News Feaster

The Internet is the Best Thing Ever for news junkies, and RSS feeds help make it that way. Pmcc's News Messenger is a free news reader that reads not only Atom and RSS pages but also HTML, so it can read headlines from sites that don't support syndication. It requires Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 or higher.

We extracted and saved News Messenger's program file, which immediately scanned for updated headlines when we opened it. The program displays headlines and brief summaries as well as time stamps in a narrow vertical column that can be configured to … Read more

Scribd launches Float, a new mobile reading app

Scribd, which has become known for being the "YouTube for documents," has launched a new app today called Float, which the company says is designed to improve the mobile reading experience.

We met with Scribd CEO and co-founder Trip Adler prior to launch and he showed us the new app in action. It's actually difficult to describe exactly what it does, but imagine it as a cross between Flipboard, Instapaper, and a filtered Twitter feed (see video below). You select various areas of interest and pick favorite Web sites to "follow" and you get stories … Read more

Freebie Tuesday: Music, e-books, apps, and more!

Yesterday's batch of free iPhone games got me in the mood for more free stuff. I mean, even cheap deals cost money, right? Sometimes you just gotta give the credit card a rest.

With that in mind, I've rounded up a handful of freebies for today. Nothing earth-shattering, but some worthwhile stuff to satisfy your daily-deal sweet tooth.

First up, Amazon is offering a free $2 credit for use at its MP3 store. Just click that link and enter code CLOUDMP3. Presto: you've got two bucks to blow on the songs or album of your choice. (If … Read more

Lenovo launching Android and Windows tablets

Lenovo plans on hitting the tablet market this year with devices aimed at both Android and Windows.

In an interview with Dow Jones Newswires reported this week by The Wall Street Journal, (subscription required), Lenovo president and Chief Operating Officer Rory Read revealed that the company will launch two 10-inch Android tablets this summer followed by a 10-inch Windows tablet later in the year.

One Android tablet, named the IdeaPad, will be geared for the consumer market, while the other, with the ThinkPad name, will be marketed toward the business crowd. Both tablets will run Honeycomb and be priced anywhere from $450 to $900 depending on their configurations, according to the interview. Lenovo's current tablet, the Android-powered LePad, is only available in China.

Some tech sites, including TechConnect and Pocket-Lint, are pointing to the IdeaPad tablet as the IdeaPad K1, a device that's already received some buzz and was reportedly listed on a few retail sites, such as, according to Engadget.

TechConnect describes the K1 as powered by a Tegra 2 processor with… Read more

Chrome extension allows users to hop WSJ's paywall

If two bucks a week just sounds like too much to pay for access to a slew of content, and you don't mind crossing Rupert Murdoch, then Read WSJ is the Chrome extension for you. A free download in the Chrome Web Store, this rather simple bit of code provides easy access to much of the articles and other content that more upstanding Journal readers actually pay for.

The app is basically a script that automatically searches for cached versions of WSJ stories on Google and then places a special icon next to a headline if one is available … Read more

iBooks update brings narration feature to some titles

A new update to Apple's iBooks application lets books narrate to readers, including following along word by word, and automatically turning pages.

The feature, which went out today as part of a software update, is targeted at children's books, some 44 of which were available earlier today before Apple pulled mention of it from the iBookstore, along with several of the titles.

Two books CNET downloaded with the feature enabled ahead of the removal do not have working narration, suggesting that the feature may not have been ready for prime time. An Apple representative did not immediately respond … Read more

Tabs, Reading List land in mobile Safari

The version of the Safari browser that will ship in iOS 5 in July will come with some enhanced features, Apple announced today at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. The most visible change is the introduction of tabbed browsing, long a staple of the desktop version of Safari and other browsers. However, other significant changes have been made as well.

The feature for saving stories to be read at a later time, popularized by the Read It Later and Instapaper browser add-ons, will now come as a standard feature in Safari mobile. Reading List provides a more modern, … Read more

Wired for iPad now free for subscribers

Happy day! Just a few weeks after Fortune, Sports Illustrated, and Time Magazine offered free iPad access to print subscribers, technology mag Wired has made the same move: if you subscribe to the print edition, you get current and back issues in the iPad app, no extra charge.

(Full disclosure: I'm an occasional contributor to Wired.)

That is, of course, the way magazine subscriptions should work. As publishers have discovered, subscribers feel insulted when you ask them to pay twice for content. I know I did.

With Wired, all I had to do was enter my subscriber number (which … Read more

Foxit rivals Adobe for reading PDF files

Foxit PDF Reader, the program that many consider to be a faster, lighter, more able Windows alternative to Adobe Reader, has recently jumped to version 5.0. This newest release comes with many of the same solid features, a few new ones, and an upgraded interface.

As with the previous version, the setup process is a bit cumbersome. First, watch out for the two check boxes that make Ask your browser default search provider and your home page. Opt out as necessary. Then, toward the end of the installation process, be sure to read carefully and opt out … Read more

iPad your screenplay: FDX Reader vs. GoodReader

I've written a screenplay or two in my life. When the iPad was released more than a year ago, I imagined that it could eventually be a killer tool for reading and editing scripts, saving a trip to a printer or laptop. Well, so far, the iPad's been great for a lot of documents and publications...but a little slow on the uptake when it comes to the complicated formats of screenplays.

For my last screenplay revision, I actually saved my script to PDF format using Final Draft, then opened up GoodReader to check out my work. iBooks … Read more