Here’s the latest action:
Sony launches a $400 electronic book, newspaper and magazine reader — The aluminum-bodied Reader Daily Edition, priced at $399, has a 7″ touchscreen and connects to Sony’s e-bookstore through AT&T’s 3G network, or through a local Wi-Fi router. There’ll be no monthly charges for the wireless service. The display can be viewed either vertically or horizontally. Its black-and-white display has 16 levels of grayscale color designed to look more like paper than like a PC or phone display.
Meebo releases share-it bar for content sites — Go to TechCrunch and look at the bottom of your browser window. Do you see the button that says “Share Page?” Click it. Whoa! Meebo pops up big friendly buttons to share your favorite MG Siegler posts on Facebook, Twitter, IM or email. The appeal of Meebo’s button is that it will be easy to find and click on content sites, yet it stays out of the way of the content by not putting buttons next to every single post.
Brazen Careerist launches a kind of LinkedIn for people who find LinkedIn stupefyingly dull — Jason Kincaid from TechCrunch (they were on a roll today) hits the gist of the new job-hopper site: “CEO Penelope Trunk says that neither LinkedIn nor Facebook is doing a particularly good job catering to Generation Y, at least in a professional network sense, and that while there are some other sites that have tried to tackle the problem, they’ve done so by trying to cater to employers first and using them to attract a community. In contrast, Trunk says that Brazen Careerist is focusing on building a community of young workers first, and that the employers will come to them.”
As I wrote in Wired last month, economists and cultural researchers long ago identified that what makes Silicon Valley special– in the larger sense of the tech startup industry — is that its workers feel self-empowered to come and go among employers as they please. Generation Y seems to have adopted that attitude over a much broader spread of workers.
Disqus, our comment system, splits its product into two separate products — Disqus Comments and Disqus Profiles are complementary, extended versions of the previous Disqus comment system found at the bottom of VentureBeat stories. Comments is the embedded commenting system you may have already seen or used on sites including ours. Profiles is a centralized hub that lets you find and jump to any Disqus-equipped website where you’ve ever left a comment. You can click the ones that embarrass you, and they’ll be converted to anonymous comments. The system can also find posts you made using your Facebook or Twitter logins. What’s not to like?
Chinese social networks sure look a lot like Facebook and Twitter — According to a study done in China by NetPop Research, China’s broadband-equipped population is making us in the U.S. look bad. They skew younger than America’s users, spend more time online, and participate more in user-generated content of all kinds. The top social networks look conspicuously like Facebook and Twitter in Simplified Chinese, yet they outdraw the Chinese versions of those sites. Netpop researcher Grace Han Yao helped me report on her findings for the New York Times.