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Newsbytes From The World Wide Web
|© Jim Edwards - All Rights reserved
** Google Desktop Live **
Google's free desktop search utility made it out of the "beta" stage and users can now download a finished 1.0 version from http://desktop.google.com for free.
With improvements over the "beta" version released in 2004, the finished version not only allows you to search your own computer for Microsoft Office documents, emails, and instant messaging history, but now supports music, video, images, PDF files, and the Firefox and Netscape Web browsers.
In their never-ending quest to make their name synonymous with "search," Google's Desktop Search utility makes a bold step towards dominating the desktop search market.
Available for Windows XP and Windows 2000, Google's desktop search remains miles ahead of MSN and Yahoo!, who released their own beta version desktop search utilities several months after Google.
Google also chose to create an environment friendly to third-party software developers by encouraging them to develop "plug ins" that expand the capabilities of their Desktop Search application.
By allowing others to add their "two-cents" to the program, Google will further cement their position as the leader in this emerging field of "desktop" search.
** MP3 Player Wars Boiling Over **
In response to Apple's iPod Shuffle, a low priced flash memory MP3 audio player, Sony announced plans to offer a comparably low priced MP3 player in the $100 to $150 range.
This in response to complaints from consumers that Sony's past MP3 player offerings rated too expensive next to the feature-rich iPpod.
Consumers can expect several developments in response to Sony's entry into the "Under $150" MP3 player market.
First, increased use of the portable players will cause related businesses selling the actual MP3's and accessories to experience continued growth, both online and offline.
Second, a new trend known as "pod casting" is getting set to explode.
"Pod casting" involves content providers (radio dj's, entrepreneurs, columnists, musicians) creating MP3 audio content and then making it super simple for listeners to automatically download these "broadcasts" online and listen to them at their convenience.
The fact that consumers can now get their hands on the equipment to download and listen to these broadcasts so cheaply means a whole world of amateur dj's and talk show hosts is about to hit the cyber-airwaves.
Though you've heard rumblings about it, and people are grasping around in the dark trying to get a grip on how to implement it, now you can actually plan to see and hear about the widespread use of "pod casting" in the very near future since a potential audience of listeners with the right equipment is now set to grow.
** Associated Press Offers RSS Feeds **
The Associated Press now offers RSS feeds of their top news stories. RSS (Real Simple Syndication) makes it possible for content providers to offer instant updates to their readers without sending email.
Anyone with an RSS reader such as FeedDemon (www.feeddemon.com) can receive and read RSS feeds.
Traditionally, the Associated Press marketed their services exclusively to newspapers and online sources such as Yahoo! News.
Now, by offering their RSS feeds directly to consumers at www.ap.org, the Associated Press is obviously seeking to bypass online news sources and go directly to the consumer.
The fact that the world's oldest and largest news source has chosen to start offering content this way demonstrates quite clearly that RSS is fast coming of age as an acceptable mass-communication medium and that widespread consumer adoption is imminent.
Soon, there'll be an RSS reader on every computer desktop and the use of RSS will become as widespread as email.
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