smartphones

Facebook’s Messenger Platform bots want to be your middle-man

Facebook’s Messenger Platform bots want to be your middle-man

At Facebook's F8 conference today, Mark Zuckerberg talked a lot about bringing people together, and giving everyone access to share virtually anything. He then went on to talk about how widely-used their Messenger app is, going so far as to point out that the company is delivering a higher volume of messages every day, than phone companies transmit SMS messages. And now the company wants you to use those same messages for everything.

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BlackBerry’s prepping two mid-tier Android phones

BlackBerry’s prepping two mid-tier Android phones

BlackBerry’s Android smartphone, the BlackBerry Priv, was a flop. The company points toward too high of a price tag as the reason, and so this year it will introduce a pair of lower-priced mid-range smartphones that, it hopes, will be more inline with its customers’ budgets. The news was shared by BlackBerry CEO John Chen in an interview recently; when exactly we’ll see the phones launch wasn’t detailed, though.

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New bill will force companies to unlock phones in ‘timely’ manner

New bill will force companies to unlock phones in ‘timely’ manner

Earlier today, a new bill proposed by Senators Richard Burr and Diane Feinstein was published that seeks to force companies to unlock phones for law enforcement when ordered to do so. The bill has already been criticized as excessively vague (and therefore broad) in scope, and the Obama administration has reportedly stated it will not support the bill. While the legislation doesn't propose penalties against companies that can't provide the requested data or assistance, it will require them to hand over or unlock data and devices if they have the technical means to do so.

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iPhone SE gets dropped, smashed, and dunked in durability test

iPhone SE gets dropped, smashed, and dunked in durability test

They say that it's what's on the inside that counts. With the iPhone SE, that's definitely the case. After all, the phone looks nearly identical to the 5s, which came out more than two years ago. The specs are far closer to those of the 6s, but how does it fare in a battery of tests designed to cause physical harm to the phone?

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Verizon to add $20 phone upgrade fee next week

Verizon to add $20 phone upgrade fee next week

The cost to upgrade your Verizon phone will soon be $20 more expensive, according to a document that has leaked. The internal Verizon memo details a $20/fee for phone upgrades that starts April 4, and applies even if you’ve completely paid off your old device. The memo goes on to detail some FAQ about the new fee, saying it is necessary to “cover our increasing support costs associated with customers switching their devices.”

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New wireless chargers are 3x faster, and compatible with existing phones

New wireless chargers are 3x faster, and compatible with existing phones

For the last several years, it seems like everything in our lives has a cable attached to it. Sure, our phones, laptops, watches, and other devices are wireless for most of the day. But eventually you have to plug them in, and that means getting all of your cables out, and plugging them into their respective ports. Well LG Innotek is working on a new wireless charging system that hopes to cut down on the amount of cords in your house.

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Google’s been hit with All Writs Act phone unlocking orders, too

Google’s been hit with All Writs Act phone unlocking orders, too

The government has been seeking All Writs Act court orders against both Apple and Google for several years, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which discovered 63 legal cases that involved the law. The ACLU doesn’t know the outcome of these cases — whether the companies unlocked the phones or even if the court orders were granted — but present legal actions and past statements from prosecutors hint that such court orders were often granted, and sought to unlock smartphones’ passcodes.

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Waze will soon warn you when you’re speeding

Waze will soon warn you when you’re speeding

When you're driving around town, and on familiar roads, you probably don't pay too much attention to the speed limit. That's because you've driven on the road so many times that you already know how fast you should be going. But when you're heading somewhere for the first time, you might not always glance at the speed limit signs when you should, and that can easily lead to you getting a speeding ticket. And now Waze wants to help prevent that.

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New bill targets prepaid ‘burner’ phones with ID requirement

New bill targets prepaid ‘burner’ phones with ID requirement

Burner phones are still as easily accessible as ever — you just head to your nearest convenience or big-box store, pick up a cheap prepaid phone and a phone card, and like magic you have a completely useable phone sans any identification records. It's a great thing if you're in a bind and in need of a last-minute phone, but not so great if you're law enforcement trying to hunt down potential criminals.

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New Jersey bill proposes fine, jail for texting while walking

New Jersey bill proposes fine, jail for texting while walking

New Jersey is entertaining a new bill that, if passed, will make it illegal to text while walking in the state. The punishment could range from mild (a $50 fine) to relatively severe (15 days in jail), and aims to prevent injuries and mishaps resulting from inattentive pedestrians who fail to be mindful of their surroundings.

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Galaxy S7 edge hack supports microSD and dual SIMs at once

Galaxy S7 edge hack supports microSD and dual SIMs at once

If you are using a dual SIM enabled version of the Galaxy S7 Edge smartphone and lament the fact that you have to choose additional storage and a single SIM card or dual SIMs and no additional storage, there is a way to eliminate that choice. A hacks has surfaced that requires some mods to your SIM card and your microSD card but results in being able to use both SIM slots and a microSD card at the same time. The risk in dong this hack is that you might destroy your SIM card and your microSD. There is also a chance you might damage your new smartphone, so beware.

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Lumia 650 goes up for preorder in US and Canada

Lumia 650 goes up for preorder in US and Canada

Microsoft’s sleek budget phone, the Lumia 650, is available for preorder in the United States and Canada. The handset debuted earlier this year, and is the maker’s budget-tier Windows 10 handset. Initial reactions to the smartphone have been mixed, with some praising its design and others criticizing the lack of Continuum, the company’s sleek business feature.

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