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4 days ago

Farming Simulator 18 heading to Android on June 6

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As is now customary, the new version of Farming Simulator for mobile drops in alternate years to the desktop and console. Farming Simulator 18 is now official and will arrive on Android alongside iOS, PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS on June 6.

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4 days ago

LeEco is set to lay off over 85% of its U.S. workforce [Update]

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LeEco is getting ready to lay off a majority of its U.S. workforce following exec reshuffle.

Update: LeEco announced that it will lay off 325 employees in the U.S., citing a lack of funding. The company will now focus on delivering content to Chinese-speaking households in the U.S. In a statement, LeEco said:

The capital we do have will have to be highly focused resulting in a significant restructuring and streamlining of our business, operations and workforce. This will impact approximately 325 people in the U.S.

Our goal is to continue to gain momentum. In the past few months, we have gained a large foothold in Chinese-speaking households in the U.S. by offering tailor-made products and content for this community. We believe this provides us an opportunity to build on our strengths and grow from there.

Original story follows:

LeEco's debut in the U.S. didn't go according to plan, and it looks like the company is gearing up for a round of massive layoffs. Earlier this week, LeEco founder Jia Yueting announced he would step down as CEO of Leshi Internet Information & Technology Corp Beijing, the company's publicly listed unit.

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4 days ago

Xiaomi Mi Max 2 may land in India on July 23

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Xiaomi's supersized Mi Max 2 could make its debut in India on July 23.

The Mi Max turned out to be one of Xiaomi's best phones of 2016, and the company is launching its successor in China tomorrow. According to a tweet sent out by Xiaomi India head Manu Kumar Jain, the Mi Max 2 is coming to India on July 23:

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4 days ago

Best Phones in India

Update, May 2017: The Galaxy S8+ is now our top pick for the best phone in India. The Pixel is still a great phone, but the S8+ offers much more for its asking price.

Best overall

Samsung Galaxy S8+

See at Flipkart

The Galaxy S8+ is Samsung's most ambitious phone yet. Its defining feature — the bezel-less Infinity Display — is nothing short of incredible. The glass panel curves on all sides and merges seamlessly with the metal frame, creating a design aesthetic that's unmatched.

The lack of bezels has allowed Samsung to fit a 6.2-inch display in a smaller chassis, making it easier to use. The QHD Super AMOLED panel sets the bar for smartphone displays, offering deep blacks and sharp colors.

Samsung hasn't cut corners anywhere else — the 12MP camera is class-leading in its own right, the phone retains its IP68 dust and water resistance, you get 64GB of internal storage, and there's a microSD slot.

Under the hood, you'll find the Exynos 8895, a chipset built on Samsung's latest 10nm manufacturing node. There's also 4GB of RAM, Bluetooth 5.0, USB-C, an iris scanner, and a 3500mAh battery that'll last you through the day.

Bottom line: Right now, there isn't a phone that offers quite as much as the Galaxy S8+.

One more thing: There are three color options of the S8+ available in India: Midnight Black, Coral Blue, and Maple Gold. The latter two variants are quite striking.

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4 days ago

You can now use Google Opinion Rewards to score Play Store credit in India, Singapore, and Turkey

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Get Play Store credit by taking part in surveys.

Google Opinion Rewards is now live in India, Singapore, and Turkey, allowing customers from these markets to participate in surveys to get Play Store credit.

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4 days ago

Motorola's first phone with dual rear cameras is the Moto G5S Plus

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Motorola is bringing dual rear cameras to the mid-range segment.

It looks like dual rear cameras will be the defining trend this year. We've already seen Xiaomi roll out the feature in the Mi 6, and OnePlus is rumored to offer a dual-camera setup in the OnePlus 5. Motorola is jumping on the bandwagon, with the Moto G5S Plus set to become the first phone from the manufacturer to sport two cameras at the back.

Leaked renders by Gear India reveal a desing that's identical to what we've seen yesterday with the Moto G5S, albeit with two cameras at the back. We don't know if Motorola will resort to a similar implementation as Huawei — offering a monochrome sensor paired with an RGB lens — or if it'll use the secondary sensor as a telephoto lens like the Mi 6.

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4 days ago

Give your friends a reason to snap with Snapchat's custom stories

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Snapchat's new feature isn't a killer one, but it will certainly give its existing users another reason to keep using it.

A new Snapchat feature could help you when encouraging your friends to at least install the Snapchat app for the weekend. Snap has introduced custom Stories, which are designed to help friends and family groups collectively snap even the most mundane of events on the fly.

