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Amazon launched a home services directory in 41 cities a few months ago, and now Google is dipping its toe in the water. According to the Wall Street Journal, for those "in and around" San Francisco, searching for terms like lock repair or clogged toilet will bring you a list of prescreened professionals in the area prepared to take care of those problems. As you can see in the screenshot (after the break), we gave it a try with "clean house" and got not only the list with contact info, but a way to send a few interesting parties a request quickly. The key here, is that you never have to leave Google.com for any of that, and the people listed pay for the privilege (plus screening for licenses and background checks) through Google's AdWords Express.

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It's been over a month since the New Horizons spacecraft flew as near as possible to Pluto and took the closest photos of the dwarf planet we've ever seen. Now, NASA has decided on its next destination: a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) called 2014 MU69. Since the probe was always meant to go beyond the once-ninth planet from the start, it was loaded with more fuel than needed and equipped with a communications system that works even in the Kuiper region. However, it still took a while for NASA to find an object near enough to explore. It was only when the Hubble telescope discovered KBOs in the probe's flight path in 2014 that the agency found the perfect target.

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The Xbox One already has an expensive controller tailor-made for competitive gamers, but Razer believes there's room for another one. Today at PAX, the company announced its new $150 Wildcat controller for Microsoft's latest console. Razer says that it built the controller under the direction of competitive gamers, something that led to a 25 percent weight reduction over the standard Xbox One controller. The controller also has four additional buttons that can be remapped in any way you see fit and a "quick control" panel along the bottom of the controller to let you quickly switch profiles, adjust chat volume or muting audio.

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Cartography is as much an art as it is a science. For its part, Google Maps has been extensively designed to be as easily readable as possible -- I mean, nobody wants to decipher directions while zipping along at freeway speeds. But with a new color scheme, many of these maps can become beautiful works of modern art, as evidenced by these images by designer and coder Shaun Utter. Head over to Shaunutter.com for a continous stream of them.

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EHEC Outbreak Claims 11 Lives

Under the right circumstances, bacteria can be quite cooperative -- both with each other and the organism they're living in. A research team at Rice University has managed to exploit that natural congeniality to, for the first time, create a biological circuit that works much like a conventional computer chip. But the goal of the researchers' work isn't to build better biocomputers, it's to help them more fully understand how these organisms interact within our guts.

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Tech Tumble

It may have taken a while, but major tech companies are finally making diverse hiring more of a priority. To that end, Twitter has publicly announced its diversity goals for 2016 in an effort to hold itself more accountable going forward. Worldwide, the company wants 35 percent of its employees to be women in 2016, with 16 percent of "tech" roles and 25 percent of leadership roles to be held by women. Today, the company reported that 34 percent of its workforce was women, with 13 percent of its tech roles and 22 percent of its leadership roles held by women. Twitter's 2016 goals are pretty modest increases over what its reporting now, but it's still one of the few major tech companies making such goals public.

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DARPA wants to transform airplanes into drone carriers. Last year, the agency invited technical ideas and business expertise to help create a reusable airborne system. Today, it announced the launch of the Gremlins program that's designed to make that air-recoverable unmanned system a reality. According to Dan Patt, program manager at DARPA, the "goal is to conduct a compelling proof-of-concept flight demonstration that could employ intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and other modular, non-kinetic payloads in a robust, responsive and affordable manner."

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Security researchers Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek have made a habit of getting the attention of the automotive world with their vehicle hacks. This year, the team showed an exploit that would allow hackers to remotely hijack a Jeep. That hack resulted in Fiat Chrysler recalling 1.4 million vehicles. The hack apparently got the attention Uber which has hired the team to work in its Advanced Technologies Center research laboratory in Pennsylvania. In addition to researching mapping and safety, the car hailing service has been dabbling in autonomous vehicles at the research center. Miller -- who previously worked on security at Twitter -- tweeted that he would begin working for Uber this coming Tuesday. It's smart of Uber to bring on two renowned security researchers to make sure those autonomous cars don't get compromised while rolling around with passengers. The last thing it wants is to lose control of its future fleet of robot cars during surge pricing.

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If you wondered what would become of Lucasfilm after 'ol George sold the firm back in 2012, you're looking at it: Disney Infinity 3.0. Yes, that game -- the best possible example of just how many of the franchises you know and love belong to Mickey Mouse. The game series started small, with just Disney itself and Pixar, the next version tacked on Marvel Super Heroes. The latest version of the game a cavalcade of everything: Star Wars, the Avengers, Tron, Frozen and more. As a fans of all those things, Tim Seppala and I just have to take a look. Join us at 6PM ET (3PM PT) on Twitch.tv/Joystiq, the Engadget Gaming homepage or right here in this post. It's going to be a magical adventure in a galaxy far, far away.

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While the Wii U is among our favorite ways to game, its Netflix experience has been lagging behind a bit. New features like (optional) autoplaying episodes, switching between individual profiles and easy resuming just never came to the console, until now. A new update went out last night -- just in time for the debut of the excellent-looking Narcos series -- that should bring things up to par with the rest, however some gamers on NeoGAF are still looking for the ability to control it with the Pro Controller instead of Nintendo's GamePad. Also, the new app defaults to streaming video to your GamePad instead of leaving it for information and navigation, so keep that in mind if you're checking out a few episodes in between rounds of Splatoon this weekend.

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