Rather: The best Chrome extension you’ll ever need to block unwanted social annoyances

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ZOMG, Rather, a brand new Chrome extension is the last best tool you’ll ever need to block unwanted annoyances in your Facebook and Twitter feeds. Did you miss last night’s episode of Walking Dead and you’re tired of seeing spoilers in your feeds? Good news, Rather will let you replace any mention of the Walking Dead with images of puppies!

You should be on notice that Rather replaces based on keywords and can’t block out unwanted images of Miley Cyrus if she isn’t mentioned by name. The replacement photos are also grabbed via Instagram, so if some crazy teenager tags her Instagram image with “cats” you might see it appear in your feed as well. The bottom line is that the service, while awesome in its design, isn’t foolproof.

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The LG Nexus 5 review: Are the downgraded G2 specs offset by pure Kit Kat? (Spoiler: Yes!)


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As I come up on a week of use with the LG Nexus 5, a few things become clear:

  1. Tradeoffs were made to get this phone to $349. After some thought, I probably would have made the same decisions if $349 was my target price.
  2. I hate carrier and manufacturer ‘improvements’ more than ever. Having a ‘pure Google‘ phone is liberating.
  3. This will likely be my main Android phone for the next the year.
  4. This won’t be a best seller, even if it should be because it is the best value phone we’ll see all year.

How did I draw these conclusions? Start the week ago flashback sequence…

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Favorite app of the day: Customize your device with Themer

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When it comes to Android, one of the biggest advantages and selling points of the platform is customization, customization, customization. The opportunity to skin, theme, change, alter and design everything from widgets to icons to shortcuts is one of the great aspects of Android life. A quick walk-through of Google’s Play Store shows there is no shortage of launchers and many Android fans rattle off the names Nova, ADW and Apex like they are verbs. However, as popular as those three launchers are, they are just the tip of the iceberg and that’s where my newly minted favorite app comes into the story. Say hello to Themer.

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Gmail adds action buttons for Offers, restaurant reviews, & YouTube, Dropbox, & Drive uploads

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Back in May Google rolled out new contextual quick action buttons in Gmail that appeared next to messages in your inbox allowing users to, for example, quickly RSVP to an invitation or check-in to flights. Today Google announced on its Gmail blog that it’s rolling out even more quick action buttons in Gmail. One of the new buttons will allow users to rate and review restaurants and save Google Offers with a single click:

For example, you can rate and review restaurants you ordered from on Seamless and even modify OpenTable reservations—all without opening an email. And for the deal lovers out there, you can conveniently save a promotion from Google Offers with one click, making it easy to find and buy it when you’re ready.

Another new quick action button will allow YouTube and Vimeo uploaders to click a “View video” button next to emails in their inbox to jump right to viewing their finished uploads (pictured below). The same button will also appear for Dropbox, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.  Read more

Custom Moto X now available on all major US carriers as AT&T’s MotoMaker exclusive ends

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When Motorola launched its first smartphone as a Google company with the Moto X back in August, the big stand out feature for the device was the ability to apply over 2000 customizations at the time of purchase. Motorola let users pick the front, back, and accent colors, match headphone and case colors, and more all though its MotoMaker.com online ordering tool. Unfortunately, until today the MotoMaker tool was exclusive to AT&T with other carriers only selling white and black models of the Moto X.

The good news is AT&T’s exclusivity window has now officially ended and starting today you can order a customized Moto X through Moto Maker from all major US carriers including AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. Read more

HTC One successor, the M8 coming to all four national carriers next year?

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Even as HTC promises that next-year will see the return of lower cost handsets in an attempt to boost their fledgling business, the flagship successor to the One is also on the horizon. A tweet by @evleaks teases the HTC M8 for AT&T “unsurprisingly destined for AT&T, among others.” In a response to a secondary inquiry about a potential Verizon offering, the Twitter tipster responds that all four carriers should see a release by the end of the first quarter next year. Considering that all four national carriers carry the HTC One right now, it’s not inconceivable to think that the same will happen for its successor.

