Samsung's newest TV allows DirecTV subscribers to access the service without a set top box, Groupon wants to get clicky with it, Google intends to personalize search results as well as help you follow the elections, Iran says video games are CIA propaganda, and so much more in today's Tech News Roundup!
1. Samsung 2012 TVs will be able to access DirecTV without a set top box. Samsung's newest range of TVs are super-thin and super-powerful, and now can be hooked up to DirecTV without the use of an extra box. The TVs will be available in March. No word on if that means a price increase though. [EnGadget]
2. Groupon launches a new product called "Clicky, the Clickable Value-Wheel." The company invites players to spin the clickable wheel to potentially score discounts on certain deals. So far only US residents are allowed to play, and users are invited to sign in using their Facebook accounts. From their press release:
Clicky, the Clickable Value-Wheel was designed to provide momentary distraction and meet the minimum threshold of amusement necessary for users to share Clicky, the Clickable Value-Wheel through social media channels, thereby virally spreading Groupon and increasing its number of active customers.
“The chances of winning are slim, but not impossible,” said Mike Bennett, Clicky, the Clickable Value-Wheel lead developer. “We designed the wheel to spin in a way that appears random – like you could potentially win on any given spin – but it’s not actually random, it’s programmatically predestined to ‘win’ 1 out of 1,000 times.”
The most distracting thing about the wheel is that it has eyes. And a trouty mouth. [TechCrunch]
3. Google will personalize searches with Google+. Calling it "Search plus Your World," Google hopes to integrate what the internet offers with what your friends may have recommended as well as photos you have shared on Picasa into the search engine. [TechCrunch]
4. Google also wants to help you keep track of the presidential race. The new Google Politics & Elections site (which you can add to a circle in Google+) helps journalists (or not) sort through the election information and turn that info into maps or timelines. [IJNet]
5. Iran says U.S. video games are CIA propaganda. [Kotaku]
6. Twitter is partnering with three music data services to bring you music from verified artists' Twitter accounts. [TechCrunch]
7. Rabbits are smart! U.K.-based company Violet launched the third-generation of its Internet-connected smart rabbits called Karotz. These bunnies can be fully integrated into social networks, so they will not only conduct internet searches and play music, they can update Facebook and Twitter pages, check and send emails, and read texts, tweets, and RSS feeds. It has a built-in webcam and microphone. so you can then take a picture with its camera and directly upload it to Facebook. If you've ever felt like you needed to be more connected (not really), this is probably the cutest way to do it. [Mashable]
8. TIme to whip your thumb into shape! Only meant for the right hand, the Razer Naga Hex has 6 buttons on the thumb-side. If you can wait until March to pay $80 for this puppy mouse, it's all yours to develop carpal tunnel syndrome in your thumb joint. [EnGadget]