Custom Stories are easy to set up and don't require that much planning beforehand. Tap the new Create Story icon in the top-right corner of the main Stories screen. Type in a name for the event, and then invite your friends. You can extend the invitation to anyone you'd like to participate in the as-it-happens festivities, regardless of their location. The new feature isn't geofenced. You can also invite nearby Snapchat users to participate if it's, say, a public event, like a high school prom or college graduation. Snapchat will create a one-block geofence around your current location.

Custom Stories will stay up on the main Stories page for as long as they are live, or until no one contributes for 24 hours. Each user is limited to three custom Stories at a time.

Is this a killer feature that will bring back hoards of budding Snapchat users? Not likely. It's hard to ignore Snapchat's declining numbers, especially when Instagram has all but run rampant with its own story-making features. But in the realm of mobile-first apps, it's encouraging to see social networks attempting to become more of an extension of our social lives rather than a replacement.

The update is slowly rolling out to Snapchat users right now. If you don't see it in the Google Play Store just yet, hang tight.

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5 days ago

Amazon Fire Tablet 7 vs. Fire Tablet Kids Edition: Which should I buy?

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You want to get your youngsters an Amazon Fire Tablet, but which version is right for you?

The Amazon Fire Tablet 7 is a great buy at $50, especially for the kids. It's capable enough to keep them entertained while not costing enough to pull your hair out if it gets accidentally destroyed. You can also get all the (non-Google) major content services on there as well as a dedicated kids mode to keep those little fingers from buying a new laptop on your Amazon account.

But, when you go to buy, there's both a "regular" 7-inch and a Kids Edition, which now also has an 8-inch version. Underneath they're both regular Amazon Fire tablets. So what's the difference and which should you buy?

Let's break it down.

Updated May 23 2017 to reflect the updated versions of the Fire tablet.

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5 days ago

Ikea's cheap smart lightbulbs will soon support Google Home and Amazon Alexa

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Ikea is a huge name in inexpensive home furnishing, but its influence is extending to the smart home space, too.

When Ikea gets into a market, competitors stand up and notice. In the case of smart home tech, the company began offering wireless charging solutions built into desks and lights, it allowed for the average consumer to see the magical technology without going to a carrier store or tech retailer.

Ikea's smart lighting solution, Trådfri, similarly undercuts much of the competition, including popular incumbents like Philips and LIFX, without sacrificing quality and options. The Trådfri suite includes regular bulbs, a dimmer, and a smart mirror light — priced for the average home.

Ikea is no stranger to undercutting the home furnishing market.

And while the nascent solution has always supported Android through an app, a press release issued in Swedish this week says that Trådfri will soon support Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit (via The Verge), which will add a comprehensive voice component to the ecosystem.

It's coming later this summer, so you won't need to wait too long, if you've already invested in the products. Or you could just wait until Ikea decides to take on another aspect of the smart home, because it's definitely coming.

See at Ikea

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5 days ago

Huawei gets serious about laptops with new MateBook devices

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MateBook E

MateBook E takes on the Surface, while MateBooks X and D go after Apple's MacBook line.

So, Huawei makes laptops now. Sure, it's dabbled in tablets in the past, and even released a single 2-in-1 Windows convertible last year, in the form of the original MateBook. But today Huawei showed just how serious it is about making real, actual computers, with the launch of three new MateBook devices at an event in Berlin, Germany. None of them runs Android, but the new product line demonstrates Huawei's growth

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5 days ago

Google finally matching in-store purchases to online activity, vastly raising value of ads

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Keeping track of in-store purchases is the final step of measuring effectiveness of online ads.

Google is finally figuring out how to close the most precious link in the loop of online advertising: knowing when someone makes an in-store purchase in response to an online ad. Google has announced that it will begin using data from billions of credit and debit card transactions, matching the data to its anonymized profiles of Google users to whom it serves ads online.

By guaranteeing that a specific in-store purchase was made by a specific person to whom an ad was shown, Google could potentially be able to sell that information to advertisers to show the effectiveness of Google ads. That would put Google considerably ahead of other advertising systems, including the often loosely targeted TV advertisements that claim such a large portion of today's advertising spending.

According to Google, through a complex set of algorithms it has been able to process through these billions of transactions for behaviors that can link individual purchase amounts with the specific people who most likely made the purchase based on other data Google has related to them. Google of course collects an often-surprising amount of data that's tied to each individual person with a Google account — including phone location, app usage, online payments, Google searches, browsing history and more.

Google can now link individual purchase amounts with specific people who have Google accounts.

