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Facebook Home, the lock-screen replacement that changed any Android handset into a "Facebook phone," wasn't as popular as CEO Mark Zuckerberg had hoped. Fortunately, however, its other mobile efforts have proved tremendously successful. Continuing on their success in the mobile space, the social networking giant's second quarterly results reported around 1.07 billion active mobile users a month as of June 30th, which is an increase of 31 percent compared to last year and a slight climb over last quarter. What's particularly notable is that of the $2.68 billion the company made from advertising this quarter (it made a tidy sum of $2.91 billion overall), 62 percent of it came from mobile ads. That's definitely higher than the 41 percent it made from mobile ads this time last year, and is on trend with what we saw earlier this April.

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This is "Exobiotanica Botanical Space Flight," the latest project from Japanese artist Makoto Azuma. In tandem with JP Aerospace, self-described as " America's Other Space Program," Azuma set out to create beautiful imagery by sending a bonsai tree and a variety of other plants to space, using giant helium balloons and custom frames as the method of transportation. The results of Azuma's Exobiotanica project, which had its starting point in Block Rock Desert, Nevada, were spectacular to say the least, showing us what it's like for organic life to go where most humans haven't. Simply beautiful.

[Image credit: AMKK]

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It's understandable if having a homicidal alien stab you in the chest isn't your cup of tea, so, thankfully, there are more than a few examples of virtual reality that aren't nearly as gruesome. Take The Shoebox Diorama, for example. It's a series of interactive illustrations for the Oculus Rift, each with a different theme; the latest is about sitting atop a tower of chairs, called The Great Gottlieb. As Kill Screen notes, developer Daniel Ernst describes its premise thusly: this mountain of seats was built by the greatest circus acrobat who ever lived because he wanted a little peace of mind. While seated you can even reach out and grab for a star in the 3D sky, like the kid up above is doing. Sounds pretty tranquil, no? To complete the effect, a recent installation was erected (there's a video of it embedded below), where players sat atop a real stack of chairs and had a fan blowing at the back of their head.

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For most of us, browsing the web is pretty easy: type in a domain name, mash the enter key, and well, here you are. Behind the scenes, however, it's a mess of IP addresses, numbers and international stake holders. Part of ICANN's job is sorting all that out and making your web experience simple -- and recently its players have been trying to reduce the US government's influence on the organization. A little unsure how this power shift will effect you? Then read on: Google and internet progenitor Vint Cerf have teamed up to explain what ICANN is, how it's managed and why its global changes are good for the future of the internet. You can see the full video (complete with meme references and funny pictures) after the break.

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Denon AVR-X5200W reciever with Dolby Atmos

If you're wondering just when you can envelop yourself in Dolby Atmos sound at home, Denon is more than happy to tell you. The home theater firm says it will launch two Atmos-equipped AV receivers, the X4100W and X5200W, in the US this October. Neither will be cheap, as the bleeding-edge tech implies. For $1,399, the X4100W delivers Dolby's all-encompassing audio in up to a 7.1.2-channel setup (seven regular speakers, one subwoofer, two overhead); splurge on the $1,999 X5200W and you can add two extra speakers to the mix, whether they're on the ground or the ceiling. Either will bring the media support you'd expect for that kind of outlay, including 4K video processing and media sharing over AirPlay or DLNA. That's a lot of cash to shell out to add an extra dimension to your surround sound, but Denon is undoubtedly targeting very high-end living room setups -- if you didn't flinch at buying an expensive 4K TV, these receivers are for you.

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If you've hailed an Uber ride on a Windows Phone handset, you're aware that the you were beamed to the service's mobile site rather via a full-fledged app. That changed today, as the taxi outfit returns to Microsoft's mobile OS with proper software. This means users can lock in location, call for a ride and sort payments with a properly equipped handset. Uber's app is missing a few key features though, as in-app fare quotes, sharable trip info and fare splitting are on the way soon. While that's a bit of a bummer, the new version is available now for those looking to take advantage.

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It seems like every time we see Valve's Steam Controller, it gets a little more traditional. First the company abandoned the gamepad's ambitious touchscreen for eight buttons (a makeshift d-pad and the standard X, Y, B and A toggles) -- now it seems to be trading in four of those for an analog stick. Both SteamDB and a user on the Facepunch forums pulled the above image the company's latest Steam client beta, revealing a controller almost identical to the company's current iteration save for the aforementioned change.

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Puppy Pop on an LG G3

Are you an impulsive gamer? So impulsive that you can't even wait to unlock your phone before you start playing? If so, LG is entirely willing to cater to that (frankly disconcerting) behavior. The company has just launched Puppy Pop, the first game designed to work with the G3's QuickCircle case. It's a clever demo of what that round case window allows, although it's only a game in the loosest sense of the word. All you're doing is matching as many puppy heads as you can before time runs out -- it might do for a quick diversion at the bus stop, but it's not hard to see this wearing thin over time. You can grab the app today if you're curious, although you might want to wait for more substantial titles down the road -- or better yet, unlock your G3 and make full use of the phone you paid for.

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Cable Modem

If you're like me, you've paid for a certain speed from you internet provider only to get a fraction of the promised bandwidth. The FCC is reminding those who control access to the interwebs to be honest and forthcoming with their advertised data with the Open Internet Transparency Rule. The decree requires providers to give you every bit of data on their broadband services needed to make "informed choices." It also requires the disclosures to be "accurate and truthful," covering network management (handling congestion, etc.), performance, terms of service, plan descriptions, pricing and fees. You know, to eliminate surprises down the road. Of course, spilling data on expected and actual speed figures are part of the lot as well. And the Commission urges you to keep a watchful eye on your service, reporting any discrepancies with advertised numbers. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's full statement on the matter awaits after the break.

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To celebrate the start of Comic-Con tomorrow in San Diego, Marvel is kicking off a promotion that provides an all-you-can-have pass to its entire digital library for less than a dollar. There are a few caveats, as expected, but not enough to make the offer seem any less attractive. According to Wired, Marvel Unlimited, which is home to more than 13,000 comics, can be accessed over the next week with a simple payment of 99 cents. The deal will only give you an in to the service for one month, but the renowned publisher is hoping that's plenty of time to keep you locked in beyond said period.

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