Архив метки: PDF

Ulysses adds split view on the iPad and support for Ghost blogs

Writing app Ulysses has been updated with a few nifty feature additions. On the iPad, you can now split the editor into two side-by-side editors — this feature alone opens up a lot of possibilities. Ulysses also now supports the option to publish your writing directly to a Ghost blog.
Ulysses is currently available on macOS, the iPad and the iPhone. It’s a Markdown editor with a library of texts that automatically stays in sync across your devices. You can export one or multiple texts in many different formats, including Markdown, HTML, rich text, PDF, ePub, DOCX and a blog.
In addition to Medium and WordPress, Ulysses now supports blogs built using Ghost, an open source CMS platform. If your website is built on Ghost, this should be a nice addition.
But I’m more excited about the ability to open two editors at the same time on the iPad. While the iPad is a great device if you’re looking for a focused writing environment, iOS still thinks “one app = one document”. Sure, you can open two Safari tabs side by side, but most apps only let you open one document at a time.
Ulysses now lets you open two documents at once. You can drag a document from the sidebar and drop it on the right side of the screen to split the screen into two panels. This way, if you’re translating a document, if you need to look at some references, you can scroll through a second document while you write in the main document.
But Ulysses doesn’t stop there. You can also open a second editor from the editor settings to look at different parts of the same document. And if you long press on the export button, you can also open a live preview of the document you’re currently working on.
For instance, you can see what your text will look like before you publish on your blog — headers, images, links and footnotes included. If you edit your text, Ulysses automatically refreshes the preview after a second.
Opening and closing documents is a fluid experience and this split view feature is well implemented. There have been rumors that Apple has been working on improvements at the iOS level to let you open multiple documents using the same app. Today’s Ulysses update is a good example of such a feature and how it would make the iPad even better.

Ulysses adds split view on the iPad and support for Ghost blogs

FCC cracks the whip on 5G deployment against protests of local governments

The FCC is pushing for speedy deployment of 5G networks nationwide with an order adopted today that streamlines what it perceives as a patchwork of obstacles, needless costs and contradictory regulations at the state level. But local governments say the federal agency is taking things too far.
5G networks will consist of thousands of wireless installations, smaller and more numerous than cell towers. This means that wireless companies can’t use existing facilities, for all of it at least, and will have to apply for access to lots of new buildings, utility poles and so on. It’s a lot of red tape, which of course impedes deployment.
To address this, the agency this morning voted 3 to 1 along party lines to adopt the order (PDF) entitled “Accelerating Wireline Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Investment.” What it essentially does is exert FCC authority over state wireless regulators and subject them to a set of new rules superseding their own.
First the order aims to literally speed up deployment by standardizing new, shorter “shot clocks” for local governments to respond to applications. They’ll have 90 days for new locations and 60 days for existing ones — consistent with many existing municipal time frames but now to be enforced as a wider standard. This could be good, as the longer time limits were designed for consideration of larger, more expensive equipment.

The 5G wireless revolution will come, if your city council doesn’t block it first

On the other hand, some cities argue, it’s just not enough time — especially considering the increased volume they’ll be expected to process.
Cathy Murillo, mayor of Santa Barbara, writes in a submitted comment:
The proposed ‘shot clocks’ would unfairly and unreasonably reduce the time needed for proper application review in regard to safety, aesthetics, and other considerations. By cutting short the necessary review period, the proposals effectively shift oversight authority from the community and our elected officials to for-profit corporations for wireless equipment installations that can have significant health, safety, and aesthetic impacts when those companies have little, if any, interest to respect these concerns.
Next, and even less popular, is the FCC’s take on fees for applications and right-of-way paperwork. These fees currently vary widely, because as you might guess it is far more complicated and expensive — often by an order of magnitude or more — to approve and process an application for (not to mention install and maintain) an antenna on 5th Avenue in Manhattan than it is in outer Queens. These are, to a certain extent anyway, natural cost differences.
The order limits these fees to “a reasonable approximation of their costs for processing,” which the FCC estimated at about $500 for one application for up to five installations or facilities, $100 for additional facilities, and $270 per facility per year, all-inclusive.
For some places, to be sure, that may be perfectly reasonable. But as Catherine Pugh, mayor of Baltimore, put it in a letter (PDF) to the FCC protesting the proposed rules, it sure isn’t for her city:
An annual fee of $270 per attachment, as established in the above document, is unconscionable when the facility may yield profits, in some cases, many times that much in a given month. The public has invested and installed these assets [i.e. utility poles and other public infrastructure], not the industry. The industry does not own these assets; the public does. Under these circumstances, it is entirely reasonable that the public should be able to charge what it believes to be a fair price.
There’s no doubt that excessive fees can curtail deployment and it would be praiseworthy of the FCC to tackle that. But the governments they are hemming in don’t seem to appreciate being told what is reasonable and what isn’t.
“It comes down to this: three unelected officials on this dais are telling state and local leaders all across the country what they can and cannot do in their own backyards,” said FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel in a statement presented at the vote. “This is extraordinary federal overreach.”

