A lot can happen between the time and the sun rises and sets -- especially in the future we live in. So, what's new 'round these parts? Well, Samsung debuted super thin, all-metal smartphones; our Joseph Volpe penned a eulogy for Nintendo's Wii U and our Sean Buckley reviewed ASUS' new gaming laptop, the ROG G751. There are more stories than that, though, and you can find those in the gallery below!

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If you prefer to carry Samsung's most recent handset instead of that newfangled iPhone 6, Sprint is now offering the Android option for lease. Until now, the carrier allowed customers to rent Apple's phone for $20 a month for two years. After that, you can either continue service month-to-month or send it in for something new. It'll be interesting to see how popular the option is with a phone that's been out for a bit, but the Galaxy S5 Sport is available for lease, too. If you're on the fence, or have a tight budget, Sprint's unlimited everything plan is $10 per month cheaper for iPhone 6 users/lessees.

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When BT finally gets round to launching its own-brand mobile network running on EE's 4G infrastructure, it'll join Virgin Media and TalkTalk as a provider of all four main telecoms services: TV, internet, fixed-line telephone and mobile. This would leave Sky as the only rival telecoms company without a mobile offering, but a new trial with Vodafone suggests it, too, could be adding mobile to its product portfolio in the near future. As Mobile Today reports, 200,000 allegedly "handpicked" Sky customers were offered Vodafone's services as part of trial launched last month. It's not unreasonable, then, to hypothesize that this is the preliminary stages of Sky launching its own MVNO based on Vodafone's network.

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Operations Inside A Starbucks Corp. Coffee Shop

Love your morning coffee break, but hate having to wait in line amongst the masses? Well, Starbucks will allow you to skip the line entirely with its new app. Just place your order via that trusty smartphone, and you'll be able to walk in and pick it up. Of course, the company's mobile software sorts payments too, which certainly helps expedite the process. What's more, plans for a delivery option are in the works for folks who belong to its loyalty program -- but only in select markets. "Imagine the ability to create a standing order of Starbucks delivered hot to your desk daily," CEO Howard Schultz said. "That's our version of e-commerce on steroids." The new version of the bean-slinging mobile app is set to arrive in December, beginning with Portland, Oregon before a nation-wide rollout in 2015.

[Image credit: Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

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Amazon's Fire phone has been doing so badly on the market, that the company took a $170 million hit in the third quarter of 2014 and is currently sitting on $83 million worth of unsold devices. But even all those millions aren't enough to make the retailer throw in the towel -- Amazon SVP of Devices David Limp told Fortune that the execs are moving forward with their plans to develop and release more phones in the future. According to Limp, the company blames the Fire phone's originally steep pricing for its failure to sell. In fact, the 32GB model used to cost $200 on contract until Amazon was forced to drop its price to just 99 cents in September.

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If you're rooting for Sony to pull through recent tough times, it's still a cliffhanger, according to its latest earnings report. On the plus side, PS4 sales have been stellar, up 83 percent over last year at 310 billion yen ($2.8 billion). The good news drops off sharply from there, however, especially with mobile. Though sales in that division were up slightly from last year, it managed to lose 172 billion yen ($1.5 billion). Since most of Sony's other divisions fared okay, that means its 86 billion yen ($770 million) operating loss can be directly chalked up to its mobile division. Though it warned investors that smartphone sales would be dismal, Sony decided nevertheless decided to fire its mobile division's CEO, Kunimasa Suzuki, and replace him with VP Hiroki Totoki.

Update: Additional figures from Sony have shown us just how well the PlayStation 4 is doing: the company says it's sold 3.3 million over the past quarter. For contrast, Microsoft announced combined Xbox 360 and Xbox One shipments of 2.4 million in its latest financial results.

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You can't exactly use Google Wallet everywhere you go just yet, but if you do use it often enough to warrant semi-regular transfers from your bank, then you'll love its latest update. Now, you can activate recurring bank transfers, even pick the amount and the schedule (say, once a month or so) you want, to automatically replenish your digital dollars. That's especially useful if you depend on the physical Wallet card, which spends that balance every time it's charged. But in case Wallet balance doesn't matter as much -- say, you have an NFC-enabled Android phone and prefer to tap and pay mostly using credit -- then, you can also just program the app to let you know if it's almost out of cash. These features are available for both iOS and Android, as you can see after the break, but you can only use the tap-and-pay option if your NFC phone runs KitKat or higher.

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A unibody metal body, 5-inch AMOLED display, 13-megapixel camera, a claim as Samsung's "thinnest smartphone to date" and yet, this isn't a flagship smartphone. Especially for Halloween - or not related at all - the Galaxy A5 and A3 yet more smartphones from Samsung, measuring at 6.7mm and 6.9mm thickness. (So, er, just as thin as the Galaxy Alpha?) They may not be close to the thinnest smartphone but with a metallic body, it's still quite an interesting proposition. They're both apparently geared at the youth, with Samsung's own press release praising its social network skills (extending to a GIF maker and 4G connectivity...) and the five-megapixel front-facing camera, because selfies, but given the notion of a metal-framed Galaxy phone, other crankier demographics might also be tempted.