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Google makes it easier for Android & iOS devs to deploy cloud backends w/ Cloud Platform updates

Google is making some improvements to its Google Cloud Platform today that will make it easier for developers to provide cloud services across apps on multiple platforms. After first launching a preview of Cloud Endpoints earlier this year, Google announced today that the web backend solution for app developers has moved to General Availability. Cloud Endpoints provide developers with an easy way of building a simplified cloud backend to deploy across their web, Android and iPhone apps: Read more

Editorial: Please save $100 and only buy the Nexus 5 from Google’s Play Store

54910-nexus5Look, don’t take this the wrong way as I’m not suggesting buying the Nexus 5 from your carrier of choice is a bad move, except that’s exactly what I’m saying. The thing is, it isn’t even the carriers fault as they are simply passing on their cost of the Nexus 5 purchase from LG/Google directly to you. Sprint and T-Mobile have both confirmed that their cost of the Nexus 5 is $450 indicating that Google is subsidizing their pricing of the Nexus 5 via the Play Store. Just like last year’s Nexus 4. 

Yes, there is an argument to be made that not having to fork over the entire up-front cost is something that could appeal to many potential Nexus 5 buyers. However, in the long run I’d rather see customers saving the extra $100 and putting it toward apps, accessories or paying the electric bill. It’s likely Google is taking the $100 loss in the hopes of pushing customers into the Play Store where they will grab apps, books, movies, magazines and all the other things Google will make a profit on. More Nexus users means more Google Maps and search use, more money, more money…

9to5-image 2013-11-10 at 9.47.41 AM[Ed. note: If you want to save even more money, T-Mobile still offers a super secret Web only $30/month pre-paid plan (meaning little-no taxes) that works great with your Nexus 5.  You have to scroll to the bottom of T-Mobile's plans page to find it---->.  It includes unlimited data (throttled at 5GB), unlimited texts and a sparse 100 minutes of talk time.  If you aren't a talker, you are looking at $360 for a year of unlimited data + $350 for the best Android phone (under $60/month total) out there!]

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T-Mobile’s Nexus 5 arrives Nov. 14 online, Nov. 20 in-stores for $450

Today T-Mobile has made things official for availability and pricing on Google’s recently launched Nexus 5. Arriving for online orders Nov. 14 and in stores on Nov. 20, T-Mobile will be offering the 16GB Nexus 5 for $41.99 down with its usual monthly payments of $17. That brings the total cost of the device on T-Mobile up to $450, around $50 more than Google charges for the 32GB model and $100 more than the 16GB model on Google Play. That’s not unusual, however. Google has long subsidized the cost of its Nexus devices sold through Google Play. Read more

Poll: Do you like Google+ comments on YouTube?

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As news spread this morning that one of the original YouTube founders, Jawed Karim isn’t fond of Google+ YouTube comments, it begs the question what others think. The introduction of the new comment system led Karim to post his first comment on the site in 8 years:

“Why the fuck do I need a google+ account to comment on a video?”

Now, at first glance I’d say I agree with him, it just seems like another opportunity for Google to push its social media service right under a nose. On the flip side, there’s little argument that YouTube’s comment section is a black hole of the internet. If there’s even a remote possibility that Google+ can improve the quality of the conversation on YouTube, I say hell yes.

It remains unclear is Karim is truly the man responsible for the comment or if someone hacked his account. With the news that Feedly suddenly backtracked using Google+ authentication based on initial feedback, the question remains whether or not Google is making the right move pushing their service on YouTube?

So what say you, is Google+ the right comment system for YouTube? Would you like to see them spread to a blog like this one?

Google Glass prescription, fashion, & sport lenses coming early 2014 from Rochester Optical

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Update:  Google reached out to us to say there is currently no relationship between Google Glass and Rochester Optics

When Google recently announced the second generation Google Glass rolling out to those in its Explorers beta program later this year, it also noted that the wearable will fully support a new line of prescription frames. Now, Rochester Optical, a NY-based manufacturer of lenses and eyewear products, has teamed up with Tim Moore of VentureGlass who struck a deal with Google to provide “custom prescription, fashion, and sport lenses” for Glass. Moore announced the news today on his Google+ page with the image above and linked to a press release from Rochester Optical.

As a state-of-the-art optical laboratory, one of the first wearable technology items Rochester Optical will be producing are custom prescription, fashion, and sport lenses for Google Glass, available for purchase in early 2014

With Tim’s proven background as co-founder of social media agency SayItSocial and founder of Venture Glass, he will provide tremendous value to Rochester Optical in their endeavors in both the retail and the online space. His company, Venture Glass, a wearable technology company, was chosen by Google for their Google Glass project.

While the new Glass will be available later this year, Rochester Optical’s press release notes that its lenses for the device will available to buy in early 2014.  Read more