Weekly Wrapup, 18-22 August 2008
It's the weekend, so time to review the week's web tech news, reviews and analysis on ReadWriteWeb. On the product side we looked at the first reported Android phone, checked out the winners of the Firefox 3 Extensions contest, reviewed Microsoft's new 3D online photo app, dabbled with screencasting, and reported on Pandora's imminent demise. On the trends side we tried to define our perfect online music service, investigated whether FriendFeed's popularity is fading, checked out 10 emerging Web platforms, and polled you on the most exciting web apps on the Web today. We also introduced you to ReadWriteWeb's new feature: the Enterprise Channel!
First Android Phone Approved By FCC
This week, the news broke that the HTC Dream, the first handset to run Android (aka "the Google Phone") has been approved by the FCC. In the documents provided, it appears that we have now a release date for this highly anticipated phone: November 10th, 2008. So what will the HTC Dream offer? We take a look at some of the details and unknowns surrounding this device.
Mozilla Announces Best New Firefox 3 Extensions
Mozilla just wrapped up its Extend Firefox 3 contest and, after reviewing over 100 entries, its team of judges has announced the winners for Best Add-ons, Best Updated Add-on, and Best Music Add-on. In the Best New Add-on category, the winners were Pencil by Dương Thành An, Tagmarks by Felipe Tassario Gomes, and HandyTag by Rémi Szymkowiak, while the Best Music Add-on category was won by Fire.fm from Jorge Villalobos and Jose Enrique Bolaños. The contest was meant to showcase extensions that made use of the new capabilities Mozilla introduced in Firefox 3 and managed to combine this with excellent usability and the use of open standards.
Microsoft Launches Photosynth: Your Pictures in 3D
This week, Microsoft publicly launched Photosynth, its long awaited Live Labs product that allows you to stitch your photos together to create a detailed 3D environment. While most of the computation is done on your desktop, the images are uploaded to Microsoft's servers and Microsoft is giving all Photosynth users a total of 20GB of storage for their collections. The rendering and browsing is done with the help of Seadragon, another Live Labs product.
Create a Tour of Web Pages with Agglom
Sharing web pages in a conversation shouldn't be as tricky as it is. Sometimes you're on the phone, or speaking to a group of people and there isn't a handy way to bring people along with you from page to page and then let them have easy access to those pages after the conversation is through. Enter Agglom, a simple little service built by Italian developer Enrico Foschi. It's a Firefox plug-in that will make sharing a list of links far easier than it's been before. Agglom is a remarkably easy way to create a "slide show" of live links that you can share with other people. See the screencast demo we recorded below.
Pandora On the Verge of Closing Shop
Pandora is an internet radio service that allows you to create your own radio station based on songs and artists that you like. While you can't necessarily pick and choose what you'll hear on the service, you can fine-tune your radio station's tastes by giving the songs that Pandora recommends a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Pandora on the iPhone is one of the best applications for streaming music and finding new tunes. So, what will the service's 1 million plus users do if Pandora pulls its own plug?
SEE MORE WEB PRODUCTS COVERAGE IN OUR PRODUCTS CATEGORY
What Would the Perfect Streaming Music Service Look Like?
Pandora's on the ropes, Imeem is taking off, Grooveshark relaunched today with recommendations and a long list of cool features, Blip.fm threatens to make Muxtape look like old news - the streaming music market online is expanding and contracting faster than a stadium rocker's pupils. What if the perfect service rose from the noise and gave you exactly the user experience you wanted? What would such a service look like?
See also: RIAA Takes Down Muxtape, Will Future Solutions Please Hurry Up & Arrive?
FriendFeed: Hotter Than Ever or Starting to Fade? (POLL)
No matter how you feel about FriendFeed, you can't argue with the fact that it has been one of most popular services among the early adopter set this year. For social media enthusiasts, the site fulfills a need to be always sharing, always active, always involved. In some cases, this led to a self-imposed information overload scenario - there was so much good stuff going on at FriendFeed that it was hard to turn away. But then, as people discovered the service's ability to hide items, they were able to better craft the FriendFeed (over)flow to their needs.
What do you think of FriendFeed?
10 Promising Web Platforms
In this post we reviewed 10 promising developer platforms for the Web. We're not talking about the obvious ones either, like Facebook, iPhone, OpenSocial or even Twitter. Those have been covered extensively already. This list features some of our favorite 'lesser known' web developer platforms. There are many other excellent developer platforms that we didn't mention, so as always please use the comments to point out your own favorites.
What Three Web Apps Excite You Most?
Lachlan Hardy this week twittered an interesting question: What are the three things online that are exciting you most? Lachlan was asked this question as part of a newspaper article in the Sydney Morning Herald. His own answers were interesting, but he also got a great response from commentors on his blog. So we thought we'd ask the same question (well, slightly re-worded) here on ReadWriteWeb. There are literally thousands of great web apps to choose from, many of which have been profiled here on RWW. Check out the comments to this post for a lot of great suggestions...
SEE MORE WEB TRENDS COVERAGE IN OUR TRENDS CATEGORY
NEW! RWW Enterprise Channel
This week we introduced a new feature to ReadWriteWeb: a special 'channel' devoted to Enterprise web apps and trends. Bernard Lunn is the editor of this channel and he kicked it off with two compelling posts...
Enterprise 2.0: The Nature of the Firm
The break-up of behemoth, vertically integrated enterprises commenced in the 1970's, got a boost from junk bond financing in the 1980's, and accelerated in the 1990's with globalization. Now, late in the 2000's, Social Media (aka Web 2.0) is adding another gear that will accelerate the fundamental restructuring of the enterprise. This is a big story. That is why ReadWriteWeb is dedicating a new "channel" to Enterprise 2.0.
See also: 11 Things Startups Should Know About Enterprise 2.0
What is your position in the Enterprise 2.0 market. Do you work in IT in a large Enterprise? Do you work for a large incumbent Enterprise IT vendor? Do you work for a startup that is going to change the Enterprise world? Are you writing about this rapidly emerging market? Do you have unique insights or research to share? We would love to hear from you in the comments to these posts and maybe as a Guest Author. if you're interested in writing for ReadWriteWeb's Enterprise Channel.
You can subscribe now to our special RSS feed for the Enterprise channel.
That's a wrap for another week! Enjoy your weekend everyone.