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More than two years ago, Mars One began its search to find those it will send on a one-way trip to the Red Planet. In the time since, plenty of questions have been asked about the organization and its plans to colonize a world 140 million miles away. Will we have the technology and scientific know-how to deliver four humans safely to the Martian surface by 2027? Can those people build a sustainable settlement so far from Earthly aid? What are the psychological and physical tolls of both the six-month trip and the ensuing mission? Can a reality TV show actually pay for it all?

Despite those and other questions, people from around the world pledged their time and money to Mars One for the opportunity to go on its mission. Earlier this year, the pool of applicants seeking to live and die on Mars (starting in 2027) was whittled down to a group of 100. Citizen Mars is a five-part series about a group of those would-be astronauts.

Google has a new logo. A few weeks after the company announced a huge restructuring effort that will split the search, advertising and internet giant into several different organizations, the new Google is showing off a new identity. The iconic four colors and "Google" over a white background remains unchanged, but the font is significantly different, removing the serifs that have been part of the letters for years. All in all, it's a flatter, slightly more modern design -- one that also evokes the company's new Alphabet logo -- but it'll certainly take some getting used to.

three scoops of ice cream  good ...

In the future, you might not have to rush to eat your ice cream cone on a hot summer's day. Scottish researchers have discovered a naturally occurring protein that binds the air, fat and water in ice cream, which slows melting. The move would prevent your dessert from becoming a puddle, and spare companies from deep freezing their treats for as long as they do today. You could see higher-quality ice cream, too -- the protein promises a smoother texture without as many ice crystals or saturated fats.

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  • Nintendo's smaller New 3DS comes to the US on September 25th

    When Nintendo decided to release only the New 3DS XL in the US this winter rather than its smaller New 3DS sibling, it left many scratching their heads. Why would Nintendo deprive American gamers of a smaller, more travel-friendly handheld? Well, it's making amends for that mistake very shortly. Nintendo...


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Ever wish you could transport those pen doodles and hand written notes to the digital world? The Neo smartpen N2 lets users write on paper with ink while the same data is sent via Bluetooth to the Neo Notes app or saved in the pen to sync later. The app lets you transcribe written text, record audio alongside the progress of a drawing and share content as .png, .jpg or .svg vectors. So far you've needed one of the company's NCode notebooks, but later this month you'll be able to print your own properly coded pages using the free N Toaster app for Mac and PC. Want to give your notes a makeover for 2015? Three lucky Engadget readers will each get a Neo smartpen N2 and a pack of eight notebooks to get you started. All you need to do is head down to the Rafflecopter widget below for up to three chances at winning.

CyanogenMod Cid

If you've been sitting on pins and needles waiting for the community-focused CyanogenMod firmware to both make the leap to Android 5.1 and fix that nasty Stagefright MMS exploit, you can relax. Hot on the heels of Cyanogen OS 12.1 (for devices like the OnePlus One), CyanogenMod 12.1 is arriving with both the perks from Android 5.1.1 as well as a Stagefright patch that theoretically keeps you safe. There are also Stagefright fixes for CyanogenMod 11 and 12.0, in case you can't run the new operating system right away. There are a lot of devices to cover with this rollout, so don't be alarmed if you don't see a download right away -- if your phone or tablet is already running CyanogenMod's decidedly non-standard code, there's probably an update waiting in the wings.

For a while, it felt like Whatsapp and Line were bitter rivals in the mobile messaging war. The former had the user base (and later Facebook's clout), but Line offered a family of apps and features like stickers, games and more recently music streaming. Line continues to follow it's own path, by releasing an Android launcher. Now you can have Cony and Brown (you know who those are, right?) present in almost every corner of your phone's interface.

"Nothing excited me in mobile in the past few years," Tom Moss says, leaning back in an office chair. Far as he's concerned, smartphone makers -- especially those working with Android — have spent way too much time crafting hardware and not nearly enough effort on innovating software. That's why, when the bug to build something new bit again, Moss gathered an Android dream team to build a "cloud-first" smartphone called Robin.

When we first took a look at GE's Neuro VR project -- which sends you on a journey into a musician's mind -- it wasn't available to the public. Now, all Oculus owners can enjoy the experience that blends data visualization from a real MRI (of Ladytron musician Reuben Wu, no less) with immersive entertainment. Virtual reality is easy to pitch as a tool for nobel causes like education and rehabilitation, but it's also just pretty darn cool to experience -- and it's fusion projects like Neuro VR that will increase the format's broad appeal. If our early report whetted your appetite for the slick 90fps experience, you'll likely appreciate the video trailer too, which we've kindly snuck in for you below. Neuro VR is also available via Gear VR and MilkVR.

For years, Netflix subscribers have asked for the ability to download movies and TV shows offline. The company says it's "never going to happen" -- so Amazon has taken the initiative and added exactly that to its rival streaming service. If you're signed up to Prime Video, or have an Amazon Prime account, you can now store titles covered by your subscription on almost any mobile device. It's supported in both the iOS and Android app -- although the latter will require you to download the app through the Amazon Appstore. The regular Amazon app in Google Play, which also supports Prime Video, doesn't seem to have the feature just yet, however. The feature first debuted on Fire tablets in 2013, but this expansion is significant -- if you're a frequent flyer, for instance, you no longer have to break your Transparent binge-session or purchase the full series if you're on an iPad.

