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Apple and Android fanboys unite to boycott NFC payment blocking

Photo: Killian Bell

Photo: Killian Bell

Just like one of The Avengers — where bickering superheroes team up to fight a far more oppressive evil — Apple and Android fans on reddit have united forces to boycott what they see as the unethical blocking of NFC payment systems by a number of different retailers, affecting users of both Apple Pay and Google Wallet.

The reason for this blocking of the NFC service is that the retailers in question — including Gap, Old Navy, 7-Eleven, Sears, Kmart and others — are part of an organization called Merchant Customer Exchange, which uses its own payment system called CurrentC.

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Nest buys home-automation rival Revolv to shut it down

Revolv was snapped up by Nest -- although it doesn't look like it'll remain revolving for long. Photo: Revolv

Revolv was snapped up by Nest — although it doesn’t look like it’ll remain revolving for long. Photo: Revolv

Nest has acquired Revolv, the Colarado-based startup which allowed users to control their smart home devices from a single interface using their smartphone.

No price has yet been announced for the purchase, which follows Nest’s $555 million Dropcam purchase back in June, and Nest’s own acquisition by Google for a massive $3.2 billion earlier this year.

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Rockstar’s incredible Grand Theft Auto trilogy goes on sale

San Andreas is 10 years old today. Photo: Rockstar

San Andreas is 10 years old today. Photo: Rockstar

If you haven’t already picked up Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto series on Android and iOS, you’re missing out on some of the best console games ever brought to mobile. But now’s your chance to get them super cheap, which GTA 3, Vice City, and San Andreas all reduced to celebrate the latter’s 10th anniversary.

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Sony hopes to save Xperia with iPhone-like annual refreshes

The Xperia Z3v is essentially a regular Z3 with some Verizon logos. Photo: Sony

The Xperia Z3v in all its waterproof glory. Photo: Sony

Unlike every other major smartphone company, Apple launches new flagship iPhones just once a year, meaning that whenever a customer buys a new iPhone around release time they can rest safe in the knowledge that their device is going to remain current for a whole twelve months.

Seeing the kind of success Apple has had with this model, Song Mobile has reportedly gone back to the Xerox machine drawing board, and decided to scrap their own twice-yearly policy of refreshing its flagship Xperia phone in favor an Apple-style annual overhaul.

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Amazon’s unsold Fire Phones are costing it $170 million

Photo: Amazon

Have you seen a Fire Phone in the wild yet? Photo: Amazon

During its earnings call yesterday Amazon gave some clues about just how spectacularly its Fire Phone business is tanking — making it seem one of the worst tech ideas since the RMS Titanic shipped without lifeboats.

How bad are we talking? At the end of its disappointing third-quarter the company still has a massive $83 million worth of unsold inventory sitting around.

It’s now taking a $170 million charge “primarily related to Fire phone inventory valuation and supplier commitment costs.”

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Stalk the passengers on your next flight with this creepy app

Who will you wind up sitting with? Photo: James Vaughan/Flickr CC

Who will you wind up sitting with? Photo: James Vaughan/Flickr CC

Have you ever wished for an app that lets you know exactly who you’ll be sitting next to on a flight — right down to perusing your would-be neighbor’s Facebook profile to see what you have in common?

A new social check-in feature for airline app Quicket lets you choose a seat on an airplane, then immediately check who you’ll be paired with, complete with an optional link to their social media page.

Yes, it’s possibly the year’s creepiest app feature, and one that’s not even trying to hide its reason for existing. Check out this excerpt from its press release:

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Google really wants to let your iPhone work with Android Wear

Android Wear support could be coming to your iPhone. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Android Wear support could be coming to your iPhone. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

One of the easiest ways Google could compete with Apple Watch is to make its Android Wear devices compatible with iOS. Some say it’ll never happen, but according to Android Wear product manager Jeff Chang, support for other platforms is something the search giant is “very interested in.”

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New Pebble will be more customizable, but forget a fancy screen

The original Pebble. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

The original Pebble. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Pebble has finally begun teasing its next smartwatch ahead of an official unveiling next year, and according to Pebble evangelist Myriam Joire, it’s going to deliver “more everything.” It won’t only be prettier than its predecessors, but thinner, too — and it’ll offer a whole new level of customization.

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Spotify Family lets up to 5 people share the same subscription

Spotify on iPhone. Photo: Spotify

Spotify on iPhone. Photo: Spotify

Spotify is finally allowing music lovers to share their subscriptions with their family and friends with a new Spotify Family plan. Prices starts at just $14.99 a month for up to two, while the top tier $29.99 a month plan allows one subscription to be shared with up to five people.

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Microsoft is weeks away from launching its own smartwatch

Photo: Killian Bell

Photo: Killian Bell

Having previously taken a crack at the smartwatch market with its now-discontinued SPOT technology, Microsoft is looking to get back into the wearables space according to a report from Forbes, citing anonymous sources.

The watch will apparently be launched in the next few weeks and will work across a variety of platforms, which makes perfect sense since Windows Phone is a distant third compared to Android and iPhone handsets.

Its timing is an effort to capture the potentially-lucrative holiday market.

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