Show Notes September 30th, 2013

Iran seemingly lifts restrictions on Facebook and Twitter access It hasn’t been outrightly confirmed by the government of Iran, but at least some within the nation’s borders are now able to access to both Twitter and Facebook. For those keeping score, public access to the networks has been banned since 2009, shortly after the reelection of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, seems fairly convinced that Iran itself should not be restricti
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Kanex launches $70 Multi-Sync Keyboard for easy device switching Kanex make cables, right? It does, but the company is now branching out into the world of accessories, typified by the meDrive we played with earlier in the year. Now here comes the Multi-Sync, a keyboard that’s designed to control one USB and three Bluetooth devices — switching between them at the touch of a button. If you’re like us and always have a desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone in n
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Google launches Constitute, a tool for creating and comparing governments Countries frequently amend or draft constitutions, but they can’t always find example constitutions to work from — not every country publishes its founding documents in accessible formats. So, Google’s simplifying nation building by launching Constitute, a website that puts all the world’s constitutions in one place. The tool indexes both basic details as well as policies. It’s easy to filter ch
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China said to be unblocking sites like Facebook, Twitter and the NYT, but only in a small part of Shanghai Given how large a mobile market China has become, and its role in gadget manufacturing globally, we sometimes forget the government of this increasingly tech-aware country still dictates what corners of the web its peoples can see. Today, the South China Morning Post reports the state has decided to unblock several foreign internet sites “considered politically sensitive,” but only in
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Spotify bops to Taiwan, Turkey, Greece and Argentina today The fine people of Canada may still not have access to Spotify, but Greece, Turkey, Taiwan and Argentina are all getting the ad-supported music-on-demand service starting today. Yes, that’s at least one new country for three separate continents — Spotify’s really spreading the love around with today’s expansion, apparently. According to the company, that puts Spotify in 32 total “markets&qu
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Dropbox backs petitions to disclose exact national security request numbers The call for greater US government transparency just got louder: Dropbox has filed a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court brief that endorses petitions to disclose exact national security request numbers. Much like LinkedIn, Dropbox believes that limiting disclosures to broad ranges hurts transparency by implying that smaller firms get as many requests as larger rivals. The ban on exact figure
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Xbox Fitness official, brings famous trainers, personalized feedback to living room workouts Microsoft’s initial Kinect sensor might not have been awesome for first-person shooters, but it rocked for fitness games. Redmond is taking this one step further for its next-gen console with Xbox Fitness, a subscription-based service for the Xbox One. Xbox Fitness promises “instant, personalized feedback” on heart rate and form (thanks to the new Kinect’s innards), and celebrity traine
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Google fuels the entrepreneurial spirit by launching Tech Hub Network in seven cities Innovation, man. You either have it, or you don’t. And, in the case of Google, you stand to gain all sorts of long-tail revenue if you help fuel the aforesaid fire. Google for Entrepreneurs was just the start, and now the company is branching out to partner with existing technology hubs and incubation labs across the world. Rather than crafting hubs of its own, Google is announcing a Tech Hub Net
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Google Voice update adds short code support, warns you when you text 911 An update to Google Voice today brings a useful, if not earth-shattering, new feature: support for SMS short codes. If your primary phone number is the one associated with your Google Voice account, this means you’ll finally be able to use these codes for online banking and other services without your message showing up as sent from your carrier number. Today’s update also adds a warning message
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LA officials may delay school iPad rollout after students hack them in a week Just a week after it began the first phase of putting iPads in the hands of all 640,000 students in the region, the Los Angeles school district already has a fight on its hands. In a matter of days, 300 children at Theodore Roosevelt High School managed to work around protective measures placed on the Apple tablets, giving them complete access to features — including Facebook, Twitter and other
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Facebook finally allows you to edit your embarrassing tyops, er, typos If you’ve ever written “poo” instead of “pool” or “duck” instead of, er, “suck” in your Facebook status updates, then we’ve got good news for you. At long last, you can finally edit your post after it’s been published, a feature that was previously only reserved for the comments. As you can see in the screenshot above, simply click on the downward arrow on
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Netflix’s highest quality ‘Super HD’ 1080p video streams are available everywhere Feeling left out because your internet provider isn’t on board with Netflix’s Open Connect program that provides access to its Super HD high-bitrate 1080p streams? Let that feeling of abandonment go, as the company has announced all of its customers (with compatible players) now have access to the higher quality video (and, in the US, 3D). According to Netflix the move is based on a combination o
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Intel Capital throws money at Recon Instruments, hints at wearable war with Google If you thought that Google Glass was the only wearable backed by one of tech’s mega corporations, think again. Intel’s investment arm has now ponied up a “significant” investment into Recon Instruments, makers of the Jet heads-up display for extreme sports. While neither party has disclosed how much cash Intel has thrown Recon’s way, the release does reveal that the Intel Capital will b
