Starting on Friday (or March 27, if you prefer) you'll be able to stroll into one of about a hundred Best Buys and walk out with a Gear VR Innovator Edition to combine with your Galaxy Note 4. This isn't the first time Samsung and Best Buy have tied up to promote one particular vision of VR; after all, you've been able to demo a Gear VR headset for about a month now. This is, on the other hand, the latest in a series of inexorable steps meant to push Oculus and Samsung to the very front of the virtual reality wave that's set to come crashing down on us.

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Facebook Messenger Business

Facebook's Messenger won't just be for chatting with family and friends in the near future. The social network has unveiled a business feature for Messenger that lets you talk to a store about your orders. The option not only spares you from a flurry of email for receipts and shipping, but gives you an easy way to ask questions -- if you want to change your order or add something new, you just open up the existing conversation. In theory, you don't have to go through the hassles of calling or emailing customer service to solve a simple problem. The business effort will only start out with a handful of partners that includes Everlane, Zendesk and Zulily, but a sign-up program suggests that you'll see Messenger used at more online shops before long.

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The feature phone. Still big in Japan. Still being sold in the millions. Still relevant, though? And does it even matter what a 30-something tech writer at a Western tech site thinks? Japan's large elderly population -- people who haven't even heard of Angry Birds, Gmail or Uber -- they're the ones sticking to their flip phones. Hardy, easy to use and cheaper than an iPhone. (If you need a primer on the phenomenon of gara-kei, you should probably read up on that here, but in short, it's how Japan's mobile phone market sped ahead with early technologies, then faltered when smartphone competition arrived.) So let's try using one. The best and newest feature phone available in Japan, no less. It's pitched as bringing the best smartphone features to the flip form factor. Is it better than a plain, old smartphone? Good lord, no.

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Rumor of a beefier HTC One M9 variant -- aka "M9+" -- had been floating around for some time, but we've remained skeptical until we came across the latest batch of leaks. Better yet, some of these are backed up by an official (poorly made but actually legit) Beijing launch invitation sent out earlier today; see for yourself after the break. What we're seeing is that the Duo Camera feature on the M8 is here to stay, and there's also the previously rumored front-side fingerprint reader which, sadly, reminds us of the home buttons on earlier Samsung devices.

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It's already been quite the week for the UK's mobile battleground, with Three UK's owner Hutchison Whampoa announcing its plan to acquire O2 for a cool £10 billion. And today, confirming recent rumours, BT is ready to re-enter mobile ten years after offloading its shares in O2 and getting out of the game. BT is pursuing its own, mammoth acquisition of EE, of course, but while it waits on regulatory approval, it's tapping EE's network under an MVNO agreement penned way back in 2013. BT is now part of the quad-play club, and like fellow members Virgin Media and TalkTalk, it's going after the price-conscious consumer with a trio of SIM-only plans.

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For as long as we can remember, BBC Three has been home to the animated comedy shows Family Guy and American Dad. The channel is being taken off the airwaves later this year, morphing into an online-only brand to save the Beeb some dough, and leaving a question mark over where the popular programmes would end up. And now we know the answer. Come autumn this year -- around the time BBC Three as we know it will cease to exist -- the 15th series of Family Guy will start airing exclusively on ITV2. As part of a multi-year deal with Twentieth Century Fox, ITV has also picked up the rights to new and existing seasons of American Dad, all four series of Family Guy spin-off The Cleveland Show, and Seth McFarlane's upcoming animated sitcom, Bordertown.

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The folks over at Oppo sure know how to tease. Well, that's my guess, anyway, based on the fact that several Chinese tech writers received the above photos from "anonymous" sources yesterday. This mysterious smartphone -- running on Oppo's ColorOS Android ROM -- features an almost edge-to-edge screen that's similar to what we've seen on the Sharp AQUOS Crystal series, except for the earpiece that Oppo decided to keep. This is backed up by an Oppo patent (dug up by GSM Arena) which shows the use of light refraction to give the illusion of a bezel-free screen. Yes, it's very much the same method as Sharp's. For those who are still skeptical, there's now a short video showing the same device in action, and you can check it out after the break. As for the price and availability, we're just as eager as you are to find out.

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BE8FFJ Digitally altered front page of Facebook social networking web site. Facebook; Facebook; website; web; site; display; fro

As if Facebook couldn't get any bigger, it's looking like The Social Network wants to start natively hosting content from news organizations. As The New York Times' sources tell it, Zuckerberg and Co. have been in talks with at least six media companies about publishing their content directly on the site -- no link-clicking required. The initial round of publications apparently includes The New York Times, Buzzfeed, National Geographic and our sister publication The Huffington Post. The reason? Websites take too long to load, and Facebook says that on mobile, the average eight-second page-load is too much. Of course, the outfit has a vested interest in mobile, hence it stepping in.

