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The latest trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's "Exo Zombies" mode might not feature a megalodon-esque sea-borne monstrosity, but it does have John Malkovich doing his best Werner Herzog impression for the voice over. So there's that. This final episode takes place fathoms below the ocean surface with Rose McGowan, Bill Paxton (game over, man!), Joe Bernthal and the inimitable Bruce Campbell coming back to tie up the story. "Descent" hits Xbox Live tomorrow with other platforms to come in the future. If you're a PlayStation fan that's green with envy, just remember that your early exclusivity period starts with a Black Ops 3 beta and add-ons this fall -- there's even a mode where you murder the undead and chew gumballs in Rapture-esque, art-deco city streets as Jeff Goldblum.

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Making geek dreams come true, Star Trek's original Lt. Uhura, Nichelle Nichols, announced a few days ago that she's going on a mission for NASA. But don't get your hopes up Nichols getting into space -- she's actually flying on the agency's airborne observatory SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy), which studies things like the birth and death of stars, black holes in galactic centers and how new solar systems come together. Due to its unique observation location, it can detect things far out of reach for ground-based telescopes. Nichols says she'll be flying on September 15th, and she might even be able to share her experience live on her celebrity philanthropy site, Starpower. This isn't her first time on a NASA mission: She also flew on the first-generation Kuiper Airborne Observatory back in the '70s. SOFIA is an upgraded mission, which uses a customized Boeing 747 and six instruments for capturing the cosmos, including cameras, a photometer and spectrometers.

[Thanks, Kristy]

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Sony Holds Press Event At E3 Gaming Conference Unveiling New Products For Its Playstation Game Unit

If you've been itchin' to give PlayStation Now's streaming a go on your gaming handheld, the wait is over. The subscription service officially arrived on the PlayStation Vita and PlayStation TV, delivering access to over 125 games on those two devices. PlayStation Now had been available on the Vita and PlayStation TV in beta form for months, but now it's making a proper debut after hitting the PS3 back in May. In addition to equipping two more gaming gadgets with the service, five new titles are being added this month. Joining the library of titles in August are Dynasty Warriors 8, MX vs. ATV Supercross, Bomberman Ultra, The Last Guy and, most importantly, God of War III. With new games being added on the regular and Sony offering newcomers a free one-week trial, there's really now excuse for PlayStation owners to take the service for a test drive.

[Image credit: Getty Images]

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The Massachusetts General Hospital research team that lit up human cells with the help of jellyfish genes a few years ago are back with a more advanced version of the technology. This new version forgoes the complicated external mirror setup in favor of injectable oil droplets impregnated with fluorescent dye. This is the same basic idea as what a team from St Andrews University recently created, except that the plastic bead that served as the their laser's resonating chamber is now an oil droplet. While the technology isn't ready for therapeutic applications just yet, it does hold a great deal of promise. The problem with conventional cellular markers and dye is that they have a broad emission spectrum which can make it difficult to spot the marked cells amidst the rest of the tissue. But with these miniature lasers, doctors will be able to mark and track individual cells no matter where they are in the body. The team recently published their findings in Nature Photonics.

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The International is back and bigger than ever. The 2015 championships for Dota 2, Valve's massively popular MOBA, take off today in the "main event" stage, beginning with three matches between LGD Gaming and Team Empire. In total, 16 teams have a shot at winning The International when it comes to a close on Saturday, August 8th. There's a total of $18 million up for grabs, with payouts ranging from $54,000 for 16th place and $6.5 million for first -- and these figures should rise before the end of the tournament, since it's funded via ongoing purchases of the Compendium, a package that offers players in-game goodies at $10 or $27 a pop. Twenty-five percent of all Compendium sales go straight to The International's prize pool. Watch The International's official, live coverage below (heads up, it autoplays).

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This rendering depicts a new "plasmonic oxide material" that could make possible devices for optical communications that are at least 10 times faster than conventional technologies. (Purdue University image/Nathaniel Kinsey)

Researchers at Purdue University have developed a new kind of material that could improve the speed of optical communications by as much as 5000 times the current state of the art. The material is made of aluminum-doped zinc oxide (AZO) and it is able to change the amount of light it reflects by up to 40 percent while consuming a fraction of the power that conventional optical semiconductors consume. By reflecting more or less light, the material can encode and transmit data. What's more, this material operates in the near-infrared spectrum range, which is what is most commonly used in optical communications.

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Asian Carp leaping out of the water

The next time you go fishing, make sure to bring your smartphone... it might just help you protect an endangered species. The US Fish and Wildlife Service is partnering with the developers of mobile app FishBrain to crowdsource conversation data. A new feature in the free software lets you catalog as many as 50 threatened species (aquatic or otherwise) during a trip, helping conservationists find out both where these critters live and why their populations are dropping. It seems paradoxical to ask anglers for help saving coastal life, but it makes sense when you think about it -- they're the most likely to see these rare animals, and they're often well aware that extinction has dire consequences. The big challenge will simply be getting enough people using the app to provide meaningful input.

[Image credit: AP Photo/John Flesher]

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On the surface, Dot sounds like a fairly standard smartwatch: It resembles a Fitbit and features a messaging system, navigation functions, Bluetooth 4.0, an alarm and, of course, a timepiece. Dot is remarkable because it's a braille smartwatch -- the world's first braille smartwatch, in fact. Its face features a series of dull pins that rise and fall at customizable speeds, spelling out words in braille as the user places a finger on top. With this system, Dot allows users to read ebooks without throwing down thousands of dollars for a portable braille reader. The watch should hit the market for less than $300, with pre-orders staring this year. Plus, Dot has an active battery life of 10 hours, according to inhabitat, so get ready for some serious reading time.

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It's that dreaded time of year when lazy summer days with their open invitation to sandals, surf and shirtlessness begin to give way to the crispness of fall, hoodies and the back-to-school doldrums. Ah, but there's hope on the horizon: You can always buy things to forget the scheduled machinery of life. And, oh, have we got some selections for you -- no matter your budget.

First up, our picks for the most cost-conscious of the back-to-school set.

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If you find yourself re-ordering office supplies, you can also nab Amazon's smart speaker in one fell swoop. Staples is the only place other than Amazon where you can purchase the voice-controlled Echo device. While Echo is listed on the Staples website, it's unclear whether or not the speaker will be available in stores (the two stores closest to me don't have them). The retailer known for paper and pens may seem like an odd choice as the only "exclusive" spot to nab the Alexa-powered gadget, but Staples also sells Kindles, Fire TV and Fire tablets, so it's not too much of a stretch. If you're looking to grab one, it carries the same $180 price tag and is available now via the Staples website.

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