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Briefly: Sharp Aquos Crystal on Sprint, Sony Xperia M2 Aqua launch

08/20, 5:20am

Sprint has confirmed it will carry the recently-announced Sharp Aquos Crystal smartphone on its network. Boasting a 5-inch 720p display with minimal bezel and mid-ranged specifications, Sprint will be selling the Aquos Crystal for $240 off-contract and $10 per month under Easy Pay, while the prepaid brand Boost and Virgin will both offer it for $150. Sprint did not advise of when the Aquos Crystal will be available, but the Japanese launch earlier this week points to a release on August 29th.

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RootMetrics: Verizon top carrier in performance, speed, reliability

08/19, 7:50pm

A new study of wireless carriers for the first half emerged today, putting Verizon at the top of the pile in five categories, marking it as the best overall carrier in the United States. Market research firm RootMetrics announced its findings, showing that Verizon was the best carrier in reliability, speed, data performance and call performance.

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Steve Ballmer departs from Microsoft board after 34 years of service

08/19, 4:41pm

Steve Ballmer has stepped down his position as Microsoft board member, six months after being replaced as CEO by Satya Nadella. In a letter to the current CEO, the former leader advises that he is departing "effective immediately," citing his involvement with teaching and his ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers as keeping him "very busy."

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Latest Xcode 6 SDKs hint at possible iPhone 6 resolutions

08/19, 4:16pm

A "plist" preference file in the past two Xcode 6 beta SDKs may point at possible resolutions for the iPhone 6. Specifically, the file is connected to the iOS 8 homescreen, and refers to a 16:9 resolution of 414x736. Because the iPhone SDK handles hardware resolutions through point values, actual Retina resolutions should be two to three times greater. That suggests that 828x1472 and 1242x2208 are possibilities, both of which would have enough pixel density on 4.7- and 5.5-inch screens to maintain Retina status.

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Uber tests Corner Store same-day deliveries in Washington D.C.

08/19, 2:44pm

Uber is testing potential delivery services again, by providing customers with goods from local retail outlets. Named Uber Corner Store, the experimental retail service will let Uber users request products from a list of over 100 items through the app, delivered shortly afterward to the customer by one of Uber's own fleet of drivers.

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Asus teases launch of smartwatch at September 3 IFA event

08/19, 12:56pm

Asus has started to tease the launch of its smartwatch, ahead of an event taking place at IFA on September 3rd. The image on the Asus Twitter account gives a small glimpse of the device, with the shape of one side suggesting it will be using a square display instead of a circular version, despite it having rounded corners on its face.

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AMD officially launches OCZ partnership with Radeon R7 SSD line

08/19, 11:35am

AMD today announced its previously-rumored technology partnership with Toshiba-owned OCZ Storage Solutions for AMD Radeon-branded Solid State Drives (SSDs). Launching the range is the AMD Radeon R7 Series SSDs in 120GB, 240GB and 480GB capacities.

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HTC One (M8) for Windows launches as Verizon exclusive

08/19, 11:23am

HTC has launched the Windows Phone version of its One M8 flagship at an event in New York. The HTC One (M8) for Windows is a metal-clad smartphone with the same specifications as the Android original, including an identical five-inch 1080p display, quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at 2.3GHz, 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of expandable storage.

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TCL, Hisense launch Roku OS-based smart TVs, shipping soon

08/19, 10:19am

The first smart televisions running on Roku OS are heading to market. The Roku TV, ranges created by TCL and Hisense originally announced at CES in January, uses similar software to drive its smart TV functionality as the Roku set-top box, giving users a simplified interface and access to a selection of over 1,500 streaming channels offering over 200,000 movies and TV shows.

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Rumor: iPhone 6 may support 150Mbps LTE-A

08/19, 9:29am

Continuing a series of rumors, Chinese repair firm GeekBar is claiming that the iPhone 6 will also use a Qualcomm MDM9625 modem, which supports LTE-A, but only up to 150Mbps. That would be an improvement over the 100Mbps limit in the iPhone 5s, but only half the full potential of LTE-A, which is 300Mbps. Carriers across the world are only just beginning to deploy LTE-A-compatible networks, so Apple may not be worried about maximizing speeds within the expected life-cycle of the iPhone 6.

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YouTube Music Key leak claims $9.99 subscription, offline mode

08/19, 9:15am

Google's long-rumored music service for YouTube will apparently cost $9.99 per month, according to a leak. Dubbed YouTube Music Key, the subscription service will provide advertising-free music playback on the desktop, mobile, and through the TV, with the ability to cache songs on devices for offline playback, similar to the existing Google Play Music All Access subscription.

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BlackBerry realigns divisions, forms BlackBerry Technology Solutions

08/19, 8:56am

BlackBerry has spun off a new business unit, collecting the majority of its unique technologies under one roof -- the BlackBerry Technology Solutions (BTS) division. Dr. Sandeep Chennakeshu will lead the new group, which encompasses embedded software group QNX, "Internet of Things" division Project Ion, cryptography division Certicom, RF antenna tuning group Paratek, and 44,000 associated patents.

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HP Stream 14 leaks as $200 Windows 8.1 Chromebook-equivalent

08/19, 7:15am

Microsoft's fight against Chromebooks will start with a low-cost offering from HP, according to a report. A leaked data list claims the HP Stream 14 will allegedly have a similar specification list to other Chromebooks, along with a competitive price tag of $200, though the notebook will be running Windows 8.1 instead of Google's Chrome OS.

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Community Health Systems admits breach, 4.5 million patients affected

08/18, 6:34pm

Today, in a filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), medical services provider Community Health Systems (CHS) revealed that it was the victim of a cyber attack that spanned a three-month period. According to the filing information, personal information from around 4.5 million patients was stolen, including Social Security numbers.

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Sharp Aquos Crystal launched in Japan, Sprint unveiling touted

08/18, 2:02pm

Sharp has created two new Aquos smartphones with an extremely minimal bezel, giving the appearance of an edge-to-edge display. The Aquos Crystal and the Aquos Crystal X, with respective 5-inch 720p and a 5.5-inch 1080p displays, will both be going on sale in Japan, with at least one of the devices heading to the United States in the near future.

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