15
Dec
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The short version of this story is that Tse Ho Keung, holder of a patent that is currently within an inch of its life, has so far failed to get any traction in lawsuits against major tech companies (...and Blockbuster), and has resorted to threatening independent developers in a dual effort to either gain money or to avenge the name of his patent by forcibly eliciting amicus briefs and declaratory statements.

15
Dec
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Nest was already smarter than your average thermostat, coming with an app that serves as your mobile command and control center. But now that the hardware is integrated with Google Now, it's even easier to communicate with the device. Wish it were a little bit warmer? Just say the word.

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We knew this functionality was coming, it was just a matter of waiting for Google to flip the switch. Now that everything's working, Nest will respond to any number of voice commands following the words OK Google, including change the temperature to, turn the thermostat to, set Nest at, alter the temp, and seemingly everything in between.

15
Dec
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There's a lot to love about Android Wear 5.0.1. The new custom watch face support was just the tip of the iceberg, as we have recently discovered that you can disable Tilt to wake, image searches are more functional, and screenshot support is available but finicky. Another new feature that made it onto Wear 5.0.1 is the new mode switcher for Theatre and Sunlight, both of which are accessible by swiping down on the watch face and scrolling beyond the Mute screen.

15
Dec
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Update: Here is the link to the OTA file, direct from Google's servers.

We get excited about bugfix releases around these parts, even if they don't bring the kind of glossy user-facing changes that the big updates do. Android 5.0.1 hit AOSP early this month, and now it looks like the over-the-air update will be on its way to Nexus 5 owners before the end of today. Sprint and T-Mobile have both shared the news themselves.

15
Dec
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This fall HTC surrounded the launch of the Desire EYE with a series of camera-centric features that also trickled out to some of the manufacturer's other devices. The company made a big deal of these innovations, releasing no shortage of trailers showing off gimmicks enhancements ranging from face tracking and capturing video using both cameras at once to fusing faces together and instantly applying makeup.

Now HTC has released an app into the Play Store that it can use to update the video chat-related features among the list.

15
Dec
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At the pace that NVIDIA and Valve are publishing older PC games for SHIELD devices, we might see Half-Life 3 come as a SHIELD exclusive. (In 2035.) But today, you can play the third stand-alone Half-Life shooter on your SHIELD Tablet. Half-Life 2, Episode One (the oddly-named sequel to the original Half-Life 2) is now available on the Play Store for $7.99. You'll need a SHIELD Tablet to purchase it and an official SHIELD controller to play it.

15
Dec
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Taking screenshots of Android Wear has been doable since it launched with a wired or Bluetooth ADB connection, but the Lollipop update added screenshot functionality to the Android app exactly as rumored. Great, this should make us all very happy. The only problem, though, is that Google's implementation is bizarre and a little buggy. Here's how you do it.

2014-12-15 01.58.16 2014-12-15 01.58.10 2014-12-15 02.09.11

15
Dec
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Waking up is not usually awesome, but with the Hale Dreamer Alarm Clock you can at least feed your gadget-lust first thing in the morning. This is an all-in-one phone charging stand and alarm clock that works with a dedicated app. It's $99 full price and currently listed for $79.99 on Amazon (rated 4 stars), but StackSocial has it for just $55.99 with free shipping.

2014-12-15 03_16_34-Hale Dreamer Alarm Clock For Android _ StackSocial

15
Dec
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The premium Kindle Fire HDX tablets don't usually seem like a great value to me, but maybe they're worth picking up this holiday season with today's sizeable $125 discount. This deal is only valid today (December 15th) and it covers several flavors of the previous-generation Fire HDX.

2014-12-15 04_00_49-Gold Box Deals _ Today's Deals - Amazon.com

14
Dec
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This weekend's poll is another throwback, but this one's just a couple months out of its one-year anniversary, having been asked back in October of 2013. This year's poll options will be a little different, as the number of new crowdfunded smartwatches seems to be slowing a bit (especially in terms of media coverage), and smartwatches themselves are much more widely available than they were a year ago.

Last year, we saw just over 20% of you answer that you owned a smartwatch.

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