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T-Mobile will give you an extra $200 to switch from Sprint

T-Mobile's ongoing feud with Sprint continues to have some benefits for your bottom line... and this time, T-Mobile is trying to tempt you with cold, hard cash. As of November 26th, the carrier is running a month-long promo that promises an extra $200 (on top of the existing credit) for every phone line you bring over from one of Sprint's networks, whether it's a prepaid Boost plan or a full-fledged subscription. You don't need to trade in your old gear, either. The move is a bit sneaky given that T-Mobile just hiked its unlimited data rates -- you may well be paying more per month if you truly need unlimited access. If you're already interested in jumping ship, though, this should make the transition that much easier.

[Image credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Valve's Gabe Newell is backing a smart sous vide cooking tool

Valve founder Gabe Newell isn't just interested in gaming technology, like living room computers and virtual reality -- he also appreciates the science behind a well-prepared meal, too. The legendary game developer has poured money into ChefSteps to help them make Joule, a smart immersion circulator for sous vide cooking. Instead of fiddling with buttons on the wand to heat your water bath, you use a mobile app to set and monitor temperatures. It has presets for particular food types, and you can even have it change temperatures at different times -- if one guest prefers rare steak while another likes it well-done, you can make that happen. The hardware is small yet powerful, too, packing a 1100W heater into an 11-inch cylinder that can fit into your kitchen drawers.

Holiday Shopping

Every November, people in the US (and other parts of the world) spend millions of dollars during the biggest shopping day of the year: Black Friday. This tradition is only growing too, as retailers broaden their limited-time deals from the physical world to the internet. Whether you're looking for an e-reader or a fancy 4K TV, you won't have trouble finding deep discounts on Black Friday. Luckily we're breaking down the best deals available in 2015 to help you navigate the endless sales. So get your wallets ready and bookmark the links we're sharing with you here. And if, for whatever crazy reason, you end up lining up outside a brick-and-mortar store, be careful -- it's going to be madness.

Keep an eye out for the promos starting today, November 25th, since some online stores are beginning their sale ahead of Friday. In the meantime, dig into our list and start planning how you're going to spend your hard-earned cash.

Must Reads

  • DARPA wants to protect critical infrastructures from cyber attacks

    Hackers have been breaking through a lot of government agency's defenses these past years, and DARPA thinks it's high time to do something about it. Pentagon's mad science division has launched a new program called Rapid Attack Detection, Isolation and Characterization (RADICS), which aims to develop...

  • FCC hires a privacy guru to help lead its telecom investigations

    If you want proof that the Federal Communications Commission is getting serious about privacy, you only need to look at its latest recruit. The agency has hired Jonathan Mayer, one of the masterminds behind Do Not Track browsing, as the chief technologist for its Enforcement Bureau. He'll help lead investigations...

VW explains how it will fix its European diesel engines

Volkswagen released a short explainer video on YouTube Wednesday, outlining the measures needed to bring its line of EA 189 diesel engines back into compliance with EPA regulations. The EA 189s are the 1.6- and 2-liter diesel engines at the heart of the company's recent emissions scandal that has seen more than 8.5 million cars recalled in Germany alone.

That crazy modular hybrid laptop for kids hits Indiegogo

The intriguing Infinity modular laptop from OLPC's Australian partner, One Education, is edging closer to reality. The organization just launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo for its Infinity hybrid laptop, where it hopes to raise $50,000. To recap, the Infinity is a tough Android tablet made specifically for kids (think of it as a spin on the original OLPC XO concept) with replaceable modules for things like its CPU, camera and battery. The idea is that it can be endlessly upgraded (or at least, for as long as One Education keeps developing new modules). The base Infinity configuration includes an 8.9-inch screen, 1.4 GHz processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage (expandable via microSD cards) and low-res cameras. But going forward, One Education is also working on modules that include faster hardware, Windows 10 support, better cameras and Gorilla Glass screens. You can nab one now for an early bird price of $250, and particularly ambitious folks (and rich schools) can get a 10-pack for $2,390. One Education expects to start shipping Infinity units out next September.

