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Despite their utility, smartwatches remain a geeky niche item thanks to a certain lack of je ne sais quoi. However, HP is partnering with a retailer called Gilt to build an Android and iOS compatible smartwatch that may finally tick the style box, thanks to US designer Michael Bastian. He'll take care of the design, which will feature a circular, 44mm stainless steel case and three swappable bands: black rubber, brown leather, olive green nylon and a limited edition black.

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Remember Google's mysterious floating barge? Well, you probably won't for much longer, because it's met an untimely end. According to the Portland Press Herald, the search giant no longer has a use for the iconic four-story structure, so it's been sold to an anonymous "international barging company" and will be broken down for scrap. It's a rather damp end for the barge, which was set to become a high-tech showroom for inventions like Glass, self-driving cars and other top-secret inventions from Google's X lab, after it first appeared in Portland Harbor late last year. Google's yet to comment on why it's no longer interested in hosting tech-centric cocktail parties, but cost is likely the ultimate factor. It paid $400,000 in property taxes alone to moor the barge on the city's waterfront -- then there's also the small matter of retrofitting its 63 shipping containers into something that Californians would actually want to visit.

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Is the thought that you might end up running out of juice in the middle of nowhere keeping you from buying an electric vehicle? Tesla wants to assuage those fears (in hopes that you'll get one of its EVs, of course) by laying out its plans to build a lot more Supercharger stations in the US. At the moment, there are only 103 stations in the country, but according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, there'll be enough Superchargers in 2015 to cover 98 percent of the US population (see GIF above). You can always charge your cars at home, of course, but the stations are supposed to provide you power when you need it in the midst of a long drive, say if you're going from coast to coast. Unlike gasoline-powered cars, though, EVs need some time to juice up, so you might have to line up to charge... assuming more people dump their traditional vehicles for a Tesla.

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Auto-correct fails can be pretty hilarious, but if you'd rather avoid them altogether (boo!) maybe a litigious phone case's second coming is up your alley. See, earlier this year Ryan Seacrest's iPhone accessory company, Typo, found itself on the wrong side of the law when BlackBerry filed suit against it. Why? Because, well, its product looked an awful lot like something you'd find on one of the Canadian outfit's devices. But, that copyright infringement applied to Typo, not the almost identical Typo 2. As iMore tells is, the American Idol host has added a few new bits and bobs like a lock key, backlight and battery indicator to the keyboard that'll hopefully distract Chen and Co.'s attorneys. The accessory starts shipping this September, but you can pre-order now for $99 -- whether its maker is back in court by then is anyone's guess.

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Online auction service eBay has followed in the footsteps of other tech companies and published a diversity report of its own -- one that indicates that it's winning at gender diversity in the workplace. According to the report, 42 percent of its 33,000 employees all over the globe are women. Among those firms that shared their diversity percentages recently, Pinterest comes the closest with a 40 percent female workforce, and then Yahoo whose female employees make up 37 percent of the total. Google and Twitter tie for the last place, as women make up 30 percent of all employees in both companies (though to be fair, Google has projects to encourage more women to take up careers in technology).

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You can count on Japan to perpetually push the idea of robot pets -- and some of us are okay with that. Poochi is the latest effort from Sega Toys, and it can interact with with a downloadable app / mini-game on Nintendo's 3DS. This particular robot pet series has been on sale in Japan (and the US) for several years, but this is a notable evolution: the blue and pink pet substitutes communicate with 3DSes wirelessly, translating yips and barks into, well, Japanese. It sings (the way a cartoon robot dog should), and can even play rock-paper-scissors with you if you're feeling particularly lonely. Courtesy of the 3DS connection, there's several more mini-games and even a Nintendogs-ish interaction screen -- which is kind of confusing when the dog's right in front of you in real life. Poochi has sensors on its back, nose and tail, and there's handy color indicators on its face to indicate how it's feeling. The robot (and companion app) launches today, priced at 6,000 yen -- around $58. We've added the (surprisingly intense) TV ad after the break. We're still waiting on an alpha-male version.

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USB Stick Key on KeyboardUSB Stick Key on Keyboard

It turns out that the stalwart USB thumbstick, or any universal serial bus device, isn't as trustworthy as once thought. A pair of security researchers has found we need to worry about more than just malware-infected files that are stored portable drives, and now need to guard against hacks built into our geek-stick's firmware according to Wired. The proof-of-concept malware Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell have created is invisible and installable on a USB device and can do everything from taking over a user's PC to hijacking the DNS settings for your browser. Or, if it's installed on a mobile device it can spy on your communications and send them to a remote location, similar to the NSA's Cottonmouth gadgets. If those don't worry you, perhaps that the "BadUSB" malware can infect any USB device -- including keyboards -- and wreak havoc, will. What's more, a simple reformat isn't enough to disinfect either, and the solution that Lell and Nohl suggest goes against the core of what many of us are used to doing.

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NASA's been planning for the Mars 2020 rover for a long time now, back when Curiosity was just making its way to the red planet. Now, the agency has finally chosen seven scientific instruments that'll be equipped on the new rover out of the 58 proposals submitted by researchers from all over the globe. These instruments were chosen based on their potential to discover how humans can live off the extraterrestrial land by using the natural resources available, and also by their capacity to unearth any danger posed by Martian dust to future human explorers.

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Your worst fear, confirmed: Engadget's staff laptop of choice is the MacBook Air. Other than the massive checks we each personally receive from Apple (har har), it's our go-to laptop because it's light, fast, and great for the kind of work we do. It doesn't hurt that it looks sweet with stickers as well, of course. And after Apple highlighted users' proclivity for decking out their MBAs in a recent video (seen below), the world of laptop decal sellers was suddenly cast in the spotlight. That spotlight resulted in a lot of new buyers, according to a report on MacStories. Quite a few more, actually. One of the vendors MacStories spoke with saw orders increase by 400 percent since the ad aired, and page views jumped from a typical 500 per day all the way up to a peak of some 4,500 last week. If you dug any of those stickers, well, our sister site TUAW searched out links for where to buy those 74 decals. And while a majority of those depicted are easily found online, for those that aren't, the site scoured Etsy and other places for suitable stand-ins. Now for the hard part: picking out the perfect decal.

Ben Gilbert contributed to this report

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