TIME Mobile

Why Tweets Are About to Dominate Your Google Searches

The Twitter logo displayed on a mobile device.
Bethany Clarke—Getty Images The Twitter logo is displayed on a mobile device.

The two tech companies are cozying up

On Tuesday, Google announced that it is partnering with Twitter to make tweets searchable on mobile devices. The new feature will become available on the English version of Google.com, the Android and iOS versions of Google’s search app, and on mobile browsers.

“It’s a great way to get real-time info when something is happening,” writes Google senior product manager Ardan Arac in a company blog post. “And it’s another way for organizations and people on Twitter to reach a global audience at the most relevant moments.”

Google had previously gained access to Twitter’s so-called firehose, the stream of real-time posts uploaded to the social network, earlier this year—rekindling a failed partnership from several years ago.

A post on Google’s official blog shows what the new feature will look like. It demonstrates a search for “nasa twitter”:

nasa-twitter
Courtesy Google

The deal could signal more partnerships between the two to come. It looks like the two are hitting it off already:

For more on Google and Twitter’s partnership watch:

http://fortune.com/video/2015/02/05/how-the-google-search-deal-could-be-a-boon-for-twitter/

TIME Bitcoin

New York Stock Exchange Gives Bitcoin Some Mainstream Love

People attend a Bitcoin conference on at the Javits Center April 7, 2014 in New York City.
Andrew Burton—Getty Images

The digital currency takes another step toward the mainstream

The New York Stock Exchange premiered a bitcoin index on Tuesday, giving an important endorsement to the digital currency that could help give it more mainstream credibility.

NYSE President Thomas Farley couched the announcement in terms of meeting customer demand.

“Bitcoin values are quickly becoming a data point that our customers want to follow as they consider transacting, trading or investing with this emerging asset class,” he said in a statement from the NYSE’s parent company, Intercontinental Exchange. “We are pleased to bring transparency to this market.”

The new index tracks the price of one bitcoin in U.S. dollars by looking at transactions processed through various bitcoin exchanges. The NYSE was quick to point out that it will only track only bitcoin exchanges that “have been evaluated and meet NYSE’s quality standards.”


Last year, Mt. Gox, the leading bitcoin exchange, imploded and lost hundreds of millions of dollars worth of its customers’ holdings. Since then, the price of the digital money has dropped precipitously—to around $230 today. At its height in 2013, bitcoin traded at more than $1,200 per unit.

Initially, the NYSE bitcoin index is getting its data from Coinbase, a bitcoin wallet startup that NYSE invested in at the beginning of the year.

Other financial stalwarts are getting in on the bitcoin act, too. The Nasdaq stock exchange, Goldman Sachs, and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers have become involving in some way with the cryptocurrency through investments in bitcoin-related startups, taking board seats in those companies and using some of its underlying technology.

Farley, for his part, is not ruffled by the possibility that bitcoin could fail to meet the promises of techno-utopians. “We’re willing to make some investments and even take on some risk earlier in the lifecycle of a new technology than some of our competitors,” he told Mashable. “The benefit is when we get it right, we get it real right. When we get it wrong, the idea is to get to that answer as quickly as possible and move on.”

Business Insider reported that this is just the beginning for NYSE’s bitcoin program. “This is just the first of many bitcoin-based indexes that the NYSE plans to launch,” the site said, citing an exchange spokesperson. “Details about further indexes have yet to be released.”

TIME Video Games

Test Your Super Mario Bros. Skills in Nintendo’s World Championships

Nintendo

From California to Florida to New York

For those who immediately began practicing their Super Mario Bros. skills after the announcement that the Nintendo World Championships would make its return, Nintendo has revealed how players can actually compete—and what they’ll be playing.

Nintendo announced on Tuesday that qualifying competitions will be held in eight Best Buy locations throughout the United States on May 30. The best player from each location will move onto the final competition in Los Angeles, which is being held during E3 in June.