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Rdio rolling out custom recommendations based on what you play, who you follow Rdio’s been busy making deals, tweaking its player and adding functionality over the past few months, and now it’s learning you what to listen to. The music streaming service is starting to drop hints about albums, stations and playlists — making recommendations based on users’ listening habits and who they’ve been following. These Echo Nest-powered suggestions are rolling out to browsers now, a
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Evernote gets physical: Why a software maker’s turning to tangible goods What the hell is Evernote doing selling backpacks and socks? That’s a question asked by many yesterday, when Evernote revealed a plan to expand its business well beyond productivity software by opening up Evernote Market. The Market, revealed at the third annual Evernote conference in San Francisco, debuted selling a selection of high-end bags from Côte&Ciel, notebooks from Moleskine, a scann
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Steam Controller in use: game developers sound off on the beta version’s highs and lows, how it feels We’ve only known about the Steam Controller for 24 hours, but it turns out a variety of developers already got a chance to put the controller to use ahead of the lucky 300 beta participants later this year. The devs we spoke with didn’t use the final format of the controller, but the non-touchscreen beta form seen above: four large buttons stand out in place of the clickable touchscreen panel (pl
18h
Gmail Android app may get ads soon, APK teardown reveals Google’s Gmail app for Android has remained an ad-free sanctuary, but code uncovered by Android Police in an APK teardown of the application’s latest version hints that circumstances might change. Buried within the the program is a new library called “ads,” along with messages, functions and classes mentioning advertisements. What’s more, a “ShowAdPreferenceManager()” function
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Timothy Leary-developed video games found in New York Public Library archive The New York Public Library recently discovered a treasure trove of video games in its archives created by psychedelic evangelist Timothy Leary. Over 375 floppies (talk about flashbacks) containing a “dozen or so” games developed by the LSD-advocate in the ’80s — some are playable via emulation — are now on display in the library’s rare books and manuscripts division, according to The
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Google launches Android game vending machines, puts first ones in Tokyo In a country that has no shortage of vending machines, Google Japan has decided to join the fray. The company has announced three dedicated Google Play machines that will sell 18 different gaming titles which are a mix of free-to-play and paid-for titles. To use the machines, you’ll need a smartphone running Android 4.0 and NFC — and that’s about it. You rest the phone on the tray below the scre
5h
Ikea starts selling residential solar panels in the UK …Because when you think of Britain, you think of sunny skies. Ikea has started selling solar panels for residential rooftops at its stores in the United Kingdom. The furniture outfit’s move into home solar systems (as opposed to sun-powered lighting) was apparently made attractive due the the drop in cost for solar panels, and Ikea’s initial offering will set you back £5,700 (about $9,300). For
4h
John McAfee wants to NSA-proof the internet with a device called Decentral The name McAfee is synonymous with the ubiquitous anti-virus software, but in recent years, John McAfee has kept a relatively low profile in the tech industry, preferring instead to take up leisurely pursuits like yoga and evading Belizean police. Until now. Last Saturday, McAfee took the stage at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center to announce his intention to design and manufacture Decentral
3h
Google Web Designer launches in beta, available now as a free download Back in June, Google’s advertising arm put up a blog post, letting us know it was about to release an HTML5 development tool, called Google Web Designer. Well, it’s just arrived today, per a post on Google’s own G+ account, and it’s available in beta as a free download. Throughout, the tool appears to cater to both seasoned coders, as well as amateurs looking to try their hand at web design (or l
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More Than Just Sharing: Everything You Need To Know About Google+ Photos In recent years, Google has reshuffled its product line to provide newer features and consolidate services. As such, Google+ has rightfully become a top tool for all of the photos stored on your Google account. Of course, this makes it very easy to share your photos with whomever you want, but you can do a lot more than just share. Make sure you take advantage of everything Google+ photos have to
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How To Use Learnist To Effectively Organize Your Learning & Teaching Styrofoam sheets, chart paper, cutouts, glue, and lots of patience. That was a learning board when we were growing up. Learnist is a learning board for the digital age. The web application itself describes a “learn board” as a “set of learnings organized as a series of steps for people to learn.” You can also look at a  learning board as a container for any content that helps you understand things
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Pinterest Rolls Out Article Pins For “Read it later” And Starts Promoted Pins Social bookmarking site Pinterest has been slowly changing its avatar. After rolling out a new design a few months ago and adding price alerts, it’s now stepping into the ‘read it later’ game — an obvious move given its bookmarking capabilities. Additionally, it’s also experimenting with promoted pins to monetize the site. “Lots of people use Pinterest to discover and collect great articles. In fa
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FREE MANUAL! Take Control: The Android Rooting Guide Have you ever thought about rooting your phone? Would

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