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Nokia's next move is VR with this $60,000 OZO camera

Nokia announced its new hardware a few months ago, and tonight at an event in Los Angeles revealed it's opening preorders for the OZO virtual reality camera. A professional-level device capable of recording its surroundings in 360-degree spherical video, it will require a mere $60,000 -- with $5k down payment up front -- to secure one when shipments start in Q1 2016. The full specs are also out now, revealing it uses eight synchronized 2K x 2K camera sensors, which record to a 500GB solid state drive that can hold up to 45 minutes of footage. Pros like Jaunt are apparently using the new camera for their VR capturing, and now you can too. You can see the full list, along with accessories like its $1,500 docking station on the OZO website, while you ponder what amazing life experiences justify that pricetag.

Amazon's tablet web browser is getting easier to use

Amazon's Silk may not be the darling of the web browser world, but you should know it's still getting plenty of affection. The internet giant is recapping recent updates that promise an easier-to-use tablet surfing experience. You'll now see your most visited sites as easy-to-read tiles when you visit Silk's home screen, putting your go-to page a quick tap away. Bookmarking a page has been simplified to a single tap, and there's a reading list section on the home screen that offers quick access to your saved articles. Oh, and this is your dream upgrade if you can't help but open sites in new tabs -- you can keep an unlimited number of tabs open instead of the previous 10. All good things to know, especially since it's been nearly a year since we heard any updates on the supercomputer-powered browser project.

Use Snapchat Tuesday and the Gates Foundation will donate to AIDS prevention

Tomorrow is World AIDS Day, and as such the non-profit (RED) organization has plenty of activities planned to raise both money and awareness for its fight against the disease. If you're a Snapchat user, you can do your part just by adding a filter to your snaps: according to the LA Times, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will donate $3 to (RED) every time a Snap is posted that uses one of three custom "World AIDS Day" filters up to a grand total of $3 million.

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...

Sending private Twitch messages on iOS gets a lot easier today

It looks like Twitch gathered enough feedback from its Android test run of mobile private messaging, "Whispers," because the feature has made its way to iOS. A post on the live-streaming juggernaut's blog says that all you need to do to access Whispers on your Cupertino-branded device is update the app. Oh, and similar to the current beta for Google's mobile OS, the company would really like it if you submit your feedback. Pretty simple! Free stuff on Cyber Monday? That's a trend I can get behind.

Now you can bookmark Google image searches for later reference

Normally, image searches on Google are ephemeral things and gone the moment you close the browser tab. However, a new feature on the search giant's mobile version makes saving the images you find as easy as bookmarking a webpage. In fact, it's the identical process: simply search for whatever phrase you want, pick the images you like and tap the star icon to save them. You can also organize these saved images into folders, thereby eliminating the need to run the search again later. The new feature is already available to mobile users in the US running both Android and iOS.

Vintage Electric's latest e-bike gives you more retro power

Vintage Electric drew a lot of attention when it unveiled its retro e-bikes a couple of years ago: it managed to fuse the classic look of early 20th century board track racers with a decidedly modern electric motor. Well, it's back for another year... and it's clear that the company has learned a lot in a short space of time. Its newly launched 2016 Tracker ups both the performance and the nostalgia quotient. It's 15 percent more efficient than last year's Tracker, but produces 20 percent more torque and carries a larger 70 watt-hour battery good for 35 miles of real-world travel. At the same time, you'll find clever new touches like stainless steel accents and pewter badging.

Latest batch of Clinton emails may contain classified intel

The State Department announced on Monday that it will release an email from former-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's private email server that, according to members of the intelligence community, may contain classified information. The email is part of a nearly 8,000-page document dump scheduled for Monday. The State Department has already unveiled around 30,000 pages (of an estimated 54,000) since the scandal erupted in March.

Google hires the lead for Tesla's semi-autonomous driving tech

Apple and Tesla aren't the only two tech companies grabbing each other's staff to fulfill their automotive dreams -- Google has quietly hired Robert Rose, the lead for Tesla's semi-autonomous Autopilot program. It's not clear what he's working on besides software at Google Robotics, but it won't be surprising if he's working on self-driving cars. He's unlikely to be working for Boston Dynamics, whose staff are relatively independent from the Google mothership. One thing's for sure: Tesla will notice his absence. Rose was the lead engineer for some of SpaceX's earlier rocketry and reported directly to Elon Musk while at Tesla, so this clearly wasn't a trivial move.

