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Arguably, the whole convenience of Google's search and map skills (and by association, the voice-guided version) is the fact it's on your smartphone -- which is right in your pocket. However, In a bid to explain to Tokyo-ites that there's more to the eminently tech-friendly Shibuya outside of That Starbucks and the scramble-crossing, Google's erected a temporary structure right outside the station. Not only can you make voice search requests for the nearest tech store or... french patisserie, it'll display a map and directions on a huge 138-inch screen -- which you can then take a photo of, presumably, with your smartphone.

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HP 3115m laptop

Heads-up: if you're holding on to an HP or Compaq laptop sold between September 2010 and June 2012, you may need to swap out its power cord. HP has recalled the cabling for about 6 million of these older portables (5.6 million of which reached the US) after 29 incidents where the cord either burned or melted. As is usually the case with these kinds of programs, you just have to prove that you're using an affected system to get a free replacement. This certainly isn't what you want to hear if you're bringing one of these computers to school, but it beats losing your power cord to a fire in mid-semester.

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CEXEFE iPhone 4/4S screen showing notifications for various social media apps: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ also for app store, ma

Next time you're playing a favorite game on your iPhone and iPad, a huge ad -- or worse, a minute-long video roll -- might take over the screen. iAd platform's full-screen interstitial banner and pre-roll video ads, which were first announced earlier this year, are now available to developers. The full-screen ads appear as transitional screens, say, whenever you reach the end of a game level, while the video ads come in 15, 30 and 60-second variants. These are already available on other ad platforms, of course, but iAds were typically more unobtrusive, just banners that you can click on to launch advertisers' websites. As you'd expect, these new options will cost devs a lot more money. But if Apple does unleash an iPhone with a much larger screen (possibly this September), then these ads might just be worth their cash.

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Typically, we send rovers to our planetary neighbors one at a time -- but what if we sent a small team of smaller, less impressive robots instead? That's the idea NASA is exploring at Kennedy Space Center with Swarmies: a quartet of four autonomous robots designed to work together to complete a single mission. Working as a colony of insects might, the four machines use a combination of WiFi, GPS and webcams to survey an area, assess its value and contact the other robots if assistance is needed. The robots are less advanced than a typical rover might by, but working in tandem allows them to cover more ground. It also serves as a security measure: if one rover fails, there are three left to complete the mission.

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I'm not speaking

The internet is supposed to be a bastion of self-expression, where you're free to speak your mind knowing that someone, somewhere shares your feelings. However, Pew Research and Rutgers University have published a study showing that many social network users feel compelled to keep their mouths shut on sensitive topics. While the majority of those studied say they'd be willing to discuss a political issue like US government surveillance at dinner or at work, they're very shy about doing the same on Facebook or Twitter. Effectively, the internet is mirroring the real world -- people face a "spiral of silence" where they're afraid to share opinions that differ from those of their friends. That's borne out by additional findings that people suspect they have more disagreements with their online buddies than their personal acquaintances.

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A number of countries are starting to change those outdated rules on the use of personal electronics on flights, with some places taking slightly longer than others. The latest to follow suit, in a gadget-friendly list mostly comprising of US-based airlines, is Australia. Earlier today, the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority finally approved the request from Qantas and Virgin Australia to allow passengers to keep their devices on at all times while traveling, from liftoff to touchdown -- so long as they are kept on Airplane Mode. As expected, this only applies to handheld electronics, such as smartphones, tablets and e-readers; anything that weighs more than 1kg (2.2 lbs) will need to remain stowed during takeoff and landing. It is effective as of tomorrow, so now you won't have to throw a fit the next time your Virgin Australia steward tells you to turn that phone or slate off.

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Baking ingredients background

Few things in life are better than food, and even ridesharing companies like Uber are beginning to take note of this. Still, sometimes it's hard to know everything about the grub you're consuming, making you completely unaware of the impact certain stuff could have on your health. Enter TellSpec, a startup which has created a knowledge database, named TellSpecopedia, to provide people with detailed information on food ingredients. As it stands, the website covers a total of 1,300 every-day elements, including additives, contaminants and "manufacturing by-products," allowing you to search through them, find out what each ingredient is exactly and, ultimately, see if it's good or bad for your health. TellSpecopedia also lets you narrow things down and focus on how a specific ingredient can affect different sections on your body -- there are categories like Gastrointestinal Effects, Metabolic Effects, Cardiovascular Effects and many more. The new online database comes after TellSpec introduced a portable, $150 scanner last year, which allows users to identify food ingredients on the fly.

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Showtime's Anytime streaming portal has already been available to Xbox 360, Roku and other capable gadgets with the proper cable subscription. Now, Apple TV owners can access the network's library of programming and the cable channel's live feed (East and West coast) via the compact set-top box. Customers on Time Warner Cable, Comcast Xfinity, Cox, DirecTV, AT&T U-Verse, Verizon FiOS, Optimum and Bright House Networks can input their credentials to start streaming the likes of Dexter, Homeland, and Masters of Sex -- just to name a few. If you'll recall, Apple TV also received apps for NFL Now, ACC Sports and WWE Network (among others) over the last few months.

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Is your Tuesday evening missing a sense of ambiguous mystery? We've got something for you: Cyanogen and a start-up named Nextbit are working on "something really cool" for mobile devices, but won't say a word about what it actually is. Nextbit has been around for awhile, but its goals are nebulous at best. "The future of mobile is just getting started," its website reads. "We're building the groundbreaking technology that will take it to the next level." Cyanogen's partnership with the company was only just announced today, and it brings precious little information to the table -- offering only a survey suggesting that testers for the mysterious project may need to wipe their device (preferably a Nexus 5 or Nexus 7) to participate.

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Yes, people, this isn't a dream. What you see above is, indeed, a 3D-printed castle. After working on it for a few months, an architect from Minnesota has now finished building a fancy home made out of 3D printing materials. The man behind it, Andrey Rudenko, began his construction adventure back in April, when he decided he wanted to be the one to set a new bar for 3D-printed homes -- there have been some in China, but questions have been raised about the quality of them. "It has been two years since I first began toying with the idea of a 3D printer that was capable of constructing homes," Rudenko told the site 3DPrint. "When I started out, people struggled to believe this project would progress any further." Well, its very real now, and we can only imagine how dazzling it looks in person.

[Image credits: 3D Print]

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