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Worried that Google Fiber would just be a momentary fascination for the folks in Mountain View? Don't be. Google has confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that it recently hired Dennis Kish, one of Qualcomm's bigger senior vice presidents, to lead its gigabit internet efforts. While it's not clear why Kish came onboard beyond his "operational expertise," he's no stranger to managing big tech projects. Among other work, he played key roles in both Qualcomm's Mirasol display efforts and ST-Ericsson's connectivity business. That kind of know-how could be crucial given Google's expansion plans, especially if rumors of mobile phone service pan out. It's too soon to gauge Kish's influence, but a high-profile hire like this suggests that Fiber's super-fast data service is only going to get bigger -- and that your local telecom giant may well get some genuine competition.

[Image credit: Neerav Bhatt, Flickr]

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Apple's iOS 8 may not look too different from the version that preceded it, but trust us: there are plenty of new bits and bobs to get familiar with once you start poking around. Now that you've had some time to dig into our full review, you can take iOS 8 for a spin yourself -- Apple has just pushed the update live, so check your iDevice's settings to see if it's your time to shine. Just keep a few things in mind before you enter the breach: the update will only install on the iPhone 4S and newer, the iPad 2 and newer and the 5th generation iPod Touch. Oh, and it looks like Apple is having some HealthKit trouble at the moment, so all HealthKit compatible apps have been temporarily removed from the App Store. According to tweets from Carrot Fit developer Brian Mueller, Apple has been saying that a fix is in the works but there's no ETA on when it'll actually take effect. Nothing like a few hiccups to kick off a massive software launch, no?

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When it comes to the wild and woolly crowdfunding space, it's not hard to look at Kickstarter as the Goliath to Indiegogo's David -- that's why the latter keeps trying to change up how young companies get the cash to build their products. First came Flexible Funding (which let project creators keep whatever money they've raised even if they didn't hit their goal), and now the company is launching a pilot program to keep those campaigns open indefinitely. That's right: if your crowdfunding project hit its initial milestone, you won't ever have to stop taking money from the people waving their wallets at you. In a way, this new funding model could turn Indiegogo into the store that Kickstarter never wanted to be. Sounds great for all those upstart artists and hardware hackers out there, no? It can be, but it could also mean questionable products (like the much-maligned Healbe GoBe and the Ritot projection watch) maintain a stream of funding they may not actually be worthy of. Only a handful of projects have been given the so-called Forever Funding treatment so far, including runaway successes like the Tens tinted sunglasses and this tiny tracking device, but this particular privilege should go live for everyone "in the coming months."

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Airbus' concept image for its in-flight helmet display

If you've ever been on a long flight, you've probably wanted to tune out your fellow passengers -- and plugging in some headphones is only going to do so much. If Airbus ever brings a recently patented helmet display to market, though, you may never have to put up with mid-air distractions again. The headrest-mounted wearable would combine headphones with visor-projected video, producing "sensorial isolation" while you're watching movies, listening to music or playing games. It could even beam a virtual keyboard on to the tray or seat back, so you wouldn't need controllers that take up your already limited space.

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We've virtualized much of the rest of the modern life -- why not payments? Plane tickets, banking and many other aspects of our lives now live on our phones. Payments still exist in the world of paper and plastic.

Google has Google Wallet; Visa has payWave; MasterCard has PayPass; and American Express has ExpressPay. Apple just announced its own, with Apple Pay. If you've heard of any of these credit card services other than Apple's recently announced system and maybe Google's long-running program, we're impressed. You're in the minority; heck, one quarter of US citizens don't even own a standard credit card, nonetheless a virtualized one. But virtual payments are more prevalent by the year, and Apple Pay is giving the concept a much-needed publicity boost. So, all that said, let's talk about the future of payment.

Don't throw away your wallet just yet.

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iPhone 6 and 6 Plus

Apple is clearly hoping that its bigger iPhones will tempt you to switch from Android. It just launched a migration guide that helps move your stuff into the iOS universe, whether it's a contact list, internet account or media collection. Some of the advice is fairly self-evident; email and social networks should come across without a hitch, and you'll usually find App Store equivalents to any given Android program. You may find a few useful pointers, however, such as using iCloud as a go-between for your important documents.

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While Opera Max is slowly making official launches around the world, this cloud-based data-compression service has just nabbed another partner -- and it's a pretty big one, too. Today, the Norwegian company announced that MediaTek will be embedding its app in two of its LTE-enabled 64-bit chipsets: the octa-core MT6752 and the quad-core MT6732. What this means is that should manufacturers want to integrate Opera Max into their MediaTek-powered devices (our understanding is that this feature is optional), they wouldn't have to spend time on testing the app, ergo shorter time to market. And of course, the end user gets to load pages, music and video clips faster anywhere on the device (unlike how the Opera browser only compresses data that are loaded within it), while also saving "up to 50 percent" of bandwidth, courtesy of Opera's cloud servers. That said, the service doesn't process encrypted links, for obvious reasons. For those who aren't familiar with Opera Max, feel free to check out the new video after the break.

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Logitech's got a new Harmony remote and it's an even bigger push into home automation over the current Harmony Smart Control home theater remote lineup. Shipping this month, the new Harmony Home Control devices start at $99 for the Home Hub (which turns your smartphone or tablet into a home automation controller). Then there's the Home Control for $149, which adds a simple, button-only remote. At the top of the line is the $349 Harmony Ultimate Home, which swaps out the simple remote for a 2.4 inch touch screen model (seen above). Available in either black or white, Harmony Home can control both your home theater and other devices from partners via IR, Bluetooth or WiFi. There's a lengthy list of support, too: August, Honeywell, Kwikset, Lutron, Nest, PEQ, Philips, Schlage, SmartThings, Sylvania, Yale and Zuli.

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It's been a year since Sony launched its range of lens cameras, WiFi-enabled zoom lenses that connect to your smartphone and offer far better pictures than your built-in snapper. For its second generation hardware, the company went one further and built the QX1, which enabled you to swap in any E-mount optic. I say all of this because Olympus has, perhaps belatedly, cottoned on to the idea that there might be something in this type of technology, which is why the company is showing off its Open Platform prototype here at Photokina.

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The highlight for Fujifilm at this year's Photokina is undoubtedly the X100T and its brilliant hybrid viewfinder, but the X30 point-and-shoot is also not to be missed. Internally, the $599 compact is nearly identical to its predecessor, the X20, with the same 12-megapixel, 2/3-inch CMOS sensor and f/2.0-2.8, 28-112mm lens, but it features a few improvements that might make an upgrade worthwhile for at least a few select Fuji fans. The most significant boost is a new 2.36M-dot electronic viewfinder, which provides a full 100-percent view, along with a new tilting 3-inch high-res LCD.

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