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Google Wants To Buy Your Patents To Keep Them Away From Patent Trolls

The world of technology patents is in bad shape. When John Oliver decides that he needs to spend 15 minutes explaining exactly how bad patent trolling has become, you know something rots in the USPTO. Google is trying to stem the tide of patent trolling and litigation via the simple expedient of throwing a ton of cash at the problem. They want to buy your patents.

Well, maybe not your patent in particular - odds are pretty good that they're only interested in technology and software patents, and even then, only so that some fly-by-night LLC with a dozen lawyers and no physical address won't sue them in the future.

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[Deal Alert] Groupon Offers The 2013 Nexus 7 16GB For Just $134.99 With Coupon, Today Only

The 2013 Nexus 7 might not be available from Google anymore, but it's still one of the best devices in its form factor. There are a lot of impressive deals available for this tablet, usually falling well below the $150 mark. So it is with one of Groupon's deals today: you can grab a 16GB WiFi N7 for $149.99, but if you add in the coupon code sale3 to the mix before you check out, you can take an extra $15 off that price.

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[Update: Set A Reminder As Well] Google's Desktop Search Also Lets You Set An Alarm Or Send A Note To Your Phone

Over the past few days, we have learned of two new ways that Google has been integrating its desktop Search with Android devices: finding your phone and sending directions to yourself. The Google Operating Systems blog (not associated with Google) found that other similar "searches" now make it possible to set an alarm or send a note to your phone as well.

To send a note to yourself, you simply search for "note to self," or "send a note." A card appears with a text field to write the content of the note and a device picker so you can choose which phone or tablet to send it to.

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CyanogenMod 12.1 Nightly Build Now Available For The Nexus Player

The Nexus Player is (so far) the only consumer device available that runs Android TV, which means a considerable portion of the people who own one are serious Android fans. It follows that they're prime candidates for ROM flashing (not to mention Android Police readership), so they'll be happy to know that they can now install CyanogenMod on their set-top box. CM 12.1 (based on Android 5.1) is now available in nightly form for the Nexus Player.

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Project Fi's Easter Egg Has Lionel Richie Serenade You With "Hello, Is It Me You're Looking For?"

Google likes a good easter egg. That is evident by the company's multitude of weird, unexpected, and fun little things that it sprinkles inside its apps, websites, and services. Case in point: Project Fi. The network's experience page prominently and repeatedly displays the same phone number: (404)-978-9316. 

A nosy reader's curiosity was piqued as to the specificity and focus on that particular set of ten digits. He decided to dial it up and see what happens. Is it Larry Page's hotline?

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YouTube Now Supports A Search Filter For 360-Degree Videos

Just last month, YouTube added support for 360-degree videos, giving us yet another way to thoroughly confound our grandparents with the cool new stuff that can be done with gadgets. We had an early warning this was coming after a Teardown exposed an option to filter search results for "spherical" and 4k videos. A subsequent update to the YouTube app enabled the filter for 4k videos, but mysteriously ignored spherical videos.

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[Update: Probably Not Glass] New Google FCC Filing For "Smart Bluetooth LE Device" May Be The Next Version Of Glass, Or Something Else Entirely

FCC filings can be pretty opaque documents, especially when many of the fields can be made confidential until the certified product is released, but a Google filing at the FCC today (rare in and of itself) may be for the next version of Glass.

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Google Apparently Testing 'Collections' For Followable, Curated Content Sets On Google+

According to a tipster (and a report over at DroidLife), Google is testing a new feature for Google+ that could be big news for the platform. For now, it's called "Collections," and it's being tested for an unspecified release target.

The basic idea behind Collections is curated content sets - like Pinterest boards or Dribbble buckets, users could curate pieces of content into their collection, with others viewing, sharing, and following those collections as they please.

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Stupid User-Submitted Google Maps Change Shows Bugdroid Pissing On Apple, Google Responds By Getting Rid Of It

Google and Apple made headlines earlier today, but not in the usual manner (okay, maybe in the normal way, depending on what circles you hang around in). Folks noticed an image of an Android peeing on an apple. While there's nothing inherently offensive about peeing on an apple, the giant chunk of fruit missing implies that this is Google's mobile platform taking a shot at a well-known competitor's.

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Google's 'Project Fi' Cellular Service Invitation Site Is Live

Ready for Google's vision of a modern cell phone service provider? So are we. Google Fi isn't quite prepared to open its doors, but right now it's accepting sign-ups for invitations at this site. The service isn't quite ready to launch, but according to the site and the video, lucky invitees will be allowed in sometime in the next week.

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