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Love Google's services, but not a fan of its social network? Good news: the Mountain View company may be spinning Google+'s photo features into their own product. According to Bloomberg sources, Google is hoping to attract new users by making some of its social network's best features available to consumers who aren't interested in Google+. The company has already made Hangouts available sans Plus to some business customers, but wouldn't confirm or deny if the reported photo spinoff was really happening. "Over here in our darkroom, we're always developing new ways for people to snap, share and say cheese," a Google spokesperson told us. Well, that's certainly cheesy.

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The trusty Google Now launcher that debuted on the Nexus 5 had already made its way to the rest of that family and Play Edition devices. Now, folks wielding any handset running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and later can grab the feature, even if it's absent one of the aforementioned monikers. The software add-on makes Google's card-based repository accessible by swiping to the right of the home screen or speaking an "OK Google" voice command from that main UI. Gadgets that weren't officially stamped by Google hadn't been privy to the functionality, but now even if OEMs drape the OS with their own look and features (looking at you, Samsung), you can still get a taste of stock Android.

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President Obama Signs Executive Order At White House

After getting the approval of both the House and the Senate, the US cellphone unlocking bill needed just one more signature to remove the carrier-swapping restriction. Today, President Barack Obama signed the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act into law, making it once again legal for smartphone owners to unlock their device without direct permission from the carrier it's locked to. If you'll recall, the effort began as a petition, and is what the White House is calling "an example of democracy at its best." Should you be in need of refresher on the finer points, we explain the whole thing right here.

[Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

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You may have put a lot of thought into your carefully constructed status update, but have you considered how, exactly, that update socially ties you to your peers? Probably not -- but researches from Yahoo Labs, the University of Torino and Stanford University have. The small research team is trying to work out the "grammar of society" by categorizing types of social interactions and mapping out how conversations flow on different social networks. Using concepts sourced from theoretical computer science, the team tried to frame culture as a computational concept -- using Flickr and aNobii (a community for book lovers) as models for uncovering the "source-code" of social interactions.

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The "Swiss Army knife of electronics." That's the best way Sprint can define the LivePro, a touchscreen projector/Android hotspot made by Chinese manufacturer ZTE. The device, which goes for $300 with a two-year contract, is the first in a brand-new hybrid category -- and depending on how successful it is, it may well be the last. Although the LivePro has a wide range of capabilities that make it useful on many different fronts, its demand will be incredibly niche. What kind of person needs such a unique device, and is it good enough to even attract them?

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HTC One M8 for Windows

The cat's out of the bag, it seems. Just days after we received leaked details of HTC's One (M8) for Windows, Verizon has posted a picture on its web servers (still available as I write) that confirms the smartphone's existence. The device is largely what we expected; it's a straightforward adaptation of the Android-based One for Windows Phone 8.1, complete with custom camera features and TV remote control. There aren't many other clues, although WPCentral has heard that Verizon will carry the handset on August 21st following an already announced HTC event on August 19th. That makes sense, especially since the image not-so-coincidentally shows Friday the 22nd on the calendar -- a day after the rumored release.

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Let's face it: options for outfitting the Nexus line with covers and cases have been rather limited (and pricey) coming directly from Mountain View. That could be about to change though, as Android Police reports that a new option could offer a major boost in custom accessories. The so-called Google Workshop will allow you to create your own case for the Nexus 5 based on either a location map or an uploaded photo of your choice. A live wallpaper is said to accompany that latter option too, so you can keep a consistent theme for every customizable spot on that handset. Right now, it appears that the fifth Nexus phone is the only device privy to the treatment, so we'll have to wait and see if that popular 7-inch tablet gets its own new digs. Unfortunately, there's no indication as to when the Workshop will go live inside Google Play or how much the cases will cost.

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In addition to the $999 Intel Core i5-equipped Surface Pro 3, Core i3 and Core i7 options are now on sale in the US and Canada. Starting at $799, selecting the i3 nets you 64GB of storage while devices outfitted with an i7 processor tout either 256GB or 512GB of space at $1,549 and $1,949 respectively. Of course, that significant investment nets you a 12-inch display, Windows 8.1 and the ability to tack on Type Cover or Pen to further boost productivity.

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Samsung's plan to launch its own "premium" portable audio line was unveiled long before Apple nabbed Beats. I must admit I did an eye roll reading the announcement, given the names of the products in the Level line: On, Over, In and Box. The group offers options for all listening preferences, with appropriately named on-ear, over-ear, in-ear and Bluetooth speaker options at prices that certainly rank at the higher end. After two weeks with the lot, I'm not ready to part with my Beats Pill XL or B&O H6s for Sammy's new kit. Here's why.

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