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New YouTube Button Sends Videos Straight from Mobile to TV (SocialTimes)
YouTube is working with television and cell phone manufacturers to bring YouTube videos to television screens. The company Thursday announced a “send to TV” icon that connects mobile devices to television sets like a remote control. Wired New TVs and devices from Sony, LG, Panasonic and Bang & Olufsen are the first from beyond the Googlesphere to feature the new feature. Their YouTube-friendly devices will be unveiled next week at the Consumer Electronics Show, Google said in a blog post. TechCrunch According to a YouTube spokesperson, for these new devices, users won’t necessarily have to go to a certain mobile website to link up with those devices. Instead, the YouTube apps will recognize that they are on the same network, allowing for near-instant connectivity between the two. The Next Web The new devices will also let users beam HD videos and channels to their big screen. While there’s still no word on whether this exact same feature will be arriving in the iOS incarnation of the YouTube app, Google did launch a new version of the app for Apple devices in early December, catering specially for iPad and iPhone 5, but also featuring “enhanced” AirPlay support, letting you shoot your videos over to your Apple TV. GigaOM YouTube also promised to add the functionality to devices from Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba, Vizio, Western Digital and other CE makers later this year. The technology behind it is part of a bigger push toward an open AirPlay alternative, which Google eventually wants to make available to others to use in their own apps and on additional platforms as well.
In Reversal, Court Says Accusations in Yelp Review Can Stand (SocialTimes)
A Virginia court has lifted an injunction against a woman who posted a scathing review of a contractor on Yelp. Jane Perez, of Fairfax, Md., had alleged that the contractor, Christopher Dietz of Dietz Development, was not licensed and had illegally entered her home and stolen from her. Mashable
While Perez’s Yelp comments will stand for now, Dietz’s defamation lawsuit against them will continue to run the rest of its course. Where is the line between honest reviews and defamation on sites such as Yelp? CNET In related news, Yelp, the local listing service that has long been critical of Google’s ways, is understandably disappointed with the FTC’s settlement with the search giant. Other than a few minor concessions the government determined that Google’s search practices are legal.
Current, the First ‘Social TV Network,’ Sells to Al Jazeera (LostRemote)
Current TV, which launched with a user-generated social strategy that was way ahead of its time, has been sold to Al Jazeera. When the network launched in 2005, the plan was to compete with legacy channels like CNN by having a focus on user-submitted content.
Foursquare’s Dennis Crowley to Wed Fashion Stylist Chelsa Skees (SocialTimes)
Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley kicked off 2013 by proposing to his girlfriend, Chelsa Skees, while vacationing at Playa Tamarindo beach in Costa Rica. The two announced their engagement on Twitter.
Facebook Adds Voice to Android, iOS Messenger Apps (AllFacebook)
Facebook has been constantly tweaking its mobile applications, but the newest change may be one of the biggest additions — voice messaging. The social network released updates to its stand-alone Messenger apps for iOS and Android Thursday that include the ability to send voice messages.
Watch: Top 5 Most-Viewed Non-Profit YouTube Videos Of 2012 (SocialTimes)
YouTube has become a go-to platform for non-profits trying to get the word out about their initiatives and 2012 saw more non-profit campaigns on the video site than ever before. YouTube and Mashable have released a list of the top 5 non-profit YouTube videos of 2012, and they are all worth watching (even if you’ve seen them before)!
Withdrawn Twitter Subpoenas Threaten Free Speech (AllTwitter)
In what is being called a “fishing expedition,” the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office withdrew the subpoenas it had sent to Twitter in an attempt to obtain information from two activists’ accounts. But we noted they’ve been withdrawn, so why care?
Pinterest Makes First Acquisition, Punchfork (SocialTimes)
Pinterest has acquired the recipe-sharing site Punchfork and will soon shut it down while retaining some of its key staff. Palo Alto-based Punchfork marks the newcomer social network’s first acquisition and makes clear that Pinterest is embracing rather than shying away from its reputation for appealing disproportionately to women.
BuzzFeed Raises $19.3 Million in Funding (FishbowlNY)
Thanks to a $19.3 million Series D funding round, BuzzFeed has room to grow even more. The funding was led by New Enterprise Associates, a venture capital firm.