Opinion: Why Google wants Google Contributor to succeed

News broke out earlier this week (see Techmeme) that Google is testing a new ad-alternative program with a small number of high profile websites. The ad-alternative program allows the regular readers of those websites to pay a small monthly fee ($1 to $3) to make the ads go away. Instead, those users will either see a thank you box (in place of the banner ads) or nothing (perhaps depending on screen size and formatting). Some see this more cynically, an attempt by Google to point out to the world that although people hate ads with a passion, they hate paying for content even more (see Venture Beat).

Personally I think this is a legit experiment, and Google actually has a lot to benefit if this catches on. Why do I think so? Look at some of the websites that are part of the beta: Mashable, The Onion, and imgur. It is a cross-section of tech-savvy users who are quite fond of those websites. The experiment is not set up to fail.

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New Laptops at IFA 2014: ASUS, Toshiba, Lenovo, HP, Acer and trio of Chromies

Smartphones were the main attraction at the 2014 IFA in Berlin, but we also got a number of laptops introduced, even if they are mostly flying under the radar. The 2-in-1s trend continued and the Chromies are multiplying like rabbits. Let’s take a look…

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Opinion: Why Amazon needs the Instant Video app on Google Play

Opinion time! Amazon has a lot of apps for mobile devices, and historically they have been putting their most important apps in as many platforms as possible. Except for the Instant Video app. That app is available for the Kindle Fire devices and for iPads and Roku boxes and BluRay players and such, but there’s still no official launch for the Android proper store, Google Play. Why is that?

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A Day with the new Kindle Unlimited service

So Amazon ushered out their new monthly Kindle Unlimited ebook subscription service, or in street terms, a Netflix for eBooks type of a service. I managed to resist for most of the day on Friday, but since they are giving a 30 day free trial, I jumped right in on Saturday morning.

First Impressions
My first impression was akin to an all you can eat buffet of ebooks experience. Especially for non-fiction reference and how-to type of books. Because there’s only so much fiction one can read, and only so much books you can keep in your head in parallel. However, with non-fiction, be they learning or DIY type of books, you only need to read or cross-reference them as needed. So you can pick up ebooks on hobbies, on work related matters, on health related matters, and so on. It’s a good thing this is a zero calorie buffet 🙂

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Opinion: Why is Lenovo buying Motorola and trying to get IBM’s servers?

Lenovo is now buying Motorola from Google. Well, not the whole company, but many of the hardware and consumer facing parts of the company that it would not be prudent for Google to own as they are the custodians of Android and ChromeOS. In other words, don’t compete directly (at least not too much) with your major hardware manufacturers.

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