Cablevision’s WiFi calling service: another reason you don’t need an iPhone

Cablevision’s WiFi calling service: another reason you don’t need an iPhone

This week the folks at Cablevision released a WiFi calling service called Freewheel without the iPhone and without the Samsung Galaxy S5. What does this say to the two biggest names in smartphone manufacturing inside the United States? What does it say to those consumers that seek out Samsung or Apple because they've seen their friends using said brands on phones? It says - clearly - that you don't need a top-end phone to go about your normal, everyday smartphone business. And you don't need a Galaxy phone or an iPhone to launch a nation's-first service like all-WiFi calling.

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Drone landing at White House may spell doom for consumers

Drone landing at White House may spell doom for consumers

Late last night, a Drone landed on the grounds of The White House. It led to a lockdown of the premises, with a White House spokesperson telling The New York Times that Secret Service agents were looking into it. The President was in no danger (he’s in India), but consumer use of drones is. This incident at the White House is, like many involving drones, likely very innocent. Still, it will probably spark heavy political blowback as the FAA prepares to rule on what we can and can’t do with drones.

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1Password gets even better, now has easier login creation

1Password gets even better, now has easier login creation

For the security-conscious among us, 1Password has proven itself an indispensable tool. The app — available for iOS, Android, Windows, and OS X — both manages and generates secure passwords for you, and their new TouchID features are promising. An update, rolling out for iOS users today, brings in the ability to generate one-time passwords as well as some new features for their app extension. Sync is also improving , as is 1Password’s language support, in what the AgileBits team calls their ‘awesomesauce’ update.

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Google Lunar XPRIZE awards $5.25m to moon mission hopefuls

Google Lunar XPRIZE awards $5.25m to moon mission hopefuls

The Google Lunar XPRIZE competition has handed out $5.25m to five companies for their contribution to taking a private spacecraft to the moon, with the so-called Milestone Prizes awarded in advance of final entries in 2016. XPRIZE aims to spur space exploration with a $30m prize pot from Google's wallet, challenging private industry and researchers help take a private craft to the lunar surface, have it travel at least 500 meters, and transmit high-definition video and imagery back to Earth. Although none of the Milestone winners have actually made it to the moon quite yet, they've been given an early bite of the award cash for their current progress.

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iPhones sales in China likely trump USA

iPhones sales in China likely trump USA

When it became clear that Apple was going to be able to enter China to grow their worldwide smartphone sales market, it was expected that this would be a major expansion. What we're hearing today is that Apple's sales of iPhones in China this quarter very likely surpassed those here in the United States. Estimates come from UBS and Creative Strategies, both analyst groups suggest that Apple's next quarterly earnings run-down will be a bit of a shocker.

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A huge asteroid is about to buzz Earth

A huge asteroid is about to buzz Earth

Try not to let it worry you, but a 550 meter wide chunk of space rock is going to hurtle past Earth at more than 33,000 mph very soon, another near-miss asteroid a celestially-slight 745,000 miles from our planet. While it may not sound all that close - the moon is on average 239k miles from us - asteroid 2004 BL86 is enough to have astronomers from NASA and other space agencies tracking its location closely, given the potential for destruction (or even species-level catastrophe like the "colossal bad luck" that saw the dinosaurs wiped out) the impact of such a rock would have.

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Facebook Lite: an app with JUST the basics

Facebook Lite: an app with JUST the basics

Android users can rejoice today as the development team behind the mobile Facebook app collection have released Facebook Lite. Made initially for low-resource smartphones, this piece of software is also perfectly legit for any other sort of phone - especially if you only ever use Facebook for reading your News Feed and sharing photos. This app has been released in a few countries today, and we've got links to the APK so you can use it no matter where you happen to be.

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Blame Apple for the Nexus 6’s missing fingerprint sensor

Blame Apple for the Nexus 6’s missing fingerprint sensor

Apple may get blamed by many for trampling on innovation, but it turns out the company - or at least its rapacious supply chain - was to blame for the Nexus 6's cute-but-dumb dimple. The branded divot beneath the current Android flagship's camera may act as a handy place to rest your finger, but it was meant to be a far more useful location for a fingerprint sensor, according to former Motorola chief exec Dennis Woodside. Now at Dropbox, Woodside confirmed in an interview recently what many had suspected since the Nexus 6 was first unveiled.

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Logitech ConferenceCam Connect puts video chat in stick

Logitech ConferenceCam Connect puts video chat in stick

There's clearly a trend toward slightly-ominous slender cylinders in tech: first Amazon's Echo, and now Logitech has put the form-factor to use as a portable Full HD video conferencing gadget. The Logitech ConferenceCam Connect may at first glance look like a fancy sippy-cup for commuters to tote their coffee around in, but it's actually a fancy 1080p camera with ZEISS optics and integrated wireless, capable of turning a smartphone or tablet into an impromptu display, and linking roving employees into their company's video conferencing systems.

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NASA eyes using small helicopters to help Mars rovers

NASA eyes using small helicopters to help Mars rovers

Mars might very soon have its own version of a drone to patrol its skies. NASA is considering creating a Mars Helicopter, an addon to future rovers that will become the advance party of these roaming laboratories. These vehicles will become the eyes of scientists on earth that will help them better determine where to direct rovers to, making each trip more efficient and focusing primarily on more "exciting" parts of Martian landscape, increasing the distance traveled up to three times.

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