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The more we rely on our smartphones for every facet of our lives, the more risk there is of losing important data if your phone gets lost, stolen or destroyed. Android already has some backup services built in, but the massively popular chat client WhatsApp has just announced a partnership with Google to make sure its 900 million users don't lose anything important to them. Starting today, WhatsApp users on Android will have the option to back up their entire WhatsApp history right to Google Drive. The backup will include chat histories, voice messages, photos and video, and you'll be able to restore all of that data to a new phone when you set up WhatsApp.

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Depending on how you feel about Star Wars, either you've had enough of the gimmicky merchandising tie-ins, or you intend to buy all the things until the new movie comes out on December 18th. For our part, we don't know whether to be amused or excited by this special edition Star Wars laptop from HP. On the one hand, a notebook covered in images of Stormtroopers and the X-wing Star Fighter Guidance System, with Aurebesh lettering replacing English, is even dorkier than your typical gaming rig (and that's saying a lot). On the other, the Star Wars notebook is so committed in its dorkiness that it's hard not to be impressed by HP and Disney's attention to detail.

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Toyota believes that it can make human inputs largely unnecessary from highway drives in vehicles by 2020. To prove what the company can do, the Lexus GS Highway Teammate concept shows the tech in action right now.The race is on to get increasingly sophisticated forms of autonomous driving technology on the road, and brands like Tesla are bringing these solutions to some drivers now. But as one of the world's largest automakers, it's no surprise to see Toyota competing in the field, as well. By 2020, the company thinks a person could be largely unnecessary for freeway trips. With a suite of tech called the Highway Teammate, a modified Lexus GS is already showing what's possible.

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Ack-Ack fire during an air raid on Algiers, by the Nazis.  1943. Lt. W. R. Wilson.  (Army)

Engineers at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey successfully concluded a demonstration of its new anti-UAV platform recently by, you guessed it, blowing a pair of airborne drones clean out of the sky from a kilometer away. However, unlike other anti-drone weapons like the Phalanx or C-RAM systems which throw walls of hot, explosive lead at incoming threats; or the laser-based HEL-MD, this new weapon takes a more old-school approach: lots of big friggin' bullets.

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Moto X Pure running Lollipop

Android Lollipop is enjoying its last, shining moment in the sun before Marshmallow arrives in earnest. Google's not-quite-current operating system now accounts for 23.5 percent of active Android users, a healthy 2.5-point boost from what you saw just one month ago. That's still trailing behind Jelly Bean (30.2 percent) and KitKat (38.9 percent), but it's clear that all those new devices and upgrades are starting to add up. The real question is whether or not that momentum will last. Marshmallow is arriving relatively quickly, and shouldn't suffer from the early performance and battery life woes that kept some people from upgrading last year. If the newer release catches on quickly, Lollipop might not reach the lofty adoption rates of its predecessors.

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Twitch would be nothing without its broadcasters and viewers, and the livestreaming service is fiercely protective of both. So much so that to prevent its first-ever TwitchCon conference from transforming into a promotional event for exhibitors, rather than a meet-up for its community, the company was willing to turn down exhibitor support. The goal, as Matt DiPietro, Twitch's VP of marketing, explained it, was to keep the show laser focused on community so it doesn't turn into something like Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) and the Game Developers Conference (GDC) have: huge but at the expense of their initial focus. "What TwitchCon has to be about is the broadcasters and their fans," he said in an interview from the show. "Everything we do, we think about the broadcasters first because that's what brings the fans and creates the content."

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When Dyson isn't turning its R&D-heavy hand to new interests, it likes to go about improving upon existing products. Case in point: the new "Pure Hot + Cool," which combines Dyson's bladeless fan, heater and air purification technologies into the one device. Like Dyson's "Pure Cool" bladeless fan, this shorter model can filter even the tiniest of particles (as small as 0.1 microns), including bacteria, mould and pollen, with a 99.95 percent success rate. Furthermore, the glass HEPA filter hidden in the base of the tower should last over a year, even with daily use. Apart from the size of the thing, the new product only differs in that it can also heat up a room, and not just keep it cool using Dyson's fancy "Air Multiplier" tech.

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Dear Veronica: Breaching the 'Great Firewall' of China

Happy Wednesday once again! This week, we kick things off with a great question from Daryl, who wants to stay in touch with his wife who will be staying in China for the next few months. Fortunately, my own spouse (who you may recognize from the Engadget of yore) has done tons of research into this very subject from our own trip to China!

I also cover questions on how to get into the gadget reviewing world, and the benefits of audiobooks! In fact, we have a poll this week for you on that subject below: if you think the experience is better listening to a story, select the megaphone-looking emoji. If you think reading words is the one true way to get thoughts into your brain, select the book! If you hate both, choose the ghost emoji because you can't be for real.

Keep those questions coming for future episodes by emailing me or sending me a tweet with #DearVeronica in it! See you next time!

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ASUS' spiky router promises the 'world's fastest WiFi'

You may know that you can replace your WiFi router's software with an open source version like DD-WRT or Tomato to make it more secure or powerful. However, the US wireless regulator (FCC) only seems to have figured that out recently, and is not happy with your ability to boost the signal power on such devices. As such, it proposed changes to regulations, with one document suggesting it may ban or restrict third-party software altogether. That caught the eye of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which created an online petition asking the FCC to make changes.

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An Israeli team competing in the Google Lunar XPrize has secured a launch contract to send its rover to the Moon. Xprize is offering $20 million to the first team to land a rover on the moon, travel 500 meters, and transmit HD video and images back to earth. SpaceIL, the Israeli team in question, has signed with Spaceflight Industries, a company which specializes in space "rideshares." The deal means that SpaceIL's rover will likely be hitching a lift aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket alongside commercial satellites -- and possibly even other XPrize contestants -- in 2017.

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