links for 2010-08-31

  • Demo site is now live (for Boston)

    "OpenBlock is an open source software initiative to bring hyper-local news and data capabilities to news organizations of all sizes.

    "OpenBlock builds upon the source code originally developed for, and is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation."

  • " for all of the heated rhetoric blaming news aggregators for the decline of journalism, the fall of civilization and male pattern baldness, many are still left asking the question: are news aggregators violating current law?

    "Today, CMLP releases a white paper entitled "The Rise of the News Aggregator: Legal Implications and Best Practices" that attempts to answer that question, and to provide news aggregators with some "best practices" for making use of third-party content."

  • Verizon is hard at work trying to get its first Long Term Evolution (LTE) high-speed network online late this year, but MetroPCS will beat Verizon according to reports that the MetroPCS LTE network will go live in September. MetroPCS is the fifth-largest operator in the U.S., and a Samsung executive let slip that the MetroPCS LTE network would light up Dallas and Las Vegas next month.

    The Verizon LTE network may go live in November, but the carrier has indicated the first LTE-capable smartphone won’t appear on the network until next year. Samsung has stated that MetroPCS will make the Samsung Craft phone available in September alongside the launch of the LTE network. The Craft is thought to be a smartphone with sliding QWERTY keyboard, and steps down to CDMA when LTE is not available.

  • "For now, it appears the AP has gone in a more conventional direction, however, taking an undisclosed sum of money from Google for the rights to host its content."
  • "The latest and most talked about feature in Yelp 2.0 for Android is augmented-reality Monocle option. Once this feature is switched on it activates a camera and a radar display appears. By using a combination of the GPS and the compass in the device one can search the surrounding areas for hotels, bars, restaurants or “everything”.
  • "Did you know that Google is doing deals with carriers to provide their on-deck search? It is true that there are financial agreements between search engines (not just Google) and both mobile phone carrier companies (ex: T-Mobile, Verizon, etc.) and handset manufacturers (ex: Samsung , LG, iPhone, etc.) The search engine agrees to provide a search engine for the default web home page included on the phone. These are generally branded with the name & logo of the search engine, so most people would think that they provide the same results as if they were searching from or but THEY DON’T. While the results appear to be based on the existing algorithm, searches performed from these start-pages will give different results that appear to preference content from the carrier or handset manufacturer."
  • "mobile browsers. First of all, they tend to use the same search engine on their mobile device as they use on their PC. Even though there are 234 million wireless subscribers in the U.S., only 10% use mobile search (which is still 23 million people). Adoption rates of mobile browsing are much higher in Europe. Finally, mobile searchers are goal-oriented: they want to get the info and get out. They don’t tend to browse or surf.

    A few general practices for optimizing your site are:

    * Keep your content brief
    * Use brief, custom titles
    * For mobile stats, check out
    * Mobile sites need to be as simple as possible to ensure compatibility among all mobile browser software."

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