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Nintendo’s SNES Classic Mini will let you rewind games to tackle tricky spots

The SNES Mini is already causing heaps of FOMO anxiety thanks to pre-orders that are selling out near-instantly, but if any of us DO end up getting our hands on one, the console will have a neat trick up its sleeve for players: In-game rewind. This would allow players to set a suspend point (up to four can bet set at one time per game), and then rewind their gameplay to try to improve their performance. The feature varies how long you can r...
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Markforged announces two 3D printers that produce items as strong as steel

Markforged , a 3D printer manufacturer based in Boston, has just announced two new models — the X3 and the X5. Both of these printers are designed to create carbon fiber-infused objects using a standard filament printing system and both can produce items that can replace or are stronger than steel objects. Both printers have auto-leveling and scanning systems to ensure each printed object is exactly like every other. Further, the printers u...
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Watch Microsoft’s Xbox One X Gamescom conference live right here

Microsoft is about to share the last details on the Xbox One X with a press conference ahead of the Gamescom in Cologne, Germany. You can watch it live right here at 12 PM on the West Coast, 3 PM on the East Coast, 8 PM in the U.K., 9 PM in Germany. The company already said on Twitter that we can expect to hear more details about pre-orders for the Xbox One X: Microsoft should also share new trailers for upcoming games, such as Forza Motors...
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These solar glass blocks would make great skylights for your solar roof

If you’re going to be decking your roof out with solar tiles , there’s a possibility that you may forgo what might be the best placement of a skylight in favor of more solar cell square footage. Luckily solar glass is fast becoming an option, and these clever glass blocks are the best option I’ve seen yet. Other solar glass options generally harvest in the infrared range, since if you captured the full spectrum — well, that wouldn’t be a wi...
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A defense company put a machine gun on a drone

Duke Robotics, a military contractor, has produced a video for their unique and uniquely dangerous new tool, TIKAD. This drone platform looks fairly basic – a custom multi-rotor drone with a chassis on the bottom to hold what looks like a stripped down machine gun, sniper rifle, or grenade launcher – but what it suggests about the future of warfare is pretty scary. A gimbal at the bottom of the drone holds the gun steady as you aim and fire...
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After rebranding to Puls and raising new cash, CellSavers wants to help set up your smart gadgets

CellSavers, the on-demand smartphone and tablet repair service, is rebranding its business to Puls and expanding its suite of services to include most smart devices in a home. The San Francisco-based company also rounded up $25 million in new financing to help support its new marketing push and services. In all, the company has raised $43 million in financing; that cash will help the company in its efforts to expand beyond cell phone and ta...
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DJI adds an offline mode to its drones for clients with ‘sensitive operations’

DJI is working on a “local data mode” for its apps that prevents any data from being sent to or received from the internet. The feature will be welcomed by many, but it’s hard not to attribute the timing and urgency of the announcement to the recent ban of DJI gear by the U.S. Army over unspecified “cyber vulnerabilities.” “We are creating local data mode to address the needs of our enterprise customers, including public and private organiz...
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Machine learning can tell if you’re wearing swap-meet Louie

A wise man once said “The hat mighta had a L V on the back but at the swap meet that ain’t jack,” and now researchers can ensure that the Louis Vuitton or Prada or Coach you bought is the real deal. The system, which essentially learns the difference between real and fake products over time, uses a small microscope connected to a phone. “The underlying principle of our system stems from the idea that microscopic characteristics in a genuine...
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The Minifree Libreboot T400 is free as in freedom

The Libreboot T400 doesn’t look like much. It’s basically a refurbished Lenovo Thinkpad with the traditional Lenovo/IBM pointer nubbin and a small touchpad. It’s a plain black laptop, as familiar as any luggable assigned to a cubicle warrior on the road. But, under the hood, you have a machine that fights for freedom. The T400 runs Libreboot, a free and open BIOS and the Trisquel GNU/Linux OS. Both of these tools should render the Libreboot...
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Ikea smart lightbulbs get HomeKit, Alexa and Google Home support

Ikea’s smart lighting system has received an update that makes its wireless hub compatible with Apple’s HomeKit, as well as with Amazon Alexa, and Google Home. This means if you have the hub and bulbs, you should be able to control them with your voice using any of those devices, as well as control them in Apple’s iOS Home app. The update also makes it possible to discover and add Ikea’s bulbs to Philips Hue’s HomeKit-compatible hub, which ...
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BlackPods brings your AirPods to the dark side

This is the story of a guy who found a niche and stuck with it. The guy is a programmer named Nick who was worried about Apple’s wireless AirPods. He thought they looked stupid. “I didn’t have particularly high hopes when Apple first announced AirPods. I figured they would sound like their wired EarPods, which are fine but not particularly impressive. I was blown away when I first tried a pair of AirPods. Obviously, they can’t compete with ...
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Samsung’s Galaxy S8 Active ditches the Infinity Display for ruggedness

After weeks and months of leaks, the Galaxy S8 Active hasn’t left much to the imagination. We’ve already seen the phone from virtually every angle and got a sneak peak of a prematurely launched carrier page last week, to boot. The only thing left was for Samsung to officially make the thing official. The company’s doing just tht this morning, a day before the rugged handset goes up for pre-order  through AT&T here in the States. For the...
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All the major cases where an LTE-enabled Apple Watch would be great

