Tech 2.0 for Thursday, October 18, 2012

Contributor: Matt Davenport
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Updated: 10/18/2012 5:58 pm

Newsweek plans to end its print publication after 80 years and will shift to an online-only format starting in early 2013. Job cuts are expected. Newsweek's last U.S. print edition will be its December 31 issue. Barry Diller, the head of the company that owns Newsweek, had announced in July that the publication was examining its future as a weekly print magazine. The announcement of the change was made by Tina Brown, editor-in-chief and founder of The Newsweek Daily Beast Co., on The Daily Beast website Thursday. Brown said staff cuts are expected, but didn't give a specific figure. Brown said that the online publication will be called Newsweek Global and will be a single, worldwide edition that requires a paid subscription. It will be available for tablets and online reading, with certain content available on The Daily Beast website.

Google and Samsung are introducing a lightweight laptop computer with a price similar to smaller tablet computers. The computer unveiled Thursday will sell for $249 and run on an operating system revolving around Google's Chrome Web browser. Like other so-called Chromebooks, this laptop doesn't have a hard drive. It functions like a terminal dependent on an Internet connection to get to information and applications stored in large data centers run by Google Inc. or other technology providers. The low-priced laptop represents Google's latest challenge to the Windows operating system used in most personal computers. It goes on sale early next week, just days before Microsoft Corp. releases Windows 8, a dramatic makeover of its operating system. Most of the PCs running on Windows 8 will sell for $500 to $1,000.

Yelp says it will alert users if it suspects that a business has tried to buy fake, misleading reviews on its site. Yelp Inc. said Thursday that some businesses go to "extreme lengths" to boost positive reviews. This includes paying people to write them. While Yelp already filters suspected fake reviews, the alerts will add an extra layer of scrutiny. San Francisco-based Yelp says alerts will stay on a business' page for 90 days after it's placed there. If Yelp finds ongoing efforts to post fake reviews, the alert will remain longer. Consumers can click on the alert to see more details on the misleading reviews, including screenshots. Yelp has more than 78 million monthly visitors.

Sony Corp. is revamping its PlayStation Store as it prepares a common storefront across devices from its game console to its Web-connected TVs, Blu-ray players and phones. The rollout began for PlayStation 3 users in Europe on Wednesday and will continue in the U.S., Canada, Brazil and Mexico next Tuesday. The store puts related game and movie franchises together on one page. That will allow fans of video games like "Resident Evil" or "Lego Harry Potter" to buy or rent movies from the same series more easily. Alphabetic searches are also easier with a game controller now than before. Sony's general manager of global digital video and music services, Michael Aragon, says Sony plans to roll out similar storefronts on TVs and other devices in the coming months.

The Million Puppet March is being organized online. More than 1,000 puppeteers and public broadcasting supporters have gone online to sign up for a march on the National Mall in Washington three days before the election. It was prompted by Mitt Romney's pledge to cut funding for PBS, even though he said he likes Big Bird. It was originally called the Million Muppet March, but organizers say they changed the name to include sock puppets, hand puppets, marionettes, shadow puppets and mascots.

Newsweek Ending Print Edition, Job Cuts Expected

After 80 years in print, Newsweek will go all-digital. The last print edition in the U.S. will be our Dec. 31 issue

Google introduces new 11.6-inch Samsung Chromebook for $249 [video]

MT @jfehrman: #Google Unveils New Ultra-Slim #Samsung Chromebook $249

Yelp stone cold-busts businesses buying reviews and shames them online:

Yelp Cracks Down on Fake Reviews With New Consumer Alerts -

Infamous 3? The new @PlayStation Store? All-Stars? @MitchyD and I break down what this mysterious Sony ad could mean.

Sony revamps PlayStation Store to link games, movies; readies common storefront across devices:

@jimmyfallon Puppets heading to D.C. to show the REAL DUMMIES a thing or two. Million Puppet March, Nov. 3rd. Wash. #millionpuppetmarch

Million Puppet March set to defend Big Bird, PBS in week of election

'Million Puppet March' planned in Washington D.C. to defend PBS funding 3 days before election:
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