This mysterious patent may mean Microsoft is making a sick smartphone

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The last time Microsoft tried releasing a phone, it didn’t go so well. Even so, rumors have been circulating for months about the possibility of a new phone from the company, the Surface Phone, which could actually be awesome. 

Thursday, the World Intellectual Property Organization granted Microsoft a mysterious patent. The patent, filed in June, contains sketches and descriptions of what such a phone might look like. 

The patent is for a “self-regulating hinge,” a hinge that could grant additional flexibility to a dual-screened device, similar to Lenovo Yoga, but with screens on both parts. Read more…

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Learn how to build advanced voice and chatbot interfaces plus more with these online courses

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There’s a lot we don’t know about the future, but it’s a pretty good bet that many of our systems and infrastructure will be automated. From thermostats to speakers to robot butlers, the Utopian version of Terminator 2 is almost becoming a reality. And the best part is, you don’t have to be a fancy scientist to take advantage of this new era. 

Familiarize yourself with all the necessary skills with the Voice, Chat, and Vision Automation Bundle. This five-course bundle teaches you enough to hit the ground running and become an automation machine. So, what does it include? Read more…

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You'll never get lost in an airport again with Apple Maps' indoor mapping

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Every editorial product is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our journalism.

Raise your hand if you remember what a joke Apple Maps was when it launched? It was a complete disaster.

These days, Apple Maps isn’t as embarrassing and actually pretty feature-packed. And in some ways it’s ahead of Google Maps (yeah, I can’t believe it either). Case in point: indoor mapping for airports and shopping malls.

Mapping the outside world isn’t easy, but compared to indoor mapping, it’s a piece of cake.  Read more…

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How cheap Fire TV devices power Amazon's streaming war

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Every editorial product is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our journalism.

If you did some online shopping this holiday season, chances are you bought something from Amazon. And if you did, you certainly saw a splash ad for the company’s own devices, including one for the Fire TV Stick, which was slashed from the regular $39.99 to just $24.99.

I know I did. And when I saw the ad for the 17th or 18th time, even though I wasn’t planning to buy the Stick (I already had a first-gen device, which lacks Alexa integration), I found myself clicking “Add to Cart.” Read more…

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The internet companies working to save net neutrality

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The government didn’t completely kill net neutrality, as long as companies that offer our internet access enforce its principles. 

Some probably won’t. Comcast, America’s most-hated company, has hinted at creating “fast lanes” where internet companies would have to pay for better access to the network. 

But other internet service providers (ISPs) were founded, at least in part, on the principle of offering a fairer system. And after Thursday’s ruling, that promise remains. 

“Net Neutrality lives on,” reads an email from Sonic on Thursday. No, it’s not from the hedgehog or the drive-in. Sonic is an internet service and phone provider available in more than 125 cities in California, and it was sharing with its about 100,000 customers that it “will remain committed to the principles of net neutrality.” Read more…

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We need to lay off the overzealous hero-worship of Elon Musk

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After a year of making headlines for groundbreaking achievements and troubling controversies, it’s become nearly impossible to avoid the cult of personality surrounding Elon Musk

The multi-hyphenate CEO billionaire is undeniably one of the most visible figures in the modern world. He leads multiple companies that could potentially shape society’s future; he’s a prime example of capitalism’s potential after building his own fortune by betting on his hard work and genius; and he maintains a (seemingly) open public persona, interacting with fans and shareholders alike on Twitter in a cool, relatable voice fluent in the eccentric vocabulary of the internet.  Read more…

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