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If you're noticing a new tab at the bottom of your Twitter app for iOS and Android, you're not alone. The social network is experimenting with a "Featured News" tab that surfaces trending news items in its mobile apps to keep users engaged. The new tab sits right in the middle of the apps' bottom row and when tapped, surfaces what's currently happening in the world. Tapping on a news item not only opens up a screen with an image, block of text and link from the source, but a list of tweets from other publishers and Twitter users about the item. According to a Twitter spokesperson, "we're experimenting with a news experience on iOS and Android as we continue to explore new ways to surface the best content to users."

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Take the red pill, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes

You might be familiar with the concept of 3D-printed medical equipment, but you're going to have to get used to seeing 3D-printed medicine, too. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved its first drug manufactured using 3D printing, Aprecia's epilepsy-fighting Spritam. The medication uses a porous, 3D-printed formula to help deliver even very high doses (as high as 1,000mg) while remaining easy to swallow -- all you have to do is take a sip of liquid to quickly disperse the drug and get it into your body.

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The latest trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's "Exo Zombies" mode might not feature a megalodon-esque sea-borne monstrosity, but it does have John Malkovich doing his best Werner Herzog impression for the voice over. So there's that. This final episode takes place fathoms below the ocean surface with Rose McGowan, Bill Paxton (game over, man!), Joe Bernthal and the inimitable Bruce Campbell coming back to tie up the story. "Descent" hits Xbox Live tomorrow with other platforms to come in the future. If you're a PlayStation fan that's green with envy, just remember that your early exclusivity period starts with a Black Ops 3 beta and add-ons this fall -- there's even a mode where you murder the undead and chew gumballs in Rapture-esque, art-deco city streets as Jeff Goldblum.

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Making geek dreams come true, Star Trek's original Lt. Uhura, Nichelle Nichols, announced a few days ago that she's going on a mission for NASA. But don't get your hopes up Nichols getting into space -- she's actually flying on the agency's airborne observatory SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy), which studies things like the birth and death of stars, black holes in galactic centers and how new solar systems come together. Due to its unique observation location, it can detect things far out of reach for ground-based telescopes. Nichols says she'll be flying on September 15th, and she might even be able to share her experience live on her celebrity philanthropy site, Starpower. This isn't her first time on a NASA mission: She also flew on the first-generation Kuiper Airborne Observatory back in the '70s. SOFIA is an upgraded mission, which uses a customized Boeing 747 and six instruments for capturing the cosmos, including cameras, a photometer and spectrometers.

[Thanks, Kristy]

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Sony Holds Press Event At E3 Gaming Conference Unveiling New Products For Its Playstation Game Unit

If you've been itchin' to give PlayStation Now's streaming a go on your gaming handheld, the wait is over. The subscription service officially arrived on the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV, delivering access to over 125 games on those two devices. PlayStation Now had been available on the Vita and PlayStation TV in beta form for months, but now it's making a proper debut after hitting the PS3 back in May. In addition to equipping two more gaming gadgets with the service, five new titles are being added this month. Joining the library of titles in August are Dynasty Warriors 8, MX vs. ATV Supercross, Bomberman Ultra, The Last Guy and, most importantly, God of War III. With new games being added on the regular and Sony offering newcomers a free one-week trial, there's really now excuse for PlayStation owners to take the service for a test drive.

[Image credit: Getty Images]

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mirrored_particles_with_shines

The Massachusetts General Hospital research team that lit up human cells with the help of jellyfish genes a few years ago are back with a more advanced version of the technology. This new version forgoes the complicated external mirror setup in favor of injectable oil droplets impregnated with fluorescent dye. This is the same basic idea as what a team from St Andrews University recently created, except that the plastic bead that served as the their laser's resonating chamber is now an oil droplet. While the technology isn't ready for therapeutic applications just yet, it does hold a great deal of promise. The problem with conventional cellular markers and dye is that they have a broad emission spectrum which can make it difficult to spot the marked cells amidst the rest of the tissue. But with these miniature lasers, doctors will be able to mark and track individual cells no matter where they are in the body. The team recently published their findings in Nature Photonics.

