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21
Dec

Google Shopping Express starts selling gadgets, continues same-day delivery until December 24th


Hey, Bay Area residents: Mountain View’s hoping you’ll bring its online shop your business instead of braving the crowds for some last-minute holiday shopping. Google’s Shopping Express will continue doing same-day deliveries until 5PM Pacific on December 24th, so long as you place an order before noon. Even better, the portal now sells gadgets straight from Google Play. The selection’s pretty slim at the moment, but if you have a relative dying for a Nexus 7/10 or a Chromecast, then you’ve got it made. Sadly, the service has yet to expand to other locations, so everyone else will have to find an alternative, or, you know, grab a Red Bull on the way to the mall.

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Via: Google Commerce

Source: Google Shopping Express

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21
Dec

Recommended Reading: Google starts over, sculpture on the moon and more


Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology in print and on the web. Some weeks, you’ll also find short reviews of books dealing with the subject of technology that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.

The Day Google Had to ‘Start Over’ on Android
(1,933 words)
by Fred Vogelstein, The Atlantic

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Back in 2005, Google had tasked teams of engineers with developing a secret mobile product that would position it to better compete with Microsoft. When 2007 rolled around, teams had worked 40- to 80- hour weeks for almost a year in an effort to revolutionize mobile phones. However, Apple was first out of the gate, revealing the iPhone on January 9th and forcing Google to rethink all the work that had been done. Fred Vogelstein recounts the outfit’s post-iPhone Android development and a touchscreen Dream device built to make up for iOS shortcomings.

Robot Telemarketer Employer: Samantha West Is No Robot
(530 words)
by Denver Nicks, Time

Time’s Denver Nicks examines the work habits of Samantha West, a telemarketing robot that will actually deny that label. She’s really more computer software than robot, though, allowing those who don’t speak English well to wade through prospective buyers.

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This 100-year-old deal birthed the modern phone system. And it’s all about to end.
(3,426 words)
by Brian Fung, Washington Post

A hundred years ago this week, The Klingsbury Commitment kept AT&T from being another broken-up monopoly that fell under the US anti-trust laws of the early 20th century. Brian Fung takes a look at the letter (one of the first successful PR campaigns) that maintained the company’s hold on telecommunications and the monopoly’s ultimate fall.

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The mysterious story of the battery startup that promised GM a 200-mile electric car (7,490 words)
by Steve LeVine, Quartz

200 mile range in an electric car? Well, Envia Systems certainly thought it possible and it struck a deal with GM to power vehicles like the Chevy Volt. One year later, the deal is void, the startup is being accused of misrepresenting its wares and two execs are battling each other in civil suits. So, what went wrong?

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The Sculpture on the Moon (7,060 words)
by Corey S. Powell and Laurie Gwen Shapiro, Slate

Paul van Hoerydonck is the only artist to have a sculpture on the moon. Slate’s Corey S. Powell and Laurie Gwen Shapiro tell the story of Fallen Astronaut and the Apollo 15 mission that placed the 3-inch aluminum figure in a small dusty crater in 1971.

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21
Dec

NYC lumps electronic cigarettes with tobacco-filled brethren, bans vaping in public places


New York City’s war on smoking continues unabated. Today, the city council voted to equate electronic cigarettes with real ones by extending NYC’s public smoking ban to cover both types of smokes. That’s bad news for folks who liked to do their vaping in public parks, or the hangers-on looking to get a fake contact high from their fumes. It also means that all you Gothamites who’ve been passionately tracking the progression of e-cig technology are now stuck testing the latest battery powered suck pipes in the privacy of your own homes.

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Via: Wall Street Journal

21
Dec

Feedback Loop: computer names, Google Hangout alternatives, cord-cutting and more


Welcome to Feedback Loop, a weekly roundup of the most interesting discussions happening within the Engadget community. There’s so much technology to talk about and so little time to enjoy it, but you have a lot of great ideas and opinions that need to be shared! Join us every Saturday as we highlight some of the most interesting discussions that happened during the past week.

This week, the Engadget community shared how and what they name their devices, switching from Android to iOS (wait, what?), SMS alternatives to the Google Hangouts app, styluses for winter use and whether or not it’s possible to finally cut the cord. Click past the break and read what fellow Engadget users like you have to say.

What do you name your computer?

Futurama characters, Dharma Initiative stations, birds and Latin words. What do all these things have in common? They’re themes Engadget readers said they use when Kris asked how people name their devices. Do you name your computers, phones and tablets? If so, post your names in our forums!

Alternatives to Google Hangouts on Nexus 5?

DaBash doesn’t want to rely on Google Hangouts as the primary communications application on his Nexus 5, and is looking for SMS app recommendations. “I just got my Nexus 5 and I did not like the idea of having my hangout conversations being mixed with my text messages.” Do you have any recommendations? Tell DaBash what your favorite messaging app is.

Documenting the move from Android to iOS

Engadget product research team member frankspin documented his move from Android to iOS and things went a lot better than expected. “As a previous Android user I often saw a lot of Android users exclaim about how coming to Android was such a liberating experience from the grasp of Apple’s walled garden. For the last few years I believed this, but over time I started to open up to what Apple and iOS have to offer.” Share your own experiences when switching mobile platforms.

