Best of Today (1/11)

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For Everyone. We have some great news to share: we’ve removed the limits on free Readability accounts.

for Everyone

All users—free and paying—now get unlimited access to their Reading List, Favorites, Archives, and all our other features. I wanted to take a quick minute to run through our motivations for the changes. This tweak helps us accomplish our goals in two ways: First, we wanted to better distinguish the difference between having access to features and supporting content creation. As supporting great writing on the web is one of our key goals, having features tied to our support platform felt like it was muddling the message. Second, we wanted to keep Readability as open as possible so that third-party integrators to our service can access all of our features as well, without limitations. With those motivations in mind, we’re currently decoupling application features and supporting publishers (and Readability). We hope you enjoy the newly opened Readability.

Happy Reading! Amazon launches iPad Kindle Store on the web, feels like a native app. Amazon today launched touch-optimized Kindle Store for iPad as a standalone web app accessed through the iOS Safari browser.

Amazon launches iPad Kindle Store on the web, feels like a native app

You may remember that the online retail giant released Kindle Cloud Reader in August —also a web app that works great on Apple’s tablet, but this is an entirely different experience. Available on the iPad at www.amazon.com/iPadKindleStore, the web interface totally feels like a native app. It is smooth, natural and supports familiar touch gestures, like swiping left and right to brows the store’s virtual shelves. The design calls for big cover images, large buttons and elegant typeface that’s easy on the eyes, unlike some other HTML5 web apps that feel cluttered on a 9.7-inch screen and cause eye strain… Some of the more prominent features include search, user reviews, detailed descriptions, many categories, quick links to the store’s various sections, including New York Times Bestsellers, Newsstand, Top 100 seller/freebies and more.

Indignant workers threaten suicide at Foxconn park in Wuhan|Society. About 300 Foxconn employees threatened to kill themselves on Jan. 2 after being denied severance compensation promised by the company.

Indignant workers threaten suicide at Foxconn park in Wuhan|Society

(Internet Photo) According to the anti-Chinese government website China Jasmine Revolution, about 300 employees at Foxconn Technology Park in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province in central China, threatened to kill themselves by jumping from the top of a building in the park. On Jan. 2, about 300 employees at the plant belonging to Taiwan-based Foxconn — the world's largest contract electronics manufacturer — reportedly asked their employer for a raise. They were told in response to either quit their positions and receive a compensation package or keep their jobs and receive no additional payment. Most of the employees took the first option but the company terminated the agreement and none of them were given the money they were promised.

As the situation developed, the mayor of Wuhan came to dissuade the former employees from committing suicide. Search, plus Your World. Google Search has always been about finding the best results for you.

Search, plus Your World

Sometimes that means results from the public web, but sometimes it means your personal content or things shared with you by people you care about. These wonderful people and this rich personal content is currently missing from your search experience. Search is still limited to a universe of webpages created publicly, mostly by people you’ve never met. Today, we’re changing that by bringing your world, rich with people and information, into search. Search is pretty amazing at finding that one needle in a haystack of billions of webpages, images, videos, news and much more. We’re transforming Google into a search engine that understands not only content, but also people and relationships. This is search that truly knows me, and gives me a result page that only I can see. Profiles in Search Every day, there are hundreds of millions of searches for people. Misdirection, Doublespeak, Non-Answers, And Straight Up Bad Decisions. God bless Danny Sullivan.

Misdirection, Doublespeak, Non-Answers, And Straight Up Bad Decisions

You should read his latest post tonight in which he tries to squeeze some information — any information — out of Google chairman Eric Schmidt about today’s rather disastrous deep Google+ integration into Google Search. Unfortunately, all he gets are bursts of hot air. Schmidt tells him that Google would be happy to talk with Twitter and Facebook about integration into the new Search+ features. So why didn’t they do that before, you know, they rolled the feature out? Well, never you mind that.

