FBL-JPN-RONALDO

Cristiano Ronaldo is more than a massive football star. He's also a model, a philanthropist and (because why not?) an entrepreneur. Ronaldo, who plays club soccer in Spain and for the Portugal national team, recently showed up in Japan to promote the SIXPAD, a muscle-stimulation device that promises to make your abs look like those on his body. While much was made of the weirdness of SIXPAD's promotional video, it's far from the first time Ronaldo's been the face behind a peculiar product. In fact, people in Japan love him for it, so much so that he now has his own 3D-printed, life-size figure, which was created to show off the SIXPAD and, as a bonus, a pair of boxer briefs from his CR7 underwear line. So how do we honor the Ronaldo tech-shilling madness with all that it entails? With a collection of some of his best and most bizarre tech moments, of course. De nada.

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Early Monday morning, around 400GB of stolen internal company files belonging to Italian surveillance and intrusion software firm Hacking Team were distributed online through its freshly hacked Twitter account (changed to "Hacked Team").

They were hacked by a hacker, or hackers. It was hackenfreude.

And because Hacking Team -- a Reporters Without Borders "enemy of the internet" -- was so universally reviled by infosec professionals for their dealings with despotic governments (among other things), it became a group effort. Hackers around the world dug into the illicit files and all but completely dismantled Hacking Team's business, and reputation.

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Sphero, the ball-shaped robot, inspired a new generation of toys that aren't only fun, but can also be used as educational tools for kids. Vortex, pictured above, is one of these. Created by DFRobot, a company that's been selling open-source hardware since 2008, Vortex is being revealed today via Kickstarter, with the goal being to raise $50,000 through crowdfunding. Vortex, which is small enough to fit on the palm of your hand, is described as a smart and responsive device that's meant to inspire incredible fun and creativity -- and that it does. It's not nearly as fast as the Sphero 2.0 or Ollie, but Vortex wants to shine in other specific areas, namely its multiplayer and Arduino features.

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Engadget's new buyer's guide picks: LG's G4 and a ton of audio gear

It's been almost two months since we've updated our various buyer's guides, but we've made up for lost time by adding a dozen new picks. Most of those are in our portable audio category, with nearly everything replaced with something newer (or better). We've rounded out our other categories too, though, with the LG G4 ranking as one of our new favorite phones, and the Fitbit Charge and LG Watch Urbane getting nods in the wearables section. Those are some of the more notable additions, but feel free to poke around -- and stay tuned to see what we add next month.

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"Try to look straight," a Microsoft employee tells me in a bright, cheery tone. I'm staring through an unusual pair of binoculars -- the kind that's normally used to test your eyesight in an optometrist's office. My gaze is locked on the piercing white light inside, but I can feel my sleep-deprived eyes beginning to tire. "Oh, you've moved again," my guide mutters with a hint of disappointment. I'm sitting in a small meeting room deep inside London's Excel Exhibition Centre, waiting for the distance between my eyes to be measured. It's not even 9AM, but already the first Minecraft fans are spilling through for the second day of Minecon -- a fan convention that celebrates the blocky building game invented by Markus "Notch" Persson. Once an indie darling, the imaginative sandbox title is now a global phenomenon played by millions of children and adults around the world. But today, instead of queuing for pictures with creepers and famous YouTubers, I'm waiting to play Minecraft on HoloLens.

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Like some kind of corporate Freaky Friday, Yahama tasked its motorcycle design team with making some instrument concepts -- and asked the opposite of its instrument design team. With no constraints like commercial viability, designers were able to (and did) go to town. While the fruits were revealed back in the spring, the company has publicly exhibited the results over the weekend to the well-heeled residents of Roppongi, Tokyo. Here's a closer look.

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It's the Fourth of July and while that light show in the sky honors US independence, why not shine a little light on our DIY perseverance? To help celebrate this holiday, we've put together a collection of (even more) ingenious hacks that incorporate party essentials: lights, nighttime, fireworks, music, drinks and a bit of wild imagination. Want to watch the celebrations on TV like it's still the '80s? Will pumping up the volume help you fight fires? And just how do you innovate something as simple as sliced bread? DIY fanatics and gadget hacker extraordinaires have already done the legwork. All you need to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the (slide)show.

[Image: Styropyro / YouTube]

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Leica is known for making cameras that are too expensive for most people. Its latest one, the Leica Q (Typ 116), is no exception. You can tell a lot about its high value simply by glancing at it; the gorgeous magnesium alloy and matte black finish makes it look exquisitely premium. There are also little details around the chassis to make you further appreciate its design, including an area that allows your thumb to rest comfortably while you're shooting. At roughly 23 ounces (640 grams), the Q isn't exactly lightweight, but doesn't feel heavy either -- its mass is distributed perfectly throughout. But OK, enough about the appearance. How does this $4,250 camera actually perform in the real world?

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After the failure of the Fire Phone and the so-so Fire TV, it was hard to get excited about Amazon's $180 Echo wireless speaker. At best, it seemed like a superfluous device that simply mimicked voice-powered tech from our phones in monolithic speaker form. At worst, it felt like yet another way for the company to insert itself into your life -- all in an effort to make you buy more crap from Amazon. I'll admit, I wasn't in any rush to nab an Echo of my own after it was first announced (Prime members with a special invite were able to get it for $99). And, curiously, Amazon didn't make review units available at the time, either. But now that Echo is widely available to everyone, I was finally able to get my hands on one to test out. Surprisingly enough, I ended up falling for it big time.

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It's only natural for an entertainment corporation as massive as The Walt Disney Company, with IP holdings that span the likes of Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm, to be exploring the potential of virtual reality. It's something John Vignocchi, VP of production at Disney Interactive, the division behind toys-to-life platform Disney Infinity, confirmed when we chatted a few weeks back. But when it comes to Infinity, the future focus seems to be weighted more toward augmented reality. "We've had multiple meetings and discussions with Oculus, multiple meetings and discussions with Sony about Morpheus, multiple meetings and discussions with Microsoft about HoloLens. We're very interested in that space," Vignocchi said. "There's the socialization problem right now with VR, but augmented reality is very exciting."

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Living with the Galaxy S6 Edge: Is that curve worth the cost?

Samsung launched two Galaxy S6 models this spring, but let's face it: The spotlight was really on the curvy, attention-grabbing S6 Edge. I know I was dead-set on trying that one-of-a-kind smartphone as soon as I could. However, I couldn't help but wonder if it was really, truly worth the $100 premium to turn heads and score a couple of clever features. Moreover, would that design actually hold up in the real world? There was only one way for me to find out. I spent several weeks with the Edge to see whether its curved display would grow on me, or if I'd be desperately wishing I had made the safer choice and snagged the regular S6. As it turns out, the answer was a bit of both.

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AMC, Humans

Early on in AMC's newest sci-fi show, Humans, a teenager wonders aloud if there's any point in going to college and spending years training to be a neurosurgeon. After all, why invest all that time and work when an advanced android, which are commonplace in the show's world, can be programmed with those skills almost instantly. Call it the death of human expertise. Meanwhile, her mother is worried that her family's new "synth" (the show's term for androids) might replace her; her father hopes it can bring her family back together; and her teenaged brother is having sexually confused feelings about their attractive new robot helper. In Humans, the problems of the near future are practically indistinguishable from the issues we're facing today. And that's a big part of why the show works so well.

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