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Latest by Lulu Chang

The Three Amigos

A Japanese startup is planning an artificial shooting star show by 2020

Who says you have to wait around for a meteor shower? Certainly not ALE Co., a Tokyo-based startup that wants you to wish upon a shooting star anytime you'd like. The company is looking to develop a system that would offer paying customers "shooting stars on demand," and it could be in operation by 2020.
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Under 13? You may soon find your Facebook or Instagram account suspended

Instagram and its parent company Facebook are beginning to crack down on underage users. As per a new “operational” change to the social media empire’s policies, both Facebook and Instagram will be more proactive in locking the accounts of users who are suspected to be under the minimum age of 13.
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NASA is teaming up with the United Arab Emirates to send humans into space

NASA is striking up deals with other countries in the name of sending more humans into space. The American space agency has recently signed a deal with the UAE in order to advance human space travel. In a tweet, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced the signing of a joint letter of intent.
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Don’t know what size screw you’re looking at? Amazon’s Part Finder can help

Your days of going to Lowe's or Home Depot with a random screw in your hand and a look of desperation on your face will soon be behind you, and it's all thanks to Amazon. The online retail giant has launched Part Finder, a new mobile app feature that helps you identify screws, nuts, bolts, and the like.
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San Francisco is drowning in electric scooters. Will permits help?

We could soon see many more electric scooters on San Francisco streets. The city’s Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) looks to issue electric scooter permits by next month. Employees of the agency have been reviewing applications, with recommendations due soon.
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NASA’s Opportunity Rover is stuck in a giant dust storm that won’t end for months

A massive dust storm the size of North America has shrouded Mars and covered Opportunity for the last several weeks. Much of the planet is in the dark — and so too is Earth about Opportunity's whereabouts and status. Will Opportunity weather the weather?

Is another broadband option brewing? Facebook is building a satellite

In publicly disclosed FCC emails and in a confirmation to Wired, Facebook has revealed plans to launch an in-house developed satellite called Athena to offer broadband service to "unserved and underserved" areas. The low Earth orbit satellite is slated to launch sometime early next year.
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Sweating up a storm? A new health sensor will eat that up

Today’s wearables generally depend upon your pulse and heart rate to gauge your fitness and health, but a team of scientists from Stanford are taking a closer look atcreated a flexible wearable that senses cortisol levels in sweat.
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Instagram now shows when you’re online (don’t worry, it has an off button)

Instagram's newest feature may present a problem for those of us who are trying to fly under the radar. On Thursday, the photo sharing network debuted its latest update -- a way for folks to see when their Instagram friends are online and, therefore, available to chat. It resembles Facebook's "available" indicator.
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Have an old 3G phone? You won’t be able to get it activated by Verizon anymore

If your phone isn't 4G LTE-compatible, don't look to Verizon to solve your problems. The mobile service provider has begun to cease activating phones that don't have this relatively modern technology available. A few 3G phone owners who went to Verizon in hopes of activating their mobile devices were turned away.
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Uber may soon turn into your personalized mini convenience store

Taking an Uber may soon be an all-inclusive experience. The transportation giant recently partnered up with Cargo, the  startup that offers in-car shopping experiences to those on the move. With this new collaboration, Cargo will be offering Uber customers snacks, beverages, electronics, and even beauty products.
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Don’t want your ex on your Instagram? You can now remove followers on Android

You've always been able to unfollow those pesky over-posters or ex-significant others on Instagram, but never before have you had the option to exercise such control over you own photo stream. That's right, friends -- Instagram has begun testing the option to remove followers with just a few taps. 
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Smart doorbells and Apple HomeKit are not compatible, at least for now

Doorbells are not coming to Apple HomeKit anytime soon. At least, that seems to be what its Home Accessories listing suggests, now that Apple purged all mentions of HomeKit-enabled doorbells. The page once listed the August Doorbell Cam as "coming soon." Now, it seems that they're not coming at all. 
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Alexa can now have a conversation with members of the deaf community

Abhishek Singh, who first rose to prominence when he built Super Mario Bros in augmented reality, has created a web application that uses a camera to read sign language, and then translates those words into spoken language for an Amazon Echo. When the Echo speaks its response, the whole process is triggered in reverse.
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Blue Origin reaches a big milestone, lands rocket booster and crew capsule

Blue Origin is inching ever closer to sending folks into space, and with tickets slated to cost around $250,000, it's safe to say that folks are getting antsy for their opportunity to blast off. Jeff Bezos' space endeavor completed its most important test - a live separation of its crew capsule from its rocket booster

Ring launches the Neighbors app to keep your community safer

Your home is only as safe as your neighborhood, and no one understands this better than Ring, the smart home company dedicated to reducing crime in communities. To continue its mission of enhancing safety, the company launched the Neighbors app. National Night Out is now involved in the endeavor, too.

