Bill allowing smartphone unlocking now approved by the House of Representatives, set to become law

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After the decision last year to make unlocking smartphone and tablet devices illegal, the US House of Representatives today voted yes to allow the practice to become legal once again. This is already the second time the government has voted on this issue, as just a few weeks ago the US Senate approved the legislation to move on to the House. The final step in getting the law approved is the President’s signature, which should come with little delay as he has already spoken out in favor of the bill. Read more

Verizon to begin throttling certain unlimited 4G LTE customers

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Verizon has been throttling unlimited 3G data subscribers for years now, but never 4G LTE users. Until today, when they announced this morning that beginning October 1st, the top 5% of 4G LTE data users who coincidentally meet a series of other factors will get throttled. According to DroidLifea recent report showed that over 20% of Verizon data users were still on an unlimited data plan, so it’s no surprise that Verizon would want to push these users to a tiered data plan.

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Google is working on multiple language translation support for voice search

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Google is working on a new feature for its voice search that will allow the software to understand multiple languages at a time. Currently, the company’s voice search only listens to your default language settings for your Google profile. This can be changed within your account’s settings, but Mountain View is trying to make things easier for multilingual individuals.

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Android Wear can now control your Tesla Model S (Video)

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Android Wear devices are being used to do quite a few awesome things, and now we can add being a remote control for the Tesla Model S to the list. It was about a year ago that we first saw this capability come to Google Glass via the GlassTesla app, and now it looks like the lucky few owners of the Tesla Model S can do the same kinds of remote control actions via their wrist.

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Google Glass GDK updated to reflect support for USB webcams

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Google has updated the Google Glass GDK documentation to include support for external webcams attached via an On-The-Go cable (via Android Police). This means that, while developers already have access to the standard built-in Glass camera, they will now be able to incorporate additional camera views in their apps. Sadly, webcams won’t be Plug-and-Play, so developers are going to have to provide their own drivers for the hardware they want to use. Read more

Samsung shows off its tech institute near Mexico City

 

First announced last month at a ceremony on June 9th, Samsung has shared some information about its new Samsung Tech Institute in Queretaro, Mexico near Mexico City. The company says representatives from the National Employment Service Delegation Queretaro attended that ceremony alongside corporate managers from Samsung.

The main objective of this program is to train technicians to address the importance and the needs of the production in order to improve living conditions and to provide employment opportunities for recent graduates, who constantly struggle to find job opportunities.

Below Samsung outlines the benefits of its program: Read more

Leaked Moto X+1 prototype reveals aluminum trim and a dual-LED camera flash

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Another day, another set of leaked Moto X+1 images. Today’s pictures are of a “near-final prototype” build of the device and they manage to reveal some new information about the unannounced handset. For starters, the X+1 is said to have a 5.1-inch display, so it’s a little larger than its predecessor. The device doesn’t have any capacitive buttons and has a loudspeaker below its display, similar to the design of the budget-friendly Moto E.

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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