OSVR headset

Razer's entry into virtual reality may not be as ballsy as HTC's or Samsung's, but it could be just as important. Back in January the gaming manufacturer revealed Open Source Virtual Reality (OSVR), a project that offers a hardware design and software framework that anyone can build VR devices and apps from. Today, OSVR is announcing that more than 20 higher education facilities will join the initiative and be provided with development kits and the necessary support to create new experiences and hardware.

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PayPal has has agreed to pay the US Department of the Treasury $7.7-million, after the financial giant processed transactions for a number of companies and individuals on the US sanctions list. A total of 486 violations of US regulations had apparently been committed by PayPal "for several years" after repeated failures in the firm's screening process, a reports explains. While the severity of each instance will vary, the Treasury highlighted a number that relate to Turkish national Kursud Zafer Cire -- an individual on the list after suspected involvement in the movement of weapons of mass destruction. The Treasury's report states that Risk Operations Agents at PayPal manually overrode at least four alerts flagging Cire as blacklisted -- resulting in transactions totalling over $7,000. Since 2013, PayPal has introduced a "long term solution" that checks for violations in real time. An investment we imagine that's a little more cost effective, than predicting future malware.

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Uber to limit surge pricing during massive east-coast blizzard (updated)

Following alleged sexual assaults in India and France, Uber has revealed several new initiatives and a code of conduct to make passengers feel more secure. The key change is a new advisory board that will "review safety practice and advise on our roadmap for adding safety features to the platform." Uber said it would engage outside experts "to create the strongest board possible" and would regularly incorporate its recommendations into a safety strategy. It also created the Uber Quality Assurance program, which will employ off-duty law enforcement personnel to ensure that drivers are following company rules.

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3D Robotics develops the open source software that powers a lot of home brew UAVs. Today it's introducing a new tool to the public: DroneKit, software that allows anyone to create apps for, well, drones! DroneKit works with any craft that uses 3DR's "APM" autopilot (a small device you add to your 'copter), and apps can be created for Android, web and standalone "companion" devices (that you then connect to your quadcopter). What can you do with these apps? So far, mostly the same things you can do with existing flight planning software (like 3DR's own Tower app). That means controlling fly paths with waypoints, following GPS targets and access to all the telemetry of the drone. But, of course, now you can do it in new and creative ways. That's a good start, but its 3DRs promise to support the tool and keep adding new features that will change what we can do with these increasingly popular aerial craft.

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Yes, you can lay claim to an HTC One M9 of your very own at the stroke of midnight on March 27th, but what if your craving for a flagship leads you in another direction? No problem: Samsung has just announced that you'll be able to pre-order the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge also starting on the 27th, with a full nationwide debut to follow on April 10th. Frankly, between these two bitter smartphone rivals and their near-identical announcement times this morning, it's hard to say whose actually managing to steal the other's thunder. It's the thought that counts, right?

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LG is releasing the Watch Urbane LTE in South Korea within the next few days, which means we now have an idea how much one will cost. Turns out the fancy mobile internet-connected smartwatch is priced at 650,000 won or $590 on LG's home turf. That's comparable to the regular Apple Watch, which will set you back at least $549, though the price could still be different when the device arrives stateside. As you might know, the smartwatch has its own SIM card and can make voice calls even without a phone. It can connect to a smartphone via Bluetooth, though, provided it runs Android KitKat or later.

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If you're the type who maintains a massive amount of to-do lists and notes, you likely need a system to organize the things that keep you, well, organized. That's probably why Google has introduced labels for its Keep note-taking app on Android. It's pretty self-explanatory: you can tag files with labels of your choice (such as "Travel," "to pack," "shopping," "grocery," etc.) to make them easier to find later on. They're not exactly folders that can keep things tidy, but tags can prevent you from wasting time finding a list that's supposed to save you time. In addition to the new labeling system, the updated app now also features recurring reminders, which you can set to nudge you every day, week, month or year.

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Never mind that M9+ thing in China. Back in the US, it's all about the M9 for local HTC fans, as the device is about to hit the official online store at midnight ET for $649 unlocked (it'll have the same bands as the AT&T model). This may not mean much for folks who are used to subsidized phones, but if you compare this contract-free price with those from other regions, it's actually rather attractive -- even when you include tax. In Hong Kong, you're looking at around $770. Not to mention that US buyers also get to enjoy HTC's "Uh Oh Protection" program, which replaces your device -- be it faulty or simply because you want to change networks -- one time for free within a year, and you get $100 credit towards your next HTC phone if you end up not requiring this service.

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The age of ubiquitous livestreaming is upon us. I say this not only because of the sudden popularity of Meerkat, the mobile livestreaming app that now boasts over 100,000 users and celebrity aficionados like Jimmy Fallon and Madonna. No, it's because Meerkat now has a rival. A very big rival, in the form of Twitter. Today, the social media company has taken the wrapper off Periscope, its very own livestreaming app that it acquired only a couple of weeks ago. Indeed, it was this very purchase that caused Twitter to cut Meerkat from its social graph, a move that makes it a lot harder for those on Meerkat to find folks to follow. Periscope, on the other hand, won't have the same problem -- it automatically suggests people you follow on Twitter when you sign up. That's certainly a significant advantage, but the app needs to be good, too, if it wants to unseat Meerkat. So, is it?

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Subscription streaming music services are everywhere now, so what can Apple's potential offering bring to the table? Combining many previous rumors and adding on a few twists, a New York Times report puts Trent Reznor in a "major role" redesigning the Beats Music app into a stronger Spotify rival, with a focus on obtaining content that would be exclusive to Apple services. The Financial Times suggested former Beats exec Jimmy Iovine is driving those deals, as it hopes to push a service that won't have a free streaming tier like Spotify. The word is that despite trying to undercut rivals, it will probably have a similar subscription price. As far as the when this will all happen, the rumors still claim it will ride along with an upcoming iOS update, codenamed "Copper." At the same time, former BBC Radio One DJ Zane Lowe is said to be a big part of a refashioned iTunes Radio that targets listeners depending on their region. That's probably for the best, so that Apple Store staff aren't forced to give us playlist tips along with fashion advice.

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