Today in Tech: The new BlackBerry Z10 reviewed
Also: Facebook usage skews mobile now; how your next Tweet could become a Hollywood blockbuster.
BlackBerry, rebuilt, lives to fight another day [THE NEW YORK TIMES]
Some of BlackBerry 10’s ideas are truly ingenious. A subtle light blinks above the screen to indicate that something — a text, an e-mail message, voice mail, a Facebook post — is waiting for you. Without even pressing a physical button, you swipe up the screen; the Lock screen lifts like a drape as you slide your thumb, revealing what’s underneath. It’s fast and cool.
There are no individual app icons for Messages or Mail. Instead, all communication channels (including Facebook, Twitter and phone calls) are listed in the Hub — a master in-box list that appears at the left edge when you swipe inward. Each reveals how many new messages await and offers a one-tap jump into the corresponding app. It’s a one-stop command center that makes eminent sense.
Inside BlackBerry’s last stand [FORTUNE]
The design of the phones have been labored over. The Q10 sports a classical physical keyboard and the Z10 is more like a typical iPhone or Android with a touchscreen. The touchscreen keyboard has a heat map beneath it so that, as customers use it, the position of keys adjusts to their keystrokes—leading to fewer spelling mistakes. The software, details of which have come out in dribs and drabs, introduces new features like “peek,” which allows users to move aside the task they’re working on to glance at notifications and then quickly come back. Another feature dubbed “flow” allows users to swipe between applications, keeping many open simultaneously.
To paint a bigger picture, Facebook made $1.585 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter, an increase of 40 percent from the year prior. The majority of it came from advertising constituting $1.33 billion, or 84 percent of total revenue. The company says that the ad revenue this quarter is a 41 percent increase from the same quarter last year — it would have been 43 percent if Facebook excluded the impact of year-over-year changes in foreign exchange rates.
How Amazon trained its investors to behave [HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW]
How has Bezos done this? Well, he’s a hedge fund veteran who has always taken a skeptical view of Wall Street, treating it more as a loopy rich uncle than the efficient information processor of standard finance theory. When Uncle Wall Street (also known as Mr. Market) is in a generous mood, Bezos is always ready to take advantage by putting investment ahead of profitability. But he’s also always been ready to shift gears when the mood turns stingy.
Panagopolous’ brave teddy is just the start. In the past year, Hollywood has started to look in unexpected places for its ideas. In August 2011, a Reddit thread which posed the question of how a marine platoon transported to Roman times would fare resulted in an offer from Warner Brothers for its mastermind, James Erwin. Social networks are starting to inspire. Anything posted online is fair game.
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