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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 increase revenues, 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 its latest round of 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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Being hip to PR is certainly part of the job description for NASA astronauts, but some are especially social media-savvy. Take fresh ISS resident Gregory "Reid" Wiseman: the man knows he's in a privileged position to take photos and videos, and holy crap has he shared. Via Twitter, Reid has provided nearly 500 stunning images of Earth, the ISS, his fellow astronauts and even a prosaic toilet repair -- sorry, space toilet repair. Wiseman was also the first astronaut to post a Vine in space, and has so far posted subjects like a massive lightning storm over Texas and the sun going around in a circle and never setting. Wiseman isn't quite as chatty as Canadian colleague Chris Hadfield yet, but he's only been aboard for 45 days. Anyway, if we had his view (as shown in the gallery and Vines below), we'd be speechless too.

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Unless you're rich, run a hospital or have medical professionals in the family, it's not likely that you have instant access to a doctor whenever you need. That's why HealthTap is joining the growing field of telemedicine apps that, for a monthly fee, will let you video chat with specialists as and when you require. HealthTap Prime will cost you $100 per month for the first person, with each additional person in the family requiring a $10 monthly surcharge. There doesn't appear to be any limits on how many times you can contact a doctor with the service, but if you didn't stop calling to ask if something looked infected, then expect to land on some sort of blacklist.

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FreedomPop messaging on a Galaxy Tab 3 and an iPad mini

Many people can't really justify buying a cellular-equipped tablet -- why pay for more data when your phone probably does the trick? FreedomPop is undoubtedly aware of that thriftiness, as it just started offering its namesake free service on tablets. Whether you buy one of the carrier's pre-supplied tablets or bring your own, you'll get the same gratis 500MB of LTE data, 500 messages and 200 voice minutes as a phone customer. That may not make sense at first, but FreedomPop reckons that it's important for apps that ask for a phone number. It's much easier to hail an Uber car when you can supply some digits, for example. It could also serve as a backup if your phone's battery dies, or if you're nearing your limits on a capped phone plan.

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Despite the promise of Google's Movidius-equipped Project Tango, there are still no depth-sensing, SLR-stomping smartphones on the market. But Movidius thinks that could change soon, thanks to its brand new chip: the Myriad 2 vision processor unit (VPU). "The Myriad 2 is going to provide more than 20x the power efficiency of the Myriad 1, and enable camera features that were not possible before in mobile devices," CEO Remi El-Ouazzane tells me. If you'll recall, Tango's original tech brought faster focus, improved depth of field, near-optical zooming and higher light sensitivity to smartphone cameras (and now, tablets). It also let researchers scan a room in 3D to provide interior navigation, among other cool tricks.

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Engadgeteers spend a lot of their day staring at a screen, so it's no surprise that nearly all of us are blind without glasses or contact lenses. But wouldn't it be great if we could give our eyes a break and just stare at the screen without the aid of corrective lenses? That's the idea behind an experimental display that automatically adjusts itself to compensate for your lack of ocular prowess, enabling you to sit back and relax without eyewear. It works by placing a light-filtering screen in front of a regular LCD display that breaks down the picture in such a way that, when it reaches your eye, the light rays are reconstructed as a sharp image. The prototype and lots more details about the method will be shown off at SIGGRAPH next month, after which, its creators, a team from Berkeley, MIT and Microsoft, plan to develop a version that'll work in the home and, further down the line, with more than one person at a time.

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It looks like Flickr's trying to keep pace not only with Instagram, but also with photography community 500px. The Yahoo-owned image hosting site has just launched a new program, which gives some users the opportunity to earn money from their snapshots through commercial licensing with publications and photo agencies. In addition, Flickr promises to give the the program's members ample exposure by featuring their work prominently on Yahoo's portals and other properties like Tumblr. The service's new marketplace page also names The New York Times, Reuters, Gizmodo, Monocle, BBC and Getty Images as its program partners.

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Amazon Kindle

After unsuccessfully trying to charm authors, Amazon is now appealing to its customers during the ongoing war with Hachette. The retailer has revealed the reasons behind the spat, i.e. cheaper e-book prices, and the noble intentions behind it. Using its vast archive of data, the company believes that titles that, surprise, surprise, are priced at $15 won't sell as well as those that are priced at $10. As obvious as it sounds, the company's data says that for every 100,000 copies of the book that are bought for the higher price, 74,000 more copies would be bought at the lower figure, making a total profit of $1,738,000. Given that e-books incur no printing, warehousing or transportation costs, Amazon feels that it's a fair trade off.

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Germany Driverless Car

Anxious to start... not driving in the UK? Though late to the party, the government has announced that driverless cars will hit the streets in three UK cities starting in January 2015. The Department of Transport also launched a £10 million ($17 million) fund to spur research and reach the deadline. Once the three cities are selected for trials, two different types of self-driving vehicles will be tested: fully autonomous cars with no driver, and self-driving models that can relinquish control to a human pilot. All of that will be laid out in new road laws now being formulated to accommodate such vehicles.

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