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The International is back and bigger than ever. The 2015 championships for Dota 2, Valve's massively popular MOBA, take off today in the "main event" stage, beginning with three matches between LGD Gaming and Team Empire. In total, 16 teams have a shot at winning The International when it comes to a close on Saturday, August 8th. There's a total of $18 million up for grabs, with payouts ranging from $54,000 for 16th place and $6.5 million for first -- and these figures should rise before the end of the tournament, since it's funded via ongoing purchases of the Compendium, a package that offers players in-game goodies at $10 or $27 a pop. Twenty-five percent of all Compendium sales go straight to The International's prize pool. Watch The International's official, live coverage below (heads up, it autoplays).

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This rendering depicts a new "plasmonic oxide material" that could make possible devices for optical communications that are at least 10 times faster than conventional technologies. (Purdue University image/Nathaniel Kinsey)

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a new kind of material that could improve the speed of optical communications by as much as 5000 times the current state of the art. The material is made of aluminum-doped zinc oxide (AZO) and it is able to change the amount of light it reflects by up to 40 percent while consuming a fraction of the power that conventional optical semiconductors consume. By reflecting more or less light, the material can encode and transmit data. What's more, this material operates in the near-infrared spectrum range, which is what is most commonly used in optical communications.

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Asian Carp leaping out of the water

The next time you go fishing, make sure to bring your smartphone... it might just help you protect an endangered species. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is partnering with the developers of mobile app FishBrain to crowdsource conversation data. A new feature in the free software lets you catalog as many as 50 threatened species (aquatic or otherwise) during a trip, helping conservationists find out both where these critters live and why their populations are dropping. It seems paradoxical to ask anglers for help saving coastal life, but it makes sense when you think about it -- they're the most likely to see these rare animals, and they're often well aware that extinction has dire consequences. The big challenge will simply be getting enough people using the app to provide meaningful input.

[Image credit: AP Photo/John Flesher]

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On the surface, Dot sounds like a fairly standard smartwatch: It resembles a Fitbit and features a messaging system, navigation functions, Bluetooth 4.0, an alarm and, of course, a timepiece. Dot is remarkable because it's a braille smartwatch -- the world's first braille smartwatch, in fact. Its face features a series of dull pins that rise and fall at customizable speeds, spelling out words in braille as the user places a finger on top. With this system, Dot allows users to read ebooks without throwing down thousands of dollars for a portable braille reader. The watch should hit the market for less than $300, with pre-orders staring this year. Plus, Dot has an active battery life of 10 hours, according to inhabitat, so get ready for some serious reading time.

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It's that dreaded time of year when lazy summer days with their open invitation to sandals, surf and shirtlessness begin to give way to the crispness of fall, hoodies and the back-to-school doldrums. Ah, but there's hope on the horizon: You can always buy things to forget the scheduled machinery of life. And, oh, have we got some selections for you -- no matter your budget.

First up, our picks for the most cost-conscious of the back-to-school set.

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If you find yourself re-ordering office supplies, you can also nab Amazon's smart speaker in one fell swoop. Staples is the only place other than Amazon where you can purchase the voice-controlled Echo device. While Echo is listed on the Staples website, it's unclear whether or not the speaker will be available in stores (the two stores closest to me don't have them). The retailer known for paper and pens may seem like an odd choice as the only "exclusive" spot to nab the Alexa-powered gadget, but Staples also sells Kindles, Fire TV and Fire tablets, so it's not too much of a stretch. If you're looking to grab one, it carries the same $180 price tag and is available now via the Staples website.

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Xiaomi's Hugo Barra holds up a Mi Note

It looks like Apple's time at the top of China's smartphone heap was short-lived. Researchers at Canalys estimate that local brand Xiaomi has once again become the country's smartphone market share leader, snagging 15.9 percent of shipments during the second quarter of the year. In fact, Apple is down to third place -- one of Xiaomi's fastest-growing rivals, Huawei, claimed the runner-up spot with 15.7 percent. Samsung and Vivo rounded out the top five.