[Image credit: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

No, SoundCloud didn't remove a silent track for violating copyright

On November 22nd, artist collective DJ Detweiler posted a screenshot of a message from SoundCloud that said its track, "John Cage - 4'33 (DJ DETWEILER REMIX)," had been removed because it appeared to contain copyrighted content. The joke here is that the original "4'33"" is completely silent and a remix would supposedly be just as soundless. DJ Detweiler shared the image with the caption, "MADE A NEW REMIX TODAY, SOMEHOW THIS HAPPENED," and tagged a handful of music publications. The story was picked up online with headlines decrying SoundCloud's over-reach of copyright law and the absurdity of content-protection algorithms.

However, DJ Detweiler's "remix" wasn't silent at all, according to SoundCloud. "The upload referenced in the screenshot was not a track of silence and was taken down because it included Justin Bieber's 'What Do You Mean' without the rightsholder's permission," the company says.

AT&T hiking price of unlimited data to $35 a month

AT&T customers who've managed to hold strong to their $30 unlimited data plans since the carrier ended that option back in 2010 are about to get a bit of a surprise. According to 9to5 Mac, AT&T is seeking to increase that $30 a month fee to $35 a month (CNBC and CNET have also corroborated this story). That isn't much of a jump, but it is the first price increase of the grandfathered plan in years. Still, AT&T is hardly the only culprit here. T-Mobile has increased its unlimited data plan from $80 to $95 a month for new customers (older customers will still pay $80 a month), Sprint is now charging $70 a month for it and Verizon has upped its own grandfathered unlimited data plan by $20 a month. The unlimited data price increase for AT&T customers will go into effect in February of next year.

Want a sleek Windows 10 phone? Go to Japan

Just last week, Microsoft began selling the Lumia 950, the first Windows 10 mobile phone, and though the software showed promise, the hardware itself was lacking in charm. Now, Japanese design firm NuAns is set to release the "Neo," a sleek handset that should make for a nice alternative to the Lumia (if you're okay to trade design for customizability). It sports an interchangeable upper and lower half that can be swapped out, with 64 possible combinations available. The phone is set to retail for around $350 with lower-end specs to match, including a 5-inch, 1,280 x 720 display, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 617 processor and 16GB of storage (expandable via microSD slot). If this handset sounds like something you can't live without, there's one problem: it's exclusive to Japan. So, unless you want to fly over to pick one up, it looks like you'll have to get creative when custumozing a smartphone available in your market.

[Image credit: NuAns]

Mind-controlled robot gives the disabled a taste of home

Brain-controlled robot limbs have already helped the disabled gain some mobility, but full-fledged robots have proven elusive: how do you use thoughts to steer a free-roaming machine? Swiss researchers think they have the answer. They've developed a mind-controlled telepresence robot that lets those with motor disabilities travel when it would otherwise be impractical. It's ultimately a laptop on a pedestal, but it uses clever semi-autonomous software to take the hard work out of controlling where the robot goes. You only have to don an EEG-based cap and imagine moving your hands or feet -- the robot plots a path based on your commands, and avoids obstacles all on its own.

TiVo's QuickMode viewing feature hits all Roamio DVRs

Tivo's QuickMode option, which lets you speed up recorded shows with pitch-corrected audio, is available on every Roamio DVR as of today. The feature arrived last week for the TiVo Bolt, the company's latest set-top box, but it is now officially expanding to the entire Roamio family. TiVo says that, along with the release of QuickMode, it's also making other goods available in today's update. There's a refreshed look and feel in the TiVo Guide, as well as a new setting designed to make it easy for cord-cutters to get access to their content. Of course, the main attraction here is QuickMode -- TiVo says it can "shave a month of time each year" for people who want to watch shows at a faster pace.

