Technology News Headlines for June 22 2012 ( Friday )

Rumored Details For Microsoft's Tablet PC Surface: $599 Price Tag, Wi-Fi Only
Details about Microsoft's new Surface tablet are trickling out. Sources have told Bloomberg that the tablets will be Wifi-only and thus won't run on mobile networks, playing to the traditional PC side of the tablet's character. During the announcement of the Surface, Microsoft was mum on exact pricing, but now TheNextWeb has heard that the price for the Windows RT model will start at $599 (as much as the 32GB new iPad), with the Windows 8 Pro version starting costing about $999.

Flipboard Social News Reader, An iOS Favorite, Storms Onto Android
Flipboard's iPad app, which launched in 2010, and its iPhone app, which came out a year later, were runaway hits. Now the social news reader app is finally ready and available for the Android market. That means anyone with an Android phone, Kindle Fire, or Nook in the U.S can get the free app from Google Play, the Amazon Appstore, the Barnes and Noble Nook store, and Samsung's app store.

Flipboard, which racked up over 1 million downloads in its first week on the iPhone, has found a favorite partner in Samsung: the app will come pre-installed as a standard app in the new Galaxy SIII smartphone.

Earlier this week, Google's Bradley Horowitz named Flipboard as one of the first users of the expanded Google+ API. Now, YouTube and Google+ subscriptions are fair game on the reader, with +1-ability built into the app. Flipboard is also expanding its local edition lineup. Germany, Korea, Italy, Spain, and the Netherlands will join local editions Flipboard already has outside the U.S. in France, China(with Renren and Sina Weibo integration), Australia, Canada, and the U.K.

Nintendo Super-Sizes The 3DS Game Console

Nintendo has been trying to expand the market for its 3DS handheld game system, and now they have done so quite literally--by increasing the size of the device. Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has revealed that the existing game console will be joined by a 3DS LL (XL in the U.S.) which has a larger 4.88-inch top screen alongside a 4.18-inch bottom touch screen. That's about an inch larger than the existing machine's display, and compares to leading-edge Android smartphones and even Samsung's monster 5-inch Galaxy Note. It's also a little bigger than the rumored 4-inch iPhone for 2012. These smartphone devices have transformed the handheld gaming market, and threaten Nintendo's future in this particular game. The 3DS XL will arrive in America on August 19th for $200.

Kickstarter Launches A New Live Stats Page So Anyone Can Track Projects' Funding
Kickstarter launched a live statistics page today on which anyone can view all kind of data behind both successful and unsuccessful projects across the different categories, cofounder Yancey Strickler wrote in a blog post. In addition to the usual Kickstarter facts, such as how much money backers have contributed to projects ($261 million to date), you can now also access stats such as how many projects have failed to reach their funding goal (31,722, of 60,786 total) and how many have never even raised a cent (more than 7,000). Last month, Kickstarter garnered some media scrutiny for actively preventing failed projects from being indexed by search engines, which Strickler later told TechCrunch was a practical move, as "it would expose the creators of unsuccessfully funded projects to unnecessary criticism from the web."

Google-backed Endangered Language Project Helps Preserve Dwindling Dialects
Google is backing a cultural initiative to help preserve more than 3,000 dwindling languages around the world. The Endangered Language project is backed by and maintained by the Alliance for Language Diversity. According to the group, half the world's 7,000 languages are at threat of disappearing over the next 100 years. The new website is a worldwide record of more than 3,000 languages at threat, with information on programs that are working to keep them alive. Through the website, the cultural conservation group hopes to serve as keepers of the dying tongues, and serve as a resource for other groups who are battling to preserve local lingos.
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