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Action Center in Windows 10 Preview

If Windows 10 is going to unify your experiences on devices ranging from smartphones to PCs, it only makes sense that key mobile features would reach the desktop, right? Microsoft certainly thinks so. The team in Redmond has released an updated version of the Windows 10 Technical Preview that brings Windows Phone's Action Center (that is, a notification area) to PCs. Whether there's an app update or an important meeting coming up, you can now find about it all in a single place; you won't have to check Live Tiles or jump into the apps themselves. No, it's probably not worth installing Microsoft's pre-pre-pre-release operating system just to try this out, but it's definitely worth an update if you're already living on the bleeding edge.

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Google has just thrown its weight behind an augmented reality startup shrouded in mystery. Along with Qualcomm and film production Legendary Entertainment (among many other companies), Mountain View has funded Magic Leap to the tune of $542 million. According to The New York Times, that puts the startup's value at a whopping $2 billion, even though we still don't know much about the product it's developing. Here's what we do know about Magic Leap, though: it's not making a chunky headset like the now Facebook-owned Oculus Rift, and while company CEO Rony Abovitz wouldn't tell TechCrunch specifics, he said his team is working on a "lightweight wearable" solution, presumably powered by a mobile device.

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FKA twigs consults Glass for help

FKA twigs already has a reputation for using technology to make artistic statements in her music videos, and her latest takes this to its logical extreme. The two-minute #throughglass promo has twigs using Google Glass to seemingly influence a music video as it's being shot -- she looks for vogue dance tutorials to start things off, and switches to looking for anime-style eyes, gymnastics and "dominant krumping." She records some of the video from Glass' camera, too. The production is decidedly off the wall and probably won't have you rushing out to drop $1,500 just to emulate some slick moves, but it's proof that you can still look vaguely cool with a computer on your head.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It's a conflicting time for Apple. On one hand, it's a joyous occasion for the company because its latest iPhones, which come in larger screen sizes than the last, set new sales records worldwide; but on the other hand, its lineup of iPads just experienced its third straight quarterly decline. Coincidentally, this comes just a week after Apple announced its annual tablet refresh, which includes a thinner and more powerful version of the iPad Air along with a Touch ID-enabled mini with Retina display.

Just because it's down doesn't mean it's out. Giving up on a product category isn't really Apple's style, and last week, it offered up the Air 2 as exhibit A. The company made it clear that making a solid top-of-the-line tablet is on the top of its to-do list, so naturally the new 10-inch device got plenty of upgrades in nearly every aspect of its design. Curiously, it didn't give the mini lineup the same kind of treatment: The mini 3 got so little love this time around that the best news about it is the fact that last year's version is now $100 cheaper. Should the new iPads still get a place in the consumer's backpack? Read on to find out.

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HP is synonymous with mass-market PCs and notebooks, but according to a report from Re/code, HP is trying it proverbial hand at something new. According to the usual slew of unnamed sources, the company (which is currently undergoing some business mitosis) will show off a novel new Windows PC called the Sprout at an event in New York next week. We're not using the word "novel" lightly here, either: the Sprout is comprised of a big flat screen display paired with an expansive surface for touch input and a combination projector/3D scanner that hangs above it.

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Yes, it's true: Our own Sean Buckley rode a real-life hoverboard. But that's not all we have for you on this fine day -- read on for the rest of our news highlights from the last 24 hours, including the Avi-on Bluetooth light switch, an app that solves math problems, and more.

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Tesla dealership

If you're hoping to find a Tesla Motors store in Motor City, you may be waiting a long, long time. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has signed House Bill 5606 into law, explicitly banning Tesla's direct sales model in the state. Snyder contends that the measure only "clarifies" existing legislation. It was already illegal to sell cars outside of franchised dealerships, he argues -- this new law just eliminates any room for confusion.

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The wait is over, people of the interwebs. Right on cue, Fox has launched Simpsons World, the online hub where it will be streaming every Simpsons episode ever broadcasted. Even though the content is free to browse, you do need a cable login to start watching -- it's simple, if you're subscribed to a package that offers FXX, a channel owned by Fox, then you're good to go. In addition to the Simpsons World website, all Simpsons episodes can also be streamed via the FXNow mobile application, which is available on iOS and Android. Sure, it's only Tuesday, but at least now you have a clue of what you'll be doing this weekend.

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Vine channel following on iOS

Vine is full of video creators talented enough to score TV deals, but keeping up with them has usually meant either following them one-by-one or browsing channels for ages. You have a much easier way to catch up on those clips as of today, though: Vine's iOS app now lets you follow channels, which puts featured videos in your feed alongside everything from people you follow. If you're a space buff, for instance, you can add the Science & Tech channel in hopes of seeing some orbital footage.

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May 10, 2011 - Washington, District of Columbia, U.S. - ASHKAN SOLTANI, independent privacy researcher and consultant, JUSTIN BR

The Federal Trade Commission has just appointed Ashkan Soltani, an independent consultant on privacy and security matters, as its new Chief Technologist. Soltani's most recent accomplishments include contributing to the Washington Post's coverage on Edward Snowden and assisting the paper on technology topics. He has also provided insight for the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal on similar stories. Soltani had already spent time at the FTC as a staff technologist in 2010 and 2011, so this will be his second stint at the agency. This appointment of Soltani, according to the New York Times, could signal a stronger push by the FTC to keep an eye on online privacy and security as concerns about those topics continue to surface.

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