Google is announcing a new functionality, Google Gears, that will allow users to take their data offline. For example, if you use Google’s RSS Reader, you will be able to push a button, download the content to your computer, and then view and interact with the content without being connected to the internet. Next time you connect, you can sync back to the network to save your changes.
This functionality will be working its way into other Google applications, and is being opened up to developers for them to create their own uses for it.
This is interesting because it starts to encroach upon the “portability” argument of why print is so darn useful. As I find myself carrying more digital gadgets with me everywhere I go, the ability to bring digital web data with me, will most likely encroach upon my newspaper reading time while waiting for the train. Digital seems to be, slowly, chipping away at the value proposition of traditional media.