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LG's Nexus 5 in red

If you were disappointed that your only choice for a new, official Google phone last year was the gargantuan Nexus 6, you'll be glad to hear that 2015 could be very different. Android Police sources have elaborated on previous rumors with word that both LG and Huawei are working on Nexus handsets this year. The LG device, nicknamed Angler, would have a 5.2-inch screen and might borrow the G4's six-core Snapdragon 808 processor -- effectively, it'd be a modernized Nexus 5. Huawei's phone, Bullhead, would pack a bigger 5.7-inch display and could step up to a Snapdragon 810 chip. Think of it as a not-so-ungainly Nexus 6.

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Ready to build your own robot? If you want to get in good with the drone overlords when the machines take over, it's time to master the world of electronics with the Complete Arduino Starter Kit & Course Bundle. At 85 percent off it's a starter deal that'll be hard for beginners to pass up, with 25 hours of training and all the necessary tools to start assembling your very own circuits.

If you're fond making classic synth sounds with your iPad, Korg offers quite the library of apps that'll do just that. As of this week, there's a new addition: the M1 digital synthesizer and music workstation. The "complete reproduction" of the instrument is available for Apple slates as the iM1 app, and thanks to detailed circuit analysis by its engineers, Korg says the software carries the sound of the original and then some. These are sounds you've likely heard from Depeche Mode, The Cure and others. The included effects were bumped from two up to 18 and there's a Kaoss pad for adjusting audio with swipe -- both of which are new items absent on the original M1. If you're familiar with synthesizers, the Kaoss feature mimics that touch-friendly surface for tweaking sounds found other other synths like the Moog Voyager XL.

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Slide to unlock on an iPad

For the National Security Agency, the fingerprint reader on your smartphone just isn't secure enough. Lockheed Martin has confirmed to Nextgov that the intelligence outfit is testing Mandrake, an identification system that verifies who you are based on the way you swipe your finger across the screen. The technology measures not only the shape of your movements, but the acceleration and speed. It can tell whether you draw in broad, fast strokes or tend to be cautious. Lockheed doesn't know whether or not the NSA is deploying Mandrake in the field, but it wouldn't be shocking. Given that it's possible to fake fingerprints, gesture-based authentication may the best way of proving that the right person really is present.

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RUSSIA-PUTIN-ROGOZIN-KOMAROV

Russia's Roscosmos space program doesn't have a lot of cash to waste after its budget was cut by 35 percent in March. But an internal audit found that it flushed $1.8 billion down the toilet anyway, according to the Moscow Times. The nation's deputy prime minister said many of the losses were caused by "acts of fraud, abuse of authority and forgery of documents." Referring to two recent setbacks, including the loss of an ISS cargo ship, he added that "with such a level of moral decay, one should not be surprised at the high accident rate."

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It's Computex next week, which means we'll be busy fiddling with a whole bunch of new ASUS devices. According to Ausdroid, some of these will be contributed by a new Android tablet line dubbed ZenPad, which will allegedly come in 7-inch 1,024 x 600 and 8-inch 2,048 x 1,536 flavors -- with the latter having a 4:3 screen ratio, as featured on the iPads, the Nexus 9 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab A. Given the sweet romance between ASUS and Intel, it's no surprise to see the latter's chips powering the ZenPad line. Judging by the leaked press render obtained by Ausdroid, the larger model packs front-facing stereo speakers, and the backside somewhat resembles the sleeve design applied onto the latest MeMO Pad 7. Little else is known about these new tablets, but we'll find out more in a week's time.

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Periscope for Android is here. Twitter's new streaming app contains many of the same features found in the iOS version, but with a few Android exclusives. In addition to more granular notification controls than found in the iPhone version, there's a new "return to broadcast" feature that helps get viewers back to a stream after being interrupted by a phone call, text or other pesky distraction.

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Like any Mad Max fan thrilled by the film Fury Road, I approached Avalanche Studios' new video game translation hoping to find echoes of the film's anarchic spirit. And while the full game may deliver -- we won't know until review time -- the current demo feels more like a mundane snapshot of Max's offscreen life in that post-apocalyptic world than an adrenaline shot from Fury Road. Mad Max, due out this fall for PlayStation 4, PC and Xbox One, just doesn't have the same level of enervating detail.

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Microsoft Cortana on Android

Yes, it's official: Microsoft is bringing Windows' Cortana voice assistant to Android and iPhone. Both platforms will get a dedicated app that, much like you see on Windows Phone today, will let you dictate reminders, track flights and otherwise keep your life organized. Cortana's Notebook, which remembers what you like, will also sync across all your platforms. This won't be a one-for-one recreation of what you get right now, though -- since Microsoft can't tap directly into the operating system like it can on Windows devices, you won't get hands-free activation through "hey Cortana" or options to launch apps or settings. Still, it'll be worth seeing what this Halo-inspired helper can do when it reaches Android in late June, and iPhones sometime later this year -- and we'd add that it's not the only treat Microsoft has in store for your smartphone, either.

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Opera Max WiFi data saving

Opera's data compression was originally meant to get the most out of thimble-sized cellular plans, but you'd probably agree that WiFi matters, too. After all, you've likely had that moment when you were struggling to visit websites on a lousy public hotspot. Mercifully, relief is in sight: an updated version of Opera Max for Android now squeezes app data even when you're on WiFi, helping you save bandwidth no matter what connection you're using. You can manage cellular and WiFi data separately, and there's an equally new blocking option if you need to put a particularly greedy app on ice for a while. Snag the upgrade today if you find that fast, unfettered internet access is sometimes hard to come by.

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