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Facebook acquires Oculus VR

Facebook acquires Oculus VR

On Tuesday Facebook announced that it has completed an agreement to acquire the immersive virtual-reality tech company Oculus VR for $2 billion. Oculus VR is known for the Oculus Rift, a high-definition headset with motion-tracking capabilities and 3D display, which has been reaching record popularity in the game-development scene. The company recently came to GDC 2014 to showcase the second iteration of its Oculus development kit.

"Mobile is the platform of today, and now we're also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow," said Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "Oculus has the chance to create … Read more

File your return from anywhere with these top tax apps

File your return from anywhere with these top tax apps

Avoid the mad, end-of-tax-season scramble by getting some apps to help you calculate how much you owe Uncle Sam. Even if you've already filed, these apps can help you get organized and prepared for next year's return.

Organizing your tax records

Shoeboxed (iOS, Android)

Gone are the days of keeping all your receipts in a box above the fridge. Shoeboxed makes it easier to track your expenses -- just take a photo of your receipts, and Shoeboxed will safely store them. From there the app will archive based on dates and sort your spending into different categories (food, … Read more

How to delete your Facebook search history

How to delete your Facebook search history

Each time you look for a friend, business, or personality on Facebook, it gets saved to your search history. Supposedly, this makes it easier for you to find what you were looking for later without much work. Unfortunately, the search history might be cluttered with queries that don't require quick access -- like someone you've already become friends with, a brand you're already following.

If you want to limit some of the information Facebook is keeping about you, or just tidy up the list, it's just a few clicks away. Here's how to get started:… Read more

Apple issues Mail update for OS X Mavericks

Apple has issued an update for its Mail e-mail client program in OS X Mavericks. The update addresses a number of outstanding bugs that have been affecting users who have installed the new OS, specifically involving managing messages in Gmail accounts. In addition, the update fixes problems with inaccurate unread message counts.

This update is likely a welcome one for those experiencing these problems, but Apple does issue a few words of caution for those who are eager to install the update.

First, as with any software update, Apple recommends you make a full backup of your system, preferably using … Read more

GPGTools offers quick encryption options for OS X Mail

GPGTools offers quick encryption options for OS X Mail

If you regularly send confidential information via e-mail and wish to make it as secure as possible, one option for OS X users is GPGTools, which provides encryption and decryption services for any of your e-mail accounts.

GPGTools is a free and open-source encryption project for OS X, based on OpenPGP, which gives OS X users quick access to options for signing and encrypting e-mail messages, as well as offering file-level services for encrypting documents and folders. The project has been around since 2011, but was recently updated to version 2, and supports a number of new features. The suite … Read more

SMSAlarm locates your muted Android phone

One of the great things about "smartphones" is that they are awfully hard to lose. In fact, there are countless apps that will help locate your phone from Timbuktu to Tippecanoe County. (And oh, how many times have I wished I could call my keys or wallet to find them?) However, if your ringer is on mute, finding it when it's wedged down in the couch cushions requires a keen ear for the buzz of vibrate mode.

Or, if you are a rational Android user, you will download and install the free Android app SMSAlarm, which offers … Read more

Skype your way to a new couch

Skype your way to a new couch

Skype (Windows, Mac, iOS, Android)--the free VoIP app that lets you voice- or video-chat with other Skype users across the world--has become an ubiquitous tool for everyone from grandmas and grandkids to multinational corporations.

Now, the VoIP software ventures into the realm of interior design, with a "Cool My Couch" photo contest that promises the winner a free couch and Skype-enabled TV. To enter, simply submit a photo of your couch along with a caption explaining why you deserve to win. That's it.

The photo contest is open to all U.S. residents who are members … Read more

New Gmail look blings up your inbox with tabs

New Gmail look blings up your inbox with tabs

Google continues to revamp the appearance of many of its services, this time turning its redecorating eye on Gmail.

The company unveiled on Wednesday the new look and automatic labels for Gmail on the Web, as well as in Gmail's Android and iOS apps.

The new default categories, based on Gmail's existing Label system, are Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates, and Forums. They appear as large tabs on the Gmail site, easy to use for touch screens and fully customizable. You can also drag-and-drop messages between them, and Google will automatically "learn" how you want them filtered. … Read more

Gmail updates for iOS

Gmail updates for iOS

If the next Gmail message you receive on your iPhone launches YouTube or Google Maps, don't be alarmed. The Internet giant enhanced its official Gmail app for iPhone and iPad today, adding two small but appreciated features for heavy users of the Web-based mail service.

First, the default behavior for opening YouTube, Google Maps, or Web links has changed. Now, when you click on any of those kinds of links, Gmail will spawn the respective native YouTube, Google Maps, or Google Chrome app for iOS to handle it. Formerly, such links were instead handled by the relatively inelegant built-in … Read more

Messaging app Kik adds 200,000 users -- each day

Messaging app Kik adds 200,000 users -- each day

They're simple, social, and entirely made for mobile, all of which might explain the explosive growth of standalone messaging apps even as Facebook offers a free way to chat on smartphones.

One of the biggies, Kik says that it now has more than 50 million users and that people -- mostly young people -- are signing up at a rate of 200,000 a day. That's twice the rate that Kik claimed when it last released stats. Just last November, the app claimed 30 million users and said that 100,000 people were signing up each day.

"… Read more