Technology News Headlines for June 26 2012 ( Tuesday )

VeriFone Takes Its Mobile Payment Dongle Sail To Android
VeriFone recently revealed its play for the next-gen of mobile payments, rivalling Square, as iPhone-compatible Sail dongle--a device that also comes with an impressive software ecosystem. The company has just announced that it's made Sail compatible with Android devices, which makes excellent sense given that Android smartphones lumped together do make up a market majority for smartphones. But it's also making Sail more powerful by offering in-app one-click ordering of a VeriFone countertop hardware unit for a $100 and $15 monthly rental. By printing out paper receipts and acting as helping Sail devices track sales it effectively turns connected Sail handsets, which can process credit card payments, into minature cash registers. This is especially useful as Sail allows differential login levels so several floor staff could operate the devices to process payments, but only a manager can access analytics and account information.

With Yahoo Deal, Spotify Eyes 700M Potential Users
Spotify and Yahoo just announced a global distribution deal that will put Spotify in front of 700 million users--a hefty leg up from its current 10 million actives. It's another way the streaming company is making the experience less about its mothership interface. Yahoo will integrate Spotify with its entertainment sites by featuring the Spotify "play" button, which the music service rolled out in April to allow any site to embed Spotify tunes and to, in turn, gain more users. The news doesn't change much for existing Spotify users, but Yahoo says a branded Spotify app is in the works that will feature original entertainment content. And what's good for Spotify may also be good for Yahoo: AllThingsD reports Yahoo will receive a cut of the revenue from paying Spotify subscribers generated by the Yahoo exposure.

Apple Releases New Podcasts App
Apple has released an official standalone app for podcasts calling it--surprise, surprise--"Podcasts." The app, designed to look like an old tape player, is now out for the iPhone and iPad for iOS versions 5.1 and later. New podcasts you've subscribed to can be set to update automatically for offline listening, or can be streamed online. A "Stations" category lets you discover new podcasts within a category, with easily accessed sharing option on Twitter, message, or via email.

Pulse Launches Premium Sources With WSJ As Inaugural Partner
One day after Flipboard and The New York Times announced a paid content partnership, Flipboard competitor Pulse and the Wall Street Journal have announced one of their own. Starting today, Flipboard's new Premium Sources feature gives users access to select WSJ content for a monthly fee. Unlike the Flipboard/Times partnership, which gives current Timessubscribers access to all of the paper's content on Flipboard, Pulse users will have to subscribe to different channels of WSJ content, starting with tech, politics, and an editorial section called the Water Cooler. Tech and politics subscriptions are each $3.99 a month, and the Water Cooler subscriptions are $0.99 a month.
Vizio Announces $99 Co-Star For A Smarter HDTV
LCD HDTV maker Vizio, following in Sony's and LG's steps, just announced a new setup that will bring web streaming to its lush TV displays. The $99 Vizio Co-Star, outfitted with Google TV tech, connects to a cable box or satellite box and adds a smart layer to the TV setup hardware that brings access to apps and streamed shows with just a few clicks of the remote control. Pre-orders for the set begin in July.

Facebook Disables New "Find Friends Nearby" App
Facebook has scuttled the fledgling Find Friends Nearby app which was discovered this weekend. When logged into Facebook and on the app's landing page, users could see the names of geographically close Facebook users, known and unknown, who were also on the app's landing page. The app's landing page and the version within the Facebook app have both been disabled. Facebook has spoken up, telling and that the app was a test and had not been formally released.

Orbitz Shows Mac Users Costlier Travel Deals
Travel site Orbitz is using the browser data of their visitors to target Apple users with costlier travel and hotel options. Orbitz executives told the Wall Street Journal that they noticed visitors with a Mac spent more on hotel rooms (up to $30 more) and picked fancier hotels than PC users, and confirmed the trend with data. The company now adds visitors' browser data to a laundry list of factors that determine what search results they see.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg Becomes First Woman To Sit On Board Of Directors
Facebook has just appointed chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg as the eighth member and first woman to sit on its Board of Directors, the company announced today. As Facebook's highest-paid executive, Sandberg has overseen the company's business operations for the past four years, and she will now command her own vote in all Facebook decisions. Sandberg currently owns 1.9 million shares of Class B Facebook stock and more than 39 million restricted stock units. The announcement comes a little more than a week after Facebook's CTO of three years, Bret Taylor, said he would be leaving the company.

Shazam Partners With NBC Olympics To Deliver Social TV Content
Media discovery app Shazam announced today it will partner with NBC Olympics to provide social content for the duration of the London games. The partnership will provide Shazam with access to twice the viewership of this year's Super Bowl, its last major U.S. television partnership (the 2008 Beijing Olympics had about 214 million U.S. viewers, compared to the 2012 Super Bowl's 111 million). Starting July 27, U.S. Shazam users watching the Olympics across five NBC properties will be able to use the app on their mobile devices to access content such as athletes' bios, up-to-the-minute event results, and interactive polls, as well as options to share on Twitter and Facebook.
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