You know what will go perfectly with those futuristic rocket-powered, heartrate-monitoring bikes? This smart helmet that Volvo wants to create. It's a two-way system that works by uploading both cyclists' and drivers' locations to Volvo's cloud. While a connected car's in-dash system makes that possible, the helmet needs to be linked to a bike app like Strava to do so. Bicyclists can then be warned that there's a car coming their way or crossing their path by warning lights built into the helmet.

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T-Mobile CEO John Legere

T-Mobile protested its innocence after the Federal Trade Commission accused it of letting text message-based scams run amok in the name of profit, but it's not going to fight that complaint to the bitter end. The UnCarrier has agreed to a settlement that will have it paying "at least" $90 million in fines to the FCC and all 50 states. Moreover, it'll have to both offer full refunds to victims and require explicit permission for third-party charges. In the future, that sketchy celebrity gossip service can't take your cash unless you offer consent. T-Mobile's decision to cry "uncle" isn't surprising given that AT&T already settled with the FTC over similar unauthorized billing. However, it suggests that Sprint faces an uphill battle in its own texting dispute -- history definitely isn't on the company's side.

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US-IT-COMPUTER-CES

Long before Transformers director Michael Bay choked onstage at Samsung's lavish CES 2014 press conference, the Korean company was just another electronics outfit begging for attention. But after decades at CES, Samsung is now the undisputed king of the show. Its blowout media events are the largest and most difficult to get into. Samsung Electronics CEO BK Yoon is kicking off the show next month by hosting the prestigious opening keynote. And it's one of the few tech giants left standing at CES, as Microsoft and others abandon it. Samsung's glorious rise mirrors its ascent in the mobile industry, and it's also yet another example of the company's oft-repeated formula for success: Time, money and perseverance lead to victory.

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Amazon SVP of Devices David Limp promised back in October that the company will continue releasing updates for the Fire phone despite its rather poor performance -- like this big software upgrade, for instance. The latest version of Fire phone's OS comes with a long list of new features, including the ability to translate text and identify artwork (well, anything included in its 2,000-piece catalog, anyway) in photos using Firefly. Plus, there's a new camera mode called Best Shot that saves three versions of each captured photo, so you can choose the best one.

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iPad Air 2

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said he's "deeply offended" by fresh allegations of poor working conditions in its suppliers' Chinese factories. Contractors hired by Apple to assemble its latest products have been exposed before, and while the firm has tried to be more proactive in recent years, a new BBC investigation suggests the same problems still persist. Undercover reporters hired at Pegatron factories discovered an exhausted workforce regularly falling asleep at the production line. Twelve hour shifts are common, which means employees often clock over 60 hours on the factory floor each week -- well above China's 44-hour limit, but still possibly legal given the country permits 36 hours of overtime each month.

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Some Lumia owners will be able to take photos more quickly these holidays -- and they might be better, too -- now that Microsoft has begun rolling out its latest software update called Denim. We say "some," because only Lumia 830, Lumia 930, Lumia Icon and Lumia 1520 owners will be able to enjoy the new features for now, and only if they live in one of the select countries getting the update. Denim, which was announced back in September, speeds up the Lumia camera app and brings image quality-boosting features with it. The new Rich Capture mode, for instance, automatically uses HDR, Dynamic Flash and Dynamic Exposure to take pictures, while a new imaging algorithm allows it to snap crisper daylight and lowlight images.

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What was that? You wanted to get some recipes going for news-content automation in addition to push notifications to grab an umbrella for tomorrow? Well, lucky you because Time Inc. announced it's adding IFTTT (If This Then That) support for five of its publications: Entertainment Weekly, InStyle, People, Sports Illustrated, and of course Time. The outfit says it's using in-house tech to make it easier to automate stuff like sending all NFL articles to Pocket so you can read 'em on the subway, for example. Another is getting a weekly movie summary sent straight to your email from Entertainment Weekly. This update benefits both Android and iOS users alike and it's available right this minute. Now its just up to you to see if too many cooks can spoil these recipes.

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After denying reports that its ChatOn service was close to being disbanded on a region-by-region basis, Samsung has announced in Korea that it's going away. According to Yonhap News, Samsung's statement said it will close up shop on February 1st. It's not immediately clear whether or not that will hold across all regions, but Samsung went on to state that users would be able to back up their data before the shutdown. The company blamed "changing market conditions" for the change, but seems that despite a claimed 100 million strong user base, people weren't really using the software preloaded on so many smartphones.

