A lot has changed in the three years since IBM first unveiled a prototype of its human brain-inspired SyNAPSE (Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics) chip. That single-core prototype has now been significantly scaled up, leading to a new, production-ready SyNAPSE chip that blows past its predecessor with 1 million neurons, 256 million synapses and 4,096 neurosynaptic cores, all the while only requiring 70mW of power. Though the numbers are impressive, it's what they translate to that holds even greater prominence: the ability for devices to process various sensory data in parallel just like the human brain, by merging memory and computing.

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New England Patriots v Carolina Panthers

It's been roughly six months since the National Football League announced NFL Now, a digital network designed from the ground up to, hopefully, fit the needs of fans on the internet. Today, the video service is finally scheduled to launch, just in time for the ongoing preseason and, soon, the start of the regular season. At first glance, it's easy to see that NFL Now has a lot of great attributes, but some that quickly stand out are its worldwide availability and the fact it doesn't require any sort of authentication, pay-TV and the like, in exchange for content access. Better yet, it will be available in a vast number of platforms and services from day one, including iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8, Roku, Yahoo Screen, Yahoo Sports and on the NFL Now website. That's not all, however, since the NFL's new service is expected to come to Xbox One, Kindle Fire and Fire TV soon, with the Apple TV reportedly in the same boat as those devices.

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Post Office

Like electric cars, the decentralization of broadcast television, renewable energy and other burgeoning technologies, the world of "ridesharing" -- largely embraced by consumers -- is facing tremendous pushback from entrenched players around the world.

These entrenched players take archaic laws and employ them to keep new competition out. This concept isn't new to business, or even transportation business. The fight over Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing programs is the same fight that's played out across human history time after time: A new technology threatens to upend an existing technology, and the industry supported by the existing technology stands together to push back against the inevitable. Remember buying CDs at your local music store? Exactly.

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Tools for tracking and fine-tuning our fitness regimens are more abundant today than ever. And they're getting smarter, too. From the simplicity of mechanical step counters to ultra-smart digital devices that pack accelerometers and GPS radios to follow our every move, it's clear the wearable category has grown. These devices now collect data, provide a soundtrack, prod us when we're lazy and reward us when we've achieved our goals. They've also considerably scaled down in size, so we no longer resemble gadget-laden test subjects when tracking our workouts. In fact, wearables have become rather stylish. Join us in the gallery below then as we take a brief look at the evolution of the activity tracker.

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Trees are the most efficient oxygen-producing mechanisms known to man, so researchers have been trying to replicate them in order to produce breathable air in outer space. Julian Melchiorri, a student at the Royal College of Art, has created an artificial leaf that can produce endless oxygen using nothing more than light and water. The manmade leaves could be a game changer for space exploration, and they could also be used as biological air filters or oxygen producers back here on Earth. Trees do more than create oxygen; many of them also bear fruit. Artist Sam Van Aken has produced an amazing hybridized fruit tree that grows more than 40 different kinds of fruit, including peaches, apricots and almonds.

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Are you ready for some football? Because Microsoft most certainly is. To go along with the introduction of a new NFL app for Xbox One and Windows 8, the software giant has also revealed how it plans to help professional coaches and players during games. As part of an ongoing partnership with the National Football League, which began last year and was reportedly worth $400 million over five years, Microsoft created what it calls a Sideline Viewing System. Naturally, the company's own hardware is a key component to this; the new system is powered by Surface Pro 2 tablets, and it allows NFL teams to review photos of plays instantly on the sidelines and up in the booths. For instance, say the quarterback goes back to the bench, the Surface can then be used to see the opposing team's defensive formation during the most recent drive -- and the same goes for the coaching staff that keeps an eye on the game from higher ground. Players are also able to draw on these images, making it easier for other members of the team to see something which stands out and needs to be checked.

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Catching waves with Rip Curl's SearchGPS surf watch

"Track every wave and know every tide." That's the concept behind Rip Curl's SearchGPS, a location-tracking wristwear that combines your typical fitness-tracking features with a waterproof, wave-counting watch for surfers. The final hardware will arrive in black and white color options this October for $400, but we managed to get our hands on a pre-production unit just in time for a little summer fun.

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Samsung's plan to launch its own "premium" portable audio line was unveiled long before Apple nabbed Beats. I must admit I did an eye roll reading the announcement, given the names of the products in the Level line: On, Over, In and Box. The group offers options for all listening preferences, with appropriately named on-ear, over-ear, in-ear and Bluetooth speaker options at prices that certainly rank at the higher end. After two weeks with the lot, I'm not ready to part with my Beats Pill XL or B&O H6s for Sammy's new kit. Here's why.

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James Cameron emerges from the DEEPSEA CHALLENGER after his successful solo dive to the Mariana Trench, the deepest part of the ocean. (Mark Thiessen/National Geographic)

There came a moment halfway through Deepsea Challenge 3D when I realized James Cameron's new film isn't really about exploring the depths of the ocean in the name of science. It's about James Cameron visiting the bottom of the ocean because James Cameron felt like it.

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If you go all out connecting your house, you can end up spending as much upgrading a smart home as it costs to build a dumb one. But you don't need a ton of proprietary gear to pimp your crib with 21st-century tech. Your smartphone and tablet already serve to consolidate your digital life, and they can do the same with your lights, power outlets, air conditioning and nanny cam -- even your door locks and Crock-Pot can be app-controlled, if you so please. Join us below to explore affordable options for your entire home, all of which can be installed yourself.

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