Spotify has a long history of spitting out new and interesting features from week-long hackathons. It tells its employees to forget their normal jobs, tackle a problem and solve it in a creative way. The "Top Tracks" feature that debuted last month was born of a hackathon and now, thanks to another week of blowing off of their regular responsibilities, the company has Touch Preview: a feature designed to aid in the lost art of music discovery. Touch Preview is is exactly what it sounds like -- touch and hold a song, playlist or album and you'll get a 30-second preview.

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It's been in the pipeline for more than a year now, but finally Kim Dotcom's Mega is ready to share its encrypted chat service with the world. 'MEGAchat' is pretty light on features -- it's basically just audio and video calls right now -- but the famous Megaupload founder says text chat and video conferencing are on the way. Here's how it works: After creating a Mega account, you simply log in via the web and hit the Conversations icon on the left-hand side. Contacts will need their own Mega account and after making a few calls you'll see a basic chat history on the right-hand side. To disregard it as primitive would be missing the point, however; MEGAchat is currently free to use and promises better protection than alternatives such as Skype and Google Hangouts. Who do you trust more to keep your communications secure? If the answer is Dotcom's Mega, you've now got a credible replacement.

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Mexico MethaDrone

A quadcopter hexacopter has recently crashed into a Mexican supermarket parking lot located somewhere near the country's California border, and one of the possible reasons is that its payload was just too heavy for it. No, it wasn't carrying cameras or even fertilizer: it was loaded with meth. More than six whole pounds of methamphetamine, to be precise, piled and taped on top of the poor six-propeller drone-turned-drug-mule. Authorities are still investigating where the package came from, where it was headed and which real-life Walter White had the not-so-brilliant idea of strapping too much drugs to a small flying contraption.

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ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - MARCH  14, 2014: Google Corporation Building sign.

Google's Docs, Sheets and Slides apps aren't easy to use on a phone's small screen at all, but this set of updates could make things just a bit more convenient for both iOS and Android users. Documents now come with real-time spell check, spreadsheets are now able to hide rows and columns, and presentations can lump similar shapes together. Even better, they all now work with Android TalkBack and iOS VoiceOver -- screen readers that will make the apps friendlier to the visually impaired -- though those who only need just a bit of help reading on a small screen can use the magnification tool instead. Finally, if you're using an iPhone or an iPad, you can start using your fingerprint to unlock the apps if you want to make sure no nosy workmate can get into your files. The updates are now rolling out for both mobile platforms and are now available on Google Play and iTunes.

[image credit: shutterstock]

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Video Game High School

Many of Hulu's original shows are meant as equivalents to conventional TV, but the streaming service is about to take some of its internet rivals head-on. It just unveiled plans for a new series from RocketJump, the studio behind the cult web hit Video Game High School. Neither outfit is divulging details of the storyline just yet. Lionsgate will help produce the project, however, and there will be eight half-hour episodes along with shorts. You'll also have to be patient if you're expecting a release date, although the length of the series suggests you'll start watching sooner rather than later.

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Vessel on an iMac and iPhone

Hulu's ex-CEO Jason Kilar has been extolling the virtues of Vessel, his would-be YouTube rival, for weeks. Today, though, you can finally find out whether or not it's all that it's cracked up to be -- Vessel has launched an invitation-only public beta. You'll have to watch on an iOS device or the web (Android is coming "soon"), but you'll otherwise have a month's worth of unfettered access to the service's early, professional-level content. There's no word on when Vessel will be available invitation-free. Even so, the beta is at least proof that the video hub exists as more than just a well-meaning concept.

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BlackBerry Passport in gold

BlackBerry's Passport is already a fairly exclusive device by dint of the company's small market share, but the Canadian smartphone maker just kicked things up a notch. It's now selling a very limited edition (just 50 units) Black & Gold Passport that lets you flout convention with more gusto than usual. The gold-colored trim, while eye-catching, sadly isn't real like we've seen in some third-party mods -- c'mon, BlackBerry! However, you do get both a real soft leather back and an engraving that lets everyone know how rare your phone is. And despite the tiny production run, this is decidedly more affordable than the Porsche Design BlackBerrys aimed at celebrities and oil barons. It'll cost you a (relatively) modest $899 to score the Black & Gold Passport in the US, and $999 in Canada.

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You'd think by now creating groups for sharing 3D models would be old hat for Thingiverse, MakerBot's online community for 3D printing enthusiasts, but sadly, you'd be wrong. That all changes today: MakerBot announced that Thingiverse users will finally be able to make groups around whatever topic they like, making it even easier to collaborate on 3D designs with like-minded folks. Previously, you could only upload models and create collections on your own Thingiverse profile. MakerBot highlights the "My First Make" group as a good place to start sharing your experiences, but it likely won't be too long until we see new 3D printing factions around just about every topic.

[Photo credit: Matt Westervelt/Flickr]

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Dropbox emphasizing productivity

Dropbox has already done quite a bit to help you get work done in the cloud, but it's increasingly clear that the company isn't done expanding beyond its storage-focused roots. The firm just acquired CloudOn, giving it a team that got its chops building a hefty, internet-based document editing suite. The companies aren't saying what they plan to do together, but it's reasonable to expect beefier internet productivity tools from Dropbox before long. If you're a CloudOn user, though, you'll have to switch to another editing suite sooner than that. CloudOn has already stopped taking new customers, and it'll shut down its service on March 15th.

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Picture the scene: you're watching the kids play in the local park when, suddenly, your smartphone goes nuts. The sensor that you're wearing on your belt loop, along with several other sensors in the area, have noticed an increase of gamma radiation. Thankfully, you're able to gather up your children and race back to the car before anyone suffers an uncomfortable dose. If that all sounds like the sort of thing you'd be interested in, then you should probably check out Scarab.

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