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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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A leaked video spotted by Android Police appears to show sweeping changes for Gmail 5.0 on Android, including integration with Yahoo, Microsoft and other email services. We say "appears," because the strangely formatted video came from an anonymous user on a little-known upload site. Still, it looks like a genuine preview of the app, and at least one of the users in the video is an actual Google marketing employee. That out of the way, what does it show? The juiciest new feature is third-party email integration, with support for Yahoo, Hotmail and others just a swipe away. Gmail has always supported POP3 accounts, but the new feature would let many users dump their other email apps. Otherwise, we see a wholesale design change to Android 5's Material look, with new icons, colors and more. Check the video below or the source, but in this case we'd advise a pinch of skepticism -- sometimes these things don't pan out.

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doctor who and the dalek, game, bbc, doctor who

The BBC is tapping everyone's favorite time-traveling doctor to help get kids into coding. The broadcaster is launching The Doctor and the Dalek, a Doctor Who-themed game that features a number of puzzles designed to instill the fundamentals of programming in players. It ties in with the BBC's recently announced initiative to help children understand coding, and the puzzles are crafted to compliment the English computing curriculum. In order to reach their goal, players will need to rely on instruction combinations (as seen in the image above), changing variables and working with repetitions and loops.

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The newest social network on the block, Ello, has a shiny trick up its sleeve. Next time you log in, you should see a change to how notifications are handled now. Instead of cluttering your Friends and Noise feeds with call-outs about invites, following and @ mentions, those have been moved to what Ello calls the notifications drawer. Any previous @ mentions have been removed from feeds and transferred there, with the outfit noting that if you received emails about those updates you should be fine. However, if you have emails turned off, those notifications "may" no longer exist. Speaking of email, there's a new settings page to check out that'll let you change what actions will spark a message.

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A black hole, naturally

Here on Earth, it's rather difficult to replicate curved space-time -- to get that kind of effect in nature, you'd have to get uncomfortably close to black holes and other distant space objects. However, researcher Nikodem Szpak may have found a way to simulate that bend without facing oblivion. His proposed technique puts supercooled atoms in an optical lattice created by a laser field; so long as the laws of quantum mechanics and thermodynamics hold true, the atoms should behave like they're experiencing curved space-time. You can even change the lattice's pattern to mimic different circumstances, whether it's a moment right after the Big Bang or the surface of a star.

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Troll doll

Online harassers in the UK may soon face much harsher consequences for their scare tactics. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling tells the Daily Mail that a newly proposed measure will let magistrates send cases of internet abuse and threats to crown courts, boosting the maximum prison time for those cases from six months to two years. The measure likely won't intimidate the most determined of trolls if it takes effect, but it could serve as a warning to "casual" abusers who don't think they'll pay a price for their long-distance hate campaigns. Given how nightmarish internet threats have become as of late, the proposed tougher sentencing might be well-timed.

[Image credit: Eirik Solheim, Flickr]

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NASA wants to refine the ability of future spacecraft to land on Mars, since they'll have to ferry humans and other large payloads to the red planet. To that end, the agency has teamed up with SpaceX to record thermal camera footage of the Falcon 9 rocket as its first stage detaches and burns through the atmosphere. The first stage of a rocket is typically its largest part and what's ignited at launch -- once it runs out of propellant, it separates from the upper stages, usually as the rocket nears the boundary between our planet and outer space. Its descent back to Earth presents Mars-like conditions, which means data collected from the footage could, in NASA's words "provide critical engineering information for future missions to the surface of Mars."

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Do you remember Spot? Well, that was Microsoft's very early smartwatch effort, lost in the mists of bygone technology. Finally, a long time coming, a more modern effort from the company is apparently on its way-- and coming soon. According to Forbes' anonymous sources, Microsoft's next smartwatch will be able to passively track your heart-rate (meaning less stress on the battery) and work across several mobile platforms. Both points make a lot of sense, but the latter could be especially important if Microsoft wants a hit: Windows Phone is still a very distant third to both Android devices and the iPhone. The rumored product could also explain why the heck Microsoft developed a smartwatch keyboard in the first place. We'll let you know more when we hear it.

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In a launch presentation in Tokyo, Japan (apparently the company's favorite place for new product launches), Dyson tackled the surprisingly sketchy hygiene issues that come with more typical humidifiers. To prove how gosh-darn better Dyson's Hygienic Mist humidifier is, the company's microbiology team (which of course it has) incubated water with bacteria to see how a typical humidifier transmits that to a room. A selection of agar jelly plates grossly demonstrated how that bacteria spreads around a room. However, in an early comparison, with the same concentration of bacteria in the water, Dyson's test humidifier, with UV light cleansing the water, knocked out 99.9 percent of the bacteria -- the current model manages this in three minutes. The device launches in Japan in early November, priced at 60,000 yen (roughly a hefty $560) and we've got the rest of the engineering details after the break.

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