Tag Archives: Instapaper

PTJ 202 News: Chew On This

Who says you shouldn’t release new products in August? Google’s all out with the shiny, releasing the final version of its Android 7.0 operating system to compatible Nexus devices. [Sorry about that, Nexus 7 owners.] For a deep review of the new system, check out what Ars Technica has to say. (Hint: Ars Technica has a lot to say.)

Yes, the month of August seems to make everyone want to shop, and not just for Trapper Keepers and sturdy jeans for school. Pinterest just bought the streamlined reader app Instapaper. Microsoft has acquired the firm Genee, which specializes in intelligent scheduling coordination and optimization, or rather, letting bots run your calendar and send you reminders. (In a blog post, Microsoft said it plans to use the Genee technology in its Office 365 suite.) Microsoft is also getting closer to Lenovo, as the China-based hardware company announced plans to preload Microsoft Office mobile apps on certain Android-based devices it sells.

babsAnd Apple’s been shopping too, acquiring Gliimpse, a startup specializing in personal health-data management. Apple also made news recently with the decision to replace the revolver emoji in the coming iOS 10 system with a squirt gun to artistically make a comment about gun violence. The iOS 10 system itself is expected out by the next month and if a certain diva is to be believed, it might just be on Friday, September 30th. Actress and recording artist Barbra Streisand told NPR that she personally complained to Apple CEO Tim Cook about the way the Siri virtual assistant pronounces her name and he agreed to fix it.

No official word on when the annual fall Apple Special Event will be slurping up all the media bandwidth next month. Some observers like WhenIsKeynote.com are going with September 6th, the day after Labor Day, while others predict it’ll be sometime around September 13th. Major iPhone changes are not expected this year and some blogs are already skipping ahead to 2017 with the breathless anticipation of an overhauled handset design, including a curved display not unlike the Samsung Edge.

echoAmazon is looking to grab some more customers by going cheap. The ReCode site hears the übermegaeverything store is looking to launch a cheap streaming music service that only works on its Amazon Echo speaker assistant and may cost about $5 a month.

The state of Massachusetts is taking a stand of its own in favor of a taxi-cab industry that’s been taking it on the chin from ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. As the Reuters news agency reports, the Bay State plans to levy a 20-cent tax per trip on a ride-hailing service and a nickel of that will go right to the taxi industry until the year 2021.

Also taking a stand: Dozens of human rights and civil liberties organizations who have signed a letter protesting the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed plan to screen the social media accounts for foreign visitors to the country. The comment period for the proposal ended on this Monday.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Sony is getting into downsizing mode with a thinner design for its PlayStation 4 console called the PS Slim.  Sony is said to be planning a media event on September 7th to share the news.

tux25This week marks the 25th anniversary of the Linux operating system kernel. On August 25, 1991, one Linus Benedict Torvalds posted a message in a Usenet group announcing a little project and suffice it to say, some people paid attention.  Here’s to the next 25, Penguin Nation.

The enthusiasm for the Pokémon Go mobile game seems to be fading a bit. Does Pikachu get a third act?

Twitter has finally added that eye-soothing dark night mode to the iOS version of its app. Android users have been enjoying the feature since last month.

The once hot Gawker website shut down for good this week. Gawker’s founder Nick Denton put up one final post.

And finally, after two years in the wilds of space, one of the two Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory spacecraft, known as STEREO-B, has reestablished contact with NASA after going silent in October 2014. The agency’s website explains how the bond was broken, in case you were wondering. NASA engineers had been trying to get back in touch with the craft for the past 22 months and were finally able to establish a lock on STEREO-B’s downlink carrier on August 21st — thanks to the Deep Space Network array of giant radio antennas. Don’t you go running off again, STEREO-B, you hear?

stereoB

 

(Hopefully) Helpful Hint: A Confederation of Articles

Yes, there is a cubic buttload of stuff to read online, but you don’t have to skip that long article that looks sort of interesting because you’re slammed with work (or life) at the moment. Just remember your friendly Reading List feature or extension in your Web browser. With a read-later tool, you can quickly bookmark an article to a special area of your browser — and get to it when you actually have the time to sit down and read.

listIf you’ve never used a save-for-later extension, they’re easy to add to your browser. Your operating system may even have tools in place already. For example, Apple’s Safari browser has had a Reading List built into its OS X and iOS versions for the past few years. When you find an article you want to stash for later, tap the Share icon and then tap Save to Reading List. (On the Mac keyboard, press Command-Shift-D to add the open page to the Reading List.) To get to your saved articles in Safari, click or tap the Bookmarks icon and then select the Reading List icon, which looks like a pair of glasses. If you’re hooked into the same iCloud account on all your devices, your saved articles appear in the Safari Reading List on all your screens, so you can save an article on your iPhone on Monday and read it that night on your iPad.

Windows 8 has a similar Reading List app that you can get for your system, but even if your operating system doesn’t have such a tool built in, you can always add one on with a browser extension. These services usually require you to sign up for an account and then you can sync your saved articles across all your reading screens.

instapaperPocket is one such add-in, with versions for Chrome and Firefox that can sync articles to your mobile device. The Instapaper app (shown here) works for Android, Kindle and iOS,  and has desktop browser extensions to save articles to your Instapaper account. Readability, with its Android and iOS apps, is another comparable service. As a bonus, many of these services even offer a “reading view” that strips out all the clutter of ads and toolbars on the original page for distraction-free reading.

You have plenty of options in this area, so look around until you find one you like. And once you do, start marking those articles. You can even save stuff throughout the week and then go back to your long reads — on a quiet weekend morning over a cup of caffeine. Think of it as your own personally curated weekly reader and the civilized way to keep up with the world on the Web.