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Google and Apple car plans face Benz boss skepticism

Google and Apple car plans face Benz boss skepticism

Apple's car ambitions may have burst into the headlines over the weekend, as chatter surfaced of a hundreds-strong team working on EV and autonomous vehicle tech, but some of the old guard in automotive aren't so convinced we'll see an iCar any time soon. In fact, Daimler chief executive Dieter Zetsche predicts, despite public and private projects underway by Google and other tech luminaries, he sees their collective goal as more about disrupting traditional vehicle technology without going so far as to create four-wheeled alternatives of their own. However, while Zetsche is all for figuring out ways to co-exist and collaborate with tech firms, he's also cautious about giving them too much access to drivers.

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LG Watch Urbane didn’t come to battle Apple Watch

LG Watch Urbane didn’t come to battle Apple Watch

The LG Watch Urbane is not LG's brand new "ready to battle Apple Watch" device coming from nowhere with a metal body. On the contrary. The LG G Watch R was released earlier this year with almost the exact same specifications - but with a plastic body instead of metal. The LG Watch Urbane comes with a metal body and no printing around the edges of its circular face. It has the same display, same processor, and same amount of space inside. And it runs the same software, of course.

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Google defends, revises Project Zero 90-day policy

Google defends, revises Project Zero 90-day policy

In the software security community, a debate rages around when and how to disclose vulnerabilities and bugs. One camp wants a fixed deadline in order to somewhat force software vendors to fix their bugs before word goes out to the public. Others want a slightly more secretive approach that will only disclose such issues if and only if a fix is already ready. Google's Project Zero has adopted a hard 90-day stance but now it's yielding just a wee bit to address some complaints against its policy.

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Google Talk is dead, third-party support lives on

Google Talk is dead, third-party support lives on

It was a long time coming and, perhaps, some might wonder why it took so long. Mayur Kamat, Product Manager for Google Voice and Hangouts, has just announced on Google+ that starting February 23 this year, the Google Talk app for Windows will be marked as deprecated. This practically marks the end of Google Talk and its faithful users will have to migrate over to Hangouts if they want to continue the latest and greatest communications features. That said, all hope is not lost for those unwilling to jump just yet.

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Xposed Framework Lollipop update released to public

Xposed Framework Lollipop update released to public

This week the folks behind Xposed Framework have revealed their newest creation: Xposed Framework for Lollipop. Android 5.0 Lollipop broke Xposed Framework support when it was first released, making all the modders open their desk drawers and pull out their Discmans with Linkin Park's "Hybrid Theory" onboard. It was a depressing time. Now it's time to put the CD player away, because Xposed Framework is back, and it's ready to download for those of you so excited you'll install anything, even an Alpha version.

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Google’s View-Master: here’s how it works

Google’s View-Master: here’s how it works

Believe it or not, you won't actually need a View-Master to view the content Google is presenting this week. The View-Master device is just a box with a magnetic switch - just like Google Cardboard. To "view" a View-Master reel - like the "reels" you remember from the original View-Master, you'll need only your smartphone. To view these reels correctly, you'll need a Google Cardboard headset - and that doesn't need to be manufactured by Mattel. The View-Master headset just makes everything easier to understand visually.

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Google Helpouts shutdown scheduled for April 20th

Google Helpouts shutdown scheduled for April 20th

In a few short weeks, the system known as Google Helpouts will be shut down indefinitely. Users who have used Google Helpouts in the past - who've contributed lots of content - will be able to save their work starting on the 20th of April as well. According to Google, "the Helpouts community includes some engaged and loyal contributors, but unfortunately, it hasn't grown at the pace we had expected." Because of the pace of growth, Google has decided to shut down the system from top to bottom.

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Mattel reboots View-Master with Google Cardboard magic

Mattel reboots View-Master with Google Cardboard magic

Google and Mattel have yanked the View-Master into the 21st century, taking the venerable 3D eyepiece and giving it a smartphone spin courtesy of the same tech as in Google Cardboard. Where the original View-Master used a clicking wheel of photos users peered through, taking a three-dimensional trip to foreign countries, wonders of the world, or outer space, the new model relies on a smartphone slotted into the front, and on which "experience reels" of photos and other content can be shown. Best of all, third-party developers and fans of Cardboard will be able to make their own 3D content, which Mattel plans to curate and distribute.

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Cops flood Waze with fake police sightings

Cops flood Waze with fake police sightings

A lot of navigation apps dot the app stores, but Waze stands out of among them for one particular reason: it lets users know when a cop has been spotted in any particular region. Though not always accurate, this has been a favorite feature among users, and an excellent way to help avoid getting a speeding ticket. As you might have heard, though, law enforcement isn't so happy about the feature, going so far as requesting that Google/Waze eliminate the feature in the name of officer safety. That request didn't pan out, and now officers are using a different tactic.

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HERE maps for Android updated, leaves Beta

HERE maps for Android updated, leaves Beta

This week the folks behind the app HERE - from the ol' Nokia crew - have update their app directly out of Beta mode. This means it's the first full release of the HERE maps app for Android and prepared to be truly worthy of the 3-million downloads its already received. Users are invited to check out improved routing, new interactivity with maps - like contact info, photos, reviews, 3D venue maps, and a new "visual polish" to make sure you understand how important and shiny it is.

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