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Amazon's Alexa Has Over 1,000 Skills, But Discoverability And Quality Remain Issues

Amazon's Echo has become the de-facto standard of home voice control, at least until Google Home is released and we find out whatever Apple is planning. To emphasise Amazon's market-leading position, the company has published a press release saying Alexa has over 1,000 skills and integrations - we counted roughly 1,150 (115 pages with 10 items on each page). For such a young platform, this is mightily good news, and says wonders about the battleground that the home will be for technology companies in the future.

Screenshot_20160603-102403 Screenshot_20160603-102543

Left: the skills list, showing the filters and sorting options. Right: some other skills that are installable on the Echo.

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[Hold The Door] Kickstarter's Latest Android Changelog Contains Bug Fixes... And Hodor

If you're a Game Of Thrones fan, you're likely well aware of the "hold the door" meme that has transfixed a good portion of the internet for the last couple of weeks. Kickstarter, too, it seems, is engrossed with the series' doorstopper of a storyline, as their latest changelog takes "Bug fixes and performance improvements" to a whole new level.

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Flatland Is A New Nature Live Wallpaper That Goes Oddly Well With Material Design

I'm not much of a live wallpaper guy these days, but Maxelus is one of the more popular LWP developers out there, and their newest creation Flatland really does it for me. Flatland has three nature themes: savannah, forest, and flamingos, with 15 preset color palettes that can be applied to each theme. You can also completely customize the colors to match things like your icon set, which is nice.

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[Deal Alert] eBay Has A Refurbished Verizon Galaxy Note 4 For Just $205 With Free US Shipping

The Galaxy Note 4 is a little less than two years old now, but Samsung stuffs the Note series so full of high-end technology that it isn't really fair to call it "old." In fact, the Verizon version just got updated to Android Marshmallow earlier this week. The blogging gods must be smiling upon us, because they've offered a serendipitous eBay deal: the same phone, refurbished, for just $204.95. That's approximately five hundred dollars - five and two zeroes - off the original retail price.

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Tony Fadell Is Leaving Google's Nest Division, Moving Into An Advisory Role At Alphabet

Tony Fadell announced today that he is leaving Nest, having run the company - which was bought by Google in 2014 - since its founding in 2011. According to a post by Fadell on the official Nest blog, his departure has been in the works since late last year. Marwan Fawaz, previously of Motorola and Charter Communications, will be taking over Fadell's role as CEO at Nest going forward.

Nest hasn't had a particularly easy time of it lately. In fact, Fadell himself has been at the center of some decidedly negative attention in regard to how the company is managed, as well as the relatively slow pace at which it has released new products.

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Bing Updated With Image Search And Barcode Scanner

The app for that other search engine from a certain software company has been updated with some legitimately cool features. One is image search, which Google still doesn't have on mobile despite it being a desktop feature, while the other is QR code scanning, which Google Search on Android can't do, either (this despite the fact that Now On Tap can now scan images for text using the camera).

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Google Store Starts Selling The Acer Chromebook 14 And Chromebook 11 (2016)

What's this? These aren't Android devices, true, but Chromebooks will very soon run Android apps. Thus, you might want to know there are two new Chromebooks on sale in the Google Store today. Customers in the US and Canada can pick up the Acer Chromebook 14 or 2016 refresh of the Chromebook 11 right now.

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Huawei Regional Lead Says Company Is "Doing The Nexus Again This Year," Confusing Everybody

An interview published on South African site GearBurn today has dropped something of a Nexus news bomb, with a statement from Huawei's head of Consumer Business in South Africa that the company is "doing the Nexus again this year." We reached out to Huawei for comment, but have not received a response.

This, of course, has generated a metric ton of confusion. Here is what we know. First: we have no reason to believe HTC's Nexus phones have been cancelled at this time. That would be Marlin and Sailfish, two HTC Nexuses that we first got wind of six months ago.

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Note 6 Leak Points To USB Type-C Port, A Curved Screen, And Maybe Finally Iris Scanning

The Galaxy Note series has always been Samsung's chance to try new stuff before bringing it to the flagship Galaxy S line, and there might be a lot of new stuff in this year's Note. OnLeaks claims to have gotten his hands on leaked CAD files for the Galaxy Note 6 (or whatever they call the nest one), and he used them to create some 3D renders. The device has a few interesting things going on, including Samsung's first Type-C port on the bottom.

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Chrome 51 Supports New Anti-Jank And Power-Saving Tweaks, Removes Merged Tabs [APK Download]

After hitting the beta channel back in April, Chrome version 51 has just been pushed to Stable with a new API that allows sites to interact with the browser's credential manager and some under-the-hood changes that should improve the scrolling experience and power consumption on both mobile and desktop. It also entirely removes the option to have Chrome tabs show up in the recent apps view on Android, which was introduced in Lollipop.

The Credential Management API is a new tool proposed by the W3C group which aims to make it easier and more streamlined to sign in to sites and webpages.

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