Stylus recommendations for thick gloves

Winter is here. And that’s why dtanders is looking for advice on styluses that would work while using thick gloves. For those of you who have to deal with the strange concept of winter (hey, we’re pretty spoiled in California), what would you recommend?

Now can we cut the cord?

Each week, it seems new services and hardware are announced that make it easier for consumers to watch television and consume video content how they choose. That’s why johncolucci asked if you can really cut the cord yet. Have you successfully shed the shackles of Big Cable? Tell us how you cut the cord.

That’s all this week! Do you want to talk about your favorite gadget or have a burning question about technology? Register for an Engadget account today, visit the Engadget forums and start a new discussion!

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21
Dec

Google Play Music gets a new look for iOS 7 and ‘I’m feeling lucky’ radio


If you’re an iOS user that stuck with Google Play Music past the free All Access promo, a new update brings this refreshed UI for iOS 7 and a few new features. As promised at launch, it now supports “I’m feeling lucky” radio which randomly assembles a playlist based on recent listening habits. Also new are themed auto-playlists built around tracks in your library and those you’ve given a thumbs-up to. Google’s iOS team added genre radio stations for All Access subscribers too, and the ability to search by genre for everyone, bringing this version’s features up to par with its Android counterpart. With the amount of countries where the service is now available, that shouldn’t leave many people out — unless they live in Canada, that is.

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Source: iTunes

21
Dec

Got Windows Phone? You have 20GB of bonus SkyDrive space for the next year


Windows Phone users get 20GB of bonus SkyDrive space

If you’re a Windows Phone user, check your email — you’re about to get a big holiday treat. Microsoft has followed up its earlier Surface promo by giving Windows Phone owners a free 20GB of extra SkyDrive storage for the next year. The bonus capacity stacks on top of whatever is already present, and customers have until January 31st to claim their additional cloud space. You’ll have to wait for an email like the one above before you can take action, but we’d expect these notices to roll out to all registered Windows Phone users in short order.

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21
Dec

Nintendo’s high-capacity Wii U GamePad battery available in US, $32 for 8 hours of playtime


Tired of tethering your Wii U GamePad to a wall socket? You no longer have to: Nintendo has finally made the screen-toting controller’s high-capacity battery pack available to US gamers. The 2,550mAh battery first debuted in Japan this summer, promising to boost the device’s middling 3-5 hour battery life to almost eight. The upgrade took months to crawl its way west to Europe, and is now available to North American buyers in Nintendo’s online store. The price of an extending gaming session? About $32, give or take shipping. We’re glad to have it available, but admittedly, we wish it came just a little sooner.

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Via: NeoGaf

Source: Nintendo

21
Dec

Galaxy Note Pro?!?! Moto X Introduces Interactive Print Ads! – The ManDroid Show


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It is Friday, and there was almost no ManDroid Show today. Had some difficulties this morning, then had a pain in the neck…literally. But I reshot the show, and it is finally up for you all to see. Galaxy Note Pro is looking to be a real thing. Motorola is trying a different kind of marketing campaign for the Moto X that should turn some heads. Bringing technology to that paper stuff. Enjoy the show!

News Topics
Galaxy Note Pro a 12.2-inch tablet?
Oppo N1 gets certified with CyanogenMod
Moto X interactive print ad
New Tizen screenshots leak out
T-Mobile Uncarrier 4.0

21
Dec

Last minute stocking stuffers you can still have delivered before Christmas


Order these through Amazon before Sunday night and they’ll arrive in the (Saint) Nick of time

You’ve waited until nearly the last day possible to pick out some Christmas gifts, did you? Now you’re worried about what you’re going to get your friends and family members. Not to worry, we’ve got your back.

We have compiled a list of great products, from brands we trust, that will make the perfect last-minute gift for everyone. Just don’t tell them you waited, goofball. We can keep a secret.

First things first

The first thing you are going to need to do is sign up for an Amazon Prime account. This way, you get free two-day shipping that’s guaranteed to arrive in time for Christmas just so long as you order before December 22.

Two-Day Shipping (FREE with Amazon Prime)
Order as late as midnight EST / 9 p.m. PST (varies by item) Sunday, December 22

Note that Amazon Prime accounts can be canceled at any time you want but after your 30-day free trial it costs $79.99 per year. Actually, moms and students get a discounted plan so check that out if you haven’t yet!

Unless otherwise noted, these gifts are under $20 each.

gift_cardGift Card

Should you absolutely run out of ideas and have no clue as to what your friends want or need, this one works in a pinch. Actually, you can order these and have them emailed to you contacts within minutes. It doesn’t get any more last-minute than this, but it works!

For what it’s worth, it’s possible to have them delivered via Facebook or printed out at home.

In addition to selling Amazon gift cards, you can also scoop up brands like Starbucks, Regal Entertainment, Applebee’s, GameStop, Kohl’s and others.

