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Acer Starbreeze, Facebook Oculus, Google, HTC Vive, Samsung and Sony Interactive Entertainment have announced the formation of an international non-profit organization, called the Global Virtual Reality Association (GVRA), to research and foster virtual reality technology and bring together all the players in this global industry, including consumers. Together, partners in the alliance hope to shape the future of virtual reality by developing this emerging industry and taking it forward in synergy with consumers. "The goal of the Global Virtual Reality Association is to promote responsible development and adoption of VR globally," said the GVRA.

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Super Mario Run is coming out December 15th, but to play it you’ll need an active internet connection. Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed this detail in an interview with Mashable, saying the requirement was introduced to curb piracy. “For us, we view our software as being a very important asset,” said Miyamoto.

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If reports are to be believed, Apple has scaled back ambitions to build its own car, but it’s still going strong with its more prosaic automobile offering: CarPlay. It’s not clear in terms of precise numbers how this compares to Google’s rival car OS, Android Auto, but both companies cover all the major manufacturers. As of this October, Android Auto was scheduled to be available on more than 40 2016 models, including some from BMW, Fiat Chrysler (including Dodge and Jeep), and Toyota and Lexus.

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Facebook continues to flesh out its in-app camera features, releasing a new tool that lets members of the public create and submit their own custom photo frames for others to use. The social network has offered photo frames for your profile picture since 2015, but hasn’t let anyone create their own before now. Like Facebook’s other photo experiments (including a version of the app that opens straight to the camera instead of the News Feed), this new tool isn’t available to everyone.

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Fugitive Indian businessman Vijay Mallya said on Friday that his Twitter account had been penetrated by a hacking group called Legion, which posted links to what it alleged were details of Mallya's bank accounts, offshore investments and luxury cars. Mallya, a flamboyant former billionaire who made his fortune from a liquor and beer empire, moved to Britain in March after being pursued in courts by banks that his now defunct Kingfisher airline owed around $1.4 billion. "Legion will find you, hack you, expose you," read one of several postings tweeted by the hackers on Mallya's official Twitter account before they were erased at around 1215 IST (0645 GMT).

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MarvelThe first trailer for Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming debuted on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, giving us a clear look at how well leading man Tom Holland can handle himself in the ol’ red and blue pajamas.The trailer follows Spider-Man as he interrupts a bank robbery, perches on tall buildings, and takes life advice from Tony Stark. We also get a glimpse of Jon Favreau as Tony Stark’s body man Happy Hogan and of Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes / Vulture. ...

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Scientists have known for a while now that many dinosaurs had feathers, and simply weren't the shiny, leathery reptilian beasts that movies are so fond of depicting, but finding intact feathers that have survived untold eons is virtually impossible. That is, unless a dinosaur somehow found a way to accidentally let a portion of its body get smothered in tree sap and then conveniently died in a place where humans would eventually stumble upon it. It seems at least one such dinosaur did exactly that. In a new paper published in Current Biology , a group of scientists led by Lida Xing detail the discovery and inspection of a remarkably preserved tail from a member of the dinosaur subgroup Coelurosauria. The tail is partially covered in amber, allowing humanity a rare glimpse of its original appearance. The fossil was discovered in Myanmar, and is thought to be from the mid-Cretaceous period, which puts its age somewhere in the neighborhood of 100 million years. The scientists have already ruled out the possibility that the tail was from a prehistoric bird due to the vertebrae structure in its tail, meaning that this was indeed a feathered, ground-dwelling dinosaur. The feathers themselves are described as being flexible in nature, suggesting that they are more in line with ornamental feathers — that is, feathers that have little or no value when it comes to flight. That means the feathers were almost certainly for looks and little else. However, these prehistoric feathers are still an important puzzle piece for researchers attempting to trace back the origins of feathers as a whole.

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If you were using Twitter this evening and noticed a distinct lack of @-symbols in your mentions, you weren't alone. Twitter has confirmed that it 'accidentally' pushed an 'experiment around replies' to all iOS users, removing the conventional username signifier from the start of replies and making usernames no longer count toward character limit. “Upside, we got helpful feedback,” Twitter says.

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The undeniably cool speeder bikes featured prominently in the third Star Wars installment, Return of The Jedi , are one of those sci-fi staples that we never expected to see realized by modern technology. Leave it to YouTube star Devin Super Tramp to throw that notion out the window and actually assemble a team that makes them a reality. Well, sort of. In a new mini fan film, those iconic levitating bikes break free from their fictional foundations thanks to some impressive handiwork and help from  Jetovator . Jetovator is the company behind those water-powered jet bikes that you may have seen attracting onlookers at your local watering hole, and for the purposes of the geeky fan short, several Jetovators were heavily modified to look similar to speeder bikes from a galaxy far, far away. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QdDqIqGWbo&feature=em-uploademail The actual film is just a few minutes long, and very B-Movie in its execution, but it's a fun watch and pretty entertaining nonetheless. But what's probably even more impressive than the goofy short is the making-of video where we get to see how the bikes were born. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSgUwi5IdTg&feature=youtu.be The Jetovators, which require a personal watercraft and an experienced operator to supply the horsepower and rapid water flow to the bike itself, got a duct tape makeover to give them their sci-fi appearance. The same treatment was given to a pair of dirt bike helmets in order to nail the speeder pilot look. If you don't examine any of it too closely, it all looks pretty spot-on, assuming you can ignore the giant jets of water spewing out of the speeders.