12 new moons were discovered orbiting Jupiter, and one’s an ‘oddball’

Jupiter's got 12 new moons. Well, not exactly. Those dozen moons have, of course, always been in Jupiter's orbit, but it was only this week that researchers from the Carnegie Institution for Science announced their discovery. The new additions bring the total number of moons (that we know of) to 79.
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Every parent’s nightmare: A 3-year-old gets trapped in a washing machine

When kids begin expressing interest in helping around the house -- poking around the dishwasher or learning about the laundry machine -- parents normally rejoice. But in the case of two curious kids and a new washing machine, the exact opposite result ensued. A 3-year-old got trapped in a washing machine.
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Nest will merge into Google’s home and living room team as CEO steps down

Nests' CEO is the CEO no more. Marwan Fawaz is no longer at the helm of the Google-owned smart appliance maker. Nest will join Google's home and living room products team, which Google says will streamline the integration of its machine learning technology and A.I. capabilities.
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Clean your home for cheap with these awesome Prime Day vacuum deals

Modern technology has made keeping a clean home a little bit easier, and now that tech is getting cheaper too. For Prime Day 2018, Amazon is slashing the prices of many of our favorite vacuums, some of which are of the robot variety, so you could avoid lifting a finger and avoid spending a fortune.
Instant Pot Hero

Ready to cook up a storm? Instant Pot Duo 60 is on sale for 35% off on Prime Day

If you're looking for a way to do more cooking without spending more time in the kitchen, Prime Day has a gift for you. It comes in the form of the Instant Pot Duo 60, a seven-in-one cooker that is meant to safeguard against even the most challenged home chefs. The Instant Pot Ultra 8-quart is also on sale.
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European Commission may slap Google with a game-changing fine over Android

Sources close to the European Commission claim Google will likely face a multi-billion-dollar fine come July arising from Android's dominance in the smartphone market, along with a few "suggestions" to keep the company out of hot water. But analysts don't think this will make a drastic change.
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Rolls-Royce wants to put you in a flying taxi come the early 2020s

Rolls-Royce wants to take you for a ride in the skies. The U.K.-based jet engine maker has unveiled a new concept for a propulsion system that would power a flying taxi. This would rival similar offerings from Airbus and Uber, and could make air travel far more common (and affordable) than ever before.
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Philips Hue will light up your life for cheap on Prime Day with smart light deals

Lighting up your life this Prime Day is a set of deals from Philips Hue, the company behind the popular smart lightbulbs making smart homes around the world just a bit brighter. We've long been fans of the brand's offerings, having first reviewed the company's smart lightbulbs way back in 2013.
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The BlackFly by Opener is a flying car that could turn us all into pilots

Forget self-driving cars. The race to build the first flying car is now very much on. This week, California-based startup Opener officially entered the flying car space with BlackFly, heralded as "the world’s first ultralight all-electric fixed-wing vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft."
kevo contemporary

Unlock your door with one touch thanks to the Kevo Contemporary

Smart locks are already decidedly 21st century, but now, they're getting some contemporary flair in terms of their aesthetics, too. On Monday, Kwikset debuted its newest smart lock model, the Kevo Contemporary. This modern smart lock promises homeowners a "DIY smart lock solution with unmatched convenience features."
Amazon Echo on kitchen counter.

Amazon Echo devices get steep discounts for Prime Day

If you've been waiting for the perfect time to see whether or not the hype around Amazon Alexa is warranted, Prime Day 2018 will likely be your chance. In advance of Amazon's biggest sale of the year, some of the company's most popular Alexa-powered smart home devices are getting their prices slashed.
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An iPhone survived 48 hours in the ocean and retained most of its battery

An iPhone 7 went for a dive, and lived a full 2 days to tell the tale. In what may be the most impressive story about a waterproof case, a scuba diver found a very rare form of marine memorabilia when she saw an odd light come from the seabed. The iPhone began to glow when it received a text message
lockheed martin 3d printing dome completed build

Lockheed Martin 3D printed an impressive titanium dome for satellite fuel tanks

Lockheed Martin has just taken 3D printing to new heights, printing an enormous titanium dome meant for satellite fuel tanks. It's the largest space part the firm has 3D printed to date, and measures 46 inches in diameter. This month, the new structure passed its last rounds of quality testing.
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Two of the last Blockbusters just closed in Alaska, leaving but one survivor

Blockbuster's inevitable march toward extinction has taken what might be its penultimate step. With the closure of the second- and third-to-last movie rental stores in Alaska, there is but one lone Blockbuster in Bend, Oregon. After this evening, the Blockbusters in Anchorage and Fairbanks will shutter.
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Elon Musk fires back at British diver who was critical of his submarine

While Elon Musk's offer of a submarine to help rescue 12 boys and their soccer coach from a Thailand cave made for interesting news and likely helped keep the emergency in the public eye, not everyone is thrilled with Musk. Vern Unsworth, a British diver who played a major role in the rescue, called the sub a PR stunt.
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eBay will give you a free Google Home Mini with any $119 purchase

Google is having a sale, Amazon is having a sale, and now, eBay is having one, too. If you're looking for a new smart speaker for your smart home, you can now get a Google Home Mini for free with any purchase of $119 or more on eBay. In some ways, that's a better sale than you can find anywhere else.
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Watch Kevin Hart ask Alexa if he’s more fit than The Rock

Turns out there are a few things that Amazon Alexa just doesn't know, and one of them is the comparative fitness of Kevin Hart and The Rock. The comedian recently sat down with three popular smart home devices -- an Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod -- to quiz them about his fitness levels.
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Hurom’s latest H-AI Slow Juicer can feed itself and save you the trouble

If you won't eat your fruits and vegetables, Hurom is making it easier to drink them. Here to ensure that you're getting your daily dose of vitamins, minerals, and everything else provided by those leafy greens and apple peels is the new H-AI Slow Juicer, the latest product from the South Korean company.