Today in Tech
  • Google’s Nexus 7 tablet poised for reveal this week

    Android Jelly Bean and Google Wallet are just a couple of its major bullet points

    As the only hardware line that Google has any direct influence over, Nexus smartphones — made first by HTC, and now by Samsung — have always been at the forefront of Android technology. Now, for the first time ever, it looks like we'll finally see Google's take on a tablet with the Nexus 7, a slate the company will reveal this week according to Gizmodo Australia.

    The tablet will reportedly feature a 7-inch screen, 12-core GPU, and built-in near-field communication technology for mobile payments using Google Wallet. It will include a 1.2-megapixel front camera for chat applications, and a battery capable of powering the device for 9 hours.

    In order to compete with Apple's wildly successful iPad, the tablet will be sold for an extremely affordable $199 starting price, with 8GB of storage space. A 16GB model will also be available, but for a slightly more expensive $249. These prices are similar to Amazon's Kindle Fire tablet which retails for $199, so it will be interesting to see if

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  • Facebook has yet to officially announce the feature, but if you know where to access it and how to make it work, you can already use Find Friends Nearby to look for potential friends near you. The new feature was made specifically for the social network's mobile website and Android and iOS apps.

    Originally called Friendshake, the feature comes almost two months after Facebook acquired Glancee — a social app that notifies you if there are other users near you. Using Find Friends Nearby is a two-step process: First, open the feature's web page on your mobile browser and sign in. Then on Facebook's app or mobile website, go to Menu > Find Friends > Other Tools > Find Friends Nearby.

    You have to be logged in on both Find Friends Nearby's special URL and on Facebook for the feature to work. A word of caution: Activating the feature will make you visible to anyone else near your area who's also logged in at at the same time, even if they're not on your friends list.

    Ryan Patterson, the

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  • Unlikely pair made up of a rocky planet and a gas giant meet up every 97 days

    In a solar system 1,200 light-years away from ours, there's a couple of planets that come so close to each other every 97 days they can see each other rise in the night sky. This odd duo, found thanks to data from the Kepler telescope, would stay within 1.2 million miles of each other at their closest approach — the closest two planets ever discovered.

    One of the planets called Kepler-36b is a rocky world roughly 1.5 times the size and 4.5 times the weight of Earth. The other one, Kepler-36c, is a gas giant 3.7 times the size and 8 times the weight of our planet. What makes the duo unusual is that rocky planets like ours usually orbit close to the sun, while gas giants like Neptune or Jupiter tend to orbit their stars from a distance.

    On the surface of 36c, rocky world 36b would look like a full moon in the sky. On the surface of 36b, on the other hand, 36c appears as a full moon 2.5 times the size of ours — a giant purple full moon, to be precise, due to the sodium and potassium

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  • Formula One delivers dramatic year of rivalry and tragedy
    Formula One delivers dramatic year of rivalry and tragedy

    Formula One delivered a dramatic year of riveting rivalry, political controversy, human tragedy and financial uncertainty in 2014 as Lewis Hamilton joined the sport’s hall of fame as a double world champion. As Hamilton ended his year as champion, Jules Bianchi remained in a serious condition in hospital after suffering severe head injuries when he crashed in Japan and the sport’s finances, and future were the subject of much speculation. The sale in December of a nose section from a Marussia car, driven by Max Chilton, for £15,000 (pounds sterling) in an online auction sale that followed the team’s collapse was followed by reports that the sport’s commercial owners were struggling to find a leader to succeed 84-year-old ring-master Bernie Ecclestone. At the same time, after a winless season, Ferrari confirmed more staff departures – including the exits of engineering director Pat Fry and chief designer Nikolas Tombazis -- following a year of unprecedented upheaval that saw two-time champion Fernando Alonso, tempted by a massive salary, departing for McLaren.

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