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Few people can say they can master parkour, the art of surpassing obstacles by jumping over or bouncing off of them. It looks all very exciting but it’s very difficult. That’s why it’s exciting to see researchers from UC Berkeley have taught a robot to perform similar jumping tricks which could be used one day to save lives. DON’T MISS: NASA’s Saturn orbiter just sent back the most stunning photos yet Salto, short for Saltatorial Locomotion on Terrain Obstacles, is the name of the tiny robot shown in the following video, a machine that can jump better than any other similar machine. The robot can jump over obstacles as high as a meter (3.3 feet), and in the future it may be able to navigate complex obstacle courses that would help rescuer find survivors in rescue missions. What’s impressive about the robot is that it’s very small. It measures just 26cm in height and weighs about 100 grams. As The Verge reports , the robot is based on the galago, a small nocturnal primate that can jump more than 2.25 meters in a single leap.That explains why it’s able to perform such jumps. Its legs store energy in stretchy tendons, which allow the robot to jump instantly, without requiring a recharge period. Salto also has a tail inspired from the agama lizard which lets it control its direction in mid-flight. The robot can also bounce of walls, and leap over even higher obstacles. The researchers at Berkeley are looking to devise technology that would let them plot a course for the robot. The machine would then be able to use the waypoints to jump towards a final destination that might be unreachable to regular humans, regardless of their parkour abilities. Check out how Salto works in the following clip. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvIk39rkkiU

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For the first time, the feathered tail of a 99-million-year-old dinosaur has been found preserved in amber. Barbules, which can still be found on today’s birds, allow feathers to link together — creating insulation or a surface impervious to the elements.

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Life expectancy for people born in the United States has just dropped for the first time in over 20 years, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control, ending a streak of improvement that began in 1994. According to the group, newborns in 2015 can expect to live an average of 78.8 years, which represents an overall 0.1 year dip from the year prior. The report breaks down the numbers for added clarity, showing that the life expectancy for men dropped from 76.5 years in 2014, to 76.3 years in 2015, while women show a drop from 81.3 years to 81.2 years over the same period. As of 2015, the leading causes of death among all persons in the United States are: As you can see, nearly every cause of death saw an increase in prevalence from 2014 to 2015, with the only exception being a drop in the rate of cancer-related deaths. However, death rates for black and hispanic women, and hispanic men remained level. Life expectancy for those at age 65, which is a measurement that largely weighs on improvements in senior care, remained unchanged from 2014 to 2015. 65-year-old men have a life expectancy of 18 years, while women live longer at 19.4 years. Speaking with STAT , CDC researcher Dr. Jiaquan Xu noted that the opioid overdose has increasingly weighed on the results. “We’re seeing so many more preventable causes of death, and they’re significantly affecting mortality negatively," Xu said. “Motor vehicle accidents have gone up 6 percent. And accidental poisoning increased 13 percent. And 97 percent of accidental poisoning was from drug overdoses and alcohol."

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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has chosen Apple CEO Tim Cook to deliver its 2017 commencement address. MIT made the announcement on its website Thursday. It says Cook will headline the June ...

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Apparently, we're now in the era of voice computing. But there's some things that are probably best handled by a keyboard and mouse in the interests of security: your bank details, internet browsing history, and the ability to turn your PC on and off. Microsoft doesn't seem to have got the memo on that last part, as one of Cortana's "handy new tricks" is voice-activated shut down and restarts. I see no way in which this will ever be abused. DON'T MISS: NES Classic Edition will be back in stock at Best Buy stores on December 20th As part of a raft of new features added to the beta Windows Insider build of Windows 10, Microsoft has updated Cortana. There's new things that should be genuinely useful, like voice-activated volume controls, music playback from within a (very limited) range of apps, and adding a cool-looking full-screen Cortana option. Unfortunately, someone at Microsoft accidentally added power options to Cortana while doing all of this. So, you can just say "Hey Cortana, shut down," or "Hey Cortana, lock the computer." These things will be great when you do them; they will be bad when your seven-year-old kid works out how they work, or an annoying person on the other end of a speakerphone, or even a particularly stupid TV commercial. Think I'm making this up? Go check out what people have to say about the voice controls for the Xbox One. There have been the same problems floating around forever; only, on the Xbox One, you can unplug your microphone. For the millions of people who work on Windows 10 laptops with built-in mics every day, I forsee this feature adding a tiny dose of convenience, and a massive amount of abuse.  

