Review: PressReader Newspaper App

Posted by Unknown | January 28, 2012 |

The ubiquity and power of technology along with mobile web convergence have created a new paradigm in the accessibility of information. Nowadays, people want prompt access to the news on the go, as reflected in the dwindling of the conventional media system. Now, how about a tool that will put the full power of the conventional media right on your mobile device?

That is exactly what PressDisplay has done, bringing the full flavor of your favorite Newspapers to you on the go, through a mobile app, PressReader. The PressReader newspaper app brings 2,000 plus full-content digital newspapers from 95 countries right on your mobile device. PressReader is currently available in 51 languages and supports the following mobile OS: iOS, Android, BlackBerry OS, Windows Phone, and HoneyComb.

Our team member had a hands-on the latest version of PressReader for iPad, which is now available for download from the iTunes App Store. And to be frank the app did not disappoint on what has been written about it already.

In fact, I was impressed to find BusinessDay Nigeria on the list, making it the only local newspaper available. But, the avalanche of international newspapers really made it a delight, coupled with the innovative navigation feature that makes it possible to browse entire publication with a finger-tip. Also the jump feature is quite handy, it allows you shuffle from one article to another with ease.

Now, you may want to ask, how about bandwidth consumption? Well, truly innovative is the way the app is designed to fetch content and disconnect without any trace.

The pricing for individual newspapers (as the actual app is free) comes cheap compared to the conventional newspaper. Newspaper can be purchased for $0.99 per issue, or downloaded with a paid subscription. And, obviously you will enjoy complete digital replica of newspapers right before they are available in print version on newsstand, as every article, advertisements, crossword puzzle and cartoon on the original context.

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Social Search: Google Plus Your World

Posted by Unknown | January 10, 2012 |

Google earlier today announced new features to its social search innovations according to its official blog. The new search enhancements involves the inclusion of its social networking platform, Google+,  into its search algorithms, to create what it calls 'Personal Results' search.

An innovation it has termed 'Search Plus Your World', combines the conventional Google search algorithm with Google+ recommended results based on individual preferences and permission.

Google's 'Search Plus Your World' feature is made up of three basic enhancements: Personal Results, Profiles In Search, and People & Pages. It involves the inclusion of Google+ posts into Google search results where necessary and relevant to the search query, enabled by a user, and permitted by the Google+ Circles in which the given post is originally shared.

The 'Profiles In Search' aspect, enables a user to immediately find people within a Circle or a given area of interest, in both auto-complete and search results. While, the People And Pages, finds Google+ pages and people related to a specific topic or interest.

The internet search giant's obsession with Social Search may perhaps have found satisfaction in mingling with its own networking platform.

Google was fast to add that the 'Search Plus Your World' feature will never undermine users privacy and security, since the information that will be made available is already secured by Google+ SSL encryption. And the results page will also have the same level of security and privacy protection, that is to say, when a user is signed in to Google account, the search results, both private contents are protected by the same standard of encryption as your Gmail.

Also on effective control on features, Google stated that it will introduce a prominent new toggle on the upper of search results page where users can see how search results look like without personal contents, which translates to transparency and control over personal search results.

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Review: Google Correlate

Posted by Unknown | January 03, 2012 | ,

Internet search activities or patterns can help make available an incredible source of data that may translate to advancement in social/cultural breakthroughs as may be applied in checkmating the spread of epidemics or other real world activities.

What started with the Influenza outbreak in 2008, search discovery made available by Google revealed how Influenza outbreak correlate to searches for flu-related terms with Google Flu Trends. Google search data tools, Google Trends and Google Insights, were not designed with such research capabilities in mind.

Internet researchers needed a system more like Google Trends but in reverse functionality, they wanted to enter some real world activities and be able to see which search terms best match the trend. In response to the researchers quest, came the launch of Google Correlate in mid 2011.

Google Correlate allows search patterns to be compared against a specific time series (weekly/monthly), or against U.S. states. It mines similar patterns in search data terms. The new search tool does not yet support international application, however, users can upload their own data set and map it against Google's search terms.

The most unique feature in the new search tool is the ability to approximate data points from a data set based on graphs. Google Correlate is able to find data set which map closely to a given graph. You draw a time series and Google Correlate find terms that best match the trend.

Google, however, is fast to point-out that correlation is different from causation both in the FAQ and explanatory note.

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Predictions: Trends 2012

Posted by Unknown | January 01, 2012 |

Finally, the New Year has come and the mobile tech sizzles are yet to die-down, lots of new internet technologies will become featured on the mobile platform, as that is the rave of the moment. But before we commence on our forecast, we wish to take this time-out to wish our dear readers a prosperous and happy New Year.

In the 2011 Predictions, we did nominate Social Web TV as one of the surprises that will spring-up, but the actual story was different. Albeit, most other predictions were accurate, its daunting on us to give our candid-view on what the New Year may unfold. Below are our predictions for 2012:

Location-Based Applications: The social media break-through on the mobile platforms seems to be resting on the implementation of robust location-based services. Facebook's acquisition of Gowalla, a location-based social networking platform, is a pointer to the trend. Also, Google's new mobile search innovation, Autonomous Search, will be based on location apps.

Mobile Web: The bubble generated by the mobile internet is far from bursting, given the expected spread of  cheap Smart Mobile Devices. In fact, who wins the Social-Media Wars for the New Year will be decided by dominance on the mobile platform, as that will be the main strong-hold.

Cloud Computing: The current advancement in Cloud Computing is astronomical, and the rate at which companies are moving their tent to embracing the new technology calls for caution. However, the concurrent updates on Cloud Security seems illusive. So, the paramount question remains, are we heading to a 'Cloudburst'?

Albeit, the predictability of technology follows on what is already on ground, the extent to which they are accurate is the real quest. Let us know what your stake is for the dominant trends for 2012 in the comment section. Once again, we wish you a memorable and prosperous New Year.

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