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Indian sex workers call for legalization

India's government has been threatening to crack down on porn in the country, and it looks like the administration has made good on its word. The Department of Telecommunications has blocked 857 sex sites (including everything from Fleshbot's blog through to hookup site Adult Friend Finder) in the name of "decency." While the restrictions may not affect everyone -- some mobile users report unfettered access, for example -- they're definitely noticeable on at least some landline internet providers. Officials claim that India's IT Act grants them the authority to block content if it preserves "public order" and prevents sites from inciting crimes.

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The next version of Soylent is perfect for anyone who's been intrigued by the curiously named food replacement, but doesn't want to deal with mixing messy powders and storing pitchers of liquid. Soylent 2.0 is actually going to be pre-mixed and bottled, making it just as convenient as plenty other nutritional drinks out there, like Ensure. Each bottle has around 20 percent of your daily recommended values for vitamins and minerals, and the drink also has a low glycemic index of 49.2 (which means it won't shoot up your blood sugar). It also has a shelf life of one year and doesn't require refrigeration, so you could conceivably keep a few around your desk for when you can't make it out for lunch. Soylent 2.0 is clearly an attempt by Rosa Labs to make its hyped up meal replacement, which has been popular with techies, more palatable with mainstream consumers.

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Marcus, Dom, Baird and Cole in Gears of War: Ultimate Edition

It's all well and good that Gears of War: Ultimate Edition lets you relive the original game in the series, but what about the other three titles? Don't worry -- you'll get those too. Microsoft and The Coalition have revealed that anyone who buys Ultimate Edition between its August 25th launch and the end of the year will also get access to all of the Xbox 360 Gears games through backward compatibility. They won't look nearly as polished as the remaster, of course, but you also won't have to dig out your old copies (or buy any games you don't have) just to follow humanity's fight against the Locust from start to finish. While it'd be nicer if this offer lasted so long as Ultimate Edition was available, this is still a big deal in an era when some studios are only interested in letting you replay one game from a much larger franchise.

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Key Speakers At The Microsoft Build Developer 2014 Conference

In case you haven't heard, Windows 10 is here, and the version for phones will arrive soon. To help you prepare, Microsoft posted the initial list of Lumia handsets that'll be privy to the free upgrade later this year. The collection of mobile devices includes Lumia 430, Lumia 535, Lumia 640 XL, Lumia 735, Lumia 830, Lumia 930 and others for 10 total. This means that if you own one of group, or have been thinking about picking one up, you'll be able to grab the new software when it's released. Of course, Windows 10 Mobile will deliver those universal apps, a retooled Action Center and Microsoft's new Edge browser. For the full list of phones that will be included in the initial update, jump down past the break. Bummed because your daily driver didn't make the cut? Don't fret: this is the first set and there could be more included later.

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An Amazon shipping box with Prime tape

For a long while, Amazon would let you share some of your Prime perks with four other people of any age -- handy if your roommates need to get an order in a hurry. However, it looks like the internet shopping pioneer is clamping down. A quiet rule change on July 31st has limited Prime sharing to one other adult as part of an "Amazon Household." Moreover, that other grown-up has to use the original member's credit card (update: not really true, see below). That's fine if you're sharing it with a significant other, but lousy for anyone else.

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Samsung Sign

After admitting that it didn't do enough to prevent illnesses and deaths of workers at its Korean semiconductor plants, Samsung has launched a new fund to put things right. Reuters reports that the company has set aside 100 billion won ($85.8 million) to compensate employees after it was revealed that hazardous working conditions had caused workers to contract leukemia and other incurable diseases.

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No, this isn't the next flagship camera you've been waiting on from Fujifilm -- but this doesn't mean some of you won't be interested in it. The company today announced the X-T1 IR, a new edition of its high-end shooter featuring infrared technology, which captures details that aren't normally visible to the human eye. On the outside, Fujifilm's new camera looks identical to the original X-T1, with the two main changes being internal. While the X-T1 IR also features a 16.3-megapixel APS-C X-Trans CMOS II unit, its sensor's Standard IR cut filter was removed and an anti-reflective coating has been applied to it. Other than that, the remaing specs are the same: there's an EXR Processor II, a max ISO range of 25,600 and a weather-resistant shell, to mention a few.

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