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Just this year we've seen open data give rise to recreations of Denmark in Minecraft, the ability to compare cities at the same scale and also collections of geo-mapped tweets and traffic lights. But what about a practical application for all of that info, one that has a more tangible benefit to society, like, say, crime prediction? That's what the University of Trento in Italy had in mind with its "Once Upon a Crime" study. The researchers coupled freely available (and anonymous, aggregated) demographic and mobile phone data with real crime data to forecast where in London an infraction might occur. Just how accurate was it? The Italian scientists say that their predictive algorithm was on-point, accurately anticipating whether an area would have either high or low levels of vice, 70 percent of the time. No, it's not quite enough to let Chief Anderton and co. start running wild just yet, but it could be a way to help cities struggling with budget woes decide what areas need more (or fewer) police patrols.

[Image credit: Getty Images]

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Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, there still exist some people on planet Earth who believe it's the only celestial body humanity has ever walked upon. You've heard it before -- the moon landing was a hoax, a mere TV drama produced by Stanley Kubrick presented as fact to dupe the Soviet Union into giving up the space race. This deliciously ludicrous conspiracy theory has been debunked countless times, but now its advocates have one more refutation to deny: NVIDIA's Voxel Global Illumination tech demo. It's a GPU-powered recreation of the Apollo 11 landing site that uses dynamic lighting technology to address common claims of moon-deniers, and it's pretty neat.

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Back in February, NVIDIA trotted out the very first desktop GPUs to feature its new Maxwell architecture: the GeForce GTX 750 and 750i. These entry level cards were paragons of efficiency, but they were hardly strong examples of what the company's latest graphics technology was truly capable of. No, NVIDIA revealed those graphics cards today -- the GeForce GTX 980 and 970 desktop GPUs. The new flagship GPUs still benefit from the efficiency gains made by the first generation Maxwell cards, but lean far more heavily on performance. If you're a PC gamer with a GTX 680 or 560 in your tower, these are the cards NVIDIA wants you to upgrade to.

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Woman on the internet with a broken heart sign

It's made you distrustful and toyed with your emotions and now a Staten Island Support Magistrate has deemed Facebook an acceptable vehicle for your legal woes. According to the New York Post,
Gregory Gliedman ruled that Noel Biscocho could use the social network to serve his ex, Anna Maria Antigua, with a legal notice that he no longer wishes to pay child support for their 21-year-old son. The ruling reportedly came after Biscocho attempted to reach Antigua multiple times in the real world. And here we thought breaking up via text message was bad.

[Image credit: Peter Dazeley / Getty]

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Want a curved display from Samsung but don't quite have the scratch to bring one of its gigantic models home? Maybe try the 27-inch S27D590C monitor on for size when it releases at some ambiguous point in the future. The firm seems to be targeting gamers specifically with the monitor, saying that the curve creates a wider field of view (178 degrees horizontally and vertically, if you're curious) and gives the screen a "3D-like" effect when you're playing shooters and racing games, among other genres. There's even a one-button game mode that makes a few adjustments to compensate for motion blur, color and contrast too. Unlike Dell's not-flat display, however, this one's limited to a paltry 1,920 x 1,080 lines of resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. This'll probably be fine for us commoners, sure, but it might not be enough for the PC Master Race.

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Apple isn't the only one that's making its software a lot more secure, and erm, fed-proof -- Google's upcoming Android platform will apparently be encrypted by default, according to The Washington Post. The publication didn't clarify whether it's Android's full-disk encryption, which Google first rolled out in 2011, but it did say that nobody can access the encrypted device (not even the company), unless they know its four-digit pin. Does that mean users will be forced to nominate a passcode upon setup? We don't know for sure, but with encryption in place, Mountain View (just like Apple) won't be able to assist authorities in searching your phone, so long as you keep your passcode a secret.

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Google wants to get rid of frustrating 404 error pages and make websites still feel interactive even if you're not connected to the internet. So, the company has recently developed a new technology called "Service Workers," and Google software engineer Alex Russell talked about it at length during the O'Reilly Velocity conference in New York this week. To be precise, Service Workers is a new browser standard that will allow websites to store documents locally (similar to apps), in order to render cached pages or any other interactive content anywhere you are. Say, you're loading a website just as you enter a tunnel or reach an area with no coverage, you'll then see an older version of the site instead of getting an error message. As Russell puts it, "We want to load something instead of nothing."

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Back in 2012, a UK company called Oxford Nanopore announced a chewing gum packet-sized DNA sequencer, something that people found hard to believe since rival machines can be as big as fridges. After dealing with technical issues and bugs (as well as being accused of launching vaporware), Oxford has finally begun making that device called MinION available to beta testers. Several of the testers (mainly scientists doing research in educational institutions) reported that it only exhibits a 60 to 85 percent accuracy. While that's nowhere near more traditional sequencers' 99.99 percent accuracy, many of the testers still believe that the device could be a game changer due to its size and relatively affordable price. Traditional sequencers could cost as much as $1 million, while the testers bought their MinIONs for only $1,000 each.

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Your tablet can fire off emails and help you rotate beautiful, Escherian worlds, but can it capture the world around you in glorious 3D? Probably not, but the newly revealed (and Android-powered) Aquila from Mantis Vision and Flextronics can. Most of its spec sheet reads like any other top-flight tablet's would -- it's got a 8-inch screen running at 1900 x 1200 and a punchy Snapdragon 801 chipset ticking away in there -- but the telltale dual image sensors 'round the back make it clear this isn't your average Android slate. By capturing regular color footage and infrared depth data, the Aquila can put together an awfully detailed spatial representation of your surroundings.

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Today marked a special occasion in Engadget history: it was the day we published a story about making butter infused with marijuana. That isn't all that's happened in the past 24 hours, though, we also have a guide to the new iOS 8 keyboards, spotted that Aubrey Plaza is voicing Grumpy Cat and a whole lot more. Just check out the gallery below!

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