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I immediately fell in love with the original Pax vaporizer when it debuted back in 2012. Its compact and lightweight construction belied a powerful three-stage conduction oven, while the sleek, push-button design made it far more intuitive and user-friendly than other portable vaporizers available at the time. Granted, the OG Pax wasn't perfect -- what with its habit of clogging every few sessions or so. Now, more than two years after the release of the first Pax, PAX Labs is back with a new iteration that's smaller, lighter and more powerful than its predecessor. Say hello to the Pax 2.

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Space telescopes are great, but they're hardly the cheapest things to build, launch and maintain, which means scientists are forced to make compromises. The solution to this problem isn't to build a better rocket with a bigger carrying capacity, but to rely upon a low tech way to make any party fabulous: glitter. Researchers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory believe that the high-tech equivalent of shreds of foil could be used as a cheap and lightweight alternative to the hefty mirrors you'd find in the Hubble Telescope.

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I arrived in Palm Springs, California, with the best of intentions. I was to document -- painstakingly document -- the entire Coachella experience with all of the available mobile social tools at my disposal. I would Meerkat and Periscope and Instagram and Snapchat and tweet from Engadget's official accounts and the folks peering through from the other side of the digital window would watch, fave, like, retweet and comment live. I would use the festival's official app to plan my day and navigate the crowds. I would use an app dedicated to setting up reservations at (and paying for) pop-up dining experiences at the festival. I would Uber to and from the festival with abandon. With technology as my crutch, I would hack my Coachella experience. I would live through this festival as the ultimate millennial.

Except I failed miserably at it.

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There's a new generation of MIDI-connected interface tools to help your creative juices flow without being tethered to a computer or lugging around a full kit. The Jamstik smartguitar is a mobile instrument for the digital age, whether you're a seasoned guitar player or just looking to learn a few chords. It's a lightweight, 16-inch guitar interface that uses WiFi to connect to Macs, PCs and iOS 7+ devices. The Jamstik works with hundreds of apps including GarageBand and Ableton Live, letting you play guitar, synth, drums or anything else simply by plucking the strings. There's also a Kickstarter for the new Jamstik+, which adds Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity and a focus on musical education. What's more, for every 15 Jamstik+ devices that are backed, Zivix will give one to a non-profit educational organization, opening up the world of music to tomorrow's musicians. To help give you a taste, the company has given us two Jamstiks, along with a set of SOL Republic Deck Bluetooth speakers for a pair of lucky Engadget readers this week. Just head down to the Rafflecopter widget for up to three chances at winning.

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We've already seen what fiber optics can do for internet speeds, and it looks like the medium could be used for quantum communications too. See, as EurekAlert tells it, scientists from the Vienna University of Technology have figured out a way to modify the material so it can be used to control the speed of light. The researchers successfully grafted cesium atoms to the fibers, allowing them to slow light down from its typical 671 million MPH pace to around 112 MPH (180 KPH). The researchers were able to bring the light to a complete stop and then restart it later, too -- something EurekAlert says in a pretty major step toward quantum internet. It'd be much more secure than what we have currently as well, given that professor Arno Rauschenbeutel says that quantum physics at its very core allows for a connection between sender and receiver and anyone tapping in won't go unnoticed.

[Image credit: Shutterstock]

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Microsoft's found its stride with the Surface Pro 3, offering a portable yet powerful PC experience in a tablet form factor. Our readers even voted it the best overall gadget of 2014. Developers for the Windows platform, though, seem to be in short supply, leaving many popular apps out of reach (or out of date) for Microsoft fans. American Megatrends Inc. (AMI) has come up with a solution to the problem with its AMIDuOS software. If you've converted from Android to Windows, you can use the software to access your existing apps without an additional purchase. You'll also have access the latest versions without waiting for them to hit Microsoft's ecosystem. AMIDuOS works with PCs and tablets running Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 (32/64-bit) and offers instant switching -- you can even pin Android apps to the Start menu. To help one Engadget reader escape ecosystem isolation, the company has provided a 64GB Surface Pro 3 along with a lifetime license for AMIDuOS. Feeling lucky? Just head to the Rafflecopter widget below for up to three chances at winning.

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One day, TV will be all nerdy, all the time. Until then, Nerdist News is putting together a 30-minute pilot for SyFy, featuring its own brand of off-beat current events and silly gags. The Nerdist News TV show will air once a week, executive produced by Nerdist Industries CEO and @midnight host Chris Hardwick, alongside Talking Dead executive producer Brandon Monk. Nerdist News host Jessica Chobot announced the new initiative in a video, noting that the online version of the show isn't going anywhere. "We can't tell you too much more right now because there's a lot of dark magic that needs to happen before it can get to your TVs and we have no idea of when it even would," she says. Eagle-eyed observers will spot a familiar face covered by a Project Morpheus headset around 0:47 into the announcement video. (Hi, Joseph!)

