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Pre-caffeine tech: Battle Pug, Internet defenders! 

via BoingBoing.net
via BoingBoing.net

Our pre-caffeine roundup is a collection of the hottest, strangest, and most amusing stories of the morning. Here's everything that you need to know before taking that first sip of coffee today.

A 7-year-old Wisconsin boy's drawing of his dream visit to the time of pirates, ships and treasure has won him the annual Doodle 4 Google competition -- check it out! 

Wednesday brought reports that Verizon would be ending its policy of allowing grandfathering in of contracts when purchasing a new phone. The company  clarified the news Thursday, saying that only purchasers of subsidized phones (like the iPhone 4S and other flagship devices) would have to adopt the new pricing plan.

Meanwhile, Comcast said Thursday it will introduce a trial for usage-based billing for its Internet subscribers in a move seen to pre-empt more complaints the cable company favors its own Web video service over rivals

Do you have a gadget that’s full of trouble? Are there computer issues that annoy you and your family daily? Tell us about your tech problems and we may answer your question on-air this weekend on TODAY.

Twitter will honor requests from users who do not want their online behavior tracked. That's in contrast with Web companies such Google and Facebook whose business models rely heavily on collecting user data

It may seem that text messages, so impersonal and convenient, aren't the best platform on which to ask sometimes-sensitive questions. But a new study shows that people seem to be less likely to garnish the truth or round it off in texts, at least compared to over the phone.

BuzzFeed exclusive!: Battle Pug fights evil baby harp seals!

And, turns out, "Defender of Internet" is a medal someone will actually give you ... at least if you're awesome!

— compiled by Helen A.S. Popkin, who invites you to join her on Twitter and/or FacebookAlso, Google+.