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[Deal Alert] Essential Phone down to $399 ($100 off) from Amazon and Best Buy

The Essential Phone's initial $700 price obviously wasn't very enticing, as the phone has since fallen to as low as $399 with a free 360 Camera attachment. Today's $399 deal from Amazon and Best Buy doesn't include the 360-degree camera, but let's be honest; you were never going to use that after the first day of ownership anyway.

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Samsung silently releases updated Chromebook Pro with backlit keyboard

Samsung's high-end Chromebook Pro was one of the better Chromebooks released last year. The 12.3" 2400x1600 display was among the best I'd ever seen in a laptop, and the Core m3 was a more than adequate bump over the ARM-wielding Chromebook Plus. The only real complaints I ever heard or had with the devices were related to the keyboard. Travel was terrible, and it wasn't backlit. Well, Samsung has just fixed one of those problems. 

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ASUS Zenfone Max Plus M1 review: A big battery alone does not a good phone make

Back at CES, Asus showed off a follow-up to the not-so-old Zenfone 4 Max, which was a phone that ultimately disappointed me. Attempting to capitalize on the love for big batteries, the Taiwanese company decided to spin off the Zenfone Max line into its own device family. These phones will offer large batteries and many of the latest smartphone trends for budget prices.

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Google explains new Private DNS setting in Android P

Domain Name System, or 'DNS' for short, can best be described as a phone book for the internet. When you type in a domain, like google.com, the DNS looks up the IP address so content can be loaded. It's a critical part of modern networking, but Android has never had an option for a global DNS setting. If you wanted to change the server, you would have to do it on a per-network basis, while using a static IP address.

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[Update x2: Now in beta] Google might bring Chrome's home button to all Android devices

You may have noticed that when using Chrome on some devices, a home button appears in the address bar. This is because manufacturers can optionally include an APK called 'ChromeCustomizations.apk' in the system folder, which sets default values for the home link and bookmarks (there's an example here). Strangely, if you have a device without ChromeCustomizations.apk, you can't get the home button in the first place.

Now it appears that might finally be changing, according to a new flag discovered by XDA Developers.

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Google loses 'right to be forgotten' case, opens door for more requests to have unflattering search results delisted

If you screw up in a way that gets any sort of media attention, chances are you won't like what you see when you run a query for your name on Google. And those unflattering search results could have far-reaching implications for your livelihood. Two businessmen in the UK didn't like some results that turned up when their names were searched for on Google, so they took the company to the High Court of Justice based on the "right to be forgotten" precedent set by the Court of Justice of the European Union in 2014. One of the men won, while the other lost and was granted an appeal.

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Google's Talk to Books lets you browse books with the help of AI

Google launched a new experience today that it's calling Talk to Books. It's pretty much what it sounds like: the demo asks for input in the form of regular old sentences, then tries to locate logical responses to those sentences from a pool of books. In a post on its Developer Blog, Google calls Talk to Books "an entirely new way to explore books by starting at the sentence level, rather than the author or topic level."

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Google Express no longer delivers items from Staples

Google Express has been around for years, allowing you to order items from multiple retailers through one central location. The service gained more popularity after the Google Home was released, since you could place orders using only voice commands, similar to Amazon on Alexa speakers. Now it appears one major store is pulling out of Express - Staples.

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New 'self-destructing' confidential emails being tested in Gmail

It's no secret that Gmail is getting a redesign, but it looks like some new non-visual features may also be inbound. TechCrunch is reporting that "self-destructing" confidential emails with a configurable expiration date are coming to Gmail. Best of all, we can see what these new emails will look like and how they generally behave. 

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Google appears to be testing iPhone X-style gesture navigation in Android P

The way we navigate around Android's interface has changed a lot over the years, from the early days of physical buttons, to touch-sensitive capacitive keys, and now on-screen virtual buttons that dominate modern handsets. But even that may not be where things stay for too much longer, and a screenshot Google recently shared is now stirring up theories about a possible iPhone X-like gesture navigation interface for Android P.

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