This article initially misstated the price of using the TextFlow service within Box.net. It costs $9.95 a month, or $99 a year. Read the updated story here.
Here's a useful partnership: take a company that lets people compare and selectively combine multiple versions of a Microsoft Word document (TextFlow), and put it together with a company that hosts documents and has built-in communication tools (Box.net).
The partnership solves one big problem, and that's wrangling multiple versions of a file. Instead of the onus being on one editor to herd them together by e-mail, they can just have each user edit a single copy stored on Box. Those users can then save the file back as a version of the file, which an editor is able to compare--at up to seven versions at a time, from a TextFlow page within Box.
Another benefit of having Box handle the storage is that TextFlow can now save charts and images from within documents. Previously, these were stripped out in the TextFlow conversion. Users can even move them around within the document, just as if they were in Word.
This has one big effect on work flow, specifically the bit at the end, which is where TextFlow's system fell apart. Sure, it was great to speed up the edit process, but at the end, you were stuck adding these document elements back in from a previous copy.
According to Nordic River CEO Tomer Shalit, who spoke with CNET last week, this same kind of functionality, which includes the images and charts within documents, will eventually trickle down into TextFlow proper.
The only other road bump--and one Shalit anticipates will be fixed later on--is that Box's system does not allow users to select multiple files and compare them--only multiple versions of the same file. This is the exact opposite of how people use TextFlow on its own, which is where some confusion may initially crop up with long-term TextFlow users.
The new feature requires that users be paid Box business subscribers to use it, since it takes advantage of Box's file-versioning system, which is available only with the higher-end plans. It also requires being a paid user of TextFlow, which runs $9.95 a month, or $99 a year. To that end, this will be the first tool for Box users to compare different versions of the same file from within the service. Previously, users would have had to get local copies of each of these, then run them through TextFlow or CompareMyDocs.
Correction 10:26 a.m. PST: This article initially misstated the price of using the TextFlow service within Box.net. It costs $9.95 a month, or $99 a year.… Read more
Start-up Bloom Energy says it can deliver a power plant in a box. What is it and how does it work?
The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company, which is generating some serious buzz this week, will officially announce on Wednesday what it calls the "Bloom box." In an interview Sunday on CBS News' "60 Minutes," CEO K.R. Sridhar said the goal is to get businesses, and eventually consumers, off the transmission line grid and deliver power at a much lower cost with low emissions.
What is the Bloom box? It's a fuel cell. (See photo.) While that's nothing new--as Greentech Media editor Michael Kanellos says, fuel cells have been around since the 1800s--it's Bloom Energy's secret sauce that makes it special. Kanellos said that the solid oxide fuel cell patents point to a "yttria stabilized zirconium" material. This formula is used to fabricate an ink-coated floppy-disk-size ceramic tile (with an ink-based anode and cathode) made from 'beach sand." These are then stacked (see photo) into small blocks, and multiple stacks are housed in a unit about the size of a refrigerator.
Oxygen is fed into the fuel cell on one side and fuel on the other, according to the "60 Minutes" segment. The two combine in the cell to create a chemical reaction, which produces electricity. No burning or combustion. No power lines from an outside source. More here.… Read more
The following is a snippet of the transcript from a "60 Minutes" segment shown Sunday evening, as an introduction to the full video segment itself.
In the world of energy, the Holy Grail is a power source that's inexpensive and clean, with no emissions. Well over 100 start-ups in Silicon Valley are working on it, and one of them, Bloom Energy, is about to make public its invention: a little power-plant-in-a-box they want to put literally in your backyard.
You'll generate your own electricity with the box and it'll be wireless. The idea is to … Read more
There is a lot of television content available on the Internet now, both from traditional TV channels that stream their content online and channels that exist solely on the Web. We've seen quite a few programs that attempt to amalgamate all of this content into one big online TV viewer with hundreds of channels. PC Satellite TV BOX is another entry into this field, and as far as we can tell, the only thing that sets it apart from other similar programs is that it's not free.
Programs of this type are always imperfect, as they nearly always … Read more
We kick off today's episode of CNET's The 404 Podcast with a fun story about the Nestle Crunch Hotline number. The company's latest viral campaign offers a series of hidden menus within the prerecorded call center that lets callers choose between English, Spanish, and Pig Latin language options. You can also choose to hear prerecorded knock-knock jokes, "funner game options," and the weirdest feature of all, which lets you listen to the sound of bubble wrap. We attempt to call the number during the show, but the line is so popular that we keep getting busy signals, so call 1-800-295-0051 if you have time to waste after listening to our show.
Jeff also brings us an amazing deal from Dell for the new Alienware M11x. It won our Best of CES 2010 award and, judging by its size, it's comparable to a gaming Netbook. You get an 11.6-inch display and a 1.3GHz Pentium SU4100 processor inside as well as a battery with 2 hours of gaming play and 6.5 hours of standby time. Best of all, the gaming rig comes in at a base price of $799. No, we're not working on the Alienware payroll, but with portable gaming systems dropping in price, the appeal of PC gaming is bigger than ever and we thought our listeners would appreciate this deal. Check it out!Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
The company on Thursday will begin rolling out a new Adobe Flash-based file preview system that goes a long way to help keep users inside their browser. It allows users to view and interact with stored files even if they don't have the necessary software applications installed.
To a certain degree, this had already been offered for things like image files, rich text documents and MP3s. Box's new system adds compatibility for things like Photoshop … Read more
LAS VEGAS--On his first visit to CES as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Julius Genachowski on Friday reiterated key policy objectives to free up more wireless spectrum and encourage competition in the TV set-top box.
Top on the chairman's list of issues to emphasize while chatting with Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro here at 2010 CES was the need for more wireless spectrum to be used by wireless broadband providers. He said spectrum scarcity is a key issue that he faces on a daily basis as he deals with communications policy. And he said it was crucial … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Boxee is in the business of letting you watch Internet content on your TV. The company has long offered software to make that possible via third-party hardware ranging from Windows PCs to Apple TV boxes, but it now plans to launch its own hardware--the Boxee Box--in partnership with D-Link.
Boxee founder and CEO Avner Ronen has a lot to say about this powerful new trend, including advice for independent producers who can use Internet technology to "get an audience and monetize it."
I spoke with Ronen at the Showstoppers press event at CES.
Subscribe now: … Read more
When Boxee announced its first hardware product in December 2009, details were pretty scarce. But the company is using the Consumer Electronics Show to provide a more complete picture of the Boxee Box.
To recap what we already know: the funky Box is a media player that can play a wide variety of local media files, as well as a large and growing array of online content. Local files can be accessed via the SD slot or USB ports, and the list of compatible files is comprehensive: … Read more