It isn't quite the selfie-retweeted-'round-the-world, but that hasn't stopped the White House from answering questions about David Ortiz's impromptu snapshot with the president. Obama's senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer made an appearance on Face the Nation to talk about serious matters like the state of the Affordable Healthcare Act, but didn't shy away from host Bob Schieffer's questions about the above picture (those start around the 5:47 mark). Pfeiffer said that the president didn't know anything about Samsung's connection with Big Papi, and that whenever someone is using the president to promote a product, that's concern for the White House's counsel. On the topic of legal action, Pfeiffer said that the while the White House has spoken with Samsung, he'd rather leave the outcome of that conversation between the lawyers. "Maybe this will be the end of all selfies," he said. We can only hope.

[Image credit: David Ortiz, Twitter]

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Windows in the Car

Microsoft has a home in the automotive world, but it doesn't have a way to bring a phone's interface to your car's infotainment system -- there's no Windows Phone equivalent to Apple's CarPlay. That might change before long, though. The software giant used a presentation at this week's Build conference to show off Windows in the Car, a conceptual platform that would adapt Windows Phone's apps and basic functions to in-vehicle interfaces. Not surprisingly, the MirrorLink-based tech looks like a cross between Microsoft's mobile and desktop interfaces; while you're running mobile apps, they get more on-screen buttons than usual to help you complete tasks faster and keep your eyes on the road. The software also focuses more on voice commands (Cortana is mentioned as a good fit), and it could eventually restrict complex app functions while you're driving. You might not get to add music to a playlist until you're parked, for instance.

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Nokia Lumia 630

Windows Phone 8.1 includes many, many upgrades, not the least of which is Miracast media sharing; it should be easier than ever to send content to your TV and other gadgets. However, it's now very likely that you'll have to upgrade to a newer phone to get that convenience -- Microsoft's Joe Belfiore says that most existing Windows Phone 8 devices can't handle Miracast. A recent flagship like the Lumia 1520 might cut the mustard, but the executive isn't certain that it will work. The limitations are no doubt unfortunate if you were hoping to unlock Miracast through a software update, but they'll at least give you a good excuse to upgrade an older handset.

Update: While Belfiore's statements are still noteworthy for how they apply to the larger ecosystem, Nokia has mentioned that the Lumia 1520, 930 and Icon will support Miracast.

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Are your Twitter friends jumping down your throat for flooding them with emojis? Well, you might want to let off some emoji-filled steam on Yelp instead, because the business directory app now lets users search for establishments with the popular ideograms. Yes, it's just what it sounds like -- on mobile, the app parses any emoji you put in the search box (even if it's that smiling turd icon, as you can see after the break) and returns relevant results.

It's fun, but unless you've memorized the symbols on your phone or tablet, it's not any more convenient or faster than typing in words. So, if you're scratching your head wondering why Yelp's developers would even bother adding the feature, the answer is, well, they don't exactly have a reason. A spokesperson told us that the app's engineers came up with the crazy idea during a recent company hackathon, and guess what? Yelp's higher-ups ended up loving it so much, they officially added it to the app.

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Sony Xperia Z1

Frustrated that you've had to sign up to T-Mobile just to pick up an Xperia Z1 variant with completely US-native LTE? That won't be a problem after this week. Sony has released an unlocked version of the Z1 that can take advantage of 4G speeds on AT&T, T-Mobile and their virtual network partners. The flagship Android phone should also support LTE on bigger Canadian carriers, if you're inclined to travel. You won't get anything else special for the $620 you'll spend on the unlocked model, but it may scratch the itch if you're unwilling to wait for stateside releases of newer hardware like the Z2 or Z1 Compact.

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You trust your friends for restaurant recommendations, so why not apps as well? That's the idea behind Google Play's new "People" section, which attempts to leverage Google+ as a way to show which apps your friends like enough to award a +1 (you'll be able to see their ratings on those apps too). And it's not just restricted to your buddies either; the section will suggest other folks on G+ that you should follow to get even more app recommendations. The update should have rolled out to your Android handheld by now, but you can view the same reviews and ratings under the "From Familiar Faces" heading on the web store as well.

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The 1 percent have long had smartphones from Porsche and Vertu to quench their high-end thirst, but when it comes to dual-SIM handsets, the elite have had to settle for something a little more ordinary. For those in need, Gresso created Azimuth, the first dual-SIM luxury handset. Starting at $2,000, the phone is made of titanium, with both the keys and logo crafted out of 18K or white gold. Since appearances are all that matter, you're getting some pretty low-end specs under the hood, including 2GB of "internal memory," a 1.3-megapixel camera, Bluetooth 2.0 and a tiny 1,100mAh battery. To put things in perspective, Samsung's Galaxy S5 starts with 16GB of built-in storage, a 16-megapixel camera and a 2,800mAh battery. The difference being, anyone can buy an S5. Only 999 Azimuth's will be made, because no one who's anyone wants a phone 1,000 people can own.

