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iPad pub The Daily pops up on PCs

An enterprising programmer compiles a Web version of the much-hyped iPad-only "newspaper."

Curious about Rupert Murdoch's heavily hyped iPad publication but not in possession of said tablet? Well, thanks to an LA-based computer programmer and journalist, you can check out The Daily in its entirety on your laptop, Netbook, or PC--though you'll miss out on the tablet-specific bells and whistles.

Launched with much fanfare yesterday, the specially designed, subscription-only, multimedia "newspaper" has media observers wondering if it will turn out to be a legitimate glimpse of publishing's future or nothing more than an interesting experiment.

After the postlaunch free trial of two weeks, the pub--which is viewable in its intended form only on Apple's iPad--will cost readers 99 cents a week or $39.99 a year. At its unveiling, however, Murdoch and Co. said that though there are no outright plans to make The Daily available for free online, the popularity of social networking means that paid subscribers will be able to share links to Web-page versions of Daily stories with friends--thus making the publication available for free in a stripped-down, piecemeal fashion.

Piecemeal, that is, unless you go to Andy Baio's site The Daily: Indexed. The New York Times reports that Baio became aware that the Web versions of Daily stories were available via search engines and decided to compile them into a facsimile of the pub, complete with archived editions.

It's not clear how long Baio's site will last, but so far it seems The Daily's publishers are happy to have the additional exposure, and happy for the chance to keep the hype machine rolling. In an e-mail to The Times about the matter, publisher Greg Clayman said, "It's not surprising that people want to share our content, but The Daily is designed for tablets, with a lot of rich media and a litany of interactive features and functionality. We are confident that as readers get to know our content, they will be driven to the full, authentic experience."

Well, maybe. You can check out Baio's site, take a peek at a Daily promo video, and make the call for yourself.