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A big part of what's won Chrome a lot of converts is how much faster it is over the competition. That speed comes at a price, though: The web browser is notoriously a resource hog (especially if you have a dozen or so tabs open at once) and it dramatically cuts into battery life. As Google tells it, the latest version of the browser will help absolve those sins a bit. New tweaks include restoring only the most frequently used tabs should it detect that your machine is precariously low on resources, and a way of detecting when a page isn't busy with something else and using the free processor cycles to clean up idle memory.

By the looks of things, Google's self-driving cars have been learning a lot in Austin, Texas. In its first report since it began testing autonomous vehicles in the city, the company details the challenges its cars have had to face while driving on its roads. For instance, they've been spotting and avoiding a lot of deer, some of which might have ended up as road kill if they happened to come across ordinary vehicles instead. The system also had to learn to identify new infrastructure, such as horizontal traffic signals. Google has learned, however, that one of the major problems it has to tackle is pedestrians stepping off the curb onto the road while hidden by other vehicles.

iPhone and iPads owners looking for a browser alternative are one step closer to seeing Mozilla's option on their devices, but right now a "preview" of the app is only available in New Zealand. In a blog post it says this limitation is so it can gather feedback before taking it to a few more countries ahead of any public launch. Assuming you are a Kiwi, you can try out its Intelligent Search with suggested results across certain sites, and sync your info from the desktop with a Firefox account. Everyone else is invited to sign up for a notification of when the app will arrive in their country.

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Over the last few years, we've learned that US law enforcement agencies not only regularly use "Stingray" devices to locate suspects by their cellphones, but go to great lengths to hide this activity. After extensive reporting on the subject, the Department of Justice has established an "Enhanced Policy for Cell-Site Simulators" (PDF) detailing when they can be used by federal agencies, and how. A big part of that is the requirement that agents obtain a warrant first, except in certain cases that can include ongoing hacking attempts and people in danger of death or bodily harm. Also, they can't be used to collect communications like emails or texts at all.

IFA started with a bang as Sony whipped out the Xperia Z5 Premium, a smartphone that comes with the "world's first" 5.5-inch 4K display. That was swiftly followed by the launch of Huawei's Mate S, a phone that's designed to kill the iPhone 6 Plus by basically copying its every design feature. Then there was ASUS' new gaming laptop that's so powerful it needs its own water pump to keep it cool. We took some time to bring you the most exciting announcements from the show floor, so don't hesitate before hitting that play button.

Check out all the news from Berlin at our IFA 2015 hub!

Back to school. Those three words can strike fear in even the hardiest of kids. We're celebrating the beginning of the semester a little differently, because, well, that's what we do on Playdate. Rather than spend the afternoon quoting Billy Madison, we're going to be playing through No PIneapple Left Behind, a game that skewers the politics of the American education system. And who better to talk about it than Seth Alter, the former teacher who developed the game? No one, that's who. So join us here at 6 pm ET / 3 pm PT as Sean Buckley and myself walk through these pineapple-filled halls for two hours on Twitch. You can tune in here on this post, Twitch.tv/joystiq or even the Engadget Gaming homepage. And no, there's no need to bring an apple for us -- just being a good sport in chat is reward enough.

Poisonous and the enemy of the reef as it eats coral polyps - Ko Lanta, November 2010

Crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) are voracious coral consumers with a propensity for population explosions, which makes them very real threats to the world's coral reefs. And while they're typically held in check by fish higher in the food chain, overly aggressive human fishing has decimated these predator species. That's why a team from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia has spent the past decade developing a fully autonomous COTS-hunting robotic submarine to help bring these populations back into balance.

Almost a year ago, Apple put a Retina display inside its 27-inch desktop. A report from 9to5Mac says we could see a high-res panel on the smaller 21.5-inch model soon as well. The word comes from Mark Gurman, who has a solid track record for news like this, of the new iMac initially tipped by clues inside the upcoming OS X El Capitan. Despite the larger all-in-one getting a 5K Retina panel last fall, the report claims that the 21.5-inch version will come equipped with a 4K display and resolution of 4,096 x 2,304 (up from the current 1,920 x 1,080). While Apple has an iPhone-focused event scheduled for next week, Gurman says the new iMac won't be announced until next month. If you're not too thrilled about paying a premium for a higher-resolution display, chances are the current model will remain available. Even after the 27-inch Retina model arrived, the 1440p option stuck around.

Samsung is making a habit of teasing its next announcement at the end of launch events. After today's Gear S2 official reveal, the company teased a new tablet: the Galaxy View. Of course, details are quite scarce right now, but we do know that the slate sports a Surface-esque kickstand that's either built-in or added by a case. The device maker only offered the hints of "think bigger" and "a new dimension of entertainment" alongside the promise that we'll get more info next month. And when those specs emerge, you can bet we'll bring you the latest.

Check out all the news from Berlin at our IFA 2015 hub.