The stylus available for tablets and smartphones usually fall into two camps. The more precise pens with Bluetooth connectivity that only work with certain apps or the rubber-tipped pens that work with anything but can result in smudgy lines. Adonit thinks it's found a happy medium with its new Jot Dash pen. The powered pen offers up precision tracking without having to pair via Bluetooth or being reliant on an app. The pen works with iOS and Android devices (Sorry no Windows support) and is powered up via a click button at the top of the pen. The 1.9 mm point uses Adonit's PixelPoint technology to detect touch-screen signals and rebroadcasts those signals as a larger point so the device recognizes it as a touch without having to resort to a larger pen tip. Yeah, it's kind of confusing, but it works. The pen ships with a charging dock and is available today for $49.99.

Health o Meter announced on Tuesday the launch of its new Nuyu line of health tracking devices and an associated mobile app. The system relies equally on the Nuyu Activity Monitor, which tracks steps, calories, distance and sleep; and connects with its counterpart Nuyu app via Bluetooth. The $48 Monitor can be worn on the wrist (with one of 8 available strap colors) or belt -- even tied to shoelaces. It displays your constantly-updated stats on a large OLED screen which is depth rated to 30 meters and runs for up to four months on a single battery. The app itself is free and available for both Android and iOS, though the data is only compatible with Apple's Health Kit.

After updating its smoke detector and camera, Nest has finally decided to update the device that made the company famous; its Thermostat. The new smart controller has a slightly thinner profile, larger and higher-resolution display and will now alert users when their furnace is acting wonky. To make figuring out what's going on without walking across the room easier, the third-generation device will now display the target or current temperature or an analog or digital watch face on a larger display that's activated whenever someone walks into the room. The Thermostat now has a 480 x 480 (229 ppi) display. While the display got larger, the profile got smaller. The width of the device is now 1.21 inches instead of 1.26 inches. Not exactly a huge difference, but slimmer is slimmer. For furnace owners, the Furnace Heads-Up feature tracks shutoff patterns to see if there's a potential problem with the heater. This feature will be released for the first- and second-generation Thermostats later this year. The new third-generation Nest Thermostat is available now for $249.

Land Rover doesn't see why towing a caravan or horse box should get in the way of rear visibility. The luxury SUV-maker has created a concept system that shows drivers what's behind them as if the rear-window is free from obstructions. The idea is pretty simple: a camera on the towed object beams images of what's behind it to a display embedded in the vehicle's rear-view mirror. Land Rover already came up with something similar that makes hoods "transparent," and this idea is an extension of that.

Steam has revealed that along with the new Mad Max game you'll be able to buy all four films, from the 1979 Mel Gibson original to this year's Fury Road. Valve does very little promotion for movies on Steam, but said in a press release that it has 100 titles to date, which sent me scurrying to check that fact. And yes! Sort of. There are titles for sale, but all are either documentaries (including its own) or straight-to-video fare like Let's Ruin it with Babies and Kung Fury.

US Amazon users can now buy Nintendo titles like Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U through a digital download space on Amazon. According to the page, you can purchase one of the 61 titles listed, including Mario Kart 8, Splatoon and Yoshi's Island, then just click the Nintendo Network link on the 'thank you' page. From there, the content code will be automatically redeemed and the game sent directly to your Wii U or 3DS console. The new store means there's now another way to purchase downloadable games other than through Nintendo's eShop -- even though it still comes directly from Nintendo.

Apple isn't the only one developing an exclusive news service for its mobile customers. Samsung has announced a partnership with Axel Springer, a publisher of European newspapers including Die Welt, Bild and Fakt, to develop a news platform called "UPDAY." It'll be exclusive to Samsung Galaxy devices, and a beta version is set to land in the Google Play store this Thursday. What isn't clear, however, is how much content, if any, Axel Springer will be producing exclusively for the service. UPDAY is being pitched as an "aggregated news content platform," with stories selected both algorithmically and by a local team of news editors. Initially, the app will be restricted to Galaxy device owners in Germany and Poland -- the countries where Axel Springer is dominant -- before rolling out to "other European markets" early next year. If it's successful, or Samsung thinks it has potential, there's every chance it'll be launched further afield in the future. Devices

While PayPal has made its name (and serious money) helping people pay for their online and in-store purchases, sending cash to friends or family takes a little bit longer than it needs to. That's why the company created the Venmo app, but that's only available to US users. Even though Venmo, Facebook Messenger, Square Cash and other peer-to-peer payment apps are gaining in popularity, many people still shy away from actually asking for the money they're owed. In an attempt to take the friction out of asking for and receiving payments, the e-commerce giant has launched, a new service that makes requesting money as simple as sending someone a web link. Not only that, it's a link that'll never change.

It was quite a surprise when Amazon announced it had snapped up the Top Gear trio for a new show on Prime Instant Video. Many thought Netflix or Sky would win out, but now it's emerged that another unlikely player was bidding for Clarkson and friends: Apple. According to Variety, the company made "an unprecedented bid" for the stars after they left the BBC. Ultimately, however, it must have been turned down. If Apple is indeed preparing its own original programming, it would make sense that the three British presenters were at the top of its wish list. Now the ball is in Amazon's court; the company is desperate for a House of Cards-level hit, but aside from Transparent, it's failed to make much headway. On Clarkson's reputation alone, Bezos may finally get it with a Top Gear spiritual successor.