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Microsoft Steps Up Fight Against Android & iOS By Making Windows Phone Free

HTC-Windows-Phone

Microsoft has reportedly made its Windows Phone operating system free to select handset manufacturers in an effort to gain ground on Android and iOS.

Both Xolo and Karbonn — two smartphone makers based in India — recently signed deals with Microsoft that will allow them to launch Windows Phone devices free from license fees, according to sources speaking to The Times of India.

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Starbucks Mobile App To Get Digital Tipping & New Interface This Month

Starbucks-Mobile

Starbucks has confirmed that it will be revamping its mobile app to add digital tipping and a new user interface later this month. The update will also bring a new “shake to pay” feature that will provide quick and easy access to your Starbucks Card barcode.

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Apple Wants Samsung To Pay A $40 License Fee For Every Smartphone & Tablet It Sells

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Apple wants Samsung to pay a $40 license fee for every smartphone and tablet it sells after the South Korean company infringed five patents with a number of Galaxy-branded devices.

That’s right… just five patents, $40 for every device. It’s a pretty surprising demand — especially after Apple recently stated that monetary damages were “not an adequate remedy” for Samsung’s patent infringing ways.

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The 2 Security Features Android Needs Now

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Three new security phones have come into the spotlight recently: The Geeksphone Blackphone, the Boeing Black, and FreedomPop’s Privacy phone.

These phones take similar routes to security, from what we know so far. They’re loaded with encryption, security apps and other features.

But there are two feature on at least one of these phones that should be a standard part of Android.

The $629 Geeksphone Blackphone, made in partnership with Silent Circle, uses a forked version of Android called the PrivatOS. First, the system confronts you with choices when you install an app, enabling you to choose exactly what personal information is available to each app — individual permissions on each source of data that each app requests. And second, after apps have been installed, a “Security Center” lets users enable or disable specific permissions for each app.

Why aren’t these two features built into standard Android?

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Darkseid Threatens All As Exclusive Character For Superhero Hit Injustice

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Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment have just disclosed that mobile superhero fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us has gotten a big bad exclusively to the Android and iOS versions of the game: Darkseid.

To celebrate, the game will have a special challenge event taking place in game, giving you a chance to compete in battles that will reward you with an exclusive Gold character card. The challenge will run from March 6 through the 24th.

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The Perplexing Plinth Is The Only Tablet Stand You’ll Ever Need [Hands On]

With its arms folded in, the Plinth hardly looks like a tablet stand.

With its arms folded in, the Plinth hardly looks like a tablet stand. Image courtesy John Bull

The Plinth isn’t just a super-compact tablet stand — it’s an amusing party trick.

Slide the sleek accessory out of your pocket or purse and into the hands of a friend and you’ll likely be met with a quizzical stare as they try to figure out what, exactly, the flat plastic object is. Thin, feather-light and somewhat curiously shaped, the Plinth — which currently exists only as a 3-D prototype, although if you’re quick you can get in on the Kickstarter campaign — looks something like a Chinese puzzle box or a Transformer in stealth mode.

It’s obviously composed of multiple parts that fit together seamlessly, and a couple of buttons look like they might do something. But let a friend fondle the plastic object, and they’ll likely fiddle with it for a while before they discover the Plinth’s awesome secret.

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Apple Denied Permanent Injunction On Samsung’s Patent-Infringing Products

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Apple has today had its request for a permanent injunction on Samsung’s patent-infringing products denied. The Cupertino company was awarded $929 million in damages, but it argued that the monetary sum was insufficient, and that a number of Samsung products should be banned.

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Twitch Mobile SDK Will Allow Gamers To Stream From Android & iOS

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Twitch, the hugely popular video streaming service for gamers, today announced a new SDK that will allow Android and iOS developers to integrate Twitch into their games. It will give users the ability to broadcast, capture, and archive their gaming sessions on their smartphones and tablets.

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Flipboard Buys Rival News Reader Zite With A Plan To Shut It Down

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Flipboard has today confirmed its acquisition of rival news reader Zite from CNN. The company plans to integrate Zite’s technology into its existing service, while Zite as we know it will be killed off.

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BlackBerry Bringing Sponsored Content To BBM, But It Promises Not To Put Ads In Your IMs

BBM-Channels

BlackBerry has confirmed that sponsored content will soon be coming to BBM Channels after ads were spotted in its latest BBM beta release. The Canadian company also insists, however, that it will not be inserting advertisements into your instant messages, and that it will be “very strict” about the amount of content that is pushed to the BBM community.

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