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Tech Review: Apps to help follow the Winter Olympics

Apps that help users stay connected.

Apps that help users stay connected. Credit: AFP / Getty Images

The nation is in the icy grasp of winter -- the XXII Olympic Winter Games, that is. The Games in Sochi, Russia, run until Feb. 23, and with these apps you can follow the more than 2,800 athletes -- including the three from Long Island -- as they compete in 98 medal events in 15 sports.

NBC Sports Live Extra

(iOS, Android; free)

NBC's official Winter Olympics app will stream more than 1,000 hours of live events covering all 98 medal events. You can also access a video library of earlier events. Looking for something to watch after the Olympics ends? The app streams video of many sporting events NBC covers, including regular season and playoff NHL games, PGA Tour golf and French Open tennis.

Olympic Athletes' Hub

(iOS, Android; free)

With the rise of social media, athletes are instantly posting their triumph and despair online. This app from the International Olympic Committee monitors the verified Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts of Olympic athletes and aggregates their posts, allowing you to follow Olympians from the United States and other countries. The app's "trending" feature offers an at-a-glance update on what's happening at Sochi.

Team USA's Pinsanity

(iOS, Android; free)

One of the joys of being an Olympian, beyond competing, is trading Olympic pins with other athletes. This game developed by the U.S. Olympic Committee gives users a taste of virtual Olympic pin collecting at home. A few caveats: Its performance was spotty on several Android phones we tested it with and didn't work at all on a tablet running Android 4.4. You must have a Facebook account to use the app.

2014 Team USA

Road to Sochi

(iOS, Android; free)

This official app from the U.S. Olympic Committee has extensive stats and fun facts for the 230 U.S. athletes at the Games. Whether you want to know how many gold medals Shaun White has won or what his favorite books are, the app tells you. Users can produce a customized news feed of their favorite athletes' social media posts, so it's easy to follow local Olympians Matt Mortensen (Huntington Station, luge), Aidan Kelly (West Islip, luge) and John Daly (Smithtown, skeleton).


Next big thing?



Samsung is stoking rumors it will unveil its next flagship smartphone -- the Galaxy S5 -- later this month as it revs up its competition with Apple. Without specifically confirming the new phone, the electronics giant sent out media invitations for an "Unpacked 5" event at a trade show in Spain on Feb. 24. The Galaxy S4 was second only to Apple's iPhone in smartphone sales last year.-- Peter King




Heeding the call



At your next business meeting you may want to keep your smartphone in your pocket or purse with the ringer off. A study published in Business Communication Quarterly found that 76 percent of business professionals said checking email during a meeting was unacceptable. And 87 percent said answering a call during a business meeting was rarely or never acceptable.-- Peter King




IBM, Twitter sign deal



Twitter has bought 900 patents and signed a cross-licensing agreement with IBM, making peace with Big Blue and bulking up its intellectual property portfolio as it takes on larger rivals Google and Facebook. The agreement comes after IBM accused Twitter of infringing three of its patents, underscoring how few patents the social media company possessed in relation to more established rivals. -- Reuters?



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