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Imagine Mario Kart, Looney Tunes and Top Gear got together to plan a wild, rockin' birthday party for a 9-year-old. The result would probably resemble Skylanders SuperChargers, the latest game from Activision and Vicarious Visions, due to launch in North America on September 20th for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U and iPad. This is the first Skylanders game to feature vehicles in its toys-to-life lineup -- and we're not just talking cars.

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Synaptics SmartBar keyboard example

Your smartphone's keyboard has loads of shortcuts that help you write faster, but the keyboard on your big, brawny PC doesn't. Seems illogical, doesn't it? Synaptics doesn't think it makes sense, either. The input firm is launching SmartBar, a technology that turns your keyboard's space bar into a touch-sensitive surface for gesture controls. You can swipe your thumb to select text, pinch to zoom in and program five "logical buttons" that perform macros, such as formatting text or building units in a favorite real-time strategy game. This might only save you a couple of seconds reaching for your mouse, but Synaptics is betting that those little time savings will add up.

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The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has today announced plans to supply the majority of Metropolitan Police officers with roughly 20,000 body-worn cameras within the next ten months. Like other law enforcement agencies, particularly in the US, London police have been conducting a formal trial of the devices, said to be the biggest of its kind, for the past year. This body-cam beta test, which currently generates around 6,000 video clips each month, is due to complete this summer, but already the hardware has shown promise in on-the-fly evidence collection and improving trust where officer accountability is paramount, such as in stop-and-search scenarios.

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While Dell managed to surprise us with its rather handsome XPS 15 -- the sibling of the thin-bezel XPS 13 laptop -- at Computex, it's also bringing us a range of both new and refresh models ahead of the Windows 10 launch. Starting off with the headliner we have the Inspiron 15 7000 series laptop (pictured above) that runs on Intel's quad-core Core i7H chip, and it's garnished with Waves MaxxAudio enhancement plus a "performance class" NVIDIA graphics processor with 4GB of GDDR5 memory, so you'll get some good gaming action on it. Most importantly, the machine's 15-inch FHD display has an optional 4K touchscreen upgrade that looks stunning, though it isn't clear as to how long that 74WHr battery can last for. The price? All we know so far is that it'll start from 5,999 yuan or about $970 when it launches in China on August 7th.

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Skype users aren't safe from app-crashing messages, too. VentureBeat has discovered through the service's community forums that the app suffers from a bug similar to Apple's texting flaw. If you recall, that one crashes the Messages app when it receives a specific string of Unicode characters. It's even easier to put Skype out of commission: all it takes is sending or receiving "http://:" without the quotes. The flaw affects Skype for Windows, iOS and Android in different situations. For instance, it crashes the Windows app if you're the sender and completely kills it if it's the one receiving that string of characters. However, the iOS and the Android apps are only affected when they're the recipient, and Skype for Mac seems to be immune from the issue.

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After Microsoft recapped all of the major themes from the Build conference at its Computex keynote today, it tried another tactic to promote Windows 10: showing off sexy new devices. Microsoft corporate vice president Nick Parker revealed for the first time a 15-inch version of Dell's XPS with its nearly bezel-less screen; an all-in-one from Acer; a convertible Toshiba notebook; and a mysterious HP tablet. Unfortunately, HP whisked away that new tablet before we could take any photos, but it appeared to work with some sort of keyboard cover. Details on practically all of these devices are nil for now, but we've gotten in touch with all of the respective companies for more. For now, ogle at the pics.

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If you don't want to be reliant on (or still don't really like using) a trackpad, and tire of dragging a full-sized mouse around, then the Odin, a laser-projected mouse, might be worth a look. You've seen (even very recently) laser projected interfaces that cover keyboards, but the team that made Odin says it's the world's first laser-projected mouse interface. Which sounds pretty cool... as long as you're willing to carry around the disembodied head of a tiny Transformer around when meddling with spreadsheets. We just gave it a cursory web browsing test, and while it lacks, obviously, the physical feedback of either mice or clickable trackpads, it behaves a whole lot the former. We just wished it looked a little, well, subtle.

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AT&T signage

AT&T previously called the FCC's new net neutrality rules "a tragic step in the wrong direction" and even filed a lawsuit to block them. However, it would obey at least some of the new stipulations if its $49 billion purchase of DirecTV is approved by regulators, according to the Washington Post. That's a big reversal from before, when it specifically said it would not tie any net neutrality promises to the merger. It also contrasts sharply with Comcast, which vowed it would walk away from its (now-moot) TWC merger before bending on net neutrality.

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Google and other companies developing self-driving vehicles now have another state to consider for public road testing: Virginia. It has earmarked 70 miles of highway in the northern part of the state -- now called the "Virginia Automated Corridors" -- for the project, which will be overseen by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI). Any car slated for testing in the Mother of States must first undergo an initial trial on the institute's smart roads before they're unleashed in public. VTTI director Myra Blanco told Richmond Times-Dispatch that the state will make the process easier for interested parties compared to other states. But if the car does pass the trial, it will still have to be manned by a driver during the actual tests, just in case the vehicle's system malfunctions.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Used to be that if you purchased and downloaded a game from Steam, and it didn't work out for whatever reason, you'd generally be SOL. However, Valve has recently reversed its zero tolerance return policy and will issue refunds for online purchases (with a few caveats) through Steam Support. According to the newly established Steam Refunds page, "You can request a refund for nearly any purchase on Steam — for any reason." That's just so long as you've played the game for less than two hours and request the refund within two weeks of buying it. DLC content has a similar two-hour window while in-app purchases will be refundable for a full 48 hours. There are a few niggling exceptions to that rule -- movies and games you've been banned in, for example, are not eligible -- so head over to the refunds page if you have specific questions about your purchase.

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