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When Google released the Pixel last year, it was taking a stand. No longer would Google hardware be tainted with the brands and logos of other companies, even if behind the scenes, Google still needed help from those same companies to actually build its phones. And despite designs that were almost offensively ugly, a lack of standard flagship features such as water-resistance and expandable storage, and massive supply chain problems that made it hard to actually buy one months after its initial release, there were bright spots like the Pixel's excellent HDR photo mode and an untainted Android experience.

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The first major legislative effort to rein in foreign interference in US elections will kick off Thursday afternoon on Capitol Hill, where Democratic Senators Mark Warner and Amy Klobuchar will field questions from reporters over a new bill crafted, they said, to "improve transparency of online political ads."

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Here's to the fools who dream... of electric sheep. YouTuber William Yates (under the name The Doctor of Will) released a short fan teaser trailer for La La Land 2049, a futuristic sequel for the 2016 movie musical that explores love in a vacuum of endless time instead of making it yet another example of Ryan Gosling explaining jazz.

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A landmark investigation from Russian news outlet RBC uncovered a Kremlin-sponsored scheme that used Facebook to recruit black activists in the US as part of Russia's election interference campaign, reportedly paying them to organise Black Lives Matter rallies, self-defence classes and produce content for Russian-owned sites decrying police brutality. Contacted by Buzzfeed News, the activists had no idea they were part of any Russian plot, recalling odd, but not alarming, phone calls with a man with an "African" accent. Racial division, subsequent reports have uncovered, was key to Russia's interference campaign.

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Hindsight is 20/20. It's easy now to say, "Of course an actor should be in a Harry Potter movie" after eight films and billions of dollars. But in the moment, almost two decades ago, there must have been actors who passed. In fact, one big name that's in the films almost did just that.