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Amazon Prime Day

Not content with holding traditional retail sales events, Amazon's decided to make up one of its own. "Prime Day," as it's known, starts on July 15th and will let the company celebrate 20 years of selling things on internet by selling you more things on the internet (if you already have a Prime subscription). Amazon knows that people will want in on its upcoming discount day, so it's marking down its yearly subscription for those who haven't yet signed up. Between now and midnight on July 8th, Prime will cost £59, saving you £20 for the first year.

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Amazon's turning 20 on July 15th and will celebrate the occasion by giving you another reason to sign up for Prime. The company is launching Prime Day, a "global shopping event" that promises to have "more deals than Black Friday." Unfortunately, you'll only be allowed to participate if you give Jeff Bezos $99 a year, or you take this chance to sign up for the free trial. The event kicks off at midnight PST on July 15th, and is open to all members in nine countries including the US, Canada and the UK. Of course, since Amazon sells more than just big-box electronics, you'll also find lightning deals in every department from clothing and sports through to patio furniture. We don't know if this is intended to become an annual event, but we've asked the company, since it'll take a few years for the diary makers to catch on.

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LG's display subsidiary is promising drastically thinner, lighter touchscreens that will be ready for notebooks later this year. With full HD (1080p) resolution, the Advanced In-Cell Touch (AIT) screens substitute a touch panel layer for a touch sensor built into the LCD itself -- that's what makes it thin. It's the same tech found in smartphones like LG's own G4, but this is the first time it's been sized up to laptops. Thickness savings will be around 25 percent, while weight reductions could be as much as 35 percent compared to typical laptop touchscreen. That reduction in layers also translates to less light reflection, which LG Display reckons will make the new screens brighter and clearer. The company plans to roll out multiple sizes, with stylus-compatible models also on the way. If these screens are going to shave the profile of your next Ultrabook even further, there might be no other choice but to go with a few of those oh-so-slender USB-C ports.

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Ekaggrat Singh Kalsi's 'Sliced Light'

Who said that you had to paint light by waving an arm around? Certainly not Ekaggrat Singh Kalsi and Daniel Canogar, both of whom have created art using some decidedly unusual tech. Kalsi's project generates floating color portraits thanks to a modified 3D printer -- as you'll see in the clip below, it's akin to forming a hologram line by line. Canogar's work, meanwhile, uses twisted, mobius-like LED tiles as video walls that produce unique (and occasionally mind-bending) effects at different angles. You probably won't see these pieces in person, but they're proof that light-based art holds a lot of untapped potential.

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Nanowire heater mesh

Don't like having to apply clunky heating pads every time you want to to deal with chronic muscle pain in your arms and legs? Eventually, you might not have to -- that therapeutic care could always be there. Korean researchers have developed a stretchable silver nanowire mesh that heats your joints no matter how you bend them. It's thin enough to fit under your clothes, runs on batteries and maintains a constant temperature, so you could wear the mesh whenever you're out instead of having to wait for prime opportunities to get relief.

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Nintendo's 'Project H.A.M.M.E.R'

Nintendo has had a number of high-profile flops (Virtual Boy, anyone?). However, one of its biggest failures may have been one you heard almost nothing about -- at least, until now. Unseen64 has published a documentary detailing the largely unknown story of Project H.A.M.M.E.R (aka MachineX), a Wii game from Nintendo Software Technology that died after nearly six years of painful development that began in 2003. The hammer-swinging sci-fi brawler was supposed to be mostly finished by the time it was first acknowledged in 2005, but a culture clash between the Japanese management and American staff all but killed progress. The two sides had differing ideas about what would fix the mediocre gameplay. The top brass thought better environments would improve things, for example, while the rank-and-file wanted to overhaul the core gameplay mechanics.

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Bioprinted 'dough'

One day, you might not have to spend ages waiting for broken bones to heal. Researchers have developed a 3D-printed, dough-like biomaterial that could fill large bone fractures while aiding the recovery process. The porous chemical blend can withstand the same abuse as the spongy parts of your longer bones while still letting cells and proteins through -- it even could release its own proteins to speed up your treatment.

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A sea of Lego creations

Lego's iconic plastic bricks aren't very kind to the planet since they're made from oil-based ABS plastic, but the toy maker is planning to mend its ways. It's paying $150 million to build a sustainable materials center that will develop oil-free plastic, whether it's made from recycled plastics or an organic material. It's still early going, but the plan is to completely ditch ABS by 2030. This won't have as much of an environmental impact as getting gas-powered cars off the roads. However, Lego makes a whopping 60 billion bricks a year, and estimates that it'd cut three quarters of its carbon dioxide emissions with the switch -- this would still represent a noticeable improvement.

[Image credit: Steve Ruark/AP Images for LEGO]

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NASA's New Horizons probe near Pluto

Don't expect to hear more from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft for a while. The Pluto observer recently encountered a glitch that made it lose contact for an hour and a half. That doesn't sound like much of a problem, but it was enough to kick the probe into a safe mode that doesn't collect scientific data. The mission team believes it could take up to "several days" to get back to normal due to the distance from Earth -- and that's slightly worrying when the mission's all-important Pluto flyby should take place on July 14th. While there's a good chance that New Horizons will be back to normal by the time it's close to the dwarf planet, it's clear that every day of downtime will matter.

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Concept art for 'Red Ash' the game

Mighty No. 9 might not even be out the door, but Mega Man creator Keiji Inafune is already looking for your help with a new project -- and this one is considerably more ambitious. His studio has launched crowdfunding for Red Ash, a project that combines both an open world action game (The Indelible Legend) and an anime movie from Studio4ºC (Magicicada). While both will share familiar characters and the theme of treasure hunting in a robot apocalypse, they'll otherwise be set in "parallel worlds" where the producers are free to tell whatever stories they want.

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DARPA's Visual Media Reasoning interface in action

It's easy to find computer vision technology that detect objects in photos, but it's still tough to sift through photos... and that's a big challenge for the military, where finding the right picture could mean taking out a target or spotting a terrorist threat. Thankfully, the US' armed forces may soon have a way to not only spot items in large image libraries, but help human observers find them. DARPA's upcoming, artificial intelligence-backed Visual Media Reasoning system both detects what's in a shot and presents it in a simple interface that bunches photos and videos together based on patterns. If you want to know where a distinctive-looking car has been, for example, you might only need to look in a single group.

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Progress 60 docked with the International Space Station

After two failed attempts in a row, the International Space Station is once again getting fresh supplies. Russia's Progress 60 cargo spacecraft has successfully docked, bringing with it important batches of equipment, food and fuel. While the station already had enough supplies to hold out until October, the arrival is a huge relief -- the string of disasters (including the Orbital Sciences explosion last year) was spurring talk of returning the crew to Earth if things got much worse. And this isn't the only resupply mission this summer, either. Japan's H-2 craft should launch on August 16th, so the ISS may resume some semblance of normalcy before long.

[Image credit: NASA TV]

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