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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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Hey look, a new router from ASUS and, apparently, it is super, super fast. According to the Taiwanese company, its RT-AC87 is "the world's first" with Wave 2 features, which bring better reliability, major speed boosts and overall performance improvements to the 802.11ac generation of WiFi routers -- one that, by the way, has yet to break through to the mainstream. Thanks to this novel technology, ASUS' RT-AC87 can beam out 5 GHz signals with up to 1.73 Gbps speeds, making it a great option for someone who has a lot of different 802.11ac-equipped devices under a single roof. People that, you know, love watching stuff on Netflix, like to livestream games to the internet or just have too many connected things happening all at once. The RT-AC87 will be available "shortly" for $270, though it'll be limited to North America. For the time being, ASUS can enjoy having the speediest router in town, at least until D-Link, Netgear, Belkin and the rest of them show up to the party.

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Folks strolling past the Welcome Collection's venue in London may have an eery feeling that they're being watched. Well, that's because they are. And not just by a government's prying eyes, but with 650 over-sized pixels that render their own set of gazing peepers. Peter Hudson's Eye Contact is on display in the buildings front windows, observing the passers-by all day long with ocular footage from nearly 70 volunteers. At night the eyes close for rest -- unless a set of sensors detect the occasional nocturnal pedestrian. The installation is meant question our reliance on digital screens and the manner in which they influence interaction. "Eyes are both a symbol of perception and an instantly recognizable human feature, so by presenting them through a heavily pixellated video display, I'm challenging the usually fluid process of recognition," Hudson explained. Londoners can expect for the screens to keep watch on them for the next year.

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Moto X digital tattoo unlock

Hate unlocking your Android smartphone so much that even Face Unlock or Skip feels like too much of a hassle? Motorola just came to your rescue. The company has partnered with VivaLnk to launch the previously teased Digital Tattoo, an NFC-based skin tag that unlocks your phone (currently limited to the Moto X) with a quick tap. The tattoo can stay on your body for up to five days, and it should survive abuses like showers and sweat-laden runs. It's a clever approach that might be appealing if you're fed up with PIN codes and patterns, although the back-of-a-napkin math suggests that you're paying a lot just to save a couple of seconds when checking your email. VivaLnk is asking $10 for packs of 10 tattoos, or enough to last 50 days -- you'll have to spend $80 to get through a whole year. It could be useful for those busy days when you're constantly waking up your handset, but you might be better off rolling that money into a Moto 360 or your next big phone upgrade.

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As someone who doesn't play baseball often, if ever, I need all the help I can get. But since America's Pastime isn't my first sport of choice to practice, I'm okay admitting how extremely terrible I am at it. For others, however, things might be a little different. Whether it's kids who are just starting to play the game or those who would like to make a career out of it, Zepp Labs, creator of the GolfSense, believes it has made something that can help them along the way. Enter the Zepp baseball swing analyzer, an itty-bitty sensor that attaches to a baseball bat and can be utilized to record a ton of useful information, with the ultimate goal being to use this data to help improve your skills. Zepp also does the same for other sports -- that same sensor works with golf or tennis sessions; you just need a different mounting kit for each.

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National Center for Credibility Assessment is looking to bring the process of doling out national security clearances into the future. As it does more often than not, "the future" in this case means robots. Alright, well not robots exactly but a virtual avatar powered by a computer program. When you apply for security clearance, you first have to fill out a form that requires you to disclose all past drug use, crimes and mental health issues. Those same subjects are then revisited with an actual human, but the NCCA thinks it might be more effective to jump straight to an interview with a computer. In a study Army trainees were put through a mock interview with a racially ambiguous avatar. Turns out the pretend applicants were much more likely to admit to mental health problems or alcohol abuse when speaking to the computer than they were when filling out a form. Not only that, but at the end of the interview they simply volunteered additional info after being asked if their was anything else they'd like to talk about.

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Apple had a very strong second quarter. iPhone sales were up significantly over Q2 2013 and the company pocketed $700 million more in profit than it did during the same period last year, even though iPad sales slipped slightly. The company's third quarter results, released today, reflect a similar trend. At $37.4 billion, revenue is up $2.3 billion over the same period last year, thanks in no small part to boosted sales in Asia. iPhone and Mac adoption remains strong, with 13- and 18-percent increases over the same period in 2013, respectively, but iPad and iPod sales both slipped, registering 9-percent and 36-percent respective drops. Apple sold 35 million iPhones during Q3 of this year, compared to 31 million in 2013, while iPad sales dropped to 13.3 million, from 14.6 million last year.

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