The qualifying round will test players with Ultimate NES Remix for the Nintendo 3DS, which puts a new spin on classic games. Players will try their hand at challenges based on Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, and Dr. Mario. Competitors will be able to reach their highest scores at each location from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Here are the eight locations:

  • 1717 Harrison St. San Francisco, CA
  • 3675 Pacific Coast Highway Torrance, CA
  • 10760 NW 17th St. Miami, FL
  • 900 E. Golf Road Schaumburg, IL
  • 12905 Elm Creek Blvd. N Maple Grove, MN
  • 5001 Northern Blvd. Long Island City, NY
  • 9378 N. Central Expressway Dallas, TX
  • 2214 S. 48th St. Tacoma, WA

Another eight competitors will be chosen by Nintendo to play in the finals on June 14.

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

TIME Yotaphone

This Crazy New Phone isn’t Like Anything You’ve Ever Seen

Courtesy of Yotaphone

This new phone has an LCD screen and an electronic paper screen

A mobile phone with two screens is now available through an IndieGoGo campaign, and it sure is something else.

The Yotaphone 2, as its known, has one LCD screen similar to that of an iPhone or an Android. On the back, though, the device has a second screen more similar to a Nook or Kindle e-reader. Yotaphone claims this is the first-ever dual screen smartphone.

Pre-ordering the phone through Indiegogo will set you back $550. For the first 48 hours of the campaign, it is discounted to $525. The phone is eventually expected to retail for $600.

Shipments are expected to be start in August.

More than $75,000 has already been raised by the campaign through the first six hours after being posted Tuesday.

The phone will also have native apps, just like other smartphones. A portable wireless charger is also available from the IndieGoGo page.

TIME Smartphones

This Texting-While-Driving Study Will Make You Afraid to Drive

Texting is only the tip of the iceberg

Drivers using their smartphones behind the wheel aren’t just texting — they’re emailing, browsing the web, tweeting and even video chatting.

Those are just some of the activities that smartphone-using drivers fessed up to in a survey commissioned by AT&T. The report is tied to the wireless company’s It Can Wait campaign, which launched in 2010 to raise awareness of the dangers of using smartphones while driving.

Texting remains the most popular activity among these distracted drivers, according to the survey, but about one-third said they e-mailed on their phones while driving, and one-tenth of said they were on Snapchat.

Here’s a full breakdown:

 

TIME Disney

Disney Hates Your Selfie Sticks

Selfie stick
Biljana Molan Klisarova—Moment Editorial/Getty Images Selfie stick

You can't use your selfie stick on Thunder Mountain

Selfie sticks may make it easier to take photos that make your friends jealous. But the some people aren’t too fond of them, including the people at Disney.

The entertainment company is placing anti-selfie stick signs in its theme parks and having staff more rigorously enforce an existing ban on them, reports the Huffington Post. The ban was first reported earlier this year, when Disney ride operators started making announcements reminding customers not to use selfie sticks.

It’s both an issue of safety and manners, the article says. Not only do the sticks create a nuisance for other customers, but some people are putting themselves and others in danger by using them on rides.

Other theme parks have taken similar measures, the story notes, including installing metal detectors in the lines outside rides. A growing number of museums, sports arenas, and conferences have also banned selfie sticks.

 

MONEY Apple

Apple Is Finally Making a Must-Have Accessory for the iPhone 6

Apple The new lightning dock for the iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, and 6 Plus

But you might want to go for a cheaper non-Apple model

Back in 2013, Apple released a docking station for the iPhone 5s and 5c for $29.

The problem—for anyone who later upgraded to an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus—is that the dock would no longer fit with the newest smartphones’ larger dimensions, even though it used the same “lightning” connector common to both generations.

Now, along with the new 15-inch Retina MacBook, Apple has quietly released a dock designed to work with all of the newest generation iPhones.

The $39 docking station lacks the size-specific groove of the older model, but still keeps your phone upright as it charges or syncs with a computer. It can also be used during speakerphone calls and while playing music, though you’ll have to buy speakers and a connecting cable separately, of course.

Thanks to the new shape, the company says you can leave your case—or at least your Apple-brand case—on the phone as you charge.