Correlating this own-collected data with a new trove of in-store transactions that it previously didn't have access to, Google is able to create a profile and match the two sets together. Google naturally explains that it never sells personally identifiable information to advertisers, and each user is identified instead through a random string of numbers ... though privacy advocates will argue that this correlation of metadata is just as good as (if not better than) knowing someone's actual identity.

Google is not alone in its quest to tie in-store purchases to online advertising — knowing exactly who made a purchase, even in a store, relating to the display of an online ad is incredibly valuable. Because of this, we don't have a great explanation from Google on how exactly it is acquiring such a large amount of data or how it's being processed to determine who is making each purchase.

This is the future of advertising, whether it's Google or some other company putting the data together is sort of irrelevant at this point.

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5 days ago

Best Third Party Watch Bands for Moto 360 (2015)

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Best third party watch bands for the Moto 360

Don't like that plain leather band that you got with your Moto 360? Strap on one of these!

Updated May 2017: These are still the best third-party bands for the Moto 360.

The Moto 360 (2015) comes with a pretty nice leather band on its own, but if you're looking to give it an upgrade — or just a new style — we've rounded up some of the best third-party watch straps for your strapping smartwatch!

Important Note: Make sure you know the size of band you will need for your Moto 360! The Moto 360 2nd Gen comes in three different sizes that require three different watch band widths.

  • Men's 42mm case uses a 20 millimeter band.
  • Men's 46mm case uses a 22 millimeter band.
  • Women's 42mm case uses a 16 milimeter band.

With that in mind, we have rounded up some of the best third party wristbands for the Moto 360 that we could find. We divided them up into the material they're made of, so you can focus on the type you really want.

Leather

We know that the Moto 360 already comes with a leather band, but that doesn't mean you don't want a different one. Whether you want a different color, a different thickness, or just one that you think looks nicer, leather bands are definitely worth checking out.

MOTONG genuine leather band

MOTONG genuine leather band

This leather band is a little more defined than the one that ships with the Moto 360. The stitching along the sides and the two-toned wash really makes this band pop when it's on your wrist.

It only comes in the one size (17.5cm) so it may potentially feel too tight or too loose on your wrist. The good thing about leather is it's easy enough to poke an extra hole or two to make sure you get the right fit.

See at Amazon


Hadley-Roma genuine leather strap

If you want a band that stands out a little more than the stock Moto 360 leather band, Hadley-Roma's band has a really nice look to it. The leather is worked to look slightly worn and the stitching along the band is very contrasted to give the band a defined look.

It also comes treated with a water-resistant coating that is useful to help prevent sweat and light amounts of rain from wrecking the leather.

See at Amazon


Sport

Typically made out of silicone, sport bands are ideal for people who are very active. The bands are waterproof and very tear-resistant.

VIMVIP silicone sports watch band

This is a pretty typical sports band that's made out of silicone, so you can rest assured that your sweat won't ruin it, which makes it perfect for working out.

The band itself doesn't look like anything special, but it does have the added bonus of an inside texture. This means the band doesn't wriggle around and can still allow air to move in between your skin and the watch.

See at Amazon


Lwsengme silicone band

If you want a sports band that will stick out from the crowd, look no further than the Lwsengme silicone band.

Its textured silicone gives it the look and feel of a high-end watch strap at a fraction of the price. Its stainless steel clasp and quick release system will make sure you can swap this out anytime you need. Lwsengme silicone bands comes in a few different color combinations, and the holes in the band aren't just for securing the watch to your wrist — they also increase air flow allowing you to wear the band longer without risk of skin irritation.

See at Amazon


Barton Quick Release soft rubber band

As mentioned by the user "tlaswell" in the comments below, Barton's quick release band is perfect for people looking to change bands often.

Barton's soft rubber band has a slightly textured inside, meaning air can flow between your skin and the band providing extra comfort for extend periods of use. The rubber is durable and washable, so you never have to worry about keeping it looking clean.

Barton's quick release comes in a variety of colors, such as Black, White, Slate Gray, Aqua Blue, and more. The bands are also available in all the Moto 360 sizes —16mm, 20mm, and 22mm — so you can find the perfect fit for your Moto 360.

See at Amazon

Metal

Metal bands are super durable and very stylish. An excellent way to make your Moto 360 look high-end and polished.

GOOQ stainless steel metal band

A metal watch band doesn't always have to mean links. GOOQ's watch band is made from a stainless steel mesh, which gives it a neat textured look and feel. The great thing about the mesh is arm hair doesn't get pinched inside it, which makes moving the watch around on your wrist much more comfortable.