Google and its mapping service Waze are being dragged to court over allegations that Waze stole data from a rival's map database. The lawsuit filed in San Francisco federal court on Tuesday by PhantomAlert alleges that the navigation app used proprietary data from PhantomAlert without permission. Both apps share road, red light and traffic information. According to PhantomAlert CEO Joseph Seyoum he noticed that Waze was using the same fictitious location information in its app that his company had used to test PhantomAlert. The only way Waze would have that fake location data is if it was using information from Seyoum's company.

Netflix's newest original series, Narcos, just hit the streaming service last week, and the early reviews have been positive. The company seems to think pretty highly of the show, too. In fact, it's already teasing us with word of a second season. There's no info on a premiere date or additional details right now, but we'd expect it to ship sometime next year. Until then, get to watching if you haven't. It's really quite good.

This post was created in partnership with The Wirecutter, a list of the best technology to buy. Read their continuously updated list of deals at TheWirecutter.com.

You may have already seen Engadget posting reviews from our friends at The Wirecutter. Now, from time to time, we'll also be publishing their recommended deals on some of their top picks. Read on, and strike while the iron is hot -- some of these sales could expire mighty soon.

Teenage girl checks and sends text message while waiting in

Researchers at Barcelona's Telefonica Research lab have developed a smartphone-based algorithm that determines a user's level of boredom based on how much they're using the device. The algorithm also takes a number of factors such as time of day and how long it's been since receiving a call or text into account as well. With it, the researchers were able to accurately gauge a user's level of boredom 83 percent of the time.

Google Updates Its Logo

Silicon Valley's anti-poaching conspiracy has reached its conclusion. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh has approved the $415 million settlement, suggested by Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe earlier this year. The four tech giants have long been accused of agreeing not to poach each other's employees. According to the employees who filed the antitrust class action law suit in 2011, the internal policy to not hire someone from one of the other companies in the pact stunted their growth and prevented them from having access to higher paychecks. One of the main deciding factors in the case was a set of emails between senior executives like Steve Jobs and Eric Schmidt that revealed the practice of "no-poach" lists and requests that attempted to thwart the hiring of valued employees.

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If you live in a metropolitan area like San Francisco, New York or Chicago, you understand the appeal of a tiny car. It's easier to swoop through traffic and it can be parked nearly anywhere. Smart says the Fortwo is the tiniest of the tiny cars available in the United States. The latest version of the Mercedes-Benz-built vehicle is still only 8.8 feet long, but it's gotten wider with more forgiving suspension. It's also filled with additional standard features making it feel more like a car and less like a compromise. To highlight the new diminutive driver's features, Smart set up a scavenger hunt in the retirement community for 30-year-olds: Portland, Oregon. If you're going to take a car meant to tackle an urban environment for a spin, it might as well be in a city with a road system that seems like it was laid out more as a practical joke than a way to get drivers from point A to point B.

T-Mobile has launched a video calling feature that you can access straight from your smartphone's stock phone dialer. With T-Mobile Video Calling, "there's no need to search out, download, configure and register additional apps," said CTO Neville Ray. It seamlessly switches between LTE and WiFi and automatically drops to voice-only when bandwidth is low, switching back if you get a better connection. There's a serious catch, though: It only works on Samsung's brand new Galaxy S6 Edge+ and Note 5 phones now, with support for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge coming next week.

Luxury audiovisual brand Bang & Olufsen (B&O) has just announced a pricey wireless speaker, the $999 BeoPlay A6. The style evokes the back of a chair, gently curving and covered in designer fabric from Danish studio Kvadrat. Apparently, this isn't all about looks, though. B&O says its unique shape "enables sound to fill an entire room whilst creating ambience in multiple areas of a house." The interface for the A6 is pretty interesting too. It's all based around swiping and tapping the top of the speaker. A swipe right, for example, turns the volume up. Holding the center mutes, and a quick tap skips the track. Perhaps not the most intuitive control scheme ever, but a cool talking point nonetheless.

Few companies have churned out as many different smartwatches as Samsung, so it's little surprise the company is showing off a new one — the Gear S2 — at IFA. What is a surprise, though, is how much more elegant, more polished the S2 feels compared to just about all of Samsung's previous attempts. After years of seemingly blind iteration (and just a little bit of hands-on time), Samsung finally seems to have a style, if somewhat controversial smartwatch on its hands.

LG's never been scared of trying new things when it comes to smartphones, even pioneering the strange-yet-convenient back button placement other manufacturers have copied since. By comparison, the company has played it safe with its G Pad tablet range, none of which have had any particularly stand-out features. And after briefly playing the LG's new G Pad II 10.1 here at IFA, it seems like the company is quite happy sticking to its rather unexciting formula. Last year, LG opted to release three sizes of tablet, but for now at least, the G Pad II only comes in the one form factor, with a 10.1-inch 1,920 x 1,200 display.

Skype users have ridden a rollercoaster of different designs over the years, and the latest version promises yet more change. Version 6.0 has been completely redesigned for both iOS and Android apps, which are now in lockstep with each other. For Google's ecosystem, the new layout took a page from the Android 5 "Material" playbook with circular icons and other touches. Other features include a floating action button to start new calls or chats (à la Facebook's Messenger), enhanced search and improved messaging. There are also custom ringtones, photo sharing and web link reviews to bring the app in line with rival messaging products like Google's Hangouts.