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Microsoft's giving you the chance to try out its Edge browser before Windows 10 drops on July 29th, along with other new features that will come with the platform. You'll have to download Windows 10's latest preview build for PCs to take it for a spin, but make sure to back up your favorites first, because you're going to say bye-bye to Project Spartan for good. The company has incorporated several user suggestions to the browser, including a home button, a more customizable New Tab page, password autofill, as well as the ability to import favorites/bookmarks from other browsers and to play music from a minimized tab.

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Google Translate is notorious for spewing out either oddly worded or overly formal results, but the company says it's getting better thanks to people's help. Mountain View's online translator is now more adept at figuring out informal speech -- for instance, it can tell if you want to ask "Is everything alright?" when what you've typed in has another more literal translation, as you can see below the fold. That's all made possible by the volunteers who spend time translating phrases and checking the quality of other people's submissions on the Translate community website. The company promises to incorporate more and more translations over time as its service learns each language better. Hopefully, that means locals won't look at us funny next time we try to use it overseas.

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The ability to follow your favorite music artists on Shazam isn't new, but that feature is now getting a huge boost. Starting today, the service will let you see how entertainers are using Shazam to discover tunes, too. Because famous people -- they're just like us. With the refreshed iOS and Android apps, you'll start seeing the option to follow hundreds of artists, including Alicia Keys, Coldplay, Enrique Iglesias, Pitbull and Shakira, and view the music any of them are identifying through Shazam. Better yet, you can listen to these songs directly from the application. Don't expect artists to make everything they try to recognize public, though, since there is an option to keep guilty pleasures (or blunders) private.

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Sculpture: OMG LOL by Michael Mandiberg / Eyebeam Art + Technology Center Open Studios: Fall 2009 / 20091023.10D.55420.P1.L1. /

Do you constantly struggle to make jokes? Are you one of the millions of folks who wishes they could be spontaneously funny when communicating via the internet? Microsoft Research has some news (PDF) for you. The company's developed a web-based chat system dubbed "Cahoots" that analyzes text in your messages and suggests memes and reaction GIFs based on context and perceived emotion of the sender. It can even auto-generate memes on the fly using existing templates (think QuickMeme). Images were culled from I Can Haz Cheeseburger, Bing and ReactionGIFs.com and at the end of the study, some 738 of Amazon's Mechanical Turks found Cahoots pretty useful. No word's been given about the system actually reaching the public, so in the meantime you might want to start marathoning comedy specials on Netflix to bone up on your timing.

[Image credit: See-ming Lee 李思明 SML/Flickr]

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A 'robot' payphone in New York

When PayPal updated its user agreement with language suggesting that it had broad powers to make automated calls (aka robocalls) and texts, customers were understandably nervous. Was the company going to spam you until you bought more stuff using its online wallet? Well, you can relax. PayPal is tweaking the agreement once again to make it clear just when it will (and more importantly, won't) send a recorded message your way. The only times the firm will robocall is when it needs to collect debt, warn you about shady activity or tackle fraud cases. You won't deal with marketing spiels unless you give explicit consent, and you can revoke that permission at any point.

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Passwords are, by many accounts, quickly going the way of the dodo. And while many sites now allow users to log in via social media, they're not always a viable option. That's why (as an alternative to logging in via Facebook or Twitter) blog-publishing platform Medium is trying a different tactic: getting rid of passwords entirely. Users will simply click a login button and check their email as Medium sends a single-use, time-limited password link to grant access. It's basically the same process used to reset a forgotten password, save that you won't have to set a new (equally-forgettable) login.

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You can't search Google without magnifying glasses, right?

Yelp really, really isn't a fan of Google's search rankings, and it's making sure that you know it. The location-based service has partnered with net neutrality pioneer Tim Wu on a study alleging that Google is "knowingly degrading" search results by peppering the findings with hits from its own services, such as Google+ reviews. The research project notes that test subjects were 45 percent more likely to click search results when they were purely "organic" (that is, more objective) versus the usual Google-influenced material. This is reportedly proof that Google is compromising the quality of your searches for the sake of helping its own business, and Yelp goes on to liken the Mountain View team to the monopolies of AT&T and Microsoft.

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Samsung Z1

It's tempting to think of Tizen as an also-ran in the smartphone world next to powerhouses like Android and iOS, but that's not entirely true when Samsung has sold 1 million Z1 phones in India since January. In fact, there are now signs that the Korean firm is doubling down on its partly in-house platform: Reuters sources hear that Samsung is planning to release "several" more Tizen phones later this year at a range of prices. While there aren't more details yet, the move suggests that Samsung is confident that it can expand Tizen's audience relatively quickly.

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This week the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup will conclude, and the USWNT is taking on Germany Tuesday night. Beyond that, Cameron Crowe fans (still sticking around since the release of Aloha) can finally see Vanilla Sky on Blu-ray complete with an extended/alternate ending and plenty of extras. To go along with Extant and Under the Dome, CBS is premiering a new series Zoo, based on a book where animals band together for coordinated attacks on humanity. The second season of Knights of Sidonia arrives on Netflix, while Amazon has season two of Annedroids. Finally, Shark Week kicks off Sunday night on Discovery. Look after the break to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).

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Earlier this year, a few eagle-eyed folks in the East Bay region in Northern California noticed unmarked minivans with what looked like an array of cameras and sensors sitting on top of it. It turns out that the vehicles were registered to Apple, which sparked a bunch of speculation that the Cupertino firm was deploying its own fleet of mapping vehicles to compete with Google Street View. Well, as was revealed earlier this month, that is certainly the case. In a photo captured by our friends over at Autoblog, a Dodge Caravan with the same sort of camera assembly was spotted with a decal that clearly states "Apple Maps" and "maps.apple.com" on the back window. As the company's own information page states that it will "blur faces and license plates on collected images prior to publication," it seems that Apple Maps could very well get its own Street View-esque feature in the future. If you're interested in spotting these vehicles for yourselves, Apple has posted the schedule of where they'll be driving around next.

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Frustrated with the Google Hangouts app on iOS from time to time? Us too. Mountain View updated the mobile software today with a refreshed UI and more. First, you'll likely notice the new coat of Material Design paint that tidies things up a bit. Heck, even the dialer got a redesign. There's also a new quick compose button that allows you to quickly send messages to the folks you chat with often. Access to images from the gallery, camera or emoji library is easier too, and you can now send multiple photos at once. The update includes the usual bug fixes and performance improvements, and the latter hopefully remedies a few of the headaches some of us at Engadget HQ have been experiencing lately. The goods are available now at iTunes, and the Android version is said to arrive shortly.

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'Battlezone' circa 1998

The trends of remaking and remastering classic games just kicked into overdrive. Rebellion (best known for its Sniper Elite games) has revealed that it's developing not just a virtual reality version of the original Battlezone, but a refresh of the 1998 Battlezone title for PCs -- yes, it's a remake getting a remaster. It's too soon to know what this new version will entail, although it'll probably be fun if it maintains the 'original' mix of tank-based action, real-time strategy and an alternate-history space race. Let's just hope that someone doesn't try to re-do the remaster a decade from now... that would be a bit much.

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