03 Sep

links for 2009-09-03

  • "When it was announced last month, the all new MySpace Mail was touted as an instant big player in the web-based email client market. With 130 million global users, that would make it the 4th largest email provider in the world and the second largest in the US. Of course, these numbers refer to the total number of MySpace users, not necessarily the number that will be using MySpace Mail for general email use."
  • "We spend a lot of time thinking about how information travels around the globe. After all, there are Googlers living and working in dozens of countries — and we're pretty sure our products are used in many more. So we're familiar with the need to translate information across borders, and we've been working hard to build the technology to enable you to do just that. Today, we're excited to announce that we've added nine new languages to Google Translate: Afrikaans, Belarusian, Icelandic, Irish, Macedonian, Malay, Swahili, Welsh and Yiddish. That means that Google Translate now supports 51 languages and 2550 language pairs — including all 23 official EU languages." Very awesome.
  • "The arrival of Ms. Sawyer will comprehensively alter the long-established image of an avuncular male nightly news anchor. With Katie Couric, who took the CBS anchor position in 2006, two of the three main network news voices will be female, a role that in the past has punished others, like Barbara Walters and Connie Chung."
  • "Google is making one million public domain books available free on the Cool-er e-book reader, a would-be competitor to Amazon’s Kindle. The deal, which covers books that Google has scanned from libraries and whose copyrights have expired, comes on the heels of similar agreements that Google has struck with Amazon rivals like Sony and Barnes & Noble. The Cool-er, a device made by British company Interead, has gotten poor reviews."
  • "As expected, Sony Electronics unveiled a wireless touch-screen electronic reading device on Tuesday, dubbed the Daily Edition, which it plans to sell starting in December in time for the holiday season. The $399 device, which will have a seven-inch screen, will help the company catch up with Amazon.com’s Kindle, which has been wireless since its first version was introduced in 2007. The Kindle, which does not have a touch screen, is priced at $299. A larger edition, the Kindle DX, has a 9.7-inch screen that is better suited for reading newspapers and magazines and costs $489."
  • "Their failures, combined with the greater failure of socialist economies, set the stage for the ascendancy of laissez-faire economics. Much of Asia moved to a market-based system and experienced stunning improvements in living conditions. As Krugman writes, “capitalism could with considerable justification claim the credit.” These successes, however, created their own excesses. The principles of laissez-faire capitalism were elevated to the status of religious scripture, with Alan Greenspan as high priest. In “The Cost of Capitalism,” Robert J. Barbera, a longtime Wall Street economist, notes that Greenspan and others confused the fact that market capitalism was thebest economic system with the misguided notion that it was the perfect system." A new edition of Adam Smith's pivotal work whose introduction presents Smith as being a more nuanced character.
  • "Amazon, Microsoft and Yahoo are planning to join a coalition of nonprofit groups, individuals and library associations to oppose a proposed class-action settlement giving Google the rights to commercialize digital copies of millions of books." I'm shocked.
  • "I don’t know about you, but I never really consider September to still be the Summer. But it is, until September 22, anyway. Why that matters is that AT&T promised iPhone users in the U.S. MMS capabilities by “late Summer.” So, technically AT&T, you have three weeks."
  • "As a result, companies are not only reluctant to create new jobs, but have fewer job openings to fill from attrition. For the 14 million Americans looking for work — a number expected to rise in Friday’s jobs report for August — this lack of turnover has made a tough job market even tougher."
  • "Underscoring its reliance on outside contractors, the State Department said Wednesday that it had extended a contract in Iraq with a subsidiary of the company formerly known as Blackwater, even though the business was denied an Iraqi government license to operate in the country. The contract, for aviation services, was to expire Thursday, at which time the company, now known as Xe Services, was to be replaced by DynCorp International. But State Department officials said DynCorp was not ready to take over the work, which involves ferrying diplomats and other American officials around Iraq, mostly by helicopter."
  • " TABC officials have dissmissed the alcohol protests that have delayed permits in Lubbock. In a press release issued this afternoon, TABC says that any protests filed in Texas based solely on incorrect wet/dry certification will be dismissed. The TABC has received several protests regarding applications for new licenses and permits for alcohol in Lubbock County."

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