Monthly Archives: December 2012

Zynga Shuts Down 11 Games, Including PetVille

December was a tough month for Zynga, the company pulled the plug on 11 games, as the gaming company reallocates resources to more successful titles as well as creating new ones. While this is an important move for Zynga, it couldn’t have been easy, and it has to be even harder for the gamers who spent months or in some cases years playing these games and now have nothing to show for it.

There is no doubt it’s tough right now for the gaming company, between Zynga’s relationship with Facebook taking a hit, and the layoffs, it doesn’t look good. However, this kind of company examination could be beneficial in the long-term, and with the new Zynga ad network in the works, it could turn around with the right decision-making and a few hit games.

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Foursquare Amends Privacy Policy To Show Full Names

It seems like we can’t go a week without hearing about another new way some social media service is violating our privacy. This week’s catastrophe: Foursquare has update its privacy policy to show users’ full first and last names. Currently, only a first name and initial (such as Matt H.) is visible when a user checks-in.

In an email to users, Foursquare explained the reasoning behind the change. The location-based social media service said that many people have complained that the current setup is too confusing, and that this move is strictly for the sake of convenience.

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Teaser: New Year, New Site.

We are quickly approaching 2013, and here at BestTechie we will be ringing in the new year with a new website. It’s been in the works for a while now and it’s going to be really awesome. Think of the new design as an iteration of the current design, but with vast improvements and also some new functionality that is going help us make the site even better.

The new design will be clean, easy to navigate, and will really put the focus on the content. Plus, it’ll be responsive — yep, so that means it will work and look great on all of your devices, including smartphones and tablets.

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Now You Can Track The NYC Subway In Real Time

The NYC subway doesn’t have a schedule! Well, actually it does — it just doesn’t always follow it. If you have ever wondered if there was a way to know when the next subway would be showing up to the platform, you’re now in luck with a brand new app by the MTA.

The app is called MTA Subway Time and is available as a web app or as an iPhone app, it gives users up-to-the-minute updates of how far away the next subway is. Unfortunately though, due to some train lines being older and not equipped with the latest technology, not every train in the city is trackable, in fact, only the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 42nd Street Shuttle are currently supported.

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Best of 2012: Tech Stocks

The year is winding down and everyone is now focusing on 2013 (including us — we have a lot planned, so definitely stay tuned), but before we jump fully into 2013, I wanted to take a look at some of the best tech stocks in 2012. For many tech stocks, 2012 wasn’t the best year, stocks including Zynga, Groupon, Pandora, Microsoft, and Facebook all had or are having some serious rough patches. Even the mighty Apple (AAPL) is currently experiencing some turbulence in the markets, despite its impressive growth.

I’m going to share with you five of what I consider to be the best tech stocks of 2012. So without further ado…

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The Walking Dead Sale on Xbox Live: First Episode Free, 50% Off the Rest

If you read my post on Wednesday, you know that I’m not a fan of digital game downloads that don’t offer a significant discount over their physical disc counterparts. The Walking Dead game from Telltale, however, started out as a digital download before making its way to the disc format this past month. On Xbox Live, the entire Walking Dead game (the first episode and the four additional episodes, available as downloadable content) usually costs 2000 Microsoft Points, which equates to $25. The full game, available at retailers in disc format, will run you $30.

That’s an okay discount, but it’s nothing like the one Microsoft is offering today.

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Windows Phone Adds 75,000 Apps in 2012, More than Doubles its Library

In a blog post published today, Microsoft’s Senior Director of Windows Phone Apps, Todd Brix, reflected on how 2012 treated Microsoft’s fledgling smartphone platform. Microsoft and third-party developers added over 75,000 apps to the Windows Phone catalog this year, “more than doubling the catalog size,” according to Brix. That 75,000 number may seem like a small one when placed next to Apple’s 1 million and Google’s 700,000, but Windows Phone seems to be making slow but steady progress. I’m a firm believer that what truly matters is that a platform has the apps people are looking for, and, to Windows Phone’s credit, the platform does have many of the must-have apps that are available on other platforms — save for those that are exclusive to either iOS or Android.

Brix also shared another tidbit. On average, each Windows Phone user has around 54 apps on their device. To contrast: earlier this year, market research firm Velositor found that iPhone users had 44 apps on their devices, while Android users had 32 apps.

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How To: Use Your Smartphone to Scan and Read Business Cards

Are you one of those people who gets a ton of business cards? If you are, I’m sure you will appreciate this app I’m going to share with you, because it’s going to save you a lot of time. Sound good, business pro? I’m sure it does.

The app is called WorldCard, and it’s available for $6.99 in the App Store. WorldCard can scan and read business cards in 16 different languages, and it does a pretty good job. It uses OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology to instantly transfer information from business cards to your smartphone.

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Lycos Is Planning A Comeback In 2013 With A New Search Engine

In a report by The Next Web published today, it appears that Lycos is planning a comeback in 2013. That’s right, one of the former search giants from the early 1990’s, is going to be releasing its own proprietary search engine in the coming year.

While the details of the search engine are currently scarce, Lycos CEO Rob Balazy did tell The Next Web that, “In the coming year you will see us introduce a new proprietary search product. I don’t want to say too much about it as it’s still in the planning stage but we have a vision to merge the notion of a search-type activity with a curated content experience.”

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Lending and Borrowing Video Games: The End May Be Near

Gaming has been a pastime of mine since I was about 5 or 6. Some of my earliest memories are of playing Ice Hockey and Kid Icarus on the NES, and as I grew, so did the industry. As I type this at 28 years of age, I’m now able to purchase a full game — the same game that sits on a shelf at GameStop — directly from my console, download it to the hard drive, and play it without having to leave the couch (yes, PC gamers, I know you’ve been able to do this for a while, but it’s still relatively new to us console folks).

But as much as this convenience delights me, it also frightens me, because it comes at a price.

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First Tweets from iPad’s Occurred 7 Times More Often Than Any Other Tablet on Christmas

Christmas has come and gone, but one thing is clear, if you follow the tweets — the iPad reigned supreme this year. A reddit user took a 24-hour sample of tweets starting on Christmas Eve by gathering all the tweets that mention being the first tweet from a new tablet, such as, “first tweet from my [insert tablet].”

The results?

The iPad (including the iPad mini) was mentioned in a little over 7 times as many tweets as the next most mentioned tablet, the Amazon Kindle line of products.

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What’s The Best Google Analytics App for iOS?

If you are a web master who uses an Android device, you are probably familiar with the official Google Analytics app for Android, unfortunately though, Google hasn’t been as kind to web masters who use an iPhone or iPad. As of right now, there is no official Google Analytics app for iOS, however, there are some decent alternatives that I’m going to share with you.

Currently, my three favorite Google Analytics apps for iOS are Audience ($0.99), Analytiks ($1.99), and Fishead Analytics (Free).

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Year In Review: The Biggest Tech Failure In 2012

The tale of this story actually starts in March 2011, when Color launched its app to the world along with the announcement that the company had raised a staggering $41 million prior to the launch. Color’s app was supposed to reinvent photo sharing, it was supposed to be as big a deal as Google, it was supposed to be a huge success.

It was none of those things, as it turns out. In fact, it was a big failure.

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