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Skype Teams expected to launch in January 2017, beta in November

Skype Teams expected to launch in January 2017, beta in November

Earlier in the month, we heard that Microsoft was plotting a competitor to Slack under its Skype branding. This new program, Skype Teams, was rumored to borrow a fair number of features while at the same time attempting to improve on the experience Slack offers its users through things like deep integration with Office 365. Now, we're hearing that Skype Teams could launch as early as January, with Microsoft rolling out a large scale beta before then.

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Facebook Messenger now lets you poll your friends

Facebook Messenger now lets you poll your friends

Facebook Messenger is getting a new update today, tossing a pair of interesting new features into the mix. First and foremost is the addition of polls, which will let groups make decisions though the age-old concept of majority rule. Payments are also being refined in this update, and can now pick out phrases that would normally be associated with money to summon a "send money" button within the conversation itself.

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YouTube will livestream the election debates, too

YouTube will livestream the election debates, too

Both Facebook and Twitter will be livestreaming the 2016 Presidential debates, and now YouTube has announced that it will be, too. The company is pushing for individuals to get out and vote this election season, and in that spirit it has announced the #voteIRL campaign. Livestreaming and campaigns such as this both largely target young viewer bases, the same group that is unlikely to have a regular cable subscription through which to watch the events.

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Netflix plans to offer 50% original programming in next few years

Netflix plans to offer 50% original programming in next few years

If you're a fan of shows like House of Cards and Stranger Things, then you'll most likely be pleased with Netflix's vision for the future. Netflix CFO David Wells has revealed that the company plans to be offering a 50/50 mix of content within the next few years, with 50% of that content being original programming and the other 50% being licensed content from other networks.

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2016 Presidential Debates live streaming: Twitter, Facebook

2016 Presidential Debates live streaming: Twitter, Facebook

Not one to be outdone by its competitors, Twitter has announced that it will be live streaming the Presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Facebook revealed yesterday that it will be live streaming them as well, and now that Twitter has thrown its hat into the ring, those without a cable package have quite a few options when it comes to watching the drama unfold.

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AT&T’s Project AirGig aims to deliver broadband anywhere there are power lines

AT&T’s Project AirGig aims to deliver broadband anywhere there are power lines

In many rural parts of the world, there are few, if any, choices when it comes to broadband providers. The issue for many broadband firms is that the layout to run the needed cabling to serve rural communities can't always be offset by the number of subscribers that the company might gain. AT&T has a new system that it is in the process of developing that could change this and bring broadband to any location that is served by power lines called AirGig.

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Google Search now shows AMP labels for all

Google Search now shows AMP labels for all

While almost everyone nowadays browses the web through their smartphones at one point or another, not all websites are still designed with mobile constraints in mind, leading to non-optimized, slow-loading content on smartphones. Google’s AMP, short for Accelerated Mobile Pages, is an effort to encourage websites to pick up the slack, both using technologies and a little preferential treatment. The initiative has apparently been quite popular that Google is now stepping up the game to make AMP’ed pages even more prominent in Google Search on mobile, putting labels on websites that provide mobile-optimized content.

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Google Drive search refined with natural language processing

Google Drive search refined with natural language processing

Google Drive’s search has been refined with natural language processing, Google has announced. The functionality is currently only available for Google Drive search on the web, but it is joined by other improvements that make the searching process faster and more simple overall. Simply put, the addition of natural language processing means a user can type a search term phrased the same way they’d say it if they were talking, such as, “find my November 2016 budget."

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Facebook will livestream election debates via ABC News deal

Facebook will livestream election debates via ABC News deal

If you don’t have cable but want to catch the general election presidential debates, Facebook is hoping you’ll tune into its livestreaming platform. Thanks to the deal with ABC News, Facebook will serve as a livestreaming platform for all four 2016 general election debates broadcasted by ABC; this is similar to Facebook’s previous streaming of the Democratic and Republican conventions.

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Opera makes its VPN service totally free on its desktop browser

Opera makes its VPN service totally free on its desktop browser

Once the darling of mobile browsing, back when our mobile phones were still far from being smart, Opera seems to be making up for lost time and market and hitting both the web browser and mobile markets in new ways. Just last month, the company announced the arrival of its free VPN app on Android and now it’s making a slightly similar move on the desktop. No, it’s not announcing a VPN app per se. Instead, it is building VPN functionality right into the heart of its Opera desktop browsers and, better yet, making it completely free to use.

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Twitter’s more forgiving character count is rolling out now

Twitter’s more forgiving character count is rolling out now

Twitter has started rolling out its new more forgiving character counting method for tweets, doing so right when the anonymous sources said it would. With this new counting method, certain things don't count against the tweet's maximum character count, though that is remaining the same at 140-characters per tweet. You can, for example, share a GIF or a photo without it counting against the character count, among other things.

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Now you can buy Fandango movie tickets right on Facebook

Now you can buy Fandango movie tickets right on Facebook

Fandango, one the most popular ways to buy movie tickets online, has just partnered with Facebook to launch a feature allowing users to look up and pay for tickets right within the social networking app. In a surprising twist, it actually sounds like something that will be useful, unlike the whole messenger chatbot trend going on right now. Users can simply lookup a movie on Facebook, and buy their tickets right from the film's page.

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