Nintendo is about to halt production of its 8GB Wii U Basic in Japan, according to a notice on its product site. The white-clad product has been around since 2012, but was never super popular since the 32GB version is typically only $50 more. In fact, the rumor mill had it being killed off two years ago after it went out of stock at GameStop and Best Buy, though Nintendo later called that a "misperception." Somehow the model has hung on until now, but has gradually become harder to find.

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Amazon Prime Now

When it's not busy sending its delivery personnel on the New York subway, Amazon has quietly been working to expand its one-hour delivery service. From today, customers in Manhattan, the company's first Prime Now location, can shop at a number of local businesses and have fresh food delivered within 60 minutes. D'Agostino, Gourmet Garage and Billy's Bakery are the first companies on board, offering groceries, cooked meals and freshly baked cupcakes respectively alongside Amazon's own range of goods. The online retailer is starting small but plans to add more stores across Manhattan over time, with Italian food market Eataly and Westside Market already waiting in the wings. As before, Prime Now's one-hour deliveries cost $7.99, so be sure to factor that in before impulse buying those delicious treats.

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Imagine a VR game where your avatar can laugh, smile or frown as you do while interacting with other players -- sounds fun, right? Well apparently, that kind of face-tracking tech already exists. Facebook's Oculus division has teamed up with University of Southern California researchers to develop a way to track your facial expressions while wearing a chunky VR headset. What they did was insert strain gauges within the the Rift's foam padding to monitor the movements of the upper part of your face. To monitor the lower part not covered by the headset, they attached a 3D camera to a short boom clipped to the center of the Rift. As you can see in the video below the fold, a virtual avatar successfully mimicked the expressions of their testers with that setup.

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Solar energy farm

It may be tough to satisfy the US' seemingly never-ending thirst for energy, but clean power sources are at least helping to soften the impact. Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have determined that Americans' energy use climbed 1 percent year-over-year in 2014, but its carbon emissions hardly budged at all. In fact, they were down significantly for coal and petroleum-based power. While some of that decline is due to industry using less-than-clean natural gas, it's also helped by big jumps in solar and wind energy, which respectively grew by 33 and 8 percent.

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Here in America, women are far more likely to be featured in a beer commercial than actually targeted by one. However in Germany, Astra brand beer is focusing specifically on female drinkers with an unusual and automated billboard that speaks only to them. Developed by the Philipp und Keuntje ad agency and starring German comic star Uke Bosse, these billboards will only activate when women pass by. Each electronic sign is outfitted with a small camera and loaded with cutting-edge "gender detection" software that not only differentiates between the sexes, it also accurately judges their age. Once a lady does pass Bosse's gaze, the ad will activate and automatically play one of 70 pre-recorded snippets. However, when a man walks by, he's told to keep on steppin'. Check out the billboard in action below.

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Want a taste of Windows 10 on your Xbox One? It's coming sooner than you might've thought. Xbox boss Phil Spencer tweeted today that a beta of the program that ties your console in with your desktop computer is coming "post-summer." Exactly what features it'll entail or a concrete timeframe (game streaming from Xbox to desktop, the Xbox Game DVR and Xbox Live) are anyone's guess at this point. That'll almost positively change come next month's Electronics Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, though.

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An X-47B drone lands on a Navy aircraft carrier

Cyberwarfare is bad enough by itself, but it's especially dangerous when military drones are involved. The last thing you want is a hijacked UAV that can give away your position or, worse, fire on your own troops. To that end, the US Navy is asking private companies for help with developing technology that protects drones, missiles and other airborne weapons against hacks. Whoever has the best proposal will (hopefully) craft systems that not only prevent enemies from getting in, but bounce back quickly if the worst happens.

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Germany - : Homepage, Website of the search engine lycos

Long before Google and eons ahead of Bing, Lycos was the Internet's search engine. In fact, the company was one of the first to implement spidered web indexing. And while Lycos hasn't made many headlines lately, the company still maintains an impressive portfolio of technology patents. Its patents are wide-ranging enough that Google already got into trouble over old Lycos tech back in 2012 before winning its case on an appeal last year. On Wednesday, the company announced that it will be offering a selection of that collection for sale as Lycos prepares to roll out a number of physical products in the coming weeks.

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Instagram filters on an iPhone

Whether or not you think photo filters represent creative assets or the death of photography as we know it, one thing's becoming increasingly clear: they're your ticket to popularity. Yahoo and Georgia Tech researchers have learned that filtered photos (at least, on Flickr) are 21 percent more likely to get views, and 45 percent more likely to receive comments. This doesn't mean that you can throw on any effect you like, mind you. Warmer-looking filters usually get the best results, while colder examples have less of an impact. In short, feel free to tweak your Instagram shots if you feel they lack a certain oomph that will draw in the crowds -- just don't try to be overly dark and edgy.

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