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Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit - Day 2

Tired of recharging your iPhone several times a day? That's just because the iPhone's thin and light design is encouraging you to use it more, according to Apple's design guru Jony Ive. In an interview with the Financial Times today, Ive dove deep into the design process of the Apple Watch, but when asked about the need to recharge iPhones often he didn't see much of an issue. Instead, he noted that stuffing in a bigger battery would make it heavier and less "compelling." Never mind that battery life remains the single biggest concern for most smartphone users, according to a survey by Cat. If this interview had occurred a year ago, Ive would seem even less sympathetic. Now, at least, Apple has the iPhone 6 Plus available, which offers a significantly bigger battery thanks to its larger 5.5-inch frame.

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I did not get motion sickness when I demoed Sony's new and improved Project Morpheus VR headset at GDC this week in San Francisco. And that's saying a lot considering my sweaty outcome at a private E3 demo last year. But I did get somewhat hurt while using it. Blame it on the shark. I banged my head into a wall while whimpering and trying to avoid the jaws of a menacing virtual version of, well, JAWS. It's proof that compelling VR is powerful; powerful enough to send you slamming into nearby walls with a smile plastered on your face.

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If you recently installed or updated uTorrent on your PC, you may have have picked up an unwanted passenger: a Bitcoin miner called Epic Scale. That piece of code comes attached at the hip with the latest uTorrent build (version 3.4.2) and uses your computer as part of a Bitcoin farm to generate revenue for someone other than you. Users first reported the situation on uTorrent's forums, and it was quickly confirmed by a senior support manager. He said that the app "cannot be installed without permission," but one user pointed out that there was "never a warning about it," even though he opted out of other bundled software.

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The HTC Vive might've stolen some of Samsung's thunder, but it bears reminding that the latter did announce a new VR headset earlier this week. Sure, the Gear VR for the Galaxy S6 is only slightly different from the original Note 4 edition, but even minor tweaks can spell big improvement. It's smaller, lighter, has a wider focus margin and there's a new strap design that promises to make the headset much more comfortable than before. I had a chance to give it a spin earlier this week and I also talked to Max Cohen, VP of mobile at Oculus, to get his take on the new hardware, possible future updates and, of course, his opinion on the HTC Vive.

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Greg Zeschuk, the man that co-founded BioWare and shepherded the development of now classic franchises like Mass Effect and Dragon Age, left the gaming industry for good more than two years ago. Yet, despite that apparent retirement, he was back on the show floor at GDC in San Francisco to show off Biba, one of his many part-time side projects. Don't worry. Zeschuk's main passion remains beer, beer and more beer. But he's also committed to using his influence and financial resources for more altruistic endeavors.

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TomTom and Nike are back in each other's arms. The former's Runner and Multi-Sport GPS Watches, including those that come with heart-rate monitor bands, are now compatible with the Nike+ app. These two companies have collaborated back in 2011, when Nike came out with a sports watch that's loaded with GPS developed alongside TomTom. This time, the masters of navigation are giving you a way to auto-upload calories burned, run pace and time, among other types of data to the running app (and earn NikeFuel in the process, of course). Even if you don't use Nike+ for either iPhone or Android, though, you have other apps to choose from, as the company's watches also support TomTom MySports, RunKeeper, MapMyFitness, Jawbone, Endomondo and Strava. All you have to do now is find the motivation to do some actual running.

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The largest object in the Main Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter is Ceres, an odd, water-rich proto-planet roughly the size of Texas (590 miles in diameter). Scientists have long puzzled about the origin of the bright white spot near the equator, which we recently learned is two bright spots. We'll soon know a lot more about it as NASA's Dawn spacecraft has nearly reached Ceres. It's already captured shots of the planet (above) and will soon go into a polar orbit at 13,500 km (8,300 miles) before descending to a survey altitude of 4,430 km (2,800 miles). Eventually, it'll drop as low as 1,480km (950 miles) to capture high resolution mapping data and 3D images of Ceres. Once the mission is over it'll remain the asteroid's orbiting buddy forever.

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While Detroit waits for its Robocop statue, the Democratic Republic of Congo's one-upped The Motor City and installed a quintet of robots to keep an unblinking eye on any traffic-law violators. The Guardian reports that these solar-powered aluminum bipeds are armed with cameras to monitor the vehicle-piloting populace, and hand-mounted red and green lights to help regulate the bustling flow of city Kinshasa's some nine million residents. Each new, female-engineered unit runs $27,500 (cheaper than some SWAT 'bots), and the country hopes to add another 30 to the force in an expansion effort for monitoring its highways.

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London's Underground network can feel like a maze for even the most seasoned traveller, especially at rush hour when you're packed in with hordes of disgruntled commuters. The problem is only amplified for blind and partially sighted people, but a combination of Bluetooth beacons and smartphone app could make the experience less stressful. Wayfindr has been developed by Ustwo (yep, the folks behind the video game Monument Valley) and the Royal London Society for Blind People's (RLSB) Youth Forum to offer travellers audio-based directions and advice. A month-long trial at Pimlico station is now underway with 16 beacons tracking users' smartphones and activating descriptive notes. The information is basic, but could offer valuable guidance and, hopefully, confidence to blind and partially sighted people navigating the Underground independently.

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a gay couple walking back down...

A total of 379 companies, including tech's biggest names, are trying to convince the Supreme Court to rule in favor of nationwide marriage equality. These corporations, including Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft have filed an amici curiae or a friend-of-the-court brief prior to the high court's April hearing that will decide the future of same-sex marriage in the US. The court is slated to discuss whether same-sex couples have the constitutional right to get married anywhere in the country. In case that doesn't pan out, the court will also discuss whether same-sex marriages performed in states where it's legal must be recognized even in states where it's not. If you read the filing, you'll see the companies emphasize repeatedly how marriage equality benefits American businesses.

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