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For a tech company that places so much emphasis on design, we can't help but think something's up when one of the key designers leaves. Today, we bring you the sad news that HTC's VP of Industrial Design, Jonah Becker, has announced his departure on Twitter. To our surprise, that's less than a year after he picked up from where his predecessor Scott Croyle left off. With Croyle and Becker gone, this leaves Claude Zellweger the last remaining principal of One & Co -- the design firm that HTC acquired back in late 2008 -- running the design team at the smartphone company. According to a statement from HTC, Becker will be succeeded by Creative Director Daniel Hundt, who happens to look a lot like Apple's Jony Ive.

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A good rule of thumb when meeting strangers off of Craigslist is to meet in public places. But you know what's safer than that when your gut's telling you to be extra careful? Meeting in police station lobbies. The Seattle Police Department is encouraging people to use its station lobbies as meetup, pickup or drop off points for Craigslist deals. Clean, legal ones only, of course. It's not the first state to offer its law enforcement HQs as a safe place to meet, though: this is a growing trend across the US started by the Chicago police. Aside from Seattle, Beaufort, Boca Raton, Columbia, South Carolina, Missouri and Virginia Beach have also followed Chicago's lead. Police stations, by the way, are open 24/7. So you can snap up even good deals posted at night without having to worry about getting kidnapped, raped or murdered.

[Image credit: Wikimedia]

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Among the many improvements of moving to a new console generation, the Xbox One left a few features from the Xbox 360 behind. Now, Microsoft is testing a preview for its April update that brings back one of the most requested features: voice messages. As annoying as voicemail can be on a phone, simply saying a quick message while trying to coordinate a raid in Destiny can often be faster than typing it with a controller or even the SmartGlass app. One more bonus? The voice messages will work across Xbox One and Xbox 360. The software update with the feature is already available to preview members, check after the break for more details and a demo video.

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In 2013, Defense Distributed created the world's first 3D printed handgun, the .38-caliber Liberator. The following year, they unveiled an AR-15 receiver capable of firing hundreds of 5.56mm rounds without fail. This year, the team has been outdone by a group of fabricators at Printed Firearm who have once again raised the bar. They've successfully crafted and test fired the receiver for a Colt CM109 modular battle rifle -- the AR-15's badass big brother. The CM109 is larger and heavier than the AR-15 as it is built to accommodate a larger caliber round: the 7.62 x 51mm NATO. 7.62mm rounds fly farther and strike with much more force than the 5.56mm, making them far more deadly. It also means that the lower receiver (the bit that holds all the firearm's moving parts) has to be both heavier and sturdier to in order to handle the increased mechanical stresses and harder recoil associated with using a bigger bullet.

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Nigerian men check their text messages on their mobile phone

Nigeria's Consumer Protection Council (CPC), with the backing of the country's government, is threatening to throw telecom executives in jail unless they improve their call quality. The African nation has seen mobile phone adoption rates soar over the past four years thanks to a price war that has dramatically lowered prices. That may seem like a win for consumers but, in fact, the increased user base (combined with the telecoms' general unwillingness to invest in their infrastructure and capacity) has rendered many cell services nearly unusable. The CPC argues that network congestion and dropped calls are so common that it's starting to cost consumers money. What's more, regulators recently performed Quality Assurance tests (QAT) for operators throughout the region and failed to find a single one that actually achieved the connection promised in their consumer service agreements.

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Key Speakers And General Views From The Google I/O 2012 Conference

Google has offered an option to reduce the amount of data Chrome uses on Android and iOS for a while, and now it's rolled out an extension to do the same for desktop users. Just like the mobile option, it works by compressing the data on Google's servers first -- click here for more info on how it works -- before sending it on, and claims some pages can be reduced in size by as much as 50 percent. VentureBeat spotted Data Saver (beta) in the Chrome Web Store, where the description notes that just like on mobile, it doesn't intercept SSL-protected or Incognito tabs to protect user's security and privacy. Proxy-based compression is hardly a new concept, but if you're a heavy Chrome user then now you have a Google-powered option, especially if you're on a tethered connection or somewhere else it pays to be bandwidth-conscious.

[Image credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]

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Amazon Cloud Drive

Amazon thinks it has a way to entice you away from the likes of Dropbox or Google Drive: real, honest-to-goodness unlimited internet storage. It just launched two Cloud Drive plans that let you upload as much as you like, with the primary difference being what you can upload without worrying about caps. If you're only interested in preserving photos, an Unlimited Photos Plan costs a modest $12 per year, or free on Prime; you'll have 5GB to use for anything else. Should you have a lot of documents or a sizable video collection, an Unlimited Everything tier will cost a still-pretty-reasonable $60 per year. The one catch is that there's no truly free option. You can get a 3-month free trial, but you'll want to look at the no-cost alternatives if you don't expect to store gobs of files online.

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Chrome logo

Smoother scrolling is coming to Chrome, as Google will integrate Microsoft's Pointer Events API into a future version of the browser. To say that Google and Microsoft haven't had the best working relationship would be an understatement. The companies have been warring on several different fronts, with browsers and the future of the web being a major sticking point. As Ars Technica reports, now that Internet Explorer (and all the legacy that comes with it) is about to be retired in favor of a sleeker, standards-friendly browser, the two companies -- or at least their browser teams -- are starting to warm to one another.

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Ten years ago, multiplayer-only games went through a severe identity crisis. More people than ever were gaming together, but they were increasingly playing online only. The small-stakes joy of twitchy experiences like Street Fighter II and Super Off Road, games meant to be played in short sessions preferably in the same room, weren't feasible anymore. Video games have always been expensive to make, so multiplayer modes had to either come packaged with other content -- consider Halo's famed multiplayer tucked alongside its single-player story -- to flesh them out or be custom built to serve hardcore players meeting up on the internet, a la Team Fortress 2, Valve's modern-day equivalent to the easy-access multiplayer of yore.

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There are more music streaming apps than the world needs. But there hasn't really been a streamlined experience for electronic dance music listeners until now. Most of the popular apps -– Spotify, 8tracks and Pandora -– have a plethora of dance music tracks and amateur playlists to choose from, but they're not dedicated to the fist-thumping, bass-pounding needs of a dance music lover. Beatport, the go-to stream and download site for DJs and their fans, has finally stepped up its game with the launch of iOS and Android apps today. It's the latest service to join T-Mobile's Music Freedom program, which streams music without eating into your data plan.

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