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File this under human interest story, but for those of you don’t game much, you may not know Randy Pitchford. He’s the very vocal and prominent face of Gearbox Software (www.gearboxsoftware.com), who is riding high on the success of its Borderlands 2 game (of which numerous writers here at Windows Phone Central are huge fans; Sam still sticks to Halo, sigh).

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We're fans of numbers and quantifiable data here at Mobile Nations, and so following after the third week of Talk Mobile 2013, we're turning to our good friend the survey to help compile some data. Week three was focused on mobile social networking and communication. If you missed any of the content, be sure to click over to our Talk Mobile hub and check it out.

The mobile social networking and communication survey will only take a minute or two to complete, and as an extra incentive (not that you guys and gals need it, but we like to give things away), by completing the survey you'll be entered for a chance to win a $100 Best Buy Gift Card. Hit the link below to take the survey!

Click here to take the Talk Mobile State of Mobile Social Networking and Communication Survey!

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Summer is enjoyable for so, so many reasons. Longer days, vacations, and the beach usually top the list of things that make summer so awesome. Surfing usually makes an appearance on that list too. Stephanie Gilmore is a professional surfer from Australia. She’s a five-time world champion having won titles in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012. And it looks like she’s keen on two operating systems you and I love – Windows Phone and Windows 8. Video after the break.

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Everyone is waiting with bated breath for the Nokia Lumia 1020, but let us not forget that T-Mobile is poised to launch the fantastic Lumia 925 within the coming days (or weeks). In fact, that press event is tomorrow and we’ll of course be there to cover it.

Now, the support page for the T-Mobile branded Lumia 925 has gone up and we can finally confirm once and for all its final specs.

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Nokia Chat Beta now available worldwide

To be honest, we are losing track of the number of apps and services out there that allow you to communicate. Voxer officially hit the Store last week and Viber has been giving some Windows Phone love lately. Not to be forgotten, the beta version of Nokia Chat receives an update that should make a lot of you folks around the globe happy. It is now available worldwide.

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Last week tweets were a tweeting about U.S. Cellular adding the Samsung ATIV Odyssey Windows Phone to their smartphone lineup and today the wireless provider made it official.

Starting today the Samsung ATIV Odyssey will be available online and in stores on July 11th.  The 4G LTE Windows Phone will run your $49.99 after contractual discounts and a $50 mail in rebate.  The Odyssey is a good, entry level Windows Phone with a 4" Super AMOLED screen, 1.5GHz Dual Core Processor, 8GB of storage, microSD card expansion, a 5MP rear camera, NFC support and more.  The Odyssey joins the ZTE Render (a Windows Phone 7.8 device) as the wireless providers only Windows Phone 8 device.  

We checked U.S. Cellular's website and the Odyssey isn't listed just yet and it may take a little while longer to see it pop up.

You can catch the full presser on the Odyssey announcement after the break.

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To add to what is an increasingly news-worthy day, Skype has just pushed out a nice little update for Windows Phone 8 users, bumping that version to 2.8.0.84.

The Skype app for Windows Phone 8 has had a mixed track record with updates and coming late to the new OS, but with the last few releases it seems to have stabilized and is increasingly getting better and better. What’s more, this isn’t a vague “bug fixes” update but rather has some documented changes.

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Sprint just sent out press notifications that the HTC 8XT, Sprint’s first Windows Phone 8 device, will go on sale Friday, July 19th for $99 (after a $50 mail in rebate).

The HTC 8XT will feature HTC’s “BoomSound” or in English, "dual front-facing stereo speakers with a dedicated amplifier", expandable storage and a decently sized 4.3” display.  The 8XT can be thought of as a new Windows Phone as it is literally the combination of the 8X, 8S and Android HTC One—bringing all the best features to the mix.

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While most of the Windows Phone world is focused on Nokia’s big move, we can’t forget (or dismiss) some of the other OEMs who are bringing new devices to market. Such is the case with Huawei and the Ascend W2, a device which was initially rumored to be a worthy flagship contender but has since dropped to mid-range status.

While the specs of the device make this on par with the Lumia 720, Huawei does bring something new to the table: colored LED capacitive buttons, dependent on your Accent color of choice.

We’re not going to lie, that’s a pretty unique and innovative feature that we would have predicted Nokia to have come up with. In short, when a user changes the Accent color in Windows Phone 8 to one of the 20 pre-set color patterns, the Back, Windows and Search key will also reflect that color choice.

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Viber, the messaging app that lets you text, group message, and make free HD calls, just got updated to version 2.3 for Windows Phone 8. The desktop application for Windows was also updated, allowing it to better integrate with Windows Phone.

Talmon Marco, Viber's CEO, spoke of the company's latest move:

We have focused on bringing Viber to multiple platforms, ensuring our users can communicate freely with as many of their friends as possible. Today we are very happy to bring important updates to two of those platforms, ensuring full compatibility between the Windows Phone and Desktop versions of Viber.

