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E3 2016 – Expect new Xbox consoles and more from Microsoft

E3 2016 – Expect new Xbox consoles and more from Microsoft

The year's biggest gaming show starts next week, and with it will come announcements from nearly every major gaming company out there. Since there is going to be a lot of news happening next week, I thought I'd put together a list of announcements to watch out for, as well as a few predictions.

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This is why your Instagram photos suck (and how to fix it)

This is why your Instagram photos suck (and how to fix it)

Instagram is full of beautiful photographs. If you've been on the service long enough, you've probably found a bunch of accounts that regularly post mind-blowing images. Each one is beautiful in its own way; you imagine taking photos like it, carefully cultivating your own Instagram account into a trove of skilled, captivating pictures. Reality, though, hasn't worked out this way. Your pictures aren't so great and maybe you're feeling discouraged, but don't fret. Anyone can take great Instagram photos with the right steps.

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The time is right for Xbox One and PS4 cross-play

The time is right for Xbox One and PS4 cross-play

Not long after Microsoft and Sony released their latest consoles, South Park did three episodes centered around the consoles (and they were a great parody on Game of Thrones, to boot). The episodes touched on a problem that gamers have faced since online gaming took off during the previous console generation. Namely, the decision of which popular console to choose.

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What Google says about keeping your Android phone secure

What Google says about keeping your Android phone secure

You probably do all sorts of sensitive things on your phone or tablet: logging into your bank account, having private conversations with friends, taking pictures, maybe accessing work email or accounts. You, like any reasonable person, want to make sure your Android phone and/or tablet is reasonably secure, but researching how to do so leads to a sprawling mess of affiliate links, sketchy security products, and questionable advice. Fortunately, you can ignore all that: here's what Google says about keeping your Android device secure.

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It’s time to stop thinking about smartphones as being ‘just phones’

It’s time to stop thinking about smartphones as being ‘just phones’

I've seen some articles floating around social media again in which someone proclaims that smartphones are expensive luxuries used by mindless people to entertain themselves with mindless games while truly smart and savvy people continue to use their old flip phones. These articles are nothing new; they resurface regularly, enjoy brief popularity as cynical people bat them back and forth with thinly veiled comments about their own superiority, and then they fizzle back into dormancy for a while. What none of them seem to realize is that smartphones are so much more than just 'fancy phones.'

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What smartwatches are still getting wrong

What smartwatches are still getting wrong

It's been more than three years since the first modern commercial smartwatches, the Pebble and the Sony SmartWatch, hit the market and this wearable device category still hasn't taken the industry by storm. In the meantime, less powerful and less featured smart fitness bands are flooding the market and is giving some well-deserved and long overdue attention to healthier lifestyles (at least hopefully). These two device categories sometimes share some features, like notifications and activity tracking. Sometimes they even share in price tags. And yet smarwatches aren't regarded with the same esteem and market share as their health-centric cousins. The issue might not just be because smartwatches answer the problems wrong. They might also be answering the wrong problems.

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Overwatch’s Super Bans are great news for (non-cheating) gamers

Overwatch’s Super Bans are great news for (non-cheating) gamers

Nothing takes the fun out of an online game like cheaters. It's one thing to take on opponents that are simply much better than you at the game. That gives you incentive to work hard, practice, and get better. But if you run into players that don't take damage, seem to headshot from across the map, and can see through walls, you aren't going to have any fun. Blizzard knows this, and that's why they're making sure that cheaters don't ruin Overwatch.

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Why I refuse to believe iPhone is forever

Why I refuse to believe iPhone is forever

Over the past several years, I've seen attitudes change when it comes to the iPhone and the mobile world in general. I refer mainly to two groups of people whose understanding of the world tends to reflect society at large, especially when it comes to technology. People who I meet at gas stations on long trips are part of one group - the other is my extended family. According to them, things are changing. Or they have the potential to change.

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Chromecast in Google Home should come as no surprise

Chromecast in Google Home should come as no surprise

It's suddenly become newsworthy that Google Home, the company's "first" smart home product, uses the brain of Chromecast to function. But why? We've already showed you the source of that information - not that it matters all that much. Google has been working on this same project for years - it's just had a different name at its different levels of inception. It was (and is) part of the Google On community, which runs Weave connections to other Brillo devices, which are related to Chromecast, which was originally called Nexus Q. It's all part of the same initiative.

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Social networks should not need EU hate speech rules (but they do)

Social networks should not need EU hate speech rules (but they do)

Internet mega-brands Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and YouTube agree on a "code of conduct" with the European Commission to remove "hate speech" from their networks in less than 24 hours. This update does not necessarily hold these companies accountable the same way a hard-and-fast written law would in any one individual country. Instead, this would be more of an agreement - a hand-shake - between the companies to combat hate speech. According to this code of conduct, they'll be "developing counter-narratives promoting non-discrimination, tolerance and respect, including through awareness-raising activities."

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Three’s ad-blocking initiative could kill the internet

Three’s ad-blocking initiative could kill the internet

We've known since February that the UK wireless carrier Three has had plans to block advertising on mobile devices. Today the company outlined their strategy by announcing that they would offer 500,000 of their customers the opportunity to opt-in to a test of this service, which will happen sometime next month.

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Blizzard CEO discusses Vanilla WoW server options

Blizzard CEO discusses Vanilla WoW server options

It's been less than two months since Blizzard announced that they would be taking legal action against the popular Vanilla World of Warcraft server, Nostalrius. Private MMO servers have been shut down plenty of times, and they usually close down with little fanfare. However, this case is very different, and just yesterday, Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime sat down to discuss it with a former WoW developer.

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