Update: We contacted Samsung and were told that on February 1st, ChatOn will shut down in all markets except for the US. In the US, it will shut down at some point in Q1, but a date has not yet been announced.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Amazon's new one-hour delivery service, Prime Now, works so well it might just inspire entirely new levels of laziness in all of us. After all, why bother going to the store when you just need to shell out $7.99 to get anything brought to your door in an hour? But as anyone who's made Seamless or GrubHub food deliveries an essential part of their diet can tell you, this sort of instant gratification can be dangerously addictive. And eventually, you might end up having no reason to leave your house at all. As the Amazon courier handed me a bag full of candy I couldn't help thinking this is how Wall-E's dystopian future begins -- a world we're all infantilized to the point of not being able to walk, or do pretty much anything, on our own.

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MixRadio App

When Microsoft completed its multi-billion dollar purchase of Nokia, it also acquired a number of apps and services that were surplus to requirements. One of those was music-streaming app MixRadio, which spun off as a standalone service earlier this year. That independence didn't last long, however, because it's just found itself a new home. Microsoft announced today that it has reached an agreement to sell MixRadio to Japanese messaging firm LINE, a company that has helped connect smart appliances and pioneer the concept of stickers, to extend the music app's reach to new markets. If you're concerned that today's announcement will affect future streaming on your Windows Phone, worry not: MixRadio head Jyrki Rosenberg says the company will continue to "bring a personalised music experience to Lumia smartphones." It might just mean owners of other devices will get the chance to enjoy it too.

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You've been able to catch up with episodes of Jersey Shore through MTV's iOS and Android apps for around a year. But, if you wanted to gasp along with the action as it was broadcast, you'd have to make an appointment to take over the family TV. Thankfully, the reality channel has updated apps on both platforms to bring a live feed of both MTV and MTV2 to your device (assuming you have a participating pay-TV provider to log in with). That said, we can't imagine anyone persisting with the feature for too long -- those ad-breaks are a lot shorter when you're catching up.

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Mobile Masts

Ever since the notion of national roaming first appeared back in June, the UK government and the four major mobile operators have fought over how best to rid Britain of so-called "not-spots." Culture Secretary Sajid Javid wanted to implement a system where customers would be able to switch to an alternative network if their own wasn't available, but carriers argued that it would slow network expansions in rural areas, push up investment costs and potentially pass on that cost to subscribers. However, after months of talks, there's finally some good news to report -- plans for national roaming have now been scrapped, after EE, Vodafone, O2 and Three vowed to pump £5 billion into the UK's mobile infrastructure.

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Microsoft Research's Xim app for sharing photos can now beam slideshows on screens bigger than phones and tablets through streaming devices. Just log into the wireless network all your other devices are connected to and it will automatically detect any connected Chromecast, Apple TV, Xbox One or Amazon Fire TV that you can use to broadcast images to your television screen. Even better, if a friend initiates a session and you're paired with one of those streaming devices, he can control the images shown on your display.

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Sprint

Sprint can't catch a break. As if its financial woes weren't enough, the outfit was recently accused of letting consumers get billed for "tens of millions" of dollars in unauthorized charges for premium text messages between 2004 and 2013. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's official charges, according to The New York Times, are that Sprint's billing system allowed third-parties to "cram" unauthorized fees onto your monthly statement. That's not all: The Federal Communications Commission is getting in on the action too, with the NYT's sources claiming that Sprint will face $105 million in refunds and restitution as a result of those unauthorized bill additions -- a bit more than it charged AT&T. We're going to imagine the government won't let the Now Network pay its fines $9.99 per month.

[Image credit: JeepersMedia/Flickr]

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Google Inbox on a Nexus 5

You may have to give up a few things from Gmail to use Google's task-oriented Inbox email app, but smartwatch support isn't one them. The company has updated the app (on Android) to bring Android Wear support, letting you check mail, send replies and mark completed items from the comfort of your wrist. There are some meaningful upgrades whether or not you have advanced wristwear, including suggestions for reminders and a better tablet interface. Swing by Google Play if any of these refinements are the excuse you needed to give Inbox a spin.

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