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Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz speaks at the WSJDLive conference last October. Magic Leap’s allegedly revolutionary augmented reality technology may in fact be years away from completion and, as it stands now, is noticeably inferior to Microsoft’s HoloLens headset, according to a report from The Information. The report, which incorporates an interview with Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz, reveals that the company posted a misleading product demo last year showcasing its technology.

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Soon enough, you'll be using devices that will employ Bluetooth 5. Bluetooth 5 could have a profound impact on the way your gadgets work. According to the Bluetooth SIG, Bluetooth 5 has four times the range, twice the speed, and eight times the ability to carry message content between devices compared to previous-generation technologies, like Bluetooth 4.

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Rockstar Games, best known for the Grand Theft Auto series, was one of the first big-name game publishers to fully embrace iOS and Android as platforms for re-releases of its most popular titles. Now, the company is bringing one of its most beloved cult favorites to iPhone, iPad, and Android devices, and it's glorious. Bully , an open world adventure where you attempt to adjust to life at a boarding school where virtually everyone has a problem with you, originally debuted for the PlayStation 2 way back in 2006. It received an updated release later for the Xbox 360 and eventually PC. That game was called Bully: Scholarship Edition , and that's what the iOS and Android version, called Bully: Anniversary Edition , is based on. This re-release includes every bit of Bully -related content that exists, with upgraded graphics and high-res textures befitting HD displays, along with touchscreen controls and even "Taptic Engine Feedback" on the buttons for iPhone 7 and 7 Plus players. There are also all-new Friend Challenges, which are essentially mini-games that you can play against your friends. In short, it follows Rockstar's now established tradition of high-quality mobile game ports. That being said, not all devices are capable of running the game, so you'll need at least an iPhone 5, iPad Mini 2, or 4th gen iPad or newer to play it. On the Android side of things , the game demands Android 4.0 or later, but individual device specs aren't noted, so your gameplay experience may vary. The game is a pretty reasonable $6.99 across both platforms, which makes it a good deal cheaper than the $14.99 PC version.

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As yet another potential example on the long list of conflicts of interest facing Donald Trump, Variety reports that the President-elect will keep his executive producer credit for the upcoming season of Celebrity Apprentice on NBC, complete with payment. The New Celebrity Apprentice will debut on January 2nd — 18 days before Inauguration Day — and run for an eight-episode season. Trump’s name will appear in the credits with Apprentice creator Mark Burnett and new host and EP Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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Apple might be designing the A10 Fusion chip that goes into the iPhone 7, but it’s TSMC that manufactures it for the company, and the Taiwanese giant is rumored to be the only supplier of iPhone 8 chips next year. TSMC is fighting for the lucrative Apple deal with Samsung — the two shared A9 chip production for the iPhone 6s last year — and seems committed to keeping Apple as a client. To do so, TSMC is ready to invest almost $16 billion in new facilities that will build the chips of the future, and which should help Apple make the iPhone even better. Next year, Apple is rumored to have a TSMC-produced A11 processor inside the iPhone 8, built on 10nm process technology. TSMC’s competitors including Samsung will also manufacture 10nm chips that will go into iPhone 8 rivals next year, including the Galaxy S8 and other high-end mobile devices. But TSMC confirmed it’s already looking to develop 5nm and 3nm chips in the future. "We're asking the government to help us find a plot that is large enough and has convenient access so we can build an advanced chip plant to manufacture 5-nanometer and 3nm chips," TSMC's Elizabeth Sun told Nikkei Asian Review . The company said on Wednesday that it wants to build a $15.7 billion facility in the country, where these advanced mobile chips will be used. TSMC is looking to start 10nm chips production in early 2017. The new facility will start mass-producing 5nm and 3nm chips as early as 2022, so there’s plenty of waiting for such mobile components. After 10nm, TSMC, and its rivals are looking to manufacture 7nm chips that should be used in future iPhone and Android devices. The smaller the process, the faster and more energy efficient the chips are, so it’s likely that Apple and other handset and tablet makers will look towards TSMC, Intel, Samsung, and other chip manufacturers for more advanced chip designs. "We are now on 10nm node, but we can't comment what we are going to do in the future... We will continue to evaluate, and when there is an advantage, we will do it," Qualcomm senior vice president Raj Talluri said in a press conference in Taipei on Wednesday. Samsung will make Qualcomm’s 10nm chips for next year, including the Snapdragon 835 that will power the Galaxy S8. But Qualcomm is said to have hired TSMC to make a 7nm chip in the future. These chips are set to arrive in the first quarter of 2018. Nikkei also points out that Intel will start making 10nm chips in the second half of 2017 and Samsung will make 7nm chips in late 2018. Intel and Samsung are yet to announce plans to develop 5nm and 3nm chips down the road. Aside from the iPhone, TSMC is also targeting other types of products, including AI, machine learning, and self-driving cars which will require powerful chips in the future.

