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If you've been itchin' for more info on Mountain View's compact self-driving car, you're in luck. At 11AM PT/2PM ET this Friday (August 1st), Google is hosting a live Hangout as the folks from Make take a behind the scenes look at the project for its summer camp series. The so-called Field Trip is said to have a gander at how the vehicles work and provide an update on recent developments. Those who plan on tuning in can submit specific queries in advance for the Q&A session, but even if you don't plan on posing a question, taking an early (or late) lunch seems like a solid choice.

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Chrome Web Store on Windows

If you've wanted to try the 64-bit version of Chrome for Windows 7 and 8 but have been skittish about the flakiness of very early builds, your moment has come -- Google has released a beta of its beefed-up browser. As with the Canary and developer editions, this more reliable software makes full use of modern computing power to both speed up web page rendering and tighten security. The code still isn't complete, so don't be surprised if there are a few hiccups. However, a beta means that a truly stable 64-bit browser is likely just weeks away. Even if you're not willing to throw caution to the wind, it won't be long before you can give Chrome's big upgrade a spin.

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One of the most attractive benefits of subscribing to Amazon Prime is the free two-day shipping or an overnight option available for a small fee, depending on the item and destination. But in many cases, you might not need your stuff until the following week, making the e-tailer's new "no-rush shipping" option appealing. If you opt for Amazon's slowest delivery speed, you'll also be rewarded with a $1 Amazon Instant Video credit. Credits do expire, and certain content is excluded, such as HBO titles. It's a "limited time offer," according to the site's terms and conditions, but considering the cost savings for Amazon, it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect the incentive to remain.

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Day Three Of Mobile World Congress 2014

Like their fellow future doctors down the road in Irvine, medical students at Stanford University will learn surgical methods with a hand from Google Glass. Those studying cardiothoracic techniques are set use Mountain View's high-tech spectacles to stream their views in real-time to instructors with the help of CrowdOptic -- a company that's part of the Glass at Work initiative. The aforementioned California-based schools aren't the first use the gadget in surgery, as it has already streamed full procedures. Privacy concerns immediately arise when discussing the use of a hackable device in medical settings, but CrowdOptic knows how it will secure the data and comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). It also won't have access to the captured video as they're set to remain Stanford's property. The streaming outfit has also locked down its own spectrum, so it doesn't have to keep tabs on steady WiFi to stay connected. With more universities and physicians opting for Glass on the regular, it seems medicine is one place the wearable fits in nicely.

[Photo credit: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

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Modbook, the company behind those aftermarket Apple tablets, just launched a Kickstarter campaign for its latest product, the Modbook Pro X. After paying a pre-order price of $1,999 today, backers will be able to convert their own Retina MacBook Pros into a tablet beginning early next year. The conversion incorporates the laptop's original hardware, with components shifted from the lower half of the computer to just behind the 15.4-inch 2,880 x 1,800-pixel LCD.

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LG Unify on Virgin Mobile Custom

In the US, prepaid cellphone service tends to be a like-it-or-leave-it proposition that rarely fits perfectly, especially for families. Virgin Mobile may have a smarter approach in store; it's launching Custom, a prepaid family plan that lets you tailor usage to your liking. You can put as many as five people on plans that start at $7 each ($35 for unlimited talk and text) and scale up depending on individual needs. If Mom is a big fan of streaming music but rarely makes calls, she can pile on the data (or use a $5 Unlimited Music plan) and reduce her voice minutes; a chat-happy kid, meanwhile, can have gobs of messages but only minimal internet access. You can change the plans at any time from mobile apps, and built-in parental controls let you declare certain apps as off-limits during specified hours.

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Square's reader for chip-based cards

There's a good reason you don't usually see Square readers outside of the US: they're built to read payment cards with magnetic stripes, not the more secure chip-and-PIN cards that are common everywhere else. All that's set to change, however. Square has revealed plans for a reader that accepts the chip-based EMV format alongside stripes, letting shops handle credit and debit cards from around the world (and the US, once it catches up). The company will only start taking pre-orders for the payment device later this year, but it could be worthwhile for stores and customers alike. Besides the greater availability, it's much harder to clone a chip card -- you shouldn't have to worry about an unscrupulous clerk (or a clever hacker) stealing your credit card and going on a shopping spree.

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One of Samsung's round smartwatch patents

Motorola might not be the only company making a smartwatch with a circular display in the near future. Samsung has filed for a trio of US design patents for smartwatches that are much more rounded than squarish devices like the Gear Live. The watch faces vary in their curviness, although they all have a similar camera in the band like the early Galaxy Gear; one example (what you see above) also has charging pins in the clasp, rather than on the watch itself. It's clear that Samsung is seriously considering circular wristwear, although whether or not it actually builds any of these gadgets is another matter. All the patents were filed last March, or well before the company saw poor Galaxy Gear sales and revamped its designs -- if these concepts ever translate to real products, there could be a lot of changes.

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While competitors are busy cloning Snapchat in an attempt to replicate its success, Evan Spiegel and co. have continued to forge their own path. The company is already experimenting with new features in an attempt to generate revenue, but it's also apparently talking to some big hitters to ensure it can keep growing until those profits come. According to Bloomberg, Snapchat is currently in talks over a new round of funding with investors, which include Yahoo-backed Alibaba, that if confirmed could value the company at an incredible $10 billion. It's a significant figure, not only because it puts it on par with both Dropbox and Airbnb, but it's around three times the amount Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook is rumored to have offered to acquire the company last year. Not bad for a service that's known mostly for evaporating text and photo messages. Snapchat is understandably keeping quiet about its latest round of talks, and the figures could well change before the funding closes. Regardless of what happens, it appears Snapchat's decision to hold out and grow the service was the right one.

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EA revealed its new Access subscription service for the Xbox One yesterday, which lets you play a bunch of EA titles, take advantage of discounts and get upcoming games early in exchange for a small monthly (or yearly) fee. While it might've looked like a platform-exclusive partnership with Microsoft, Game Informer has learned that Sony actively rejected EA Access for the PlayStation 4. "We evaluated the EA Access subscription offering and decided that it does not bring the kind of value PlayStation customers have come to expect," Sony said, adding that the success of PS Plus "shows that gamers are looking for memberships that offer a multitude of services, across various devices, for one low price." And, just in case we hadn't got the message, Sony's statement concluded: "We don't think asking our fans to pay an additional $5 a month for this EA-specific program represents good value to the PlayStation gamer."

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