It’s time to chart a course for 5G success

New York City’s commissioner of information technology told Bloomberg that his office is “shocked” by the order, calling it “an unnecessary and unauthorized gift to the telecommunications industry and its lobbyists.”
The new rules may undermine deployment deals that already exist or are under development. After all, if you were a wireless company, would you still commit to paying $2,000 per facility when the feds just gave you a coupon for 80 percent off? And if you were a city looking at a budget shortfall of millions because of this, wouldn’t you look for a way around it?
Chairman Ajit Pai argued in a statement that “When you raise the cost of deploying wireless infrastructure, it is those who live in areas where the investment case is the most marginal—rural areas or lower-income urban areas—who are most at risk of losing out.”
But the basic market economics of this don’t seem to work out. Big cities cost more and are more profitable; rural areas cost less and are less profitable. Under the new rules, big cities and rural areas will cost the same, but the former will be even more profitable. Where would you focus your investments?
The FCC also unwisely attempts to take on the aesthetic considerations of installations. Cities have their own requirements for wireless infrastructure, such as how it’s painted, where it can be located and what size it can be when in this or that location. But the FCC seems (as it does so often these days) to want to accommodate the needs of wireless providers rather than the public.

Wireless companies complain that the rules are overly restrictive or subjective, and differ too greatly from one place to another. Municipalities contend that the restrictions are justified and, at any rate, their prerogative to design and enforce.
“Given these differing perspectives and the significant impact of aesthetic requirements on the ability to deploy infrastructure and provide service, we provide guidance on whether and in what circumstances aesthetic requirements violate the [Communications] Act,” the FCC’s order reads. In other words, wireless industry gripes about having to paint their antennas or not hang giant microwave arrays in parks are being federally codified.
“We conclude that aesthetics requirements are not preempted if they are (1) reasonable, (2) no more burdensome than those applied to other types of infrastructure deployments, and (3) published in advance,” the order continues. Does that sound kind of vague to you? Whether a city’s aesthetic requirement is “reasonable” is hardly the jurisdiction of a communications regulator.
For instance, Hudson, Ohio city manager Jane Howington writes in a comment on the order that the city has 40-foot limits on pole heights, to which the industry has already agreed, but which would be increased to 50 under the revisions proposed in the rule. Why should a federal authority be involved in something so clearly under local jurisdiction and expertise?

Ultra-fast 5G wireless service declared national security priority by White House

This isn’t just an annoyance. As with the net neutrality ruling, legal threats from states can present serious delays and costs.
“Every major state and municipal organization has expressed concern about how Washington is seeking to assert national control over local infrastructure choices and stripping local elected officials and the citizens they represent of a voice in the process,” said Rosenworcel. “I do not believe the law permits Washington to run roughshod over state and local authority like this and I worry the litigation that follows will only slow our 5G future.”
She also points out that the predicted cost savings of $2 billion — by telecoms, not the public — may be theorized to spur further wireless deployment, but there is no requirement for companies to use it for that, and in fact no company has said it will.
In other words, there’s every reason to believe that this order will sow discord among state and federal regulators, letting wireless companies save money and sticking cities with the bill. There’s certainly a need to harmonize regulations and incentivize wireless investment (especially outside city centers), but this doesn’t appear to be the way to go about it.

