Must Read Bits & Bytes

One-year NASA mission launch: watch LIVE as Soyuz takes off

One-year NASA mission launch: watch LIVE as Soyuz takes off

Starting today, NASA's Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko will be heading off for a year in space aboard the International Space Station. While Padalka's mission will be slightly shorter at a standard six months, a full year in space is planned for Kelly and Kornienko. This mission will test the long-term spaceflight effects on the human body in both physiological and psychological terms. Scott Kelly is also part of a twin study - his (retired) brother Mark Kelly will be remaining on Earth to be studied by NASA as the mission takes place in space.

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Samsung Gear VR, Galaxy S6, Edge in-store near-hands-on at Best Buy

Samsung Gear VR, Galaxy S6, Edge in-store near-hands-on at Best Buy

Here's what'll happen when you walk into a Best Buy this weekend - supposing you're in one of the locations that has The Samsung Gear VR Experience inside. You'll immediately be greeted by a couple of "SIX APPEAL" pylons covering the metal detectors that don every front entrance to Best Buy locations. From there, you'll see several massive Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge posters and metal-framed information boards. If you didn't already know before walking in, you'll know before you pass the front gate: the Galaxy S6 family is clearly in the house.

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Periscope just made Twitter relevant again

Periscope just made Twitter relevant again

A long time ago, when MTV was actually relevant for music, there was a deligthful video called ‘video killed the radio star’ playing almost constantly; as catchy as it was prophetic. Just as Charlie Chaplin was exposed by ‘talkies’, so were radio 'stars' who couldn’t duplicate their musical efforts on the exciting new visual format that was MTV. With Periscope, Twitter is morphing their own platform into something more, something different, something refreshing. Twitter now bridges a gap between immediate and contextual, live and lived-in. It also makes the global technology gap more apparent.

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Facebook’s 10 year plan: AI, VR, and the flying web

Facebook’s 10 year plan: AI, VR, and the flying web

Facebook may be best known for providing a route for former schoolfriends to annoy you with their baby photos, but the social site is also looking to bring the next generation of internet users online and give developers the tools to lure them. A combination of virtual reality, vast data centers, newly open-sourced coding tools, and innovative and less expensive web-delivery systems like drones were all on the agenda for Facebook’s second day F8 2015 keynote, along with how to teach an artificial intelligence about Lord of the Rings.

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Using Periscope or Meerkat? These accessories will help

Using Periscope or Meerkat? These accessories will help

Now that we’ve got Periscope and Meerkat, you’re thinking about trying to become the next viral thing, aren’t you? We know you are, and it’s alright. We accept your desire to cash in your 15 minutes of fame. Heck, we encourage it! We want you to be successful so much, we’re going to let you in on some secrets for getting the most out of your smartphone for live video. With a few accessories, you can make your Meerkatting or Periscoping or Meerscoping or Perikatting much better.

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Google Street View used for driving license exam prep

Google Street View used for driving license exam prep

There's a crew called ACR that's making use of Google's Street View program to prepare prospective drivers for their driving exams in real life. While they suggest that this program is not meant to replace the standard testing, they do aim to create an environment where learning about driving laws, regulations, and real-life situations is done as naturally as possible. Instead of the standard overhead view - like you may remember from your own driving instructions - this driving instruction is done virtually, on real, photographed roads.

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Olio’s smartwatch bets on quality and minimalism: Hands-on

Olio’s smartwatch bets on quality and minimalism: Hands-on

We still don't know what a smartwatch should - or shouldn't - do, but startup Olio is betting on just the right number amount of context and some serious timepiece quality. The Olio Model One, up for pre-order today, is the result: a chunky, touchscreen-faced smartwatch which eschews feature overload and instead focuses on what analog watches have been doing for hundreds of years: giving you the essentials at a glance. I sat down with founder Steve Jacobs to find out why he believes there's more to learn from traditional horology than just blunt case design, and how time saved might be the smartwatch secret.

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Amazon broke the cloud storage mold, but is it your best option?

Amazon broke the cloud storage mold, but is it your best option?

With Amazon making a big splash today in announcing unlimited cloud storage at a really low monthly (or yearly) price point, many are starting to take a look at what that might mean for them. Do you really need unlimited storage? Is the backup worth it in the long run? Rather than leave you hanging, we thought it best to take a look at what other options are around, and what that might mean for you. Turns out, Amazon has a place, but it might not be for you.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge release details and first-impressions

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge release details and first-impressions

Samsung has announced US availability for its flagship Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge smartphones, and what better way to celebrate them landing on the SlashGear review bench than an impromptu photo-shoot. Announced back at Mobile World Congress earlier this month, the metal- and glass-bodied Android smartphones mark the beginning of a new - and welcome - design direction for Samsung, swapping the plastic of their forebears for a far more premium feel. The S6 edge, meanwhile, raises the stakes with a double-curved AMOLED display. Consider the gauntlet thrown down well and truly to the iPhone 6 and HTC One M9; read on for our first-impressions.

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Facebook F8 2015: here’s what happened on day one

Facebook F8 2015: here’s what happened on day one

Today the 2015 version of Facebook's developer conference, F8 2015 that is, started with notes on IoT, Messenger, and sharing videos. The unveiling of Facebook's near future really started earlier this week with rumor that Facebook Messenger would become a platform and some keen dialer testing. Facebook also suggested (again, earlier this week) that they wanted to host the news, not just link to it. Facebook's "On This Day" also started off with a bang in-line. All came to fruition this morning in California.

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