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Snapchat's meteoric rise made one thing abundantly clear -- the market would soon be flooded with copy cats. The next major player to try and drink Snapchat's milkshake might be Instagram. A banner introducing Bolt, a service for "one tap photo messaging," appeared at the top of the company's mobile app last night. The announcement was quickly pulled, but not before several people grabbed screenshots and started passing them around on Twitter. Unfortunately there's not much more detail to share at the moment, but the move will definitely raise a few eyebrows. For one, it would seem like a trivial feature to simply integrate into the existing Instagram app. Secondly, with Facebook's Slingshot already offering ephemeral photo and video messages, Bolt seems like a duplication of efforts. Of course, there's always the chance that Bolt will offer some truly unique twist on the format and shove pretenders to the media messaging crown aside.

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Oppo Find 7 review: A solid phone that faces stiff competition

The Galaxy S5. The One M8. The G3. Every notable player in the overcrowded smartphone space has a flagship, one heroic device that the company pins its hopes on... for a year or so, anyway. For Oppo, a Chinese phone maker whose profile has swelled thanks to a surprisingly solid phone lineup, that flagship is the Find 7: an unassuming slab that looks painfully pedestrian compared to the last time the company went all out. Maybe that's a bit harsh. The Find 7 pairs top-notch performance with one of the highest-resolution screens you'll find on a mobile today -- hardly a formula to sneeze at. But is it worth the $599 asking price? Is Oppo really a mobile force to be reckoned with? Follow me, friends, and we'll figure it out together.

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In some of the most popular multiplayer role-playing games, like World of Warcraft (the NSA's favorite), in-game characters and items can change hands for substantial amounts of real money. So when a gamer is relieved of valuable loot or accounts by scammers or thieves, should these online opportunists be considered criminals? It's a question one UK politician wanted to address in Parliament yesterday, as he called for real-world sentences to be handed out for these virtual crimes. The politician, a WoW player himself, requested the UK Justice Minister accelerate legislation to that effect, arguing that gamers are entitled to the same amount of legal protection. He added that only serious and/or serial offenders be targeted, though, rather than throwing the book at anyone who's committed a minor indiscretion. The Justice Minister did say online fraud or theft can carry severe sentences, but that it's ultimately up to courts to decide on the punishment.

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Apple reportedly releasing OS X Yosemite in October alongside 4K desktop and 12-inch Retina MacBook

Well, this is a timely rumor: Today is the day Apple opens up OS X Yosemite for public beta-testing, and now we're hearing the final version of the OS will come out in late October. The report comes from Mark Gurman at 9to5Mac, who has a strong track record when it comes to Apple rumors, and he claims that in addition to OS X, Apple will release a 12-inch Retina display MacBook, and either an iMac or a standalone monitor with a 4K screen. Obviously, Apple could do a 180 and release the same old computers with minor spec bumps, but if you ask us, everything Gurman is reporting seems plausible. First of all, Apple already promised it would release a final version of OS X sometime in the fall, and surely it plans to do that before the holiday shopping season starts up in November.

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"In my ongoing series of "Compressionism" prints, I strap a desktop scanner, computing device and custom battery pack to my body, and perform images into existence." That's how artist Nathaniel Stern describes his collection of unconventional images captured with a desktop scanner. An extension of this project is "Rippling Images," a new collection which takes the idea underwater. Stern worked with a team to create a "marine rated" scanner rig, which he took with him as he scuba-dived off the coast of Key Largo, florida. The results in the gallery below show the ocean environment as interpreted through Stern's scanner and body movements. That explains the rippling part, at least.

[Image: Emyano Mazzola]

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The relay radios on two Mars science orbiters are making it possible to communicate with NASA's robots, rovers and landers on the red planet. But these spacecraft might be out of commission soon, and NASA believes one possible solution is to purchase services from commercial space companies that plan to launch orbiters of their own. See, the rovers and landers on Mars communicate with the ground crew by using a severely limited direct link or by using the Odyssey and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter as relay stations. Sadly, the agency has no plans to launch more orbiters of its own at the moment, and this could disrupt communication in a few years' time.

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Handsome American soldier behind his computer -talking on the phone

Watson supercomputer has a new and very important job, one that's a lot different from beating Jeopardy champions or whipping up BBQ sauce recipes: helping vets return to normal life. IBM has recently formed a partnership with the USAA (the financial services firm for soldiers and their families) to create an app that can answer ex-soldiers' questions about finances and the like. For instance, a vet could ask Watson how he can get a job, what his benefits are, what his insurance covers or what the GI Bill entails. Even though Watson's been wearing many hats for years, this is the first time anyone developed a consumer app based on the supercomputer. This app pulls data from more than 3,000 documents that deal with military transitions, in hopes of making things easier for the 155,000 soldiers who retire from service every year.

[Image credit: Getty/Mie Ahmt]

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Taking a payment on a Square Reader attached to an iPhone

Consumers have been automating apps with IFTTT (If This Then That) for awhile by, say, backing up Instagram photos to Dropbox whenever they snap a photo. Now, businesses will be able to take advantage of IFTTT directly from the Square mobile payment app. For instance, rather than just yelling "Booyah!," a company can send out a company-wide congratulatory email after closing a huge deal. Similarly, a text alert can be issued to team members to follow up a customer refund -- all of which can be pre-programmed into IFTTT. It'll also work with services like Google Drive, Twitter and SMS, to name just a few. Hopefully companies won't abuse it -- we'd hate to see a tweet after buying a particularly sensitive item.

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It may sound blindingly obvious to avoid flying a UAV around America's foremost military academy. But not all drone no-fly zones are as obvious as West Point, which is why Mapbox has just issued an interactive US map showing where all of them are. Included are things like national defense bases, airports, nuclear power plants and recent additions like national parks. As Wired pointed out, many clearly off-limit zones like Lawrence Livermore's lab still aren't listed, but if you notice one you can add it to an open-source page on GitHub. Meanwhile, all commercial drone flights are still banned, unless noted otherwise by the FAA. For hobbyists, however, they sky's the limit -- just stay out of the red zones.

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