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Jeff Bezos: Amazon.com Kindle- price break

Jeff Bezos: Amazon.com Kindle- price break

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MindBites.com: Where real people teach real things: like knife throwing

Do you know that you can sell your skills (like, how to cook Indian curry? Or how to buy a used car? or How to Act on Camera?) in form of instructional videos?

Austin, TX based MindBites.com, a social marketplace and publishing platform for instructional video, has raised $1M for your skills to show case to the world. MindBites has a paid content model where instructor can upload the video lesson and user can purchase it; using credits priced from $1.69 to $1.99, handing $1 of that to the instructor, users can watch it online or download it to their PC or iPod.

I believe this is bit expensive especially where competitors including 5MIn, VideoJug, ExpertVillage, Howcast, WonderHowTo, Graspr, Sutree, Sclipo and Zippidee are around. It is also noticible that they launched such business where iTune and youtube are market leader. (Reference here) Isn’t everything on the Internet trending towards free? (Extra reading: Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business: here)

This Startup’s founder and CEO is Jason Reneau who was VP Kiva.org

Everyone here at the MindBites team is excited to be building our social marketplace and publishing platform for video instructional content. One of the fundamental reasons we decided to build MindBites, was that we simply believed that there needed to be a platform and marketplace to enable the millions of talented people out there who have something to teach. A paid content model is the most direct way for users to compensate authors for their knowledge, innovation and creativity. We are also (unsurprisingly perhaps) big fans of PaidContent, and proud to be joining the fray in the belief that there is a place for paid content models on the Web. Thanks again, and we look forward to keeping the PC community informed of our progress and learnings. - Jason Reneau At paidcontent.org

Similar reading:

Not every video tutorial site would show you, step by step, how to beat the crane game in your local movie theatre, or how to make a fire using only potatoes, salt, and some toothpaste, but Wonder How To is completely willing. Only a few clicks from a video that explains how to cheat on any test is another video that teaches you how to make a perfect omelet. If this doesn’t sound like traditional fodder for a site that offers instructional videos, there’s a reason for it: Wonder How To is completely crowd-sourced, allowing anyone who wants to show the world how to do something to post a video or submit another video they’ve found elsewhere. There’s some editorial checking, but not as much as some other competitors in the instructional Web video space…. Continue reading here

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Via [MideBites blog and here and Appscout]

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Authentic research data at your fingertips - UN data, Google style site

March 7th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Digital home, Tech/Biz News, Website of the week by admin

UN (United Nations) developed Google style search engine for UN data that will distribute various UN data / statistics to the widest possible audience. This will help UNSD’s vision of providing an incorporated information resource with present, appropriate and consistent information free of charge to the worldwide community.

UN Data site is very useful for Students, Journalist and everyone who has thrust for authentic data for their study, report etc. Now a days, educational institutes and news agency do not allow/honor the paper or any research work based on information/data referenced from Wikipedia.org or from any unknown internet source. But now, this is very timely development by UN will help students, journalists, and everyone else who can access data straight from the source - the authentic statistics published by the UN.

You can download the data in XML, Comma seperated Value file, Pipe and Semicolon seperate text files. However, not all type of data is available yet. Currently, it is provding information about following Topics: agriculture, education, employment, energy, environment, industry, national accounts, population, trade and tourism. More databases will be added in due course.

This stire is established by the DESA (United Nations Statistics Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs.) You can find it here : http://data.un.org/ Currently in beta state.

Similar interesting site: http://geo.worldbank.org/

via [appscout and readwriteweb]

The New BBC Homepage

March 1st, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Alert, Tech/Biz News, Technology Talk, Website of the week by admin

BBC has just launched a new home page at here - you can personalize every section on the site to match your interest, including color, position of any section. You can also add and remove your favorite sections the way you want, the where you want. However, layout can not be change from three columns to two columns. Currently, it is designed in three columns, with top story section merged in two columns.

What you can not do? You can not remove Top story section. Weather section can not be set for any of non-Britain location. Also, you may not be able to set your favorite stock price in business section. There are few more, may be you can add it in comment section <:-)

Overall it is beautifully designed and works well in latest Internet explorer and Fire fox

Via [BBC internet news blog]

Jaxtr is out of Beta, Free International Calls

February 26th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Digital home, HowTo, Phone, Skype, Tech/Biz News, VOIP, Voice Over IP (VOIP) by admin

Jaxtr was launched in March 2007 by Phillip Mobin and Touraj Parang with the operation to get voice to social networks and blogs. With the free jaxtr service, users can link their phones with their online network to hear from callers worldwide while keeping their existing phone numbers private. Jaxtr is claiming 10 million users worldwide in 50+ countries. Tonight jaxtr officially came out of beta and adapt the “1.0″ status!