Targus Stylus

Perfect gift for your friends or family members who own a tablet or Kindle Fire. Toss it in the pocket or purse or keep it at the office for those times when you need to mark up a document or draw mustaches on photos.

Galaxy S4 Wallet Case

Great protection and utility in one bundle, it’s exactly what the Samsung smartphone needs to stay safe and secure. Slim and low profile, it comes in at least eight color options.

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Belkin SurgePlus Mini Travel Swivel Charger with Dual USB Ports

Whether your loved one is a jet-setter or a college student, this handy gadget will prove to be beneficial. Not only does it turn your standard outlet into three plugs, but it adds a pair of powered USB ports (1A, 2.1A) as well. Swivel in 360-degrees and lock into one of four position – very convenient!

21neZs3b4zL (2)SanDisk 8GB microSD Card

It ain’t the fastest memory card on the block but it might be more storage than they already have. Most phones have 8GB or more internal storage with the option to expand via microSD. And, with so many adapters and readers out there, this also helps with digital cameras, MP3 players, and other gadgets.

6’ MicroUSB Cable

Fact: you can never have enough MicroUSB cables. It’s like science or something, too. There’s nothing wrong with tossing a few of these around the house. Keep a couple on deck for when guests drop by and need some juice. The best part is that these are six feet long; no need to crawl behind the couch.

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Samsung Handsfree Stereo Headphones with Mic

Chances are good that someone you know owns a Samsung smartphone. Why not hook them up with a pair of official headphones from Samsung? Features volume control, microphone, and answer/end key and soft earbud rings.

Car charger

As great as battery life has gotten over the last few generations, GPS can still be quite the drain. Put a charger in your car and top off on the way home from work.

Tablet Stand

This portable stand can fold up and travels with virtually zero footprint. A great companion accessory for 7-inch devices like the Kindle Fire HD or bigger tablets like the Galaxy Tab 3 10.1. Watching movies, reading books, or simply browsing emails – whatever the case, this makes it much easier.

Toshiba Canvio 500GB Portable Hard Drive $50

How about dropping half of a terabyte of storage into a stocking? Compatible with USB 2.0 or 3.0, it’s small and able to withstand the occasional drop. Just because you can put everything in the cloud doesn’t mean that you have to. A great way to backup pictures, videos, and other media.

AmazonBasics Accessory Bundle

A goodie bag of must-have accessories, this one includes a stylus, a 2.1A USB wall charger, a USB 1.0 AMP DC charger, and a Micro USB to USB charging cable. If for no other reason, buy this as a backup kit to take on trips or to keep in the car. It’s almost guaranteed that you’ll reach for one of these components at some point.

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GreatShield Flex Grip Lightweight Universal Car Mount Holder

Whether you’ve got an Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone lover in your life, this one will do the trick. Attaches to the windshield or dashboard with a twisting lock/suction and swivels your phones in any direction, 360-degrees. Fits most smartphones save for those larger devices such as the Galaxy Note 3

5200mAh High Capacity Portable Power Backup

Toss in a bag or purse and you’ve got enough juice to take a phone from zero to to one hundred twice over. Small and sleek, it pulls double duty as a flashlight for up to 250 hours. Bonus points for the LED indicator to keep users in the know.

Cruzerlite TPU Case

Tons of color option and designs to choose from; one of our favorite ways to protect Android smartphones. Odds are good that you’ll find something you’ll enjoy for any number of key devices released in the last year or so.

Google Chromecast $30

chromecast_720

You don’t really need us to explain why this guy is the best $35 you can spend, do you? With a fast-growing list of apps with support, this is one of our favorite gadgets of all time and it’s only getting started. Output your favorite movie apps, streaming services, and so much more. Better buy a few of these so you can put one in each room.

The post Last minute stocking stuffers you can still have delivered before Christmas appeared first on AndroidGuys.

21
Dec

[LEAK] French Carrier SFR Lets Slip That Android 4.4 For Galaxy S4 And Note 3 Expected Late Jan/Early Feb 2014


android 4.4 for galaxy s4About a month ago, a leaked Samsung document seemed to suggest that Android 4.4 for Galaxy S4 and Note 3 were being planned to be released in January next year with a second wave to follow and update the Galaxy S3 and Note 2 later in March or April. While there’s been no confirmation that the leaked document was accurate or even real, a message on the side of French carrier, SFR, appears to have confirmed the time-frame for the software update that we were expecting.

SFR claims that Android 4.4 (Kit Kat) should be available for the Galaxy S4 and Note 3 somewhere between late January to early February 2014 which is right in the ballpark we were expecting, assuming the international variants of the phone are updated first, followed by the carrier variants. While this still isn’t a confirmation, Phandroid appears to believe that SFR’s hunches are generally quite accurate seeing as they predicted the release of Android 4.3 on Galaxy S3 and Note 2 (and for my own reasons I’m a little adamant). Nevertheless, Samsung could definitely be turning over a new leaf with software updates in the new year so we’ll be hanging out for any further news whenever it hits.

Do you think Samsung will meet the late Jan/early Feb time-frame suggested by SFR? Let us know what you think in the comments.

Source: SFR via Phandroid

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