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Facebook backs Pride

Facebook already has a range of gender options for those who don't fit neatly into male/female categories, but it just took that accommodation one step further. Much like Google, Facebook now lets you specify any gender you want -- you're not limited to the social network's definitions. As before, you can choose who sees that sexuality in case some of your visitors are less tolerant than others. The move won't please those upset with Facebook's real name policy, which sometimes makes people use names that are out of sync with their sexual identities, but it's at least a step in the right direction.

[Image credit: Facebook]

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Opponents to Bahrain's use of spyware

If you think that commercial software designed to spy on computers is problematic, you're not alone. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's UK contact has determined that Gamma International's approach to selling its FinFisher spyware violates human rights guidelines. The developer not only doesn't have a human rights policy, but doesn't investigate clients for the possibility of abuse -- there's little stopping it from selling FinFisher to an oppressive government. The contact couldn't confirm that Gamma sold its software to Bahrain, which used the surveillance tool to target the political activists who prompted the investigation (shown here). However, the OECD isn't shy about pressing for change. It wants Gamma to take evidence of abuse and government advice into account whenever it sells software, and to cooperate when there are signs that someone is using FinFisher for nefarious purposes.

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Mainstream dating services like Tinder, Grindr or OK Cupid don't make it too easy to admit if your tastes are "very singular." That's why Whiplr has been created as a hookup app for people who prefer to get off with more than just a special cuddle. Simply offer up a picture of your face, a nickname and a list of extra-curricular interests and you'll instantly be pointed to members in the local vicinity, arranged by distance.

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Pebble Time smartwatch

Pebble Time isn't just one of the fastest-moving Kickstarter projects -- it's now one of the biggest, too. The color smartwatch took a mere two days to get more funding than its predecessor, hitting the $10.3 million mark with 29 days left to go. It's "only" the second highest-grossing Kickstarter effort to date (the leader remains the Coolest cooler), but it may not have much trouble taking the top spot. The company's crowdfunding performance isn't quite as impressive as it sounds, mind you. Pebble had already sold 1 million smartwatches by the end of 2014, so it only needed to attract a small fraction of existing owners to blow past its original Kickstarter run. Pebble is using the campaign more for publicity than to get a project off the ground, like you'd expect with most crowdfunding efforts. The question is whether or not Pebble Time can maintain that kind of fervor when it hits retail stores, especially with some of its biggest rivals on the way.

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Rumors have long suggested that Google might separate the parts of Google+ that people have been most interested in -- photos and messaging / Hangouts -- away from the social network's main stream. Now it appears that Sundar Pichai agrees with that viewpoint, but unlike angry YouTube commenters, he can actually do something about it since he controls Google products like Plus, search, Chrome and Android. In a pre-Mobile World Congress interview with Forbes, Pichai said that going forward, we'll see the company deal with Hangouts, photos and the Google+ stream as three "important" areas, instead of one. While Google+ has apparently done the job of creating a common login and identity across products, he says the team is working on "next generation" ideas to create "more scale at what we do."

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Back in November 1966, Buzz Aldrin took a self-picture that will blow all Caribbean vacation selfies out of the water. Aside from the fact that it doesn't have a duckface in it, the photo was taken in space during the Gemini 12 mission. This historical selfie is but one of the numerous images NASA has recently unearthed from its archives -- images it's slated to auction off at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury's in London's Mayfair sometime today. See, the agency used to release only a small number of images to the media back then, while the rest was sent to Manned Spacecraft Center researchers in Houston.

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What seemed so novel and strange about Kirby: Canvas Curse ​when it came out now seems almost quaint. Only one part of the screen can be touched at a time? There aren't gyroscope controls? What is this, an Android store launch game? Please. Just shy of its tenth birthday, though, Canvas Curse still feels like a pristine lesson in touch-control video game design despite its antiquity. It had the depth and challenge of a classic arcade game as well as a strange but clean, immediately understandable interface. Canvas Curse was a colorful dollop of fun that begged for a follow up. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is finally here, and we're playing it for the very first time today on JXE Streams.

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If someone forced you to describe RealTouch Interactive in just two words, you'd probably call it a "digital brothel." And rightly so, as the North Carolina-based business specializes in teledildonics, wearable gadgets that let people "have sex" through the internet; a technology that lets paying customers connect with consenting partners online. In 2012, RealTouch was on the rise, getting featured in HBO's Sex/Now documentary series and Amazon's original comedy series Betas. But despite the positive press, the company's fortunes took a nosedive. RealTouch found itself unable to sell its hardware and, what's more, it is now catering to a dwindling group of existing customers. It wasn't the moral majority, however, that pushed the sex-tech outfit to the brink of collapse. It was patent licensing.

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Want to know if that burrito is made from sustainable, organic ingredients? If you found the restaurant on Google Search, you might be able to ask the proprietor himself on Hangouts, thanks to a new experimental feature. A Google rep told Techcrunch that it's testing text chat from Search with a few businesses like Dizengoff restaurant in Philadelphia. If that functionality rings a bell, it looks a lot like Path's Talk, which also lets you text businesses with questions. However, Google's new feature can be launched directly from Search and works differently.

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It's odd to feel excited about the return of something that sounds as awful as "toejam," but here we are. The co-creator of ToeJam & Earl, a cult-hit dungeon crawler that launched on the Sega Genesis in 1991, is developing a brand new entry in the series, subtitled Back in the Groove. That's fairly adorable, considering the franchise involves a bunch of hip hop and funk. Creator Greg Johnson and his new team at Humanature Studios have gone full-on indie, currently seeking $400,000 by March 27 on Kickstarter. As of publication, they're more than a quarter of the way there, so things are looking groovy.

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