Not everyone's compelled to backflip across a canyon on a BMX bike or dive from suborbital space in search of extreme sports thrills. In fact, most of us armchair enthusiasts prefer to get our kicks secondhand. And, more often than not, that footage comes from the likes of a helmet-mounted GoPro camera. Action sports enthusiasts have been wearing these nearly "invisible cameras" (as GoPro calls them) since the company launched in 2004. It's proven to be a very a lucrative niche for founder and CEO Nick Woodman, too, considering the company's recent IPO filing pegged its valuation at $3.86 billion dollars.

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Each week our friends at Inhabitat recap the week's most interesting green developments and clean tech news for us -- it's the Week in Green.

Self-driving cars are set to become a common sight on roads and highways around the world in the coming years, and Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, is taking the lead. The company recently announced plans to launch a self-driving semi truck on the market by 2025. In architecture news, this week a large lotus flower-shaped building sprouted in Wujin, China. The striking building is located in the middle of an artificial lake, and it is cooled with geothermal piles.

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Android Wear is finally here. Two devices were launched at Google I/O: LG's G Watch, and Samsung's Gear Live. Both became available in the Play store this week, and while we're sure you read our comprehensive review, with much of the spec-sheet almost identical (the same 1.2 GHz processor, 512MB RAM, 4GB of storage and IP67 waterproof rating) there's not a lot to call between them. But there are some things to consider. We break them down for you here; just jump into the gallery below.

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What should an astronaut do when he gets dirty? Take a meteor shower [groan]. But, what does an astronaut do when their space suit gets mucky in training? They get it laundered, just like anything else. Pictured above, a staff member from the Russian Space Training Center hangs out the freshly washed space suits of Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin, NASA's U.S. flight engineer Kathleen Rubins, and Japanese space agency's flight engineer Takuya Onishi. The trio picked up a few stains after landing on water in training for a mission on the ISS. So, the suits can handle the high radiation of space, but not a spin in a dryer?

[Image: Alexander Zemlianichenko / AP]

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I still remember my old, favorite football like it was yesterday. It wasn't made by Nike, Adidas or even Diadora, but it lasted me for about seven years, from when I was 7 until about 14 or so. And even though, toward the end of its life, it started to look as if it had been living in a waste dumpster, never, ever did it let me down. Despite the battle scars collected over the years, like the faux-leather gradually falling off or needing to get pumped up every time before a game, that cheap, low-tech ball always did what it was supposed to: Be, well, a ball you could have fun with. In recent years, however, things have changed quite drastically. As technology evolves, sports balls continue to get smarter and smarter, with a great amount of research and development money being spent by manufacturers. Here's where Adidas' recently announced miCoach Smart Ball comes in.

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With two Google-powered smartwatches currently on sale, and the circular Moto 360 already causing a stir among design geeks, wearables are one step closer to securing a place on our wrists. And while many of us aren't ready to strap on a Gear Live, G Watch or Pebble just yet, that doesn't mean the smartwatch is a new concept. In fact, depending on your definition of "smart," these gadgets have been fusing time-telling with extra functionality since the early 20th century. From wrist-borne spy cams to radio-controlled timepieces, here's a look at this wearable's evolution.

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business executive in formal...

You have what you think is a cool idea, but you aren't sure if you can convince investors about the sales potential of, say, a tiny monitor strapped to your face, or a watch that is also a computer. Besides, who are "investors" and how do you summon them from their secret offshore lairs to pass judgment on your notional widget? Wouldn't it be easier if you could just put your idea on the internet, letting regular people who might be on your wavelength pledge directly to help get it done?

That's what crowdfunding is about. Services like Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Patreon and others gather funds directly from buyers, to make potentially crazy ideas a reality. Crazy ideas like a salad... made with potatoes. But it's not all free money and rampant innovation.

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Speck Design's clientele has ranged from Apple to Samsonite to Fisher-Price in its history, and now it can add Google to the list of high-profile companies. But Google -- or its Advanced Technologies and Projects (ATAP) division, to be more specific -- is no ordinary client. The group is modeled after DARPA, which divides its agency into teams, with each one given a limited time to solve a pressing issue. Nearly a year and half ago, ATAP reached out to Speck, led by industrial designers Jason Stone and Vincent Pascual, with one such task: Build a tablet like no other.

The project is known as Tango. Its goal is to create technology that lets you use mobile devices to piece together three-dimensional maps, thanks to a clever array of cameras, depth sensors and fancy algorithms. As if that isn't enough of a challenge, Tango's team only has two full years to make this tech a reality. Those two years will be up in less than five months.

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Let's nip your enthusiasm right in the bud: No, these motorized skates you see above aren't actually powered by rockets. Now hold on, don't close the browser tab just yet. Just launched on Kickstarter, Acton's RocketSkates do have a rather misleading name. But they're actually quite the improvement over the Spnkix, the company's previous effort at a pair of motorized skates (which, incidentally, unceremoniously crashed our podcast stage during CES 2013). Unlike the Spnkix, the RocketSkates are about six pounds lighter, have four hub motors instead of two, are 15 percent smaller and can zoom up to 12 miles per hour. Oh, and most notably, the RocketSkates don't require a remote to operate. That's right; just like regular skates, these motorized puppies can let you zip around the sidewalk completely hands-free.

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The world's first arcade machine

Computer Space sounds like a third-party PC parts wholesaler, but back in 1971 it was the world's first video game arcade machine. Before Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney went off to start some games company called Atari, Computer Space was their first commercial collaboration -- a full year before Pong. The coin-operated computer game was the first of its kind in arcades, even if it wasn't an explosive commercial success, it managed to sell on par with other arcade machine. A recently christened game museum in Japan had not one, but four of the original arcade machines -- and an extra (unfortunately beige, non-shimmering) machine to play the game itself -- so we touched a bit of gaming history.

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