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Amazon reportedly preparing to launch hotel booking service

11/21, 7:10am

Amazon is said to be close to expanding its retail ambitions, into the travel market. A report claims the online retailer is preparing to open a travel department, and has apparently been working with independent hotels and resorts close to major cities in order to launch the service in the near future, possibly as soon as New Year's Day.

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Briefly: YouTube videos in Google Play Music, Washington Post app

11/21, 6:04am

Google has rolled out its YouTube Music Key service to existing Google Play Music All Access subscribers. While the YouTube Music Key launch revealed its users automatically enrolled into the Google Play Music subscription, Google revealed yesterday that Music All Access users were also able to use Music Key as part of their existing subscription. The Google Play Music app has also been updated on Android, providing options to watch the music video with certain tracks.

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Billboard, Nielsen tipped to track streaming music, video services

11/20, 9:53pm

The way the popularity of content is measured may be seeing some changes in the coming weeks, both for audio and video. Billboard will start to include streaming and digital track sales as part of the Billboard 200 albums chart, while Nielsen is said to be preparing to track content watched through streaming services starting from next month.

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Uber hires former IBM Chief Privacy Officer to review privacy policies

11/20, 4:57pm

Uber is forming a privacy team by bringing onboard a number of experts, as it attempts to secure its customer's data. The hiring of a team, including former IBM Chief Privacy Officer Harriet Pearson, comes shortly after reports claimed one of the app-based cab company's executives had tracked a ride of a journalist without their permission.

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Google Contributor lets public pay to remove ads from select websites

11/20, 3:50pm

Google has launched a new service called Contributor, allowing people to pay to remove ads from participating websites. At the service's portal, visitors can pick which sites they want to contribute to, and whether to donate $1, $2, or $3 per month. Once a subscription is active, visiting those sites will display thank-you messages and/or pixel patterns in place of the ads.

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Corning launches Gorilla Glass 4 with improved drop protection

11/20, 1:59pm

Corning has introduced the fourth generation of its hard-wearing glass, used by a large proportion of smartphone and mobile devices. Gorilla Glass 4 is said to be twice as resistant to damage compared to its competitors, and with initial shipments of the new glass already being sent to manufacturers, could make an appearance in new smartphones from early next year.

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Foxconn's Innolux to build $2.6B factory to supply displays

11/20, 12:38pm

Foxconn's display unit, Innolux, will be spending about NT$80 billion ($2.6 billion US) during the next two years on a new Taiwanese factory meant to supply an exclusive but unnamed client, says Innolux PR representative Sophia Cheng. The statement was in reference to comments made by Innolux President Wang Jyh-chau at a press conference earlier today. Although Cheng says she isn't aware if such a deal has been signed, the client is elsewhere believed to be Apple, one of Foxconn's biggest contracts and possibly one of the few that could justify such an expenditure or demand such secrecy.

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Cisco preparing to pay $188M to Apple-led Rockstar Consortium

11/20, 9:24am

Cisco is said to be preparing to pay a $188 million pre-tax charge to settle a lawsuit brought against it by Rockstar, the Apple-led patent holding firm born out of the remains of Nortel Networks. The company recent mentioned a $188 million payout in an earnings call. The connection to the settlement can be made, as Cisco has asked the judge in the lawsuit to stay litigation because it has signed a "term sheet" with Rockstar.

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Briefly: Starbucks rolls out Powermat, Sony offers free movies

11/20, 8:25am

Starbucks is expanding its wireless charging efforts, by adding more Duracell Powermat charges to 200 locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, ahead of plans to offer it across the United States and possibly in Europe and Asia by next year. For customers without a compatible wireless charging device, Duracell Powermat "Rings" will be available to borrow and return for each visit, or can be bought for $10 each.

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Chinese developers able to sign up for Google Play Store app sales

11/20, 7:30am

Google is now accepting apps created by developers based in China on the Google Play Store. While the change now allows for developers in the country to sign up as merchants for Google's Android app marketplace, distributing the apps to users in more than 130 countries, the apps themselves will not be available in China itself, as Google Play does not currently operate there.

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Sony A7 II launches in Japan with five-axis image stabilization

11/20, 6:14am

An updated version of the Sony Alpha 7 has been launched in Japan. The A7 II is a 24.3-megapixel full-frame mirrorless camera and the first of its kind to have a five-axis sensor-shift image stabilization system, one which is said to reduce shake by up to 4.5 CIPA-standard stops, and is capable of automatically combining it with the in-lens stabilization of an E-mount lens with OSS.

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Zalman to carry on after Moneual's $3B fraud, restructuring underway

11/20, 1:13am

After years of corporate fraud carried out by high-level executives in its parent company Moneual, there was concern that computer cooler manufacturer Zalman Tech could go under. However, it appears that the company will undergo several changes in order to live on, as indicated by statement released from the company today.

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Mozilla, Google break up, Yahoo now the default Firefox search

11/19, 10:49pm

Mozilla made a major announcement today, letting the world know that its 10-year default search relationship with Google is coming to an end. However, that doesn't mean Mozilla is ending the idea of a default search provider for its free browser. In Google's place, Mozilla struck a new partnership with Yahoo to make its Bing-powered search the default in US copies of Firefox.

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Review: Asus Chromebook C300

11/19, 9:30pm

When Chromebooks hit the market back in 2011, consumers didn't know what to do with them. The low-cost laptops, powered by Google's ChromeOS, were initially considered inferior to more expensive options -- but some sectors, like education, saw the potential they bring. Nearly three years after Chromebooks first went on sale, the affordable notebooks are still going strong, with numerous manufacturers producing them. Asus currently makes two Chromebooks, one of which is the C300. For consumers that have decided to dip into the Chromebook pool, would the C300 be a good introduction? Find out in our review.

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Motorola Keylink unveiled as accessory for finding keys, smartphone

11/19, 8:16pm

Motorola has revealed an accessory which could help prevent people from losing their keys or their phone. The Motorola Keylink is designed to be attached to a keyring, and can be set to make a noise from a connected smartphone at a range of up to 100 feet if they are misplaced, with a button on the keyfob able to trigger the smartphone's ringer as well.

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