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Outline is a secure VPN for news organizations and journalists, from Alphabet think tank Jigsaw

Yesterday, Google announced the News Initiative, with wide-ranging objectives such as empowering quality journalism in the digital age and fighting the spread of fake news. There are many facets to the initiative, including making it easier for readers to subscribe to news outlets. To make it easier for journalists to do their jobs, there's Outline. Built by Alphabet incubator Jigsaw (formerly Google Ideas), it aims to provide safer internet access for news organizations and their staff.

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Google is looking to turn product searches into purchases from select retailers with Shopping Actions

According to a report from Reuters, Google has been working on monetizing all the product searches that pass through it and almost inevitably go to Amazon by pointing buyers to other places they can purchase the same item. Search results won't be affected, so you'll likely still see Amazon among the top results if you look for something, but the sponsored shopping results will start showing products from its Shopping Actions partners.

Google has already teamed up with Target, Walmart, Costco, and Ulta Beauty, who are listing their products and linking their loyalty programs on Google Search, Google Express, and through the Google Assistant on phones and smart speakers.

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Over 85 Android apps and games have added augmented reality elements thanks to ARCore

After releasing the ARCore SDK last year and testing it on the Pixel 2 phones, Google made the announcement official at MWC this year and expanded support for the first-gen Pixels, Galaxy S7/S7 Edge/S8/S8+, LG V30/V30+, ASUS Zenfone AR, and OnePlus 5, with more devices to be added in the future. Following that, we knew that the apps would start coming in but the past few days have seen several trickle down: Google's Just A Line experiment, eBay's shipping box size chooser, and IKEA's furniture visualizer, were just a few. Turns out there is more. How much more?

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Google doubles down on efforts to fight the spread of 'fake news'

Was there ever really a simpler time when news wasn't printed unless it had been properly vetted, fact-checked, and certified as an iron-clad representation of the truth? Classical news reporting may not have been as bias-free and accurate as some of us would like to think, but there's little denying that the current way we consume our news can be pretty darn tricky to navigate, especially as it becomes more difficult for the less discerning reader to tell a solidly researched story apart from wild, paranoid speculation—or outright lies. As part of the just-announced Google News Initiative, Google's taking additional steps to make sure that the news users discover through its services is up to snuff.

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You'll soon be able to start a YouTube livestream directly from within the camera app

Google continues to improve YouTube's livestreaming features after having announced auto-captions and new chat features just last month. Today, Google has revealed that it's refining YouTube Live's streaming process to make it much simpler and quicker for users to get their livestream up and running.

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Plex updates Chromecast interface with a fresh look, better slideshows, and more

It was a big deal some years back when Plex added Chromecast support. Google's Chromecast platform has only gotten more useful since then, and now Plex's Chromecast UI is getting an overdue revamp. The new interface looks nicer, but it also comes with functional improvements like better slideshow support and subtitle resizing.

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YouTube is testing subtitles on its home page's autoplay videos

Back in October, YouTube began testing autoplaying videos on its Android app's home page. Fast forward to today and the feature still doesn't work on my devices, even though I have the option in settings, but it's working just fine for Artem. In fact, the Google gods even bestowed a new test upon him: subtitles in the aforementioned autoplaying videos.

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Nest Hello can now be purchased from the Google Store in the US and Canada

The Nest Hello smart doorbell went up for sale a few days ago on Nest's site alongside the Nest x Yale Lock. But given the fact that Google owns Nest and that the Google Store already offers many Nest products, it was only a matter of time before the Hello made its way to the Google Store.

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'Subscribe with Google' launches to simplify news subscriptions

Subscribing to a news organization helps support quality journalism, but getting subscriptions set up can be a pain. You've got to manage logins and payment methods for everything separately, and not all operations have the resources to manage a subscription service on their own. That's where Subscribe with Google comes in. This new service lets you sign up for subscriptions on news websites via your Google account.

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[Update: Pre-orders open] Dead Zebra announces spring Android Minis and THEY LOOK LIKE PEEPS

Most of you are probably familiar with the Bugdroid: he's the official mascot for Android and a common depiction in Dead Zebra's Android Mini figurines. The company has just pushed its latest special edition set for spring to its site, revealing pre-order availability for tomorrow (March 20th) at 11AM Eastern time and I can't keep up this facade anymore THEY'RE LIKE TINY ANDROID PEEPS IN A BOX, OH MY GOD. 

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