TechBytes: Review and Reserve

Publishers and the iPad, bicycle phone charger, funny videos overtake news.

ByBRETT LEVY and CARRIE HALPERIN
June 04, 2010, 10:52 AM

June 4, 2010— -- Review site Yelp has made it easier to make reservations at restaurants. The popular site has teamed up with OpenTable to allow people to reserve a table

Many people have predicted that the iPad would be a savior for the publishing industry, before it was even released. The early returns are encouraging. Companies are paying newspapers and magazines up to five times as much to place ads in their iPad apps as they would to advertise on regular websites.

While publishers are getting more money out of advertisers, online ads still generate only a small fraction of their advertising revenue. So it remains to be seen if the iPad and other similar devices can help revive the slumping media business.

The world's biggest cell phone maker is enlisting pedal power to charge its devices. Nokia has launched a charger that can be connected to a bicycle. The bike charges the battery when the wheels turn, as long as it's going at least three miles an hour. The device is aimed at users who have limited access to electricity and will be available during the second half of the year.

It seems that more and more people are going online looking for a good laugh. A new study from the Pew Research Center found comedy and humor have overtaken news as the most-watched kind of video online.

Half the people surveyed said they watch funny videos online, up from 31 percent three years ago. News is the second most popular category at 43 percent. More people are also uploading their own videos. One in seven adult Internet users is doing it, almost double the number from three years ago.

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