Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

20
Aug
2013-08-21 00_08_40-Helpouts by Google

Have you ever been stumped by a problem that's clearly outside your wheelhouse? Perhaps you've even fantasized about being able to just dial up an expert to pick their big meaty brain about the problem. That's exactly what Google has just announced with Helpouts. It's a cunning play on words, you see. It's like a Hangout, but it's used to help people. Google is clever.

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The idea behind Helpouts is that folks with a certain area of expertise will set up an account with their skills, qualifications, availability, and rate.

20
Aug
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You like to learn stuff? That fancy book learnin' don't come cheap though, right? Well, the new Chegg app on Android could make it a little more affordable and simple. Chegg is an established web service that offers tons of real and electronic textbooks, as well as guided solutions. But now it's on your phone.

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You can search for any book by subject, title, author, or ISBN. The app is mainly aimed at giving you access to eTextbooks on your mobile device, but some more features for physical books are coming soon.

20
Aug
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A superhero is likely to have various powers suitable for defeating the forces of evil and causing a ton of collateral damage. You know, leaping tall buildings, conjuring fireballs, and so on. But can they fill out health insurance forms? Collate printouts? Can a superhero – no matter how powerful – navigate the murky waters of human resource complaints? The answer to all these questions is no. The venerable middle manager is the only one with these skills, and now you can slip on the sensible shoes of such an individual and manage a branch of Justice Corp.

20
Aug
waze

One of the advantages of using Waze for navigation has long been its real time traffic reporting by way of a committed user base. Now Google's acquisition of the company is bearing fruit as that live-updated data is being piped into Google Maps.

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Google Maps can already estimate traffic conditions based on the movement of Android devices, but this new source of data is more exact. It will tell Maps users about accidents, road closures, construction, and other general traffic frustrations.

20
Aug
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Do you already have many leather-bound books, and wish your mobile devices could smell of rich mahogany? The smell thing we can't really help with, but you can make them look like rich mahogany now thanks to dbrand. The maker of precision-fitted device skins has just made the mahogany version available for all devices, and it looks awesome.

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All dbrand skins are made from 3M vinyl that offers high durability and an exact fit for your device.

19
Aug
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CyanogenMod is already one of the most polished Android ROMs out there, but as the dev team says in the most recent blog post, running a custom OS shouldn't mean you're lacking first-class features. To that end, CyanogenMod ROMs will soon include CyanogenMod Account for encrypted device management. The account provider is already in CM's Github, but don't get too ahead of yourself – the CyanogenMod Account isn't rolling out right away.

19
Aug
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Update: Wow, the NFC ring has managed to come in at over eight times its original funding goal, with nearly 250,000 GBP (~$375,000) in pledged support. The NFC Ring met all but its final two stretch goals, which were essentially free merchandise handouts to limited edition supporters. Pretty amazing, now it's time to wait for the NFC Ring to ship!

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Little by little, NFC is becoming common in modern smartphones. But there's just never an NFC tag around when you need one...

19
Aug
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Is the HTC One "classic" just a little too big and ungainly? Then perhaps the HTC One Mini is up your alley. It just so happens AT&T is looking to sell one to you. We've known the HTC One Mini was headed for Ma Bell, but the carrier just made it official. It's half the price of the full-sized One at $99.99, which isn't a bad deal.

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The HTC One Mini comes with Android 4.2 and runs a Snapdragon 400 ARM chip, 1GB of RAM, Ultrapixel camera, and a 4.3-inch 720p Super LCD2 screen.

19
Aug
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The weekend seems to go by so fast, right? Well, maybe with some new apps and games to distract you, the work week will fly by too. Of course, we have some sales to facilitate that.

monday

19
Aug
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Update: It looks like the seller has increased the price to $175, which makes this not such a good deal.

The 2013 Nexus 7 is probably the best Android tablet you can buy now, but the 2012 model has been given a new lease on life with the Android 4.3 update. If you still want one, the 32GB last-generation Nexus 7 is on sale through eBay Daily Deal today for a downright reasonable $139.99.