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Some researchers study carbon nanotubes -- and then there are these guys. Thomas Wagner and his students from Kaiserslautern University in Germany have used an Oculus Rift headset to transform a real rollercoaster into an virtual experience. That's been done before on the sly, but this time it was legit: the group teamed up with rollercoaster builder Mack Rides, and developed several apps for an Oculus headset and built-in laptops. The VR "rides" were synced to the motion of two different coasters by tracking their wheels and using human monitors. The apps sport various themes like a wacky flying horse chariot ride, a submarine tour and a space shooter complete with a gamepad (see the video, below). It's still just a (really fun) experiment, but the coaster maker and researchers are keen to work out the bugs and commercialize it at some point. In case you were wondering, the FAQ shows that the headset won't fall off, the Oculus sensors work in extreme g-forces, and no, the VR won't make you barf -- as long as it's in sync with the ride.

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If you typically share your computer and your browser with a sibling, a roomie or a friend who has no respect for your privacy, this latest Google Chrome beta update might make things easier for you. It comes with a pull-down menu that lets you easily switch users, put the browser to guest mode or launch an incognito tab on Windows, Mac or Linux. According to some comments in the update's Google+ announcement, though, you still have to log off from your accounts to be sure your activities remain for your eyes only, just in case someone decides to peek. The guest mode automatically deletes the other user's browsing information, on the other hand, so they won't have to worry about you seeing their secrets.

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Video footage has emerged showing that ISIS militants deployed a $500 consumer drone to spy on a crucial Syrian airfield, which they eventually seized. Taken by a DJI Phantom FC40 drone, the video was spotted on YouTube (and pulled, since it also contained graphic scenes of execution). It shows images of the base from what looks like a lofty altitude, along with insurgents discussing how to use the info. They later sent in suicide bombers to attack the important northern airfield, but it's unclear if the information from the drone was of much strategic use. However, the footage has further value for the group as propaganda. It formed part of a disturbing video meant to show that the group is high-tech (and extremely violent) which helps it attract and radicalize new recruits.

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Google Authorship is no more. It has lived for only three short years, from the time Mountain View launched it in 2011, displaying people's faces alongside anything they've written on a website tied to their Google+ accounts. Yes, it stopped showing author's profile pics back in June, because the company wanted to unify mobile and desktop experiences, and Authorship snippets take too much space on a phone's screen. But now it's officially dead, dead, dead, with Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller issuing its death certificate. See, people haven't been using it enough, and when they do, they almost always miss a step in the set-up process, like forgetting to link back to the publishing site on their Google+ profiles.

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Binging on Mad Men via Netflix or Blu-ray has a few advantages over watching the show when it broadcasts. Namely, not having to sit through commercials that jump higher in volume than anything heard in the halls of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. As spotted by The Hill, the FCC is hoping to change that last bit with an update to 2011's Commercial Advertisement Litigation Mitigation (CALM) Act; the outfit recently ruled for further volume-fluctuation restrictions for certain TV ads. Starting June 4th next year, an improved loudness measurement algorithm will be implemented that should make watching TV a bit more pleasant. How? It won't count the silent parts of an ad that can offset the commercial's average volume measurement, thus bringing the overall audio level down -- something that apparently hasn't been done before. We can't imagine that Harry Crane would be pleased by any of this.

[Image credit: Associated Press]

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On the B-side of LG's announcement that it will start selling two 4K OLED TVs, is the bad news for plasma. Korean papers Yonhap News and The Korea Times report home entertainment division lead Ha Hyun-hwoi's comments that the company will end production of plasma TVs soon. According to Ha, LG is conducting an internal study to decide when it will end plasma production -- not a bad run after rumors said it would shut down in 2008 and 2009 -- and will make an official announcement on the issue soon. LG is the last major brand making plasmas after Samsung announced its exit earlier this year, and Yonhap says that once LG shuts down, China's Changhong Electric Co. (the same company once on the receiving end of $1 billion worth of stolen plasma tech from LG) will be the only major manufacturer left in the game. If you don't love LCDs and you're not ready to drop $3,500 on a 55-inch OLED, it may be time to grab one of the few remaining plasmas and ride that out for the next few years.

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LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy has dabbled in some weird stuff since the group split up three years ago, so the news that he's now working with IBM to convert the back-and-forth cadence of tennis matches at the US Open into music... isn't really a surprise. What is surprising is what he and dev-collaborator Patrick Gunderson will ultimately wind up with: nearly 400 hours worth of algorithmically crafted "music" made from boiling serves, aces and faults into instrument tracks.

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Firefox typically fills a new tab with tiles of your most-visited websites, but if you're one of the brave souls using the Nightly experimental build, you'll see something else in there, too: ads. Mozilla has started rolling out sponsored tiles interspersed among websites you've visited on Nightly, months after the organization first announced its plans to do. When you first launch the browser, you'll get a pop-up notification that says some of the tiles will feature sponsored content, and that it'll clearly mark which ones are ads. But TheNextWeb, which has spotted this latest change on the browser's least stable build, noticed that some ads weren't marked at all.

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Today, we take a look at the LG G Watch R, catch Schrödinger's cat, learn about Apple's next iPhone event, uncover the science behind the traveling stones of Death Valley, and more! Read on for Engadget's news highlights from the last 24 hours.

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If you ever find yourself trying to remember just exactly what restaurant your friend recommended on Facebook several months ago, you might be able to do so soon with just a simple keyword search. Along with a "satire" tag and stickers in comments, it appears the social network is testing a feature that'll let you do a keyword search on old posts from people in your network. To be clear, the search will only be on posts that are meant for you to see. In other words, posts that your friends published as private will still be banned from your curious eyes if you're not the intended audience. Additionally, this test is apparently mobile-only. A Facebook spokesperson gave us this statement: "We're testing an improvement to search on mobile. In this test you can use keywords to search for posts you're in the audience for on Facebook." It seems the test has rolled out to a limited few for now, though seeing as it seems a bit of a no-brainer for us, we won't be surprised if this is rolled out officially some time soon.

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