Meet Hector, a giant insect-like robot to study terrain movement

Meet Hector, a giant insect-like robot to study terrain movement

Researchers at Germany's Bielefeld University did something crazy, and a little funny too. They have built a giant robot insect with six independently moving legs in order to study movement over various terrain. But that's not the crazy/funny part. It's that in order to design the robot, they actually motion captured a real stick insect walking and climbing, using a bunch of those little balls you always see attached to actors when they make CG movies. Oh, and they named the robot Hector.

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Starbucks, Square to end mobile payments partnership

Starbucks, Square to end mobile payments partnership

The partnership between Starbucks and Square's mobile payment system that began in 2012 is coming to an end, according to comments from the two companies. While Starbucks was a key partner when Square launched its Wallet app, allowing customers one way to quickly pay for their coffee with their smartphones, the payment company is retiring Wallet and replacing it with Square Order, carrying over some of the key features from Wallet. Unfortunately, a Starbucks spokesperson has said that they have no plans to begin accepting Square Order.

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50% of smartphone photographers use cloud storage

50% of smartphone photographers use cloud storage

While the concept of "the cloud" has been around for more than a few years now, it still feels like the idea, and use, of "cloud storage" was adopted at such a rapid rate. And that makes sense, looking at how the ubiquity of smartphones and tablets has exploded in the last 7-8 years. As evidence of the importance of cloud storage these days, a new report has found that half of all mobile photographers rely on cloud services in some way for keeping their photos.

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Drop Scale Review: no need to weigh your options

Drop Scale Review: no need to weigh your options

Cooking can be confusing and difficult for some, as can technology. So what happens when you merge the two? Will it become a disaster of epic proportions, or do cooking and technology make an odd couple who end up balancing each other out. Drop, a connected kitchen scale that links directly to your iPad, wants answers to those questions. So do we. In our review of Drop, we’re going to run it through its paces, as well as enjoy delicious (or possibly terrible) things we make along the way.

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Lego to release Wonder Woman’s invisible jet, sadly it is visible

Lego to release Wonder Woman’s invisible jet, sadly it is visible

Lego has announced that one of its sets to come out next year based on the DC Superheroes line will include Wonder Woman and her famed vehicle of choice, the invisible jet. Except the pieces used to build the aircraft are actually visible, and when you put them all together, they're still not invisible. Which kinda sucks. But there's not much else one can expect when everyone's favorite plastic bricks are still bound by the laws of science, is there?

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Police can create fake Instagram accounts without warrant, says US judge

Police can create fake Instagram accounts without warrant, says US judge

A significant topic has developed over the last few months over the legality of whether law enforcement can create fake social network accounts to impersonate people for the purpose of trapping criminals. A new contribution to that discussion has been made after a US district judge said that police officers don't need to get search warrants in order to create a fake Instagram account and view the photos a suspect shares on the service. This decision will already have a direct effect on a case involving a suspect posting photos of stolen cash and jewelry.

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NASA emailed new socket wrench to ISS astronauts

NASA emailed new socket wrench to ISS astronauts

We have a winner for the most interesting email attachment of 2014! NASA recently provided the astronauts currently aboard the International Space Station (ISS) with a new tool via little more than a standard email. The attachment was actually instructions for a special 3D printer the astronauts have thanks to a delivery from a SpaceX Dragon capsule back in September. The printer is specially made to work in low gravity, and the emailed instructions included the design for a socket wrench that was specifically needed.

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Survey finds 45% of Americans have had credit cards stolen

Survey finds 45% of Americans have had credit cards stolen

Additional information right on the heels of the news about Staples' hacking reveals that 45% of Americans have experienced their credit card information being stolen. Not their physical card being lost or stolen, but card details being compromised as a result of the growing number of data breaches at various retailers this year. Office supply store Staples has just admitted to hackers making off with data from over 1 million cards, adding them to a list of companies to fall victim to cybercrime, including Target and Home Depot.

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Reddit Notes: users getting 10% equity with kinda-sorta currency

Reddit Notes: users getting 10% equity with kinda-sorta currency

Reddit has just announced an odd initiative that aims to see 10% of the company's shares distributed among users, making true on a promise they made back in September after receiving $50 million in new funding. They're calling it Reddit Notes, and the details are still very slim. The basic idea is that Reddit Notes are to act a kinda-but-not-really form of currency that holds no real world monetary value, but can be used to "tip, donate, or trade" with other users for things of value.

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Apple ups Russia’s App Store prices due to currency troubles

Apple ups Russia’s App Store prices due to currency troubles

Bad news continues for would-be Apple customers and app purchasers in Russia this week. Due to the rapid and ongoing decline of the country's currency, the ruble, Apple earlier had to take down its online store in order to re-adjust prices of computers and mobile devices, and now has raised the prices of apps in the Russian App Store. While the online store still remains unavailable, Apple today began notifying developers of the changes in the App Store's pricing.

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