The clasp is also made of stainless steel which makes this whole band pretty rust-resistant. The durability of the metal will also help it from showing any wear and tear.

See at Amazon


Fitian stainless steel band

The Fitian's metal band we've featured here is your more classic metal band. It's comprised of stainless steel links and connected by two spring pins that are easy to install. This is your classic metal band that you just can't go wrong with.

See at Amazon


MODE Bands

MODE band

MODE bands were just released from Google and they get rid of the hassle of dealing with those tiny pins all the time. They might just be the easiest bands you have ever installed! This neat video on the MODE site, shows you just how simple clipping one of these to you Moto 360 actually is.

To use them all you have to do is replace the original pin that is on your Moto 360 and then add the MODE pin. From there it's just a matter of sliding your MODE band over the pin, and locking it shut!

Hadley Roma is the only company making the MODE bands right now, and they start around $50. Don't forget, want size band you will need.

See at Google

Moto 360 (2015)

Motorola Best Buy

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5 days ago

You won't empty your wallet for studio-grade headphones with the Status Audio HD One's at $30

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Our friends at Thrifter are back again, this time bringing you studio-grade headphones for much less!

Wireless headphones have grown in popularity lately, but wired headphones are still invaluable for many since they don't need to be charged, offer a more reliable connection and more. Over-the-ear headphones can range in price from around $10 to over $300, depending what you are looking for. If quality is the main concern for you, but you don't want to go broke buying a new set of headphones, we've got just the deal for you. Status Audio, a company that specializes in high-quality affordable headphones, is currently offering its HD One wired headphones for just $29.92 with coupon code THRFTR32.

So, you've never heard of Status Audio? Don't worry, these headphones have a 4.3 out of 5-star rating at Amazon with over 700 reviews, and the company's other headphones, the CB-1, maintain a 4.8 out of 5-star rating with over 250 reviews. With the HD One's you'll get:

  • THE STATUS AUDIO ADVANTAGE – No logos, no celebrities, just sound. Join the 100,000+ customers enjoying premium sounding, beautifully constructed headphones at a fraction of the price of the big name competition.
  • SLEEK AND MINIMAL – Prefer not to be a walking billboard? The HD One headphones are 100% free of logos and branding, and are coated in a rubberized matte finish that doesn't show fingerprints or reflect light. Perfect for a minimal look or for customizing.
  • STUDIO GRADE – 40mm drivers deliver an exciting sound signature that responds to all genres of music. Deep, articulated bass with a sizzling high end. Exceptional detail and clarity throughout the entire frequency spectrum. This is the big, crisp sound you've been looking for.
  • FIT AND FINISH – On-ear design that is lightweight and comfortable for long-term use. A unique foldable design collapses into a small form factor, ideal for travel and commuting. Substantial, yet highly portable, these are your go-to headphones for your morning commute and throughout the day.

You don't have to take our word for it that you'll be impressed with the quality of these, though. Try them for yourself now for just $29.92, which happens to be the best price we've tracked on them, and let your ears show you just how good they are.

See at Amazon

For more great deals be sure to check out our friends at Thrifter now!

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5 days ago

Google's $5000 Jamboard collaborative whiteboard is now available in the U.S.

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This is the future of office collaboration — but it'll cost you.

Google's enterprise-focused smart whiteboard, called the Jamboard, is now available for those in the U.S. who are ready to increase collaboration and move beyond smelly dry erase markers. The Jamboard at its core is a 55-inch 4K touchscreen panel powered by an NVIDIA Jetson TX1 board, focused on super-fast touch response with low-latency stylus input as well.

The Jamboard hooks into G Suite accounts to pull in files and documents from Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides, letting everyone work and draw together at the same time. Everything is saved constantly to the cloud, so you can pull in members to collaborate remotely, or move between Jamboards and computers seamlessly.

The Jamboard is a smooth $4999 to buy, but that's really just the starting price. If you want to use it on a rolling stand rather than mounting it on a wall, that'll set you back another $1199 (or $1349 after September 30). There's also a yearly service fee, which comes in at $300 if you sign up early (again, before September 30) or $600 per year thereafter. That's of course above and beyond the fees you're paying for your G Suite enterprise app platform.

$5000 is a small price to pay if it dramatically improves collaboration at work.

That's a whole lot of money when looking at it from the point of view of an individual, but for even a small business that could be just a drop in the bucket of your yearly technology budget. It only takes a couple minutes of video from Google to show just how much something like the Jamboard could improve collaboration by removing the friction of moving data between platforms and having it visualized in a room.

