The people behind Minecraft just kicked off Minecon 2015 with a bang. At the fan convention's opening ceremony, Mojang's Lydia Winters debuted the first trailer for Minecraft: Story Mode, an upcoming title from Telltale Games. Yep, the same developer that created video game tie-ins for Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. As you might expect, Minecraft: Story Mode combines the game's blocky aesthetic with a branching, narrative-based adventure. Players will take control of Jesse, who has to find the fabled "Order of the Stone" with his friends to save the world from destruction. There's a panel later today with the Mojang and Telltale folks, so we're expecting to hear a lot more then.

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FRANCE-POLITICS-INTELLIGENCE-DGSE

France has joined the US and UK on an ignoble list of countries intercepting international communications, according to a report from L'Observateur. The news follows a Wikileaks article detailing how the NSA recorded highly sensitive calls placed by three different French Presidents. The paper noted that since France was allegedly doing something similar, it may explain why President Francois Hollande had a muted response to the earlier revelation, calling it merely "unacceptable." Meanwhile, it's getting hard to keep track of who's spying on who without a cheat sheet -- not even counting spying done by nations on their own citizens.

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While many in the US are relaxing for the July 4th holiday, the folks at Apple Music and Tidal are hard at work trying to push their respective subscription music services. Apple has already announced plans for a Dr. Dre radio show on Beats 1 that will debut Saturday night, after airing shows hosted by artists Q-Tip and Run the Jewels on Friday. Just to add on, Apple Music revealed it nabbed the exclusive for Eminem's "music film" Phenomenal. Not to be outdone, Tidal came through with a surprise exclusive drop of Lil Wayne's new album, FWA, aka the Free Weezy Album. Whether or not those match your personal taste, it's evident both are gunning hard for the current subscription streaming leader, Spotify, to power the playlist at your barbecue this weekend. As far as Spotify and the rest, well, at least they have AC/DC too.

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Macro of hands with bubble wrap

Bubble Wrap is one of mankind's greatest inventions. It protects our online orders from becoming rubble in a delivery van, but more importantly, it doubles as pure, joyous entertainment. Pop, pop, pop. There's nothing quite like it. That's why we were shocked to hear that Sealed Air, the creator of Bubble Wrap, has developed a new version that doesn't pop. But wait! Before you grab your digital pitchfork, understand that there's some method to the madness. Bubble wrap, due to all that trapped air, takes up a ton of space in company warehouses and delivery trucks. iBubble Wrap, its potential successor, is sold in super-thin sheets and inflated later on with a pump. It takes up roughly one-fiftieth of the space, meaning more can be shipped to and stored by e-commerce companies.

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The Solar Impulse 2 is a solar-powered plane that has been flying around the world since March. Back in May, it was set to make its most ambitious journey yet, a 5,061-mile trip from Japan to Hawaii. Unfortunately, though, Pilot Andre Borschberg's initial attempt was unexpectedly cut short (as has happened before), this time due to inclement weather. Now, several weeks later, he's finally accomplished his mission. Borschberg landed in Kapolei, Hawaii on Friday, following a five-day, 118-hour flight from Nagoya -- the longest-ever solo nonstop flight. The previous record was 76 hours.

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Mi Band 1S

Chinese phone maker Xiaomi has made a name for itself by delivering premium devices at budget prices. As well as phones and tablets, Xiaomi also sells accessories, including the Mi Band fitness tracker. After almost a year on sale, China's biggest mobile manufacturer feels the time is right to update its popular wearable, and thanks to Taiwan's National Communications Commission, we now know that it will come with its very own heart-rate monitor. The Mi Band 1S retains the same design as its predecessor, complete with aluminum cap, but features a new sensor on the back that's designed to stay in constant contact with a user's skin.

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If you survive a plane crash but your emergency locator transmitter (ELT) doesn't, it'd be a cruel irony if rescuers never found you. But NASA, of all agencies, has crashed a light airplane to make those devices stronger and better. "It's not obvious to the public what NASA does with search and rescue," says SAR mission manager Lisa Mazzuca, referring to NASA's role in improving aviation safety. She explains that ELTs are supposed to automatically transmit distress signals to satellites after aircraft accidents, so "NASA's here to innovate that technology, which will ultimately improve the probability of a successful rescue." The problem? ELTs often fail "because of inadequate performance specifications."

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Dr. Dre will debut a Beats 1 radio show on Apple Music tomorrow night

Days after Apple Music launched to the public, it's becoming clearer where Dr. Dre fits. The hip-hop mogul, who joined Apple after the company bought up Beats, announced today that he's about to launch a regular radio program exclusive to Apple Music. The hour-long show, called "The Pharmacy," airs its first show tomorrow night on Apple's live Beats 1 radio station, and will focus on "West Coast music," according to the Associated Press. Tune in at 6pm ET if you're curious, and thereafter you can catch it every other week.

[Image credit: Andy Kropa /Invision/AP]

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See that teensy Tinkerbell-shaped light above? That's not CGI -- that's a real floating display, and it's completely touchable too. Mid-air plasma displays aren't that prolific yet, but they're not exactly new either. However, floating lights created using existing techniques can usually burn skin, since every "voxel" (a pixel in 3D space) is made by heating molecules with nanosecond lasers. In order to make them safe to touch, a team of researchers from the University of Tsukuba, Utsunomiya University, Nagoya Institute of Technology and the University of Tokyo, used lasers that fire bursts of plasma every few femtoseconds instead.

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OnePlus is giving away Google Cardboard for $0 plus shipping (update: out of stock)

Well, this is one way for an up-and-coming company to get people's attention. OnePlus, the Chinese manufacturer best-known for making a cheap handset with surprisingly good specs, is about to launch its second-generation phone, and to get folks pumped up, it's selling a modified version of Google's Cardboard virtual reality headset. Make that: "giving away." The headset is free, plus a $5 shipping charge, making it a great deal, even for what's already marketed as a cheap way to experience VR. All told, it's very similar to the second-gen version of Cardboard unveiled at Google I/O a month ago, except this particular iteration is made of a thicker material, is 20 percent smaller and is coated in a dirt- and oil-resistant film, according to TechCrunch.

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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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It might seem crazy today, but in the early '90s Nintendo and Sony were working together on a video game accessory that'd add CD capabilities to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. There would also be a separate Sony console that'd play SNES cartridge games and titles for the SNES CD system dubbed the PlayStation. As legend tells it, the deal went sour when Nintendo instead announced a partnership with Sony's competitor Philips for the optical add-on at the same CES that Sony unveiled its Nintendo-centric PlayStation. The rest is history. What you see above might as well be a unicorn, then.

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