Giphy Cam finally lets you make GIFs from videos

Giphy Cam, the app that lets you become a master GIFs-man (or woman, it doesn't discriminate) has just released its first major update. Before, users were only able to create GIFs using the native camera, either capturing 10 second full-motion clips or 5-shot bursts that are then stitched-together. Now users can import photos and videos from their camera rolls. What's more, people are able to trim their clips, apply more than one filter to the GIF and add text, giving their creations even more personality. Giphy Cam is still only available on iOS devices with no mention of when it'll cross platforms. In the meantime, Android users will have to rely on the Giphy bank of pre-made GIFs to express their animated points.

Oh boy, get ready for a rant. I've had it up to here (/gestures approximately three inches over my head) with bad listening habits. From middle-aged business men in the United lounge to teenagers at the mall, I'm about done with listening to your music / FaceTime calls / what have you. GET OFF MY SILENT AND PEACEFUL LAWN.

Once I'm done table-flipping, we welcome Engadget editor Andrew Tarantola on to discuss the best Android apps for road tripping, and I throw in a few for you iOS fans. We also go over the best way to break bad news to someone, before social media gets to them first!

Keep sending into those questions to #DearVeronica on Twitter, and I'll see you next week.

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The Chemical Brothers bring Hollywood special effects to dance music

I look around at the sea of glowing faces surrounding me in the dark of Randall's Island in New York. There's no fist pumping. Their feet aren't shuffling. Instead, they're looking straight ahead at a large hand-drawn figure on a black screen. The frame, shaped like a human body, is filled with an entangled web of white lines. It appears to stand behind a barricade of light beams that shoot up from the stage. When the rapper Q-Tip's voice booms -- "World, the time has come to galvanize"-- the figure shakes furiously as if trying to break free from its enclosure. With every beat of the iconic Chemical Brothers track, the abstract form pushes back with swift choreographed moves. It struggles for a while before it breaks down the light-built cage and spins freely with the elegance of a trained contemporary dancer.

Facebook's new alert system warned the US about Iranian hackers

How do you think the US would find out about a state-sponsored hack from Iran? Sophisticated security software? Surveillance? Nope -- Facebook. According to the New York Times, State Department officials were tipped off about an Iranian hacking campaign thanks to Facebook implementing a government attack alert system just last month. They knew something was up when they got messages about being the victims of "state-sponsored actors." Reportedly, the cyberattackers were hoping to use the social networking accounts of younger government staff to compromise other, more prominent staffers in the government division.

'Sesame Street' begins its first HBO season on January 16th, 2016

You won't have too much longer to wait to see how HBO handles Sesame Street. The network says it's launching the 46th season of the kids' show on January 16th, 2016 at 9AM (Eastern and Pacific). You'll have streaming access to five years' worth of episodes on both HBO Go and HBO Now, too. Just be prepared for a different experience than you remember from your childhood. Sesame Street pisodes will run 30 minutes instead of a full hour (ostensibly to help kids "focus"), and there are "updates" to both the show's iconic opening as well as the homes of its best-known characters.

When Samsung and Oculus debuted their Gear VR headset almost a year ago, the companies made it clear the device wasn't yet ready for the masses. Billed as "Innovator Edition" models, the original Gear VRs were intended mainly for early adopters. They only fitted a limited number of phones -- the original was designed just for the Note 4; the second for the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge -- and were also quite pricey at $200 per headset. Just last week, however, the two companies released the first-ever consumer-ready version of the Gear VR. It's smaller, lighter, cheaper (only $99) and is compatible with more phones (the Note 5, S6, S6 Edge and S6 Edge+). But, more importantly, its content library has exploded, with more VR apps and games than ever before. Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, and there's no better way to get started than with the new Gear VR.

US regulators delay law that will make electric cars more noisy

Electric cars are famous for how quiet they are compared to regular gas-guzzlers. This is good for noise pollution, bad for pedestrians -- especially the visually impaired. Manufacturers are well aware of the issue, and solutions like Toyota's proximity notification system are becoming more popular. What's not in place, yet, is industry-wide legislation to ensure all EVs and Hybrids have such a safety feature built-in. A law requiring cars have automatic audible alerts for pedestrians proposed in 2013 is in process, but Reuters reports the U.S. Department of Transportation that's just been delayed until at least March next year -- it was originally planned to come in to action this fall. The law would cost automakers an estimated $23-million in the first year to implement.