Needless to say, there are still cheaper options out there, including a highly-rated Belkin model for less than $16.

TIME Security

Apple and Google Want Obama to Let Them Encrypt Your Phone

President Obama Departs White House For Las Vegas
Win McNamee—Getty Images U.S. President Barack Obama holds up his Blackberry after he ran back into the White House after forgetting the mobile phone while departing for a domestic trip November 21, 2014 in Washington, DC.

"Strong encryption is the cornerstone of the modern information economy’s security"

Heavyweights of the tech industry including Apple and Google sent an open letter to President Barack Obama on Tuesday urging his administration to reject any legislative proposal that would give government agencies access to encrypted smartphone data.

“We urge you to reject any proposal that U.S. companies deliberately weaken the security of their products,” wrote the signatories, a rainbow coalition of technology firms, cybersecurity experts and privacy advocates.

The appeal laid out the risk of granting law enforcement agencies “backdoor” access to encrypted data, a window the signatories warned could also be exploited by foreign spies, hackers and private interests.

“Whether you call them ‘front doors’ or ‘back doors’, introducing intentional vulnerabilities into secure products for the government’s use will make those products less secure against other attackers.”

Google and Apple have drawn fire from law enforcement agencies for developing encryption technologies that could potentially block them from accessing emails, photos and contacts.

TIME apps

Don’t Worry, Spotify Isn’t Killing Free Streaming

SWEDEN-MUSIC-COMPANY-SPOTIFY
Jonathan Nackstrand—AFP/Getty Images This photo illustration shows a woman as she uses the iPhone application of Swedish music streaming service Spotify on March 7, 2013 in Stockholm, Sweden.

A spokesperson flatly denies that Spotify's freemium model is floundering

Spotify is refuting recent reports that it would pull the plug on its free streaming music service, leaving listeners no alternative but to pay up.

“It’s totally false,” a Spotify spokesperson told Music Business Worldwide. The dismissal came in response to unnamed sources, quoted by Digital Music News, who claimed that music labels were pressuring Spotify to cap its free streaming service at three months.

The report comes amid grumbling from industry insiders that Spotify’s freemium model may not generate enough revenue to support music labels, a complaint famously echoed by singer Taylor Swift and hotly contested by Spotify’s CEO. Apple is also said to be pressuring labels to stop supporting Spotify’s free streaming tier ahead of the rumored launch of its own new streaming service.

“The model is working,” Spotify’s spokesperson insisted.

 

 

TIME Companies

Jawbone’s $300 Million Investment Isn’t What You Thought

Inside The 2015 Consumer Electronics Show
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Hosain Rahman, chief executive officer of Jawbone Inc., speaks at a news conference during the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Monday, Jan. 5, 2015.

BlackRock's cash infusion may have actually been a loan

A recent major investment in fitness band maker Jawbone may not have technically been an investment.

What was originally billed as a $300 million cash infusion from BlackRock [fortune-stock symbol=”BLK”], the world’s largest asset manager, may actually have been a loan, according to a Bloomberg report that cites anonymous sources as well as a recent filing.

Jawbone makes the popular Up fitness bands as well as Jambox speakers, but the 16-year-old company has struggled to take off in the growing wearable technology market. A Fortune feature story earlier this year looked at some of the issues that have plagued the company, which had raised more than $400 million prior to BlackRock’s involvement.

Now, Bloomberg calls BlackRock’s cash “something of a bailout for Jawbone,” a company that has yet to show consistent profitability. Bloomberg adds:

“BlackRock’s decision to use debt rather than equity is one way that late-stage investors can protect themselves when backing private, venture-supported companies. Equity investors in private companies rarely get the same financial transparency or shareholder rights that they do with publicly traded companies.”

Flextronics, an electronics components manufacturer, sued Jawbone last year in a $21 million breach of contract lawsuit over an alleged unpaid bill. That suit was quickly settled.

Earlier this year, rumors surfaced that Google [fortune-stock symbol=”GOOG”] might make a strategic investment in Jawbone, but the search giant has yet to make such a move.

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