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Making peace with US Air Force and dropping charges against the agency has paid off for SpaceX. Its Falcon 9 rocket has finally been certified, giving the company the right to compete for national security launches. Elon Musk's space corp has passed every requirement set by the Air Force, after a couple of years (and a few months of delay), lots of paperwork and tests. According to Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, this certification allows more than one provider to compete for military launches, which is expected to cost the branch $70 billion until 2030, for the first time in around a decade. "Ultimately, leverage of the commercial space market drives down cost to the American taxpayer and improves our military's resiliency," she said in a statement.

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If you're tired of your ugly mug staring back from across the bathroom sink every morning, just install this furry silhouetting mirror from New York-based artist Daniel Rozin. He built it for the Descent With Modification exhibit at NYC's bitforms gallery. The "PomPom Mirror," as it's called, leverages a Kinect motion capture device to control 464 servos that, in turn, flip 928 black and white faux fur pom poms back and forth to match your movements in real-time.

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The "Savage Road" story trailer suggests that there's a deeper tale behind all of the desert-drenched road rage and creative killing in the Mad Max video game. Apparently, that story is about a dude looking for a car, finding a car, kissing a lady and then destroying all of the evil men he can reach on four wheels. It's a slightly different narrative than the one in this year's film, Mad Max: Fury Road, and plot isn't the only way these two products diverge. We played a portion of Mad Max last week and found it to be fun as a car game but lacking in intrigue as a brawler: "In its translation to an open-world video game, Mad Max: Fury Road's unique charm's been traded in for monotony." Still, a video full of rampaging, spiky vehicles and bloodthirsty desert overlords gets our blood pumping every time. Watch the story trailer below. Mad Max is due on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on September 1st, with pre-orders open now.

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The white PS4 'Destiny' bundle

Sony has long been willing to discount certain PlayStation games if you're a Plus subscriber, but it hasn't offered the certainty of Xbox Live's Deals With Gold. You don't know that you're going to get a steady stream of bargains, especially not for newer titles. That doubt should disappear after today, though. Sony has launched PlayStation Plus Specials, a sale program that gives you a break on games and add-ons that are still relatively fresh. How fresh? To start, you're getting 20 percent off Bloodborne in the US -- a sweet deal for a big PS4 hack-and-slash that's only a couple of months old. It's too soon to tell whether these offers will be as tempting down the line, but it's also hard to object to getting more savings for your money.

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Tax Time

You might need to keep a closer eye than usual on your tax-related info. The Internal Revenue Service is warning that intruders stole tax data for 100,000 people between February and May by taking advantage of a flaw in the agency's transcript website. The evildoers successfully circumvented a security check that asks for static info like your Social Security number and tax filing status. The IRS is temporarily shutting down transcripts and says that its main servers are safe, but this could lead to the culprits filing for bogus tax refunds and getting victims in trouble.

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As the English language continues to evolve in response the internet's cultural onslaught, Merriam-Webster has announced that it's adding a host of new net-centric terms to its pages. In fact, the dictionary company has recently added a total of 1,700 terms to its word repository. Among them: net neutrality, click fraud, meme, photobomb, NSFW and a host of other words your kids have already been using for years. Numerous other, non-technical words made their way into Merriam-Webster Unabridged as well including jegging, crema, and colossal squid.

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Since Marvel opened up its API to developers, creative types are able to leverage the company's massive comic library for apps and the like. One dev, Filix Mogilevsky, took it upon himself to create a search engine for the collection of characters and issues. iMarvel serves up character and comic book descriptions based on what you input with auto-complete suggestions to boot. For example, inputting "Thanos" provides a short bio with links to different sections of Marvel's site for more detailed info. Search for a specific title like The Avengers & the Infinity Gaunlet and you'll be privy to a brief synopsis, characters, a few images and a list of creators. Sure, it's more of a quick reference tool than anything else -- and yes, it's piping in content from Marvel's own site -- but I'll admit to spending more than a few minutes pecking around. Give a go for yourself via the source link below.

[Image credit: PatLoika/Flickr]

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A future NASA probe orbits Europa

NASA is convinced that Jupiter's moon Europa is worth visiting, and for good reason: its icy surface could be hiding a giant ocean friendly to life. The agency is going to need the right equipment if it's going to verify its theories, however, which is why it just chose nine instruments that will go aboard a Europa mission in 2020. The tools will use a mix of imaging, magnetometry, radar and spectrometry to study the frozen world's chemical composition and learn more about what's lurking out of view. While these gadgets won't completely eliminate the need for underwater probes and other landers, they could save scientists a lot of trouble (and expense) as they search for signs of organic material.

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Microsoft PowerPoint on an Android tablet

If you thought Microsoft's app deal with Samsung was surprising... well, that's just the tip of the iceberg. The Windows maker has reached agreements to bundle its apps and services on Android tablets from 20 companies. Most of these firms are small regional brands, but there are a few global powerhouses that include LG (which will include Microsoft on an unnamed future device) and Sony (starting with the Xperia Z4 Tablet). Yes, this probably means getting the Office suite and other apps you might not use much, if at all. However, it's evident that Microsoft doesn't mind -- it'd rather make its services as ubiquitous as possible than send you straight into Google's arms.

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One billion people worldwide live with a physical or developmental disability. And for those in developing nations, many of these disabilities dictate a life of social and economic marginalization. But Google's doing something about it. The company announced Tuesday that it is funding a $20 million grant for its latest Impact Challenge, one aimed at making the world more accessible for those with disabilities.

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