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It isn't quite the soft exosuit that DARPA's working on, but scientists have developed a lightweight exoskeleton that'll take some of the work out of walking. Before you get too excited though, this is less Edge of Tomorrow and more along the lines of mechanical engineering. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon and North Carolina State University devised a way to use springs and ratchets to fashion a sort of boot that increases walking efficiency by seven percent compared to folks wearing regular shoes. The idea is to make it easier for the disabled, paralyzed or stroke victims to improve their walking ability without expensive motors and battery packs.

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For its crazy 2020 asteroid capture mission and other projects, NASA is developing next-gen "Hall effect thrusters" to corral an asteroid and put it into the moon's orbit. At the same time, the European Space Agency (ESA) is trying to improve its own Hall thrusters to power future missions. If you're wondering what the heck they are, Hall effect motors are a type of ion thruster that produce a tiny 0.7 pounds of force, or the weight of 54 US quarters, according to NASA. However, they're much more efficient than standard rockets, and if run long enough, can power a spaceship to speeds as high as 112,000 mph. So how do they actually work?

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Amazon is rolling out the Dash Button, a physical device that allows customers to re-order items like toilet paper, diapers and laundry detergent as soon as they run out, with a simple press. The Dash Button is adhesive, and when pressed, customers receive a smartphone notification with options to cancel or continue the order. This initiative builds off of Amazon's previous device, the Dash, which scanned barcodes and had a microphone, allowing customers to simply say which items they wanted to renew. It's all one more way the company is trying to get customers to ditch the grocery store. Amazon will start sending email invitations to select Prime Members with offers to try out the Dash Button today, limited to three devices per household.

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Spring has sprung and while you may have been huddled by your PC's GPU all winter for some scant warmth, you can now continue your gaming sessions under the sun's rays. NVIDIA's GRID gaming service streams popular PC games right to its Shield devices, giving you some operational freedom beyond the desktop. GRID offers titles like Borderlands: The Pre-Sequal, Resident Evil 5 and Crysis 3, and the Shield Tablet, which packs a 192 Core Kepler GPU, a 2.2 GHz quad-core CPU and an 8-inch 1080p display, is up for the task. It's not just for gaming, either; this top-performing Android slate can stream movies and handle everyday multitasking with the best of them. If you have a Shield Tablet, you can take advantage of the GRID streaming service for free until June 30th, 2015. If you don't, just head to the Rafflecopter widget below, where you can get up to three chances at winning one along with its much needed accessories. The company has provided us with five complete sets, each including a Shield Tablet, a Tablet Cover and the indispensable Shield Controller for a total of five lucky Engadget readers this week. Game on!

Winners: congratulations to Zabak B. of Wilson, NC; Charles P. of North Las Vegas, NV; Donnie R. of Dallas, GA; Rafael R. of San Antonio, TX and Nic B. of Fairborn, OH.

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Cards Against Humanity, the naughty fill-in-the-blank card game, today launched the $10 Science Pack, an expansion offering 30 cards written in collaboration with Bad Astronomer Phil Plait and Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal creator Zach Weinersmith. But that's not the coolest part: All proceeds raised by the Science Pack will be funneled into the Cards Against Humanity and SMBC Science Ambassador Scholarship, which offers full tuition coverage to women seeking undergraduate degrees in science, tech, engineering and mathematics. Applications will go live soon for the fall 2016 school year, and each one will be reviewed by a panel of more than 40 women working in STEM fields, including at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Harvard Medical School and the Smithsonian Institution.

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Russia is teaming up with the USA to build ISS 2.0 once the current one's funding runs out in 2024 -- at least according to Russia Today and state news agency TASS. The country's space agency, Roscosmos threatened in February to use the Russian ISS modules as a platform for a new base of its own after 2024, but now it looks like there will be a followup collaboration. This time around, both parties are looking for participation from other countries, as well as private industry, and are apparently even eyeing a team-up for potential missions to Mars. Russian news outlets report the announcement came during a news conference Saturday following the launch of a year-long mission (video of the launch and subsequent ISS docking is embedded after the break) to the current International Space Station.

Update: After waiting to get in touch with colleagues in Russia, NASA responded to our inquiry and says "no new partnerships were announced." So what's the status of the ISS to 2024 and beyond? NASA's statement only confirms "interest in continuing international cooperation" but doesn't go further than that -- you can read it in full after the break.

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Take the edge off of a full work week with a bit of Super Mario 64, available for download or playable right in your browser thanks to ingenious Unity developer Roystan Ross. He calls it Super Mario 64 HD, and it features the original game's first level, "Bob-Omb Battlefield." Ross promises that everything is just as players of the 1996 game will remember, with a few exceptions, including no red coins and no Big Bob-Omb. But, it's still Super Mario 64 in your browser (not your Bowser). Happy Friday, indeed!

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This might be one of the least invasive sight aids for the visually impaired that we've spotted: it's a camera that sits in the shirt pocket, Her-style, and uses auditory alerts to warn when the user approaches obstacles. The idea here is to help folks with loss of peripheral vision (from glaucoma, for example) to keep from bumping into things. The device uses time-to-collision predictions rather than proximity sensors, so rather than a constant beep just because you're standing next to a pillar, the gizmo will apparently only ping you when you might actually run into said pillar.

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