Here's why the iPad Pro's processor is so fast

Whatever you think of Apple's products, there's little doubt that the A9X processor in the iPad Pro is quick -- in a few cases, it rivals the performance you'd get from a laptop. But why is it so quick, especially when Apple tends to shy away from high clock speeds, many-core processors and other conventional performance tricks? Thanks to AnandTech and Chipworks, we now have a good idea. They've torn down the A9X to reveal that the chip is a series of calculated tradeoffs. It only has two CPU cores and doesn't even have Level 3 memory cache to keep the processor humming, but it has a monstrous amount of bandwidth (51GB per second) and a whopping 12 graphics cores. That's twice as many as in the iPhone 6s' A9 chip, folks. To boot, the A9X is larger than Intel's latest quad-core desktop processors -- Apple has the headroom for components that you don't see in many PCs.

Adobe Premiere Clip brings its video-editing tools to Android

Adobe's bet on mobile productivity is serious, with its suite of Creative Cloud apps leading the way. One of the company's newest applications is Premiere Clip, a video editor that first debuted on iOS. But now Adobe is bringing this app to Android, giving users on the platform a fast and easy way to create videos on the go. Adobe Premiere Clip automatically creates videos from media stored on your smartphone or tablet (among other things), which can then be shared to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Aside from letting you distribute saved videos on social media, you can also polish those on the desktop with Adobe Premiere Pro CC -- though you'll need a subscription for the latter feature. The best part about Premiere Clip is that it's free, and could be a good option if you have to make a video in a pinch.

Sonos will support Apple Music starting December 15th

Sonos will close a major gap in the services that it supports on December 15th -- that's when the company's products will start working with Apple Music. The company said that this would happen by the end of the year back in June, just before Apple Music launched, and it seems that it'll make good on its promises. The service will first be available as part of an open beta, with full availability to come in early 2016.

Post a racist comment online, see it on a billboard near your house

Messages posted on Facebook, Twitter and other online spaces may feel like they carry less weight than things said in the physical world -- but that's not the case, argues Brazilian civil-rights group Criola. This year, Criola launched a campaign labeled, "Virtual racism, real consequences," which pulls racially bigoted comments from the internet and places them on billboards in the neighborhoods where the commenters live. Criola finds racist messages online and then uses geotag data to locate the author's neighborhood; the group then rents billboard space nearby and prints the comments for the world -- and the original writer -- to see. The names and images of the commenters are blurred out, but the message rings clear: Things said online affect people in real life, in real ways.

Microsoft updates navigation headset for the blind

In 2011, Microsoft UK teamed up with charity Guide Dogs to create 'Cities Unlocked,' an organization that worked to create a headset designed to help the visually impaired. That device came last year, but now it's received some major hardware and software upgrades. Although the original simply used bone conduction to send audio clicks and cues to guide the user around, the latest iteration is less of a practical tool and more of an information-rich service. It uses something called "3D soundscape technology," which is kind of like a GPS that describes everything that's around them, from local cafés to alerts telling them when a bus or train is approaching the stop.

9 gifts for the ultimate tinkerer

Winter is coming. And with it also comes the need to show the loved ones in your life just how much you care for them by spending, spending, spending on gifts. Trouble is, there are just so many options to choose from. What you really need is someone, some outside force to hold your credit card-holding hand. And boy, do we have some suggestions for you. Happy Holidays! You're very welcome.

Were you or someone you know the type of kid that took apart telephones, pushed pennies into (old, CRT) TV sets or mixed as many under the sink cleaning agents together to call it a potion and see what would happen? If you answered yes to any of the above, then this is the gift-giving category you're looking for.

Image credit: Getty Images

Researchers create magic sponge to clean up oil spills

Researchers at Australia's Deakin University claim to have developed a new material that's capable of cleaning up large oil spills in a flash. A team, led by Professor Ying Chen, has created a new method that uses boron nitride powder as the building block for a sponge that can absorb oil separate from water. Since you couldn't just sprinkle the substance onto the area around a crashed oil tanker, it had to be built into a porous 3D structure. In doing so, the team has been able to increase the surface area per gram to roughly five and a half tennis courts.