Tech News Today 506

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Tech News Today
Episode 506

Tech News Today 506: Better Than A Kick To The Head

Amazon lets you test drive apps, AmEx wants to reward you with Farmville credits, Verizon wants to be your video portal, and more.

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  • Amazon Appstore For Android Now Lets Users Test Drive Apps Right On Their Devices
    • Latest update for the Amazon Appstore Android app includes beta of Test Drive on Android phones
    • The service only works on some devices
    • If it works for you, you should see a "test drive" button under the apps listing in the store
    • an instance of the app starts running on EC2 server, with inputs being sent to the server and video/audio being sent back to the device.
    • Not all apps yet either - Apps that require Java Native Interface (JNI), keyboard, multi-touch, microphone, camera, gyroscope, near-field communication or GPS are not currently enabled for Test Drive.
  • Verizon announces 'Viewdini' video aggregator app for mobile devices
  • Verizon Launches Viewdini with Xfinity, Netflix and More
    • National Cable and Telecommunications Association's Cable Show in Boston, panel with CNBC's Julia Boorstin interviews actor and film director Ed Burns, Vevo CEO Rio Caraeff, Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead, and Neil Smit, CEO of Comcast
    • Mead announced a new service platform called Viewdini, supposed to make finding and viewing video on mobile devices easier. Comcast's Xfinity is Verizon's 1st service partner, other launch partners are Hulu Plus, mSpot (samsung's cloud entertainment service), and Netflix.
    • find and access TV and movies on a wide variety of services- TV sites, and from cable TV operators. search for titles, see whether it's available for streaming at no additional charge, by subscription, to rent, or for purchase.
    • available on 4G LTE Android devices later this month. other device platforms available "soon". Download free app from Google Play.

Discussion Stories

  • Sidecar dials up smarter smartphones
  • Sidecar App Re-Imagines Mobile Phone Calls With a Flurry of Clever Features
    • New app getting buzz: Sidecar
    • Mobile app which allows you to call other Sidecar users for free
    • Also lets you call North American numbers for free over WiFi, 3G/4G free calling to just Sidecar users
    • So what's the gimmick: Sidecar allows you to share live video, photos, locations, and contact info while talking - all in one app
    • How is this diff from skype? Free calls to any phone in North America (need Skype out for calls to non-skype).
    • Video functionality is similar, however the default in Sidecar is to show the rear cam.
    • Sharing contacts is simple, no need to copy and paste information
    • Includes a "Whisper" function that lets you text w/in the call.
    • No ads in the app
    • Both iOS and Android. App is free.
    • When you call the app sends an SMS invite to Sidecar, landlines don't hear any msg before connecting.
    • App was once known as Socialeyes, a video conferencing app, and it pivoted
  • Samsung Galaxy SIII Available June 1 from Amazon for $800
  • Samsung Galaxy S III now on sale in Dubai
    • Amazon is now taking U.S. pre-orders for the flagship Android device and bitter iPhone rival for $800 unlocked June 1
    • 16GB SIM-free international version of the S III (blue or white), also known as GT-i9300, with a huge 4.8-inch display, 1GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel camera, and Android 4.0, quad-core 1.4 GHz Exynos
    • No LTE in the US, only ATT HSPA+, no 3G on T-Mobile
    • Reddit user snapped picture of an 'available now' sign and reports the phone is on sale for $680
  • AmEx to Offer a Prepaid Debit Card that Rewards Users in FarmVille Cash
  • AMEX and Zynga team up for themed card, replace cash back with FarmVille rewards
    • American Express and Zynga rolling out credit card that rewards users with virtual currency
    • will first roll out in Zynga’s FarmVille game and then will expand to CityVille, CastleVille and other titles over time.
    • FarmVille players the chance to visit a Serve-branded farm, where they can earn a virtual tiger. -- 50,000 people have liked the page and received the tiger
    • The Serve farm will be prompted to plant a virtual Serve Money Tree on their farm. Then, they can register to receive a Zynga Serve co-branded prepaid card in the mail. Next, they’ll have to link the card to a bank account, debit card, credit card or cash using a GreenDot MoneyPak.
    • In addition to earning points other partnerships can be used -- For instance, Starbucks could award consumers who have planted coffee crops a chance to redeem a coupon inside the store
    • fee structure (which effectively translates to 2.9 percent of each transaction)

News Fuse






"I can't believe you all didn't talk about how ""Anonymous"" hackers were taking credit this weekend for taking down the City of Chicago website and The Chicago Police Dept website in support of the protesters at the NATO Summit held in Chicago this past weekend. If I am correct both sites were down for approx. 1 hour. I just knew you all were gonna talk about it. I don't have a reddit account but I didn't fathom you wouldn't mention it. News reports in Chicago talked about it but I wanted to know what my favorite tech people had to say about it.

-- Sent from my mobile device

Renard Michael Mayfield"



  • ad times: :52-1:01 and 17:10-18:50


  • ad times: 1:01-1:21 and 35:04-36:32

Production Information

  • Edited by: Jason
  • Notes:
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