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The optics savant that helped Google create Glass has just announced that he's "super excited" to be joining Amazon. Babak Parvis was one of the original members of Google's Project X skunkworks lab, and the first head of the Glass project team. Prior to that, the Seattle resident was a researcher at the University of Washington where he developed the first contact lenses with integrated circuits. Later, he worked with Microsoft on research for blood-glucose monitoring contacts with Microsoft, a project he eventually brought to Google. Parvis didn't say exactly what he'd be doing with Amazon, but projects like Google's Tango, the Oculus Rift and Amazon's new Fire phone and Firefly app have made optics designers a hot commodity. Meanwhile, Glass is well past the research stage where Parvis shined, so Google now has design guru Ivy Ross in charge for a likely consumer launch.

[Image credit: loiclemeur/Flickr]

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The UK may not have the best history when it comes to space exploration, but that doesn't mean it's not interested in boldly going where only a few people have gone before. According to Sky News, Britain could play host to one of the first spaceports built outside of the US, with a shortlist of eight possible sites expected to be confirmed later this week. As it stands, six of the possible locations are in Scotland, suggesting places like Prestwick, Stornoway and Kinloss, with one in Wales (Llanbedr) and the other in England (Newquay). According to the report, construction could begin as early as 2018, although we're not sure what effect the Scottish Independence referendum would have on the plans. Still, we're loving the fact that any visiting aliens who've hitched a ride on a Virgin Galactic flight will be able to load up on Irn Bru or Teisen radell before heading back to space.

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When you've got more than a few upstarts gunning for your throne, it seems wise to keep ahead of the game. That's why the Raspberry Pi foundation has announced an upgraded version of its Model B, the, uh, Model B+ -- which is described as the "final evolution" of the first-generation Raspberry Pi. The tweaked hardware now offers two more USB 2.0 ports, a microSD card reader and 14 more GPIO pins, making a total of 40 on the board. In order to achieve this, however, some sacrifices had to be made, including a new layout which promises to be both "neater," but may not fit your current cases. The outfit has also merged the composite video and audio ports into one and promises better audio, which is good, because Wolfson's audio card may no longer be supported. Thankfully, despite all of the changes, the foundation has pledged to keep the price the same both in the US and the UK. Fans of the older hardware need not worry either, as Eben Upton has pledged that the model B will continue to be manufactured for as long as the public demands it.

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BitTorrent Download

BitTorrent is set to dabble in paywalls by teaming up with an independent producer for a sci-fi series called "Children of the Machine." Rapid Eye Studios will produce and fund the $1 million pilot, which will revolve around teenagers, global warming and technology gone awry. BitTorrent has worked with TV makers and major studios in the past, but is trying a brand new tact for the show. To fund a full eight-episode run, at least 250,000 users will have to sign up for a "BitTorrent Bundle" for $10 after seeing the pilot. Right now such bundles are free, but it plans to introduce paywall bundles starting in September with music content from a yet-unnamed "major artist." BitTorrent told the NYT it's looking for users "willing to reward creativity by paying a fair price" for the new scheme. It admit that it's a risky experiment, though -- users may be too set on a fair price being "free."

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While Airbus is busy testing its answer to Boeing's Dreamliner ahead of its first passenger flights later this year, the aviation giant has also found time to give its A330 wide-body jet a makeover. Promising more seats and improved aerodynamics, which will reduce fuel consumption by 14 percent per seat, the plane-maker is also promising to drag the A330neo's in-flight entertainment into the 21st century. As well as WiFi, mobile connectivity and HD video, Airbus' new plane will also offer passengers the chance to watch films in 3D. Chances are you'll need glasses to enjoy the latest 3D movies when the A330neo takes to the skies in late 2017 -- hopefully Airbus will also account for those of us who are always placed behind someone who just loves to recline.

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Ingress on an iPhone

Google's Niantic Labs grew the potential audience for Ingress in a big way late last year, when it put out the finished Android version of its augmented reality game. Today, the studio is taking the next (if fairly obvious) step toward grabbing more players: it's releasing the long-promised iOS edition. Both iPad and iPhone owners can now capture territory ("portals" in Ingress-speak) and build up their virtual skills by visiting real locations. The experience will be very familiar if you've played before; missions give you an incentive to keep coming back, while faction chats let you coordinate turf battles and meet fellow players. There aren't any major tweaks or upgrades that we've seen. The game ultimately remains an excuse to explore new places, but that's not a bad thing if you're tired of visiting the same old haunts -- hit the App Store if you're willing to give it a spin.

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F-22 Raptor in a hard turn

The US isn't done throwing the book at alleged Chinese industrial spies. The Department of Justice has charged a Chinese executive living in Canada, Su Bin, with stealing sensitive info for Boeing and Lockheed Martin warplanes like the C-17 cargo hauler and F-22 fighter. Reportedly, Su partnered with two people to hack into the aircraft makers' networks and either pass along or sell any secrets to interested parties in China. Unlike other targets of the DOJ's wrath, though, it appears that Su was more concerned about profit than helping any government intelligence efforts. While he was handing over data to state-owned aviation firms, he complained of "stingy" buyers and was willing to take a long time to hash out a deal -- not exactly the hallmarks of a government-backed spy.

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Just like the Star Trek movies, we've mostly preferred the even-numbered ranges of Nokia Lumia handsets to the odds. We heaped praise on the 620, for example, with equal vitriol being poured onto the 520 that nestled beneath it. The Lumia 720 suffered the same fate when we reviewed it, finding that no matter how gussied-up the outside was, the low-power internals were an instant turn off. But what about you? It's likely that plenty of you only had room in your budget for this device, so was the experience as bad as you'd expected? Why not hop into our forum and talk yourself some Lumia.

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Google Play Store redesign for 2014

Many would argue that the Google Play Store for Android is useful in its current form, but pretty? Not so much. However, there are now signs that it's going to be much better-looking -- if not necessarily more functional. Android Police has obtained a wealth of screenshots hinting at a big Play Store revamp that borrows more than a few pages from the company's new Material Design handbook. Extra-large artwork is everywhere, and there are now a slew of icons that make it clear what you'll be getting, such as mature content. The layout isn't perfect; there's a lot of scrolling, for example, and some of the sharing features appear to be buried at the bottom. With that said, the new storefront is billed as a work in progress with no definite release date. It wouldn't be out of the question to see a few tweaks before the store reaches your mobile device of choice.

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