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UK users can now send and receive money straight through Gmail

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Google Wallet is just one of countless Google services that have become so intertwined in our everyday lives that we hardly notice it. And if you own an Android device and have ever purchased an app from the Play Store that money did indeed get wired through this very service.

The payment platform is now becoming even more readily accessible thanks to a recent Google update that integrates payments straight into Gmail. For now only UK users, aged 18 and up can enjoy the new functionality and it does look like a time-saver. Read more »

Rolling Stone archive will be freely available on Google Play Newsstand

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The legendary pop culture magazine – Rolling Stone has announced that it will open most of its huge archive for free public access on Google Play Newsstand. Articles span over almost fifty years and every single issue since 1967 will have its place in the digital edition. According to fastcompany.com three to four big stories per magazine will be available digitally for free including every single cover story ever published.

This is a huge deal for both parties and is a part of a strategic advertising program. Google apparently purchased “seven figures” worth of Rolling Stone advertising as part of this deal. Never the less the exclusive availability should really boost Google Play Newsstand’s popularity on both Android and iOS. The magazine is also sure to reel in some new fans and recapture the love of current ones. Read more »

LG to mass produce truly flexible OLED panels in July

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Smartphone manufacturers have always experimented with new ways of achieving exciting form-factors and design statements in their devices, but one thing has mostly remained the same – the flat panes screen. We have grown so accustomed to the standard flat surface that the constant strive has been to make it bigger and more lifelike.

This seems to be finally changing with an ever-increasing push towards curved display technology. Naturally smartphones are among the first adopters and LG is at the forefront of innovation when it comes to curved technology. After the LG G Flex 2 was unveiled at CES 2015 in became abundantly clear that the Korean manufacturer intends to further develop bendable display technology and is investing in its future. Read more »

Meizu unveils smart home gadgets – bulbs, A/Cs, air purifiers

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Meizu is moving into the home automation game with the new Lifekit system that comprises of multiple devices including a smart bulb, a scale, an air purifier, an smart A/C and a complex four-piece gadget that controls the air quality in your home.

These products are developed in partnership with Haier and Alibaba, with mostly identical hardware but will be integrated into Meizu’s Lifekit platform. Read more »

Enter Oppo’s selfie contest for a chance to win an Oppo N3

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It seems that selfie contests are becoming as popular as the selfie itself – first Xiaomi, now Oppo too. Oppo’s Selfie Showdown asks you to post your favorite, creative or unusual selfie.

The winners will grab a brand new Oppo N3. The company’s photography flagship has a mechanized rotating camera so selfies get the first-class treatment and are taken with the 13MP camera and dual-LED flash. Read more »

Huawei CEO accuses Xiaomi Mi Note Pro of poor battery life

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Huawei CEO Richard Yu recently shared his thoughts on Xiaomi’s latest flagship handset – the Mi Note Pro. It appears that he was less than pleased with the phablet’s battery life after being able to experience it firsthand.

The Xiaomi Mi Note Pro is equipped with a 6-inch QHD display and has a 3,000mAh battery. This is precisely where Richard’s grudge with the device lies. According to a recent post he made on Weibo, the CEO considers that the resolution is overkill for a screen of this size and the human eye has difficulties distinguishing between Full HD and QHD at this scale. He continue to criticize Xiaomi’s hardware of choice by stating that the power-hungry, high-resolution display only diminishes battery life. Read more »

Sundance Film Festival to be the stage for multiple VR experiences

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The independent film festival, held annually in Utah, has been picked by Samsung to unveil three new short films, created specifically for its Gear VR. Combating the limited amount of content for the virtual reality platform, Samsung is attempting to showcase its capabilities to filmmakers.

The 7min long “The World Première of Herders” presents an insight into the life of Mongolian nomadic tribes. Read more »

Newly opened West Lake Apple Store in China attracts huge crowds

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Today the ribbon was cut and the West Lake Apple Store in Hangzhou, China opened its doors for customers. The event attracted a huge crowd of fans eager to check out one of the company’s largest retail stores in Asia.


Image source: bruce_shia on Instagram

Tim Cook also promoted the store on Twitter saying “Starting Something New in Hangzhou, China!” The latest store is part of a total of five outlets in China. The rest will open before the Chinese New Year on February 19. Read more »

These are the most often used and least secure passwords

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The ever-growing number of subscriptions and site registrations that the Internet has brought upon us in recent years has meant that a pile of usernames and passwords need to be remembered. Apparently, many users take the easy route and pick simple passwords, which has meant that the top 25 most common ones, that have been exposed, are chosen by as much as 2.2% of users.

Topping the list of most widespread passwords of 2014 is longtime favorite “123456″, followed closely by the most natural of all, “password”. Read more »

Meizu and Haier partnership on home project announced

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Meizu, one of the top ten smartphone manufacturers in China has announced today that it is joining forces with Haier, which most probably hints at an upcoming array of connected home appliances. Haier Group has a long tradition of developing, manufacturing and selling a wide array of consumer electronics, ranging from air conditioners, microwave ovens, washing machines, refrigerators, all the way to mobile phones, computers and televisions.

The partnership seems perfectly in tune with Meizu’s recent announcement that their upcoming launch event on January 28 will revolve around a “Connected” life. Furthermore the push towards connected appliances and smart homes has been steadily gaining momentum with massive group ventures, such as project Thread leading the way. It was only a matter of time before the rest of tech world adopts the new aspiration and Meizu appears to be next in line to usher forth a new way of life, along with the likes of Google and Samsung. 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 »

Google Search and Maps will inform you of ticket availability for live events

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Google is making buying tickets for live events a bit less convoluted by striking a deal with live event companies Ticketfly, Ticketmaster and AXS. Now, tickets for live shows will be offered to you via Google’s Search and Maps services on both mobile and desktop.

Upon searching for a specific venue, you will see upcoming events and whether or not tickets are currently available. Artist schedules will also appear when you search for a specific band or performer. 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 »

Firefox 35 comes with a cross-browser video chat, improved App ecosystem and other improvements

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Firefox Hello is one of Mozilla’s most exciting innovations. It is an implementation of the WebRTC API that allows easy browser-to-browser voice, video and p2p file sharing all without any additional plugins.

While the standard itself is not new and Firefox Hello has been floating around as an addon for the open-source browser, version 35 bundles it straight into the core of the application and makes it easily accessible. Read more »

Facebook considered investing into Xiaomi, insiders say

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Xiaomi is barely a few years old, but is already the top smartphone manufacturer in China and among the top makers worldwide. It’s eyeing global dominance though its presence outside its home country is still fairly small. Facebook is by far the biggest social network around the world – except in China where it’s blocked by government censors.

The two companies sound like a good match for each other – Xiaomi wants out, Facebook wants into China. Read more »