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Android OEM customizations are never going away, and that’s OK

Android OEM customizations are never going away, and that’s OK

There was some small amount of rejoicing within the Android community when Lenovo revealed that it would be putting its custom “Pure Vibe” skin to rest, starting with the K8 Note that was launched last week. As if in juxtaposition, Xiaomi is about to start the rollout of the latest version of its own custom experience, the MIUI 9. As much as Google and some Android users want to be rid of them, custom OEM modifications to stock Android aren’t going anywhere soon. And that’s perfectly OK because, like any other dichotomy in Android, it helps the platform grow to some extent.

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Laptops for back-to-school students: best budget to top-tier models

Laptops for back-to-school students: best budget to top-tier models

Later this month, thousands of students will return to college, and thousands more will be heading out for their first semester. Just as necessary as dorm room mini-fridges and a comfortable backpack is a laptop, the tool through which you will complete seemingly endless course work and Netflix binging. Whether you're in the market for a top-tier laptop that'll last you four plus years or just something cheap to get you through your first semester, this list has got you covered.

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Streaming Networks Separate : Is this the future we want?

Streaming Networks Separate : Is this the future we want?

As Disney announces its own streaming service separate from Netflix, the wave of network-owned streaming services begins. Soon we'll find that every big media provider has its own streaming service, and we'll have the opportunity to select what we want, when we want, for a fee. A fee that goes to each company, individually, every month.

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Microsoft Surface vs Consumer Reports: What you need to know

Microsoft Surface vs Consumer Reports: What you need to know

Microsoft might be reconsidering its Consumer Reports subscription today, with the news that the Surface Laptop and Surface Book have both been stripped of their "recommended" status. Concerns about reliability of the Surface line-up as a whole have prompted the review organization to backtrack on its awards, in addition to suggesting that the Surface Pro shouldn't be among your top considerations for a 2-in-1 hybrid, either. Microsoft is suitably outraged, as you'd expect, and indeed there are some big questions around just what Consumer Reports is testing and how they're doing that.

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Originator of web’s Password Rules admits he was wrong

Originator of web’s Password Rules admits he was wrong

A complicated, mixed up password is not any more secure than a password that's all lower-cased letters. The reason the internet told us (and continues to tell us) to make a password with numbers and capital and lower-cased characters and punctuation in it is a paper called "Digital Identity Guidelines." This nightmare of a paper was published at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and the rules therein were based on pre-digital age security nonsense.

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ASUS Zenfone AR: 5 reasons you want this phone

ASUS Zenfone AR: 5 reasons you want this phone

The ASUS Zenfone AR is officially available to buy from Verizon, and you may be considering picking one up yourself. If you're still on the fence, take note: there's a lot to like about this phone, which was first launched back during CES 2017 (hands-on here). As its name suggests, this phone brings with it augmented reality capabilities, but what, exactly, does the phone offer to make it so appealing? Here are five key things.

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Apple’s next big thing is not an iPhone

Apple’s next big thing is not an iPhone

The next big thing from Apple won't be a piece of hardware - it won't be the fabled iPhone 8. The next big product to come from Apple will work on the next top-tier iPhone, but it wont work exclusively on that device. While it's the hardware we continue to focus on, and the hardware that's always easiest to discuss, it's something far more complicated (and yet exceedingly easy to work with) that'll change the way we see the world.

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Pixel XL 2: Is no headphone jack a deal-breaker?

Pixel XL 2: Is no headphone jack a deal-breaker?

We've heard a lot of rumors about the Pixel 2 and Pixel XL 2, but one of the most persistent revolves around the headphone jack. More specifically, these rumors concern the lack of a headphone jack on either phone, continuing a rather unpopular trend we've seen taking hold in the smartphone industry for a few years now. Today yet another report has surfaced, this one claiming once again that neither the Pixel 2 nor the Pixel 2 XL will have a headphone jack.

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The 5 best apps to block spam calls on your phone

The 5 best apps to block spam calls on your phone

T-Mobile is boasting built-in network technology that notifies its customers about suspected spam callers and, if they'd like, blocks them from getting through entirely. That's great if you're a T-Mobile customer, but what if you're on a different network? The same sort of functionality is available to you, but you'll have to download an app to get it. Which one? Any of these five will do.

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Comcast Verizon merger would truly be the darkest timeline

Comcast Verizon merger would truly be the darkest timeline

These days, you hear a lot of jokes on the internet about the citizens of the world (or at least the US) heading down the "darkest timeline." It's easy to believe it, too, with important things like healthcare and net neutrality potentially at risk through new legislation. Now, Citibank analyst Jason Bazinet has penned an opinion that Comcast should purchase Verizon, and if we aren't in the darkest timeline right now, we certainly will be if such a deal ever becomes a reality.

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Pokemon GO Fest event had Niantic kick down the door for mobile’s future

Pokemon GO Fest event had Niantic kick down the door for mobile’s future

Smartphone users around the world know what Pokemon GO is and what it's capable of doing to their free time. With the release of Pokemon GO Fest and the events that surround it, Niantic's proven that a full year of active gameplay is not just a fluke. This game is not just popular because it's part of the Pokemon brand. Instead, it's a headliner in the new age of the mobile smart device experience.

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Razer Phone: 5 reasons you will want this crazy thing

Razer Phone: 5 reasons you will want this crazy thing

Apparently there's going to be a Razer Phone at some point in the near future, and you're going to want to buy one. Today I'm going to run down five reasons why a person might want a Razer Phone paired with 5 reasons why the Razer Phone might not be the best purchase right out the gate. Negative factors in this adventure of a release are largely related to Razer's relative lack of experience in this field. Positives have largely to do with Razer's relative good standing in several fields, including laptop and peripheral manufacturing as well as established brand and community power.

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