Liquid metal art

Robots typically rely on batteries to get power, but they may soon have to do little more than nibble on another material to start moving. Chinese researchers have developed simple liquid metal machines (not shown here) that zip around if they "eat" aluminum and other substances that produce electrochemical reactions. It's not possible to directly control their movement, but they closely mimic whatever space they're in -- you can propel them through channels, for instance.

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Ready for the next installment of Halo? The bad news is you still have a seven-month wait on your hands, but at least it's a concrete release date, right? Right? The news coincides with a new in-game teaser for Halo 5, with Master Chief et al. attempting to emote again --still while cocooned in giant spacesuit helmets. Hashtags have been readied, as have faux docu-diary tumblr blogs. But you'd probably like to see that trailer before diving down that particular rabbit hole; it's right after the break.

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There's a familiar theme whenever Engadget reviews a Sony smartphone, which is that the hardware's great, but not compelling enough to make you buy one. When Sharif Sakr got his hands on the Xperia Z1, he found that the headline feature -- that 20 megapixel camera -- wasn't strong enough to compete with the Lumia 1020. That said, we imagine that some of you did splash out on this handset, so why not come to Engadget's product forums and spill your brains as to what you liked, and hated, about the Z1?

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Dmitry Morozov's GBG-8 Game Boy camera gun

If you had a spare Game Boy Camera and the printer to match, what would you do with them? If you're media artist Dmitry Morozov, you'd make a one-of-a-kind firearm. His GBG-8 gun uses Nintendo's photographic peripherals and an Arduino board to shoot photos (almost literally) and print them on the spot -- effectively, it's a low-resolution Polaroid cam with a trigger. We can't imagine that this would go down well with security officials, but it could be a blast if you want to capture 8-bit memories with more flair than the original Game Boy gear allows. Let's just hope that Morozov offers some instructions so that his picture pistol is easy to reproduce at home.

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Apple Watch Edition

When you're buying a $10,000 watch, you expect first-class service -- and Apple is apparently ready to deliver. Sources for 9to5Mac claim that people who buy the gold Apple Watch Edition will get to skip the queues whenever they need help. They'll be bumped to the front of the line when buying, and they'll have an hour to spend trying out watches in a private area (complete with an expert) instead of 15 minutes at a table like the hoi polloi. And if the worst happens, they'll get at least two years of access to a dedicated Edition phone support line that operates around the clock. This kind of bend-over-backwards help isn't unusual in the luxury world, where concierges and other one-on-one services are common, but it's not exactly standard fare for a company that will gladly sell you a $50 music player.

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NSA headquarters in Fort Meade

The National Security Agency may present a united front when it defends against criticism of its bulk phone data collection, but it's now clear that there has been at least some doubt within the ranks. Associated Press sources have revealed that there was an internal proposal to kill the phone surveillance program in early 2013, not long before Edward Snowden's leaks made it public. Reportedly, some NSA officials were concerned that the initiative was not only expensive to run, but ineffective. It wasn't "central" to catching terrorist plots, and it wasn't capturing most cellphone calls. Not surprisingly, the critics were also worried about outrage if the truth came out -- which, of course, is exactly what happened.

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Life with the Moto 360: has Motorola's smartwatch turned a corner?

When the Moto 360 first hit the scene, its reception was... mixed. That round display was eye-catching, but it couldn't make up for the smartwatch's all-too-short battery life and undercooked software. Times have changed, though. Motorola trotted out updates that addressed the 360's early problems, and the Lollipop upgrade gave Android Wear a new lease on life through custom watch faces and a few other useful tweaks. But does that mean it deserves a second chance, especially now that rivals like LG's G Watch R are vying for your wrist?

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Final Fantasy XV's playable demo confirmed suspicions that the long-awaited game's core playable characters are all, well, men. For those wondering, even just a bit, why the creators came to that decision when previous main titles featured mixed-gender teams, well here's your explanation. FFXV director Hajime Tabata sat down for an interview with GameSpot, where he revealed his reasons and shed light on the issue. Apparently, he wanted characters whose actions make you think "boys will be boys." He also believes that "an all-male party feels almost more approachable for players," and that even "one female in the group will change their [the four best bros'] behavior."

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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.

Inhabitat's Week in Green

Fans of green cars are eagerly awaiting the release of the Tesla Model X, but you won't have to wait to see what it looks like on the road -- a YouTube user spotted the new car cruising down the freeway in Palo Alto, California. The electric vehicle, which was originally supposed to be released in 2013, is now set to launch in the third quarter of 2015. In other automotive news, Mercedes-Benz has announced plans to release 10 new plug-in hybrid models by 2017. The new models will be designated with a simple "e" instead of the longer "plug-in hybrid" branding. Toyota is currently testing its i-Road three-wheeled electric vehicle in France. The i-Road is seen as a "last-mile" vehicle, and Toyota wants to see how it can integrate with public transportation to decrease traffic gridlock.

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Just like that, HTC has quietly -- well, maybe unintentionally -- unveiled its latest phablet on its China website. With some minor differences, the One E9+ is pretty much what we saw on the certification database earlier this month. The biggest selling point of this part metal, part plastic device is perhaps its 5.5-inch Quad HD (534 ppi) display, making it the sharpest screen ever used on an HTC phone. Oddly, though, the website's spec sheet states a 1080p resolution, which we'll assume is actually meant for a lesser E9. Likewise with the 2GB of RAM instead of 3GB, as well as the 13-megapixel main camera instead of the 20-megapixel version mentioned on the product page.

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