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Finding a place for the new iPod Touch

Finding a place for the new iPod Touch

Apple just announced something both expected, if you've been reading the signs, and unexpected: a fresh new iPod Touch. Calling it "The Best iPod Touch Yet", the sixth generation of this peculiar device sported new color options and updated hardware with a touch of the iPhone 6. Given the two long years between fifth and sixth generations, one might ask why Apple suddenly showed interest in the device again and if the iPod Touch is still relevant at all. It turns out, it might actually be more relevant to Apple than ever.

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Forget fitness, Misfit Flash Link could be a smart home essential

Forget fitness, Misfit Flash Link could be a smart home essential

Misfit hasn't only made one of the cheapest fitness wearables around, the Misfit Flash Link could well end up a must-have for the smart home. The $19.99 health tracker announced today is designed to clip to a wristband, belt, or other item of clothing, and funnel movement stats into your phone. All the same, for anybody with more than a toe dipped into home automation its potential as an affordable way to address one of the lingering frustrations after you've upgraded to wireless lights, appliances, and more, is clear.

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Amazon Prime Day delivers the worst of Black Friday

Amazon Prime Day delivers the worst of Black Friday

Perhaps we should've expected Amazon Prime Day to be a monstrous disappointment. When you model your huge, one-day-only sale on Black Friday, after all, you're probably going to experience the same instantly-evaporating deals and masses of unlovable clearance items. Sure enough, though there have been some impressive bargains to be had, there are more people vocally annoyed than crowing about their purchases.

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Go West : The march of Chinese Mobile OEMs to the U.S.

Go West : The march of Chinese Mobile OEMs to the U.S.

ZTE made an unexpected, if you haven't been monitoring the rumor mill, announcement yesterday. A new Axon smartphone brand that puts mainstream flagships on notice with its high-end specs and sub-premium price. That is, however, just the tip of the Chinese iceberg. Crowd favorite Xiaomi has made its slow crawl to markets outside China. Huawei made an interesting proposition when it announced the P8 lite smartphone and seems to be a crowd favorite for the next Google Nexus smartphone. The dragon is rising and OEMs should take note. But this journey to the West, just like the novel, is fraught with challenges.

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Amazon Echo’s weirdest talent is making you feel heard

Amazon Echo’s weirdest talent is making you feel heard

Amazon’s Echo is a lot of things - shopping companion, music player, portal to Wikipedia - but its most surprising feature says more about human comfort with next-gen electronics. Echo’s cleverness is in the cloud; the black column of its local hardware is really just a gateway to that remote functionality. Yet it also has to satisfy a few core requirements, such as demonstrating attentiveness. The solution Amazon came up with is both simple and elegant.

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Dear Topps: fix your Star Wars app or give it to someone else

Dear Topps: fix your Star Wars app or give it to someone else

The following is an opinion piece - asserting here with thousands of Star Wars Card Trader app users that this brand deserves better. While it's true that the Star Wars brand has been licensed to countless new companies over the past couple of years due to the Disney deal, Topps is not one of them. Topps has been working with Lucasfilm since "The Star Wars" was released back in 1977. Now something has gone wrong. Someone is dropping the ball. We're living in an age where the Star Wars franchise is open for the best developers and manufacturers to work on it - and this sort of thing is no longer acceptable.

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Did Nadella just put the nail in Windows Phone’s coffin?

Did Nadella just put the nail in Windows Phone’s coffin?

Just a while ago we looked into the reasons why it wouldn't be in Microsoft's best interests to suddenly switch to Android as its mobile platform. And then head honcho Satya Nadella dropped the huge bombshell. Microsoft has, for all intents and purposes, stricken off Nokia from its books. This has lead many to conclude Microsoft's surrender in the smartphone market. And they might very well be right. Or not. Like many things in life, things aren't as clear cut as we would like, and Microsoft's struggle with mobile is far from over.

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Game streaming: fad or future?

Game streaming: fad or future?

Sony, NVIDIA, and, just recently, GameFly. These are the companies that are trying to push game streaming to the forefront. And they are just the bigger ones, with smaller players also trying to make a name for themselves in this niche, either through innovation or through sheer force of will. But behind all these attempt lurks one unanswered question: is it worth it? Is game streaming just a fad that will fade away quietly or is it the path to the future? While the technology admittedly has benefits, who is it really benefiting, players or the big companies?

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Sinking the bloatware ship

Sinking the bloatware ship

Bloatware, the not so loving term used to described software equivalent of spam in our inboxes, software we never asked for but are shoved in our faces and take up space and attention. But while we continually fight off spam with some amount of success, the practice of including pre-installed apps in devices have become so common that most people just shake their heads and shrug their shoulders. Not so the government of China, whose Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission is not only putting bloatware on the hot seat again, it is also, for the first time, putting it on legal notice.

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The real problem isn’t AI, it is man

The real problem isn’t AI, it is man

This week, two events perfectly demonstrated humanity's almost schizophrenic relationship with artificial intelligence. First, Terminator: Genisys, with threat of Skynet looming over our heads, premiered on the big screen. Second, a consortium of tech companies and AI researchers has just revealed 37 research grants to keep AI from going out of control. But how far or near are we really to the dark future painted by Terminator or any other AI-centric science fiction? Turns out, we're probably nowhere near. But the real danger might not actually come from AI. It might be from mankind after all.

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