You'll have to be in the U.S. to buy a Jamboard today, but it'll be coming to the UK and Canada this summer with an expansion further in the coming months.

Google Hardware

Google Wifi:

Google Amazon

Google Home:

Google Best Buy

Chromecast Ultra:

Google Best Buy

img { width: 100%; height: auto; } .devicebox ul { display: table; margin: 0 0 10px; width: 100%; } .devicebox ul li { background: #f7f7f7; margin: 2px 0; padding: 4px 15px; } .devicebox ul li:hover { background: #fff; } .devicebox ul li:before { display: none; } .devicebox p ~ p { line-height: 1.25; } .devicebox p:first-of-type + p { padding: 15px; } .devicebox a.buy-link { border-radius: 5px; display: inline-block; font: 14px/31px "Proxima Nova Extrabld",Helvetica,Arial,sans-serif; text-align: center; } .devicebox a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:link, .devicebox a.buy-link:active, .devicebox a.buy-link:visited { background: #37B5D7; color: #FFF; } .devicebox a.buy-link:hover { background: #2694B2; text-decoration: none; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { content: "\e61e"; font: 40px/0 "ac_iconset" !important; margin: 0 3px 0 -8px; vertical-align: middle; } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { /* div:not(.columns-3) excludes help menu content */ .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p img, .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .article-body-wrap > div:not(.columns-3) > *:first-child:not(.sticky-wrapper) .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 660px) { .devicebox h3 { text-align: center; } .devicebox ul, .devicebox p { display: block; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 660px) { .devicebox { padding: 20px 0 25px; } .devicebox .video { float: left; margin: 0 30px 0 0; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox h3 + p { bottom: 37px; display: block; overflow: hidden; position: absolute; top: 60px; width: calc(100% - 375px); } .devicebox p img, .devicebox p > img { position: absolute; top: 50%; transform: translateY(-50%); } .devicebox p:nth-child(n+3), .devicebox ul { box-sizing: border-box; margin-left: calc(100% - 345px); width: 340px; } .devicebox p.list-head { margin-top: -5px; } } @media all and (min-width: 1025px), all and (max-width: 800px) and (min-width: 661px), all and (max-width: 500px) { /* 2x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(even) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:last-of-type:nth-of-type(odd) { width: 100%; } } @media all and (max-width: 1024px) and (min-width: 801px), all and (max-width: 659px) and (min-width: 501px) { /* 3x buy buttons */ .devicebox a.buy-link { width: calc(100%/3 - 10px/3); margin: 0 5px 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-of-type(3n):not(:nth-last-of-type(2)) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:only-child { width: 100%; margin: 0 0 5px 0; } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1), .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link { width: calc(50% - 2.5px); } .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(2):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link, .devicebox a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(4):nth-of-type(3n+1) ~ a.buy-link:nth-last-of-type(odd) { margin: 0 0 5px 0; } } @media all and (max-width: 800px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } } @media all and (max-width: 500px) { .devicebox { margin: 0 0 30px; max-width: none; width: auto; } .devicebox a.buy-link:before { display: none; } } .page-admin .devicebox {max-width: 350px;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe {position: relative; height: 0; padding-bottom: 56.9%;} .page-admin .devicebox .video_iframe iframe {width: 100%; height: 100%; position: absolute;} /*-->*/ /*-->*/ /*-->*/

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5 days ago

Google announces the fourth class of its Launchpad Accelerator program

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Startups from a variety of regions will convene later this summer at Google's headquarters in San Francisco.

Google's Launchpad Accelerator program is a boon for those smaller startups and development teams in parts of the world where Silicon Valley doesn't have as much reach. The company has announced that it's officially solidified its fourth-round roster to learn and work alongside a bevy of Google mentors in its San Francisco offices later this summer. Beginning July 17, Google will assist the Launchpad Accelerator participants from various parts of the world — including Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America — in learning about its products and how to best integrate them into their respective applications.

If you're curious about who will be in the trenches, there's a full list of participating startups on display in the official blogpost and you can download some of their apps from the Play Store right now. Some of the Launchpad Accelerator apps include Piggipo, an app that helps people in Thailand manage and monitor their credit spending; GAMEE, a social gaming app from the Czech Republic; and Paystack, which helps set up businesses in Africa to accept digital payments.

After the two-week period, participants will receive equity-free support and credits for Google's various products. They'll also continue to work closely with the company once they return back to their home country for six months.

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