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Relive the nostalgic dread of the Cold War with board game Twilight Struggle, now in the Play Store

International spying! Demagogic leaders! Jingoistic nationalism! Everything old is new again as the United States and Russia seem to be squaring up for another decades-long pissing contest. So while you wait for the next big hack or diplomatic faux pas, why not relive those happy memories of the original Cold War? Twilight Struggle, a two-player strategy title based on the 20th century's biggest game of chicken, has landed in the Play Store. It's five dollars, only a third of the price of the PC version.

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Instagram adds stickers and hands-free video in latest update

Instagram, much like Facebook's other applications, has been rapidly gaining features over the past few months. Live video, comment controls, and the ability to bookmark posts are all recent additions. In today's Instagram update, you can now add stickers to your Stories and shoot hands-free video.

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Google, please kill the horrible ongoing casting notification for all devices on the network

If there's one Google complaint we've received regularly recently, it's in regard to the new casting control notification which started appearing on devices as part of a Play Services update in early November. Namely, the problem is that the notification goes to every Android device on your network. It's a well-intentioned feature, but one which results in a horrible user experience for a number of reasons. Specifically:

  1. People are naturally inclined to dismiss notifications they don't recognize or want (something I'm sure Google agrees with!)
  2. People tend to accidentally hit buttons
  3. People are jerks

Number one: Listen, just because you gave Uncle Steve the Wi-Fi password so he doesn't use up all of his gee-bees during his holiday visit this year doesn't mean you were also interested in giving him authority over your casting controls that he does not understand.

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[Deal Alert] Pick up a 2-port Aukey car charger with QC 3.0 for just 8 bucks after coupon on Amazon ($5 off)

As a community of tech addicts, we tend to be a bit more demanding of our phone's battery life than the average user. Because of this, we need to take advantage of every opportunity available to recharge our gear. A perfect time to top off the tank of the ol' smartphone is during the daily commute. If you are fortunate enough to have a short one (you lucky devil) then you need a car charger that can provide the much-needed juice in a hurry. 

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Elephone S7 review: [Mediocre] Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

Design is extremely important in regard to pretty much everything. From fashion to cars, computer hardware to software, you can never escape good or bad design. Sometimes, the sheer popularity of a product will cause others to copy what they perceive to be worth imitating, despite the inevitable sneers from consumers and competitors alike. Such is the case with the Elephone S7, a pretty unashamed clone of the well-known Galaxy S7 Edge. But what if the copycat is actually halfway decent?

The Ele S7 holds up as a capable device. The hardware is pretty good and it runs an almost stock version of Android, which is a nice change of pace from what we usually see with Chinese phones.

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[Deal Alert] Get an AT&T unlocked LG V10 for $259 ($470 off) at DailySteals

The LG V10 is a bit over a year old now, but it's still a more than capable phone that probably never got the attention it deserved. More important, you'll have a hard time finding many better phones for $259, its current sale price at DailySteals.

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T-Mobile's next 'Un-carrier' announcement will come on January 5th at CES

In John Legere's continuing effort to will himself into the role of mobile rock'n'roll Jesus, the T-Mobile CEO has released a teaser trailer for the carrier's next Un-Carrier event. Exactly what will happen at the event isn't being disclosed - in fact, the whole point of the video is "wouldn't you like to know?" We did find out that the announcement will come on January 5th in Las Vegas, not-so-coincidentally at the same time and place that next year's CES will be going down.

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Some Nexus 6Ps have developed a battery early shutoff problem, and it's becoming a safety issue

A number of Nexus 6P owners have reported an alarming battery problem with their phones as of Android 7.0 being released for the handset, which causes the phone to power down when the battery gauge still shows anywhere from 10 to 60% battery remaining. How widespread the issue is at this point isn't clear, but the main thread on the Google issue tracker has 229 stars. There are also a significant number of threads describing the problem on Google's Product Forums (see: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

Owners have linked it to Android 7.0, but even those who have attempted flashing back to Marshmallow report the problem still occurs, though generally at lower indicated remaining battery percentages than on Nougat.

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AT&T launched free Call Protect feature with spam warnings, fraud blocking, and custom number blocking

AT&T is not usually one to leave money on the table, but in a rare showing of benevolence, it has launched a new service called Call Protect. It can be activated free on AT&T devices, allowing you to block numbers and get warnings of potential spam calls at the network level.

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The Google Pixel appears to have a widespread speaker issue, but a software fix could address it

We've received a number of tips about this one, and it's definitely a bit annoying: the Google Pixel appears prone to producing harsh clipping or distorted sound through its speaker when playing certain audio at maximum volume. This trailer of The Mummy demoes the problem well - the first clip you'll hear is around 10 to 11 seconds in, and the issues continue thereafter. The problem appears to be widespread and currently is part of a post on r/android with nearly 1800 upvotes, as well as a long thread on the Google Product Forums. The issue does not seem to affect all Pixel handsets - some do not produce the distorted sound even at maximum volume, and there does not seem to be any consistency in terms of Pixel versus Pixel XL handsets being affected.

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