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Amazon Kindle Voyage

Perhaps Amazon sold a lot of 3G Paperwhites without special offers. Or maybe Kobo's Aura HD has quietly taken the world by storm and Jeff Bezos decided he needed an answer. Whatever the impetus, Amazon has decided there is room in the world for a $199 e-reader. The Kindle Voyage was built for people who "love to read." Clearly the company thinks there is a place out there for a premium e-reader and, while we can't vouch for the vibrancy of the high-end e-reader market, we can confirm that Amazon has put together a stunner of a device. The familiar Kindle software has even picked up some neat new software tricks that the Voyage taught its more budget-minded siblings.

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Here's the funny thing about Amazon: Because it's already selling you stuff, it has an easy way of knowing when a product category is starting to take off. Case in point: budget tablets. After reading lots of user reviews complaining about cheap, unreliable slates, the company had two major takeaways. One, people actually buy this crap and two, maybe Amazon can do better. That brings us to today's news: The outfit just introduced a 6-inch, $99 tablet, its least expensive yet. In addition, the company refreshed its $139 Kindle Fire HD 7 along with so-called Kids Edition models, which are basically the same 6- and 7-inch tablets, just with a two-year warranty and some robust parental controls. All of them start at under $200.

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Amazon gives its flagship Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 a modest spec boost

If you've ever seen a TV commercial for Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets, you know the company isn't shy about comparing itself to Apple. Indeed, the retail giant is hoping you'll buy its flagship Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 this holiday season instead of a boring iPad Air. This year, though, Amazon appears to be competing purely on specs: The company just refreshed the HDX 8.9, and while it has the same design as last year's model (20 percent lighter than the iPad, as Amazon is quick to point out!), everything under the hood is just a bit better. A bit faster. The tablet is up for pre-order today for $379, the same price as last year's HDX 8.9. Which makes sense: All things considered, this is a fairly modest upgrade.

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Hailing a ride has never been easier -- just take out your phone, tap on an app and wait for your internet-wrangled chauffeur to arrive. Companies like Uber and Lyft are reinventing the transportation industry, and traditional taxi services are feeling it. According to Kate Toran, interim Taxis and Accessible Services director for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency, the average taxi is only making about 504 trips per month. Two years ago (specifically, in March of 2012) the average trip per taxi averaged at 1,424.

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Anita Sarkeesian

A bomb threat was made regarding a speaker and award recipient at the Game Developer's Choice Awards (part of the annual Game Developer's Conference) in San Francisco this past March. Anita Sarkeesian (pictured above), host of Tropes vs. Women in Video Games, a YouTube series that naturally examines the way women are depicted in video games, was the intended target. As Kotaku reports, an anonymous email was sent to around 25 of GDC's organizers stating the following:

"A bomb will be detonated at the Game Developer's Choice award ceremony tonight unless Anita Sarkeesian's Ambassador Award is revoked. We estimate the bomb will kill at least a dozen people and injure dozens more. It would be in your best interest to accept our simple request. This is not a joke. You have been warned."

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Well folks, the rumors and leaks were true (as usual): the heated BlackBerry/Porsche Design love affair has once again borne fruit, this in time in the form of the new Porsche Design P'9983. At its core, we're looking at a device running BlackBerry 10.3 along with a few Porsche-produced bits like a custom wallpaper and watchface, but you're not going to buy this thing just for BBMing your dearest pals (did we mention you get a specific BBM PIN perfect for remote flaunting?). No, if anything, you'd buy this thing for its peculiar (some would say silly and overwrought) sense of style.

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Mint's Touch ID check

You're going to see a lot of apps taking advantage of iOS 8's expanded Touch ID support in the near future, but one of the bigger improvements is already here. Mint has updated its iOS app to let you use your fingerprint to sign in rather than rely on a passcode. While it's a simple step, it means that you can quickly check all your finances on an iPhone 5s, 6 or 6 Plus without compromising security -- you can thwart data thieves with a tough-to-crack code that you'll rarely have to enter yourself. There's no doubt that this safeguard will spread to other financial titles in short order, but it's good to see that an app many use daily is already locked down tight.

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Watching Netflix or Plex streams on your Chromecast is great, but what about when the game is on? Sling has enabled its apps on iPhone, iPad and Android phones (Android tablets coming soon) to help with just that situation. Just tap the Cast button in the apps, and you can send video to Google's $35 dongle. Similar to Sling's integration with Apple TV and Roku, once the video is playing, you can use the app as a remote control, or close it and do something else while the video keeps playing. The only bad news? Chromecast support requires one of the company's newer boxes: 350, SlingTV/500 or M1. Still, both devices already make sense for frequent travelers, and now they're better together. The SlingTV is also getting a tweak, as the Android phone and iPhone apps can now control its living room UI directly, without the included remote.

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Beats Music on Apple TV

Your iPad or iPhone isn't the only device getting a big iOS upgrade today. Apple is now rolling out an Apple TV update that brings not just iOS 8-savvy features like iCloud Photo and Family Sharing, but a flatter-looking interface on third-generation devices -- yes, that previous super-glossy look has gone the way of the dodo. If you're using that newer hardware in the US, you'll also see a Beats Music app that lets you stream on-demand tunes during a living room party. The refresh isn't going to get you any closer to that long-rumored TV set, especially if you're still stuck on a second-gen Apple TV box, but it's welcome all the same.

[Image credit: AppleInsider]

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Yelp on Android

The FTC is eager to crack down on any perceived online privacy violations, especially when they involve children -- and we just got a good demonstration of that eagerness today. Both Yelp and mobile app developer TinyCo have settled with the FTC over allegations that they knowingly scooped up kids' personal information without permission. Yelp is paying a $450,000 penalty because it didn't have an effective age screen in its apps, letting those under 13 sign up by themselves. TinyCo, meanwhile, is shelling out $300,000 after some of its kid-oriented games asked for email addresses in return for in-game currency. These aren't the biggest settlements we've seen by any stretch, but they'll hopefully serve as warning to any app creator that wants to collect your little ones' data.

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