Home Weekly Wrapup: Smart Cards, Android, eReader Pricing, And More…

Weekly Wrapup: Smart Cards, Android, eReader Pricing, And More…

In this edition of the Weekly Wrapup – our newsletter summarizing the top stories of the week – we review the state of smart cards around the world, update you on the latest Augmented Reality news, ask whether eReaders are being priced too high, analyze Google’s Chrome OS browser plans, present our hands-on impressions of an Android phone, and more. We also check in on our two new channels: ReadWriteEnterprise (devoted to ‘enterprise 2.0’ trends and products) and ReadWriteStart (dedicated to profiling startups and entrepreneurs).

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Web Trends

Hong Kong’s Octopus Card: Utility Outweighs Privacy Concerns

This week we looked at Smart Cards. We profiled Japan’s cutting edge Suica Card, London’s Oyster Card, and a widely used smart card that has been in service since 1997: the Octopus Card in Hong Kong. Octopus is used as a form of electronic payment in a wide variety of public transport, shops, restaurants, car parks and more. Indeed the Octopus has become an all-purpose identification system in Hong Kong – but at what cost to privacy?

Augmented Reality for iPhone May Not Come Next Month After All

Developers and enthusiasts had hoped that official support for Augmented Reality (AR), the display of data on top of a view of the real world, would come to the iPhone in early September. This week’s announcement of a big Apple event on September 9th focused on the iPod, however, gives reason to suspect that the next version of the iPhone operating system will spend more time in the oven.

Your Cyborg Eye Will Talk to You

Just as many of us are getting used to augmented reality applications for cellphones and digital cameras, Babak Amir Parviz and his University of Washington students are taking it one step further. The group is working on a human machine interface where LEDs are embedded into contact lenses in order to display information to the wearer.

Would You Pay More Than $99 For an eReader?

EBooks and eReaders are a hot topic right now, especially with the new line-up of Kindle competitors scheduled to arrive before the holiday season. However, according to a new report by Forrester Research, most people aren’t willing to pay a lot for these devices. Forrester asked consumers at what price they would consider an eReader expensive but still buy it. The answer was generally somewhere between $50 and $99.


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Our channel ReadWriteEnterprise, devoted to ‘enterprise 2.0’ and using social software inside organizations.

RSS isn’t Dead (Just Ask Executives)

It’s become fashionable among a certain set to declare that RSS is no longer the foremost pipeline for news and information on the Web. Many have abandoned their RSS readers in favor of Twitter. But what do businesses think about RSS? The McKinsey Global Survey on Web 2.0 in business states that 42% of executives see a measurable benefit from RSS. That’s 24% more than those who see any benefit from microblogging (i.e. Twitter).


Our channel ReadWriteStart, sponsored by Microsoft BizSpark, is dedicated to profiling startups and entrepreneurs.

Rails Rumble: Micro-App Competition Winners Announced

In 48 hours last weekend, 237 developer teams competed and generated a total of 137 qualifying web applications, all developed with Ruby and Rails on the back end. The 2009 Rails Rumble was, according to organizers, the strongest yet in the contest’s history.


Web Products

Google Chrome OS to Feature Single Sign-On for Chrome Browser

We don’t know much about the upcoming OS from Google, Chrome OS. However recent reports tell us how tightly integrated the Google Chrome web browser will be with the operating system. It makes us wonder if Google will be required to support other web browsers on their new platform? After all, it’s one thing to integrate your own browser with your OS (as Microsoft does with IE) but it’s another thing to not even offer a choice.

Facebook Connect Expands: Next Stop, Mobile Web

Facebook announced this week the launch of a new program called “Facebook Connect For Mobile Web.” The Connect platform, which originally launched in 2008, is already available for traditional websites as well as Apple’s iPhone. With this update, it can now exist for any mobile platform, too.

My First Day as an Android Owner; by Marshall Kirkpatrick, Lead Writer

I’ve been a happy iPhone user for about a year but I just bought an Android phone this week and I like it a lot. Android is not as polished, as popular, maybe not even as good as the iPhone so far – but if I had to choose between them right now…I might pick Android. Below are some thoughts about the hardware, the learning curve, the App Market and Augmented Reality apps in particular.

Opera 10: A Pretty Good Browser, But Will Anybody Use It?

After numerous betas and two release candidates, Opera this week released the final version of Opera 10, the company’s flagship desktop Internet browser. Users who skipped all the pre-release versions of Opera 10 will be pleasantly surprised with the updates that Opera has brought to its browser. These include Opera Turbo (the company’s compression technology), visual tabs, a smarter spell checker, and a faster rendering engine.


That’s a wrap for another week! Enjoy your weekend everyone.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

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