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Density's sensor

You probably aren't a fan of showing up at the coffee shop right when there's a large line, or at the gym when there are no free machines. Wouldn't it be nice if you could find out how busy a place is at any given moment, without resorting to estimates? The new Density sensor might help. The tiny infrared detector is effectively a smarter, more connected pedestrian traffic sensor: it tells apps how many people are entering or leaving a building at any moment, giving you a good sense of whether that restaurant is packed or blissfully empty. Shops can use that data to their advantage, too. They can offer discounts whenever it gets quiet, or notify you the moment there's a free seat.

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Frontback is happy again

Tech startups rarely get a second chance if they fail, since they can't usually draw on the help of either a huge following or a pile of cash. However, the recently defunct Frontback is getting that rare reprieve. The selfie-oriented social service has reached a deal with an as yet unnamed "partner" that will keep it running for the foreseeable future. This mysterious helper believes there's "something incredible" behind the concept of posting both front and back photos, Frontback says, and it's offering "fresh ideas" for what to do next. There's no certainty that Frontback will live happily ever after, but it's at least not going to fade out any time soon.

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Sultan Al Qassemi In Conversation With David Plouffe Hosted By Uber & Harvard Business School Club Of The GCC & The Harvard Kenn

Uber is getting richer and richer. It's now valued at $51 billion after raising another $1 billion in funding, and it got to this stage two years faster than Facebook did. As always, the ride-sharing service has attracted an assortment of investors during its latest funding round -- one of them's none other than tech juggernaut Microsoft, according to The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. While neither company has admitted it yet, Bloomberg says Microsoft has agreed to back Uber to the tune of around $100 million. It's unclear whether this means they're pursuing a deeper relationship or if they're working together on a project or two, at least. If you recall, though, Uber's snapped up a portion of Bing's mapping tech back in June, along with a hundred of Redmond's employees.

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Gadget Show Dish

Just as Comcast dips its toe in the internet TV business, Sling TV is claiming that the giant is refusing to run ads for its service on NBC stations that it owns. According to Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch (last seen walking off with our Best of CES Overall Winner trophy), the ads are running across other broadcasters, and on NBC stations not owned by Comcast. If the idea was to cut down on the number of people seeing an alternative to the cable setup, that may have backfired since you're reading this right now. Comcast's NBC stations aren't running the ads in three cities (San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.), but the internet stretches much further.

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Microsoft HoloLens

When Microsoft said that its HoloLens headset would arrive "in the Windows 10 time frame," what did it mean, exactly? Thanks to a BBC interview with Satya Nadella, we now have a better sense of when this augmented reality eyewear will show up. The company chief expects developers and enterprise users to get the first version of HoloLens "within the next year" -- you won't be getting one as a holiday gift, folks. It's not certain just when a personal version will launch, but Nadella describes the overall technology as a "5-year journey" that will eventually branch out to other fields. While that doesn't necessarily leave you high and dry until 2020, it does suggest that you'll have to be patient if you want to play some holographic Minecraft.

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A BMW i3 with ActiveAssist

Apple and BMW may eventually have more in common than just some features in your car's infotainment system. Sources for both Reuters and Manager Magazin understand that the two companies have had "exploratory talks," including a trip by Apple executives to Leipzig to see how BMW builds the i3. Apple reportedly likes that BMW rethought the conventional car manufacturing process for its electric vehicle, and might use what it learned to help make its own EV. While BMW claims that there aren't any active talks about jointly developing a car, a Reuters tipster hears that the firms may revive talks (not necessarily to co-produce a vehicle) later on.

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Facebook's Lollapalooza feed

If you can't make a pilgrimage to Lollapalooza but want to get a sense of what it's like to be there beyond the concert streams, Facebook might have what you're looking for. It's testing an expansion of Place Tips that lets anyone in the US see a feed of Lollapalooza's goings-on, whether they're photos, videos, set times or updates. Ideally, this will give you a feel for the event (and possibly a twinge of regret) without having to brave the crowds and summer heat. Facebook isn't saying when you'll see the feature again, but it's promising to "explore" uses in the future. Don't be surprised if it quickly becomes commonplace. The social network is eager to capture the as-it-happens excitement that you normally find on the likes of Snapchat or Twitter -- this could keep your eyes glued to Facebook after you're done catching up with family and friends.

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WINDOWS 95 CARNIVALIt's hard to believe that Windows is 30 years old this year. Originally a graphic shell that sat on MS-DOS, Windows has blossomed over the years to be the visually rich experience it is today. That's not to say it hasn't encountered a few pitfalls along the way -- Windows ME, anyone? -- but despite weathering rivals from the likes of Apple, Microsoft's pride and joy is still the most widely used personal computer operating system on the planet. In the gallery here, we take a look back at Windows through the ages. Be sure to keep an eye out for a few cameos from Jennifer Aniston, Jerry Seinfeld and, of course, Steve Ballmer.

[Image credit: Associated Press]

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If anything's kept pace with how video games have changed over the years, it's how we interact with them. Our biggest touchpoint with virtual worlds is the gamepad and -- akin to how games themselves have evolved from simple 2D affairs into 100-hour-long labyrinths in three dimensions -- controllers have changed to accommodate that. What you'll find in the gallery below is a comprehensive look at gamepads from the past 30-plus years of gaming, including high points and missteps alike.

[Image: Adafruit Industries/Flickr]

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Are you ready for lab-made hamburgers, bug-filled protein bars and 3D-printed cuisine? With the Earth's population rapidly approaching 8 billion and the race to keep up with food demand intensifying, industries have begun to drain essential resources and adversely affect the environment. Thanks to some scientific know-how, we're finding new ways to bypass those issues while still bringing natural and nutritious food to the table. In honor of that quest, we've gathered an assortment of forward-thinking products and projects that aim to alleviate the environmental impact of feeding the world and help kickstart a farming future for our space-faring progeny.

[Images: David Parry / PA Wire (Cultured Beef); Chloe Rutzerveld (Edible Growth); 3D Systems (ChefJet)]

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