Jaxr is a widget that users can put into their social networking sites or blogs. When someone has a jaxtr widget, it means you can call them in real-time. Jaxtr members assign a specific number to their widget.

When a caller sees that widget, they can click it and jaxtr will ask them for their own phone number. The caller’s phone will ring, and when the caller picks up, jaxtr will ring the recipient who originated the widget. If the recipient was not available, jaxtr will notify them that they have a voicemail that they can access by calling into their jaxtr service.

Things to note in the 1.0 jaxtr service:

• Free International and national calling and receive phone call to/from other Jaxtr member.
• Free International Text Messaging: You can now log into your jaxtr account and send text messages to your family & friends in over 30 countries for free
• Cafe Jaxtr Talk Network: It’s a social communications place; they have built a global network of users where any user calls to other user. Of course you have to set your privacy setting accordingly. For example, routes a call from unknown callers to your jaxtr digital voicemail box, so that only people you approve can call your phone through jaxtr. Users can list photos of themselves and interests at café jaxtr and things they like to talk about.

How to get started?
It’s simple! Sign-up to create your FREE jaxtr account, link your existing phones, and post your jaxtr link or Call-Me! widget to your favorite social network or blog.

The first time a friend uses your jaxtr link, they are connected to you for free through jaxtr’s automatic call-back feature. They also receive a local number which they can use to call you directly in the future, regardless of where you live in the world. Click here to see how jaxtr works!

In order for someone to call you, they must first use your jaxtr Call-Me widget. (Register here to get one) Send them your jaxtr link: e.g.: http://www.jaxtr.com/YOUR_SCREEN_NAME (like this) or direct them to your favorite social network or blog where you’ve posted your jaxtr widget. The jaxtr widget can be easily posted to popular sites such as Facebook, Orkut, MySpace, LinkedIn, Blogger, LiveJournal, Xanga, Flickr, Craigslist, eBay, and many others.

When using your jaxtr widget for the 1st time, jaxtr will automatically connect the caller to you through jaxtr’s Call-Back feature. Jaxtr will also provide them a special jaxtr number they can use in the future to reach you directly.

How to make it work for you?

1. After registering, link your regular phone(s) where you want to receive/make calls.
2. Invite your friends.
3. You are all set.
4. When you plan to call one of your friends, just create a number for them in your account. (Remember, you have to provide your number when it says, ‘Call me Free’, you don’t have to enter your friends’ phone number.)
5. Jaxtr will assign a number for your friend so that you can call them anytime you want for free. (Of course your cell phone or regular phone charges apply, depending on your cell phone plan)
6. Every month you get 100 free jax minutes. (Currently, they do not sale more minutes, even if you want to, may be in 2.0 version?)

Via [Jaxtr Blog]

Microsoft launches live Skydrive file storage service with 5GB Storage (free)

February 22nd, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in DIY, Digital home, Microsoft, Tech/Biz News by admin

Microsoft Live SkyDrive- a free online storage service, just got better and bigger. Keep in mind that they providing storage space not an automatic backup service (like, carbonite and Mozy.com) Windows Live Skydrive was in beta stage and offered only 1GB of space in selected countries but now they provide 5 GB of storage space which is the same as AOL XDrive service.

SkyDrive was earlier available for selected countries -US, UK and India but now they have expanded this new service many new countries including Australia, France, Switzerland, Canada and others (available in 38 countries and regions.)

SkyDrive is also available now in 38 countries/regions. In addition to Great Britain, India, and the U.S., we’re live in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Finland, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Portugal, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Turkey.

Windows SkyDrive provides RSS feeds as well for all folders so your readers/subscribers (just in case if you want to share with others) will know the moment you upload new files. You can also embed files / folders in web pages for your readers to download files directly from any website/blog.

The features of Windows Live Skydrive are–

  • 5GB of online storage (I guess its enough for non-techi users)
  • Upload of files upto 50MB (Humm, I don’t like this)
  • Upload tool for Internet Explorer (Good)
  • Provides RSS feeds for folders (Good)
  • Embed files / folders in web pages/blogs (Very good!)
  • Share with non Live IDs users(Cool)
  • Access your files from any computer

Check out the new version.

