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Whether you're a fan of Captain Kirk or Picard (we're Team Picard here), you have to admit that William Shatner reviewing the celebrity-exclusive Facebook app is apt -- he definitely loves some VIP prestige. The Priceline huckster gives a surprisingly in-depth feature-by-feature comparison between The Social Network's Mentions app and Pages, which everyone has access to, but not before throwing some shade toward the starship Enterprise's yellow-shirted helmsman and all-around social-media-guy George Takei. Apparently, when you first sign into Mentions you can't proceed any further until you follow one of Facebook's suggested celebrity accounts.

"The first person on the list I was given was George Takei (rolling my eyes.) I ended up choosing Robert Downey Jr. to follow and then I hid his posts (sorry Robert!)."

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With Nokia's range of Android-powered smartphones all but dead, Microsoft is pushing its newly-acquired Lumia line harder than ever. Today, it's introduced the lowest-priced Windows Phone to date, the Lumia 530, delivering middle-of-the-road specs for €85 ($114). For that, you'll get a 4-inch FWVGA (854 x 480) display, quad-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 processor, 512MB of RAM and 4GB of internal memory (with support for 128GB microSD storage). There's also a 5-megapixel camera on the rear (no selfie camera here folks), which is controlled by Microsoft's latest Windows Phone 8.1 software. That, of course, offers access to Cortana (if you're in the US), the new WordFlow swipe keyboard and a multitude of other custom Microsoft- and Nokia-crafted apps. Like its older siblings, the Lumia 530 will also come in both single and dual SIM (3G) variants and offer interchangeable back covers, which will be available in the traditional orange, green, white and dark grey colors. Microsoft's latest Lumia will go on a global tour in the near future, starting with an initial rollout in "select markets" from next month.

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judges gavel and law books...

Most YouTubers just get a takedown notice if someone reports them using copyrighted tunes with their videos. But when that user is a huge star on the video portal like make-up guru Michelle Phan, who has almost 7 million subscribers and was even featured on YouTube's TV ad campaign, then things get a bit more intense. Electronic dance record label Ultra Music (home to Deadmau5 and other popular artists of the genre) just slapped Phan with a copyright infringement lawsuit, which accuses her of using 50 tracks released under the company without permission. Ultra wants Phan to pay $150,000 for each instance, claiming she profited from its artists' music, most likely because 1.) she's a YouTube partner, and 2.) the fame she gained on the website eventually led to lucrative deals with cosmetics companies Lancôme and L'Oreal.

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NES30 retro gamepad controller

We've ripped apart knock-off gadgets more than a few times, but there are moments where a company's urge to mimic others will pay dividends. Take 8Bitdo's recently released NES30, for example: the Bluetooth gamepad recreates as much of the NES controller's design as possible while still keeping its feet planted in the modern era. The four extra buttons aren't exactly true to the 1985 original, but the overall look and button presses are reportedly faithful to what you remember. Even if it's not quite true to life, you might not mind given the very broad device support. The NES30 can talk to Android, iOS, OS X and Windows, and it can even double as a (fairly awkward-looking) Wii remote in a pinch.

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a senior worker driving the...

The National Bureau of Economic Research just published a paper that confirms what you might have been thinking for a long time now: recession and technology have been putting people out of work. Since we've yet to design a self-aware robot or AI that can do anything, machines have mostly been taking over routine jobs that entail repetitive tasks, like factory work and sales. Sure, humans are perfectly capable of doing those, but the recession has been forcing companies to downsize and delegate those tasks to computers and machineries instead. Those most affected by this shift are the young and less educated -- high school graduates, for one, are the first in line for unemployment. Men are also more in danger of being replaced by machines than women, who tend to climb up from blue-collar jobs to higher-paying ones over time.

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Store listings in Google Maps on the web and mobile

Google Maps already shows a wealth of info about nearby stores when you're searching for them, but ads haven't received that first-class treatment. Like it or not, that's changing; Maps on mobile and the web now shows you a whole raft of details for relevant store ads, including links to call those shops. The move is likely to prove a mixed blessing. While it will help you learn more about interesting ads and might just lead to discovering a nice restaurant, it could also downplay the importance of the actual search results -- not good if you're just trying to reach an eatery before it shuts down for the night. The odds are that the richer promotions won't hamper your day-to-day navigation in a significant way, but you'll want to keep an eye out for that yellow "ad" icon the next time you're tracking down some sushi.


Google Play Store with a Material Design flair

It looks like you won't have to wait long at all to check out Google's visually rich Play Store revamp -- it's rolling out now. The refresh doesn't appear any different on the surface, but a quick dive shows very different product pages that are clearly inspired by the company's multi-layered Material Design philosophy. Cover art plays a much larger role, and details like rating overviews and genres have been moved into easy-to-read icons. You might not like everything about the new storefront -- there's considerably more scrolling involved, for one thing. On the whole, though, it's both prettier and easier to understand at a glance. The revamp should reach your device within days, but Android Police has an installer if you just can't wait to see what's new.

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Amazon Fire phone review: a unique device, but you're better off waiting for the sequel

After producing a long line of e-book readers and tablets (not to mention a set-top box), Amazon has its sights set on the smartphone market. But finding success here won't be easy, even for an established tech giant like Amazon. With the Fire phone, the online retailer is coming in as an unproven underdog, hoping to bring iPhone and Android users into its fold. CEO Jeff Bezos says the only way to do that is to differentiate; to wow potential buyers with new features they didn't even realize they needed. These unique offerings include 3D head-tracking, product scanning and fast help from customer service agents.

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Tails runnign the Tor browser

Think you're safe from spies because you're using Tails, the same Linux distribution that Edward Snowden uses to remain anonymous? Unfortunately, you'll still have to be on your guard. Security firm Exodus Intelligence has revealed that the latest version of the OS, 1.1, is vulnerable to attacks that could be used to unmask your identity. The researchers say they won't publish details of the exploit until there's a patch, but the Tails team will have to wait up to a week before it gets a report it can use to whip up an emergency fix. In the meantime, the discovery is an all too blunt reminder that no software offers a complete guarantee of privacy -- even if it's built with anonymity in mind.

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