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Just like when you're driving a car, glancing down at your phone while biking the busy streets of your city can be quite dangerous. Thanks to a Portland-based design firm, there's a bike that allows you to keep your eyes on the road while getting those much-needed directions. The folks at Industry teamed up with local builders Ti Cycles for Solid: a Bluetooth-enabled two-wheeler that connects to a smartphone app monitoring bike maintenance and offers vibrating handlebars for head's up GPS navigation. A companion app, My Bike, keeps an eye on burned out lights and other potential upkeep headaches. My City, a second bit of software, serves as guide for blazing the bike lanes of your chosen locale.

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NPR already has a few options for sorting its range of programming, but now the public radio outfit is looking to get more specific. The latest effort is the NPR One, which offers a local stream along with curated content that's accessible with one tap -- all broken down into short segments. For example, upon launching the app and signing in with a Facebook, Google or NPR account, pressing play begins streaming the latest update from the closest station (WUNC in my case). Swiping to the left of the Now Playing section offers a history of recently broadcast content for a quick recap, while a swipe to the right allows you to scroll through upcoming bits. There's also controls for skipping back in 15-second increments and jumping from the current story to another. Of course, if you're after the latest All Songs Considered or Fresh Air episodes, those are easily searchable as well. Both Android and iOS apps are available via their respective repositories.

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Hilton hotel room selection

Starwood isn't the only hotel chain that wants you to use your smartphone as a hotel room key; Hilton is launching an initiative that lets you use your Android or iOS device to control virtually every aspect of your stay. Later this summer, a Hilton app will let you choose your preferred room, make special requests, check in and check out. You'll only have to speak to staff when it's time to pick up or return your keys. And in 2015, you won't even need to do that much -- your phone will also unlock your room, letting you make a beeline for your bed after a long flight.

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PantryChic's Bluetooth ingredient dispenser is for lazy, type-A bakers

Earlier this summer, we showed you a smart kitchen scale that worked with an iPad app to make sure you were adding the right amount of each ingredient to your recipe. At the time, it seemed like the Internet of Things had reached its peak. Jumped the shark, even. Well, apparently even that requires too much effort. Meet PantryChic, an airtight food canister that dispenses ingredients into a digital scale, so that you never even have to break out a measuring cup. All told, if you were serious about your baking (and seriously OCD), you could buy any number of these stackable canisters, and fill each with a different ingredient, like baking soda or brown sugar. Then, when you need one, you attach it to the digital scale, which is pre-programmed to dispense 50 ingredients (meaning, it knows how to convert volume to weight). Oh, and don't worry about pushing any buttons: You can connect over Bluetooth using the PantryChic app, at which point the machine can "see" what recipe you're using and know, for instance, that you need three cups of flour.

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Countries that have less-than-stellar records when it comes to dissenting voices must really, really hate Tor. Coincidentally, Russia's Interior Ministry has put out a bounty of around $110,000 to groups who can crack the US Navy-designed privacy network. After the country's vicious crackdown on dissenting voices back in 2012, protestors who hadn't escaped or been jailed began using anonymous internet communication as their first line of defense against the Kremlin. If you're considering taking part in the challenge (and earning yourself a tidy stack of cash to quell your conscious), be warned -- the bounty is only open to organizations that already have security clearance to work for the Russian government.

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http://krebsonsecurity.com/

"Skimming" is a blanket term used when referencing a crime where you take small amounts of money. It literally means to take cash off the top, as if money were the sweet cream floating atop a cauldron of lesser riches. Fifty years ago, skimming might have meant stealing a handful of dollars from your employer, or even millions in elaborate scams we've seen in countless Hollywood films. Today's skimming, however, employs tricks and hardware that are absurdly complex and yet sneaky enough to elude detection. Unless you know what to look for, of course. Today's world of skimming is high-tech, and it wants your credit card and banking info.

Though we can't help you catch every conceivable method that crooks are using to try to rip you off, being armed with a bit of knowledge on the topic could save you major hassle down the road. No matter what you take away form this read, at a minimum you'll never look at an ATM or POS terminal the same way again.

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It looks as if the judges who operate the gateway between the NSA and the cable companies may not be as impartial as their job description requires them to. An investigation by Vice has revealed that several judges who sit on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court are also Verizon shareholders. Big Red, of course, has previously tried to fight metadata collection, but isn't entitled to have a say, or participate in these secret hearings. Naturally, judges are bound by a conflict of interest law that requires them to step away from any case where their judgment could be materially affected, which may not apply in this situation. Still, it doesn't seem the wisest thing to do if you're trying to maintain an unimpeachable reputation for fairness, does it?

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3D printing has made low-volume manufacturing of highly personalized products both affordable and accessible, but first you need a printer. A number of businesses have sprung up to bridge that gap -- investing in printers so you don't have to -- and now Amazon has opened up a dedicated storefront on its US site to connect customers with these sellers. The themed portal is stocked with over 200 products at launch, from jewelry to homeware to toys, that companies will print to order. Many can be also be customized, whether that simply be choosing a different color or tweaking numerous features of a design. You can also preview a 3D mockup of your creation before you buy, and now if you'll excuse us, we've got bobbleheads to order.

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Sorry guys, I can't tweet this picture of a cat wearing a party hat right now, because I'm #amwriting. I'm in a coffee shop, you see, with my laptop and notebook proudly displayed so that anyone who walks past will know that I'm #amwriting a novel. Obviously, you can only make grammatical errors like saying I'm #amwriting on Twitter, that shit doesn't fly in the novel that I'm writing right now.

What? Artist Cory Arcangel has written a book that just collates people's tweets that include the phrase "working on my novel?" He's, no, that's not a real thing, is it? It's being published by PENGUIN? All of these other people are what, just trying to write the next great modern / erotic / literary / young adult novel? Man. I wish I'd come up with that idea. #amwriting

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Apple Said To Be In Talks To Purchase Beats Headphones Company

Apple is officially a step closer to owning Beats, as the $3 billion merger has just been cleared in Europe. The EU commission ruled that the merger "did not raise concerns because the combined (headphone) market share of Apple and Beats Electronics is low." That might sound like an odd thing to say about Apple, but the EU pointed out that after buying Beats, it would still have Bose, Sennheiser, Sony and other competitors in the sector. As a result, Apple/Beats would be far from a headphone monopoly, which was the EU's main concern. The purchase still has to be cleared in the US, but most pundits think regulators there will toe a similar line. Apple has a new headache, though: one of those competitors, Bose, has just sued it over its noise-cancelling patents.

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