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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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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When I entered the doors of the building, an approximately 7-foot Piranha Plant greeted me. Inside, I saw large question block cushions scattered throughout and 25 Wii U stations. Off in the corner was a Mario mascot, posing for photos in front of a big green pipe. If you thought I was in Nintendo Land, you'd be wrong. I was in Facebook's Menlo Park, California, offices. It was the second day of a two-day hackathon collaboration with Nintendo, where employees had the opportunity to create levels with the upcoming game Super Mario Maker. And the ultimate prize? The winning level design would be available to download when the game launches.

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Recommended Reading highlights the best long-form writing on technology and more in print and on the web. Some weeks, you'll also find short reviews of books that we think are worth your time. We hope you enjoy the read.

This Kentucky Distillery Is Blasting David Bowie Songs to Flavor Its Brandy
by Ashlie Stevens
Munchies

Sounds strange, right? I thought so too, but it actually makes a lot of sense. The vibrations of the barrels triggered by subwoofers placed around the Copper & Kings distillery in Louisville, Kentucky, constantly circulate the company's brandy. This means that liquid spends more time in contact with the oak barrels, much more than the typical, stationary aging process allows.

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ICYMI: Facebook's Internet Aircraft, Uber Retiree Drivers and More

Today on In Case You Missed It: Facebook just built an aircraft that can stay aloft over areas without internet, beaming it down for free. Uber is announcing a partnership with AARP in an effort to get more part-time drivers from the retiree crowd. (We helpfully provided a CDC stat about fatal car accidents because we love you.) And NASA engineers are designing drones to explore areas of planets that rovers can't get to.

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Sony Increases PS Plus Prices In Certain Countries

Sure, PlayStation Plus subscribers are used to getting "free" games every month, but they haven't had any say about what the gratis titles would be. Until now. With Vote to Play, you'll have a chance to make your voice heard. PlayStation VP of platforms marketing John Koller writes on the PlayStation Blog that the game with the most votes will automatically be added to the upcoming month's offerings, and that in the first round of voting the runner-up will be available at a discount. Pretty cool, huh? Exactly how the voting process will work (if there will be videos or whatnot to help make informed choices) isn't clear just yet, but Koller writes that more info is coming soon enough. The real question though is if you would've voted for Rocket League, the dark horse from last month's promo that's absolutely dominating the gaming conversation right now.

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Surgeons at Boston Children's Hospital started using 3D-printed copies of patients' affected body parts to prepare for procedures last year. Now, that move has helped save the lives of four children aged two months to 16 years old who suffered from life-threatening blood vessel malformation in their brains. Their condition gave ride to distinctive anatomies that one of the hospital's neurosurgeon, Edward Smith, said were really tricky to operate on. So, the doctors used a combination of 3D printing and synthetic resins to conjure up copies of the kids' deformed vessels, along with nearby normal counterparts and surrounding brain anatomy. That gave them the chance to practice extensively beforehand and reduce possible complications on the operating table.

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JAPAN-FINANCE-FOREX-IT-BITCOIN

It's been months since Tokyo police revealed their belief that the Mt. Gox bitcoin heist was an inside job, and tonight they arrested its former CEO, Mark Karpeles. Some 650,000 bitcoin still remain unaccounted for since the exchange shut down in 2014, which Karpeles blamed on a computer flaw. According to the Wall Street Journal and The Japan News, police in Japan believe Karpeles manipulated the balances of the accounts using it to counter orders from customers and that some of the missing bitcoin may have never existed at all.

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UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY: Bryan Shindledecker With Niko The Diabetic Service K9

So how will the US government respond to a recent spate of attacks by hackers, including one that extracted an unprecedented amount of data on government employees from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM)? The LA Times and New York Times suggest the Obama administration has decided it must retaliate against China, which is believed to be behind the attacks, but is still working out how to do it. Comments from government officials like Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have highlighted "deterrence" as an ideal outcome, but how?

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