Wu-Tang Clan sells its one-of-a-kind 'Shaolin' album for millions

Remember Wu-Tang Clan's Once Upon a Time In Shaolin album? The group spent nine years recording 31 tracks for a special LP, then decided to sell just one copy of it -- for a very high price, of course. It was finally purchased by a private American collector for "millions," according to Forbes. The deal was completed in May, but the contract was finalized only recently. The buyer will get to listen to the album now, but won't have the right to release it publicly for another 88 years. "The Wu-Tang Clan has always been driven by innovation, and this marks another moment in musical history," said co-founder RZA. He added that "we hoped that this concept would inspire debate and new ways of seeing creativity."

'Retro City Rampage' is getting a '16-bit' sequel

Retro City Rampage is getting a sequel named Shakedown Hawaii. Like RCR, Shakedown is a top-down action game in the same vein as the original Grand Theft Auto. The new game is set 30 years after RCR and promises a large open world to explore. It also swaps in "16-bit" graphics in place of the original's "8-bit" look, and adds destructible environments to the mix. It's been confirmed for launch on PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita. Developer Vblank says this isn't a Sony console exclusive per se, but it's not going for an Xbox One launch as RCR hasn't been ported to Microsoft's machine, making development more complex. It'll also come to "at least one Nintendo platform" at some point. Vblank tells Polygon that a 3DS release is being targeted, and it's waiting to hear more about Nintendo's next-gen "NX" console before it makes a decision on a port.

Australia's using drones to protect its coasts from sharks

While shark attacks are rare in Australia, every year a handful of people lose their lives while swimming off the country's coastlines. New South Wales (NSW) government officials know there is no easy way to reduce risks, but have committed to spending AU$16 million ($11.6 million) on a new "shark strategy," which includes drone patrols and deploying GPS technology to make its beaches safer. As part of the drone trial starting today, operators will send out drones off the coast of Coffs Harbour (located midway between Sydney and Brisbane), which will feed back live footage of any marine life swimming in shallow water and let them alert swimmers and surfers of any risks in the area.

Temp tech tattoos can monitor your health and location

Chaotic Moon, a start-up known for conjuring fun projects like a shark-punching virtual game, has a wide range of applications in mind for the temporary tattoo technology it's developing. Called "Tech Tats," they're quite literally stick-on tattoos that look a bit embossed against the skin, since they contain electronic components, including a microcontroller and LED lights. Company CEO Ben Lamm called them "the new wearable" during his TechCrunch interview, pointing out that they can be a slightly more permanent version of Fitbit and other fitness trackers. They can, for instance, detect if you're stressed, monitor your body temp, blood pressure and heart rate, and then transmit all those data through their electroconductive paint.

Google's fast mobile pages coming (with ads) in early 2016

Google revealed the "AMP" endeavor last month to accelerate mobile page-loading times, the slowness of which is a huge user bone of contention. It now says the fast-loading mobile pages will hit search results by early next year, and also gave more details about the project's raison d'etre: ads. The list of partners supporting the effort include its own AdSense, Outbrain and AOL, Engadget's parent company. The AMP project will cut mobile data use and wait times, but Google's not just being altruistic -- it's trying to curb ad-blockers, which heavily impact the company's ad revenue. Apple recently gave ad-blockers a big boost when it revealed it would support them for Safari on iOS 9.

Apple buys motion-capture company that worked on 'Star Wars'

Apple's latest startup pickup is Faceshift, a company that specializes in facial motion capture -- often doing it without any need for physical "markers" on the model's face. Cupertino confirmed the deal to Techcrunch, which also discovered that several Faceshift employees are already working for Apple in Europe. While a lot of Faceshift's technical demos have focused on real-time animation based on camera-based motion capture, it also works on improving facial CGI animation in movies and other media. (That's where the Star Wars connection comes in.) It's a bit of a reach to figure out exactly how the startup's work will dovetail into Apple's machinations for the future -- but at least it's something a little more interesting than another map company.