Technology News Headlines for June 25 2012 ( Monday )

The New York Times And Flipboard Partner For Paid Access
Starting Thursday, subscribers to the The New York Times will be able to flip through the full paper via the Flipboard social reader on an iPad.

Flipboard plugs into content streams of all kinds, from Twitter lists to RSS feeds to free material straight from a raft of publisher partners including Fast Company, but this is the first-time they have offered premium paid content. And the partnership kicks off a new strategy for the Times dubbed "NYT Everywhere"--a plan to bring the Times, originally accessibly only via its own mobile app, to a wider digital readership via third-party platforms. In other words, Flipboard is just the beginning.

Flipboard's intuitive and addictive user interface, designed by Marcos Weskamp (#42 on our Most Creative People list), has been picking up new allies lately. The recent addition of audio from SoundCloud and NPR, video from YouTube, sharing via Google+, and finally launching for all of Android last week likely make it the dominant player among iPad's many social news readers.

Update 11:45 a.m. EST: Ad Age reports that other publishers are responding to Flipboard's effective but free reach in a different way. Conde Nast has decided to pare down the amount of content from Wired and the New Yorker that it funnels into Flipboard's streams, prodding readers to click through to their website to read full stories. Their view, shared by others in the publishing world it seems, is that Flipboard seems to be a little too good at what it does: though its content may reach a wide audience, those readers prefer not to leave the app at all for the content providers' web pages. "... the question is, is it too beautiful?" a publishing executive told Ad Age.

Rumor: Jelly Bean Flavored Google Nexus 7 Tablet To Cost $199
Ahead of Google's I/O conference this week Gizmodo Australia got their hands on leaked documents that spill the (jelly)beans on Google's expected new Nexus tablet, supposedly called the Nexus 7. Two versions are expected, an 8GB model at $199 and a 16GB model at $249. According to the documents, the tablet will run the Jelly Bean version of the Android OS. The tablet will also be NFC-enabled, and Google Wallet compatible.

Facebook's "Find Friends Nearby" App Does Just What It Says - And More
Facebook quietly introduced a new service over the weekend called Find Friends Nearby, which connects you with other Facebook subscribers who are in close geographic proximity. The service is activated when a logged-in Facebook user visits the Find Friends page on their mobile device. The app uses GPS data to pinpoint your location and lists all other Facebook/Find Friend users in the vicinity, on or off your friend lists. Just based on how it's set up, the feature is opt-in only, restricted to users who seek out the Find Friends Nearby page on the web, or via the Facebook iOS or Android mobile app. Leave the page and you disappear from others' lists. And only public details are visible via the service--people still need to send you a friend request to see your full profile.

Facebook developer Ryan Patterson created the app (originally called "Friendshake") during a hackathon, he wrote in the comments section at TechCrunch where the app was first reported. "For me, the ideal use case for this product is the one where when you’re out with a group of people whom you’ve recently met and want to stay in contact with," Patterson explained.

Google Dramatically Cuts Price For Accessing Its Maps API
Google has announced that it's cutting the cost of third party access to its sophisticated Maps API by up to 88%, for clients on high-traffic sites and services. Google lets third party app developers and websites to access its Maps technology through an API, but had been charging a small but on insignificant fee of $4 per 1,000 map loads to these customers--a fee that eats into profits the company's make by offering the Maps as part of their own service. Google also revealed it would be changing who it charges these fees to, and offering negotiations on the matter. The price cut comes in the weeks since it was unofficially revealed that Apple had shunned Google's Map tech in its next iPhone operating system and was instead offering its own clever mapping solution. 

Google TV Getting International Launch, Starting In U.K.
Google is finally taking its smart/connected TV system outside of the U.S., with Sony as the preferred launch partner. Sony Europe revealed the news this morning, explaining that the NSZ-GS7 "Internet Player with Google TV," which is a set-top box with a smart keyboard-toting remote control, will hit the U.K. in July for £200 ($311). Shortly after this the system will also launch in Canada, Australia, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, then Brazil and Mexico (with Sony Germany giving a September date for that nation). Sony's effort at bringing Internet TV to the masses is one of the most high profile, coming with Google's global reputation in tow, and it's being played out against a continuous backdrop of rumors that Google's rival Apple is planning on reinventing the whole market and as Amazon slowly expands its own Net content offering, with deals like a new one between Lovefilm and Fox in the U.K.
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