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Apple secretly working on an electric vehicle that looks like a minivan, says WSJ

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Hundreds of Apple employees are secretly working on an electric vehicle that apparently looks like a minivan in its current form, according to a Wall Street Journal report. Dubbed Titan, the year-old project is being headed by former Ford engineer Steve Zadesky who also helped the company create the iPod and iPhone.

The project would take several years to complete, and that’s assuming Apple decides to go through with it, something which isn’t certain as the company often develops prototypes for testing other products and technologies. Read more »

Twitter acquires ZipDial startup in its first buyout in India

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In an effort to expand its presence in India, Twitter has made it first acquisition in the country, gobbling up a Bengaluru-based startup ZipDial, which offers services like missed calls for user verification and alerts to its customers. Although the financial details of the deal were not revealed, a TechCrunch report pegs the monetary value at around $30-$40 million.

Founded in 2010, ZipDial assigns companies special phone numbers that they associate with their brands and use in their print or TV commercials. Users just have to make a missed call, one that disconnects before the other party answers, to these phone numbers following which they begin receiving inbound content and further engagement on their phone in real-time through voice, SMS or an app notification. Read more »

Apple, Google propose to settle antipoaching suit for $415 million

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A few days ago, there were reports that four Silicon Valley companies, including Apple and Google, have agreed to a new settlement aimed at resolving an antitrust class action lawsuit alleging they conspired to avoid poaching each anothers’ employees. Although there was no word on the settlement amount at that time, it is now being reported that the companies, which also include Adobe and Intel, have agreed to pay a total of $415 million to settle the dispute.

The proposed settlement, which is $90.5 million more than a previous deal that was rejected by a US judge, was revealed in a motion filed by the firms yesterday in US District Court in San Jose, California. Read more »

Sony makes a U-turn, says The Interview will be released on Christmas day

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Nearly a week after Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) canceled The Interview’s planned theatrical release after hackers threatened to attack theaters showing it, the studio has said that the Seth Rogen comedy will be released on Christmas Day.

“We are proud to make it available to the public and to have stood up to those who attempted to suppress free speech,” said SPE Chief Executive Michael Lynton, adding that the company never gave up on releasing the film, rather it was working to secure other platforms and more cinemas “so that this movie reaches the largest possible audience.” Read more »

Samsung announces $2 billion share buyback

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Samsung has let the markets know that it wants to buy back $2 billion worth of its own shares. Specifically, the electronics giant will nab 1.65 million common shares and 250,000 preferred shares. The move represents its first share buyback since 2007, and the second biggest one ever.

The point of the buyback is reportedly for Samsung to stabilise its share price and boost value for its shareholders, who have been none too happy with the Korean company’s latest results, especially its falling profits. Read more »

Apple completely loses the plot, revokes Computer Bild magazine accreditation over #bendgate video

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Just when we thought that the whole #bendage thing was behind us, here comes Apple to reignite it all over again. The company has revoked the press accreditation of German magazine Computer Bild after it published a video of its editor-in-chief bending iPhone 6 Plus and then failing to do so with the Galaxy Note 3.

Now whether or not an €800 phone should bend like that or if you should apply such force to it is beyond the point here. What’s important is Apple’s reaction to the case. Read more »

Cameras in your car can tell when you’re on the phone

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The integration of cell phones and automobiles have now become a foregone conclusion, with even base models offering up instant bluetooth syncing, allowing drivers to make and take calls and even stream music through their automobile’s speakers.

But what if your car can tell when you’re using your phone while driving? A team from Santa Catarina University in Brazil have devised a way to do just that. Read more »

Crew members will have Nexus 7 tablets on Virgin America

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Nexus 7 tablets will now be on every Virgin America flight.

But don’t get too excited, because these Android slates will be for crew members only. Read more »

You can now ask follow up questions with Bing

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Although Bing’s far from being the king of the search engine roost, this hasn’t stopped Microsoft from adding features to try and lure users to use it to find what they’re looking for on the web.

The latest addition is giving users the ability to ask follow up questions in an attempt to narrow their searches even further. Read more »

Xiaomi allegedly sending your info to Chinese servers [UPDATED]

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You always had a feeling that Xiaomi’s deals were too good to be true, but you just couldn’t figure out what the catch was exactly, right?

Update, July 31: Please have a look at our follow-up on this story before drawing conclusions and leaving a comment.

Well it’s safe to say now that that puzzle’s been solved, as the RedMi Note was caught red-handed sending private user info to a Chinese server. Read more »

goTenna is a portable, bluetooth cell phone antenna

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Ever find yourself traveling way out in the middle of nowhere and unable to communicate with your friends?

Well goTenna might be able to help you with that. Read more »

Visa introduces Checkout, it’s online payment option

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Do you hate inputting all of your credit card and personal information when it comes time to buy something online?

Well Visa’s latest service, Checkout, may just put an end to all of that headache. Read more »

Oculus Rift canceling pre-orders that show up on eBay

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Did you manage to pre-order the upcoming Oculus Rift DK2? Well you may want to hold off on putting it up on eBay.

In an effort to stop price-gouging of the Rift, and maybe as a means of getting their headset to those who really want it, Oculus Rift has canceled shipments of people selling their places in the pre-order line. Read more »

This might be what Samsung’s Gear VR will look like

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Want a VR headset that isn’t made out of cardboard, and you’re not a fan of the Oculus Rift’s hardware?

Well Samsung’s Gear VR might be up your alley, and from the leaked image, it definitely looks like it has more swag than Google’s paper solution. Read more »

Lyft coming to Brooklyn and Queens

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So you live in New York, but you, of course, keep it real and reside in either Brooklyn and Queens. There’s a downside to not being a Manhattan-ite, however. Even though you’re saving a ton of money on rent, your public transportation options are pretty limited.

Well it looks like you’ll have more choices soon, as Lyft will be launching in the New York City area, but exclusively in Brooklyn and Queens. Read more »