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Early summer on the East Coast hasn't been its usual level of brutal this year, but it's only a matter of time before smartphones start wigging out in the heat. Things only get trickier when you're charging up in your sweltering car, so Chevy cooked up an "active phone cooling" system to keep gadgets from overheating in their 2016 range of vehicles. Don't get too carried away, though: That's just a high-falutin' name for an air vent that points at a warm phone while it's wirelessly charging.

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N64 Controller

Microsoft has an exorbitant $150 controller coming this year that it hopes will make up for the Xbox One's middling gamepad, but that won't make the upcoming Rare Replay feel any more authentic when you play. The folks at Hyperkin -- makers of the Retron 5 console -- know this and set forth a challenge: mod a Nintendo 64 controller to work with Microsoft's latest game console. And they succeeded. Mostly. As you'll see in the video below, the three-pronged paddle can navigate the console's dashboard and select apps, but, since there's only one analog stick, that rules out it playing nicely with a vast majority of modern games. The wiring is a bit wonky and certain inputs trigger at random, but, from the sounds of it, the project is far from over.

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When America's greatest actor needed to defuse a bomb mounted to a passenger bus, there was only one name he could trust to keep time: Casio. Like Keanu Reeves, the company's fallen out of the limelight a bit since then. It has a comeback plan, though: smartwatches. As The Wall Street Journal tells it, the outfit thinks it has what's necessary to compete in the crowded space too. Namely, a rich history of making watches that do more than tell time. It expects the device to hit "a level of smartwatch perfection" by being durable, easy to put on and generally being comfortable to wear.

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Dinosaurland in White Post, Virginia

In what is being called the "most comprehensive" study of its kind, a team from the University of Chicago claims that it has revealed the massive amount of genetic change needed for woolly mammoths to adapt to their arctic environment. The study, which was published on July 2 in Cell Reports, shows that genes controlling everything from skin and hair development to fat metabolism, insulin signaling -- even skull shape -- differed from their contemporary elephant kin.

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Rumors of a fully Android-powered BlackBerry device popped up again last month, and today Evan Blass aka evleaks has posted a picture showing a glimpse of the phone. Specs for the alleged "Venice" popped up on N4BB a couple of weeks ago, calling it a slider with a 5.4-inch screen, 18MP rear camera and 1.8GHz Hexa-core CPU. According to Blass, the Venice will run Android, and is coming to AT&T first.

Update: We're told the picture is of the old Passport with the screen mocked up, but the "Venice" is coming, and should have a more sensible profile.

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Russia's Progress 60 rocket on the launchpad

The International Space Station has had a tough time getting supplies lately between two rocket explosions and an orbital failure, but it's going to get an important lifeline in the near future... hopefully. Russia is about to launch Progress 60, a cargo ship that will ferry over 3 tons of much-needed food, fuel and other equipment to the ISS. You won't have to wait until its expected Sunday arrival to find out how it fares, though. NASA is streaming the launch at 12:55AM ET -- tune in below and you'll have a sense of whether or not Progress 60 fares any better than its ill-fated predecessor.

Update: After a successful launch, Progress 60 is on its way to the ISS. It's scheduled to dock with the station at 2:30AM ET Sunday, which will also be covered live on NASA TV.

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MasterCard Mobile World Congress

MasterCard announced on Thursday that it's looking to add a layer of biometric security to its credit cards and all user will need to do is simply take a selfie. The system will create a digitized map of your face, convert that map into a hash and compare it to the hash stored on Mastercard's servers. Users will be able to pay through a mobile app with either their fingerprints or by staring into the device and blinking once. The blink is used to prevent someone from just holding up a picture of you to spoof the system. What's more, "They're storing an algorithm, not a picture of you," Phillip Dunkelberger, who runs Nok Nok Labs, told CNN Money. "And I'm sure they're doing the appropriate stuff to guard it."

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A Pong cabinet at Supercade

We hope you aren't curious about Nolan Bushnell's game development history... you may find yourself sucked into a time sink. Microsoft has quietly added an option to play Pong in Bing (Bing Pong, get it?) if you search for the digital table tennis classic in your browser. It's not a novel concept, and it certainly isn't the most advanced -- Google's Cube Slam experiment is on another level. It's surprisingly addictive, however, and might offer just the right amount of '70s gaming nostalgia to tide you over when you're stuck at work.

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Citizens of Chicago need to prepare themselves for a "cloud tax" that went into effect on July 1. The nine-percent tax to cloud services like Netflix, Spotify and Xbox Live is the result of an "amusement tax" ruling that items "delivered electronically" for entertainment purposes are subject to a tax that has traditionally been levied against the sale of concert tickets, sporting events and the like. The ruling does not affect the sales of movies, songs and games delivered electronically. So purchases from the iTunes store and Steam are not taxed. But, a subscription to Apple Music or Spotify is subject to taxation. If your streaming entertainment service of choice hasn't already started charging, you may have a few months before your bill goes up. The ruling gives companies until September 1, 2015 to comply.

[Image credit: Getty/wsfurlan]


Jury duty may be an annoying (if vital) civic responsibility, but one US county is experimenting with a ridesharing offer that could make it a little more bearable. The County Clerk in Macomb, Michigan is partnering with Uber on a 60-day trial that gives jurors a total of $40 in credit for their rides to and from the courthouse. Ideally, this will save you from having to fight bad weather or pay through the nose for parking when you're trying to serve.

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The ends of fiber optic cables

The FCC made it clear that towns should have the freedom to build their own broadband services, and one cooperative group is determined to take advantage of that liberty. WiredWest has gained the support of 22 Massachusetts towns for a municipal broadband effort that will give them all fiber optic service. It won't be the cheapest option, but it'll be much faster than the pokey DSL, fixed wireless and satellite data that residents have had to settle for in the past. It'll start at $49 per month for 25Mbps speeds and no caps, with 100Mbps and a lightning-quick 1Gbps respectively available for $79 and $109 per month.

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The Wirecutter's best deals: a soundbar, Bluetooth headphones and more!

This post was created in partnership with The Wirecutter, a list of the best technology to buy. Read their continuously updated list of deals at

You may have already seen Engadget posting reviews from our friends at The Wirecutter. Now, from time to time, we'll also be publishing their recommended deals on some of their top picks. Read on, and strike while the iron is hot -- some of these sales could expire mighty soon.

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