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As a lover of web apps, I frequently rave about the advances they’re making and the benefits they offer over other forms of applications. I constantly look for new ways to “live in the cloud” or at least achieve redundancy by using web apps. Web apps are certainly advancing quickly, but are they beginning to outpace internet provider’s capabilities?

As we shift further and further into the realm of cloud-based computing, what predicament might we find ourselves in with regards to our ISPs and their increasingly popular data caps?

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Did you know you can rent movies on YouTube? It’s true, the video giant has been providing movie rentals for some time now. However, its library has been quite dismal, providing older and less popular titles than pretty much every other video on demand provider. That’s about to change now that they’ve finally secured all the major studios such as Warner, Universal, Sony, Lionsgate and others.

Will YouTube fare well in such a fiercely competitive market? Will you part with your hard earned cash to enjoy flicks on a platform many already use for more personal entertainment?

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As expected, Facebook Deals is now being unveiled (a smidgen early too). Could Facebook Deals be a Groupon and/or LivingSocial killer? It’s very possible.

More details inside.

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Well, it’s that time of year again where people celebrate their appreciation for Earth and our environment by doing something to contribute to being more environmentally mindful or raise awareness. Like last year, I could remind you of the many ways the internet helps people reduce their impact on the environment, but we’re all pretty aware of that.

Instead, this year, I’ll be briefly talking about why I’m NOT participating in Earth Day.

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Seems like the 21st century is a bad time to be a brick and mortar retailer. Americans have long been accustomed to mail-order shopping, a tradition that started in the late 1800′s with settlers in the west. Considering how many commercials you see trying to get you to buy something right then over a toll-free number, someone must actually order random things over the phone, too.

Then came the internet. With promises of unlimited selection and the convenience of shopping in your pajamas, eCommerce was poised to take over traditional catalog orders. Promises of free shipping, then, started luring customers away from traditional stores, too. Today’s onslaught of downloadable eBooks, music, movies, and apps from iTunes, Amazon, and more changes it yet again, replacing both the stores and the very things they used to sell.

Where does traditional retail fit in today? Can it adapt to the changes, or remake itself into retail 2.0 by leveraging the internet along with their physical locations?

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WordPress is one of the most popular open source projects today, and it powers an incredible number of websites around the world. Started as a fork from b2 in 2003, WordPress has grown from a simple blogging engine into a full-blown CMS that can be used for a wide range of sites. It’s popularity is largely due to the wide range of third-party themes, plugins, and services that have been created over the past years to enhance WordPress.

Behind it all is Automattic, the company founded by Matt Mullenweg to advance WordPress development. They’ve tried to navigate the difficult path of creating a profitable business around an open source project, and over the years have diversified their offering to provide more value to bloggers and WordPress developers. Recently, though, they’ve created a stir among WordPress developers by creating more for-pay offerings that could compete with third-party developers’ offerings. Let’s take a look at some of the most recent developments in the WordPress ecosystem, and what it means for the future of the platform.

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Should you start your new blog on Posterous, WordPress.com, or on your own hosting account with a self-hosted WordPress install? Should you use Typekit or Google Fonts to add fancy new fonts to your site, or should you get a web font from Font Squirrel and host it on your server? These are the decisions webapp users have to make daily. The cloud has given us a multitude of ways to access apps from anywhere, and it seems like there’s a new Software as a Service coming out every day.

To host or not to host. That is the question. Let’s dive in and see if we can answer it for ourselves: is it better to self-host your own webapps or use hosted webapps as a service?

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Long ago, when writing material was scarce and Gutenberg was perfecting his printing press, one could easily complain that there was not enough content to read. Books where cherished and even newspapers were stored to be read and reread months later. In today’s gadget crazed world, where nearly 500 tweets are sent each second and 500,000 new posts are published on WordPress.com each day, there’s way more material written in just one day now than we’ll ever read in our whole lifetime. No longer can it be said that there’s nothing to read!

With this torrent of content rushing past us each day, how in the world can you keep yourself productive? Your friend emails you an interesting article, then you see a tweet about a company that just raised $100 zillion in funding, and then you remember to check Google News for the latest headlines. Before you know it, you’ve wasted your whole day clicking and reading links. There’s got to be a better solution, and that’s where Instapaper and similar apps come in.

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So many of today’s apps sport a plethora of features and uses, which often times go completely unused. The wide range of features included in apps aren’t always for each user but rather the wide range of users that have greatly differing workflows or preferences. However, when you only need to accomplish a simple task, what’s a user to do?

Single purpose apps of higher quality seem to be popping up more and more these days and provide great, simple and easy to use solutions to some of the simple tasks some of us need to tackle. Check out our look at Pen.io, a super fast and simple way to publish content online, and Min.us, a drop-dead simple image gallery for sharing quickly.

What do you think of these single purpose apps?

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Blogging tools are getting more sophisticated and feature rich every few months or so. Platforms like WordPress have so many features they’ve stopped being blogging platforms and transformed into Content Management Systems. Even Tumblr has a learning curve. For an average user with or without the knowledge of technology, so many features means added complexity.

Interested in care free blogging that just works? You should definitely check out Posterous then. All you need to you know is how to send an email and Posterous will make you a blogger!

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