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Vessel

Want to know how the former CEO of Hulu would build a video service that could take on YouTube? You now have an easy way to find out: after a couple of months of invitation-only testing, Vessel is available to everyone. As promised, Jason Kilar's newly launched brainchild is a mix of ordinary, ad-supported free video with a premium tier. Pay $3 per month (you get a free year if you sign up in the first three days) and you'll both ditch ads as well as get early access to videos from a mix of internet stars and conventional media outlets, including A&E, Rhett & Link, Unbox Therapy and Warner Music Group. At least some content isn't affected by that time delay, though, so you'll still have some comedy, music videos and news to watch if you're not especially patient.

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Troll doll

It's not all sunshine and roses for Twitter's verified users. They may have more features, but that blue checkmark also makes them a bullseye for trolls, spammers and people who simply have a chip on their shoulder. This group should have an easier time having meaningful discussions from now on, though. Twitter has started giving verified iOS users a simple "quality filter" that lets them remove abusive remarks, duplicate content and suspicious accounts from their notifications. The social network already had tailored filtering, but this new option theoretically cleans things up with the flick of a switch.

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Amazon Prime Music stations on an iPhone

Dig Amazon Prime Music on your iPhone, but would rather not go sifting through songs or playlists when you just want to start streaming? You don't have to after today. At long last, Amazon has updated Prime Music's iOS app to bring in Prime Stations, ad-free radio feeds based on artists and genres, much like what you'd get if you paid for Pandora or Spotify (minus their larger catalogs, mind you). And if you do want more control, there are also personalized recommendations that suggest playlists and tracks based on what you've listened to in the past. While this probably won't get you to switch to Amazon's music service if you weren't already a fan, it will give you one more reason to keep that Prime subscription going.

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Federal Trade Commission building

You may have noticed that a lot of the Federal Trade Commission's regulation revolves around technology, whether it's device privacy or less-than-honest phone carriers. The agency certainly has. It recently created the Office of Technology Research and Investigation, a division that will study everything from connected cars to internet security. It's a much bigger effort than the FTC's previous Mobile Technology Unit, and should help shape policies on everything digital. There aren't any guarantees that it'll change the FTC's tune on big issues -- it already has an established track record on mobile, for instance. Still, don't be surprised if the Commission makes more informed decisions that protect you from scams and other shady business practices in emerging tech.

[Image credit: AP Photo/Alex Brandon]

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Even though Sling TV has kept Dish extremely busy over the past few months, the company hasn't forgotten about its core user base: the satellite service customers. As such, Dish let it be known today that it is bringing some new features to Anywhere, the companion app subscribers use to stream live or on-demand content, control DVR settings and more. The main highlight is a new feature that lets each user in a household set up their own profile, complete with a name and icon, among other things. Most importantly, though, this makes personalized content recommendations possible, since they are based on personal viewing habits -- rather than what everyone in your family watches.

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AMAJYJ Woman Outraged by the Mail  Woman; Outraged; by; the; Mail; woman; middle-aged; women; mailbox; mail; post; postal; readi

A lost or stolen mobile is bad enough, but things can get considerably worse if whoever picks it up sticks you with a mammoth bill for good measure. Smartphone kill switches or a simple screen lock can save you from such injustice, but hindsight isn't much comfort when your phone's already MIA. That's why all of the UK's major carriers have agreed to a new £100 "liability cap" that could protect you from the worst-case scenario of no phone, huge bill. The "voluntary agreement" -- drafted with government guidance and signed by EE, O2, Three, Vodafone and MVNO Virgin Media -- does come with fine print attached, however. You'll only be eligible for the liability cap, which limits your maximum outlay to £100, if you report your phone lost or stolen to your carrier and the police within 24 hours of it going missing. Contacting your mobile network so they can freeze your account should be top of your to-do list anyway, but is this added level of consumer protection really as awesome as everyone involved would have us believe?

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If you want to get a sense of where the real innovation in smartphones is happening, you need to look past the high-end flagships and toward the cheap stuff. And with the new Moto E, Motorola has crafted one of the most compelling budget smartphones yet. Starting at just $150, it's a tad more expensive than last year's $120 model, but it makes up for that with upgrades that make it a far more usable phone. Those include the addition of LTE, 8GB of built-in storage (twice as much as its predecessor) and a slightly bigger screen. (Moto's also offering a $120 3G-only version.) It may not sound all that exciting if you're waiting for the new Galaxy S6 or HTC One, but it's a solid choice for someone who doesn't need a powerful phone. And it's yet another sign that even the geekiest among us may soon be springing for inexpensive, contract-free phones.

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