One of our biggest complaints with the Apple TV was the dearth of HD video content. The product is capable of streaming 720p high-definition video, but to date, all of the movies and TV shows at Apple's iTunes Store are encoded at a "near DVD" resolution of 480p. But HD content has finally arrived on iTunes--and it's free. The Washington Post announced today that its online HD video podcast--which is shot in 720p high-definition--will now be available through iTunes.
We downloaded the two most recent episodes of the podcast--Edwards Family Values as well as Contamination … Read more
Peepel is a new Web-based office suite that's managed entirely within one browser window to emulate the feel of a desktop workspace. Included is a word processor, a spreadsheet application, and a calculator. Multiple instances of each application can be run at the same time, and all share the same tool bar (which takes design cues from the ribbon in Office 2007). The idea is to emulate the desktop experience, which is aided with the equivalent of a central start button to launch the applications.
To help you work within the confines of your browser, there are a few handy tools, like a workspace "save" feature that lets you organize and save a group of files, so you can open and save them as a group. The function is similar to Adobe Photoshop's custom workspace feature. There's also a button to cascade and group together applications according to their type.
Files are saved in the OpenDocument format, which will work with OpenOffice (but not Microsoft's Word or Excel applications). Each file is limited to 2MB, and files can be saved to your hard drive or to a virtual drive on the service. (We couldn't track down information on the storage limit. ) If you're crafty, you can also save as a PDF file by using the print function.
The one thing missing from the otherwise slick interface is the capability to collaborate with others--one of the benefits and standard features of major Web based word processors and spreadsheet tools like Zoho, and Google Docs and Spreadsheets. According to the site's FAQ (PDF file), sharing will be enabled later.
The Peepel creators have put together an explanatory video (sans audio), which I've embedded below. For some screenshots of Peepel in action, click the "read more" link.
[via Startup Squad]
Recently, the San Francisco Chronicle ran a story about how Yelp had empowered local restaurant-goers and helped them improve several local eating establishments with their constructive reviews. One thing that caught my eye was the mention of Yelp's sponsorship program, where local businesses can pay for premier placement in Yelp's search results and "sponsor" favorable user reviews so they appear at the top of the list.
The sponsorship program has been around since early 2006, and many businesses have participated in it as a way to enhance their identity on the service. The sponsorship package includes … Read more
Have you ever wanted to create your own Google map? Maybe a top 10 list, or some of your favorite eateries. There are ways to do this with Ning and Yelp, but what if you really wanted to make changes later down the road and have those updates pushed out to anyone viewing your map immediately? Google has put together an experimental wizard for creating your own Google Maps mashup using data from Google Spreadsheets. The tool uses APIs from both Google Maps and Google Spreadsheets, but you won't have to know a lick of code, or anything super … Read more
After I covered Weebly, I got a note from the creator of Jimdo, another easy-to-use Web site creator tool. I took it for a quick spin, and I'm somewhat impressed. It has a lot of very strong features, it makes pretty sites, and it's free.
The service is especially good at handling photos. It does a great job displaying photos that you upload to it, and it also integrates beautifully with Flickr. There are good options for how the galleries are displayed, and when you zoom into a picture, it displays over the page instead of taking you … Read more
Complain all you want about the sad growth of the sound-bite culture. You can't stop it. Twitter has even made sound bites a personal publishing medium. Here's my life, it says, in 139-character chunks.
And now you can get real books delivered to you via text messages. Or at least their pithiest quotes. Moka, launching today, will send you a blurb every day from your choice of self-help, business, philosophy, or religious texts.
I hate this. It takes all the heart out of a book. But wait. I love this. Because a lot of self-help books are really … Read more
Topix, a news aggregation service that's been around for several years, launched a new site today, at Topix.com (previously the site was Topix.net). The service continues to pull local news from a variety of local sources, but with today's release, citizen editors can have a much stronger hand in the site.
On the new Topix.com, users apply for the job of editor for a topic or a community and once approved (as with Citizendium, it's not automatic), they can add stories, move stories around on the page, and remove the stories that the Topix &… Read more
We just got the word on a new social network called UltraSoundd. It's aimed at unborn children who want to blog their lives and post pictures and videos of their dwelling space to share with friends. Other social networks have similar efforts, but with their parents managing the profile and posting updates. Ultrasoundd lets the kid do all the work. The site just secured a $2 million round of Series A funding from Gerber's parent company Novartis.
To set up an Ultrasoundd account, parents need simply register with the site and download a small, 130KB Java application to … Read more
RightRound, which had a presentation table at SF Beta last night, was showing off a new product it's working on for people in bands: BandBot. It's a one-stop shop for managing a band's online presence. Initially it will manage an e-mail list, a Web site, and a band's footprint on a few social network sites. So all a band will have to do is update its info in one place. Then its Web site (under its own name, e.g., www.thebandthatsucks.com), MySpace page, and other social networks will all get updated at once.
Unfortunately, … Read more