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 Mark Dean.

Dr. Mark Dean, an African-American computer scientist and engineer, spent over 30 years at IBM pursuing the Next Big Thing. He was chief engineer of the 12-person team that designed the original IBM PC in the early '80s, earning him three of the nine original patents for that device. Dean was also instrumental in designing the Industry Standard Architecture bus (which made it easy to plug external devices into IBM's PCs), laid the groundwork for color PC monitors and led the team that created the first gigahertz microprocessor. And despite his many accomplishments shaping our modern computing landscape, Dean isn't afraid to admit that the PC may now be going the way of the dodo.

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The $1 Lightning cable that's still half as good as the real thing

How do you make an iPhone Lightning cable at a tenth of the price of what Apple charges? In short, you can't. Cupertino holds claim to the design patents, not to mention that there's an authenticator chip built into the cable, which means Apple can charge to license out the design (in turn bumping up the cable's base price). However, to avoid such licensing issues, Daiso (arguably the de facto 100-yen/dollar store in Japan) has substantially tweaked the Lightning cable you once knew. This means it's roughly a tenth of the price of the cheapest Apple-certified cable on Amazon, but well, it's also only really half the cable.

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Covering Microsoft can be comical. The enormous, multinational company is notoriously prone to leaks. Here's a short highlight list from our vast library of leak posts about Microsoft:

While that list of all stars is impressive unto itself, there's a far more interesting leak that happened way back in June 2012. A 56-page business presentation was uploaded to document-sharing service Scribd -- the document outlined four years of Xbox plans, the vast majority of which have now played out. From Kinect 2.0 shipping with Xbox One to HoloLens (then known as "Project Fortaleza"), essentially the entire recent history of Xbox was exposed nearly three years ago.

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It's been a few years since I actually needed to use a pair of gaming headphones. After a ton of research (not to mention some scrimping and saving), I have a proper 5.1-channel surround sound setup for all of my entertainment needs. But when my Onkyo A/V receiver had to go in for a warranty repair recently, my Klipsch Quintets and Synergy subwoofer went quiet. Not only did this offer my neighbors a reprieve from explosions at 3:30 AM, but it also gave me a chance to test out Klipsch's first foray into the crowded entry-level gaming headset market, the KG-200.

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IRL: The Phorce Freedom is a bag that trades space for versatility

​At CES -- the world's largest tech show -- the intrepid reporter faces many challenges. Most of them involve sleep (lack of), nutrition (lack of), human beings (abundance of) and coffee (usually lack of, but often, taste of). As such, it's very important that you don't go and add to that list of problems with some form of self-sabotage: the wrong cables, poor coffee choices, no backup power and, crucially, a P.O.S. bag. You and your bag are going to become close friends over the week, so it pays to get one that'll do the job, with a minimum of fuss.

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Nike's endorsement of Tiger Woods, the most prominent face in golf, dates back to when he first began his professional career in 1996. Since then, shoe technology has evolved tremendously, thanks to the development of new design materials that have made footwear lighter and more comfortable. To that end, Nike has introduced the TW '15, Woods' latest signature shoe. Unlike in previous versions, though, this release brings Flyweave technology to the table, a first for golf shoes. For the uninitiated, Flyweave made its debut on basketball shoes last year, with the promise of being lightweight, flexible and stable. All of which are important for golfers, too.

But just how much can the TW '15 really help get Tiger Woods back on top? After all, he hasn't won a major tournament since 2008. And, perhaps more importantly, can this $200 sneaker really help the average Joe who wants to take their golf game to the next level? To answer these questions, we spoke to Woods and Nike Senior Director of Athlete Innovation Tobie Hatfield.

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Do you like podcasts? Do you like virtual reality? I'm hoping you occupy that particular sweet spot on the Venn diagram. I'm Ben Gilbert, and this is "Episode Zero" of "Three Bens in VR," the pilot episode of a podcast about all things virtual reality -- hosted by three guys named Ben! You've probably read some of the many, many pieces I've written on virtual reality right here on Engadget, and you've probably read the many works of my esteemed colleagues Ben Kuchera (of Polygon) and Ben Lang (of RoadtoVR). Regardless of our shared first name, what unites us on this show is a shared passion for the emerging medium of virtual reality.

So! Do us all a solid and give it a listen -- be warned that there's a brief section of wonky audio around three minutes in! Then let us know how you feel about the show in the comments, or via Twitter (all our handles are linked below), or however else you'd like! We want to hear it!

Hosts: Engadget senior editor Ben Gilbert, Polygon senior editor Ben Kuchera and RoadtoVR executive editor Ben Lang

Music: Steve Combs - +32 (FMA)

Producer: Jon Turi

Direct download: Episode Zero

Hear the podcast:

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Right now is an exciting time for VR, and this year's Sundance Film Festival is full proof of that. Over the past few days, we've experienced new virtual reality horizons and got to know some of the visionaries who have jump-started the technology. VR, arguably in its second life, has opened up a novel medium for storytelling and a way to create deeply immersive experiences for most any audience -- be it with films, video games or, why not, a full-body flight simulator. Here's the best part: This is only the beginning.

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Look out, Hollywood, because Oculus VR is coming for you. Earlier today, the Facebook-owned company introduced its new film division Story Studio, as it looks to broaden its horizons and experiment with narrative through virtual reality. The first short film to come out of Oculus VR's in-house movie lab is Lost, which is making its debut at Sundance. In addition to that, Story Studio has revealed that it's already working on more shorts with a VR twist to them, all expected to appeal to different audiences. Along with Lost, there's also going to be Dear Angelica, Bullfighter and Henry, plus two other films that haven't been announced yet.

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After several years on hiatus, an official announcement and the shockingly rapid decline of the music game market, Rock Band suddenly leapt back to life this month. Harmonix Music Systems -- the studio responsible for the music game craze, and the studio that created Guitar Hero, Rock Band and Dance Central -- announced new tracks heading to the Rock Band online store, which works with both Rock Band 3 and Rock Band Blitz. Why in the world is Harmonix releasing new tracks as paid, downloadable content for games that only exist on previous generation consoles? The official word is full of public relations obfuscation:

"We had an exciting opportunity to add new content to the already-massive Rock Band library with a song from Arctic Monkeys – a band that's never been in a Rock Band title before! – as well as new music from fan favorites Avenged Sevenfold and Foo Fighters. We couldn't pass it up. Also, we wanted to see if we could still do it. Turns out we can. It's sort of like riding a bike."

Great. That out of the way, what's really happening? Companies don't just casually release new content for years old games. That's not a thing that happens. I'd call it "testing the waters."

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