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Murdoch hails Steve Jobs, iPad

Taiwan's Green Book unveils 'world's lightest e-book reader'
Taipei (AFP) June 3, 2010 - Taiwan's Green Book Inc. Thursday unveiled what it called the world's lightest electronic book reader, weighing just 180 grams (0.4 pounds), days after Apple launched its much-anticipated iPad. The firm's updated version of "greenbook", the first Chinese-language e-book reader that came out in late 2009, was given its first showing at Computex Taipei, Asia's largest high-tech trade show. "It is the world's lightest and is better designed to read e-books than iPad as it weighs less and can easily fit into a pocket," said Neo Wang, a vice president at Netronix Inc., Green Book's parent.

The iPad weighs about 1.5 pounds. Featuring a 15-centimetre (six-inch) screen, the new "greenbook" can store up to 30,000 books with a maximum 32 GB memory and read 8,000 pages with each full battery charge, according to the company. It is primarily designed for Chinese-language books, but can also be used for other languages. Wang said Netronix's sales had not been affected by the launch of the iPad in April. Taiwan last year announced it would invest 2.13 billion Taiwan dollars (66 million US) over five years in digital publishing in a bid to boost the 100 billion Taiwan dollars industry.
by Staff Writers
New York (AFP) June 2, 2010
Media magnate Rupert Murdoch hailed Apple chief executive Steve Jobs on Wednesday, saying there was "not much doubt" he was the best CEO in America and predicting iPad sales would hit 10 million this year.

Apple announced on Monday that it has sold two million of its tablet computers in less than two months, outdoing even the iconic iPhone on its launch. Analysts estimate the California-based firm will sell five to eight million iPads this year.

Murdoch said that while imitations were likely to abound in the coming months, Jobs "will stay out in front with a very big share of the market."

"It's really a beautiful, beautiful device -- all the things you can do with it," the complimentary News Corp. chairman and chief executive told the Fox Business Network.

News Corp. is the television network's parent company.

Murdoch, who participated with Jobs in the All Things Digital conference in the Southern California town of Rancho Palos Verdes on Tuesday, said he expected to gain at least an additional 1.1 million paying subscribers to The Wall Street Journal he owns thanks to the iPad.

The Journal already charges a similar number of people to gain access to restricted content on its website. So far, 10,000 people are reading the newspaper on their iPads, according to Murdoch.

Another 100,000 people who already buy the Journal and have it delivered at home are also using the iPad to read it.

"To introduce them to it, we're giving them that for nothing. But later on, we'll charge probably a discounted rate, if you're also buying the paper itself," he said.

In comparison, a spokesperson for The New York Times said last week that its iPad application -- entirely free of charge for now -- has been used by 300,000 people.

Asked whether he considered Jobs the best chief executive in the United States, Murdoch replied "there's not much doubt about that.

"He's got such incredible focus. He's got such power inspiring the people around him who work for him. And, you know, it's -- it's a highly, highly disciplined company... and it makes beautiful products," he added.

On Tuesday, Jobs said that "any democracy depends on a free, healthy press," a thought echoed by Murdoch, who said he was convinced that tools like the portable tablet computers would not spell the end of the press.

"Most people over 50 love the tactile experience of reading a real newspaper," the Australian-American media czar said.

"But it doesn't mean that you won't also have this or take it with you or read it on the train or whatever -- or use it for your e-mail or whatever. Or give it to your kids to play games on."

earlier related report
Comedy supplants news as most popular online video: Pew
Washington (AFP) June 3, 2010 - More than half of US adults have watched video online and comedy clips have replaced news as the most popular video on the Internet, according to a survey released Thursday.

The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project found that 69 percent of adult Internet users, or 52 percent of all US adults, have used the Web to watch or download video.

More US adults are also putting their own content online.

Fourteen percent of adult Internet users said they have uploaded a video online, an increase from eight percent in 2007, with 52 percent saying they shared their video on MySpace or Facebook and 49 percent on YouTube.

Fifty percent of adult Internet users said they have viewed comedy videos on the Internet, up from 31 percent in 2007, and 43 percent said they have viewed news videos, up from 37 percent.

Thirty-eight percent said they have viewed educational videos on the Web, up from 22 percent in 2007, and 32 percent said they have watched movies or television shows, twice as many as three years ago.

Political videos were also increasingly popular. Thirty percent said they have watched political videos online, up from 15 percent three years ago.

The number of Web users ready to pay for video content online remains small.

Only one in 10 video watchers, or seven percent of all Internet users, said they have paid to watch or download a video, up from four percent in 2007.

"We are seeing a surge in online video watching," said Kristen Purcell, a Pew associate director for research.

She said the increase was being "driven by a combination of broadband access, the increasing use of social networking sites and the popularity of video-sharing sites."

"Untold numbers of websites now showcase online video as part of their content," she added.

Eighteen- to 29-year-olds were the leading video watchers, according to the poll.

The survey of 1,005 adults was conducted June 18-21 last year and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

It was released a day after Internet tracking firm comScore reported that more than 30.3 billion videos were watched online in the United States in April by nearly 178 million Americans.

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Apple chief believes people will pay for online news
Rancho Palos Verdes, California (AFP) June 1, 2010
Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said he believes that democracy hinges on a healthy press and that people will pay for news delivered on iPads and other Internet-linked gadgets. "I don't want to see us descend into a nation of bloggers," Jobs said Tuesday during an on-stage interview at an All Things Digital conference in the Southern California coastal town of Rancho Palos Verdes. "One ... read more

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