Redditmade on an iPhone

The Reddit community already has a knack for rallying people around common causes, whether they're charities, fan shirts or getting soldiers decent toilet paper. Wouldn't it make sense to create a crowdfunding site that harnesses that energy? Apparently, Reddit agrees. Its new Redditmade site not only lets you raise funds for projects, but gives those projects a promotional boost if they're linked to official subreddit campaigns. You'll get extra attention on Redditmade, and Reddit itself will automatically generate free ads. And, as is often the case with Reddit, there's a charity angle -- if a project exceeds its goal, you can donate the extra proceeds to another organization (including Reddit's charity fund). You don't have to be a redditor to sign up, so feel free to give the site a look if you're thinking of pitching in.

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We've seen some strange devices here at Engadget, but honestly, we've never seen anything quite like Sprout. It's a unique machine that combines an all-in-one Windows 8 PC with a set of 3D scanning cameras, a giant tactile touchpad and a downward-facing projector (for displaying graphics on said touchpad). The design is built around a concept HP is calling "blended reality" that blends the 3D physical world with our 2D digital one. The obvious target audience is creative types. You know: makers, tinkerers, designers, etc... Rather than the traditional method of control built around mice and keyboards, Sprout focuses on touch and pen input. The 23-inch LCD serves as the primary display, but it's the bottom display, the 20-inch capacitive pad positioned under the camera and projector that serves as the primary point of interaction.

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HP has just revealed a lot more information about the 3D printing technology it teased dramatically a few months ago. It's called "Multi Jet Fusion," and the company thinks it can "change entire industries." The original goal was to make 3D printers build objects at higher resolution and much, much faster, speeds. Based on the demos we saw today, that claim looks feasible. Essentially, the 3D printer builds parts similar to how an inkjet printer produces documents -- the "ink" is applied to a material coating, then heated and fused to build up layers (see below). That's substantially different to how mainstream 3D printers work, and HP said that it could make products like gears at least ten times faster than conventional manufacturing techniques.

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On Monday last week, Apple finally launched Apple Pay, the company's mobile-payment system that only works with the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and the latest iPads. (Though you can't use iPads for in-store payments.) Even though mobile payments have been around for several years now, Apple Pay is seen by many as a key step toward making paying-by-phone more mainstream due to all the increased attention. Seeing that I have an iPhone 6, I decided to use Apple Pay every day this past week to pay for everything from my groceries to a hot dog at AT&T Park during the World Series. Just to see how they would compare, I also tried using Google Wallet installed on a Samsung Galaxy S5 and a regular ol' credit card in the same locations.

The verdict? Well, the future of mobile payments is looking brighter than ever, but that doesn't mean I'm getting rid of my wallet. Let me tell you why.

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A resident of Pusack near Doebern, easte

The promise of a smart home, ultimately, is to introduce savings of some sorts be it with time, effort or money. Keen Home is targeting the latter with its Smart Vent which monitors things like outside air temperature as well as the climate in your abode to regulate heat and AC. That happens via smart device, of course and apparently the whole thing can cut your HVAC system's runtime by 32 percent according to the company. What's coming down the pike, though, is what could be the most interesting: bringing "proactive intelligence" to otherwise dumb products in the house. Specifically, sump pumps that you can monitor from a mobile gizmo and will alert you should something go awry before your basement turns into a wading pool.

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The folks at MegaBots Inc. dream of making humongous machines: 15-foot-tall, 15,000-pound piloted robots to be exact. And they don't want to build them for rescue missions or military use -- nope, these robots are designed to duke it out in an arena à la Real Steel, except instead of using fists, they shoot each other with high-powered paint guns. A now-defunct convention called RoboGames used to have a real-life robot combat event, but this startup's plans are obviously a lot grander in scale. Each MegaBot is big enough to carry a pilot and a gunner within its body (just like in mecha anime), with the latter in charge of firing paint-filled projectiles going at 120 mph at their opponents.

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It's a great time for technology journalism, with hundreds of sites all working very hard to bring you exhaustive coverage of their specialist field. Verizon, however, clearly doesn't feel that it's getting enough attention, which is why it's launched SugarString, a tech news site that covers "humanity's climb towards the new next." There is, unfortunately, a catch, which is that Big Red hasn't been able to stop itself from ensuring that some pretty big technology topics are strictly off-limits. The Daily Dot received an email, purportedly from new editor Cole Stryker, that claims that two subjects can't be discussed on the site: spying and net neutrality. "Wait," you ask us, "aren't they the two areas where Verizon's got plenty of dirty laundry?" to which we simply nod.

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MAID smart microwave

It's not hard to find microwave-friendly recipes, but it's another matter to both find the right recipes and cook them properly. However, SectorQube may just take care of all of those challenges at once if its crowdfunded MAID (Make All Incredible Dishes) smart microwave takes off. The 1.3 cubic foot oven gives you access to a crowdsourced recipe store and will automatically prepare many dishes at the right time and temperature, but its real highlight is a recommendation feature that suggests meals and activities based on your cooking habits and fitness. It may offer a dinner that complements your diet, or suggest a run if you've been indulging in a lot of calorie-rich food. There will be gesture and voice commands if you'd rather not touch the 6-inch screen with sticky fingers, and a smartphone app will let you know when the cooking is done.

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When CVS and Rite-Aid shut off their NFC-based payments to prevent customers from using Apple Pay, we heard it was because they're part of a large group developing rival technology CurrentC. Now, The New York Times has shed more light on the issue, and it turns out they did it not just to stifle the competition, but also because they're contractually obligated not to offer Apple Pay in their stores. The whole Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) group, including these two drug stores and big-box retailers Walmart and Best Buy, signed a contract years ago that binds them to Current C. That contract, signed way before anyone knew if Apple Pay was ever going to materialize, prevents them from supporting rival technologies, as doing so will earn them outrageous fines.

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Computer in dark office, security alert on screen

Think your completely isolated, internet-disconnected "air gap" computer network is secure from wireless infiltration? Think again -- security researchers at Ben-Gurion University in Israel have found a way to lift data from closed networks using little more than a standard computer monitor and FM radio waves. It's a pretty clever trick: researchers have created a keylogging app called AirHopper that can transmit radio frequencies by exploiting the PC's display. A companion app on an FM-equipped smartphone can decode those transmissions and record the host machine's keystrokes in real-time.

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