My understanding is that they didn’t. Both Twitter and Facebook have data that is available to the public. It’s not all the data inside the walls of Twitter and Facebook — hence the need for firehose deals. But Google isn’t using any of that data for this new feature. When Sullivan points some of this out to Schmidt, he gets it thrown back at him as his “opinion” or his “interpretation”. Do a search for “music”. Right. Here’s what this actually looks like. Schmidt: Google+ Not Favored, Happy To Talk Twitter & Facebook Integration.

Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt says Google+ content is not being favored over Twitter and Facebook by Google’s search engine.

Schmidt: Google+ Not Favored, Happy To Talk Twitter & Facebook Integration

Rather, those companies can be treated the same if they grant Google the right permissions to access their content. I spoke with Schmidt today about the developing war-of-words between Twitter and Google, which broke out after the launch of Google’s new ”Search Plus Your World” format for its search results.

Included in the new format are suggestions for searchers to follow celebrities and other notable figures who have accounts on Google+, when these people are relevant to a particular search topic. Similar suggestions do not appear for the Twitter or Facebook accounts of such people. Twitter, Google With Dueling Statements Twitter quickly issued a statement after Google’s product formally launched, saying in part: We’re concerned that as a result of Google’s changes, finding this information will be much harder for everyone.

Schmidt Talks Twitter & Facebook. Twitter Dumps on Google for Pushing Google+ in Search - Liz Gannes - Social. Facebook Rolling Out News Feed Ads Ambiguously Marked “Featured” Facebook today began the slow rollout of Sponsored Story ads within its home page’s main news feed.

Facebook Rolling Out News Feed Ads Ambiguously Marked “Featured”

Instead of clearly marking them as “Sponsored” ads though, they’re labeled “Featured”. This could initially mislead users into thinking these ads are simply important stories about their friends or Pages they Like. Users might only learn they are paid ads after hovering over the marking. Facebook is trying to distinguish them from sidebar ads that are marked “Sponsored” but that can be bought by any advertisers. However, most people don’t associate the word “featured” with “paid ad”. Facebook’s advertising spokesperson sent me this information about the news feed ads first announced last month: “We’ll be labeling these stories as “Featured” instead of “Sponsored.” The act of purchasing a Sponsored Story news feed ad does mean increasing the prominence of content that could already appear in the news feed, which could be called “featuring a story”. Samsung is refreshing the Series 5 Chromebook, releasing the Chromebox in Q2. We'll likely never know how many Chromebooks Samsung has sold, but we're guessing it's not a terribly impressive figure.

Samsung is refreshing the Series 5 Chromebook, releasing the Chromebox in Q2

No matter. Sammy is refreshing its first-gen Series 5 with a new model, along with that Chromebox Google first teased last spring. Starting with the Chromebook, it trades its slick cover for something muted, with more discreet logo placement, though that matte, 12.1-inch, 300-nit display has made a reappearance. On the inside, meanwhile, it steps up from Atom to Celeron, though it still has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of flash storage. Look for it sometime in the second quarter with some familiar pricing: $399 for the WiFi-only version, and $449 for the 3G model with pay-as-you-go data from Verizon.

As for the Chromebox, Samsung is still staying mum on specs, though the company did tell us it comes with a wireless keyboard-and-mouse combo. Update: The Chromebox, too, has a dual-core Celeron CPU, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage -- just like the Chromebook. See all photos 8 Photos. Mozilla to build slow-paced Firefox for conservative users. Mozilla has embarked on its plan to build its Extended Support Release (ESR) version of Firefox, an edition that stands comparatively still while the ordinary version of the browser changes every six weeks.

Mozilla to build slow-paced Firefox for conservative users

Mozilla proposed the ESR version of Firefox last year after encountering serious resistance to its rapid-release development cycle . The fast releases let Mozilla bring new Firefox features to the world sooner, and Mozilla remains committed to the approach. But it doesn't work so well for companies or other organizations that need to test their software carefully or make sure custom add-ons don't break frequently. The initial ESR proposal called for a new version every five releases, or 30 weeks, with support for each version lasting seven cycles, or 42 weeks. But Mozilla dialed that back down in the months of discussion since it debuted the ESR idea.

Mozilla detailed the plan on its enterprise Firefox page.