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Hangouts update brings stickers, location awareness

Hangouts update brings stickers, location awareness

Last night, at least one member of the Google Hangouts team posted to their Google+ social feed that sleep was going to be tough, and that we’d see an update for Hangouts today. The Android world buzzed about what that meant; were we finally getting full Google Voice integration? Was Hangouts about to be less power consumptive? Nope, we got stickers — and last-seen timestamps along with location sharing. There are also filters for video chat, where you can mask yourself in sepia, black and white, or vignette, among other filters.

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Project Ara Spiral 2 PCB teased, DevConf to be livestreamed

Project Ara Spiral 2 PCB teased, DevConf to be livestreamed

The second, bigger, and more ambitious Developer Conference is barely a month away and Project Ara believers, supporters, and maybe even naysayers are probably starting to get excited about it. To get that hype machine started, Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group or ATAP is teasing the crowd with the Spiral 2 board fresh off the press, so to speak. They are also sharing some good news for those who won't be able to physically attend the Conference in any of the 2 days and any of the 9 locations it will be held in.

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Google+ adds custom gender option to profiles

Google+ adds custom gender option to profiles

If you've been putzing around in Google+'s settings today, you might have noticed some new options under "Gender". Google software engineer Rachael Bennett announced on the company's social site today the arrival of "an infinite number of ways" for users to display their gender identity. Previously those who didn't want to use the "male" or "female" options were only given an "other" selection, but now there are four options, one of which is customizable.

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Dropbox Carousel deletes phone photos once they hit the cloud

Dropbox Carousel deletes phone photos once they hit the cloud

The next generation of cloud storage from Dropbox has been revealed - deleting your phone-stored photos after they've been uploaded to their webspace. There are two ways to look at this. One is that you're freeing up space on your smartphone by allowing Dropbox to hold them for you using Dropbox Carousel. The other is that you're trusting Dropbox to have a perfect copy of your files before deleting them from your phone, also trusting that they're only deleting said photos after the upload is complete.

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Gear VR sold out at Samsung UPDATE: and AT&T

Gear VR sold out at Samsung UPDATE: and AT&T

There's a number of reasons why you might want to stay away from this first release of the Samsung Gear VR, but according to Samsung's sales website, there might be a few more reasons to buy. The Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition - the first and only version to have been released so far - is currently "out of stock" at Samsung's website. AT&T's stock appears to still be running strong*, but we do not know how low their stock is - if it's low at all.

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FIDO releases v1.0; password days are numbered

FIDO releases v1.0; password days are numbered

There are plenty of ways to log-in at a computer, but how many of them are secure? Standard sign-in procedures, like using a social account or two-factor authentication might be easy or more secure than your (probably terrible) password, but don’t offer the security features of biometrics. FIDO, a standard for using a USB or other plug-in as a security key for your computer or device, has just released version 1.0 of their software. This builds on the work of Google, who have previously worked with FIDO, but takes it a step further.

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Google Street View adds its first Arab city: Dubai

Google Street View adds its first Arab city: Dubai

Back in February, it was revealed Dubai would be the first city in an Arab country to be featured on Google Street View, though no launch date was provided at the time. As it turns out, that day was yesterday, and users can now take a virtual tour of the city using Street View. This launch was preceded by Google taking its cameras up Dubai's towering Burj Khalifa skyscraper, something that was likewise its own first for both Google and Dubai.

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Android source code reveals nixed fingerprint support

Android source code reveals nixed fingerprint support

It isn't exactly uncommon for planned features to be removed before software is released, but when something major, like fingerprint scanning support, gets the axe, one does start wondering why. Although we may never really know why, we now do know that such a feature was at least on the table and might have been intended for the Nexus 6 even. But alas, such things did not come to pass and we can only keep on staring at the source code in longing and bewilderment.

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You don’t want a Samsung Gear VR

You don’t want a Samsung Gear VR

You might not want a Samsung Gear VR - not yet, anyway. The first Samsung Gear VR you're going to see on the market - as early as this afternoon - is the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition. This may look like a consumer release, but it's not. AT&T may be suggesting that it is, and Samsung may be suggesting that it is, the team at Oculus VR are making relatively clear that this is not meant to be the end-all, be-all release for the Gear VR. It's got Oculus branding on it, after all - they're not going to let anything out the gate suggesting it's final before they agree 100% that it is, truly, ready for everyone.

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LG G Pen trademark leaks smart Note-taking future

LG G Pen trademark leaks smart Note-taking future

Samsung does it, NVIDIA does it, and LG does it - they use stylus pens in their smart devices. Back with the LG G3 Stylus we saw a relatively run-of-the-mill stick embedded in the modified G3. Back with the LG Intuition we had an even bleaker preposition - a stylus without a holder. Now it might be time LG upped their game, ready for a new generation of smart stylus power prepared to work with any device - not just embedded in one smartphone.

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