Friday, February 4, 2011

Morning Brief: Capital Times acquires local online property; Boston Globe uses augmented reality to spice up special section; Verizon is one happy company

The Madison, Wisconsin based weekly newspaper, The Capital Times, has purchased, a state politics website, along with two other web properties.

Jeff Mayers, president of, will continue in his role, and now the web properties will become a subsidiary of The Capital Times.
"With Capital Times Co. ownership, we hope we can help take WisPolitics to another level from its very solid foundation," said Clayton Frink, publisher of The Capital Times.

The Capital Times was a daily afternoon newspaper up until 2008 when the paper adopted a mostly online strategy along with a weekly print edition. The property, jointly owned by Capital Newspapers and Lee Enterprises, also produces a series of shoppers and specialty publications and websites in the Madison area.

The Boston Globe is partnering with Junaio to spice up its Winter Arts Guide which publishes this Sunday. The NYT-owned newspaper will use augmented reality to make select images come alive with animation.

Here is how it works: readers download an app from the Junaio website for either their iPhone, iPod touch or Android smartphones; then they go to the Boston Globe's channel using the app, this will enable their phone's camera; then they simply use the camera to look at the photos on the cover of the Winter Arts Guide to see the illustrations.

It is all free, of course. Here is a demo of the feature from the website.

It looks like sales of the iPhone 4 are going quite well at Verizon. They company's website shows that they have stopped taking pre-orders of the Apple smartphone and are instead directing people to come back online next week or to go to a Verizon store on the 10th.

Once again the critics of the iPhone have provided much 'claim chowder', as John Gruber would say. I'm really not too surprised: while smartphone sales remain huge, there is still a sizable part of the population still using 'feature' phones. This group, along with those who have waited until now to buy an iPhone, amount to enough people to create this huge demand. Looks like another blow out quarter for Apple, and possibly improved results for Verizon.

"In just our first two hours, we had already sold more phones than any first day launch in our history," said Dan Mead, president and chief executive officer at Verizon. "And, when you consider these initial orders were placed between the hours of 3 a.m. and 5 a.m., it is an incredible success story."