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Monthly sales of Xbox One in US beats PlayStation 4 for first time

12/12, 11:18am

Microsoft has beaten Sony for the first time in a long while, in terms of console sales. Sales data from NPD reveals that the Xbox One outsold the PlayStation 4 in the United States for the month of November, with the pre-holiday spending breaking a sales streak Sony has enjoyed since the launch of its console in the country last year.

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Review: Kodak PixPro SL10 Smart Lens camera

12/12, 9:09am

Smartphone imagery still widely varies. Large Megapixel counts don't make for a good image, and the optics in some devices are lacking. Kodak thinks they have a solution in the Kodak PixPro SL10 Smart Lens camera. Kodak's clip-on camera is an independent all-in-one 16MP cylindrical-shaped digital camera that attaches to both Android and IOS smartphones. The concept is not exactly new to the market, as Sony has their similar versions. Does the PixPro SL10 stand out? Check our review to find out.

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WSJ: Google closing engineering office in Russia over law changes

12/12, 7:33am

A Google engineering office located in Russia is reportedly closing, in the wake of changes to the law concerning user data. According to the Wall Street Journal, the search giant is going to be pulling out just the engineering office, with a large contingent of employees working on sales, business partnerships, user support, marketing, and communications set to remain.

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Briefly: YouTube animated GIFs, Google Translate additions

12/12, 6:46am

YouTube has added an animated GIF tool to some of its videos. Spotted by Gizmodo, the tool appears under the Share menu, with users able to select a section of video and create a six-second GIF from the clip, complete with a caption at the top and bottom. So far, the tool has been discovered on some videos created by PBS, but it may appear on other YouTube content in the future.

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Facebook AI lab working on digital assistant to filter drunk photos

12/11, 8:55pm

Pictures of drunk people on Facebook may lessen in future, if plans revealed by the social network's AI research lab come to fruition. Lab head Yann LeCun wants to create a digital assistant for Facebook which is capable of detecting whether photographs being uploaded to the service are being done while the user is under the influence of alcohol, with the aim of preventing anything the user would find embarrassing when they are sober from being shown to visitors.

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Microsoft accepts Bitcoin for account payments in United States

12/11, 4:09pm

Microsoft is embracing Bitcoin, by allowing users of its services to pay using the cryptocurrency. US customers are able to add funds to their Microsoft Account using a Bitcoin wallet, which can then be used to may payments in the Windows, Windows Phone, and Xbox stores, as well as paying for subscriptions for Xbox Live and Xbox Music.

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Canadian Competition Bureau probes Apple deals with carriers

12/11, 3:59pm

The Canadian government's Competition Bureau is investigating complaints that Apple used anti-competitive clauses in the contracts it signed with phone carriers, Reuters reports. Although the Bureau stresses that it has yet to uncover any wrongdoing, it has only this week asked for a court order that would force Apple to turn over necessary documents. The organization hasn't said if it's pursuing similar orders for the carriers, which include Bell, Rogers, and Telus.

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Google adds Guest Mode to Chromecast in updated Android app

12/11, 1:38pm

The Google Chromecast is finally allowing guests to cast content without joining the same Wi-Fi network, courtesy of a new update. Originally teased during Google IO in June, the new Guest Mode can be enabled on a Chromecast individually, with the Chromecast and the guest smartphone or tablet also attempting to open communications without requiring any user configuration.

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Instagram hits 300M monthly active users, adds verified accounts

12/11, 10:05am

Instagram has overtaken Twitter in terms of active users, the Facebook-owned photo app has revealed. According to a company blog post, Instagram currently has more than 300 million active users sharing over 70 million photographs and videos daily, eclipsing the the 284 million monthly users claimed by Twitter at the end of October.

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Cellular models of iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3 go on sale in China

12/11, 9:34am

Cellular-equipped editions of the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3 are now on sale in China, Apple has announced. Wi-Fi models have been available for some time. Notably, the tablets support unique local 3G and 4G standards -- including TD-LTE, FDD-LTE, and TD-SCDMA -- along with common variants used elsewhere. Most orders from Apple's online store are listed as shipping in one day, although Minis with TD-SCDMA and TD-LTE support are cited as shipping in three to five. Minis with conventional 3G/4G are still shipping in a day.

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Google adds new experiences, SDKs for Cardboard VR headset

12/11, 7:19am

Google's low-tech virtual reality efforts have received a boost, with updates for users, developers, and those creating their own version of the Google Cardboard kit. Alongside a new Cardboard app making it easier to find and view VR experiences, Google Play now includes a collection page showing a number of made-for-Cardboard apps, including a performance by Paul McCartney and scenes from The Hobbit.

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Briefly: AT&T expands VoLTE and HD Voice, McDonald's kiosk ordering

12/11, 6:13am

AT&T has expanded its Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and HD Voice service into more markets. The carrier's higher-quality voice calls are now available to use in parts of the District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin, though customers will require a VoLTE-compatible smartphone.

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Hands On: FlipBelt

12/11, 12:49am

Often when a person is working out, they need to keep some of their personal items on hand. The armband solution works for phones and MP3 players, but other objects that don't have a market for special active-style containers like inhalers, protein bars, keys and medication are overlooked. Pockets aren't practical most of the time while working out, as items can bounce out, weigh too much, flop about or potentially cause wardrobe malfunctions. The FlipBelt, however, is a wearable pocket that sits around a wearer's midsection, tackling the need for a flexible carry-all while granting users easy access to anything one could need during a workout.

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BitTorrent technology comes to web browsers with Project Maelstrom

12/10, 11:52pm

BitTorrent, for good or ill, was a giant step for pushing data out to clients. While it's most often associated with piracy, it has many practical applications on the correct side of the law. The transfer technology is allowing the company to look in new directions -- such as chat clients and commerce -- but its now looking to additional avenues like web browsing with "Project Maelstrom."

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Electronic payment gateway Charge Anywhere compromised since 2009

12/10, 10:17pm

In a statement, electronic payment gateway provider Charge Anywhere announced that it had discovered "malware that had not been previously detected by any anti-virus program" in their system. The discovery was made after an unnamed party requested the company investigate some unauthorized transactions that appeared to be made legitimately.

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