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Another mind-numbing day at work....

Sorry to remind you of one of the more banal parts of working life, but it's time for a story about corporate email services. It's a market that's traditionally been dominated by Microsoft, although Google is managing make some in-roads with its enterprise apps platform. Now, however, Amazon is hoping to coax some disgruntled Exchange veterans away with its new WorkMail service.

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Just how lucrative could it be to create and sell virtual items for free games like Valve's Team Fortress 2? Very, it turns out. Valve's recently announced that, since 2011, it's paid out over $57 million to folks participating in its Steam Workshop program -- the service that facilitates the creation and sale of user-generated items (think: virtual hats).

That tally encompasses some 1,500 content makers 3D modeling items for Counterstrike: Global Offensive, DOTA 2 and Team Fortress 2 across 75 countries -- roughly $38,000 per person. If what held you back from making and selling your own custom gear is a white-hot burning hatred for first-person shooters and MOBAs, well, Gabe Newell and Co. have news for you, too: curated workshops are opening for Dungeon Defenders: Eternity and first-person slasher Chivalry: Medieval Warfare.

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Ever seen a horse pull its lips back to show its front teeth? Looks hilarious, right? Apparently, that's called flehmen response, and animals do it to sniff out chemicals -- something designer Susanna Hertrich think humans could benefit from. Since we don't exhibit the behavior naturally, Susanna created a steampunk-meets-BDSM helmet that can physically lift a person's lips. (Seriously. Watch the video below the fold.) She calls it Jacobson's Fabulous Olfactometer, and it's equipped with sensors that can detect carbon dioxide in the air. The sensors then forward the data to an Arduino board, and if it determines that CO2 levels are dangerously high, the gears in the headset start moving to lift the hooks attached to the user's upper lip. That's ostensibly so the user can be warned of highly polluted air, but we can't help but think that it's just to make people laugh while the air ruins everyone's lungs.

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If we're honest, there isn't enough money in monochrome erotica and Benedict Cumberbatch GIFs to sustain a billion-dollar website. That's why Tumblr is doing its very best to become more of a publishing platform that can attract the sort of writing (and attention) you'd normally find on Wordpress and Medium. The site began this process a few weeks ago by enabling embeds of its pages anywhere else on the internet, and now it's ready to give users a much stronger set of tools.

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FRANCE-ECONOMY-FOOD-MARS

In an effort to help prevent foodborne illnesses and contamination, IBM Research is teaming up with Mars for a safety study that'll examine how supply chains affect what we eat. Specifically, the duo will take a closer look at microorganisms in a safe factory environment to help cut down on the billions of dollars lost each year to medical costs and discarded food. By studying detailed genetics of bacteria, fungi and viruses, scientists can not only assess their growth, but also determine how to ensure our well-being when they're present. Many companies like Mars -- owner of Snickers, Uncle Ben's and other culinary brands -- already keep close tabs on quality control, but this new partnership aims to get super-specific about cataloging and analysis at an unprecedented scale.

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Shyp, an app that helps making shipping goods easier, is now available for Android. The app has been on iOS for the past eight months or so (though it was in beta for awhile before that), and is currently live in San Francisco, New York and Miami, with plans to expand to Los Angeles. The way the app and service works is this: You snap a picture of the thing you want to send, enter in the relevant shipping and payment details and request a pickup. A guy from Shyp will pick it up -- you can even track his or her movements with the app -- package it and ship it for you. The cost is $5 plus the retail rate of the shipment, which is often on par with what UPS or FedEx would quote you.

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Offering iPads as in-flight entertainment systems is so 2014. Australian carrier Qantas will soon welcome a new breed of gadget onboard -- the Samsung Gear VR, along with a Galaxy Note 4 to power it. The phone's loaded with a special app that shows you 360-degree views of the carrier's first-class lounges and even a virtual reality boat ride. You can also use it to watch a movie, but unfortunately, if you want to marathon House of Cards, you'll have to use your own laptop or tablet for that. See, the bad news is that there will be a limited number of Gear VRs available, and it's not accessible to everyone flying Qantas: only folks in Business Class aboard an Airbus A380 going from LA to Sydney or from Melbourne to LA can borrow one. Even then, they're expected to use it only for a limited time, so other people can take their turn.

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When people talk about Apple and Samsung, the lazy narrative is to say that Apple makes the most money, but Samsung makes the most devices. According to Strategy Analytics, however, that story may no longer actually be the case. In its latest look at the state of the industry, Apple and Samsung both shipped an estimated 74.5 million devices in the last three months of 2014, making them joint first in the shipments race. Of course, this was the first period where both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were made available, but even still, those are some hefty numbers.

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Nintendo Amiibo swimming in money

Nintendo is today rolling out its "Creators Program," a system that ensures it gets paid when YouTubers share its content. The Creators Program is a response to the popular "Let's Play" YouTube clips that feature long amounts of gameplay. Nintendo took issue with such videos back in 2013, asserting its copyright over them either by issuing takedowns or inserting commercials before them. Last year, it did the same with popular Mario Kart 8 videos but also revealed it had a plan to start revenue sharing, and some eight months later it's ready to explain how it all works.

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OneDrive's new photo interface

Microsoft has long wanted you to use OneDrive to store your photos, but actually viewing those photos isn't ideal -- you're ultimately using a file browser that just happens to have some photo-related features. That's going to change in the next couple of weeks, though. The folks in Redmond are rolling out a photography-focused update to OneDrive that gives your image library some TLC. You can organize photos into albums with edge-to-edge photo collages and larger single-picture views. It should be much easier to find and share your snapshots, as well. OneDrive now draws on Bing image recognition to give your pics basic tags (like "beach" or "dog"), and PCs running Windows 7 or 8 can automatically sync photos from devices as soon as you plug them in. Only web and iOS users will see the new photo tricks right away, but they'll reach Android and Windows Phone in the days ahead.

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