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The government is proposing that airlines be allowed to permit their passengers to make phone calls during flights using Wi-Fi despite complaints from flight attendants and others that the calls could ...

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In 2009, Britain’s GCHQ spying agency was actively targeting the CEO of one of Europe’s largest cloud hosting. A new report published by Le Monde (in partnership with The Intercept) found OVH CEO Octave Klaba’s name on a list of “interesting names” used as part of a metadata test by GCHQ in 2009, alongside ambassadors and politicians. As a web hosting provider, Klaba and OVH have often drawn criticism for the sites they host, whether they’re pirating content or promoting unorthodox political views.

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Hell doesn't appear to be freezing over and it's definitely not April 1st, so I guess this story is actually true. More than 2.7 million AT&T customers will be getting refunds on their bill credits in the next two months, as the Federal Trade Commission settles an issue over AT&T billing for "premium text message services" without the consent of customers. According to the FTC , AT&T added a $9.99-a-month charge to the bills of many consumers, purportedly for "premium text messaging services," including ringtones, wallpaper, and text messages providing horoscopes, flirting tips, celebrity gossip, and other similar information. The practices continued until January 2014, when the FTC managed to get AT&T to stop the practice . But today, the Commission announced that it's been able to go even further, getting AT&T to refund those charges to consumers. Through the FTC's refund program, 2.5 million current AT&T customers will receive a bill credit in the next 75 days, while former customers will be getting a check in the mail. Those refunds aren't small, as the FTC says the average amount is $31. The refunds come from a 2014 settlement, which saw AT&T pay $80 million towards refunds. The refund program itself is being administered by a third-party company, Epiq Systems, rather than AT&T. This is the last step in a long process for the FTC, which has been planning this refund for years. It forced AT&T to notify customers who had been affected by the bad billion practices. Those customers in turn filed claims with the FTC, who examined the validity, and is now processing the refunds. The FTC has established a site to help anyone with questions about the refund process, and to also pre-emptively work against scammers who will undoubtedly use these "refund checks" as an opportunity to scam unsuspecting victims.

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Hillary Clinton has called for Congress and Silicon Valley to counter an “epidemic” of fake online news, after a conspiracy theorist fired a gun inside a Washington, DC pizza parlor he believed was part of a child sex trafficking ring linked to Clinton. Clinton raised the subject of “malicious fake news and false propaganda” more generally, saying it had “flooded social media over the past year.” But “it's now clear that so-called fake news can have real-world consequences,” she said.

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Earlier today, Electrek stumbled across a new Model 3 photo ( via Imgur ) which provides us with an updated look at the car's interior. While we've seen official press shots of the Model 3 interior from Tesla before (not to mention unofficial shots as well), the latest photo gives us a cleaner look at what Tesla has in store for its highly anticipated mass-market EV. Of course, the feature that jumps out the most is the car's rectangular touchscreen. Notably, it's a tad smaller and is oriented differently than the 17-inch touchscreen that currently comes standard on the Model S and the Model X. While it's certainly nice to see an updated shot of the Model 3, the photo above still leaves the most important question surrounding the car unanswered. If you look closely, you'll notice that the Model 3 does not have a traditional instrument cluster, something which comes standard on practically every car on the planet. That being the case, Model 3 drivers who want to quickly check their remaining range or their current speed presumably have no choice but to glance over to the center console, thereby taking their eyes off the road in the process. The following image from Tesla's Model 3 unveiling event provides us with a better perspective on the conspicuous absence of the instrument cluster.. So what gives? Is Tesla simply trying to cut corners to ensure that it can meet its projected $35,000 price point? Not exactly. For starters, some take the position that in a world where cars can drive themselves, the need for a traditional instrument cluster is somewhat obviated. Still, we're a long ways a way before that becomes a practical reality, even though self-driving technology itself is improving every single month. Second, and far more intriguing, are rumors suggesting that the final shipping version of the Model 3 will feature a heads-up display on the windshield. Whether this rumored HUD will come standard on every Model 3 or will be an add-on at extra cost remains to be seen. Regardless, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has tried to assure prospective customers that it will all make sense eventually. https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/716713294128500737?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

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Samsung appears to be planning to permanently disable Galaxy Note 7 units in the US with an update that would prevent the recalled phone from charging. According to an image obtained by The Verge, an alert went out to at least one Note 7 owner on US Cellular today stating that, “As of December 15th, Samsung will modify the software to prevent the Galaxy Note 7 from charging. Samsung declined to comment, and US Cellular did not respond to a request for comment.

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