FCC cracks the whip on 5G deployment against protests of local governments

Обзор бесплатных «читалок» для Андроид: приложения-ридеры для книг в форматах FB2, DjVu, ePub, PDF

Что бы там ни говорили ученые, утверждающие, что чтение смартфонов и планшетов перед сном негативно отражается на здоровье, читать на Android-девайсах мы все равно будем. Просто потому, что это удобно.
Обзор бесплатных «читалок» для Андроид: приложения-ридеры для книг в форматах FB2, DjVu, ePub, PDF

1DollarScan Improves Its Book Digitization Service With Fine Tune and Dropbox

Fine Tune - iphone

1DollarScan — the service that offers to digitize books and documents for as little as, yes, $1 — is now promising an improved experience through a service called Fine Tune.

The company is a subsidiary of Bookscan Japan, which launched last August with the goal of bringing the Bookscan service to the US market. Users send their books, documents, photos, and other printed material to the 1DollarScan office, which then handles the scan process. For a price of $1 per “set” (for books, one set means 100 pages; for documents, it’s 10), you get a PDf that you can read on your smartphone or tablet. Don’t send any physical copies that you’re particularly attached to, however, because books will have their spines removed for scanning, and all of the printed materials will be recycled two weeks after the scan.

With Fine Tune, 1DollarScan says it isn’t just delivering the same PDF to every platform. Instead, it’s customizing the the files for viewing on different devices. On iPhones, for example, 1DollarScan says that Fine Tune removes the page’s margins, compresses the file, optimizes the resolution and characters. You can see a comparison of a Fine Tuned scan with a normal PDF above.

CEO Hiroshi Nakano says this approach is particularly important for making inroads in the US — saving physical space is less important here than in Japan, so the main advantage of digitization is mobility. And with Fine Tune, 1DollarScan can deliver a better mobile experience.

1DollarScan offers an iPhone and iPad app, but of course PDFs are viewable on a wide range of mobile devices. To make access on all those devices even easier, the company has also announced that for platinum members (who pay $99.99 per month for 100 sets), the documents will also be automatically uploaded to their Dropbox accounts.

1DollarScan Improves Its Book Digitization Service With Fine Tune and Dropbox

Ailing LightSquare To Cut 45% Of Work Force As Regulatory Battle Rages On


Things are beginning to look even dimmer for LightSquared. Just one day after satellite network operator Inmarsat announced that LightSquared had defaulted on a $56 million payment, new reports indicate that the company plans to slash its workforce by 45% in an effort to cut costs and keep fighting.

“This and other cost savings measures will allow LightSquared to continue to navigate the regulatory process as it works with the appropriate government agencies to find solutions to the GPS interference issue,” reads a statement issued to Reuters.

Let’s not forget that LightSquared isn’t that a big a company to start off with — the company only employs around 330 people. With their workforce poised to be cut nearly in half and regulatory woes bogging them down, I can’t imagine the morale in their particular corner of Virginia to be too high. The move also casts their non-payment to Inmarsat in a different light — while LightSquared claimed that they have “raised several matters that require resolution” before they make the payment, it now just looks like they couldn’t scrape the money together.

LightSquared declined to offer any further detail on the situation, and could not be reached for comment at time of writing.

Though things are looking grim for LightSquared right now, it’s unfair to say that the book has closed completely on their ambitious plans. From the sound of their release, LightSquared seems ready to streamline their operations and keep their head down for the time being. Anyone who’s followed the LightSquared situation though knows that keeping their head down is highly uncharacteristic for them. For nearly every drawback LightSquared has faced (and there have been a lot of them so far), the company was quick to respond with a sharp-tongued press release.

This time though, there doesn’t seem to be much more that LightSquared can do. They can’t proceed any further without the FCC’s go-ahead, and they’ll never get that unless they can prove that the interference risk their network poses to GPS is negligible. LightSquared has publicly taken issue with the testing process — they’ve gone as far as to accuse two government committees of wrongdoing — but only further testing can clear their name.

Even then, the ball isn’t in their court. Despite having given LightSquared a conditional approval [PDF] to build out their network in early 2011, the regulatory body changed their minds in a jiffy when NTIA Administrator Lawrence Strickling sent them a letter [PDF] last week stating that an interference-free network rollout wasn’t doable.

LightSquared clearly intends to continue fighting, but their spate of layoffs seems to signal that the company is hunkering down into survival mode. Unless the political or regulatory climates change soon, how long LightSquared can continue to keep at it is anyone’s guess.

Ailing LightSquare To Cut 45% Of Work Force As Regulatory Battle Rages On