Chromecast adds support for 10 new apps including Plex, Vevo, & Songza

(via Flickr)

(via Flickr)

Google announced today a major round of app additions for its media streaming Chromecast HDMI stick including Plex, Vevo, Songza, and more.

Chromecast, which retails for $35 (currently $32.88 on Amazon Prime), can now play local files synced with your Plex media library from iOS, Android, or Chrome. Plex support is highly requested and offers a major advantage for content consumers looking to play content from a device to an HDTV.

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Tim Cook discusses taxes before Tuesday’s visit to Congress: ‘Apple does not funnel domestic profits overseas’

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Yesterday Politico reported that Tim Cook will appear before Congress next week to testify in a hearing regarding how the company is handling its overseas finances and domestic taxes, and today Politico has published a brand new interview with the Apple CEO.

Tim Cook and Apple tend to avoid any public discussion aside from comments during quarterly earnings calls, but it seems the company is on a PR offense leading up to next week’s public hearings.

“We don’t have a large presence in Washington, as you probably know, but we care deeply about public policy and believe creative policy can be a huge catalyst for a better society and a stronger economy.”

Cook went on to defend Apple against any accusations that may come its way next week.

“I can tell you unequivocally Apple does not funnel its domestic profits overseas. We don’t do that. We pay taxes on all the products we sell in the U.S., and we pay every dollar that we owe. And so I’d like to be really clear on that.”

The Apple CEO also noted the company’s $100 million project to produce a Mac line in the United States this year, which the company says will add jobs to the economy. Read more

Apps & updates: Real Racing 3 trailer, Twitter, HopStop, more

Real Racing 3: EA officially announced the next title in its Real Racing series, which is now being handled by developer Firemonkeys (recent merger of Firemint and and IronMonkey), and also released the rather impressive announcement trailer above featuring pre-alpha footage. More info is coming later this year but there is additional Porsche footage on the game’s Facebook page if you can’t wait. A little bit of what to expect from Real Racing 3 below:

REAL CARS

Gamers will enjoy graphics that have been meticulously hand crafted to produce photorealistic visuals as they zoom around in cars from manufacturers like Porsche, Dodge and Audi.

REAL TRACKS

For the first time in the series, Real Racing 3 will also include a full lineup of real world tracks from the top names around the world including Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Silverstone. With a 22 car grid, gamers will be able to pit themselves against 21 other drivers in one race.

REAL RACING EXPERIENCE

Fans can experience the glory of championship racing on real tracks recreating the full race-day pressure and environment in a game that harnesses the full power of mobile hardware to produce a beautiful racing environment.

Twitter version 4.3.2: The Twitter iOS app was updated today with improved pull to refresh and infinite scroll “in enhanced events experience,” unfortunately we still await an update to the official Mac client while the Tweetbot for Mac alpha received a ton of new features in its latest update last night.

Wash Post version 2.0.0:The Washington Post’s official iPhone app received a big update today with a brand new design and tons of new features including live weather conditions, 7 day forecasts, weather alerts, real-time traffic updates, metro arrival times and schedules for the DC Metro area, and more. Also included is Retina display enhancements for all full links within articles, graphics, and galleries.

HopStop Transit Directions version 1.2.1: We told you about an update to the HopStop iPhone app for transit directions in NYC, Boston, Chicago, and San Fran, and today its app with support for 100’s of cities throughout the US, Canada, and Europe was updated with the London Underground map and support for the following new markets:

- Arrive by Directions and Schedules Search!

- New markets: Palm Springs, Burlington VT, Fresno, Missoula, Orlando

- London Underground map has been added

- Various bug fixes and improvements

Apple vs. Samsung: Opening Statements in the (Patent) trial of the century

Apple and Samsung appeared in a San Jose federal court today, where U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh presides, to give opening statements starting at 9 a.m. PST.

Apple filed the first suit in this monumental case in April 2011. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company claimed Samsung infringed its patents by “slavishly copying” its iPhone. Samsung, a South Korea-based Company, promptly countersued.

This is one of the important cases to go to trial among a slew of other litigations on smartphone patents. If Apple wins, Samsung could suffer a financial blow and the ability to sell its infringing products in a large market. If Apple loses, its “thermonuclear war” against Android smartphone manufacturers could essentially wither away as Samsung collects royalty fees.

This morning’s most notable highlights are below (continually updated).

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Jobs told biographer that he cracked the code to building an HDTV

The Washington Post details an interesting revelation from Steve Jobs to biographer Walter Isaacson prior to his death earlier this month.

“He very much wanted to do for television sets what he had done for computers, music players, and phones: make them simple and elegant,” Isaacson wrote.

Isaacson continued: “‘I’d like to create an integrated television set that is completely easy to use,’ he told me. ‘It would be seamlessly synced with all of your devices and with iCloud.’ No longer would users have to fiddle with complex remotes for DVD players and cable channels. ‘It will have the simplest user interface you could imagine. I finally cracked it.’”

That is particularly interesting when you consider that Apple has been rumored to be entering the TV business since the beginning of time. There has also been speculation that Apple’s Siri Voice control could play a big part in Apple’s HDTV venture.

Jobs’ passage could also relate to the current Apple TV model which Apple just makes the pass-through box, instead of Apple actually manufacturing the LCD TVs themselves. Obviously with iCloud only being released this month, there could be some Apple TV updates coming shortly.

Meanwhile, CBS posted another clip from the 60 Minutes interview with Isaacson in which Jobs himself reveals on tape the circumstances around meeting his biological father, below:

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