With Places (and your help), Waze mapping gets smarter on Android and iOS

Originally posted on Gigaom:

Taking the same crowd-sourcing approach it applied to traffic, the Waze mobile app is going to improve the quality of information about local businesses and residences. It will need help from its users, though, and that’s where the new Places feature comes into play.

The latest version of Waze, which is owned by [company]Google[/company], lets people update or add information about the places they visit. The company did much the same when it debuted, sharing user-submitted data about traffic on the roads. With Places, it’s the same recipe, only applied to locations. The idea is that if everyone adds details about the places they visit, the whole community benefits. Of course, that user-submitted data will also make a fine addition to Google Maps as Google bought Waze last year for a reported $1 billion.

The Places feature supports user-submitted photos of places and editing or addition of details including…

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Digital publisher Ellora’s Cave sues Dear Author blog for reporting on its financial troubles

Originally posted on Gigaom:

To those who follow the digital romance publishing world, it’s not exactly a secret that digital publisher Ellora’s Cave is struggling. But now the company is suing a leading romance blogger who wrote about the problems it was having.

Ellora’s Cave, launched in 2000, was a very early player in romance ebook sales and for a time was highly successful, selling romance and erotica titles that mainstream publishers had ignored to a passionate audience of female readers. Then things began falling apart, sales decreased and authors started going unpaid.

Dear Author, a romance blog that also covers a variety of digital publishing issues, reported thoroughly on Ellora’s Cave’s troubles earlier this month, citing tax violations by Tina Engler, the company’s founder, and reporting further on delayed or missing author payments. Dear Author also published an email that Ellora’s Cave sent to its authors in which it described a “quick…

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Successful Entrepreneurs Continually Invest in Personal Improvement

Originally posted on David Cummings on Startups:

One pattern I’ve found with successful entrepreneurs is the internal motivation to continually invest in personal improvement. There’s this innate desire to keep getting better, both in life and in work.

Here are some of the more popular personal improvement things I see entrepreneurs doing:

  • Public speaking practice by joining Toastmasters International
  • Peer experience sharing and learning through EO and YPO
  • Exercise and sports (running, working out, hiking, biking, and golf are popular)
  • Reading books and blogs on a regular basis

The next time you talk to an entrepreneur, ask about personal improvement initiatives and see what they’re working on — it just might surprise you.

What else? What are your thoughts on the idea that successful entrepreneurs are continually investing in personal improvement?

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Why I think the $7.2 billion Microsoft-Nokia deal is a terrible idea

Originally posted on Gigaom:

In 2007, when Apple launched its iPhone, a few saw it for what it was — an assault on business as usual in the telecom industry. It helped shift the focus from voice to data. It turned the phone into an anywhere computing device. The arrival of Android only added fuel to the fire — telephony of the past was no more, instead it became a game of software and services.

Steve Jobs with iphoneIn case of Google, many of those services come from within. For Apple, those services eventually took the shape of third-party applications (or apps as we call them now.) Six years later, what we have is a world that’s remarkably different — the erstwhile leaders have fallen on hard-times. New giants have taken center stage in an industry that still finds itself in continuous flux.

On the winning side of the equation thus far — Apple(s aapl), Google(s goog)…

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Microsoft Enters Into $7.1B Deal To Buy Nokia’s Devices And Services Business And License Its Patents

Was bound to happen. This is going to piss off many Android fans at Nokia who were hoping against hope on getting Android on Nokia phones. Nokia’s market cap when Stephen Elop came from Microsoft to take it over was US$37 billion. Now Nokia sells itself – and Elop – back to Microsoft, for $7 billion. Was Elop there basically to bring down the price by $30 billion for Microsoft? :p

Dropbox vs Copy.com: A Detailed Product Review

Copy is a new cloud backup service that is at start looks like a Dropbox clone but once you compare its offering you come to realize it is actually better in many ways. It was recently launched by Barracuda Networks, a large provider of security, data protection and backup solutions and is starting to spread among geeks and early adopters.

The idea of both services is the same – once you install their app for PC or Mac, you get a folder on your computer that is always synced to the cloud. Any folder or file that you move into that folder gets automatically synced to the cloud. This allows you to backup files, sync files between computers (your personal & home computer for example), between your computer & smartphone and also share files with others which is extremely useful when working as a team and having a need to constantly share files with each other without the hassle of emailing files as attachment.

Dropbox has been around for a while, it has millions of users and has created a fantastic service that I have been using for several years. So how can Copy succeed in such a competitive space? The answer is very simple – Copy is giving away plenty of free storage space for new signups – 15GB (vs. 2GB you get in Dropbox). In addition, for anyone that you refer to the service, both of you will earn an extra 5 GBs for completed referrals and there is no limit to the number of people you can refer.

Interested? Click this link to signup & get 20GB free space – 15GB plus 5GB since I will be your referrer.

After you are done signing up, make sure to:

  1. Verify your email address
  2. Download and install the Copy app (for PC/Mac)

Only after completing these two steps you wil get the 5GB bonus.

By the way, you can also signup as a regular user without a referrer and not get any bonus.

Although the services are very similar, there are still some pros and cons for Copy compared to Dropbox.

Pros:
- Free account size: 15GB vs. 2GB in the case of Dropbox. Initially Copy started with 5GB but as soon as Google announced that Google Drive free space will be 15GB, Copy rushed to match it.
- Referral program: Copy gives 5GB for both you and the friend you refer with no limit. Dropbox however, gives 500MB to you but nothing to your friend and it limits the bonus amount to 16GB (32 friends).
- Fair Storage for all – instead of counting data in shared folders against all members’ individual storage quotas so everyone pays for the same data over and over, Copy allows users to “split the bill” and control which files count against their storage capacity.
- Sharing a folder over the internet is more secured. In dropbox, when you share a link, you have no control if the link is being emailed to someone else. With copy, you can enter a specific user’s Copy username (an email address) and that would restrict access to the shared folder.
- Beautiful web interface that is much easier for viewing files on the web
- For mobile designers Copy is better for viewing a screenshot on an iPad. The image quality is better since Copy does not compress it like Dropbox and it also displays the screenshot in full view (without the iPad’s status bar)
- Quicker sharing – you can share a link to a file from the app rather than being redirected to the website and sharing from there like Dropbox does
- Caching – Copy allows caching of whole folders on mobile devices
- Copy allows easy access to old versions of a file straight from a file’s contextual menu

Cons:

- Upload speed – Dropbox seems to provide a faster upload time than Copy

- There is no live preview of video files in the web interface

Bottom line – Copy has done a fantastic job in launching a well designed, feature rich product that supports all platforms (Win, Mac, Linux) and Smartphones (iOS, Android). I’ve been using it for several weeks not and have not experienced any glitches or outages. Highly recommended!

Click here to signup for free and get your 20GB free space.