Tech News Today 526

From The Official TWiT Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Tech News Today
Episode 526

Tech News Today 526: Show Me the Hardware

Has Linux conquered the government? Has Microsoft conquered mobile? Has LG conquered TV apps? All that and more.

Submit and vote on story coverage at


News Fuse

Discussion Stories

Windows Phone coverage:

Surface fallout:

  • Google exec: "Surface is a very complicated strategy to pull off
    • Reuters report says MS told specific hardware partners about its own tablet as late as Friday
    • Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer told reporters the company had informed its largest hardware-manufacturing partners about the tablet.
    • Digitmes reports that Acer's founder Stan Shih says MS "has no real intention to sell own-brand tablet PCs,"
    • "Once the purpose is realized, Microsoft will not offer more models," the report said.
    • Shih reportedly goes on to say that the strategy was conceived as way to "encourage" device makers to bring out Windows 8 tablets also citing lower profits on hardware than software.
    • Forrester analyst Sarah Rotman Epps, “It’s a typical Microsoft decision where they are not going as big as they could because they’re trying to protect another part of their business.”
    • Acc'g to Digitimes, the Surface with Windows RT will cost over $599, the Pro (x86) will be above $799.
  • Another Step For The Kindle Fire Abroad? Amazon Launches International Appstore As It Improves Distribution Terms
    • Amazon officially opened its Appstore apps outside the US so developers from the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain can submit apps.
    • Amazon says more countries in the “near future,”
    • still not live
    • Amazon says it has tens of thousands of apps, Jim Adkins, Vice President of the Amazon Appstore says some devs have doubled their revenue since in-app purchasing was created
    • Test Drive is a try-before-you-buy feature for apps
    • Kindle Fire launch overseas imminent? needs to be in more markets now that Microsoft's gunning for users
    • better terms for devs, 70/30 split revenue share for apps, regardless of whether they are paid apps or free selling content via in-app purchases (paid apps used to have two levels of commission: either 70 percent of the app’s sales price or 20 percent of list price, whichever was greater).
  • Ex-Googlers Launch MightyText, An iMessage For Android Users
    • MightyText is SMS for Android users, syncs Android phone with computer, syncs with Android phone #. GV similar but requires GV #
    • formerly senior technical and product management roles at google, Maneesh Arora and Amit Sangani worked on AdSense, AdWords, and the now-defunct Google Health
    • rebranded from "Texty" last year as a Chrome extension. 250K users, 2M messages/day. now web app launched for more users
    • MightyText lives in the cloud (and in your browser), it organizes all your texts, picture messages and calls, allowing you to search and store them securely for as long as needed.
    • it's basically remote access to your phone from any device, so MightyText isn't paying for cost of SMS, which can be a big burden for SMS apps. cross-platform, can use iPad, whatever
    • good for carriers using Android who don't want you to use data to send msgs. MightyText keeps messaging on SMS, these companies are likely going to be more inclined to partner with the startup down the road.
    • apparently very popular w students and employees who want to text from their computer. "
  • LG, TPV Initiate Smart TV Alliance
  • LG announces 'universal' smart TV platform
  • SmartTV Alliance Home
  • Say hello to the Smart TV Alliance
    • current members are LG Electronics and TP Vision (which handles Phillips-branded TVs in parts of the world
    • What is it? A single platform for apps. Write an app for one brand of TV, it'll run on others that are in the alliance
    • Tools are available free to devs at the end of the year - SDK is based on HTML5 and web technologies. TVs to launch in 2013
    • Will this get developers to make apps for TVs (and the general do people want apps on TVs)?





"Tech New Today team,

I listen to Tech News Today on my Samsung Galaxy Tab while eating breakfast. I caught myself yelling at the tablet when you guy were talking about the new remote for Roomba. You totally missed the most important point about this remote. BATTLE ROOMBAS!!

Rob Barkey"

"For a long while I have been a user of Pandora and the Zune Music Pass and its Smart DJ feature (which provides Pandora-like playlist creation) and I've found it works ok for music discovery.

My view on the value of the social in music has changed in the last year and a half. It was my switch to listening to music mostly on vinyl that gave me a new perspective on this. Vinyl devotees congregate on internet forums and in record shops and they like to discuss and recommend what they are listening to. I have found that this analog 'social graph' has been an excellent means of finding new music, with a high level of successful recommendations.

This social graph is not made up of people I would call good friends but of acquaintances with like interests. So perhaps what Spotify should do is not switch to the algorithm model or leverage existing social graphs but create a new graph that consists of 'expert amateurs' and foster vocal community that can share recommendations. It's a matter of having the right social graph for the context- currently context is absent from the equation. Perhaps Spotify needs to look to Google Plus and its circles to help properly set some context for its social graph.


"Hi TNT team.

In your discussion of G+ on Flipboard and the lack of a GPlus app on the iPad, you forgot to mention Google's own Flipboard like news reading app - Google Currents. It already has the ability to add Google plusers to the feed and looks great on the iPad.

It doesn't, however, have the same brand recognition as Flipboard. I quite like Currents, but have been running Flipboard beta on Android for the last month and it still had the edge.

All the best and keep up the great work.




  • ad times: :46-:59 and 7:01-8:10


  • ad times: :59-1:10 and 30:14-31:44


  • ad times: 1:10-1:24 and 47:34-48:36

Production Information

  • Edited by: Jason
  • Notes:
Info.png This area is for use by TWiT staff only. Please do not add or edit any content within this section.