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How to use external storage to expand unexpandable Android phones

The HTC One? Nice phone, no question. But it's lacking a key feature: a microSD expansion slot.

That's a bummer, as expandability has long been one of the big advantages of an Android phone over an iPhone. (The other is a removable battery, which the One also lacks, but that's a topic for another day.) Does that mean owners of slotless Android phones like this one are stuck with a fixed amount of storage?

Not necessarily. Thanks to a USB specification called USB On-the-Go (OTG for short), you can add more storage just by plugging in a … Read more

Review: FlashChat is a photo-based chat platform for iOS

FlashChat allows you to send pictures and messages quickly through an open chat channel on your iPhone, using the contacts list you already have and a public directory of users to connect you. The result is a proprietary replacement for your SMS app, but one that requires people to have the same app installed. While there are some benefits of using this instead of SMS, including the cost (FlashChat is free!), the app doesn't offer quite enough new features to warrant complete replacement of your other messaging apps.

Installation and setup for FlashChat is fairly straightforward. Create an account … Read more

Mom-centric flash-sale site Zulily files for $100M IPO

Zulily.com, the flash-sale retailer focused squarely on Net-savvy moms, filed its paperwork Tuesday to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering.

The $100 million figure is a placeholder amount, the company said, also noting that Goldman Sachs Group, Bank of America, and Citigroup are managing the sale. Zulily hopes to list on the Nasdaq under the symbol ZU.

Zulily declined an interview request on the filing due legal constraints during the so-called "quiet period," which takes place after the S-1 is filed but before the SEC staff declares it effective.

Seattle-based Zulily.com, launched … Read more

Review: USB Flash Drive helps you move files to and from your iOS device

USB Flash Drive is designed to move files between your iOS device and PC or Mac through iTunes. Because of the prevalence of cloud storage tools and wireless transfers, however, the number of added steps necessary to do so makes the app feel dated and overly complicated, even with the carefully written instructions provided by the developers.

When you open USB Flash Drive there is nothing onscreen. You can tap the settings menu and "How to Connect" to find a short tutorial but there are a number of steps involved, including plugging in your device, opening iTunes, moving … Read more

Firefox to deactivate most plug-ins by default

Mozilla has dealt another blow to those who want to use plug-ins to extend the browser's capabilities. It's keeping all but Flash Player deactivated by default in a version of Firefox now under development.

With the click-to-run plug-in feature, announced in January, plug-ins such as Silverlight and QuickTime won't run unless the user authorizes it when a Web page using them loads. That feature now is built into the Aurora version of Firefox that will grow into the final release in coming weeks. The plug-in hurdle doesn't apply to Adobe Systems' Flash Player, by far the … Read more

Google begins barring browser plug-ins from Chrome

In case it wasn't clear before, a Google decision has shown the writing is on the wall for plug-ins such as Java and Silverlight that for years have been used to extend what browsers can do.

Starting in January 2014, Google will ban all but the most widely used browser plug-ins in favor of programming methods that use standards built directly into the Web, Chrome security engineer Justin Schuh announced in a blog post Monday. And those plug-ins will be barred "over the coming year," he said.

Most Chrome plug-ins (not to be confused with the lighter-weight … Read more

Rogue Safari gives extra oomph to your dSLR's pop-up flash (hands-on)

After spending hundreds of dollars on a new digital SLR, the last thing most people want to do is lay out more money for accessories.

Unfortunately, your dSLR's pop-up flash isn't good for much beyond lighting (or blinding) nearby subjects with a blast of direct light; little use to those who bought a camera with a kit lens that zooms past 100mm.

The Rogue Safari from ExpoImaging inexpensively addresses that problem by taking the available light from your pop-up flash and throws it beyond its normal range.

Designed for entry-level and midrange Canon APS-C and Nikon DX digital … Read more

The 404 1,345: Where we go toe to toe with the Apple iPhone 5S (podcast)

We'll also take some time to talk to Ben Cousins, the general manager at Scattered Games. Ben has a history of working in the console development ecosystem and now he's trying his hand in the mobile space. His last game, The Drowning, racked up over 2 million downloads, so it sounds like he knows what he's doing.

We ask Ben about his thoughts on the new A7 chip inside the iPhone 5S and what it will mean for mobile gaming moving forward.… Read more

SanDisk reveals a 256GB CompactFlash card for pro video use

There's a new CompactFlash (CF) card on the market looking to win over the hearts of video enthusiasts and professionals working with 4K footage.

This is definitely not a card targeted toward the casual photographer. SanDisk has revealed the AU$2,199 mammoth CF card catering to the most demanding applications, particularly in cameras pushing out very high-quality video, like the Canon EOS-1D C.

Such high-capacity cards will also be welcomed by those playing around with RAW video capture on consumer-level SLRs thanks to firmware mods like Magic Lantern.

The card is rated for a minimum sustained write speed … Read more

Don't call them toasters: We test out high-end toaster ovens

It used to be that the only real advantage offered by high-end toaster ovens was that they looked a little nicer than their more budget-friendly countertop counterparts. There was nothing cutting-edge about toaster ovens back then, and when it came time to cook, one would more or less do the job just as well as another.

Today's high-end toaster ovens are different. With full convection settings, presets that actually matter, and a variety of new and improved cooking elements to play with, you'll find plenty of tempting new models capable of giving your full-size oven a run for … Read more