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The second generation of YotaPhone's dual-display smartphone is finally coming to the US, but not in the way you may expect. In an interview with PhoneScoop, the company's Matthew Kelly said that the e-ink display-toting device will be made available to backers on Indiegogo, of all places. The details have yet to be worked out, but the company is planning to offer early backers some sort of bonus for getting to the front of the line. If the sale is successful, then the device might even wind up hitting store shelves but, for now, it doesn't look as if any specific plans have been made. There's also no word on how much the US edition of the YotaPhone 2 will cost you, but considering that it's priced at nearly £600 ($917) in the UK, you can expect to be paying flagship prices for that extra screen.

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If you're holding out hope for a super-sized iPad Pro, Bloomberg is still in your corner. The outlet previously reported 12.9-inch iPad production could start as early as Q1 of this year, but now says suppliers are gearing up to start production in September. Citing delays in the supply of display panels, Bloomberg claims Apple will turn around sliding tablet sales with the still-unannounced new variant. Whatever the folks in Cupertino are up to, we hope that next time around the iPad Mini gets more upgrades to match its higher price.

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It's been a long road from where Valve started with VR. It was only a few shorts years ago that the company was letting select industry folk demo prototype VR hardware in its QR code-laden "Room." And now, Valve has its own consumer-facing VR headset, the HTC Vive; its own controller that looks like the space opera version of Sony's Move wand; and a positional-based tracking solution in Lighthouse VR. None of this has exactly caught us off guard -- Valve was always cagey when it came to questions of commercial hardware. But we weren't prepared for just how impressive the combination of all the VR tech truly is. In fact, our own Ben Gilbert called it the "best VR" he's experienced to date.

It's only fair, then, that Valve would want to look back on its own journey pioneering VR. And look back it did with a timeline of prototypes and R&D breakthroughs it had on display here at GDC. Care to take that walk down Valve's memory lane? Then treat yourself to the gallery below and be sure to head past the break for a video tour.

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If the news of Xbox games coming to HoloLens and Elite: Dangerous hitting Xbox One this summer wasn't nearly enough, Microsoft has a few other tidbits to share from this year's Game Developers Conference. First up: Redmond is bringing the Xbox Live SDK to Windows 10. It's part of the universal apps push that the outfit's making with its new operating system, and will give game developers of any size access to a "vast majority" of Xbox Live's services. It wouldn't be the first time Microsoft's done something like this, but let's hope it doesn't turn into another disaster like Games for Windows Live was. The post on Xbox Wire also mentions there will be a new tier of the company's online gaming service coming as well that specifically allows "any developer to engage with the Xbox Live community." We've reached out for clarification of exactly what that translates to.

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Currently, the HTC Vive is the only virtual reality headset that's part of Valve's Steam VR push. That's not because it's the only one, but because it's the only one we know about thus far. "You should think of the Vive as the first in the same way there are multiple Steam Machines," Valve president Gabe Newell told me this morning. In other words, Steam VR is an open platform supported by Valve. "We're building tools and hopefully they're valuable to hardware partners who want to do it. In some cases, we'll take the leadership role in shipping stuff. But we're really just building tools for other people to continue. So you'll see more headsets."

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Google Ireland

It's no secret that the US government wants companies to bring more of their offshore profits back home for the sake of taxes, and it's now exceptionally clear as to why. Bloomberg has sifted through financial filings and discovered that the top eight American tech firms, including Apple, Google and Microsoft, are keeping more than $420 billion overseas -- $69 billion of it added in just the past year. That's over a fifth of the $2.1 trillion held abroad by American companies, and would easily cover a lot of government expenses. A tax on Microsoft's recent profits alone ($29.6 billion) would cover NASA and the Commerce Department for a year; Apple ($23.3 billion) could take care of the Transportation Department and Social Security, and Oracle could foot the bill for the Labor Department.

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The studio that created SimCity and The Sims is no more. Today, EA confirmed that it will shut down Maxis Emeryville, displacing the folks primarily responsible for the aforementioned titles. In a statement, EA said that it'll relocate Maxis' development to its other offices in Redwood Shores, Salt Lake City, Helsinki and Melbourne. The company plans to move forward with projects already in the works, including a The Sims 4 expansion pack and on-going support for the existing The Sims and SimCity faithful. Those two are massively popular PC titles, and the latter finally arrived on Mac in 2013 with players everywhere encountering a truckload of launch issues.

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Lasers have staggering range, can attack land or air-based targets and are dirt-cheap to fire, making them ideal for a military with one eye on the budget. Now, Lockheed Martin has worked out that the technology could also be used for stopping a car without resorting to lethal force. The company has been testing out a new fiber-optic laser, called ATHENA, which was able to burn through the engine manifold of a truck that was over a mile away.

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NVIDIA just announced the Titan X, its latest powerhouse graphics card, at Epic Game's GDC session this morning. And boy, it sounds like a monster: According to NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, it's now the world's most powerful GPU with more than 8 billion transistors (a bit of a jump from the 7 billion in last year's Titan Z). Titan X is powered by the company's new Maxwell architecture, and it packs in 12 gigabytes of VRAM, just like the Titan Z. NVIDIA isn't revealing much else about the new GPU yet -- it has its own conference in a few weeks, after all -- but at this point it sounds like the video card we'll all be pining for this year.

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I spent roughly 10 minutes with the final Steam Controller at GDC 2015, playing snippets of Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, The Talos Principle and Unreal Tournament on various Steam Machines. The body of the controller is wonderful to hold. Two long, clickable pads running along the backside of the handles, right where a player's middle and ring fingers lie, would be a welcome addition to any existing gamepad. Plus, the final controller adds a single analog stick on the left side. This makes the design more familiar overall, but with a trackpad replacing a second analog stick, the final Steam Controller remains what it always has been: awkward.

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