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Google eBooks reader to debut in US
by Staff Writers
San Francisco (AFP) July 11, 2011

The first electronic book reader designed to tap into Google's vast online library will debut in the United States on Sunday.

A Story HD e-reader made by South Korea-based electronics firm iriver will be priced at $140 when it becomes available at US retail chain Target on July 17, according to Google Books product manager Pratip Banerji.

"The Story HD is a new milestone for us, as iriver becomes the first manufacturer to launch an e-reader integrated with Google eBooks," Banerji said in a blog post.

"It includes over-the-air access to hundreds of thousands of Google eBooks for sale and more than three million for free," he continued.

Story HD tablets let users wirelessly access digitized works at Google eBooks. The devices feature keyboards for typing search terms and "e-ink" screens that promise crisp lettering akin to that in paper books.

Google launched its online eBooks shop and library in December, making digital works accessible through Web browsers as well as smartphones or tablets powered by Android or Apple iOS programs.

earlier related report
More than a million Twitter "apps" registered
San Francisco (AFP) July 11, 2011 - Twitter on Monday announced that the number of applications registered at the popular microblogging service has topped a million.

Word of the milestone came as the San Francisco-based startup launched a new website at dev.twitter.com for software developers interested in tailoring fun, hip or functional programs for Twitter.

"Application developers play a fundamental role in helping people get the best out of Twitter," the firm said in a blog post. "Apps help people understand and make the most of Twitter."

Third-party applications tailored for Twitter range from games and picture posting programs to software tools for mining trends or other information from the flood of terse text messages fired off around the world each day.

A new Twitter application is registered every 1.5 seconds, with the number of "apps" soaring from 150,000 a year ago, according to the startup.

Founded in 2006, more than 200 million people are reported to use the service for sharing news, thoughts, pictures and more in text messages of 140 or fewer characters.

A recent study by the Pew Research Center said 13 percent of online US adults use Twitter, up from eight percent in November 2010.

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More than a third of US adults own smartphones: study
San Francisco (AFP) July 11, 2011 - A Pew Research Center study released on Monday indicated that 35 percent of US adults own smartphones as the Internet is increasingly being accessed using gadgets on the go.

A quarter of US smartphone owners claimed to do most of their online browsing from mobile devices, according to the study conducted from April 26 to May 22 of this year.

The research found that 35 percent of smartphone owners had handsets powered by Google-backed Android software, while iPhone and Blackberry devices were each used by 24 percent of those interviewed.

Android smartphones were common among young people and African-Americans. Blackberry and iPhone users tended to have relatively high income and education levels, according to the study.

Overall, smartphones were owned by the financially well-off, college graduates, non-whites, and people younger than 45 years old, the research concluded.

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Apple fires back in patent war with Samsung
San Francisco (AFP) July 6, 2011
Apple escalated its legal fight with Samsung by asking the US International Trade Commission (USITC) to block imports of some of the South Korean firm's smartphones and tablet computers. In a filing Tuesday, Apple asked the USITC to look into its complaint that Samsung is infringing on the California-based company's patents in "electronic digital media devices" including its Galaxy lines of ... read more

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