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Tractor beams now have a better shot at crossing from science fiction trope to reality, thanks to scientists at The Australian National University (ANU). They managed to push and pull a 0.2mm sized particle nearly 20cm using a "hollow" laser beam. That's a hundred-fold improvement over recent efforts at light propulsion, which have only moved microscopic particles short distances. The ANU team placed gold-coated glass spheres in the light-free center of the beams, creating hotspots on the surface that propelled the spheres via air reactions. The hotspot's location was changed by adjusting the polarization, giving scientists full control over the sphere's motion. Sure, it's not exactly the Death Star, but the scientists think it'll work over long distances -- meaning it could one day be used to, say, control pollution or move dangerous particles in the lab.

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Well, it's Monday, and that can only mean one thing: Apple's iOS 8.1 update has finally gone live for your installing pleasure. To recap, the new software -- which is debuting just over a month since iOS 8 first hit -- brings back once-trashed favorites like the Camera Roll, and strengthens the connection between your iPhone, iPad and Yosemite-powered Mac with features like SMS handoff and the uber-impressive Instant Hotspot.

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The OnePlus One has been sort of an underground hit, namely due to the fact you could only purchase the handset with an invite. Thankfully, if you've had your eyes on it for a while, OnePlus just revealed that its $300 Android smartphone is, more or less, ready to go mainstream next week, on October 27th. Pre-orders for the newly announced general availability are set to go live that day at 11AM ET, which is great news to people who haven't had a chance to jump on the invite-only wave. The bad news, however, is that this is going to be limited to a one-hour window. For now, OnePlus is continuing to take invites, so that's still an option to those with access to one. "While the pre-order system won't completely replace the current invites method, it is certainly a huge step towards expanding the reach of OnePlus," the company said in a blog post.

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Notorious for the constant surveilling and censorship of its people, the Chinese government appears to be at it again -- this time with Apple iOS users. According to a report from GreatFire.org, a website that focuses on privacy matters, China has secretly started collecting iCloud data through what's known as a "man-in-the-middle" intrusion; basically, the attacker eavesdrops by independently connecting to the user and making it seem as if it's a private connection, when, in fact, it isn't. Chinese Security expert Zhou Shuguang suggests that the network service providers are likely being told by the authorities to use fake trust certificates, making it rather easy for them to conduct these attacks.

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Not to be outdone by Microsoft's recent refresh of OneDrive, Dropbox has now made its iOS app compatible with Apple's fingerprint-scanning technology, Touch ID, as well. You'll need iOS 8 in order for the feature to work, but chances are you're already running the latest and greatest software from Apple anyway. Aside from adding the ability to unlock the application by way of Touch ID, Dropbox also updated it to support the bigger screens of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus -- something that owners of Apple's newest smartphones will definitely appreciate. Now someone tell Google to hurry and do the same for Drive.

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There are already a good handful of options in the smart bulb market, but if you're after something more of a portable mood light with notification feature, then Hong Kong startup Witti may have something for you. The Notti, a project just launched on Kickstarter, is a 'polygonic' smart LED box that hooks up to your iPhone or Android phone over Bluetooth. This cool-looking device comes with a companion app that lets you set the color theme for the mood light mode, and you can do the same for specific types of notifications -- be it from e-mails, social networks, calls, messages and more. Better yet, the device also serves as a music visualizer as well as a wake-up light -- as shown in the video after the break. As for battery life, a single charge will last up to a month.

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We've been waiting for Virgin Galactic to begin ferrying passengers to the edge of space for what seems like forever, but now it looks as if we might be getting close. CEO George Whitesides has announced that test-flights of the SpaceShipTwo are about to recommence, after spending almost all of 2014 rooted firmly to the ground. The hold-up was caused by the company's decision to switch to a different brand of rocket fuel that, while improving the vehicle's performance, forced the team to begin engine testing from scratch. Now that the necessary certifications have been granted, we can expect to hear much more from the company as it tries to make Sir Richard Branson's promise of flights in 2015 a reality.

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Spotify has just addressed one of the main beefs with its service: the lack of ability to share a premium subscription. With Spotify Family, you can now share your $9.99 plan with up to four other folks for an extra $5 per. That means the price starts at $14.99 for you and one friend, going up to $29.99 with five people altogether, for a savings of $5 to $20. They won't be stuck with your musical taste, either, as each member will get their own account with separate playlists, recommendations and more. That makes Spotify's premium service pretty tempting, and don't worry if your family or friends aren't music lovers -- that never stopped Sprint's Framily subscribers.

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Bluesmart smart carry-on

Losing your luggage is no fun, but while companies like Trakdot have been selling trackers for some time, a startup is taking to Indiegogo to create what it calls the "world's first smart, connected carry-on." Bluesmart is a small suitcase with a host of features that its makers believe frequent travelers can't live without. Priced at $235 (or as low as $195 for early adopters), it'll include proximity tracking to alert you if you walk away from your luggage, a TSA-approved lock that's controlled by your smartphone, and a built-in battery to charge your gadgets. There's also a scale integrated into the handle that'll tell you how much your bag weighs just by lifting it off the ground, and a quick-access compartment for storing your laptop.

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When Amazon introduced an updated version of its flagship Kindle Paperwhite last year, it took the easy way out -- after all, tweaked internals, improved software and slightly better lighting do not a thrilling e-reader make. The 2013 Paperwhite wasn't bad by any stretch, just a bit boring. Now, a year later, Amazon has put together a reader that's anything but. Say hello to the Kindle Voyage.

On paper, the new Voyage sounds like a home run. Smaller footprint? High-resolution screen? Something akin to physical page-turn buttons? Sign me up! It's Amazon's first truly premium Kindle, unless you count the dodo that was the DX, and this time around the company's catering to die-hard readers. But here's the real question: Does anyone really need a $199 e-reader (with ads, no less)? In a word, yes.

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