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Archives: February 2013

Rotten Tomatoes For Books on Kickstarter

Amy Holman Edelman hopes to raise $10,000 on Kickstarter for Rabble, a website with aggregated book reviews from trusted and verified sources. The site aims to be like rottentomatoes.com or metacritic.com for books with reviews of both traditionally published and self-published titles.

Here is more  about the project: “Rabble’s team, made up of zealous and intrepid book-lovers (and many of the same people who brought you IndieReader), will scour the publishing landscape, pull a sentence or two from each review (pre-vetted to insure its credibility, with a link to the complete review source) and come up with a consensus for a final Rabble score—to insure that you, the busy reader, don’t have to.” We’ve embedded a video of the project above for you to check out.

Idreambooks.com, which launched last summer, also aggregates reviews from professional book critics including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Mediabistro Course

Freelancing 101 Online Boot Camp

Freelancing 101Starting April 28, this online event will show you the best way to start your freelancing career, from the first steps of self-advertising and marketing, to building your schedule and managing clients. By the end of this online boot camp you will have a plan for making a profitable career as a freelancer, and the skill set to devote yourself to it. Register now! 

Viddy App Update Lets Users Shoot 30 Second Videos

The video sharing app Viddy has totally revamped its iOS app in the latest update, adding new video effects, new music tracks and the ability to create videos up to 30 seconds long.

Besides being able to make videos that are twice as long as before, Viddy 2.0 also lets you pause recording so that you can essentially do edits in the camera while you are filming (like Vine). The update also includes tools for changing the brightness/contrast and audio volume control tools. There is even a new tool to help make stop-motion easier using toggle-based frame rate adjustments.

The update also includes new ways to explore the site by adding things like geotags, curating video categories, and highlighting active hashtags. The app has also begun a verified user program for celebrities, influencers and brands, and they have made YouTube integration easier.

App Development Has Created 466,000 Jobs Since 2007

The design company and app marketplace Wix has created an infographic exploring “The App Economy.”

According to the report, the booming app marketplace has created 466,000 new jobs for app developers since 2007. The long chart compares app marketplaces, salaries and other vital statistics for media professionals hoping to explore the universe of apps.

We’ve embedded the complete chart below–what do you think?

Read more

Snaptee Lets You Design Your Own T-shirt With Your iPhone

Snaptee lets you create your own, unique t-shirt using a simple smartphone app. The service is a faster, simpler version of Café Press.

You can use your camera or any photo from your phone to create a graphic. The app allows you to add a filter and text to complete your design. Snaptee is a social app, so you can share your creations on Facebook or Twitter once you are done. Create and own your own t-shirt for $19.99 or purchase someone else’s for $24.99.

Snaptee creations can be shared to the world in the app’s gallery and online on Snaptee’s website. Read more

U.S. Students Encouraged to Develop Apps Under New House Bill

As part of an initiative to get U.S. kids to compete with other nations in math and science, The House of Representatives has passed a resolution that is challenging U.S. students to develop apps for competition.

The Academic Competition Resolution of 2013 explains, “Rapid technological change means the competition will evolve over time and will challenge students in specialized areas of science, technology, engineering and math to ensure maximum participation. Because of the importance of computer science, it would be appropriate to initially challenge students to develop so-called ‘apps’ for mobile, tablet, and computer platforms.’

CNET has more: “Details need to be worked out by the Committee on House Administration so, currently, we don’t know when the competition will commence, but it is modeled after the successful Congressional Arts Competition that encourages high school students in congressional districts to submit art work with winning entries displayed in the capitol building for a year.”

Create Floor Plans of Your House with MagicPlan

Redesigning your living room no longer requires a tape measure thanks to a new app from Sensopia. The company’s app, MagicPlan, is a free iOS tool that lets you create virtual floor plans of your home using photos that you take with your phone.

Using these photos, MagicPlan measures your rooms and creates virtual drawings of your floor plan just by taking pictures. You can save PDF, JPG and DXF files of the floor plans, or publish an interactive floor plan online. These floor plans are available as in-app purchases beginning at $2.99.

California Home and Design took a test drive of the app:

Admittedly, it takes a few tries to get used to the overlay images and grids as you rotate in the center of a room, but the plans are correctible, and we love that you get the dimensions of walls, doors and windows in addition to the general layout. The app does not do curves (yet) and new construction is easier than vintage, plus MagicPlan seems easier to use on an iPad than an iPhone. We wouldn’t buy a sofa without it.

Barnes & Noble’s Nook Revenues Down 26% in Fiscal Q3

Barnes & Noble reported today that its Nook business earned revenues of $316 million for its fiscal third quarter (which ended January 26, 2013), a 26 percent decrease from the same time period last year.

The company attributed the loss to a decrease in device sales, inventory charges and promotional allowances. While the Nook business includes both device sales and digital content sales, the company did report that digital content sales were up 6.8 percent over the prior year.

Here is more from the press release: “In response to the device sales shortfall over the holiday season, NOOK is calibrating its business model and has implemented a cost reduction program that the company projects will significantly reduce NOOK’s expenses.”

 

Starbucks Customers Can Now Consume 15 Free New York Times Articles Each Day

The New York Times is lowering the pay walls for coffee drinkers by partnering with popular coffee chain Starbucks. Users logged into the chain’s wi-fi can get access to 15 free articles each day – a massive amount of words per cup in my opinion.

It’s not a complete free for all though, only articles from Top News, Business, Tecnology, Most-Emailed, and daily special print sections will be available. Jim Romenesko quickly pointed out that he’s been using the Time Readers to get free content for ages, so that’s worth trying if you don’t want to pay for your news. There are also plenty of other ways to get free access to various NY Times content, but why not just hop over to Starbucks and enjoy some overly sugared lattes and charge your smartphone while you read The NYTimes, The Economist, and The Wall Street Journal on Starbucks Digital Network?

Outbox, an App that Digitizes Your Snailmail

Outbox is a $4.99 per month subscription service that retrieves all of your physical mail 3 times each week, scans all of the papers, and shreds them before recycling. The digital files are available for you to peruse from your iPhone, iPad, or computer at anytime. You can also choose to have any mail re-delivered to you and Outbox will bring them to your door each week.

The company has more stringent checks than USPS, and its shredding system ensures that your documents are discarded safely with $1 million in identity theft protection. If you are a frequent traveler, you no longer have to get a neighbor to retrieve you mail while you are away. Outbox can also send your favorite magazines to friends for sharing while you are away.

The best part about Outbox is the ability to unsubscribe to magazines and junkmail. This service alone can un-clutter your mailbox and make receiving mail much more enjoyable. Outbox’s app comes with great organizing tools so you can separate your mail into separate folders or start to-do lists based on deadlines.
Read more

Candy Crush Saga Rejoins Top Android Apps List

King.com’s Candy Crush Saga app has joined the top free Android apps list this week at No. 8, according to research from Google Play. The candy-themed video game is a puzzle adventure that aims to be as addictive as sugar.

Below, we’ve listed the top free Android apps of the week. The list links to Google Play’s research about the individual apps, including user reviews.

As part of Mediabistro’s Media App Summit which took place last year, we spotlight the top free apps every week–helping our readers discover, enjoy and analyze successful content. Read more

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