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Verizon often takes its sweet time getting the latest phones, and Samsung's new alpha dog, the Galaxy S5, is no exception -- AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint all nabbed it first. However, at least Big Red's sweetening the pot on the 5.1-inch, Full HD, Snapdragon 801-equipped handset. While it's now on pre-order at $200 for a two year deal or $600 sans contract, you can get a second GS5 (or other select models) for "free." The only catch is that you'll need to sign up for another two-year plan, so the phone is essentially half-price with two contracts. Still, you'd be able to chuckle at your Windows Phone-using pals, who'd pay the same price for essentially last year's model.

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With Windows Phone 8.1 now free, we may start seeing more announcements like this: Verizon's just put the Samsung ATIV SE handset up for pre-order. As we saw in an earlier leak, it's essentially a high-spec Galaxy S4 with Windows Phone 8 (not 8.1) instead of Android. Though that's been superceded by the Galaxy S5 on Android, the internals are still not too shabby, especially for a WP8 handset: a 2.3GHz Snapdragon 800 quad-core CPU, LTE, 2GB of RAM, a 16 13-megapixel camera and a 2,600mAh battery. Naturally, Samsung's also thrown in its own goodies whether you want them or not -- though some, like the TV remote control app, actually look useful. Verizon says it'll ship them out by April 12th at the latest and, if you go for one at $200 on a two-year contract, you'll even get a second for free.

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When it comes to outlandish technology on phones, it's the companies that make you go "what, them?" that are on the cutting edge. TAG Heuer (what, them?) is launching the Vertu-troubling Meridiist Infinite with something the company is calling a perpetual power reserve. In fact, the company is merely harnessing Wysips' transparent solar panel, which shoves a clear photovoltaic cell between the glass and LCD elements of the display. It'll automatically begin trickle-charging your phone as soon as the screen is exposed to natural and some artificial light with at least enough power to maintain the battery level in standby mode. The company is knocking out 1,911 units of the Meridiist Infinite, but considering that TAG charges nearly $7,000 for a FroYo device, you'd probably prefer to buy a solar panel for your actual house.

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Siri

Apple has sort-of-confirmed that it recently snapped up another small company, called Novauris. The firm specializes in speech recognition and has historical ties to the core technology and patents underpinning Siri. TechCrunch reports that Novauris' experts are already working inside Apple to improve its voice assistant, but no one really knows exactly what they're up to. One of Novauris's big strengths has been locally processed recognition, which doesn't rely on distant servers, so it's possible that Apple wants Siri to accomplish more without a data connection. (Apple's current Siri partner, Nuance, can also do offline processing, but Apple hasn't been able to bring that technology in-house.) We're just speculating, of course, but this is a function that no voice assistant has really mastered so far (although others are definitely working on it), and it's even more important now that iOS is getting into the car.

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T-Mobile head honcho John Legere's assuring its BlackBerry-toting subscribers they've got nothing to worry about despite the companies' falling out. But, just in case they are worried (or just want to try other platforms), he's also offering them a $100 credit toward any device. Legere made the announcement in an open letter, where he also reminded folks they can also open a new T-Mobile line for a BlackBerry if they bring their own unlocked device.

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Sprint Framily plan offer

T-Mobile may have stolen the spotlight earlier this year by paying customers to switch, but it looks like Sprint is cooking up a similar deal in response. An S4GRU leak has revealed a Sprint promo that will pay you to switch from a competitor to the carrier's Framily plan between April 4th and May 8th. Much like T-Mobile's offer, you'll get up to $350 to cover early termination fees at the provider you're leaving; you'll also get up to $300 in service credit if you trade in your old phone at the same time. While we doubt that the month-long campaign will do much to reverse Sprint's losses, it might just give fence-sitters a stronger incentive to change networks.

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Microsoft's version of Office for iPad has apparently been a rousing success. So much so, that the company's taken to Twitter to boast that the productivity suite has topped 12 million downloads. In a week. As the Seattle Times points out, though, Redmond hasn't said how many Office 365 subscriptions (which are required to create and edit documents) have been sold alongside the free, document-view-only downloads. We reached out to Microsoft for clarification, and, well, weren't given much. A spokesperson told us that the company is extremely pleased with the interest that Office has gotten so far, but that it has no additional details to share. So, there's that.

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Project Ara has only exploded in prominence since Google unloaded Motorola earlier this year, and now we're getting yet another peek at the work in progress. The Phonebloks team just released a video showing off the progress Google and its partners have made on those modular smartphones, and things are coming along just as quick as you'd expect.

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