Apple is reportedly working on an Apple Watch that won’t have to be tethered to your phone for data, freeing that small fitness tracker on your wrist from the oppressive confines of having to carry around a now-critical piece of technology for operating in your daily life. This will probably have repercussions for the battery life of the watch that you have to charge every evening. We probably don’t know exactly how this kind of tech is goi...
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Spotify said to be coming soon to Xbox One

Streaming music service Spotify should finally make its way to Microsoft’s Xbox One sometime soon, as a report from The Verge confirms user posts from Reddit that a beta version of the app is being tested internally at Xbox. The Spotify app has been available on PlayStation 4 since 2015, so its arrival on Microsoft’s current console seems overdue for Xbox gaming Spotify subscribers. Both console makers previously offered their own streaming...
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Solar cell lenses give these shades a charge

Over the years I’ve seen concepts of solar-powered sunglasses come and go, but the dream of for some reason wearing solar panels on my face has remained elusive — until today. Genius engineers at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology have successfully made a pair of shades with organic solar cell lenses — and you don’t even have to stare directly at the sun for them to work. The lenses have been cut like ordinary glass or plastic to fit in a co...
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Federico Musto is out as Arduino CEO

Last week Arduino AG, the holding company for the open source Arduino project, announced that CEO Federico Musto stepped down , to be replaced with Massimo Banzi as new Chairman and CTO of Arduino and Dr. Fabio Violante as CEO. The move comes after the maker community found troubling discrepancies in Musto’s educational claims . “This is the beginning of a new era for Arduino in which we will strengthen and renew our commitment to open sour...
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Your smartphone is the key for the Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 is unique in a lot of ways, but one of the more interesting is its use of your smartphone as the only key – there’s not fob, even, let alone an ignition for a traditional key. The vehicle uses the Tesla app on your smartphone to communicate your identity, unlock the vehicle, and know when it’s ready to start and turn off. The Model 3 uses Bluetooth LE to talk to your device so that it knows you’re there, and in case you’re...
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Using eye smiles to predict the state of your whole face in VR

They say you can tell a real smile because it reaches the eyes. Of course, that just means we all have to learn to fake that kind of smile, too. But the subtle expressiveness of our eyeball area has a fringe benefit: VR researchers can use it to guess at what the rest of your face is doing. Google Research just published a fun little project that attempts to track expressions solely by looking at your eyes inside the headset. Between the sh...
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Timekettle’s WT2 real-time translation earpieces enable ordinary conversation across language barriers

At TechCrunch’s event in Shenzhen last month, we had a chance to test out the WT2 , a clever and ambitious device from startup TimeKettle. It’s a pair of wireless earpieces; each person in a multilingual conversation wears one, and they translate what’s said into the language spoken by each participant. Essentially it’s a Babel fish , though admittedly a rough draft of one. The devices live in a little charging case, and when you want to sp...
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The OOOI Analog is the best of both horological worlds

Butler Watch is run by pilot Corey Butler. It is a labor of love for Butler and his watches are aimed directly at pilots and pilots-to-be. Take the OOOI Analog , for example. This new crowdfunded watch features a digital readout with quartz analog movement. The piece costs $459 for early birds. The movement, an ETA 988.333, has a pair of analog hands for the hour and minutes as well as two small LCD readouts for chronograph, timers, and ala...
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Apple just dropped iOS 11 beta 4 for developers

Apple just released a new beta of iOS 11 ahead of the final iOS 11 release in September. Things are still quite rough and I wouldn’t recommend installing the beta on a production device just yet. You don’t want to risk having your phone become useless. The beta 4 is only available if you’re a registered developer for now. While Apple also has a public beta program, the company usually waits a few days before releasing new developer betas in...
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Optoma’s UHD60 projector delivers great, affordable 4K performance

If you’re among those who use a projector for your home theater, you haven’t really had a great option for jumping on the 4K bandwagon, and you might be feeling left out now that the high-resolution tech is more common among TV manufacturers. But now there’s a great, relatively affordable way to get onboard 4K with a projection-based setup, thanks to Optoma’s new UHD60 . The UHD60 is the lower priced of two new 4K projectors Optoma first re...
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The ORII smart ring lets you control your smartphone using only your voice

ORII  is a new smart ring that gives you full hands-free control of your smartphone. The device connects to your phone with Bluetooth and it can be used to provide crystal-clear audio, which makes it an interesting tool for those with sight or hearing issues. It works using bone conduction technology so that, when wearing the ring, simply putting a finger to your ear will give clear and crisp playback of whatever is running on your phone. T...
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Petcube Bites treat camera lets you monitor and reward your pet from afar

Petcube’s existing pet camera is basically an advanced video camera and voice intercom, but the new Petcube Bites is also a treat flinging machine that gives you more ways to interact with your pet while you’re not at home. The Petcube Bites has a reservoir that can hold up to two pounds of treats for either dogs or cats – and it can fling those treats at different ranges, extending up to six feet. Plus, it has an integrated 1080p HD video ...
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We went gaming at a VR arcade in Hong Kong

TechCrunch was in Hong Kong last week for tech conference Rise  — where we watched two robots talking together on stage , among other things. The event is well-known for its after-parties and social activities, but one night we sneaked away from the crowd with a few friends to check out a virtual reality arcade. Playdium is a new entry to the city, having only opened its doors at the start of July. The studio is kitted out with a dozen or s...
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