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Nobuo Uematsu is distinguished amongst game soundtrack composers not just because of his work for Squaresoft in the '80s and '90s or his lustrous mustache. He's one of the few songwriters responsible for the way video games sound across the board, influencing other creators over 30 years. Square's Final Fantasy series, on which Uematsu was sole or primary composer for the first 10 games, molded how storytelling in games should sound. The synthesized minor key melody of series theme "Prelude," the ambient wash of Final Fantasy VII's "Opening/Bombing Mission," and hundreds of other songs are landmarks in gaming's aural landscape.

While his output has slowed in recent years as he focused on personal projects like his prog band Earthbound Papas and sleeper hits like The Last Story on Wii, his style still looms tall. Uematsu has revisited his work on the Final Fantasy often since its 25th anniversary in 2012. Most recently he teamed with the London Symphony Orchestra at Abbey Road Studios to record Final Symphony, an album based on the concert series of the same name highlighting songs from Final Fantasy VI, VII, and X. Uematsu spoke with us via a translator over email about his work on the album, the state of video game music, and how to make sure that every song in a huge soundtrack has soul.

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While Microsoft is hard at work on the final version of Office 2016 for Mac that'll arrive later this year, it's offering folks who are too eager to wait an early look. The preview version of Redmond's productivity suite is now available for download, serving up Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote and Outlook to machines running Apple's desktop OS. There's sure to be a truckload of updates in the months to come, but if you're still using Office for Mac 2011, the changes that are already in place will certainly give you something to look forward to.

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How a spinning chair made virtual reality feel more real

When donning a VR headset, it's easy to be awestruck by whatever 3D world you find yourself in. It's a whole new medium that simply can't be replicated on a TV. Still, there are reasons the likes of Oculus and Sony aren't selling headsets to the masses just yet. While Samsung's Gear VR and other smartphone-powered headwear are filling the void, headsets that tap into the processing might of PCs and consoles will ultimately deliver the most immersive experiences. But, the technology isn't quite there yet. Stereoscopic 3D can be jarring, with complicated worlds often appearing slightly out of focus. Then there are issues like nausea that can strike when moving through virtual surroundings. Also, how we interact with virtual spaces will continue to evolve, moving beyond the gamepad and keyboard to more natural and hopefully intuitive methods of control.

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Some products have a hard time ever getting to market. Some (seem to) come out of nowhere. Then there's the Avegant Glyph video headset. It initially launched on Kickstarter back in January 2014 (raising a cool $1.5-million). Along the way we've seen a ropey prototype. And then a less ropey one. And an even less ropey one. Today, we got to try out the nearest thing to the consumer product we're likely to see before it finally launches later this year.

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At long last, the first Ubuntu phones are here. It's been more than two years since Canonical first showed off its Linux-based mobile platform, and fans have been clamoring for consumer devices ever since. The Ubuntu Edge never made its ambitious $32 million crowdfunding target, and the first handsets from BQ and Meizu were delayed last year. But finally, it's all starting to come together. BQ has started selling its 'Aquaris E4.5 Ubuntu Edition' in Europe and Meizu shouldn't be too far behind with its modified MX4.

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The first time you played Guitar Hero (or Rock Band), you probably wished that someone would invent a real guitar that could teach you how to play in the same manner. Shortly afterward, the gTar was invented, that showed budding riff-makers how to shred thanks to a series of helpful LEDs embedded in the neck. All you had to do was place your fingers on the strings where the lights lit up and, hey presto, you were a rock god. Now, the company behind the gTar is back, and has taken the same idea, but applied it to a piano, in the form of Keys.

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Mojito

If you've ever searched for the name a capital city or a celebrity's place of birth, then you'll probably be familiar Google's Knowledge Graph. It's a cool little feature that picks out and displays the answers to questions, saving you from clicking through all of the links in your search results. After recently equipping it with the ability to dispense health advice, Google now reckons you might need a little help refining your bartending skills. Yep, you're going to cocktail-making school. A simple "How do I make a ..." search will list the main ingredients and recommended garnishes for your chosen cocktail, as well as the correct glass to serve it in. While it can't (yet) teach you all of the cocktail-making flicks and tricks that you might see in a Las Vegas bar, it'll certainly help improve the quality of those homemade Happy Hour refreshments.

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NASA wants to know which among the most popular Hubble photos the internet likes the most, so it's pitting them against each other. To celebrate the telescope's 25th birthday in April, the agency has launched Hubble Mania, which is a space image smackdown of sorts, where the winner's determined by your votes. The space telescope's known for capturing some mighty stunning photos of our universe, so it won't be easy choosing: the 32 contenders include long-time favorites, such as the Pillars of Creation, the sombrero galaxy, crab and apple nebulae, as well as the Rose of Galaxies. Voting for the first round has already begun, with two more rounds to follow, until the grand winner is announced on April 6th. NASA promises new downloadable products featuring the last photo standing, which could include HD wallpapers, among other things.

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Today's youth likes nothing more than listening to that hip-hop music, being turnt and taking pictures of themselves. That's why the folks at Divoom have generously built a gadget that will let kids do all three at the same time. The second-generation Bluetune Bean is a portable Bluetooth speaker that comes with a remote shutter button that'll make selfie-taking easier. Although, now that I think about it, since you have to be holding the phone for it to count as a selfie, and the volume rocker button is right there, isn't this device entirely redundant?

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Even the most ardent golf fan would admit that sometimes tournament telecasts aren't exactly action-packed. The PGA Tour is trying to do something about that with its new iPad app, available just in time for this week's World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. The second-screen app compliments the live action, giving you shot-by-shot coverage of players or groups, all overlaid onto a graphic of each hole. On top of all the stats you'd ever want (drive length, distance to hole, etc.) the app even gives predictive stats, showing how likely Rory McIlroy is to make that 25-foot putt he's facing, for instance.

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