My friends and family don't let me wear Crocs. But still, I'm in the middle of Tokyo to see Crocs send a drone flying to pick up a (hypothetical) customers' shoes. It's all to do with promoting the shoemaker's new range of lightweight Norlin footwear -- they're not the Crocs you're thinking of -- and it involves a custom-built drone delivering the correct style and size to the customer. On top of that, it's all automated, so it's like a giant Crocs-themed vending machine... albeit with drones.

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Independent games are a cornerstone of Sony's PlayStation 4 messaging, and a contributing factor to the system's blockbuster success. They are not for Nintendo -- neither for the Wii U, nor the 3DS. An unsurprising strategy given the Japanese company's reliance on Mario and Zelda, its familiar, first-party franchises. And yet, independent games have had a presence on the company's digital software channel, the eShop, for almost a decade. Only now, they're more noticeable. "We've been supporting Indie content and self-publishing for a really long time," says Damon Baker, senior manager of licensing at Nintendo. "I mean, [going] back to the WiiWare, DSiWare days. But I think that it's just a more visible community because there's so much talent that's coming out of it; there's so much coverage for it that it just makes it naturally higher profile."

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SQUIRT GUN WIZARD

To celebrate Black History Month, Engadget is running a series of profiles honoring African-American pioneers in the world of science and technology. Today we take a look at the life and work of Lonnie Johnson.

Lonnie Johnson is not quite a household name, but many of his famous creations, like the Super Soaker, are. To truly appreciate Johnson's achievements, we should start at the beginning. Ever since he was a child in Mobile, Alabama, he wanted to be a maker and a creator. In 1968, at Williamson High School, then an all-black school, Johnson designed a 4-foot tall, remote-controlled robot, which he worked on for over a year and built using scrap metal. He called it "Linex," and it won him the main prize at a science fair that year. Johnson recalls being the only minority student in the competition, which was hosted by the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa -- a place known for attempting to block black students from enrolling. "The only thing anybody from the university said to us during the entire competition was, 'Goodbye,' and, 'Y'all drive safe now,'" he told Biography.com in an interview. Eventually, Johnson earned the nickname "The Professor," a moniker that years later would seem ever so fitting.

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Year of the Goat: 11 Chinese smartphone brands to watch

2014 had been a wonderful year for the ever-competitive Chinese smartphone market. We saw the birth of new brands, the record of world's thinnest phone broken three times, and a couple of companies entering India with great reception (although not without some struggle). So with MWC following right after Chinese New Year, what better way to celebrate both than to look at the top Chinese smartphone brands? Granted, not all of these companies will be on the show floor next week (not Xiaomi or Oppo, for instance), but there's no stopping us from saying "ni hao" to them, anyway.

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Federal Communications Commission Votes On Net Neutrality Plan

While you may have been doing a victory lap around your cubicle in the last few hours, not everyone is so enthused about the FCC's decision today. The commission voted to officially classify broadband internet as a Title II public utility, and it's already prepared for lawsuits from service providers. While court proceedings will take time to hash out, a war of words wages on in the immediate aftermath, so we've compiled comments from both sides on the matter.

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If someone forced you to describe RealTouch Interactive in just two words, you'd probably call it a "digital brothel." And rightly so, as the North Carolina-based business specializes in teledildonics, wearable gadgets that let people "have sex" through the internet; a technology that lets paying customers connect with consenting partners online. In 2012, RealTouch was on the rise, getting featured in HBO's Sex/Now documentary series and Amazon's original comedy series Betas. But despite the positive press, the company's fortunes took a nosedive. RealTouch found itself unable to sell its hardware and, what's more, it is now catering to a dwindling group of existing customers. It wasn't the moral majority, however, that pushed the sex-tech outfit to the brink of collapse. It was patent licensing.

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It wasn't long ago you needed to buy a set of purpose-made cans if you wanted a pair of gaming headphones. Thanks to how the PlayStation 4's and Xbox One's controllers are designed, though, that isn't the case anymore. For Xbox, all you need to use your favorite pair of headphones with Microsoft's latest console is a $35 adapter. So how does a company known for its high-end gaming headsets like Astro compete?

With the A40 Xbox One Edition. This $200 headset bests its adversaries, but faces stiff competition from an unexpected place: other Astro headphones.

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Over the last year and a half, I've used a few different connected cameras to monitor my home. This includes more popular offerings such as the Dropcam Pro, but I found myself ultimately unhappy with the yearly fee and the requirement to store video on Dropcam's servers. I've also played with a Foscam IP camera, but it seems like you need a network engineering degree in order to properly set them up (and let's not get started on how ugly they are). That's why I was pretty excited about the opportunity to spend some time with the $200 Withings Home HD camera. It was definitely a departure from similar devices and had that shiny, new-toy smell, too.

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Let's get this out of the way up front: The market for the Thrustmaster T300RS is incredibly narrow. At $400 (the price of a PlayStation 4!) it's far beyond an impulse buy and demands you're taking every aspect of your living room racing experience Very Seriously. That's something I discovered when the company sent me a demo unit to try.

You see, at Casa de Seppala, my couch sits about 6 feet from my 65-inch TV. In between those two are an area rug and a coffee table I got for $75 on Craigslist. It's an awesome setup for movies and every other game I've played, but when it came time to put the T300RS through its paces, I couldn't figure out if the wheel was ill-suited to my space or vice versa.

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To celebrate Black History Month, Engadget is running a series of profiles honoring African-American pioneers in the world of science and technology. Today we take a look at the life and work of Jerry Lawson.

If you've got fond memories of blowing into video game cartridges, you've got Gerald "Jerry" Lawson to thank. As the head of engineering and marketing for Fairchild Semiconductor's gaming outfit in the mid-'70s, Lawson developed the first home gaming console that utilized interchangeable cartridges, the Fairchild Channel F. That system never saw the heights of popularity of consoles from Atari, Nintendo and Sega, but it was a significant step forward for the entire gaming industry. Prior to the Channel F, games like Pong were built directly into their hardware -- there was no swapping them out to play something else -- and few believed that you could even give a console a microprocessor of its own. Lawson, who passed away at 70 from diabetes complications in 2011, was the first major African-American figure in the game industry. And, just like the tech world today, it still isn't as diverse as it should be.

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