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Nokia has today announced that HERE Drive+, which has been in a beta for what seems like forever, will be made available for all Windows Phone 8 smartphones. For the time being, only HERE Drive is available for non-Nokia Windows Phone hardware. This is welcomed news for everyone who owns a Windows Phone not manufactured by the Finnish company.

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Do you own your own 3D printer or have access to one? You'll now be able to take a pre-made, tested design and create your own stand for charging your Windows Phones wirelessly. Supporting the Nokia charging plates, Windows Phone Central forum member SomethingSomethingDarkSide has managed to create the above result with the design, providing a template for refinement and personalisation to take place. It looks pretty neat too.

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The US government fired out the above promotional video, which has been captured and uploaded on YouTube. It essentially sends out the message that smartphones (and mobile phones in general) can save lives just as effectively as other technology. A weather warning is demonstrated on a Nokia Lumia 920, but it's not showing a Windows Phone screen. We're looking at an iPhone.

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Microsoft has continued to update the official Facebook app for Windows Phone, but there's still no convenient way to manage multiple pages that may be tied to an account. This has changed now with FB Pages Manager, which is now available on the Windows Phone Store. This app essentially makes it easy for administrators to manage Facebook pages.

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Nokia Lumia 1020 shows up in AT&T's inventory

There's little debate that AT&T customers are in line to get the new Nokia Lumia 1020 and we've received another sign to confirm just that.  The Lumia 1020 is now being listed in AT&T product inventory and has been assigned a SKU number.  Our anonymous tipster also noted that the Lumia 1020 has been seen in the hands of AT&T employees for testing.

The inventory listing also confirms the black, yellow and white color options that we saw with the Microsoft inventory sheet  the other day.

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This Thursday, Nokia is having an event in New York City. It’s going to be a pretty big deal. We have 41 million reasons why you should keep your eyes on our site that day. The event in the morning is open to press and anyone else lucky enough to get an invite. It takes place at 11am, but you’ll be busy with work and school. So you should totally take up Nokia’s offer to party with them later that night at the Zoom Party. Details after the break.

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The Telerik team, the brains behind the popular developer tools for Windows Phone and other platforms, has announced push notification support for Windows Phone. Every feature supported by the Windows Phone OS is now implemented in Everlive, enabling developers to take full advantage of the functionality in Microsoft's mobile platform, while being able to fully support iOS and Android.

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In case you've managed to miss this (as we did), Microsoft has set up a new YouTube channel. This new platform will enable the company to publish and feature videos that cover Microsoft gadgets. Including news and reviews, there's also the "solve" category, which is essentially a collection of helpful tutorials on how to get the most out of the experience.

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Top Windows 8 games to sit back and relax


Windows Phone Central Roundup: Windows 8 Games

Last week we checked out the Top Windows 8 games for the “hardcore” gamer; this week, we are heading in the opposite direction and taking a look at the top Windows 8 games for those of you who just want to kick back. Cue the relaxing playlist on Spotify, grab a glass of California Merlot, and turn on that foot massager – we are counting off some of the Top Windows 8 games to sit back and relax.

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As we get closer and closer to Thursday, it is probably of little surprise that more information is coming out about Nokia’s 41MP Windows Phone, the Lumia 1020. The device, which has gone by the codename ‘Elvis’ on AT&T and ‘EOS’ in general, is expected to be Nokia’s biggest splash yet in mobile photography since the PureView 808, but this time with the power of Windows Phone behind it.

In the new render above, you can clearly see an unbranded Nokia Lumia 1020 in yellow, along with three other 1020’s in yellow, black and white with the 41MP camera exposed. Featuring a Xenon and LED flash, a massive camera sensor (and $70 optional camera grip accessory), the Lumia 1020 should give photo buffs a new dream phone for everyday use.

We can also confirm a few more tidbits about this phone before the reveal…

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Sometimes technology is a collection of circuitry and silicon, sometimes though – it is a magical moment full of feelings and memories. The best experiences are born when technology transcends our knowledge and connects us with what we love. British science fiction writer and futurist, Arthur C. Clarke, once said:

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Microsoft has been around for a long time and for those of us who live off of the technology they provide, some of the memories will never seep away.

In 2007, the company released a four minute commercial that has come to be known as “Your Digital Lifestyle”. The ad highlighted the then current hi-tech Microsoft products of the time and how one green shirted hipster used them to party the night away. The commercial is set to a cover of Ash’s Girl from Mars by Canadian group, Magneta Lane.

Buckle up, because we are going on a field trip to six years ago; along the way, we are going to jam with our green shirted friend and revisit some of our past Microsoft technology goodies. Windows Vista will probably be seen along the way, but there will be plenty of other experiences to combat that bad flavor.

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Quick, head to your desk drawer. You might have a Zune HD in there that hasn’t had electricity flowing through it for quite some time. Charge it up. Do you see Lucky Lanes Bowling on there? It was one of those free games for the Zune HD that quite a number of us enjoyed. While you won’t be playing it on your Windows Phone device, you can fire up your Windows 8 machine and enjoy it!

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