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8

Microsoft News is now Microsoft Start, because Microsoft loves to confuse you

Microsoft News is now Microsoft Start, because Microsoft loves to confuse you

You might think of Microsoft News as yet another algorithm-riding aggregator full of noisy, SEO'd headlines, but you'd be missing out on the hidden gem that I've taken advantage of: the ability to read a current selection of full articles from paywalled sources like Bloomberg or The New York Times. Microsoft is aiming to capitalize on the service's strengths with a new name — Microsoft Start.

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18

Keep mom and dad connected with a Facebook Portal Plus, now $100 off

Keep mom and dad connected with a Facebook Portal Plus, now $100 off

If Facebook is just about the limits of technology your parents and grandparents know, you may want to consider getting them a Portal Plus smart display to stay connected with them. Good thing it's on sale right now.

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15

Nothing announces something: Ear (1) earbuds will have ANC and cost $99, coming July 27th

Nothing announces something: Ear (1) earbuds will have ANC and cost $99, coming July 27th

Carl Pei's new company Nothing still has, well, nothing to show for itself, though the constant (and frankly quite annoying) drip of marketing in the lead up to its first product's launch has just spat out a new tidbit. Nothing's first product will be an active noise-canceling earbud called the Ear (1), set to cost $99 after it's launched on July 27th.

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8

Trade any random ol' phone for OnePlus's newest Nord at T-Mobile

Trade any random ol' phone for OnePlus's newest Nord at T-Mobile

OnePlus is gunning to get its all-new Nord N200 5G into people's hands and it has recruited the help of T-Mobile to do so. So, if you want a free phone, here's how you can upgrade or carrier-switch your way to it.

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87

Android 12's relocated smart home controls have people (rightfully) upset

Android 12's relocated smart home controls have people (rightfully) upset

Android 12 Beta 2 had lots of big changes, including the rollout of the new dynamic theming system, but a smaller tweak has plenty of fans up in arms. In Android 11, Google rolled out smart home controls in the redesigned power menu, but Android 12 Beta 2 is reverting all that, relocating those controls to a Samsung-style quick settings toggle. For those that got used to or even preferred the older, faster, and simpler power menu shortcut, this is an unpopular move, to say the least.

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19

Premium Twitter Blue subscription launch looks imminent

Premium Twitter Blue subscription launch looks imminent

Twitter seems to be prepping for the launch of Twitter Blue, a premium package of features including the ability undo certain tweets, organize favorite posts into collections, and utilize its recently acquired Scroll paid newsfeed service, at least for iOS.

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16

How to bring back Chrome's native notifications (and get rid of the duplicate desktop ones)

How to bring back Chrome's native notifications (and get rid of the duplicate desktop ones)

Notifications on Google Chrome are basically dead... well, at least the ones the browser itself generates. A while ago, the company made an effort to join its notifications with the user's OS-bound notification center and, depending on how you've set that up (or not), that can end up being more annoying to deal with. Fortunately, there's a way to bypass that nonsense!

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22

Google Photos now telling users what those buttons in the media viewer mean

Google Photos now telling users what those buttons in the media viewer mean

Ever press a button without knowing what it exactly does? Maybe some of the icons aren't exactly self-explanatory. Google Photos has had a few of those for a while. Well, the cavalry's just come in and they're bringing in labels.

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6

IMDb app picks up bottom navigation bar in UI redesign

IMDb app picks up bottom navigation bar in UI redesign

The official IMDb app is picking up a new design in its latest v8.3 update that switches to the now popular bottom navigation bar. Content in the app otherwise looks about the same, but finding the things you need more quickly should be a little bit easier.

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1

FreedomPop's free wireless plan becomes less free, more bad

FreedomPop's free wireless plan becomes less free, more bad

One of the hidden gems in the MVNO sector was FreedomPop's free plan: for some people, 500 texts, 200 minutes, and 200MB of LTE (plus a pay-as-you-go overage rate of 2.5¢ per MB) goes far in a month. Recently, though, the company made sweeping changes to the so-called "freemium" plan by pushing Wi-Fi calling and messaging to the forefront and making drastic cuts to talk, text, and cellular data allowances. Worse yet is the sense of urgency put into place as those grandfathered into the old free plan have been told they will be kicked off of it after January 31.

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