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Rakuten CEO Mikitani, Google EVP Rubin, Twitter Co-founder Dorsey, Skype Co-founder Zennstrom Speak At Japan New Economy Summit

Just about a year ago we learned Andy Rubin had shifted his focus at Google from Android ("the definition of open") to working with robots, like the ones from its acquisition Boston Dynamics, but tonight reports indicate he is leaving the company entirely. The Information and the Wall Street Journal reported the departure initially, which Google has confirmed. In a statement, CEO Larry Page said "I want to wish Andy all the best with what's next. With Android he created something truly remarkable-with a billion plus happy users. Thank you." The Information reports his departure is the result of some issue with the structure of his team, and that Google research scientist James Kuffner will take over his role directing robotics projects.

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PALESTINIAN-EGYPT-CONFLICT-GAZA

Technology can be pretty wonderful sometimes. Case in point: Warblr, an app that uses sound recognition tech and your phone's GPS signal to identify birdsongs. The application first pinpoints where you are (it'll debut in the United Kingdom), and narrows the results by what types of fowl are common to the area, according to its Kickstarter page. Then, after making the ID, it presents the most likely suspects. Pretty simple, yeah? The folks behind the app say that one of the intentions is to add geo-tracking to, well, track what species are being found where -- useful for the likes of zoologists and ecologists to monitor migration patterns, for one.

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Timex Ironman One GPS+

The last time we thought about Timex, we were still using landlines and adjusting the tracking on the VCR so that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze would display properly. Remember "Indiglo"? That's still a thing, apparently! Anyway, Timex is making a smartwatch, though it's not quite the same kind of smartwatch that the likes of Samsung and Apple are offering. It's more "fitness band" than smartwatch, though it does have the ability to make phone calls (emergency calls, anyway) and act as a GPS. I'm gonna call it a "crossover" smartwatch: it's got a ruggedized exterior capable of diving 50 meters (150 feet) under water, a 3G worldwide connection provided (free for one year, $40/year after) by AT&T, 4GB of internal storage (for music), and a tiny (1.5-inch, Mirasol) screen. It's also dramatically more expensive than other smartwatches/fitness bands out there at $399 for the base model. But maybe it's super rad? We visited Timex reps in New York City this afternoon to find out.

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Apparently I'm a masochist.

That's an odd way to begin a review. But to give BlackBerry's latest handset, the Passport, as thorough a review as possible, I decided to type the entire thing from the phone itself. My twisted idea came from a realization that this (mostly) square oddity is the first phone with a physical keyboard that I've used since the Motorola Droid 4 in 2012 or the BlackBerry Q10 in 2013. It's not even a normal keyboard by modern smartphone standards -- it's a flattened, hybrid setup with both physical and virtual elements and a curiously placed space bar. Needless to say, it's an odd device, one that truly deserves the ultimate test: Can I use it to crank out several thousand words of text?

Of course, there's more to the Passport than just its odd shape and the company's desire to resurrect a now-antiquated smartphone feature. I'm going to dive into what sets this phone apart from the hundreds of others already on the market -- that is, if my thumbs hold up through the experience.

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Sure, smartphones have been getting larger and larger every year. And for those who really want to go big, large-screen "phablet" Android phones have risen to fill the demand. But iPhone users who wanted a larger screen have always been left wanting -- until last months' release of the iPhone 6 Plus, that is. The 5.5-inch screen makes it the largest iPhone yet, but can it compete with Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 flagship? Now that both devices have been available for a while, we want to know how you, our readers, feel about your big-screen phone. Do you like having more screen real estate? Does the extra 0.2 inch on the Galaxy Note 4 make a difference? How do your favorite apps look on the 6 Plus? Is the stylus on the Note 4 still a draw? If you switched to Android for a big phone, have you switched back to iOS? You read our reviews; now we want to read yours. Leave a user review on the product pages for the iPhone 6 Plus or the Galaxy Note 4 detailing your unique experiences, and we'll be featuring the very best comments about both devices in an upcoming post.

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Earlier this year, Virgin Media became the UK's first 'quad-play' provider, meaning it began offering one-bill bundles that include all four of its services: mobile, landline, broadband and TV. Soon enough, however, TalkTalk will be joining Virgin Media in the exclusive quad-play club. Well... not really, but close enough. Come December, any TalkTalk customers on the Plus TV package (which includes landline and broadband subscriptions) will get a free mobile SIM that includes 100 minutes, 250 texts and 200MB of 3G data each month. Existing customers can also pre-register for a SIM right now if they want it as soon as possible. TalkTalk will technically be offering four services in one when the free SIM deal launches, but is it a true 'quad-play' package when you can't choose your tariff, and you don't actually pay for the mobile element? Nevermind, let's not argue over semantics. A free SIM is a free SIM.

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If people weren't too happy with the first batch of sponsored posts by Instagram, those temper tantrums might reach a new level soon. According to Adweek, the Facebook-owned imaging service is now rolling out video ads to users' feeds, having been quietly testing them for the past six months. So, starting today, don't be surprised to unexpectedly run into a random 15-second video while you're trying to find a picture of the next great brunch. As it stands, Adweek points out that Instagram is pushing motion ads from Activision, Banana Republic, CW and Lancome, but chances are you'll start seeing others from more companies as time goes on. In the meantime, head on past the break to check out what you can expect -- because you're dying to know.

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