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NASA’s Mars simulation begins year of isolation in Hawaii dome

NASA’s Mars simulation begins year of isolation in Hawaii dome

NASA's latest test in preparing for a manned mission to Mars began on Friday last week, with six people entering a small dome in Hawaii where they will remain for one full year. The voluntary isolation experiment has a crew of four Americans; a pilot, architect, doctor/journalist, and soil scientist; along with a French astrobiologist and German physicist. The group will live together in a dome that measures 36 feet wide and 20 feet tall, and can only outside if wearing a full spacesuit.

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Sir Elton John immortalized as a crustacean

Sir Elton John immortalized as a crustacean

In the coral reefs of Raja Ampat in Indonesia a new species of crustacean has been discovered, complete with the name L. Eltoni, named after Sir Elton John. This name comes from the discoverer of the creature, Dr. James Thomas from the Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography, Florida. He suggests that there are two distinct reasons why this tiny crabby animal deserves the name, the first being that it looks like a pair of shoes Elton John wore one time.

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Xbox One Elite bundle features new controller, 1TB hybrid drive

Xbox One Elite bundle features new controller, 1TB hybrid drive

Microsoft has just announced the new Xbox One Elite bundle. The package still just includes the console hardware and a single controller, but both have been revamped with a number of improvements. As the name implies, the Elite bundle includes the new Xbox Elite Wireless Controller that was first unveiled at E3 in June, which features customizable buttons and analog sticks. But the console itself also has a feature: a 1TB solid state hybrid drive (SSHD).

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New Horizons’ next target after Pluto flyby revealed

New Horizons’ next target after Pluto flyby revealed

NASA spacecraft New Horizons completed its historic flyby of dwarf planet Pluto back in July, so what's next for the little spacecraft? It looks like it's going to be 2014 MU69, a comet-like object that lies some 1.5 billion km beyond Pluto, NASA has said. The space agency is still reviewing the mission plan, but if approved New Horizons will reach 2014 MU69 in January of 2019. The 45 km diameter object is significant as scientists believe it might be the starting form of planets like Pluto.

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Kobo Touch 2.0 suddenly appears, not much has changed

Kobo Touch 2.0 suddenly appears, not much has changed

Kobo isn't exactly swimming in cash when it comes to its hardware. In fact, it has decided to scrap its Android-based tablets, the Kobo Arc line, in favor of an Android app instead. That leaves it with time and resources to focus on the hardware that probably matters most to its customers: e-ink readers. Following the Glo HD that it unveiled last April, Kobo has mysteriously put out a version 2.0 of its baseline Kobo Touch reader but with seemingly little to differentiate it from its predecessor.

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ThinkGeek’s Tesla Watch is steampunk-chic

ThinkGeek’s Tesla Watch is steampunk-chic

Not interested in a smartwatch, but still desire something cool and unique for your wrist? Well, if you're into the look of leather, brass, and rivets that defines steampunk, you're definitely in luck today. ThinkGeek's new Tesla Watch not only features a winding key for setting the time, but two vacuum tubes on top with LEDs that can be activated with a switch. While these features may not add much functionality to a watch, the same could be argued about reading emails from your wrist.

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2016 Ford Explorer Platinum edition gets 500W Sony audio

2016 Ford Explorer Platinum edition gets 500W Sony audio

Ford has announced a new trim level for the 2016 Explorer. The new trim will make the 2016 Ford Explorer Platinum the best-appointed SUV that Ford has offered to date. Among the niceties that the Platinum version of the new Explorer will offer are leather wrapped interior and a 500W Sony audio system. The Explorer Platinum will be powered by the 3.5L EcoBoost V6.

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Netflix ends deal with Epix, loses Hunger Games, World War Z

Netflix ends deal with Epix, loses Hunger Games, World War Z

Netflix and cable network Epix no longer see eye to eye and are therefore parting ways. If you're not a Netlfix subscriber, that statement might mean squat. But if you are one of the many who are subscribed to one of the world's biggest video streaming services, then that means losing access to movies like Hunger Games: Catching Fire, World War Z, and even, gasp, Transformers: Age of Extinction. With this, Netflix is inching closer to its unsaid goal of providing content that is exclusively available only from its catalog.

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Venturi VBB-3 electric racer sets land speed record

Venturi VBB-3 electric racer sets land speed record

This has been a bad year for racing at the famed Bonneville Salt Flats. Lots of rain has left the normally hard packed salt slushy and clumpy. The conditions were so bad that the Bonneville Speed Week was shut down for the second year in a row. Despite Speed Week being shuttered again this year, a team from Venturi and Ohio State set out last week in an attempt to set a new speed record for electric vehicles in the VBB-3 streamliner.

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