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Panasonic makes its 4K Toughpad more film industry-friendly

When Panasonic's 20-inch, 4K Toughpad tablet arrived to CES 2013, there was nothing even remotely like it on the market. The company did have a method to its madness, however, positioning the then-$6,000 tablet as a bulletproof, strictly-business tablet aimed at industrial CAD designers and graphics pros. It has now updated the Windows 10 Pro device with specs better suited to its price, and aimed it at a new, deep-pocketed market: cinema companies. The $4,229 FZ-Y1D Toughpad model now has HDMI 2.0 input, and thanks to Panasonic's proprietary software, can function as a Digital Cinema 4K (4,096 x 2,160, 60fps) monitor for cameras like Red's Raven.


It's been well over a year since Huawei launched its premium Mate 7 phablet, and as of August, over five million units have been sold worldwide. That's far more impressive than the original goal of just one million phones. While the smaller Mate S has since been released, the company still believes in sticking to the masculine roots of the Mate series, which brings us to the Mate 8. Like before, this model sports the same 6-inch 1080p display spec but now also covers 95 percent of NTSC gamut. As a bonus, there's a piece of 2.5D glass on top of that. Of course, the biggest selling point this time is the new octa-core Kirin 950 chipset which promises much higher performance and efficiency at the same time, mainly thanks to the new 16nm FinFET+ process, some more powerful CPUs (4 x Cortex-A72 and 4 x Cortex-A53), ARM's flagship Mali-T880 GPU and integrated LTE Cat 6 modem.

Lara Croft's awesome mobile adventure adds a free tomb to raid

Lara Croft has a pretty big adventure on Xbox One this fall with Rise of the Tomb Raider, but her grand mobile mission is about grow too. Developer Square Enix Montreal announced it's dropping "The Shard of Life" expansion for Lara Croft GO tomorrow for free on Android and iOS (sorry, Windows Phone folks) with some 26 fresh puzzles to tackle while you're waiting in line at the grocery store. More than that, the publisher is knocking 40 percent off the game's price -- it'll run you $2.99 for a limited time. Oh and its hosting a Twitch event tasking the game's community to solve the new puzzles.

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By default, the haptic touchpads that define Valve's Steam Controller are just thumb-friendly fill-ins for a proper mouse -- but that's not all they can do. Thanks to a new Steam client beta update, the Steam Controller's signature touchapds can now do something now standard PC mouse can: instantly warp your cursor anywhere on the screen at the touch of a thumb.

Amazon Prime will reportedly offer access to other video services

Normally, signing up for a streaming video service only gives you the content from that service, leaving you heading elsewhere when a TV network decides to hoard all its shows. If rumors are true, though, Amazon Prime Video may soon offer a lot more in one place. Bloomberg sources hear that Amazon will give you the option to add other subscription services to your account, and show their video libraries alongside its own. Just who's interested isn't clear, but Amazon is reportedly lining up "major, well-known" movie and TV channels for a launch that could happen as early as December.

President signs pro-asteroid mining bill into law

And just like that, American asteroid mining efforts are legal. President Obama has signed the US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act (CSLCA) into law following Congress' approval, letting companies keep whatever resources they collect beyond Earth. As you might imagine, hopeful mining outfits like Planetary Resources are relieved. While the odds weren't that high that the government would confiscate their minerals as soon as they landed, the Act removes any ambiguity.

Microsoft rolls out a basic phone that's big on selfies

Microsoft today introduced the Nokia 230, a successor to the Nokia 130 from last year. In similar fashion to its predecessor, this new handset is geared toward developing markets as well, featuring a straightforward interface and an affordable $55 price tag. The Nokia 230 does look different than the 130, however, with an aluminum back cover that gives it a more premium look. Spec-wise, don't expect to be blown away, since the device isn't designed to compete with the iPhones of the world. You'll find a 2.8-inch QVGA (320 x 240) display, a 2-megapixel front camera (because selfies are important) and support for up to 32GB of external storage (via microSD). There's also a dual-SIM model, appropriately named the Nokia 230 Dual SIM, for people who swap phones or networks often.

This holiday, Verizon will let you gift gigs of data for $10

Verizon announced a new promotion on Tuesday that will allow its customers to "gift" a gigabyte of mobile data to other users on the network. The offer is available through both the Verizon Messages app (in the eGift Catalogue section) and the company's website. The recipient can redeem the gift either directly through the text message or the next time they log onto their account. The $10 charge will appear on your monthly statement.

[Image Credit: Getty]

Airbus' detachable cabin concept could save you time at the airport

There are probably plenty of things that frustrate you about air travel, but waiting to take off or disembark is probably high on your list. Why should you have to board well before the plane is ready to get moving? Airbus might have a way to cut that idle time to near zero, though: it recently received a patent for a detachable passenger cabin that would lift into the airport gate. Your aircraft would only show up when it's actually ready to go, and would spend far less time on the ground as a whole (as it's just swapping cabin pods). It could also eliminate the convoluted boarding process, since you could take your seat right away instead of forming a queue in the terminal.

Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 is too sexist for Europe and US

Dead or Alive Xtreme 3, the game where you play volleyball as scantily clad women, won't be making its way to the US or Europe. Apparently, the game's publisher is worried about how Western audiences will react to the way the franchise depicts women. The latest installment features a sun-tanning system (whatever the hell that means), butt fights (as seen in the gameplay trailer below) and the ability to dress the characters in a wide variety of costumes.

'Dragons Lair' movie project leaves Kickstarter, heads to Indiegogo

Don't worry, Dragon's Lair fans, the proposed feature-length project is still happening -- but it won't be raising money on Kickstarter. Creators Don Bluth and Gary Goldman have cancelled their original crowdfunding campaign and will be relaunching it on Indiegogo on December 1. They promise it'll be "a stronger, more valiant campaign" that takes into account suggestions from fans. Bluth and Goldman didn't say specifically why they were shifting the campaign, but we've reached out for comment. One big advantage Indiegogo has over Kickstarter is "Flexible Funding," which lets crowdfunding organizers keep the money they raise, even if they don't reach their goal. The pair aimed to raise $550,000 to produce a short to court investors and studios, who would hopefully back a feature-length Dragon's Lair film (which ultimately could cost upwards of $100 million). They ended up raising over $241,000 in one month before nixing the Kickstarter campaign. I can't blame them for aiming high, but honestly I'd settle for a lower-budget film backed by the likes of Netflix or Amazon.

Google scours 1.2 million URLs to conform with EU's 'right to be forgotten'

While still fighting it in the courts, Google has been complying with the EU's 'right to be forgotten' ruling. In a transparency report, the search giant stated that is has evaluated 1,234,092 URLs from 348,085 requests since May 29, 2014. Of those, 42 percent of the URLs have been removed from search results. When deciding which results stay and which get disappeared from results, it says, "Google must consider the rights of the individual as well as public interest in the content." Unsurprising, the top site to have its search results scrubbed is Facebook.

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.

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.