Via [skydrive blog]

Blist: Rich functional database application for main stream users

February 21st, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in Amusing Stuff, Creative innovation, Digital home, Tech/Biz News by admin

Database, is the killer apps in the world of rich software application, is the relational database. Up till now, database admin, software engineers, software testers are the prime audience of RDBMS (relational database management system.) However, in DEMO 2008 conference, Blist, a startup from Seattle, tries to beak this notion. They are seeing database as a consumer databases, which also leverage fantastic aspects of social media. (Social web applications - review others’ databases, share yours and collaborate with others). At this point I would put this application along the line of Microsoft access (or may be excel, I am not sure) but with superb visualization of almost everything that you need for database.

As it is marketed as a “world easiest database designed for main stream users,” you don’t need to be a tech nerd to use it. Mantra of Blist is “Create, Organize, Share, and Connect.” Sky is the limit for any database. (It means Blist can grow limitless)

See this video for quick demo and get the flavor of Blist.
Currently, Blist is in Beta situation and has raised $6.5 million in Series A investment just weeks after its debut on January 28, 2008 at Demo 2008 conference.

So who is the main stream competitor for Blist? Humm, well how about Google docs, Zoho application creator, may be strata and NumSum?

URGENT NOTIFICATION: IE7 Forced Upgrade on February 12

February 11th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted in DIY, HowTo, Security, Tech/Biz News, Technology Talk by admin

For those of you that do not yet know, on February 12 2008, Microsoft is forcing for IE6 user yo upgrade to (flawed browser) IE7 (the real cure, of course would be a Firefox fan). It means is when you turn on your computer on February 12th, your computer will forcibly update your IE6 to IE7.

Now if you are okay with this update then it’s good but some people do not what their IE6 to update IE7 without their explicit permission. Here is the tiny application developed by www.dailycupoftech.com and explains how to stop this upcoming upgrade. Download it here and instruction is here.

Read also: Just say NO to the forced upgrade to IE7

Read also: Microsoft’s Documentation for avoiding the IE7 Upgrade

Apple Macbook air - La-la-la-la-la-la-la- Yael Naim

You might have seen latest “Apple Macbook air” commercial. It seems “Macbook air” is less popular than its commercial. According to Yahoo buzz news, her (Yaël Naïm) buzz has scaled up 550% in the past week. Yaël Naïm, Israeli singer is the latest to sing sweet song for the company’s newest product – Apple Macbook air. The tune itself, “New Soul,” has hit the top 50,000 in Buzz terms, and more people are still seeking out what that “macbook air commercial song” (+117%) is. It seems New Soul created more buzz than product itself. No matter what, song is really sweet and beautiful. All credit goes to David Donatien, Yael Naim and band- http://yaelweb.com/ (and Apple too!)

Via [Yahoo buzz]

Links:
New Soul lyrics by Yael Naim

Yael Naim Band website Yael Naim On Wiki

Yael Naim On Myspace

New Soul CD on Amazon.com (opens in a new window)

Apple MacBook Air commercial

Introduction of the Apple MacBook Air (MacWorld 2008) - Part 1

Introduction of the Apple MacBook Air (MacWorld 2008) - Part 2

Just in case if you are interested, here is Walt Mossberg’s First Impressions of Apple’s MacBookAir: Link

Unboxing a MacBook Air

Related tags: mac apple osx software howto news ipod video design apple mac macbook macbookair laptop air hardware design review technology

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Nuvifone: Garmin came out with iPhone like Nuviphone

Today in a surprise announcement in NY city, GARMIN (GRMN) came out the nuviphone. The phone seems to be packed with features. A full GSM Smartphone built with own operating system with GPS navigation system in its core including …

  • Google Local search
  • Garmin Online service like traffic, weather, fule price, hotel discounts ets
  • Nuvi like - big screen navigation
  • Email, IM, text and browsing
  • Camera, MP3 player, Video

No pricing and carrier of this phone yet but they are promising to deliver it in 3rd quarter of this year. It can make Garmin a little extra money to make up for
all that talk of losing market share to TomTom. However after announcement market doesn’t reflect much in stock price, in fact it went down by $1.50 as of today. I am sure competing with the iPhone will be hard. Not because the iPhone is so awesome (well may be not,) but because Apple has a cult-like following and evangelistic supporters. The last thing Garmin needs is to be on the receiving end of some kind of T.V. campaign like “Hi, I’m a Mac!…..Hi, I’m a Garmin!”

You may find all good functionality of NUVIPHONE in this video:

Nuvihphone promo video:

Here is some of its early pictures:

More pictures: here

via [Gizmod]