The New York Times has launched a new application for reading the paper's content in a standalone application. While the hype train behind the death of newspapers has been going in full force since the start of the economic downturn late last year, this new initiative has been going for a few years though the refreshed interface makes it a much more attractive offering. Will people be into using it, and should you give it a shot? We ask Brad Linder, writer for Download Squad and Liliputing, as well as Frederic Lardinois of ReadWriteWeb about the new program. Both feel like it's a beautiful program that's worth trying out, but since beyond national headlines, which are free, the $4 pricetag (per week, mind you) is extremely prohibitive for most users, relegating this to a niche service at best. Neither Brad nor Frederic, given their internet-enriched natures, will be plopping down the cash or using it on a daily basis, but it's worth trying out.
Also in the news, next Monday marks the launch of a new "knowledge engine" called Wolfram Alpha. Unlike search engines, this service doesn't necessarily aim to provide links to useful online pages, but instead hopes to answer basic data specific questions with an informed response. Many in the tech community had, in our view, erroneously, labeled Wolfram Alpha as a Google killer, but Frederic, who's had hands on time with the service, says that simply isn't the case. Wolfram Alpha, he says, is more akin to an ecosystem, like Twitter, that doesn't necessarily rely on its use of the website to be useful. Brad, on the same page, thinks it'll be an interesting technology that will integrate well with other sites, rather than becoming a destination site like Yahoo or Google.
What's your take? Are you waiting for a new way to search, or is Google good enough? Also, would you ever pay for news, let alone in a standalone application? Is there any content you'd pay for online at all? Sound off in the comments, or leave a response video on our YouTube Channel.
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