iFixit teardown gives us our first look inside the Amazon Fire Phone, rates it low on repairability

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iFixit has added to the poor reception given to Amazon’s first ever smartphone, the Fire Phone, by rating it 3/10 for repairability. Even Amazon didn’t seem to have great confidence in the technology, its first ad focusing instead on the free 1-year Amazon Prime subscription you get with the phone.

Despite external, non-proprietary screws and no adhesive holding the casing together, iFixit found that simply removing the battery proved challenging, requiring a mix of heating and prying. After that, says the company, things only got worse …  Read more

Google plans to create a ‘baseline’ of health from extensive data collected in new study

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Google is planning to collect data from 175 participants in a new study to attempt to create a statistical standard for what is considered a healthy person, the Wall Street Journal reported today. The data collected in this study, called Project Baseline, will presumably be used at some point in the future to monitor technology users for any signs of potential medical issues and alert them.

In the study, which will eventually be expanded to thousands of participants, Google X’s Dr. Andrew Conrad and a team of as many as 100 scientists in varying fields will collect anonymous molecular and genetic data in order to determine the idea traits of a healthy individual. These samples will come in the form of tissue, tears, urine, and more which will be collected this summer.

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Google’s acquisition of Twitch for $1 billion reportedly confirmed

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According to VentureBeat, citing sources familiar with the matter, Google has reached an agreement with Twitch to acquire the live streaming video platform for $1 billion. While the deal appears to have been finalized, the two companies have yet to make a formal announcement regarding the acquisition. Google’s YouTube division is reportedly in charge of the acquisition.  Read more

Comic-Con bans Google Glass from movie and TV panels

Google founder Sergey Brin poses for a portrait wearing Google Glass glasses before the Diane von Furstenberg  Spring/Summer 2013 collection show during New York Fashion Week

Although Google Glass is available to the public, it’s understandable that the wearable tech isn’t welcomed everywhere, however being barred from a convention full of nerds has a special kind of sting. Comic-Con is currently underway and while the San Diego Convention Center is packed to the gills with cosplayers, anyone dressed up as Google co-founders Sergey Brin or Larry Page better not be wearing Glass — at least not during the show’s video screening panels.

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LG ships record-breaking 14.5 million smartphones in Q2 2014

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LG Electronics shared its second quarter earnings results on Wednesday, announcing that it shipped a record-high 14.5 million smartphones during the three-month period ending June. The successful quarter for the Korean electronics maker saw its net profits rise 165 percent to $399.8 million over the year-ago quarter, with consolidated revenue of $14.93 billion and operating profit of $588.5 million.  Read more

Hands-on with a functional 4.7-inch iPhone 6 clone w/ heavily detailed, skinned version of Android (Video)

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It may look like iOS, but this functional “Wico6″ iPhone 6 clone is actually running a heavily skinned version of Android. Published by YouTuber Danny Winget, this functional clone mimics Apple’s iPhone in almost every way possible, all the way down to the packaging and accessories. So what’s the big deal? Apple clones pop up all of the time. Well, the Wico6 is designed to look like all of the iPhone 6 dummies we’ve seen up to the point.

This “fully functional” device does work as a smartphone (SIM card slot and all), but it’s not running iOS. There’s nothing fancy here as far as specifications go, but its user interface is shockingly detailed and does a very good job mimicking iOS. This device is powered by a 2.4GHz quad-core MediaTek processor, 2GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, and has a 4.7-inch display with a resolution of 960 x 540 (234 ppi). Nothing impressive, but apparently it gets the job done.

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Motorola’s back to school sale drops up to $125 off the Moto X’s regular asking price

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Summer is fading fast and as a way of saying farewell, Motorola Mobility is having a back to school sale on its off-contract Moto X. The entry-level 16GB version of the company’s customizable handset is down to just $300 ($100 savings) and the 32GB model has been reduced to $325 ($125 savings). However, if your app arsenal is heavy and you’re looking for a lot of storage space, you can pick up the 64GB Moto X for $375 ($125 savings).

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More details of Samsung’s Oculus-powered Gear VR headset leak w/ look at companion app

Samsung’s upcoming Gear branded virtual reality headset for its mobile devices has a leaked a couple times in recent weeks, but today it gets closer to reality with our first look at the companion software for smartphones used to manage the device. SamMobile posted screenshots of the app called Gear VR Manager that show the steps it takes for a user to setup the headset and available settings and calibration tools. There are also hints at VR Panorama and VR Cinema apps. Read more

Hangouts on Air’s new Showcase app helps broadcasters further promote their products and services

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Today, Google announced the availability of its new Showcase app for Hangouts on Air that lets hosts promote content related to their conversation like websites, YouTube videos, Google+ profiles and content from Google Play via an onscreen panel displayed on the right-hand side of the video feed. For example, the cast of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes recently held a Hangout and used the Showcase app to share links to trailers and movie tickets.

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Chromecast boasts 400 million casts as it celebrates its 1 year mark w/ 3 months of free Google Play Music All Access

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Happy birthday, Chromecast! That’s what Google is saying today as it announced the HDMI media streaming stick has been used to cast content 400 million times in the 12 months since it launched. The Chromecast, of course, allows you to stream content from services like Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora to your HDTV from your Android or iOS as well as your computer via the Chrome browser.

We’ve added hundreds of your favorite apps, including WatchESPN, Pandora, Hulu Plus, HBO GO and PBS Kids; announced new features like mirroring your Android device to the TV and expanded to 30,000 stores across 20 countries.

That’s certainly a lot of casting from the $35 accessory, and Google is giving all Chromecast users 90 days of its Google Play Music All Access service for free to celebrate. The offer to redeem 3 months of free access to the $9.99/month music subscription service will run from today, July 24th, through September 30th, for all existing Chromecast customers not already subscribed to All Access. Read more

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 now available online through Verizon for $460 or $360 on-contract

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Today Verizon announced that 10.1-inch version of Samsung’s new Galaxy Tab 4 is now available through its online store. Starting today it’s online for $359.99 on contract or $459. The tablet will arrive in stores in the weeks and join the 8-inch variant that’s already available for $279 on contract or $379. Verizon notes that its Edge program is also available for the tablets, as is the ability to add the tablet to their existing MORE Everything accounts for an additional $10 monthly access fee. Read more

Google switching Chrome to its homemade BoringSSL to make its browser safer

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Google has exhausted a lot of resources patching up OpenSSL, so much in fact, the company has elected to create its own fork aptly named BoringSSL. Preparing to move the platform to Chrome, Mountain View recently worked this new implementation into its latest Chromium build. As indicated by its name, OpenSSL is an open source software used for secure connections. Several security holes in OpenSSL recently led to the now infamous Heartbleed scare that worked a large portion of the world into a frenzy.

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