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Facebook gauges attention to bypass lackluster “Likes”

Facebook gauges attention to bypass lackluster “Likes”

Facebook doesn't need you to "Like" something any more to know you're interested: just by taking the time to read, the ever-seeing algorithm is learning. The social networking behemoth has announced the latest iteration of its News Feed system, no longer tracking just "Likes" and comments, but comparing the relative attention each post garners to figure out what users might really be intrigued by.

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Star Wars VR experiences coming soon thanks to ILMxLAB

Star Wars VR experiences coming soon thanks to ILMxLAB

The folks at Industrial Light and Magic, the creators of the special effects and the entire look of Star Wars, have created a new experience lab. This effort is called ILMxLAB, and it's really made up of the efforts of ILM, Skywalker Sound, and Lucasfilm's story group. Together, the crew will create immersive experiences - augmented reality and virtual reality - for the first generation of market-ready VR devices. This means Oculus Rift, it means Valve's HTC VIVE, and it means everything in-between.

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iOS 9 deep-linking blurs line between apps and web

iOS 9 deep-linking blurs line between apps and web

Deep-linking in apps may not sound exciting, but it could change the way you use apps on your iPhone and iPad with iOS 9, not to mention give developers more control. The changes will allow users to jump from app to app more naturally, as well as blurring the division between local apps and web-based content, not to mention reduce the amount of time you spend punching in login credentials. Meanwhile, content within apps can show up within iOS 9’s newly-supercharged search.

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Up close with Oculus Rift 2016

Up close with Oculus Rift 2016

While we're not allowed to actually play with the Oculus Rift 2016, the first Oculus consumer product, we have gotten up close and personal with it. Not only that, we're having a peek at the newly revealed Oculus Touch, the new must-have virtual reality controller - or controllers, if you prefer. This headset is largely similar to that of the Oculus Rift Crescent Bay prototype we got our hands-on earlier this year, but here it's a whole lot smoother. A whole lot more finalized than before.

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Final Oculus Rift specs revealed for 2016 consumer model

Final Oculus Rift specs revealed for 2016 consumer model

Oculus reveals the final hardware and software specifications for their long-awaited Oculus Rift virtual reality headset. This machine works with a three-part system, starting with the headset itself, fully capable of the highest-end virtual reality experience on the market at the time it's being revealed. This machine requires that the user have a computer with Windows 7 SP1 or newer with 8GB RAM or more, Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater, and either an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater. They'll also need HDMI 1.3 video output to connect to the headset, and 2x USB 3.0 ports for peripherals.

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How HomeKit embraces Siri, Apple Watch and iCloud

How HomeKit embraces Siri, Apple Watch and iCloud

Apple is bolstering HomeKit, bringing more smart home kit under the automation umbrella and adding Apple Watch, Siri, and iCloud integration to boost usability both when at home and away. The new functionality, based on iOS 9, will see HomeKit potentially take on a more serious role thanks to integration with security systems, while improvements to the setup process should make home automation installation less of a headache. However, there’s good news for those with existing gadgets they don’t want to replace.

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Apple’s plugging HomeKit’s biggest shortcoming

Apple’s plugging HomeKit’s biggest shortcoming

Apple’s HomeKit in 2014 was a promising start but lacked depth; it’s only with the arrival of iOS 9 that the smart home platform will begin to seem truly useful rather than a gimmick. What will arguably make the biggest difference to actual users is the new support for Event Triggers and Conditions. That will allow for conditional macros: strings of not only actions, like lights turning on and doors unlocking, but the rules and exceptions that govern them.

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Snapshot Serengeti snaps millions of wild photos without photographers

Snapshot Serengeti snaps millions of wild photos without photographers

Project Snapshot Serengeti captures 1.2 million sets of photos, all automated, all capturing wild animals in their natural habitats. That's SETS of photos, not just individual photos - there are millions in the full collection. Over a period of about 3 years, from 2010 to 2013, this camera project lived inside the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Whether or not you've been privileged to see the website, SnapshotSerengeti.org has had citizen-scientists classifying images in this project for several years. Now here in June of 2015, the full collection has been published for the public.

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iPad multitasking in iOS 9 is surprisingly simple (but huge, too)

iPad multitasking in iOS 9 is surprisingly simple (but huge, too)

Multitasking for the iPad was an iOS 9 feature that prompted whoops of excitement in the WWDC 2015 keynote, but it was quickly followed by concerns that upgrading existing apps might be a nightmare. Turns out, Apple has been eager to explain during its developer event, that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, if anything the psychological change required is greater than the coding alterations, something which could have big implications for the much-rumored iPad Pro.

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Life on Mars may be preserved in meteorite-made glass

Life on Mars may be preserved in meteorite-made glass

A paper released this week by K. Cannon and J. Mustard shows how ancient life on Mars could be preserved by meteorite glass. Impact glass, or glass-rich impactites, have the ability to both encapsulate and preserve biosignatures on Earth. Because of this, these scientists show how Mars may have bio-rich preserves that rovers on Mars may not have even begun to explore. While we've been looking for signs of life - or ancient life - on Mars for many years, we might just have not been looking in the right place!

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