit-powered Mobile Safari provides the browser engine for all the iPhone’s various windows onto the Interweb. So, whether you’re viewing a webpage from inside Tweetie 2, Instapaper or any one of the multitude of apps that allow for in-app web browsing, you’re using Mobile Safari.

Back in early February at the Mobile World Congress, Opera showed off an iPhone version of their mobile browser, Opera Mini, to a select group of reporters and tech-pundits. That left me a little confused; how could they produce a real browser, built from the ground-up, using its own in-house rendering engine, without breaking the rules? Read More about Opera Submits Browser App…But Who Cares?

The New Writer: Writing Advice from Your Past You Should Ignore

typewriter.jpgAs I sit down each day to do my work, the vast majority of which involves writing (articles, web site content, tweets and blog posts), I can’t help but think about the writing rules drilled into me by past English teachers. In most cases, their advice is still very pertinent, and I write better by adhering to it. But there are a few rules that would prove detrimental to my online work if I continued to follow them. Read More about The New Writer: Writing Advice from Your Past You Should Ignore

China Imposes Strict New Regulations on Online Music Search & Sales

It has been a little over one year since the iTunes (s aapl) Store was blocked in China for the heinous crime of selling the album “Songs for Tibet.” Now The Wall Street Journal reports that the Chinese government, which hasn’t banned or blocked anything in awhile so are clearly about due, has introduced strict, new rules governing how online music services make foreign songs available to the masses.

To clarify, home-grown Chinese songs aren’t the issue. It’s just those nasty foreign tunes with their subversive, poisonous propaganda that are the problem. Any online service that provides the ability to search for or buy foreign music is affected by the new rules.
Online music sites as well as search engines that provide links to songs will be required to obtain prior approval from the Chinese government for songs recorded outside the country, according to the WSJ. This includes big players like Google (s goog), Baidu and Yahoo’s (s yhoo) Chinese presence, Alibaba. And it most certainly will affect Apple’s iTunes service, as well. Read More about China Imposes Strict New Regulations on Online Music Search & Sales

Snow Leopard: An Even Better Leopard

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In between new notebooks and fawning over the iPhone, Bertrand Serlet got up on stage to talk about Snow Leopard, the next release of Mac OS X. Apple (s aapl) took a few digs at Microsoft (s msft) for stumbling with Windows Vista and trying to play catch-up with Windows 7. The picture that our friends in Cupertino are trying to paint is that Leopard has been a huge success and that Snow Leopard will be even better. After listening to the keynote, I find that I have to agree. I am over the moon about the changes coming to the Mac OS.

Revisions

Apple is justifiably proud of Mac OS X and the excellent combination of power and usability in Leopard. Serlet was quick to point out that in this release, Apple is hoping to build on their success with Leopard and add refinements that will make it even better. There are so many refinements that I will not attempt to list them all here, but will instead refer you to Apple’s page about the refinements in Snow Leopard (be sure to click on the “even more refinements” link at the bottom of the page to get even more details).

Of all these improvements, I am most excited about three of them: Finder, Speed, and Disk Eject. Read More about Snow Leopard: An Even Better Leopard

Zach Galifianakis In Danger of Going Mainstream?

[show=zachgalifianakis size=large]Comedians hosting talk shows for the web are most definitely nothing new, either as a joke or for real. But one of the early pioneers in mocking the institution is definitely comedian Zach Galifianakis, whose inspired Between Two Ferns series has been providing 3-minute bursts of awkward Andy Kaufman-esque chatting on an irregular basis since early 2008.

Since beginning the series with ingenue Michael Cera, Galifianakis has gone on to interview Jimmy Kimmel, Jon Hamm and Natalie Portman exclusively for Funny or Die, asking awkward questions of his guests that border on sexual harassment. Trying to get Cera to “tickle” his upper thigh, pushing Kimmel for details on exactly how close he and Ben Affleck got during the shoot for his I’m F—ing Matt Damon response, asking Portman if she shaved more than just her head for her role in V for Vendetta…There’s no denying that Galifianakis is pushing the comedy towards the offensive on purpose. But the end result is alarmingly funny, mostly due to the reactions he gets from his guests, ranging from outright disgust (Portman) or shame (Hamm).

Today’s new installment features Bradley Cooper, who co-starred with Galifianakis in the upcoming comedy The Hangover. (In an obvious yet wise bit of cross-promotion, banner ads for the film dominate the FoD page.) It’s by far the most personal and vicious of the series, probably because Galifianakis actually knows Cooper pretty well after working with him on the film. Read More about Zach Galifianakis In Danger of Going Mainstream?

Rules for Working From Home

Our colleagues at jkOnTheRun thought we’d like this article from Digital Nomad, and they were right.
It’s now been 3 years and 3 months since I accepted a fulltime, salaried position working out of a home office, and I’d have to agree with just about all of Jay White’s rules and lessons for working from home. You start out thinking, “that won’t happen to me” and before you know it, it’s 3 pm and you’re still doing “just one thing” before you stop and have breakfast.
Of his list, I’m only not on board for one:

Dress the part.
In line with the showering bit, you should be keen to the notion that someone may invite you to a last minute web meeting with video. If you are able to work effectively in your shorts, fine, but have a business shirt handy. Some people need to dress up in order to get into the business mood. If you are one of them, dress as if you were really heading into the office.

I’ve read that one before, and sorry, doesn’t work for me. I am definitely not one of those people that needs to dress up to think business. First of all, I rarely, if ever, get pulled into impromptu video meetings. As an organization, we’re not there yet. Thankfully, my day job is casual so even when I’m heading to the office I’m grabbing the jeans and not the panty hose. But I definitely dress differently for the home office. On days I’m working from the basement you will never ever catch me wearing shoes unless I’ve just walked in the door. Just can’t stand the things, and I think better without them.
How about you? Any do-or-die rules for surviving the teleworking life?

Reader question: what’s the best UMPC for me?

Question_markHot on the heels of yesterday’s similar question where your participation added tremendous value, it’s time for another. Lawrence asks what I think is the best UMPC on the market. I always answer that question with a question, simply because "best" is subjective. Repeat the mantra with me everyone: "Choosing a computing device is a personal choice and it all depends on what you intend to use the device for." What works for me or you might not work for Lawrence because we have different needs, right? I asked for some clarity around how Lawrence intends to use his device and here’s what he said:

"I am a real estate developer and am on the go all of the time.  I need to be able to read leases and documents in pdf or word file.  Also, email and use the internet a lot.  Would be great if I could use it as a telephone too.  Down time will use music and like to watch movies while traveling.  Money is not a pressure point, but would like ease of use. "

Read More about Reader question: what’s the best UMPC for me?